Does hot weather affect your plumbing?

Does hot weather affect your plumbing?

Oh, yes. It does.

Mother Nature’s frigid fingers can cause pipes to burst during our cold winter months in Colorado. But, did you know extreme heat can be a concern too?

Beat the UV

Most of us live at least 5,280 feet above sea level here in our beautiful Centennial State. We wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else, but the altitude and the views come with a price.

The strong UV rays that prompt many of us to slather on sunscreen, or at least slap on a sturdy ball cap to keep from burning to a crisp outside, can damage outdoor fixtures, pipes and fittings too.

What to do? Now that you’re aware, take a look at all of your exterior faucets (hose bibbs) and hoses. Do you see anything worn or leaking?

Maintain your exterior faucets by replacing washers and fittings or call us to do it for you. We can help you repair, maintain or replace your hose bibbs and keep everything in great shape. For more information on hose bibbs, read our last blog.

Replace garden hoses or repair them. Hose repair kits are available at many hardware or home improvement stores. Consider buying a reel or decorative container to store and protect your hose from the elements. Check out this fun blog for several ways to extend the life of your garden hose.

Prepare for guests

After so many months of isolation, it’s time to invite friends and family over for burgers and brats on the grill! A few out-of-town guests might want to stay as well: your sister and her husband, the three kids, Uncle Melvin, Grandma Esther and your best friend from Michigan…

You’re going to welcome them all with open arms, but your plumbing might groan in response!

Before you host a big summer gathering:

  • Replace exterior hoses and repair worn fixtures so that Slip N’ Slide fun doesn’t result in a leaking basement.
  • Call Garvin’s Sewer Service to snake your main line to prevent backups when lots of guests use your bathrooms.
  • Ensure your garbage disposal and dishwasher are working well to avoid backups after festive dinners. If you notice your dishwasher or sink is emptying slowly, call Garvin’s. We specialize in drain cleaning.

Anticipate the expansion

Cold causes pipes to expand, but heat is also an insidious beast. According to plumbing2point0.com, pressure can build up in clogged pipes which can then expand and crack or burst in extreme heat. And we know it gets hot here. The mercury rose to a record-busting 101 degrees Fahrenheit on June 15!

What are some signs that your pipes might already be in trouble?

  • Musty odors or foul smells,
  • Water marks on drywall or ceilings
  • Dripping or other unusual noises in your walls
  • Water that doesn’t smell right or is a weird color
  • Water pressure that goes up and down

If you have any of these issues, don’t ignore them. Call a professional to take a look.

Garvin’s plumbing contractors of Englewood and Denver can help you properly maintain your pipes to prevent leaks and bursting. Consult with us to tailor a plumbing maintenance schedule to safeguard your “Home-Sweet-Home.” Take care of your plumbing year-round to remove the worry that comes with seasonal temperature fluctuations.

Ask for help

We are grateful to have a loyal following. Recent customers say Garvin’s does “a great job for a very good price” and that our service people are “knowledgeable, polite, patient, kind and helpful.” We would love to get to know you and your plumbing. Contact us 24/7 for help with your routine and seasonal plumbing maintenance.

Don’t forget these outdoor plumbing tips as you tip-toe through the tulips

Don’t forget these outdoor plumbing tips as you tip-toe through the tulips

“Those were the best days of my life…” ~Bryan Adams
      Barbecues. Belly flops into the pool. Frisbee golf.

“My love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone.” ~Don Henly.
      Home runs, picnics, fireworks.

“In the summer time when the weather is high, you can reach right up and touch the sky.”  ~(Umm…) Mungo Jerry?
      I know that song! But who sang it? I have no idea… 

Summer brings great tunes and fun times to mind, but some things slip our noggins no matter what.

For instance, have you stopped to consider your pesky hose bibb connections this season? 

We didn’t think so. 

No worries. We’re here to help you recall forgotten rock artists and remember to give a little love to your outdoor plumbing this summer. Here are four handy, warm-weather tips to save you time and money before cold weather hits again:

Examine hose bibb connections

Your hose bibb (sometimes spelled with one “b”) is your outdoor faucet or spigot. Maybe you know that, but not everyone does. Chances are one or more of your bibbs could be leaking this season, and frankly that’s just embarrassing! 

Take a look at your side, back and front outdoor faucet connections to see if you’re wasting precious water or causing damage to your landscaping. A leaky hose bibb can also cause water to run into your basement or between your home’s walls, eroding your foundation. 

If you have an older home, you may have a hose bibb or two that is not frost-free. In Colorado, it’s a great idea to install or have frost-free hose bibs installed to help minimize freezing during our erratic weather. The frost-free bibbs have longer connectors that stay warmer because they are set deeper into your home’s exterior walls. These bibbs also have special valves and siphons that prevent water from backing up into your house and freezing. Check out this resource at familylifeshare to learn more than you ever wanted to know about hose bibbs.

Already know your drippy hose bibb needs repair? We’ve recorded a great do-it-yourself-video to show you how. Want the assurance of expert help? Call Garvin’s for friendly service 24/7.

Check all hoses

Once you’ve checked your outdoor faucets, take a look at your hoses. Did you leave the vegetable garden drip hose in the dirt over the winter? Ice and snow may not have been kind to it. Inspect each hose to ensure it doesn’t leak either at the faucet connection or along the length of the hose. Replace worn out or split hoses to improve efficiency and prevent water damage over the summer season. Examine any add-on garden timers and auxiliary sprinkler heads for wear and tear, and replace timer batteries as well.

Call for inspection

Your sewer line is incredibly attractive. Never been complimented on your sewer line before? We’re not trying to make you blush. It’s just true. Trees adore your sewer line. You see, the “fertilizer” you run through your line each day as well as the moisture from liquid “contributions” make your line incredibly attractive to trees seeking nutrients.

Delicate tree roots can infiltrate the porous concrete of main sewer lines. Once inside, they often create a web or ball that acts as a net to catch all the nifty stuff that runs through your sewer line. Over time that debris builds up and your sewer line can break. 

Summer is a great time to have your sewer line inspected for thirsty roots, obstructions and defects. Garvin’s can inspect your line with a camera on the end of a scope and record the inspection for you to watch in the comfort of your home. Read more about this service

Consider preventative maintenance

Garvin’s sewer service can clean out your lines regularly to prevent sewer line back-ups, breaks and expensive repairs. We clear obstructions by pulling them out of the line or pushing them through to the main city sewer line or septic system. 

We can help you take the worry out of remembering to do this by scheduling it for you. Consider starting planned maintenance this summer and repeating it every 6 to 12 months. Learn more about Garvin’s preventative maintenance service program.

Contact our team

Garvin’s sewer service of Denver and Englewood is here to help you with all of your seasonal plumbing needs. We’re available 24/7 and we don’t charge after-hours rates for our drain and sewer cleaning services. 

You have the right to expect fast, efficient service. Our service is performed by employees who are knowledgeable, polite and neat. We’ll treat you with respect because we treasure establishing long-term relationships with all of our customers. Over time, we hope you’ll feel comfortable relying on us for all of your plumbing needs. Call our friendly team for help or email us for information today.

 

What’s the Best Water Heater?

What’s the Best Water Heater?

Is it time to replace your old water heater? Or maybe you are doing research because you are ready to upgrade? Either way, it’s smart to learn more so you aren’t in a situation where you must make a high-pressure decision or face taking cold showers!

Consider this a Water Heater 101 as we answer some of our customer’s top questions about water heater replacement.

How long does a water heater last?

The quality of the water heater makes a difference in how long it will last. Your water purity also matters as hard water ages your water appliances faster than filtered water. That being said, you can expect your water heater to last 7-14 years. 

How old is my water heater?

To determine the age of your water heater, you will want to check the manufacturer label. This video will give you a clue about where to find it and determine the age.

However, if you notice that your water isn’t staying as hot as it used to, or you are hearing noises or the water smells, it may be time for a service call, regardless of the age of the unit.

What is the best water heater?

The best water heater depends on YOU. There are some brands who are well known because of their commercials. There are also brands that are high quality that you aren’t aware of because they are only available to those of us professionals in the industry.

Your best water heater is based on your budget, how long you plan to be in your house, the size of your household and your water demands. A good plumber will provide you with a few options or give you an estimate based on the needs you have shared with them.

How big of a water heater do I need?

To balance energy efficiency, cost benefits, and water supply needs, you should choose a water heater based on your household demand. If you find you are constantly running out of hot water, that’s a good sign you need a larger heater. (Or, your water heater needs to be serviced because it isn’t running efficiently.)

What about tankless water heaters?

Tankless water heaters are a great option for homeowners who have high demands for hot water on an ongoing basis. There are other considerations as well, such as space, venting, and current configurations, as these are likely to change. These changes can incur additional costs, but there are right times to do it, such as with a new build or remodel, or when the demand just makes sense.

What is an expansion tank?

An expansion tank is part of replacing a water heater that brings it up to current plumbing codes. When water heats up, it creates steam and expands, and when it cools, it reduces. This repetitive expansion and contraction can cause extra pressure on the pipes and fixtures, causing them to crack or explode.

An expansion tank is designed to hold the water that overflows so the additional pressure isn’t put on the system. This helps it last longer and keeps it safer for your family. 

It is cheaper to leave it off – and that’s how some companies “save” you money. In essence, they aren’t following current plumbing code and are leaving your home at risk for a rupture and resulting water damage. For pennies on the dollar, you are being preventative by installing a new expansion tank with your water heater.

Is there a benefit to electric versus gas?

There are different reasons for why someone would choose a gas water heater over an electric one. Efficiency, earth friendliness, and current energy configurations are the primary considerations. Talk to your plumber about your goals, and they can suggest the best water heater for your specific needs.

Can I install a water heater myself?

Technically, you can, but we don’t recommend it. As mentioned, safety is a top priority and given it’s likely been nearly a decade since the water heater was last installed, new plumbing codes are in place that make the unit safer and more efficient. Because we are up to date on this, and each water heater is a bit different, it isn’t the best DIY project. Plus, we handle delivery and disposal, so you don’t have to.

Water heater replacement is something most of our clients aren’t aware we do! Let Garvin’s Sewer Service take care of all your drain and plumbing needs, including water heater repairs and replacement. Give us a call today for a quote or more information and let our 80 years of service work for you in a new way!

Preparing for “Brown Friday” in Denver

Preparing for “Brown Friday” in Denver

The experienced team of local plumbers at Garvin’s Sewer Service in Englewood has no shortage of work to do around the Denver Metro area. This is especially true on “Brown Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving, when clogged sinks and jammed garbage disposals reach a yearly high. 

Defining Brown Friday

The term “Brown Friday” has become increasingly prevalent in the American social conscious, thanks to several studies showing that emergency plumbing house calls the day after Thanksgiving are the highest of any day of the year. This increase in calls for plumbing repair in Denver is connected to a pair of Turkey Day “phenomenon.” The first is that the huge amount of food consumed by families nationwide creates a record amount of waste — grease, bones, and lots of other stuff that goes from dishes directly into the garbage disposal. It then collects in the disposal’s basin before beginning its slow ooze through kitchen sink pipes. The more grease and scraps, the greater the likelihood of a clog developing. 

The second is that plumbers celebrate Thanksgiving too, and many families prefer to wait a day before calling for help. We’d like to think this is done out of the goodness of their hearts, and that’s mostly true. However, some of the thriftier households put it off to avoid paying a “holiday premium.” At least, that’s what we tell ourselves. At any rate, the result is that our local plumbers get two days’ worth of holiday calls on the same day. 

Tips for Avoiding Your Own Brown Friday

If you want to increase your odds of avoiding your own Brown Friday, check out the following tips. Share them with family and friends, and collectively you might just manage to avoid a brownout. 

  • Bones and fibrous foods (potato peels, corn husks, carrots, onion skins) shouldn’t be put in the garbage disposal. Bones can damage the disposal’s blades, while fibrous scraps tend to wrap around the blades, which can damage the motor. Toss these items in compost or trash instead.
  • Don’t pour grease down the drain. Instead, pour it into a cup/container and stick it in the freezer. Wait for the grease to solidify, and then throw it out (or reuse it). 
  • Keep the water running when feeding the disposal food scraps.
  • Wipe off greasy pans before washing them.
  • If multiple people are showering at your house over the holiday, use a mesh strainer to keep hair from clogging the drain.
  • Avoid flushing wipes, feminine products, and other non-dissolvable items down the toilet.

A quick word about grease, since it’s arguably the biggest contributor to drain clogs, (and it’s not just grease – it’s the combination of grease, liquefied fat, and oil.) Putting this goop down your drain will not only cause problems for your household plumbing, but it also creates problems for your city’s sewage system. So the more vigilant you are about keeping grease and its allies out of your disposal, the better. 

Brown Friday Blues? Contact Garvin’s Sewer Service

Black Friday may be the most popular day after Thanksgiving for deal shoppers, but in the plumbing community, it doesn’t hold a candle to Brown Friday. Try your best to follow the tips provided above, and if you still end up with drain clogs near Englewood this Thanksgiving, rest assured our experienced plumbers will supply a quick, budget-friendly solution. 

 

5 Toilet Troubles and Their Fixes

5 Toilet Troubles and Their Fixes

Last week we received a few calls about toilet troubles, and I wanted to address some of them here for all of you wondering why you are struggling with recurring issues. There are five toilet troubles, in general, and knowing the culprit will have you clearing up the issue quickly.

Toilet Problem 1: Water won’t go down

If when you flush the water just comes up and then slowly drains back down over some time, you may have a partial clog in the line. Try using a plunger, and if that doesn’t work, give a plumber a call to clear the line further down.

Toilet Problem 2: Toilet backs up frequently

If you notice that you are having to plunge your toilet often, or that the toilet gets clogged frequently, this may be an issue of too much toilet paper. Or, it could be caused by the toilet paper being too thick and not flushing or breaking down well enough to move through the system.

Try using a non-plush style of toilet paper. This is especially true if you also have a low flush toilet. You may also want to try flushing more frequently to help push paper and waste through the line.

Toilet Problem 3: The toilet doesn’t flush everything through/ has a weak flush

If the toilet doesn’t seem to be flushing strong enough to push everything through, it is possible that the inner toilet “guts” aren’t functioning properly. A plumber can come and test the toilet to see what the problem is and make suggestions on a repair or replacement.

Toilet Problem 4: Toilet is wobbling or sits funny

If when you sit down on the toilet, you notice it wobble or is misaligned, it is a fairly easy fix. A plumber or handyman can usually pull up the toilet, readjust it, add a wax ring to help the wobble. Sometimes, however, when the toilet is pulled up, the flooring underneath can have water damage or rot. This may require additional repairs – but it’s a good thing you caught it before it became too dangerous!

Toilet Problem 5: Toilet is leaking

If you notice extra moisture or even puddles of water around the toilet base or tank base, you will want to have that looked at by a plumber to determine where the leak is coming from. You could have a leak in one of the water supply lines, a tank gasket, or in the toilet stub where it connects to the floor. Your plumber can test for a leak and make the suggested repairs quick and easy.

Another note about toilet replacement or repair:

It isn’t necessarily a problem, so I didn’t want to include it in the above list, but sometimes there is a desire to update a toilet. It may be a color, age, or style that no longer has aesthetic appeal, or it could be that a taller, easier-to-use- toilet style is a better fit for an aging parent or person with disability. Plumbers can help make that change as well, so you can have a throne worthy of royalty.

Toilet troubles are never fun to deal with, but are usually a quick and easy fit that shouldn’t be put off. Give Garvin’s Sewer Service a call today to get scheduled for toilet repairs and reduce the chance of water damage.

9 Items That Should Never Go Down the Drain

9 Items That Should Never Go Down the Drain

Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we get calls from homeowners all the time because they have a clogged drain, and while there absolutely are times when this happens for reasons well beyond the homeowner’s control, there also are entirely too many times when that call to their commercial drain cleaning in Englewood could’ve been avoided. How? By simply knowing what can and cannot go down a drain.

Whether it’s the toilet, the kitchen sink, or a laundry room basin, the important thing to remember here is that your home’s plumbing system is designed to handle liquids and very few approved flushable solids like toilet paper.

Despite this rule of thumb, we often see certain types of solids dumped down the drain, and to help our customers avoid an emergency plumbing call in the future, we’ve assembled a list of those items here:

#1 Coffee Grounds

They seem small enough that they should just flush away like any liquid would, but they actually are one of the most common offenders of slow-building clogs in kitchen sinks.

#2 Eggshells

Ground-up eggshells can cause exactly the same type of problem. It’s just as easy to throw them away into the garbage can or to use them as compost if you’ve got a garden.

#3 Oil or Grease

Used oil or grease may seem liquid enough to dump down the drain when it’s still hot, but grease does eventually cool off and become more of a solid inside your pipes. Your best bet is to run this grease into an old jar or can, let it cool and harden, then throw it away in the trash.

#4 Produce Stickers

Even a little bit of adhesive on the backs of those stickers can add to drain clogs. They’re better off in the garbage, like all the other solid items on this list.

#5 Cotton Balls

Another big problem is when people flush solid items down the toilet, including cotton balls (and dental floss for that matter). They don’t dissolve like toilet paper does, which makes them more prone to cause clogs in your toilet.

#6 Paper Towels

Paper towels and wipes are the same way. They may look a lot like toilet paper, but they’re made to be thicker and more durable, which means they won’t disintegrate in your water like TP does.

#7 Condoms

Rubber is not biodegradable, which means these have no business being flushed town toilets. Keeping this type of garbage out of the water supply is important, so just throw them away instead.

#8 Feminine Hygiene Products

Flushing feminine hygiene products may feel like the fastest, most sanitary way to dispose of them, but like the other items listed above, they do not dissolve into the water, which makes them a prime candidate for causing issues with drains, even though they say they are flushable.

#9 Household Chemicals

Household cleaners, car fluids, and even paint are items that people often wash down drains, but we would caution against all of them. Toxic chemicals are never great for the water supply, so stick to all-natural cleaners or find safer ways to dispose of your household chemicals.

Call An Emergency Plumber

Whether you’ve flushed these items down your drain or not, it’s possible you’ll find yourself in need of a drain cleaning plumber in Englewood, and the professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service are happy to help. Do your best to keep these items out of your drains, but if an emergency does ever arise, we’ll be here to help return your plumbing functionality back to normal.

Tips for Keeping Drains Clear at Hair Salons

Tips for Keeping Drains Clear at Hair Salons

In residential situations, hair clogs are among the most common issues that homeowners deal with in their sinks and shower drains. So, it’s not hard to imagine the sorts of plumbing nightmares that can occur at a hair salon, where hair of every length, size, and thickness can find its way into just about any corner of the building, including sinks and drains.

Knowing how much loose hair exists at a business like this, it seems like a reasonable thing to suggest some preventative measures to ensure that major plumbing issues don’t occur. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we’ve had more than our fair share of service calls to hair salons, so we recommend the following actions to cut down on how many of those calls are necessary over the course of a given year.

#1 Catch Hair Before it Reaches the Drain

On its own, hair can be the bane of any hair stylist’s existence, especially considering how much shampoo mixes with the loose hair that ultimately enters these drains. The best way to ensure those gunky clogs don’t form in your drains is to catch the hair before it gets there. That means investing in some sort of hair stopper, mesh screens or hair traps. Some sinks have stopper assemblies with screens built in. Catch all that soapy or gelled-up hair and clean the stoppers regularly to ensure those clogs never form in the first place.

#2 Be Smart About Troublesome Chemicals

Hair salons deal with a number of chemicals which are required for coloring or setting hair, and while much of those chemicals go down the drain, an existing clog can create big-time headaches for the salon owner. We don’t recommend using a liquid drain cleaner to unblock those clogs because the combination of chemicals can be very corrosive. Regular drain cleanings can help ensure this doesn’t happen.

#3 Flush Your Drains

One preventative approach is to regularly flush your sink with a full basin of hot water. To do this, simply fill up a five-gallon bucket with hot water and dump the whole thing down the drain. Sometimes the low-pressure water of everyday use isn’t enough to flush away minor clogs. A bigger flush may do the trick.

#4 Get Regular Drain Cleanings

One of the best things you can do to make sure you don’t end up with major clogs is to schedule regular drain cleanings with Garvin’s Sewer Service. Not only can we flush out whatever gunk may be building up in a drain long before it becomes problematic, but we also can do a quick check for other problems that may be lurking beneath the surface. It’s an affordable service that goes a long way toward ensuring all a salon’s sinks and drains continue working as expected.

If you are in need of commercial drain services in Englewood or any of the surrounding areas, contact us here at Garvin’s Sewer Service so we can get you on the schedule and unclog any drain, no matter what the reason may be for its blockage. Even if you don’t need our services immediately, we suggest doing the aforementioned things in your hair salon to minimize the need for plumbing services. Just know that if you ever need us, we’re just a phone call away!

A Guide to Sewer Line Preventative Maintenance

A Guide to Sewer Line Preventative Maintenance

Your sewer lines may be hidden, but they are about as important as any individual aspect of a home. Imagine what life would be like if you couldn’t drain a sink or flush a toilet or run a shower without it backing up. It sounds awful, but these things happen all the time, and sometimes they get so bad that the homeowner can incur major repairs, including but not limited to a full sewer replacement.

How does one prevent having to undertake massive sewer line repairs? By taking care of a little preventative maintenance. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we want to help homeowners do the necessary things to prevent their pipes from clogging, hopefully in a way that keeps a complete sewer replacement from ever becoming necessary. The following is a look at ways we can help with drain and sewer line preventative maintenance:

#1 Clean Slow Drains

Many people attack a slow-moving drain with a bottle of liquid drain cleaner, but there are so many reasons why that just isn’t the best course of action. A sewer drain cleaning in Englewood often is the best way to clear a drain of any grease, hair, or other items that could be causing the backup. It is better for the environment and the integrity of your pipes to have this done by a professional.

#2 Check for Cracks

Professional plumbers also can check your sewer for cracks using tools that most homeowners don’t have on-hand. Bendable snake cameras allow plumbers with a trained eye to locate cracks in a sewer, which helps them understand exactly where bigger problems may arise in the future had they not been checked up on early.

#3 Remove Trees Near Sewer Lines

Tree roots are among the most notorious killers of functional sewer lines, so one approach to preventing invasive and pricy sewer line replacement is just to remove those trees in the first place. If not removing trees, at least planting new ones away from sewer lines is a smart approach, and a plumber can help you know exactly where in your yard that may be.

#4 Test Water Pressure

Professionals here at Garvin’s Sewer Service have access to special gauges that can check the quality of your water pressure, and if something doesn’t appear to be working quite right, they can give homeowners a sense of what to do get things back up to snuff. 

#5 Check Under Sinks for Warning Signs

Another bit of preventative maintenance plumbers do is just to have a check under sinks for any cracks or leaks in the pipes that reside there. Think of it the same way you would a multi-point inspection for your vehicle at the car dealership. If something’s wrong, we can fix it before it becomes a much bigger problem.

Contact the Denver Sewer Replacement & Maintenance Experts

The idea behind any sort of preventative maintenance is to be sure that everything works the way it should and that molehills don’t turn into mountains. If you’d like to schedule a preventative maintenance appointment with one of our professionals, contact the professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service so we can help ensure that your home’s plumbing continues working as it should.