In very few cases, a major home repair emergency happens without warning signs. We may choose to ignore them. Or in many cases, we simply may not know what to watch for.

When it comes to a sewer line backup, you’ll never find an emergency that didn’t give warning signs first. It’s a gradual process that takes months, even years or more to turn into a true emergency. But when it hits, you’ll wish you had done everything possible before hand to eliminate the problem altogether. Its messy. Its stinky. It can be dangerous. And there are warning signs that show up well in advance.

sewer line backed up here are the warning signs Sewer Line Backed Up? Here Are The Warning Signs

 

Warning #1: Multiple Fixtures Are Clogged

One of the most obvious warning signs is when more than one fixture in your home backs up at the same time. Toilets are particularly effected by a sewer back up as it is the largest drain in your home. Toilets have the most direct path to the sewer, and rarely are your toilets working properly if the sewer line is backing up. You can also check your tub and shower, as they sit lower than drains in the sink.

Warning #2: Unexpected Reactions When Using Fixtures

If your sewer is backed up, your entire plumbing system will be affected. Which means every time you use your plumbing system, it will make strange noises or actions as it is put to the test. Flush your toilet and you’ll find the water not only doesn’t go down, but it may come up through your tub or shower. Run the faucet in the bathroom sink and you may notice bubbles or water rising in your toilet. Start up your washing machine and water begins to flow through other drains in the area. These are sure signs your sewer line is blocked, and that you don’t have a problem with a single fixture in your home.

Warning #3: Drainage at the Clean Out

If you have a main line clean out, you can verify a sewer back up in another way. Open the clean out by either unscrewing or pulling to remove the cap. Check the clean out for any waste water buildup. You should not be able to see the water coming up the clean out pipe. If water is flowing up and out, it confirms the fact that you have a sewer line backup.

If you suspect or have a sewer line backup, time is of the essence. Nothing is worse than having to go through restoration as raw sewage dumps into sections of your home. Give us a call is you suspect a problem. We can find the main problem and either get your line cleared by one of our many methods, or identify the breakage and get it repaired before further damage is done.

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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

Did the latest cold snap leave you yearning for winter? Ready to pull out your skis and hit the slopes? While winter is one of the best seasons in Colorado, with so much to do and offer right in our own back yard, it can still catch you off guard if your home isn’t prepared.

The last thing we’re ever ready for is waking up, turning on the shower, and only having a cold stream facing us as we get ready for our day ahead.

getting your water heater ready for winter Getting Your Water Heater Ready For Winter

In order for your water heater to work properly year after year throughout its useful life, its important for you to maintain it along the way. There are three things that should be done in order to ensure your water heater keeps working as efficiently as possible throughout the year.

Insulate it

Where is your water heater? What condition does it live in month after month, year after year?

Poor insulation around your water heater not only robs you of money during the winter, it also robs your water heater from working as efficiently as possible. And therefore shortening its useful life. Insulating your water heater means that the heating elements do not have to work harder than normal or be used on a constant basis trying to keep your water warm. This can translate into lower operating costs year round. It can also translate to the parts in your water heater – your heating elements – lasting longer because they aren’t used on a continual basis.

Tune it up

Everything in life with moveable parts needs an occasional tune up to make sure it stays in good working condition. Your water heater is no exception. A tune up makes sure your water heater is ready for the upcoming season; to prepare it to give you the hot water you demand in any condition.

Many people use hot water more frequently in winter as a way of warming up from the bitter cold outside. Nothing feels as good as a steaming hot shower to help bring you back to warmth after playing outside in the cold. This is where your tune up can help. It may be something as simple as cleaning the unit, or it may mean replacing a part or two. In any case, a professional plumber can quickly assess the working condition of your water heater and make the necessary changes to ensure your water heater is in the best working condition possible for the months ahead.

Temperature

Depending on where your water heater is stored, the air temperature around your water heater can be 10, even 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. This may lead to colder water being delivered to the fixtures throughout your home. A simple way of increasing its efficiency is by moving the thermostat temperature up in the winter to ensure you have an adequate supply of hot water.

Have other questions about your water heater, water efficiency, or ensuring you have hot water throughout your home? Schedule a water heater tune up visit 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

What’s the most damaging thing in your home? Water. Water can slowly accumulate and cause extensive damage, or can quickly destroy in an instant. In all cases, the problem usually starts with one of the most common appliances in your home that you use on a daily basis. If it has pipes connected to a water line, it has the potential for serious flooding if left unchecked.

most common appliances that can flood your home Most Common Appliances That Can Flood Your Home

1. Water Heaters

Your water heater is one of the largest water holding tanks in your home, and if it breaks, you’ll have an instant flood of water. Yet water heaters rarely fail without tell-tale signs first. Proper maintenance and yearly checkups will allow you to fix and replace before many gallons of water quickly flood out your home. If you do notice signs of a leak or puddling water, speed is of the essence. Leaks are usually due to malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valves, or due to corrosion in the water tank itself. If you flush water through the tank to clear out debris and you still have a leak, it’s a sure sign your tank needs replacing.

2. Toilets

Toilets usually cause damage by a slow leak around the base of the toilet, or a sudden flood due to a clogged drain and a sudden overflow. With a sudden overflow, start by plunging. If plunging doesn’t work, the clog could be deeper in the pipes either inside or outside of your home, or may be caused by a malfunctioning float that allows too much water into the tank.

3.Washing Machines

The six most common areas a washing machine leaks are the inlet connections, the hose connections, the center post gaskets, the outer tub seal, the air dome seal, and the pump. If any of these areas are leaking, unplug your washing machine, turn off the water main and begin trouble shooting each feature one at a time. While puddling around the washing machine can be caused by any of these features, keep in mind that it can also be caused from a clogged floor drain.

4. Dishwashers

Dishwashers can overflow for a variety of reasons. If you use too much detergent, or the wrong type of detergent, the water has nowhere to go but out of your dishwasher. As your dishwasher washes away food particles, in some cases the food can clog the strainer or cause the float switch to fault. Simply remove the strainer and wash with a stiff brush, or replace the float switch with a new one. If your dishwasher is not leaking because of one of these issues, its likely caused by a plumbing issue, in which case a plumber will need to be called in to check the pipe fittings, connections, or to determine where the drainage problem exists.

5. Refrigerators

Refrigerators are natural attractors to moisture. Their sole purpose is to keep things cold or frozen, and every day it goes through a process of cooling and warming up depending on how many times you open the door and what items you put in or take out. As warm air passes over the condenser coil, condensation is created, which often pools water at the bottom of your refrigerator. Though refrigerators are outfitted with a drain line to allow this excess moisture to drain away, it can easily become blocked with bits of food, preventing the drainage process. If drain lines aren’t cleaned on a regular basis, you can quickly find a flood on your kitchen floor.

Another problem area for refrigerators is the water supply line that feeds your ice machine and your water supply in the door of your refrigerator. Should this become unattached, you’ll quickly find a large flood of water standing in your kitchen.

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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

Your home contains a series of networks and systems that provide you with all of the modern conveniences we know and expect today. While the plumbing system is a series of pipes that run from top to bottom of your home, the water heater is the heart of it all controlling where water goes and at what temperature. Its also the most expensive. Keeping it in good, working condition will guarantee that you have an efficient home with water when and where you choose at any time of the day.

And while it will generally work without a second thought, there are some problems that will normally occur, some easier to fix than others. The key is speed; the quicker you fix things, the less likely a large problem will occur. And with water, that’s a fairly important guarantee to have.

does my water heater need professional repair Does My Water Heater Need Professional Repair?

The first problem area to watch out for is temperature. Have you ever thought to yourself, the shower seems to need longer to heat up than normal. If you notice it, its probably a sign something is changing with your hot water supply.

  • It could be a temperature gauge that is wearing out.
  • It could be sediment building up in your tank, making your water heater not as effective as it once was.
  • It could be higher usage – have you had guests?
  • It could be a clog in your plumbing lines.

Another problem could be age. If you live in an older home and have an older water heater, the parts won’t be as effective as they would be on a new water heater. If you hear noises, have trouble producing hot water on an regular basis, or find a change in your water supply, it may be worth having a plumber in to evaluate and make recommendations. A typical water heater is designed to last 10 to 15 years, anything older could be signs of near-future problems.

Finally, its also important to watch for leaks. Those small drips and shallow pools that form around your water heater could be a sign up a leaky pipe, a leaky connection, or a tank that is about to break. If you don’t fix leaks within your water heater immediately, you risk flooding and water damage to your home.

Have further questions about your water heater? Don’t wait for a problem; have one of our plumbers evaluate your water heater and give you assurance you need you’ll have hot water without the risk for the coming year.

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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

Have you ever opened up your washing machine at the end of its cycle, only to discover that the cycle is over, but the washing machine is anything but drained? Inside you find your clothes sitting in a pool of water, sopping wet from top to bottom. There is no throwing sopping wet clothes into the dryer and expecting them to dry anytime soon.

Typically there are four reasons why a washing machine won’t drain.

when your washing machine wont drain When Your Washing Machine Won’t Drain

1. Drive Belt

 

The first place to start is with your drive belt. If the belt is broken or isn’t tight on the pulleys, it will prevent the washer from draining properly. It may be as simple as replacing the drive belt to make your washing machine work again.

2. Blockage

It happens all the time. Someone leaves a small object in a pocket, only to have it bounce out and end up in the drain. If the drain is blocked, it will back up into the tub of your washing machine. While a larger object can cause instant blockage, other things can cause blockage over time. Dog hair, fluff, feathers – anything that’s easily transferable from the washer into the drain, yet has a solid consistency that can build up and block can be a problem. These blockages are not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, and instead will have to be cleaned and repaired by a plumber.

3. Pump Problems

When you have a washing machine that doesn’t drain, the first place to look is at the drain tube. You can easily do this by removing the tube and checking it. If this isn’t the blocked, the pump may be failing to pump the water out of the machine at the end of the cycle. In this case, the pump may need to be replaced.

4. Drain Problems

When you have a washing machine that won’t drain, and also begins spilling water onto the floor around the machine itself, it may be a drain problem, not a problem with the washer. If the drain is blocked, the water backs up into the pipe and eventually leaks out over the laundry room floor. Alternatively it could also be a blockage in the trap located in the drain standpipe, or even further down the line. You can use a drain snake to clear the line, or rely on a plumber to help you find and rid your pipes of the blockage once and for all.

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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

10. You have no idea the last time your water heater was replaced. Most water heaters last between 10 and 15 years. If yours is older or you aren’t sure when it was last replaced, it may be nearing the end of its life.

9. When you turn on the hot water, the clear water you are used to turns to a rusty color that is anything but pleasing.

8. You turn on the hot water to find no hot water. This can be caused by one of two things. One, your pilot light is out or the circuit breaker has tripped. Or two, your hot water heater has reached its useful life.

10 signs you need a new water heater  10 Signs You Need A New Water Heater

7. Muddy or sandy water can be a sign of sediment build up in your tank. In some cases you can drain the contents to remove sediment and bring your water heater back to normal.

6. When you turn on the hot water, it has a metallic smell and taste to it. This is a sign that the water heater is breaking down, with grit and flakes from the inner tank combining with your water supply.

5. Warm water but not hot water can be an indication of your heating element burning out. Adjust your thermostat to make sure the temperature is set between 120 to 140 degrees, anything lower could provide warm but not hot water.

4. How often do you use hot water in your home? A home with a family of six that actively uses hot water all day long will have a water heater with a shorter life than an individual living alone and frequently not at home due to travel arrangements.

3. Noise is always an indicator. If you hear your water heater – loud cracks and pops for instance – it may be an indication that the interaction between the heating elements and the inside heater has mineral build up on them.

2. Repairs keep adding up. When something keeps breaking, causing problems, or otherwise gives you trouble, it’s a sign that more problems are sure to come. And when that happens, sometimes your best route is to replace it before serious damage impacts your life.

1. Leaks are never a good thing. If you notice water puddling around your water heater, or it leaks when standing, it’s a sign the inner tank has reached the end of its life. Slow drips and leaks quickly escalate, causing serious flooding if the entire tank breaks.

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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

I was at a dinner party recently, and I witnessed the owner of the house stuffing the remaining dinner down the drain, packing it in as fast as it disappeared. The garbage disposal was working on overtime, trying to keep up with the mess. And while it did a good job and sent everything down the drain, I can’t help but wonder when the disaster will happen. Because it will. At some point in the very near future, especially if she does this on a regular basis, she will have one very blocked drain on her hands, followed by one very messy kitchen as pipes break and water overflows everywhere.

Drains are meant to be a modern day convenience. They are meant to provide us with an easier lifestyle. They aren’t meant to take everything we no longer want and send it on its way.

your drain can only take so much abuse Your Drain Can Only Take So Much Abuse

Do you see yourself in this picture? Have you overstuffed on occasion?

There may be other things as well.

The Faster-Than-Fast Person

I get a lot of calls from this type of person. These are the people that know they have a problem and will do anything to solve their problems … fast. When the drain blocks up, they grab a bottle of chemicals and being pouring away. After all, the bottle says quick solution. Yet its anything but quick. These chemicals say they will do to trick, yet rarely do. Chemicals attempt to solve the problem by eating through the problem. But in many cases, the problem is simply too big. And of course the chemicals don’t know the difference between a “problem” and your pipes, so it begins eating through everything. In many cases we’ll not only have to clear the drain from the clog, we’ll also have to fix or even replace some of the pipes because they’ve been eaten through.

The Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind Person

You’re standing in the bathroom next to the toilet. You have an object you no longer want, why not flush it away? It sounds good in theory. And if you ask any two year old, it’s a fun game that can peak interest. Yet it rarely works over time. That object has a long way to travel, and there are many things that can get in its way. Tree roots. Existing clogs. If things don’t break down quickly, they have the potential of building up as more and more is added to it. Those wads of paper towel, “flushable” wipes, toys and more won’t disappear just because you flush them away. They will soon add up to a much bigger problem overall.

The Ignore It Person

This last kind of person is the most common person we see on our daily calls. This is the person who ignores all signs of a problem as they present themselves in different ways. They fail to notice all the times they add a drain cleaner to the kitchen sink, thinking its just a common problem. They fail to notice the water building up around the toilet. They fail to notice the squishy carpeting in the basement by the water heater. They assume that the problem will go away. Unfortunately, it never does. And what could have been a small issue with minor repairs quickly escalates and turns into a major problem.

Do you see yourself in any of these? If so, give us a call today. Its much easier fixing a small problem now rather than deal with the consequences of a bigger problem later.

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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

Happy Birthday to you.

Have you ever learned the birthday song as a way to get your hands clean? That’s one of the tricks that is now being taught to children all over, giving them the skills they need to have clean hands and wash away harmful bacteria. Lather up and scrub your hands while you sing happy birthday, and you will have done your part to prevent the spread of germs.

That keeps you scrubbing, but what temperature water should you be scrubbing in?

should you use hot water for handwashing Should You Use Hot Water For Handwashing?

Common sense says hot water. But as humans, we can’t take water at a hot enough temperature to truly do any good. You see, major medical equipment is cleaned at a boiling temperature in order for sterilization. But if you washed your hands in water hot enough for sterilization, well, you probably wouldn’t be able to feel your hands. They would be red and blistered and would make you take an emergency trip to the ER.

So the next best thing to hot water is warm water, right? Think again.

Warm water actually makes you more vulnerable to germs and bacteria. It softens your hands and allows the germs to settle in rather than wash away.

Cold water is the solution. Cold water allows you both to save energy from not having to heat the water, and it allows the soap and the scrubbing to do their jobs more effectively.

With every handwashing you do, by letting the water run for seconds, even minutes to heat up, you are sending valuable resources down the drain. And it makes you more vulnerable to germs and bacteria. Small actions make big differences. So why not change your handwashing routine 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

When it comes to home maintenance, we tend to approach it in one of two ways.

1. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

2. Out of sight, out of mind.

That’s also why when something happens, it creates a mini disaster because we are unprepared to deal with the consequences.

While some home maintenance items are small in nature, and can take weeks, even months to become a bigger, more annoying problem, that’s rarely the case with plumbing. When a problem exists with plumbing, you know it right away, and its an instant mess that you have to deal with at once.

how plumbing smart are you How “Plumbing Smart” Are You?

Which means the more you know about plumbing up front, the more you can avoid those annoying, sometimes disastrous problems that can grow quickly when you least expect it.

Here are a few things you may have heard about plumbing in the past, things you may even be doing right now, and tips and advice on how to improve your plumbing knowledge so you can avoid problems down the road.

Use ice cubes in your garbage disposal. Online, you can find all kinds of advice on what to send down to clean and keep your garbage disposal in top condition. While some advice isn’t the best, adding ice cubes is. Chopping up ice gives your blades a workout that keeps them sharp.

Putting things in your toilet tank is not a way to reduce the amount of water used. There used to be a commonly promoted idea that placing a brick in a toilet tank was a great way to save on water. The problem is this same brick can disintegrate over time, causing rubble, sand and sediment to work its way into your tank’s flushing mechanism, causing it to leak and break faster. The best way to save on water is to purchase and install a water saving toilet. There are many options on the market today, including a water saving dual flush toilet that is perfect for the busiest room in your home.

A properly working septic tank does not require regular additives in order to improve performance. Marketing works wonders, and many companies will have you believing you need to add a variety of things on a regular basis, from odor control to solid reducing additives. False. A septic tank is designed to take care of all of those functions if working in a proper manner.

All plumbing joints should not be tightened as hard as possible. When making DIY repairs, its easy to use the wrench and tighten things as hard as you can. Yet that can actually put more stress on the threads and cause your fixtures and joints to wear out quicker than normal. A firm connection is simply a half turn of the wrench more than hand tight is just right.

The best way to get instant hot water is not by installing a tankless hot water heater. Tankless water heaters don’t store hot water; instead they heat it and supply it when demanded. However, if your tankless water heater is in one section of your home, and your shower is in the opposite corner, you will still have wait time while the hot water is delivered. If you want instant hot water the moment you turn on the faucet, you’ll need a recirculating hot water system instead.

sidebar coupons 250 How “Plumbing Smart” Are You?

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 appliance in your home is an investment in keeping your home running smooth and maintenance free. It makes life easier! And if you take care of each major appliance, they can last even longer than usual.

Not only is your washer an essential household appliance, its also one of the major contributors to water usage in your home. Investing in an energy efficient washing machine can help you save money from the beginning. There are also a few ways to make sure you keep you investment in good working order with these tips.

are you using your washing machine the right way Are You Using Your Washing Machine The Right Way?

Metal Can Damage

Those big, clunky zippers on sweaters, jackets and pants can be dangerous in your washing machine. They can snag delicate clothes, and quickly get caught in the drum of your washer, or even crack glass on front loading machines. Coins can act in a similar manner. To avoid problems, make sure you check all pockets before washing, and zip up zippers to their full position before adding a load of laundry to your machine.

Cold Water

One of the best ways to save energy is to wash with cold water. And by doing so, you also reduce shrinkage and fading in your natural fiber clothing. Yet cold water doesn’t keep your machine operating in top condition. A washing machine needs an occasional hot water cycle to remove mineral deposits and kill bacteria that may be sitting around. If you don’t wash with hot water on occasion, at least once a month run a hot water cycle with a cup of vinegar to give it a solid cleaning.

Too Much Detergent

Soap is good; too much soap isn’t. If you wash with too much detergent, a filmy residue will be left in your clothes, and it may cause damage to the control panel in your washing machine. Different types of detergents require different amounts of soap. Make sure you measure carefully and only use the recommended amount of detergent.

Too Much Laundry

While washing with small loads of laundry will waste energy and water, the opposite isn’t a good thing either. Washing with full loads is a good thing; over-stuffing can do more damage than good. It can put excessive wear on the suspension and the bearings, and actually prevent your clothes from being cleaned. Also remember that a full load of jeans is different from a full load of blouses. Check with manufacturers guidelines to load accurately.

Electricity Can Damage

Any appliance run by electricity can be damaged by a lightening strike or a severe power surge. Make sure your washing machine is grounded and is protected by installing a surge protector.

sidebar coupons 250 Are You Using Your Washing Machine The Right Way?

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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