We all love life’s little modern conveniences. And we never know how much we rely on these things… until they aren’t there anymore

In the kitchen, the award goes to the garbage disposal. What could be more convenient then cleaning off the dinner dishes right into the sink, sending all the extras down the drain?

What happens when you flick the switch, only to find nothing happening? Is the garbage disposal not working? Is it stuck? Does it need repair? Or do you need to replace the garbage disposal?

is your garbage disposal not working or stuck Is Your Garbage Disposal Not Working or Stuck?

There are a few things you can check before you call in your local plumber.

Problem: The Garbage Disposal Will Not Turn On

If the disposal will not turn on and is not making a noise or a humming sound, there is an electrical problem.

  • Make sure the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped and is off in the electrical panel.
  • Make sure the garbage disposal is plugged in.
  • If both of these items are checked, press the Reset button found at the bottom of the disposal.
  • If it still doesn’t work, its either a faulty switch or the garbage disposal has gone bad. You can replace the switch at this point before further investing in a new disposal.

Problem: The Garbage Disposal Will Not Run, But Makes A Humming Noise

If the garbage disposal won’t turn on but still makes a humming noise, it means you have a stuck flywheel with something lodged in between the impellers and the shredder ring.

To repair, turn off the power at the electrical service panel. NEVER put your hand down the garbage disposal. Instead, use a wrench or stick and insert into the flywheel turning hole in the bottom of the unit. Turn clockwise until the item is dislodged and the flywheel turns freely.

Have any further questions about your garbage disposal? Give us a call. We can repair it or replace it, having your kitchen back in full working order in no time.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

In January of 2014, the Lead Free Law went into effect. This new law requires that every plumbing fitting, fixture, pipe and valve that is used to convey water for potable use contain less than 0.25 percent lead by weight. This law was written to ensure that our drinking water is as clean as possible, and comes as lead-free as we possibly can make it.

As a green plumbing company here in the Denver Metro area, we take water seriously. Which is why our job is to help you understand all the impacts this new law has, and how it directly applies to you. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we have about lead free plumbing.

lead free plumbing new standards for plumbing fittings fixtures pipes and valves Lead Free Plumbing – New Standards For Plumbing Fittings, Fixtures, Pipes and Valves

Who does this Lead Free Law apply to?

This is a national law that effects all 50 US states, and also to Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

How is the Lead Free Law implemented?

The law has been implemented by the EPA, with enforcement of the law given to each of the individual states and territories.

What does the law mandate?

The Lead Free legislation reduces the permissible levels of lead allowed in the wetted surfaces of fittings, fixtures, pipes and valves. That means any plumbing fittings that come in contact with potable water can not contain more than 0.25 percent lead. Products that meet this standard are referred to as lead free.

Why was this new law created?

Individual states began petitioning and creating state laws to protect their citizens. First states to reduce standards for lead in potable water systems were California and Vermont, with laws in effect in 2010. As these laws grew and expanded to other states, the need was quickly transferred to a national level, with full implementation at the beginning of 2014.

How does this law effect me?

As a residential homeowner, the law will impact any service provider you hire to do any maintenance, repair or remodel project within your home. It is illegal to sell or install any plumbing component that connects with your potable water supply if it doesn’t meet the new standards. That means a plumber that uses old or outdated fixtures or fittings will be performing illegal work in your home. And if they are caught, they will face fines or lawsuits, plus the requirement to replace all non-compliant products so they are up to code. As a homeowner, you risk further lead exposure through these non-compliant parts.

To protect yourself and receive the best service possible, always go with a reputable plumbing service company, and be sure to ask about their compliance with the Lead Free Law.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Every day, people make the mistake of heading into their favorite store and buying one of the most dangerous chemicals they can bring into their homes … drain cleaners.

Every year over 1700 people suffer injuries from chemical drain cleaners. Everything from minor skin burns, to blindness, even death can occur if chemical drain cleaners wind up in the wrong hands.

the dangers of drain cleaners The Dangers Of Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners are made from a variety of chemicals, including lye and sulfuric acid. These corrosive chemicals work by eating away at all materials they come in contact with, including your skin if it comes in contact. One accidental spill can put everyone in danger, including kids that may unknowingly touch it, or even pets as they walk through it.

When drain cleaner is poured down the drain, it begins working immediately. It starts working on whatever is in the drain as it makes its way down the pipes. In some cases the acids can begin producing a toxic gas, or can even cause the water in the pipes to begin boiling. As the gas is released, the effect can be a blow back situation in which water, chemicals and anything in the drain can come back up and out of the drain. If you are looking down, it can hit you in the face and eye, sometimes causing irreparable damage.

Now imagine those same chemicals not just going down your drains, but into your child as well. If you don’t keep your drain cleaner up and away from curious little hands, even the smallest of sips can lead to disaster. Just like these chemicals quickly begin working on the inside of pipes, it will also quickly begin effecting your child. Without quick action, the outcome can be deadly.

Needless to say, these chemicals should never be taken lightly.

And not only can they severely impact you, your family and your drains, it can also have disastrous effects as it heads down the system.

It begins in your pipes. Not only does it eat the stuff you want it to – the clog – it also starts working on the pipes. As the chemicals move down and out, it continues to harm the overall system in many ways. Treatment plants cannot break down these hazardous wastes. Instead, they pass through and wind up flowing into lakes and rivers, and back into the water supply. In some cases the chemicals damage the process so much that sewage is left untreated, and flows back into the water table.

Instead of putting you, your family, and the environment at risk, use simpler methods instead. Start with our suggestions for natural drain cleaners. Then try using a drain snake. And if all else fails, your blockage may be bigger than you can handle. Give us a call and we’ll have your drain cleaned in no time.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

How old your home determines the type of building materials used when the home was constructed. Different types of piping were used: plastic, copper, galvanized, Polybutylene, PVC, cpvc, polyethylene, etc.

Like other types of materials that were once considered safe, there are different types of piping used in your plumbing system that while once was the standard, now is considered anything but safe. The pipe known as Polybutylene piping falls into this category.

If your home or structure was built between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s, chances are polybutylene pipes were used. And because that was a relatively short while ago, chances are they still exist in your home.

the dangers of polybutylene pipe in your plumbing The Dangers Of Polybutylene Pipe In Your Plumbing

Polybutylene piping has an abnormally high rate of failure under many normal operating conditions that you use every day. Yet its usually very difficult to tell its failing until a major problem occurs.

Polybutylene piping is typically gray, black or blue. The gray piping is typically used inside a home, while the blue is used primarily for outside water supplies. Polybutylene piping tends to wear away from the inside out as it comes in contact with oxidants in the public water supply. The water supply is constantly running or sitting in the pipes, meaning the oxidants are continuously at work destroying the lining of the pipe. And because its working from the inside out, you’ll never see the problem until it materializes in the form of a leak or break.

When a polybutylene pipe begins to leak, it usually happens very fast. Its been weakened over years of abuse, and the entire pipe line becomes fragile in the process. Once one leak occurs, it usually multiplies rapidly, sending leaks and water throughout the system. Therefore many of the leaks may not be contained in one area of your home, they can quickly escalate and be found in many areas of your home.

The dangers of polybutylene piping are well known throughout the industry. So much so that the insurance industry has routinely started canceling or refusing policies for houses with recognized polybutylene problems. It can also be hard to market a house with polybutylene piping and will likely drop the value of the home on the marketplace.

If you think you have a home where polybutylene piping was used, the best way to find out the condition of your plumbing system is to schedule a detailed plumbing inspection of your property, and find out what condition it is in. Call us today.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

If you have an older home, you probably love it for all of its quirks and originality. They often have large trees, beautiful landscaping, and a non-cookie cutter feel.

Yet for all we love about our older homes, sometimes a few things happen that make us question whether it would be easier to sell it and move into something brand new.

why epoxy pipe lining may be the solution to your plumbing needs Why Epoxy Pipe Lining May Be The Solution To Your Plumbing Needs

In many older homes, the original plumbing was set up with copper pipes. After time, copper pipes may begin to corrode and start to leak. This is where those tiny leaks you find can turn into large problems relatively quickly. Its also where you start seeing dollar signs flash before your eyes in anticipation of the repair costs soon to be on its way.

Instead of replacing all of the copper piping in your home, there may be another way. Epoxy pipe lining is a cost effective and very efficient alternative to replacing the pipe, and can fix the problem for an indefinite period of time.

The process is simple.

Your copper pipes are sandblasted from the inside out. The goal here is to clean out the crud and corrosion on the inside of the pipes as much as possible. From there, silica particles embedded in air are blown through the pipes.

Once the plumbing is determined to be clear from debris, epoxy liquid is blown down the pipes, and will be allowed to harden. It’s a very thin coating that hardens directly to the pipe itself, leaving it virtually the same diameter as it was before.

The hardening process will take a few hours, then will be ready to use once again. Epoxy is safe for drinking and bathing, and is considered food grade and can be used on the inside of cans.

Keep in mind that epoxy pipe lining is the perfect solution for pipes residing throughout your home, connecting to the fixtures you use most. Yet it cannot be used on certain piping, such as sewer pipes.

Have questions about your copper piping? Give us a call today. We can help you determine the condition of your current pipes, and the best course of action for you.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

One of the most destructive forces of nature. Just look to the flooding here in Colorado this past year for evidence. What starts out as a small trickle can quickly fill your glass with refreshing water. Let it run even more and it can quickly turn into a force that can cause severe damage throughout your home.

Slab leaks can happen to any home, no matter how old or how new your home is. A slab leak is often slow and steady. But when you add in the elements of deep freezes and thawing, what started out small can quickly grow into something larger, and that’s where the real problem begins.

slab leak prevention Slab Leak Prevention

 

Slab leaks either exist on the pressure side of the plumbing, or on the drainage side. Most slab leaks on the pressure side occur in newer homes built in the last couple of decades. Most slab leaks on the drainage side occur in older homes where pipes have simply worn away. What can suggest you may have a slab leak? Many things, including:

  • High water or gas bills
  • A water heater that never turns off
  • A cold water faucet that delivers hot water
  • Floors that feel warm or begin to buckle
  • Sound of running water in the walls

You can find a slab leak in many places. Slab leaks can occur on the service line from the water meter to the shut off valve. They can occur on a cold water supply line to any fixture in your home. They can occur on the hot water line to any fixture using hot water. They can occur on any drain line, such as your dishwasher, shower or toilet.

A slab leak on the pressure side of plumbing usually can be found before too much damage occurs. You’ll usually hear or see the water, or notice an increase in your water bills. If you find it before the water seeps under the slab, clean up can be simple. If the water fills up the space beneath your slab, it may start seeping into your foundation, and if it can’t escape it will continue creeping along cracks and lines all over your home. This is where the real damage occurs.

Leaks on the drainage side can be much more hidden and take longer to find. They can leak for years without a visible sign. Over time, the affects will become apparent. Your foundation can begin to buckle. You may notice a foul smell as the foundation settles, exposing mold and mildew. To prevent the long term damage that can come from this problem, the only way to find it quickly is to have a plumber audit your drainage system on a regular basis to make sure all is running well.

If you suspect a water problem, no matter how big or small, your best line of defense is to get it checked early, and solve the problem before it becomes even bigger. Call us today.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Is it time to invest in a new water heater? With even a small amount of research, its easy to get confused on what water heater to buy. Everyone says to go with new technology – tankless water heaters are the best. But what about the standard tank-type water heater, is that still a viable option?

Tank Water Heaters

Most water heaters in existing homes, and even on the market today are tank water heaters, also known as storage water heaters. They are insulated tanks that can hold anywhere from 20 to 120 gallons of water, depending on the the size of your home and your needs. They run either on an electric heating element or a gas burner. The storage tank feeds from the top down, with hot water stored at the top and cold at the bottom. This way you get consistent hot water until the hot water stored is depleted. Most water heaters will be rated by a “first hour rating”, which tells you how many gallons of hot water can be delivered in an hour.

Because you don’t demand hot water all the time, the tank water heater will store hot water and leave it in storage until you demand it. Even though its insulated, it will have heat loss, especially when the temperature outside drops significantly.

advantages of tank type water heaters Advantages of Tank Type Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heaters

To address this issue, tankless water heaters were developed. The great feature of a tankless water heater is they never run out of hot water because its on demand, providing the water heating capacity is large enough to meet the needs of the hot water demands. They won’t have a stand-by loss because nothing is stored.

However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t without problems. Tankless water heaters can cost anywhere from triple to quadruple more than the average tank model, with increased installation costs as well. That means it will take many more years to break even from the initial cost.

Tankless water heaters have a significantly greater maintenance requirement than its tank water heater counterpart, meaning you may have much higher costs in keeping the unit running, especially in high demand homes. The more you use it, the more can go wrong.

Tankless also list a benefit of having hot water on demand. That depends on where your tankless water heater is, and where you demand it. If your tankless water heater is in the south side of your basement, and your bathroom is in the north part of your home on the second story, the hot water still must travel from the water heater to your faucet. Which means it can still take a minute or two to arrive, depending on the size of your home. And in some large houses, one tankless water heater simply can’t keep up with the demand, which means your investment costs may double to have an adequate supply.

Bottom line: tank water heaters, especially if you invest in one of the highest energy rated models available, still make the most sense for the majority of Colorado households. Give us a call today and we can answer any of your questions.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

What can damage your home quicker than anything else? Water. While water is a natural part of our life, we drink it, consume it in many things, and live around it all the time, its also one of the most destructive forces in nature.

When water flows correctly, it is an asset in our lives. When it moves into a location where its not supposed to be, even the tiniest of flows can cause destructive problems not just at the source, but throughout our homes.

When you own a home, maintenance is a required part of the deal. From top to bottom, every thing in your home inside and out must be kept in optimum condition to make sure it works correctly. While skipping a year of painting a room may leave your room looking a little dingy for the timeframe, the overall impact will be minimal at best.

dangers of delaying plumbing repairs Dangers of Delaying Plumbing Repairs

Don’t try that with a water problem.

Imagine a tiny drip of water flowing from a pipe buried inside your wall. Its not a large flow of water, just a drip a few times an hour.

That drip puddles and accumulates, and eventually starts to flow. It can move along the pipe and wind up in different parts of your home. It can travel along baseboards and through the drywall. It can travel upstairs and down. It can impact your attic, your roof and even your foundation. And all of that can happen quicker than you think. Plus, if its behind the walls, it may happen quickly and without your knowledge.

Once the water travels and accumulates, that’s when the real damage occurs. It can cause mildew. It can cause mold. It can begin to soften the surrounding area, eventually causing rot.

Not only can all of this cause extensive damage to your home, it can also impact the health of you and your family just as quickly. Mold is extremely dangerous to our health, and can cause anything from allergic reactions, to lung damage, even death. In short, water can be deadly when left to its own device.

If you see a drip of water where it shouldn’t be, or find something a little odd in an area of your home that looks like it may be water damage, don’t delay. The sooner you solve the water problem, the quicker you can bring your home back to a healthy condition.

sidebar coupons 250 Dangers of Delaying Plumbing Repairs

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Every single appliance in your home is rated to last for a certain amount of time. For your water heater, you’ll typically find they will last anywhere from 6 to 12 years.

how to make your water heater last longer How To Make Your Water Heater Last LongerThere are two major factors when it comes to adding longevity to a water heater: how hard your water is, and how much water it heats over time. Hard water has more minerals than a softer water supply, meaning your water heater tank can have a build up in a much quicker time frame. And if you have a full household that demands hot water all the time, your water heater will be working harder than the norm.

In every city, you’ll hear the terms hard water and soft water. What that is referring to is the quality of the water supply, and how many minerals exist in it. Depending on the source of the water supply, it will contain many different types of minerals. It can also contain debris picked up as it travels along the system. The more minerals in the water the supply, the harder the water supply is.

How much sediment you have in your water supply largely depends on where you live and what your city supplies. A small amount of sediment won’t impact your water heater much over its useful life. But if you have harder water with a high concentration of minerals, the sediment may build up quickly, which can have a significant impact.

A deep layer of sediment takes up room in your tank, room normally given to the water. It will reduce the amount of hot water available for your use, and over time give less and less hot water for use. It can also clog the drain valve and possibly affect the efficiency of the water heater. In addition, if sediment begins to affect the heat transfer system, it can overheat and weaken the steel, and damage the lining of the tank.

The simplest way to add more life to your water heater is to perform regular maintenance and clean out the sediment on a regular basis. This can be a do it yourself project, or you can have a plumber come in for a regular maintenance check to clean out the debris and check the overall quality of your water heater.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

You’ve decided to do a few home improvement projects this year. As a part of replacing the old with the new, undoubtedly you’ll have a few things in need of disposal. The easiest way and often the most common way to get rid of it is to place it in your trash can and have it hauled to the dump with the weekly pick up service. But as we learn more, that isn’t always the safest thing to do for our environment.

Mercury can be found in many consumer and commercial products. When a mercury product breaks, the exposed mercury can evaporate and become invisible, odorless toxic vapor. And while most of us think of very few things we have in our homes that contain mercury – thermometers and barometers for instance – very few of us know the full extent of how many things in our lives contain mercury. Here are a few things to take into account when you’re replacing them, and proper disposal methods to reduce the overall impact.

 

disposing of old plumbing parts Disposing Of Old Plumbing Parts

 

Electric Appliances

In years past, washing machines, chest freezers, space heaters and clothes dryers were made with a mercury tilt switch. Mercury tilt switches were built into the lids of washing machines and chest heaters, functioning as on-off switches for lights and other functions. Tilt switches were built inside space heaters to be a shut off switch in case the space heater tipped over. While appliances today are made without mercury tilt switches, if you are trying to dispose of an older model, it is something to keep in mind.

Gas Appliances

Mercury containing thermostat probes were placed in older gas appliances that have pilot lights, such as ovens, water heaters and furnaces. They were sometimes placed as part of the safety valve that prevented gas flow if the pilot light was not lit.

Gas Flow or Gas Pressure Regulators

In homes built before 1961, they often had mercury regulators attached to the gas meters. While the devices do not create spill risks while in service, they do run a risk during the removal and disposal process.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Some heating and cooling units contain mercury switches within the thermostat for climate control devices and switches that start and shut off the systems.

Plumbing

In your home’s plumbing, mercury can reside for many years in sewer pipes, sink traps and sump pumps. Mercury can enter pipes in a variety of ways, including if items were ever broken, discarded or spilled into the plumbing system. Mercury in plumbing can settle at the low points of the system, such as the sump pump or sink trap, and remain there indefinitely.

sidebar coupons 250 Disposing Of Old Plumbing Parts

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

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