You’ve just moved in to your new home. You’re excited about finishing the basement, and adding more living space for your family. A new home theater. A games room. A bedroom.
Are you also protecting it from flooding?
In Colorado, most homes have basements. And a growing number of homeowners are also expanding their living area into the basement. But it can be frustrating completing your new addition, only to have it flooded a few short months later.
Instead of waiting for the inevitable to happen, make plans to avoid it by installing a sump pump.
A sump pump is usually installed where basement flooding is known to have occurred and is seen as a problem. But it can also be used to remove dampness that may occur because of ordinary and extraordinary events, such as large amounts of snow/rain fall. Sump pumps pump the water away from the home’s foundation, and send it to a place where it won’t pose a problem to the home itself, such as to a municipal storm drain or a dry well.
Sump pumps are usually hardwired into a home’s electrical system, and may on occasion have a battery backup. In homes with finished basements, a homeowner may also decide to have a second sump pump as a backup. Since water may begin to overflow if not constantly pumped, a backup system should be considered for prolonged power outages.
Once your sump pump system is installed, it is a good idea to schedule regular maintenance. A plumber can check its condition once per year to assure it’s functioning properly. A good cleaning will remove dirt, gravel, sand and other debris, increasing its efficiency and extending the life of the pump.
Are you one of the many homeowners working to green up your home this year? Chances are you’ve started looking at the one major item that every homeowner can work to improve on – water conservation. By far water is the thing we use most in our homes; and it’s the one thing we can improve the most as well.
Let’s look at some easy water conservation tips you can do here in Colorado to improve your efficiency.
1. Replace or fix old dripping faucets. A dripping faucet can waste as much as 150 gallons of water each day, which adds up to over 4,500 gallons of water per month. This one item alone will impact your water bill each month.
2. Replace old shower heads. New shower fixtures provide water saving features without cutting back on spray.
3. Toilets are one of your biggest water users – and water wasters. There are a variety of water saving toilets on the market today that use as little as 1 gallon per flush. Also check and replace old fill valves, which will help keep your toilet running efficiently.
4. Reduce the amount of detergents, bleach, cleaners, and other chemical products you use within your water supply. These products can kill the natural bacteria in your septic system, and leave chemicals within your water supply. Use biodegradable soaps and detergents whenever possible. And for green drain cleaning solutions, check out Green Approaches To Drain Cleaning.
5. As summertime watering approaches, re-evaluate your sprinkler system. If you use a hose, consider purchasing a spring-loaded timer that attaches directly to your faucet, and prevents over-watering if you forget to turn it off. If you use a sprinkler system, consider reworking your sprayers for your changing landscaping. As trees and plants grow to different heights, they need different watering sources. Also consider a rain gauge timer to prevent automatic timers from turning on the water in the event of rain.
Happy Earth Day.
We’re excited to announce GreenPlumbers has been honored through the U.S. EPA and recognized for outstanding achievement in protecting the environment.
GreenPlumbers is a national training and accreditation program that trains plumbers on taking a proactive role in protecting the environment and public health. Plumbing companies associated with GreenPlumbers take on a variety of training courses to learn about the connection between water and energy, heating water throughout the home by using alternative means, and to evaluate household water use and help homeowners change to alternative sources. Educating consumers on conservation methods not only helps reduce bills, but also helps reduce overall carbon footprints.
Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is excited to be the premier plumbing service company in Colorado to be a part of this amazing program. We look forward to helping you learn more about conservation methods and technologies in the future.
Have you ever worried about pouring harmful chemicals down the drain? How does that impact the health of your family?
Increasingly we as homeowners are looking for green alternatives to the more traditional ways of handling things like a clogged drain. Most commercial drain cleaners contain dangerous chemicals such as lye or acid, and can ultimately affect our health, our wastewater stream, and the PVC pipes within our homes.
The next time you have a clog, consider using a gentle yet effective approach to clearing a drain. There are many options, most of which can be found in your home, or on the shelves of your local health food store.
Start with a plunger
Sometimes the best method is the simplest. Try an old fashioned plunger, and repeat several times to release the clog and free up the drain.
Create a baking soda drain cleaner
If water hasn’t backed up into your sink, you can try a backing soda cleaner. Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a few cups of boiling water. The boiling water creates an alkaline composition in the baking soda, which can clear out many of the toughest clogs. Repeat as necessary.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
When baking soda isn’t enough, try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, and follow it with 1/2 cup white vinegar. Cover the drain if possible. Let set for a few minutes. Pour a few cups of boiling water down the drain to flush out the clog. The vinegar/baking soda combination breaks down fatty acids into soap and glycerin, allowing the drain to run free. NOTE: do not use this method if any commercial drain opener has been used or is present in the sink or drain.
If natural methods don’t work, it may be best to try a drain auger, or a plumbers snake. This can reach down to the clog, and pull it free for complete extraction.
Still having problems? Your problem may be even deeper than you anticipated. Look for a green plumber in your area. He can provide powerful results while still providing the green results you are looking for.
[Quality 1st Plumbing is the first green plumbing company in Colorado. Want green results? Just give us a call.]
Efficiency and user-friendly seldom go hand in hand. If you choose to conserve and do what you can to preserve the environment, chances are you have to work a little harder finding the products and services you need.
For a plumbing company to be considered green, and recognized as a Green Plumbing accredited company, you have to meet several requirements and undergo training. Just saying your green doesn’t necessarily make it so.
So what can you look for when you’re searching through websites and calling on the phone to plumbing companies in Colorado? How can you make sure you have a plumber who practices green methods?
- Start by looking for Green Plumbers accreditation. If a plumber is truly green, he will have gone through a series of green training programs, and be an accredited green plumber.
- Ask questions. A green plumber will have a variety of options to give you tips on how to save resources, and still have a well functioning home. You don’t need to give up one for the other.
- Find energy efficient options. Virtually everything in your home has an energy efficient option. Instead of a traditional water heater, why not install a hot water circulation system? You’ll save a considerable amount of water over time because you’ll have access to instant hot water. You’ll find your local plumber has dozens of tips just like this.
- Plan for the future. A green plumber will also be happy to audit your home and provide you with a plan for future upgrades. Most of us can’t afford to rebuild our homes from the ground up with top of the line green resources. But there are things you can do over time. Make a priority list with your local plumber, and work at things slowly. Choose things that will reap the biggest rewards up front.
The key to a good green strategy is to do a little at a time. Know what will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Invest in things that have the largest payback. Follow up with additional items as time and budget allows. With the savings you’ll quickly see, you’ll be glad you did.
Should I fix my current faucet, or should I replace it with a water-conserving fixture?
Should I attempt to replace my current bathroom fixtures myself, or hire it done?
When it comes to plumbing questions, we know you face a variety of situations throughout the year.
For many plumbing fixtures, they can be replaced in an hour or two, depending on your level of experience and providing you have the proper tools and supplies on hand. It all comes down to how much time you choose to dedicate to doing your own home repair.
What is the pay back for water-conserving fixtures?
If your water comes from a municipal system, you’ll reap the rewards fairly quickly. With some plumbing fixtures, you can save a substantial amount of water in a very short period of time. If your water supply comes from a well system, you will see savings both in the amount of water you consume, and in the wear and tear on your pump.
Payback depends on how often you use your various plumbing fixtures throughout the day. Reducing a toilet from 5 gallons to 1.6 gallons per flush can save many gallons per day, especially for a larger family. Shower heads and faucets can reduce the flow from 5 gallons per minute to 3 gallons and less. Quickly do the math, and you can see your savings is substantial.
Talking about water conservation and actually implementing it are two different things. If you aren’t sure where to start, have questions about the best equipment, or just don’t have the time for installation, your local plumber can help. They’ll provide all these services and more.
Quality 1st Plumbing is a family owned, locally operated plumbing service company. With over 25 years of plumbing experience, our knowledgeable plumbers will be able to answer your questions and provide you with the best quality service around.
Several things set us apart from our competition.
1. We are the first certified green plumbers in Colorado. With all of our plumbing services, we provide earth friendly workmanship. We can help you with everything from educating you on water preservation and conservation practices, to providing a home energy audit to find out where you are and what you can change.
2. We provide an on-time guarantee. We know you’re time is valuable, and how hard it is to be available in a window of several hours. We’ll arrive at your home when we promise, or we’ll give you an instant $25 discount.
3. We provide guaranteed results. If you’ve ever had a plumbing emergency, you know how important it is to stop the problem and fix it immediately. We offer 24-hour service throughout the Denver metro area, and in most cases we can be there to service you the same day you call.
With so many choices to call whether you have a general question, or a plumbing emergency, its important to find someone who stands behind their work, and can offer quality service you can count on.
Give Quality 1st Plumbing a call the next time you have a plumbing need. If you’re in the Denver Metro suburbs within Colorado, its nice to know you experience is a phone call away.
A faucet that drips just once per minute will waste over 4 gallons of water every month, and over 52 gallons per year.
While once per minute may not seem like much, its easy to see how it adds up over time.
Faucets come in two different designs, washer-type or compression, and washerless.
To repair a washer-type faucet, first turn off the water supply either through the shutoff valve beneath the fixture, or at the main shutoff valve for the house water supply. Take the faucet apart. Washer type faucets work with a rubber washer that closes onto a metal washer seat. This rubber washer can harden or worn, causing the faucet to leak. Check for signs of damage and replace if necessary. Another common cause of leakage is the stem of the faucet. If the threads are badly corroded or worn, it may be time to replace it.
A leak in a washerless faucet usually means the faucet needs replacing. It is a sign that the parts aren’t working properly, and simply need to be replaced. In some cases, a prepackaged repair kit may be available, depending on the type and style of faucet you have.
If you have noticed a leak, finding the time to fix the problem can also be a chore. A plumber can assist you in finding the problem. Or if you’ve purchased a new faucet, and can’t find the time to install it, a plumber can have it quickly installed for you.
Whether you have a small one-hour job, or a weeklong project, how can you find a reliable, reputable plumbing company?
1. Start by doing a little research online. Finding a site like this one is no accident. A plumber that takes the time to build quality information for you online wants you to know the facts before you hire.
3. Watch your mail for flyers, postcards and coupons. This is your introduction to a company. Check out their websites. Give them a call.
4. Check the Better Business Bureau. Find out what information they have on the company.
5. What other associations do they belong to? A credible company is an involved company. They will associate with a variety of groups, both in the community and within their own industry.
6. Ask other services providers. If you’re working with a contractor for a bathroom redesign, or a landscaper to change your back yard, chances are they have great referrals. They’re in the business, and like to work with quality plumbers.
7. Look for testimonials. Many websites incorporate testimonials into their sites. Read through them. Also search online for consumer awareness sites. Places like Troubleshooter.com and Angieslist.com are great resources for consumers to get honest feedback from consumers that have used a plumber.