Every home has one. And chances are when you need one, you simple grab it and start to use it without really thinking much about it. I’m talking about the common household plunger. Whether the water in your sink simply won’t go down, or a flush of your toilet makes the water rise instead of head down the drain, the plunger is designed to make everything move in the right way.

But do you have the right plunger for the job? And do you know how to use the plunger in the correct manner for every situation?

how to use a plunger to unclog your toilet sink or tub How To Use A Plunger To Unclog Your Toilet, Sink or Tub

General Tips:

  • Start with the right plunger for the job. There are two types of plungers on the market today: the cup plunger and the flange plunger. The cup plunger – probably the most familiar – is the best choice for sinks, bathtubs and showers. The flange type provides an extended rubber lip that provides a better seal when working on toilets.
  • Make sure your plunger is in top shape. A plunger is something you buy once and leave in storage until you need it. Yet that sitting around time can be hard on it. Any tears, cracks or damage can take away from the proper shape, meaning the vacuum seal is reduced when in use. If you notice any cracks or tears, its time to replace.
  • Never use a plunger after pouring chemicals down the drain. Some of the harshest chemicals in our lives are in drain cleaning solutions. If you plunge after use, you risk pulling chemicals back up and splashing them not only around the surface, but also back on you, your skin and your clothing.
  • Too much water can cause a big mess and reduce the effectiveness. If your tub or sink has several inches of standing water, remove some of the water first to gain better access to the drain. It will also give you more leverage to plunge easier.
  • Make sure you have a tight seal. Make sure you have full contact with the sink, tub or toilet and cover the hole completely. This allows a full air stream to work on its targeted location.

Sink, Tub or Shower:

  • Use a standard cup plunger.
  • Cover up the overflow drain with a wet rag or cloth to give you more traction.
  • Seal the plunger cup completely over the drain opening.
  • Push up and down with forceful thrusts. Repeat for 15 to 20 seconds before checking flow.

Toilet:

  • Use the flange plunger.
  • If the bowl is full, remove water until it is half full. If it is empty, fill with water so it is half full.
  • Place the plunger in the bowl and completely cover the drain opening.
  • Push down with forceful thrusts to concentrate the pressure for 15 to 20 seconds before checking flow.
sidebar coupons 250 How To Use A Plunger To Unclog Your Toilet, Sink or Tub

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

Want some advice from the premier green plumbing company right here in Colorado? Green up your home by reducing your carbon footprint.

A carbon footprint is a measurement of the impact your daily activities have on the environment. It measures the greenhouse gases you produce throughout your day. It takes into account how much you burn in fossil fuels for everyday energy consumption such as electricity, heating, air conditioning, manufacturing, transportation, and any other energy intensive activity you may use.

Why should we worry about greenhouse gases? These are the gases that accumulate in the earth’s atmosphere, and reduce the amount of available oxygen. They also produce a barrier around the earth that holds in the heat that would otherwise dissipate into space. Think of it this way. The more greenhouse gases we produce, the lower the quality of air we breathe and the greater the impact on our environment overall.

The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. A carbon footprint is usually expressed in units of tons of carbon dioxide produced. Studies show that the average US citizen produces 2.87 metric tons per person, and the average US emissions is around 6 billion metric tons per year. That’s a lot of emissions filling up our atmosphere and leaving its mark on our planet!

how to reduce your carbon footprint 2 How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Fortunately there are a number of things each of us can do right now to make a difference. We don’t have to give up all of our favorite activities or completely change the way we live. It just means we have to make smarter choices with the things we do everyday.

Drop your thermostat by 2 degrees from your normal level. Two degrees up in the summer and down in the winter can reduce your carbon footprint by as much as 2,000 pounds per year.

Use a low flow showerhead. The less hot water you use, the less energy is required to heat the water. If you shower everyday, this can reduce your carbon footprint by as much as 350 pounds per year per person.

Wash all of your clothes in cold water. Again, the more you reduce heating water for use, the more you can save. This can save up to 500 pounds per year.

Run your dishwasher less. Don’t start it at the end of every meal; instead wait until your dishwasher is completely full. Better yet, do things the old fashioned way and wash your dishes by hand.

Upgrade to EnergyStar appliances. All appliances that bare the EnergyStar label have been tested and certified to meet minimum energy efficiency standards. If an appliance that is just a few years old can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint, meaning you’re wasting more electricity than necessary.

Replace filters regularly. You know that furnace filter you haven’t changed in awhile? Its allowing your furnace to break down and become inefficient. Make it a regular practice to replace them a couple of times per year, and keep them running as efficiently as possible.

Watch your hot water heater. Keep it fully insulated and set the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees.

sidebar coupons 250 How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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

Upgrading your grill? Should you choose propane or natural gas?

In today’s grill market, you’ll find on average many more choices for a propane grill setup than you will a natural gas grill. But with simple conversions, you can make any grill natural gas ready.

gas grills propane or natural gas Gas Grills: Propane or Natural Gas?

Yet what is the difference?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel found in deposits under ground. It is made up almost entirely from methane, though it does have a variety of lesser gases in the mix as well. One of those gases is propane, which is separated from natural gas during processing.

This is one of the reasons propane is more expensive than natural gas.

From a cost perspective, as a local plumber, we can install a line easily from source to wherever you choose to place your new grill outside. Cost will depend on the length of the run. There may be a higher upfront cost, but once installed, you will be charged at your normal gas usage rate for the time spent grilling.

With propane, you have a separate tank that will consistently need refilling or repurchasing. Most people have two separate tanks to have one on hand in case one runs out during the middle of your grilling. Over time, this cost can quickly add up, especially if you grill regularly.

Propane does leave your grill portable. If you regularly move your grill from one location to another, this is a big advantage. Once a natural gas grill is connected, it must stay in the same position, or be moved to another natural gas output line.

Overall, natural gas is the safer gas to have around your family. On a natural gas grill, little can go wrong. Be sure to check the hose regularly to make sure its not cracked or leaking. If you do find cracks, replace the hose immediately; never try to fix with duct tape or reattach a section with hose clamps. With propane, check the regulator every time you change the tank. It may take a few extra seconds, but it can save you from a nasty fire and in some cases an explosion.

Ready to add a natural gas grill to your outdoor living space? Call us today for quick installation. You’ll be ready to fire up the grill in no time.

sidebar coupons 250 Gas Grills: Propane or Natural Gas?

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

Has it been a dream of yours to switch your major appliance to natural gas? There are many reasons this is preferred.

  • Natural gas gives you comfort and reliability at a low economical price
  • Natural gas is one of the safest and most reliable sources of energy
  • Natural gas has abundant domestic supplies

And its more popular than ever.

what you should know when converting to natural gas appliances What You Should Know When Converting To Natural Gas Appliances

While it used to be difficult to find gas appliances, having to select from just a few options, the supply today is endless. From top of the line to an economical alternative, you can find just about anything you want in today’s natural gas appliances.

Yet once you buy a natural gas appliance, you can’t simply bring it home, plug it in and have it work. You have to convert your home to accept your new gas appliance. And that means installing a natural gas line from source to the outlet that will house your new appliance.

Your first step in in determining if you already have access to natural gas. Is your furnace electric or natural gas? If you already have a line into your home, converting to a natural gas appliance simply means tapping into the natural gas main and running a line to the area where you’re appliance will reside. If your entire home is run off electricity, it will involve finding the natural gas main near your home, and then running a line directly into your home.

The easiest way to start the process is to contact us directly, and we’ll check to see if natural gas is available in front of your home. We can answer any questions you have about the conversion process, and have a qualified contractor come out and look at your equipment to provide you with a thorough estimate.

Keep in mind that natural gas is dangerous. If you don’t have prior experience working with it, its best to let a licensed contractor handle all work with natural gas.

sidebar coupons 250 What You Should Know When Converting To Natural Gas Appliances

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 one appliance in your kitchen that saves more time and makes your life easier than ever? The dishwasher. Simply load it up, turn it on, and it does all of the dirty work for you.

But when your dishwasher goes down, not only can it leave you cleaning up a mess of dishes, it can also leave you with a big mess of water to clean up too.

plumbing tips dishwasher care and maintenance Plumbing Tips: Dishwasher Care and Maintenance

Fortunately, dishwashers are one major appliance that keeps on working if you give it just a little TLC along the way. With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to get many years of worry-free performance.

Maintenance Tips

Dishwashers have two things that make them work: a built in water heater and a motor. In order for your dishwasher to work effectively throughout the years, it must be plugged into a grounded outlet or wired direct. The main socket must also be adequately rated to handle the large load required by most dishwashers. If your kitchen isn’t built to handle these two things, you are at risk of electrocution, fire or power outages. Be sure to use proper wiring and connection to ensure a long life for your dishwasher and safety for your family.

Be sure your dishwasher is level upon installation. An unlevel dishwasher has the potential to leak. And even a small leak can quickly add up to a lot of damage over time, including rot, mildew and mold.

While a dishwasher is a fairly simply appliance, it does have plastic seals along the door that create an air-tight vacuum while in operation. If these seals are damaged or simply wear out, you’ll begin to notice small leaks around your dishwasher after use. These seals should be replaced at the first sign of leaks.

Your dishwasher has a screen or filter located near the bottom. Its designed to catch large food particles or other debris. This needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent blockage. As the filter ages, it may begin to get small holes, and should be replaced to prevent harm to other parts of the dishwasher.

Over time, the holes in the sprayer arm can get clogged with minerals from the water, or from tiny food particles. Clean these small holes from time to time to ensure they stay in proper working order. You can clean them by removing the arm and soaking in vinegar, or simply clean with a pipe cleaner or tiny brush.

If you begin detecting an odor from your dishwasher, it’s the first sign of a clog somewhere in your kitchen drain. Start by cleaning the filter in your dishwasher. Then move to your backflow where the dishwasher and garbage disposal drains into the system. Clean as soon as possible, to avoid further problems.

sidebar coupons 250 Plumbing Tips: Dishwasher Care and Maintenance

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

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.

sidebar coupons 250 Is Your Garbage Disposal Not Working or Stuck?

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.

sidebar coupons 250 Lead Free Plumbing – New Standards For Plumbing Fittings, Fixtures, Pipes and Valves

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.

sidebar coupons 250 The Dangers Of Drain Cleaners

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.

sidebar coupons 250 The Dangers Of Polybutylene Pipe In Your Plumbing

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.

sidebar coupons 250 Why Epoxy Pipe Lining May Be The Solution To Your Plumbing Needs

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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