The toilet is overflowing. A pipe is broken. A drain is backing up.
When any of these are occurring, an emergency plumbing repair service is needed. A professional plumber deals with situations that have the potential of turning into a problematic, financial or disastrous error if not dealt with immediately.
What is considered to be an emergency plumbing repair?
- A blocked or broken sewage pipe. It may start with a foul smell coming from the basement drainage system. Or it may be a leak in the yard. Either can lead to messy, costly problems if left untreated.
- A blocked drain. Whether in the bathroom sink or shower, or in the kitchen, both can limit your daily routines.
- A broken or leaking pipe. Water can cause unlimited amount of damage. The quicker its fixed, the easier and less costly the cleanup.
The busiest time for an emergency plumbing repair service is during the holidays when more people are in your home, and you’re using your drains and pipes more frequently. Take special precautions. Limit the amount of food and waste you send down the garbage disposal. Check pipes and faucets for leaks before company arrives.
While you may decide to try and fix some of your emergencies yourself, remember an emergency plumber deals with different types of problems every day. They spend years gaining knowledge and technical expertise in every area of your home, inside and out. They can easily fix in a short period of time what may take you hours or even days to locate and fix.
Ask about their licenses and experience. Ask for recommendations and referrals. Then trust them to do the job you’ve hired them to do. And help you get back to your normal routines quickly.
One of the great things about living in Denver is the communities and unique neighborhoods. Ask anyone in the Hilltop, Park Hill or Highlands neighborhoods why they love the area – chances are you’ll hear “the large, old trees” among the list.
Older communities are popular because they are already established, in the center of town and close to everything. They are also well loved because of the mature landscaping, and uniqueness in style from one home to the next.
If you live in an older home, especially in a home built before 1975, it may be beneficial to do a home check of your water main and sewer lines before they cause problems.
Homes built after the mid 1970’s were built primarily using plastic pipes. Plastic is strong, durable, and lasts indefinitely. But houses built before 1975 often had clay piping for sewer lines. Clay pipe is softer and more susceptible to tree root infiltration, and can easily be cracked or misaligned due to settling and erosion.
Signs you could have problems with your water main or sewer line:
Toilets back up regularly
Drains clog and back up regularly
Water pooling in sinks, tubs and showers
Water or sewage coming up in basement drains
Instead of waiting for disaster, schedule a water main and sewer line inspection. Using fiber optics, an inspector is able to see into the pipe system and discover potential problems and threats. As a homeowner, you should receive a copy of the results, and learn more about the course of action to prevent further breakdowns.
[Instead of waiting for a water main or sewage break, schedule an inspection to determine the status of your pipes. An inspection can save you time, money and energy in having to repair damage from a break.]
In Colorado, you never know what the weather might entail. One day can be warm and sunny, while the next brings in the cold and snow. Not only is hard for our bodies to keep up with the temperature demands, its also hard on our landscaping.
While it may be easy to forget, winter watering is just as important to your outside plants as watering is during the summer months. Colorado winters may bring cold temperatures during the nighttime, but daylight can find extended warm, dry, windy spells that dry out your plants, trees and bushes.
By mid to end of October, your sprinkler systems and hoses should all be turned off and disconnected. But watering shouldn’t stop there. Keep your hoses within reach for the months of November through March. If four weeks elapse without rain or snow accumulation, its time to hook up the hose and provide water to your landscaping.
Make sure you water in the mid morning to early afternoon hours to give water a chance to soak into the ground before nightly freezes. Water for about 30 minutes in each location. For trees, water between the edge of the branches halfway to the tree trunk, which is where tree roots absorb the most water.
Especially in older houses where trees are older and have a larger root system, they can be your number one problem with outside plumbing issues. If trees and bushes don’t have the water they need, they will search out a source. And often times the source becomes your water main or sewer line. Tree roots will bear into these pipes in search of water, causing tiny cracks within the pipes themselves. As the tiny cracks turn into larger ones, your home is at risk for major plumbing issues.
To avoid plumbing problems down the road, schedule your winter watering schedule. Your home and landscaping will thank you.
Whether you’re looking at reducing the size of your carbon footprint, or just concerned with making your home a little more energy conscious, looking at green hot water heaters is one of the first places to start. After all, the way you use hot water in you home impacts a good portion of your daily life.
Going green involves two things when it comes to water: reducing the amount of energy it takes for heating and using it, and using less of it to fulfill your daily needs.
Thousands of gallon of water are wasted each year in the average home waiting for water to heat. Think about your own water habits. You turn on the shower a few minutes before hoping in to let it warm up. Or you leave the faucet running to warm it before washing your hands.
The actual type of hot water heater you have in your home doesn’t matter as much as how efficiently you use it. Look around online, or in any magazine that offers green tips. You’ll usually find articles on tankless water heaters or solar water heaters. While you may consider both to be an option, keep in mind that either model can be two, three, even four times more expensive than a standard hot water heater. And in many cases, the energy savings they offer would take you years to recognize in the form of monetary value.
Tankless water heaters
Tankless water heaters boast to being able to provide instantaneous hot water. That’s true – and false. While they do eliminate storing water in a tank that needs to be kept warm on a constant basis, it doesn’t solve the issue of delivering warm water the second a faucet is turned on. Even with tankless systems, water cools down in the pipes. This water has to be emptied from the system before hot water can be released.
Solar hot water heaters are also making headlines these days. Yet as efficient as solar hot water heaters are, their cost is two to three times higher than tankless systems, and as much as eight times higher than a standard hot water heater. If reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, it may be worth a look. But if your goal is simply reduce water usage as much as possible, while saving money in the process, there are other options.
The best way to eliminate the need of running water down the drain while it heats is to put in a hot water circulation system. Water is constantly pumped to and from the water supply in order to keep it warm at all times.
Going green doesn’t mean spending lots of money. It’s also about being conscious of your impact on the environment. Take baby steps – the steps that are easiest for you. Your local green plumber can help you create a plan that will improve the way you live now and well into the future.
The first freeze of the season is always the one that catches you off guard. Especially this year as Colorado temperatures plummeted to the 20’s.
The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to be prepared for the cold before it happens, but when it does catch you off guard, fixing it is your first concern, followed by protecting yourself from further incidents.
Frozen water pipes put your home at risk during unexpected cold spells. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands to as much as 2000 pounds of pressure per square inch. With no other place to go, this pressure causes the pipe to rupture, allowing water to continue to spill until it is turned off. If you aren’t at home and don’t notice it for several hours or more, that can add hundreds of gallons of water to your surrounding landscape, or build up on the floor in your home.
While the most at-risk place this time of year is your hoses, outside water spickets, and sprinkler system, freezing pipes can also occur to pipes along outside walls, under sinks on an outside wall, or in unheated crawlspaces or basements.
Unthawing Frozen Pipes
While some pipes may burst under pressure, others may remain frozen if the weather conditions remain constant. If you find a frozen pipe before it bursts, there are things you can do to unthaw the pipe, and protect the surrounding area from water damage.
Start by opening up the faucet supplied by the frozen pipe. This will help alleviate pressure. Identify which pipe is frozen, and locate the area of blockage. In many cases frozen pipes will be frosted, or have ice covering it. They may also be slightly bulged where the ice is building. Then heat the pipe, starting at the faucet and working down towards the frozen pipe. This will allow water to flow out the faucet as it unthaws, as opposed to backing up into the system, increasing the risk for bursting.
One of the key buzzwords of 2009 is “green”. As the first Lone Tree Plumbing Company to go green, we’ve taken the term “green” very seriously. Not only do we look for ways to help you conserve water and energy with plumbing supplies, but we also provide you tips to use in your day-to-day lives.
Here are some of the easiest and most affordable ways to start the conservation process within your home:
While updating your faucets and showerheads is an important step, it’s also important to fix leaks and drips. Thousands of gallons of water can be wasted each month with just a tiny drip. In some cases, the fix can be as easy as replacing a washer.
One of the best ways to conserve water is to purchase and install low flow toilets throughout your home. Remember you have through the end of 2009 to receive a rebate of up to $150 through the Denver Water Rebate, Castle Rock Water Rebate, Colorado Springs Water Rebate, and Aurora Water Rebate programs.
Instead of running the dishwasher or clothes washer half empty, wait for a full load. In many cases you can cut your usage down 50 percent or more, reducing the amount of water you are using. Even on energy efficient appliances, that can still add up over the course of one year.
Use eco-friendly soaps and detergents. Eco-friendly products are designed to work with energy efficient appliances, and to be friendly to our systems. For instance, instead of using a harsh liquid drain opener that is hard on your pipes and adds harmful chemicals to the water supply, try backing soda first. Pour one cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by several cups of boiling water. This natural drain cleaner works well on many tough clogs. Follow up with a plunger or a plumber’s snake to remove any remaining clogs.
Over the course of the last 30 years or so, we’ve seen a huge change in the amount of water used by a home toilet. Now thanks to the growing desire for green plumbing tips, many homes are installing low flow toilets, or even going to the next level of installing dual flush toilets.
According to the American Water Works Association, the average home uses 20.1 gallons of water per person for flushing the toilet. That amounts to about 30 percent of a home’s water usage. Upgrading from a 3.5 gallons per flush model to a 1.6 gallons per flush model will reduce one person’s annual water usage by about 15,000 gallons.
Low flush toilets were first introduced around 1994, and have since saved millions of gallons of water. But rumors still persist on customer satisfaction. Today’s low flush toilets are much improved over their older counterparts. And dual flush toilets can also contribute to cost savings.
Dual flush toilets are designed to handle solid and liquid waste differently, giving the user a choice of flushes. Most dual flush toilets use less than one gallon of water to flush liquid waste, and around 1.6 gallons to flush solid waste. The combined savings for using half flushes for liquid waste can result in savings of up to 68 percent or more over the conventional low flow toilet.
While dual flush toilets are widely used across Australia, Europe and Asia, they are now just catching on in the United States. The EPA is estimating by the year 2013, an estimated 36 states will experience water shortages; which means converting to water saving features is now more important than ever.
Looking to replace your water heater? Want to find discounts on water heaters, and make sure you get the best price possible? Keep these tips in mind.
The average life of a water heater is 10 to 12 years. However, that can be influenced by a variety of things, including use and the style of water heater you have. A reputable plumber should be able to look at your water heater and let you know if it needs replacement. It’s always best to replace before the water heater gets too old and risks cracking or bursting, which can cause a lot of damage to the surrounding areas.
Comparison shopping isn’t always an easy task. There are many different options today. With tankless water heaters the rage, it may seem like a viable option. Yet if you don’t understand new technology, it can actually cost you more in the long run to move to a new style of water heater. Know all your options before you make an informed decision.
Free estimates should always be available from reputable plumbing services. Don’t just ask the common question of “how much for a water heater?” Instead, ask your plumber for different options, and find out what would be your best choice, not just the least expensive choice.
Ask for a discount. In these tough economic times, every business understands the need for good value. Ask your plumber about different options and coupons are available to help you replace your current water heater, and end up saving over time.
[Quality 1st Plumbing is currently offering discounts on water heaters – up to $50 off any water heater purchase.]
The first freeze of the season may not put your home at risk for damage, but it should be a sign that its time to start thinking about winter. Use this winterization checklist to make sure your home is in top shape before the temperatures dip even further.
One of the most common problems during the winter months is burst pipes caused from the freezing cold. If you have any exposed water or drainage pipes in uninsulated areas such as outside walls, crawlspaces or attic, make sure you insulate them. Even if they have survived past winters, different conditions bring about different reactions. Use insulation covers and wraps to seal out the cold.
Also make sure you check pipes and faucets inside and out. Exterior faucets need to have the water supply turned off inside the house, and drain water thoroughly before sealing up for the winter. Remember to disconnect your garden hoses from the sill cocks or outside faucets and drain thoroughly especially if you store outside or in uninsulated garage or sheds.
Don’t forget to include your sprinkler system in the winterization process. Have your sprinkler system winterized no later than the end of October to prevent exposure to freezing conditions. Turn off the water supply and blow compressed air through the sprinkler lines to prevent the lines from freezing and bursting.
Even though you will be turning off sprinkler systems and draining hoses, don’t forget your landscape over the coming months. Plants, trees and shrubs still need water during the winter months if it remains dry. Even though plants slow down their growing process in the cold, they still reach out for a water supply. If you don’t provide it at the roots, the roots will spread out looking for water. And they may find it in your main water supply line, or in your sewage line, causing fractures and bursts that can be expensive problems down the road.