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.