Whether its early morning before work, or in the final preparations before a dinner party, finding a blocked drain can be more than a minor inconvenience. It can be hours of work determining where the problem lies, and finding the right tools to handle the situation.
The most logical starting point is trying powders, clog removers and a number of home made remedies. If you are trying to avoid harsh chemicals in and around your home, you may even experiment with Green Approaches To Drain Cleaning.
But what do you do when that simply doesn’t solve the problem? Or if it becomes worse than just a drain that is clogged – it actually backs up and begins flooding your basement or crawl space as well?
The drain system is typically a single stack system where waste water and the soil pipe both connect to a common drain leading away from the property to the sewer line. The clog can be a simple block just a few inches from your sink, or can be several feet away, somewhere within the pipe between your drain and the sewer. Drain cleaners may affect a simple clog a few inches from the drain; but will do no good if the clog is further down the pipe.
Professional plumbers go beyond solving the issue, and go straight to the source of the problem. They have the diagnostic tools to identify the location of the block and the knowledge to eliminate the problem.
If the block is located deep within the line, a plumber can access sophisticated closed circuit systems to pinpoint the block, knowing right where to go to clear away the problem.
Older homes offer a lot of charm, but also many challenges in navigating construction details that date back to the pre-World War II era. With older homes come older trees with elaborate root systems. Or pipes and water systems that simply weren’t designed to meet today’s codes. It may take special tools and knowledge to know when to fix something, and when to replace it to avoid future problems.
Blocks in the trap can be very difficult to get to and may cause the drain line to become backed up. The trap is the point in the line where two or more pipes join and connect to a larger central line. Often a foul odor is the first indicator that the drain may be plugged. And it can quickly escalate into a much larger problem requiring the removal of walls, floors, or ceilings.
Unless you have experience in this area, call someone who does. Call your local plumber today.
Plumbers are home owners too and when we work at renovating our homes, we start by looking at the latest water conservation ideas.
We all need to do our part to conserve resources. And thanks to new technology, there are more options then ever. You don’t have to make a choice between beautiful fixtures or water conservation – there are many options that meet both criteria.
As a plumber, I use the following checklist whenever I speak with a homeowner ready to start a home renovation project:
- Start by checking what you have. What works, and what should you replace? In some cases you may have fixtures and appliances that are still in great shape, in which you can spend your money on other necessities and upgrades.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks. While its easy to see a leaky faucet, pipes are harder to find. Even a small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons, and can cause serious damage if its located behind a wall.
- Want the new shower in your 5 piece master bath to come with a multi head spa system? Talk with your plumber first. He can make suggestions on installing water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators there and throughout the rest of your home. “Low-flow” means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute, which can be a substantial savings if you live in an older home.
- The first step to any renovation is removing old toilets, and buying “low flush” toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons. And with the rebates on the market for Colorado residents, the cost to you is next to nothing. And as one of the biggest wasters of water, its also one of the easiest ways to conserve.
- Use Energy Star rated appliances, and do your homework before any purchase. Just because an appliance has an Energy Star rating doesn’t always mean its energy efficient – check out our article on energy star ratings. Your local plumber can make recommendations, or talk with a knowledgeable sales person.
- Upgrade your water heater. Old water heaters can be inefficient and waste both water and energy. While the rage seems to be focused on tankless water heaters, we actually prefer the new hybrid water heaters.
- Install a gas line. Want to build an outdoor fireplace, or add a gas grill? How about a fireplace in the master suite? The first place to start is bringing the gas line from the source to your area. Your plumber can also make suggestions on location, to avoid having to bring a gas line further than necessary.
It’s Appreciate Your Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Professionals Week, celebrated every year on the last week of June. Sponsored by the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractor National Association (PHCC), this year it’s also a celebration of the 127th year PHCC was founded.
As a plumber, our goal is to stretch beyond fixing your emergency plumbing jobs. We also strive to educate and train you, the consumer, on protecting our environment, and ensuring the health, safety and comfort of society as a whole.
How does Quality 1st Plumbing do all of this? We start out by ensuring “quality” always remains our first and foremost goal. We are a locally owned family company that provides 24 hour service. We have helped hundreds of commercial and residential customers up and down the Front Range, and strive to be the best plumbing service in the Denver metro area. We care about you and know your time is important. Which is why we make guarantees on our services and our delivery, and will even give you an instant $25 discount if we aren’t there when we promise.
We’ve also committed to being a certified green plumber, and are the first Colorado plumbing service to receive certification from Green Plumbers. As a green plumber, we have certification and training in the latest water and energy efficient technologies, and can share them in a variety of ways with you. From water or energy audits, to upgrading your water heater with the latest technology, all you have to do is ask, and we’ll be there for you.
If you’ve done any research on water heaters, chances are you’ve come across two basic systems: tank and tankless. While many sites and companies are touting tankless water heaters as the way to “go green” and be more efficient in the way your home heats water, it certainly has just as many drawbacks as well. [Read our review, Tankless Water Heater vs Tank Water Heater Comparison]
Now there is a new system that does all it promises and more. It’s called Hybrid Water Heating.
With a tank water heater, heat is generated from the bottom of the tank through a burner, and it rises through the system. Over time, sediment is deposited at the bottom, reducing the efficiency of heating the water.
While a tankless water heater doesn’t store the heated water, it still uses a system in which water transfers through a series of coils, and heats up and is delivered on demand. Because a tankless water heater is activated by flow, this heating cycle starts and is completed every time a faucet is turned on, allowing sediment to build up and potentially clog the coils over time.
A Hybrid Water Heater pushes cold water from the bottom up through a series of radiating transfer pipes. It’s maximizes energy efficiently by pushing the heat in separate directions, and reuses the energy created multiple times. The end result is an endless hot water supply throughout your home, with no reduction in water pressure.
Truly a green way of heating your water. A way to be more efficient with both energy and water. Are you ready to find out more?
If you have monitored the cost of watering your landscape from year to year, and realize the price does everything but go down, you may be longing to make your yard a more economical feature of your home. “Going Green” may be in the cards for you this summer.
“Going Green” means more than just cutting back on the amount of water you use on your landscape. There are other ways to conserve water and save you money. The most common ways to conserve are:
- Choose the right plants and types of grass for your particular region.
- Use a good mulch around trees and in flower beds. Scoop little bowls around the base to hold water.
- Water in the early morning or late evening to allow your landscape to soak in the moisture.
From there, talk with your local plumber about green plumbing ideas. There are many features available to help you conserve water year round.
Choose a water efficient sprinkler system. Use the drip method around plants, and use rain and moisture gauges to control the usage of the system. Monitor your usage – excess water that runs down the sidewalk is money down the drain. Leaks in your pipes and water lines may cause some areas to be oversaturated, while others look dry and dying.
If you want to install a decorative fountain make sure you have one that is designed with a pump that is based on recirculation. Make sure a timing device is used so that during the high heat of the day you are not losing too much water. Your plumber can also advise on laying pipes to the best places in your yard to avoid water loss, and still have a beautiful lawn.
To be “green” in your neighborhood doesn’t cost a lot of money. Water saving devices and plants that are drought tolerant will not only add beauty to your home, it will also add a little “green” to you bank account.
Within your home, there are several different types of plumbing systems, one of them being your drainage system. The main sewer line is the lifeline for your home, allowing plumbing waste a way to navigate away from your home and into the main sewer line. And if you or your neighbors have ever faced a broken sewer pipe, you know nothing can cause more havoc to your daily life.
If your home is older, you may still have a clay pipe system in place. Today sewer lines are made from PVC pipe because of the longevity they bring to the system. In either case, many things can influence the functionality.
- Sending too much down the drain at one time
- Build up of grease and other materials over time
- Fast growing landscaping looking for water supplies
If you start seeing cleanup from broken sewer pipes in your neighborhood, instead of waiting for the inevitable, take a few steps to get prepared.
Schedule a sewer line inspection before you have a problem. Your local plumber has the tools to go into your lines with fiber optic equipment, and give you an analysis of the condition of your pipes. This can help you avoid the mess and expense down the road.
Establish a relationship with your local plumber early, and have someone you can trust ready to go. The last thing you want to do is sit down and research to find a company to help you with a backed up sewer line. Having a plumber ready to go can save you time and trouble. Begin establishing a relationship now with even small simple jobs to find one in your area.
Learn you options. You can head over to Google and gain a lot if information online. Look for quality information, and for a plumber that shares advice and comes with great recommendations.
Ambitious do-it-yourself homeowners are known for tackling large home improvement projects, but even the best-intentioned home renovators may find themselves overwhelmed by the surprising complexity of toilet plumbing and installation. Most of the plumbing for a toilet is installed in the floor or walls, making installation complicated and delicate, even for experienced plumbers. If you still feel set on trying out home plumbing, a few standard guidelines should set you in the right direction, but keep in mind that all homes are built differently and you may run into problems once you begin your toilet plumbing project.
The first and most important part of plumbing a toilet is establishing a supply pipe. The supply pipe is a 2 in. diameter pipe that enters the toilet through a hole in the floor. Placing the supply pipe is incredibly important and placement is regulated by local building codes. For example, the supply pipe must be positioned so that when the toilet is attached, the center of the bowl will be allotted 15 inches of clearance on either side. Before setting the supply pipe, check with local building codes to ensure that it is properly located. Your local plumber can help you determine you are up to guidelines.
The supply pipe is affixed to a vertical stack pipe via a curved closet pipe and a slope pipe. The angles of these pipes regulated the flow of water into the toilet and the removable of waste from the toilet. Improper installation of these fixtures could lead to serious plumbing problems including leaks and insufficient waste removal. The size of these pipes should be between 2 and 4 inches; incorrect pipe diameters could lead to huge clogs.
The drain pipe that comes through the floor should be fitted with a shut-off valve and a piece of rubber tubing that connects it to the toilet. A flange is a piece of plastic, metal or rubber that is affixed over the hole in the floor to prevent leaking and moisture as well as to ensure a tight seal between the bottom of the toilet and the floor.
To install the toilet, affix the bottom of the toilet with a wax gasket that creates a tight seal with the flange. Lower the bowl onto the flange so that the supply pipe settles into the hole in the bottom of the toilet. Move the bowl back and forth to secure the seal and level the bowl. Bolts secure the bowl to the flange.
The final process in plumbing a toilet is connecting a supply valve from the wall or floor to the toilet tank via the tank’s tubing. The supply line stub should be affixed with a shut off valve before connecting the tube to prevent flood or leaking.
This is not a comprehensive overview of plumbing a toilet. Most homeowners will find that there are several variables that impact toilet plumbing and installation. The only way to guarantee that a toilet plumbing installation job is done correctly and to code is to hire a licensed plumber to complete the job.
Do-it-yourself home repairs are becoming increasingly popular in the wake of home remodeling television shows and user-friendly home repair guides. Plumbing, however, remains one area of home ownerships that is best left to the professionals. Whether you’re remodeling your bathroom or demolishing your kitchen, there are several questions you should ask a local plumber before your sign on the dotted line and hand over a check.
Are you licensed and insured?
States create their own guidelines for licensing local plumbers but all states require licensed plumbers to take a test that covers federal guidelines, plumbing codes, installation procedures, maintenance, and repair. Ask your local plumber if he is licensed and when he received the license. Even a licensed plumber can hit some trouble, so insurance protects both you and the plumber.
Is your team licensed?
During a preliminary meeting, you might meet with the company’s owner to secure the service, but that doesn’t mean that he is the man in charge of the job. Ask your local plumber is all of the technicians who might be working in your home have licenses. Alternatively, ask for the specific name of the technician you’ll be working with and contact her directly.
What is your specialty?
All local plumbers should be versed in basic plumbing, but there is a big difference between a leaking faucet and a chef’s kitchen remodel. Ask your plumber what their most common kind of service is before you specify what your particular needs are.
Do you have a website?
Your local plumber doesn’t need to be a master of web design, but an updated and user-friendly website suggests a degree of professionalism that should translate to the work done at the job site.
Is your fleet well maintained and stocked?
If the plumber’s vehicles are in terrible shape, it’s a bad sign for the potential workmanships. Trucks should be well maintained with the local plumbing service name clearly displayed; reputable companies will also identify themselves as licensed right on their trucks. Also ask what kind of stock is kept on hand; if the plumber doesn’t have a part you need, will you need to pay for it?
Can I contact some references?
A reputable local plumber should have references on hand. If he resists, it’s a sign that he may have a reputation of providing subpar service or that he is not very organized. Get the reference sheet and call two or three homes. Remember to ask what kind of work was done and how long it took.
Hiring the right commercial plumbing contractor can be the difference between high-quality work and a disaster waiting to happen. In the struggling economy, people are more cost-conscious than ever, but guaranteeing good work is worth the cost. Before you commit to a commercial plumbing contractor, ask the right questions to guarantee that you are getting your money’s worth.
1. What is your specialty?
Not all plumbers are created equally. Some plumbing contractors specialize in residential or home projects while others are equipped to deal with larger-scale projects like apartment buildings or office spaces. Before you even get into the details, be sure your plumbing contractor is equipped for the work you need.
2. Are you insured?
Accidents happen, but they will be more costly to you and your projects if your commercial plumbing contractor doesn’t have general liability insurance. You have the right to know if a company is insured; if they don’t want to give up the information, assume the worst.
3. Are you licensed?
A commercial plumbing contractor should proudly display its licensing information. States issue licenses based on minimum requirements that are designed to protect consumers and the general public. Ask to see a copy of the license or license number.
4. How long will my project take to complete?
An experienced plumbing contractor will be able to predict the duration of a project. Ask for a specific timeline so that you are able to keep the work on track.
5. Do you offer a written contract?
For a large project, a commercial plumbing contractor should expect to draw up a detailed written contract that outlines the exact work to be done, the timeline for the job and the expected price upon completion. A written contract protects you against shortcuts or delayed progress.
6. Do you offer a guarantee?
All commercial plumbing contractors should provide some degree of guaranteed workmanship. If a mistake or problem arises after the job has been completed, a reputable plumber will return to fix any lingering issues.
7. Do you have any references?
Generally speaking, an experienced commercial plumbing contractor is more reliable than someone new to the field, but either way you should request to see a list of references. Don’t just stop at the list; call them and find out the quality of the work for the cost.
Remember: when you hiring a commercial plumbing contractor, you become the client. A respectable contractor will provide you with clear answers to all of your questions. Don’t commit until you are satisfied or you run the risk of finding yourself in deep water.