Big family? Here Are 3 Ways to Save on Plumbing

cartoon style large family for article on ways to save on plumbing

image attribution:


Big families have big needs – they need and use more of everything, and that includes plumbing. Here are 3 ways to save on plumbing: 

Ways to Save on Plumbing Tip 1: Prioritize Preventative Maintenance 

Plumbing preventative maintenance saves money and headaches in the long run. Preventative maintenance can be done on water heaters, sewer lines and drain lines. Visits that keep things in good condition will always cost less than big, surprise bills when the repair is urgent. They save you the headache as well because they buy you time to research and shop for repairs and replacements before they are required, which often allows you to save money. 

Be sure to use covers for tub and shower drains and clear out the hair as needed. Opt for green products like THEWORKS Plastic Drain Snake (found at hardware stores) over caustic chemical drain cleaners that can hurt your family or your pipes when used over time. And, use the trash can for kitchen scraps rather than the kitchen sink/garbage disposal. 

Ways to Save on Plumbing Tip 2: Buy Your Own Plumbing Parts 

Buying your parts will save you from the mark-up and extra labor charges by your plumber. This option does require you to plan ahead, and, we have two suggestions for you to consider first: 

Don’t purchase plumbing products from overseas vendors.

Often we find the plumbing code is different and won’t work with your current configurations, which could cost more.  

For example, we had a customer who bought a “cool looking” toilet, but it didn’t line up correctly with the correctly installed stub. The installer did their best to bolt the toilet down, but when the wax ring failed to keep the seal, the customer had flooding. The only way to fix it was to reconfigure the subfloor and stub. This was a thousand-dollar adjustment that had to be made for the sake of aesthetics. Maybe that’s worth it to you, but it should be considered. 

Know what you need.

You may not know what parts are needed, and this could cause you to over purchase, or purchase the wrong item(s) – keep your receipt and know the store’s return policy. If the plumbing problem seems straight forward, buying your own parts will save you money, but if not, be prepared to pay a service call charge by your plumber. 

Ways to Save on Plumbing Tip 3: Get the Right Sized Water Heater 

Running out of hot water during a shower isn’t fun and large families are likely to experience this more than other families. Tankless water heaters, or larger water heaters can help resolve this. Running laundry, doing dishes, and also taking a shower can be done at the same time if you have the right sized water heater. Plus, the improved efficiencies of new water heaters can help save money too. 


For over 80 years, Garvin’s Sewer Service has been helping the Greater Denver area with their plumbing and drain needs. If you care about expertise and ethics, give us a call because in addition to that, ‘We clean drains, not bank accounts’, and we want to be YOUR Denver plumber. 


Why you should add drain and sewer cleaning to your spring home checklist

drain_cta_revMay is the time of year in Denver when we can finally begin to open windows and begin our spring cleaning.

This year, as with last year, we did need to wait until mid-May as April brought May snow rather than flowers. Nonetheless, we cross our fingers that snow is complete and begin preparing our homes for spring. Here are some tips for every area of your home to help usher in the next season.


1. Sprinklers and hoses

Now is the time people begin to turn on sprinklers and hoses. This can sometimes have bad results as the cold of another Denver winter may have caused outdoor spigots to crack or sprinkler heads to have been broken off. Turn on your water slowly and check the yard, basement and walls on the opposite side of the spigots for any water that shouldn’t be there.

2. Gutters and downspouts

Check your gutters and downspouts for blockages of leaves and other tree debris. With rain likely, it is a good idea to make sure your downspouts are in good working order, including making sure the water will transport away from the house and foundation.

3. Grading and landscaping

Check your home for grading issues. Make a list of the items you may need to address such as plants, mulch, walkways and more. What does your home need now to help with getting through the summer with a nice exterior finish not damaged by water?

4. Pests

Check your home for cracks that can be or become homes for pests. Awnings, loose roof tiles, broken grating or siding- these are all areas that can become problematic. Are there areas of your home that need repair before a pest can take up residence?

5. Drain and sewer cleaning

Spring is the time when roots from trees in your or your neighbor’s yard can begin to penetrate your sewer line. This is a good time of year to consider and drain and sewer cleaning service. My being proactive, you can prevent costly sewer backups in your home before they start, due to roots in the line.

6. Other Exterior needs

Aesthetics are another thing to consider adding to your spring checklist. Does the home need painting, stucco or siding? New windows, roofing or other cosmetic changes? Sometimes things that appear to be simply aesthetic really do add value to the home as well as require repairs that go beyond just appearance.


If you are in the greater Denver area and are looking for a quality drain and sewer cleaning service, Garvin’s Sewer Service would love to earn your business. With over 75 years in the drain and sewer cleaning business, we know our stuff. Call today with questions, for pricing or to learn more: 303- 571- 5114

Plumbing tips for Moms to avoid sewer service

dreamstime_xxl_5940031We get a lot of calls from moms. We get a lot of questions from moms. I am a mom, so I thought I would write a blog on plumbing tips just for us. These are some great ways to avoid needing sewer service in the future.

No, the toilet is not a toy hot tub.

Many kids find it fun to watch items go down the toilet tornado into “Nemo” land. We have had to rescue toy cars, army men, hair brushes and massive amounts of toilet paper, paper towels, entire rolls of either of those items, blankets, etc. If your child has a fascination with items being flushed, consider one of these alternatives:
a. Put a child lock on the toilet
b. Keep the bathroom door closed and/or consider installing a chain lock on the outside of the bathroom, higher than the child’s reach, to keep the door locked from the outside
c. Keep tempting items away from the toilet- ie. Keep bath toys in the cabinet instead of next to the tub (and consequently the toilet)
d. Talk to your children about their interest and find other ways to play with water where it is appropriate- a kid pool, kitchen sink or bathtub
e. ALWAYS have a plunger accessible for any toilet a child or teen may use

I’m embarrassed to admit my teen daughter may be a Sasquatch.

It is not unusual for girls, especially teen girls, to clog shower drains. They tend to use a significant amount of lotions, hair products and ‘spa’ items that all build up in the line. These grease based products coat the line and will hold onto clumps of hair that gather then get washed into the line. Chemical drain cleaning products work to dissolve the grease so the hair can slide through the line, but they don’t dissolve hair. There is NO product that will dissolve hair (despite great commercials that give the impression this is what is happening). To clear a hair clog, we recommend earth friendly drain cleaning. This can be done by a professional, or a hand machine or mini-snake available at a hardware store.

Oh sweetie, thanks for washing the car (& flooding the basement).

Your little pumpkin may want to help with car washing, but always check the hose faucet before the entire car is washed (or the entire lawn and garden is watered). You can even make it a game- have one person stay in the basement while the other turns on the hose. If the basement partner doesn’t see or hear any indoor running water, wetness developing on dry wall or ceiling tiles, proceed with the hose help. Otherwise, shut off the hose immediately and call a professional to deal with the leak on your hands. Lots of water damage is caused by faulty sprinklers and hose faucets.

Have a question you want me to answer? Contact me:

10 Tips for a Cleaner, Safer Kitchen

My Realtor friend, Ann Taddeo, sends out a very helpful e-newsletter. The articles are always interesting (at least to me) and I felt re-posting one today was appropriate. As the warm weather comes in, I’ve been keeping my windows open and been spring cleaning and suspect you are too. Enjoy!

10 Tips for a Cleaner, Safer Kitchen

The first day of spring has come and gone. To get the cleaning season started right, we looked for the best advice on cleaning the busiest-and maybe dirtiest-room in the house: the kitchen.

For a list of what we should clean, how and when, we asked a bunch of germ experts.

The biggest surprise? People with pets are … Read More

Feeling squeaky clean,


Why to hire a professional for water heater install

I recently watched an episode of Myth Busters where they dealt with an issue of a water heater exploding in a house. Water heater replacement isn’t the cheapest home investment, and some homeowners choose the less expensive option of DIY. Although you may be able to get a budget friendly water heater at a home improvement/ hardware store, most plumbing companies won’t warranty parts they don’t supply. Also, unless you purchase the high-end units at those stores, you can expect it to not last as long as the water heaters that the professional plumbers will have access to. And, as you can see in the video, proper installation is critical. We always recommend a professional when it’s time for a new water heater.