No matter where you are in your home, inside or out, when you have something to dispose of, one of the first gut reactions is to send it down the drain.

What we put down the drain inside and outside our homes all take their toll on our environment. Studies show that nearly half of all above ground water sources are contaminated by human activity. What are the biggest polluters? What should you do instead?

What You Should Never Put Down The Drain

1. Grease

You’re cooking a meal. The grease accumulates. What to do? Send it down the drain, right? Stop! Grease not only backs up your drains, it can also clog the entire system within your neighborhood. If you’ve ever put grease in a jar and left it sit, you know what happens. It hardens and sticks to its surrounding area. The same happens to your pipes. As it moves through your pipes, it slowly gets thicker and harder, attaching itself to the inside of your pipes. That may occur in yours, or it may make it out into the neighborhood. Either way, the eventual impact to your system can be devastating. Find an old jar or coffee can and store grease in there instead.

2. Motor Oil

You’re still one of the ones who likes getting dirty in your garage. An oil change? Why bring it in when you can do it yourself. Yet the problem lies in what to do with it after you’ve changed it. Whatever you do, don’t pour used motor oil into the storm drain. Storm drains head directly into local waterways, and just one gallon of motor oil can contaminate a million gallons of water. If you use a professional oil changing business, they recycle their used motor oil. If you do it yourself, find a place that will take it back and recycle. It.

3. Pet Waste

Heading out for a walk sounds like the perfect thing to do on a warm spring day. If you have a dog, bring him along. He’ll always enjoy the smells and the exercise. No matter how far you go, invariably he’ll give you an opportunity or two to lean over and pick up his poop. Never leave it behind as pet waste is considered raw sewage because it contains parasites and harmful microorganisms that can easily be transmitted to humans. When it rains, these parasites and bacteria can be washed into nearby storm drains, and ultimately into our water supply. Better to pick it up and put it in a trashcan instead.

4. Prescriptions

The old adage from years ago was to take old and outdated prescriptions and flush them away. Now we know the harm that can do. These compounds have been known to cause disturbing changes to fish and other aquatic life in rivers and streams. And in some cases long term exposure runs full circle and ends up back in our own drinking water, impacting our overall health as well. Instead, return your old medicines to pharmacies that follow proper guidelines for recycling and disposing of your medications.

5. Fertilizers and Pesticides

We all want a green, lush lawn. And those pesky little ants; a few squirts and they will never return. Its easy to solve our problems easily with whatever happens to be on sale at the store; but is it the safest thing? Probably not. When we use too much fertilizer on our laws, the excess gets picked up and drains off into our storm drains. As the nutrients build, they cause algae to bloom and begin absorbing the oxygen in the water supply. That literally chokes the life from the water creatures that help improve our water supply. To avoid that, choose only the chemicals you truly need, and apply selectively when needed.

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 your drain fails to work as it is intended, the first thing you reach for is probably the plunger. If that doesn’t work, you may consider chemical drain cleaners, but any professional will tell you that these chemicals can do more damage than good.

The best thing to do when your drain is clogged is to call a plumber. A plumber uses specific techniques and tools to unclog your drain without causing damage and in a manner that is safe for both him and you … and for the environment.How A Plumber Unclogs Your Drain

Drain snake – one of the first things your plumber will try is a drain snake. This type of tool is basically a corkscrew on a flexible line. It is normally made of hard metal. The plumber will push the snake down your drain until he reaches the clog. Then, he can manually turn the snake to push through the clog or, if it is powered by electricity, he can turn it on and let it work its magic. A drain snake can eliminate the most stubborn clogs and even push through tree roots and other hard obstructions.

Hydro-jet – this type of tool utilizes pressurized water to blast through the clog. The hydro-jet uses hot water at a very high pressure to force the clog on down the drain, to wash away greasy clogs, and to thoroughly clean your pipes. When your plumber uses this type of tool, you can expect the clog to be eliminated – and it may never come back after the deep cleaning provided by the pressurized water.

When your drain is clogged and a plunger just won’t work, don’t reach for the drain cleaner. Your plumber would never use harsh chemicals to remove a clog. Instead, let the pros use the best tools and techniques to eliminate your clog and get your drain flowing again.

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

Watching the water in your kitchen or bathroom sink refuse to swirl down the drain is sure to give you feelings of frustration. A clogged drain can be such a bother!

When your sink does not drain, it will not take long for the water standing in the basin to become stagnant. Your first line of defense is most likely a plunger. If, after several minutes of intense plunging, the clog remains stubborn, you may be tempted to invest in drain cleaners.

Clogged Drain? Don’t Mix Your Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are designed to eat through minor clogs in drains, allowing the water to flow freely again. While most professional plumbers do advise against using these cleaners – not only do they eat away at the clog, they can also eat away at your pipes – the average homeowner is bound to use a drain cleaner at some point.

So, if you find yourself standing in front of the drain cleaners at your local hardware store, keep one thing in mind – do NOT mix your drain cleaners!

Drain cleaners are not all the same. The chemicals and compounds used to create different drain cleaners means that they are not always compatible to mix. For instance, some drain cleaners use bleaches, while others use acids – both bleaches and acids will chew away at a clog, but if you mix different types of cleaners, you can get a severely toxic reaction. For example:

  • Mixing an acid-based cleaner with a base cleaner could result in hot water coming up out of the drain – scalding hot water that could burn you.
  • Mixing an acid-based cleaner with a bleach-based cleaner can have even more toxic results – chlorine gas.

Chlorine gas can be quite irritating to the skin, lungs and eyes. In large amounts, it can be deadly. Chlorine gas was even used during WWI as a chemical weapon!

To avoid the dangers of accidentally mixing drain cleaners, your best bet is to not use the cleaners at all and call a plumber for help. However, if you are compelled to give drain cleaners a try, make sure to never mix different kinds of 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

While wet wipes have been around for ages, they are becoming a big trend in our American bathroom culture. Their convenient, comfortable, and are increasingly winding up in shopping carts instead of traditional toilet paper.

Wet wipes are marketed well. They’re flushable, so why not use them instead?

What’s Blocking Your Plumbing? Wet Wipes

While wet wipes truly may be flushable – one or two will easily go down the drain every time – its not the originating area that is the problem.

Traditional toilet paper is designed from a strong, paper substance that begins to disintegrate immediately upon getting wet. As it moves throughout the pipes, it breaks down into smaller pieces, making it easy to escape your home’s plumbing and continue on its journey.

Wet wipes are made from a much stronger, cloth like substance. When they hit water, they don’t break down immediately. Instead, they move into your pipes and continue their journey as whole pieces of cloth. If your pipes are in prime condition, they may be able to continue on their journey without a problem. But if your pipes are older, have tree roots or spidering from other landscaping issues, or blockage in any way, these “flushable” wipes get caught and begin causing problems.

Traditional toilet paper typically dissolves in 24 hours or less. Wet wipes may take weeks, even months to dissolve. And therein lies the problem.

Even when a wet wipe makes it past your home sewer system, it sill may cause problems down the road. As it moves into your local sewage treatment plant, it can clog up lines and pipes, especially if large quantities hit at similar times. While the problem may be “out of site, out of mind” for you, ultimately we all pay when large problems must be fixed at the municipal level – it comes back to us in the price of our water bill.

Think before you flush. It really does impact all of us.

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 you have a simple plumbing problem, such as a clogged drain, your first plan of action might involve using a chemical drain cleaner.

If that does not work, you may have to call in a plumber for professional help.

Why Your Plumber Doesn’t Use Chemical Drain CleanersOne thing you are bound to notice about your plumber is that he does not use chemical drain cleaners to remove the clog. Have you ever wondered why your plumber does not use these types of cleaners? There are several reason why:

  • Chemical drain cleaners can be quite damaging to your plumbing pipes. Sure, they might dissolve the food and gunk causing the clog, but those same harsh chemicals are eating away at your pipes as they eat away at the clog! This can lead to severe damage that can cost you more money in the long run.
  • Chemical drain cleaners are hazardous to your health and the health of the environment. Those harsh chemicals have to go somewhere when they go down your drain – they do not just dissipate into the air! These chemicals also have harsh fumes that can be damaging to your physical health.
  • Chemical drain cleaners are simply not that effective. They might work on a small, simple clog, but anything tougher is likely to require professional attention. Plumbers know the best way to remove clogs without damaging your pipes.

Your plumber has probably told you to avoid using drain cleaners – and you may think that it is because he wants your money instead. The truth is that your plumber is actually trying to save you money. If your pipes become damaged from chemical drain cleaners, you will be on the hook for a plumbing overhaul, which can be quite costly. You can avoid the hassle and the expense by calling in the pros for your clogged pipes.

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

Septic Tanks and Garbage Grinders

Garbage grinders, also known as garbage disposals, can be an excellent tool in the kitchen.  Gone are the days of using a messy sink trap, and having to get your hands dirty and nasty emptying it.  With a garbage grinder, you can safely wash minor food particles down the drain.

But how does this affect everything “downstream”?  For homeowners with a municipal water supply, the excess food sludge simply washes along the pipelines with the rest of the wastewater.  For homeowners with a septic tank, garbage grinders can cause a bit more concern.  After all, you already watch what you flush down drains and now you are suggesting adding more non-water materials to the mix.

The addition of a garbage grinder can affect a septic system, but with proper maintenance, the addition will not cause any harm.  While the actual impact varies from home to home, generic impact statements can help the homeowner plan for changes.  Experts say the addition of a garbage grinder is the equivalent to adding one bedroom to the home in terms of additional solid waste.  As long as homeowners avoid using the system as a means of disposing of household oil and grease, the greatest impact should be the additional waste. Read more

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

Pros and Cons of Chemical Drain Cleaners

When your kitchen sink or bathtub does not want to drain properly, it can be quite a frustrating experience. A clogged drain can quickly go from a small hassle to a huge problem, especially if it is not resolved right away.

For many people, the first sign of a clogged drain means a trip to the store for a chemical drain cleaner. Before you decide to pour chemicals down your drain, examine the pros and cons of these kinds of cleaners.

Pros

There are three major pros for the use of chemical drain cleaners: price, ease of use, and speed of results. Chemical drain cleaners are easy enough for the average person to use – just read the directions and pour it down the drain. They also come at an affordable price tag when compared to hiring a plumber. Finally, they usually offer almost instantaneous results. After just a few minutes, clogs deteriorate and the drain is clear. Read more

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

It has happened to everyone at some point – you are taking a nice, refreshing shower when you notice that the water isn’t draining. Perhaps you pull the plug on the tub, only to see the water slowing, rather than swirling quickly down the drain. Or maybe you are washing dishes and see that the water is standing in the sink.

When a drain is plugged or partially plugged, it can be a headache. The first thing you have to decide is if you can handle the drain cleaning on your own or if you need professional help.

If you think you can tackle your slow or clogged drain on your own, you can try a number of solutions.

First, you can reach for drain cleaner. There are various drain cleaners on the market, each one designed to eat away at the clog until it pushes through. Follow the directions with care because these corrosive cleaners can be harmful to your skin, eyes and lungs.
Read more

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

Drain cleaner is a very effective tool when used properly, but unfortunately, it can be very harmful for humans.  If you ever suspect that a friend or loved one is suffering from drain cleaner poisoning, it is imperative you act right away.

The first thing you should know about drain cleaner poisoning, is the symptoms.  You can’t “diagnose” poisoning like this unless the person is showing some or all of these symptoms:

  • Sever abdominal pain
  • Throat swelling and difficulty breathing
  • Collapse
  • Mouth or throat pain
  • Severe Tissue burns
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid drop in blood pressure

If your loved one is displaying these symptoms, the first thing you should do is call medical help.  You can either call local emergency (911) or you can contact the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).  The NPCC number will link you to the nearest, local poison control center. Read more

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

You are probably aware of the large items that should never find their way into your pipes – but there are many everyday items that you may never give a second thought to throwing down your drain. What you may not know is that these items can cause havoc in your pipes, eventually leading to a major backup and expensive plumbing bills.

Garbage Disposal

You might think your garbage disposal is meant for all garbage, but it is not! Your garbage disposal should never see several items.

Pasta – You might think that pasta is harmless; after all it is soft and can grind right up. Unfortunately that is not true; rather than becoming ground up, it expands in the water, just like it does in your stomach. What this leads to is a clogged drain. Read more

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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