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It’s A Trap! The Importance Of Grease Traps In Commercial Drain Cleaning

 

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Burgers and fries can cause a lot of sewer drain cleaning

If you run a restaurant, you know just what grease can do to your sewer system. If your grease traps aren’t properly cleaned, fats, oils and greases (FOGs) can wreak havoc in your pipes and cause clogs like you wouldn’t believe.

Grease traps are a requirement for all restaurants, whether you’re a fast food joint swimming in hamburger grease and fry oil or a vegetarian restaurant whose biggest concern is pea butter.. Grease traps are installed by plumbers, and with any luck they installed the correct size so that your grease traps don’t fill up too often. Plumbers install the grease traps, but it’s important to remember that a restaurant is legally required to install and maintain them

Point-Of-Use Grease Traps: It’s not uncommon to find grease traps directly under sinks in a commercial kitchen. These grease traps are the simplest in form, but make an excellent first line of defense, removing between 85-90% of FOGs and food solids. Keeping these cleaned out will prevent them from filling up completely and preventing your water from heading out.

Gravity Interceptors: This type of grease trap is usually located outside and underground, and typically holds between 500 and 2000 gallons. This is the type that has a manhole covered lid or trapdoor that allows the grease to be removed and the grease trap cleaned. Be sure to give Garvin’s a call so that a regular schedule of grease removal can be set up…otherwise you might forget and suddenly the efficiency of your trap goes down exponentially, causing all sort of problems.

Where Does It Go?: Most grease, called brown grease, just ends up in a landfill. That’s because rotting grease becomes rancid and becomes increasingly more difficult to recycle the longer it’s been in a grease trap.

Grease can be a big problem in the restaurant business, so it’s a good thing that Garvin’s Sewer Service is around! We’re here to thoroughly clean out your grease traps so that your restaurant can keep running with minimal interruption.

 

 

 

Sewer Cleaners For Car Lots and Garages

dreamstime_xxl_44087249Here at Garvin’s, we’ve been serving Denver’s houses for over 75 years. And most of the customers in those houses think that that’s all we do, but they’d be very wrong. After all, businesses all over the metro area need us to take care of their drains both inside and outside.

Car lots are a big client of ours, and it makes a lot of sense. After all, there are drains all over a car lot that most people never even think about. And when the drains and sewer lines get clogged, you start to look bad and lose business. That’s why you need sewer cleaners like Garvin’s.

The Lot Drains: We know of a car lot in Greeley where the entire lot was on a slant, and their most public corner was right at the bottom of that hill. They didn’t have preventive sewer service, and if it rained too much (or all the snow melted) most of that water pooled in their front lot, submerging some of the car tires up to four inches of water. When people drove in to take a look, they saw the cars under less-than-perfect conditions, and if they wanted to test drive one they’d be out of luck. It’s not a positive situation for the customer or the car salesmen. Remember, the storm sewer lines on your property are your responsibility, so keep them clean for everyone’s sake..

Garages: Service centers should have the proper means to dispose of oil, grease, brake fluid, and the like. It’s obvious that these don’t go down the drain, and very illegal if they do. But garages get dirty and dusty, as dirt is knocked off from the underside of cars, dust flies from brakes, and rocks fall from tires. A lot of this is swept up, but just as much goes down the drain and starts to clog your drains up. Plus you have to consider the sinks that your techs are washing their hands in.

Showrooms: Don’t ignore the drains that your customers are using! When you do that, your toilets start running slow and the sinks near the coffee machines start to stink. You’ve probably spent quite a lot of money making the waiting room comfortable for them, so make sure that the restrooms and snack station don’t cause them to have any negative thoughts about your dealership.

Car Wash: Nothing is going to slow down your drains and sewers faster than the car wash at a dealership. It’s constantly in use: new cars come in and they need a wash. New cars go out the door and need a wash. Same for used cars. And if you’re offering free car washes with service, you’re washing off all the gunk that customers bring in, and it’s going into your drains.

Don’t let your need for sewer drain cleaning get in the way of helping your customers. Give Garvin’s Sewer Service a call today and we’ll take care of all the drain service and sewer cleaning you have. Let us be your dealership’s sewer cleaners!

 

 

 

What Do People Do With Grease?

Drain cleaning Here at Garvin’s, we’ll admit it…we’re not really interested in your household grease. While we have every interest in moving it on its way so that you never see it again, we don’t really want to keep it.

Who would, anyway? Well, actually, there are quite a few people out there who are interested in grease, and are happy to take cooking oil and grease off the hands of a local fast food place. Why?

Rendering: You’ve probably heard of rendering, which is the process of taking animal byproducts (mostly fat) and turning them into something useful again. While most rendering is done directly from slaughtered animals, the grease that restaurants produce is another sizable source.

Car Fuel: Believe it or not, cars can run on cooking oil and grease. If you have a diesel engine, you can convert it for about $1,500 to one that runs on cooking oil, and if you ask enough restaurants you’ll probably be able to get it for free. While it’s not ideal in all situations (they’re much harder to run in the winter since the freezing temperature of oil is higher than diesel), they are a great way get rid of waste grease, and your carbon footprint is minimal. You’ll probably always be hungry, though, because your exhaust smells great!

Cooks: While you don’t want to use the grease that’s gone down your drain, you can certainly store grease from that bacon you cooked Saturday morning and use it to fry something later. Obviously this isn’t nearly as healthy as cooking with olive oil, but then again olives don’t taste like bacon!

Grease has lots of uses, but it’s a real pain when it goes down your drain. If you know that it’s one of your problems, give Garvin’s a call for expert drain and sewer cleaning. We’ll send the grease on its way!

 

 

 

The Balance Between Plumbing Preventative and Emergency Sewer Services

drain_cta_revIf it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This is one of my Dad’s favorite sayings.

He has always been a proponent of knowing when to fix something and when not to. He seems to have learned in life what to spend money on, when not to spend money, when to buy the more expensive, and when the cheap is good enough.

I think this is really important regarding preventative maintenance when it comes to sewer service. Clearly, there must be a balance between saving money and spending money. The phrase, “penny wise, pound foolish” comes to mind. What value is there in saving pennies and throwing away dollars? Wouldn’t we all rather save those dollars if it costs a few pennies?

As a property management company, when is doing preventive maintenance on your drains a good idea? First off, do you manage a property that has consistent drains problems? Clearly, if you don’t, the issue is moot. Would you hire a lawn mowing service if you landscape with sand and rock? No.

If yes, then do you hire a company to perform preventive maintenance to keep your tenants happy, or do you ride out the storm and hope your tenants don’t wash out with your drain problems? Doing preventive maintenance and drain cleaning is a minimal cost compared to losing monthly income from an irate tenant who decides to vacate the premises once their lease is up. First, you will have to determine what you have that is a good candidate for preventative maintenance.

Start by researching old invoices for drain service performed in years past. Is there a pattern? The pattern could be the time frame frequency, or a particular unit. Those patterns can be your first clue. Secondly, look at the cause of the backups. Was it grease build up? This is probably a building problem. Or is it paper towels? This is likely tenant abuse.

Next, separate sink and toilet issues from the main sewer line problems. Remember, doing sewer cleaning will not make the toilets flush any better or cause the sinks to drain any faster, as these will be separate issues.

You should be able to get copies of invoices from your current provider, or they may be able to do this work for you- just ask.

Once you begin to determine the real problems and patterns, it is now time to get a bid or estimate on the work you need done. The problems that are not candidates for preventative work are best suited to reactionary cleanings. This information alone will save you money.

Other benefits of preventative maintenance include: prevention of “secondary” damages to property from water or sewage back-ups’ penetration; can find problems while they are still small enough for repairs rather than expensive replacements; and can be scheduled on your time frame, rather than creating an urgent new problem to solve.

There will always be reactionary cleanings. But if you are able to only do reactionary work when it is needed and put the rest on preventative, you will have less back-ups & therefore happier tenants. The main benefits of reactionary service are: maintaining the ability to only spend money on small items as they are needed, and can provide a quick fix on issues that aren’t preventable, such as toilet clogs.

Here are some examples from our company where a successful mix of preventative and reactive drain cleaning helps them manage their budgets:

A chain restaurant calls a few times a month when an employee pushes too much food scraps down the floor drain. They also have their grease trap line cleaned every month, saving them the hassle of back-ups during peak times.

A car wash calls every month in summer and as needed in the winter. This blend keeps all their bays open during their busy season, so they can keep making money.

A shopping center has a contract set up every 6 months to clear the debris from their storm drain. They were experiencing problematic repeat back-ups and flooding into the parking area.

Finally, some larger companies have chosen to invest in their own drain cleaning equipment to be able to meet their needs. A quality drain cleaning machine can cost under one thousand dollars, which can easily pay for itself in a few uses. However, larger machines designed for lines larger than 4” or for extended lengths, are better left for professionals. Companies requiring the use of a Jetter, a high pressure water machine, are at a benefit for using a professional to limit their liabilities and expense.

How you choose to manage your drains will really depend on your philosophy. Hopefully the concepts presented here will help you to be “pound wise” and allow you not fix something that’s not broken.

When you are looking for preventive sewer and drain cleaning, give Garvin’s a call!

A Good Reputation In Sewer Repair

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it” ~Benjamin Franklin

A news report just out exposes a competitor for selling unnecessary commercial sewer repairs. (Denver Channel 7 News, Feb. 2011) Unfortunately, we’ve been preaching buyer beware on this for years. Our 70 years in business is a representation of our reputation for honesty, integrity and do-rightedness :).

garvins_cta3I found particularly interesting the comments below the story. I won’t comment on those here other than I do agree that consumers do need to know who to hire for drain cleaning and sewer repair. Remember that every business with a large advertising budget has to re-coop that somewhere (read higher overhead=higher prices). Many consumers don’t understand that we can pay $100,000 PER YEAR to complete in the phone book, $10,000+ PER YEAR to compete on a referral network list, $1000’s per radio spot, plus thousands more in direct mail, fliers, tradeshows, etc.

Garvin’s marketing consists mostly of reputation. We have third generation customers. We do lots of face-to-face networking. We talk, eye-to-eye with our potential customers. We get new customers from word of mouth marketing. And we’ve done it that way for over 70 years.

I would LOVE a sales-bonus trip to Vegas, and I’m sure my staff would too. Instead, we throw company BBQ’s to reward the hard work of our staff. We send flowers to the wife of a technician who spent his weekend fixing broken furnaces instead of at home. We give gift cards to techs as thank you’s. I wish we could give more, but sleeping well at night, knowing we have made a living by being fair, is more important. Our employees seem to agree: 11 of our 34 staff has been with us for over a decade.

Garvin’s Sewer Service hopes to be a trusted name in the industry when it comes to sewer repair and drain cleaining. If for some reason we can’t help you, we can tell you who is trustworthy and refer them. We have also created partnerships with other service providers (such as flooring, carpet care, painting, duct cleaning, restoration, landscaping etc.). If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to call (303) 571-5114 or email: askplumbinggirl@hotmail.com

With Gratitude and Integrity,

Kris