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 That means a plumber that uses old or outdated fixtures or fittings will be performing illegal work in your home.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.

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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’ve decided to do a few home improvement projects this year. As a part of replacing the old with the new, undoubtedly you’ll have a few things in need of disposal. The easiest way and often the most common way to get rid of it is to place it in your trash can and have it hauled to the dump with the weekly pick up service. But as we learn more, that isn’t always the safest thing to do for our environment.

Mercury can be found in many consumer and commercial products. When a mercury product breaks, the exposed mercury can evaporate and become invisible, odorless toxic vapor. And while most of us think of very few things we have in our homes that contain mercury – thermometers and barometers for instance – very few of us know the full extent of how many things in our lives contain mercury. Here are a few things to take into account when you’re replacing them, and proper disposal methods to reduce the overall impact.

 

disposing of old plumbing parts Disposing Of Old Plumbing Parts

 

Electric Appliances

In years past, washing machines, chest freezers, space heaters and clothes dryers were made with a mercury tilt switch. Mercury tilt switches were built into the lids of washing machines and chest heaters, functioning as on-off switches for lights and other functions. Tilt switches were built inside space heaters to be a shut off switch in case the space heater tipped over. While appliances today are made without mercury tilt switches, if you are trying to dispose of an older model, it is something to keep in mind.

Gas Appliances

Mercury containing thermostat probes were placed in older gas appliances that have pilot lights, such as ovens, water heaters and furnaces. They were sometimes placed as part of the safety valve that prevented gas flow if the pilot light was not lit.

Gas Flow or Gas Pressure Regulators

In homes built before 1961, they often had mercury regulators attached to the gas meters. While the devices do not create spill risks while in service, they do run a risk during the removal and disposal process.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Some heating and cooling units contain mercury switches within the thermostat for climate control devices and switches that start and shut off the systems.

Plumbing

In your home’s plumbing, mercury can reside for many years in sewer pipes, sink traps and sump pumps. Mercury can enter pipes in a variety of ways, including if items were ever broken, discarded or spilled into the plumbing system. Mercury in plumbing can settle at the low points of the system, such as the sump pump or sink trap, and remain there indefinitely.

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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 pour yourself a refreshing glass of water, have you ever wondered what makes the water safe to drink? We often focus in on the quality of our water supply, but there is something else that can make a difference. Your plumbing pipes.

Throughout time, we’ve used a variety of ways to transport water from source to our homes. We’ve done so using a variety of methods, some safe, some not so much.

plumbing pipes and drinking water Plumbing Pipes and Drinking Water

In today’s world, we rely on a variety of materials for the different types of water we use within our homes and our communities.

PVC – PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It is the most commonly used pipe for irrigation, drainage, and in pool and spa systems. PVC is often white but you can also find it in a variety of other colors, which in many cases will determine what it is used for. For example, purple pipe with black writing is used for reclaimed water. It also comes in a variety of thicknesses, called schedules, with 40 being the most common for water distribution. PVC pipes should clearly be marked when used for potable or non-potable water supplies.

CPVC – CPVC stands for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. Depending on the thickness, this type of pipe can easily withstand temperatures up to 180 degrees, meaning it can be used for the hot and cold water supplies within your home or building.

PEX – PEX stands for cross linked polyethylene. It is commonly used for hot and cold water in homes. It is now widely used because of its competitive pricing, ease of use, and its flexibility in that it comes in long rolls of piping easier to use in new builds and remodels.

Copper Pipe – Once used commonly, copper piping is losing its popularity because of copper prices. Above ground, copper pipe is used for both hot and cold water distribution as well as being used regularly in HVAC systems for refrigerant lines. Copper can be affected by some soils, and should be sleeved if used underground.

Galvanized Pipe – Galvanized pipe is a zinc coated steel or iron pipe. The galvanized coating keeps the water from corroding the pipe. Because of the amount of work it takes to cut, thread and install galvanized pipe, it isn’t used often in homes or buildings anymore. It is still considered a safe transport method for drinking water, and you will still see it for larger commercial operations or if your home was built before 1970.

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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

Have you decided that for now, you’ll stay in your current home? You love the neighborhood and its close to everything you need.

Yet if you’re going to stay, a few things need to be updated. And one of the easiest places to start is in the bathroom. It won’t be a huge inconvenience, and you can have anything you want in place in a few days, not months like some of the other big projects around the house.

how a plumber can help you remodel your bathroom How A Plumber Can Help You Remodel Your Bathroom

Remodeling the bathroom can be fairly easy. Yet if you want to take advantage of the latest technology, and create a modern day experience in your bathroom, talk with your plumber first.

Like every remodeling project, it starts with a strategy. Sure, you could just paint and add a new fixture or two. But if you took it to the next level and installed energy savings features, you could actually add value to your home too. An important factor if you are thinking of selling when the market improves and you find the right house.

So what can a plumber share with you?

They can start with an energy audit and tell you how to improve the efficiency of both your new bathroom, and of your entire home. How long do you spend warming up your shower before you jump in? Did you know there are easy ways to fix it, and make your shower a warm experience immediately? Your plumber knows how, and could easily add a recirculating system that would provide instant hot water everywhere.

Then when you add it to a new multi-sprayer, modern shower experience, you won’t waste hundreds gallons of water waiting for warmth; you can jump right in and experience it all yourself.

Or how about a steam shower? Its one of the newest luxury items that master retreats all over the US are upgrading to. While it can be retrofitted into your existing shower location, it will take a little extra to make sure its installed efficiently. And that’s where your plumber can help.

Then have you ever considered moving from a low flow toilet to a dual flush? Water is our most precious resource, and a plumber can show you how this one feature can help you save even more water over time. How would that compare to another house if a potential buyer were finalizing their choice? Yes, these features could give you the edge.

For many people looking at a bathroom remodel, they may decide to treat it as a DIY project. Yet how did your last DIY project go? Did it last for months instead of days? Can you really be without a functioning bathroom for months? When hiring a plumber, he will get it done the right way the first time.

And you can be enjoying your new bathroom right away, which is even better.

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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

Hot water is something that many of us take for granted in our kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. But what about the other rooms of your home?

For instance, what if you could have hot water in your garage? Well, this is possible if you get a hose bib installed to bring the hot water to your garage.

plumbing tip install a hose bib to bring hot water to your garage Plumbing Tip: Install a Hose Bib to Bring Hot Water to Your Garage

Why would you want hot water in the garage?

The question really is: Why wouldn’t you want hot water in your garage? Think of all that you could do in the way of home projects! You will always have hot water ready for mixing materials or rinsing paint brushes. If you are an artist, hot water would be great in the garage. You could have your own art studio with water for painting, clay, and other projects.

Additionally, you can have hot water within reach for many outdoor activities. You can wash the car, fill a hot tub, or wash your dog! You can adjust the temperature to fit your use.

How do you get hot water into the garage?

Hot water doesn’t magically appear without the proper equipment. You need a hose bib that can deliver the hot and warm water to the outside of your house. This is, of course, assuming that you already have a hot water supply line installed.

A plumber can install the hose bib for the best professional results. It is recommended that you get a freeze-proof faucet (otherwise known as a frost-proof bib or hose). A standard hose faucet will freeze because the supply pipe will be connected to the faucet outside the heated house, which exposes the water to freezing temperatures.

Keep in mind the costs of a new hose bib, as well as the fact that you will be using more hot water, which usually means a higher bill.

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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

Your home’s drinking water is a very important factor in the health of you and your family. If your home was built before 1986, there is a possibility that the plumbing pipes could consist of lead materials. If this the case, your home’s drinking water could very well be affected.

how is your plumbing affecting your drinking water How Is Your Plumbing Affecting Your Drinking Water?

Health effects of lead plumbing

Lead plumbing can cause many health effects, and some are very serious. Infants and children under six years of age can have slight deficits in their attention span and learning capabilities as well as have delayed mental and physical development. Adults who are exposed to lead plumbing for a prolonged amount of time can experience kidney issues or high blood pressure.

Homes that have lead pipes

If you are buying a home, you should know that sellers are usually not required to bring the plumbing up to code. This means that you must be extremely diligent about buying older homes. A home inspection in this case is essential to avoid health hazards of contaminated drinking water.

Mitigating plumbing

Your well can be tested to see if the external water source has safe inorganic levels. The water in your household faucets can also be tested to determine whether or not interior household plumbing is a source of contamination.

Inorganic contaminants that may be in your home’s drinking water

Besides lead, other contaminants can be present in your home’s drinking water depending on what type of metal piping your home has. If it has copper pipes, copper or lead can contaminate the water, causing liver or kidney damage. If the pipes are galvanized, you risk exposure to cadmium from natural deposits, which can damage kidneys. Other sources of other contaminants include pollution from industry or natural soils, or even backflow through a cross connection.

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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

Remodeling the bathroom is a great way to add value to your home. It is also a great way to create the ideal ambiance you want in your bathroom.

plumbing tips for redoing your bathroom fixtures Plumbing Tips For Redoing Your Bathroom FixturesYour bathroom needs to be a place where you can relax in the solace of a long soak after a hard day at work. It should be a place that is bright and clean – no one wants to use a bathroom that is dark and dirty. When redoing your bathroom, you may not give much thought to the plumbing and fixtures; however, these are crucial elements in your bathroom, and you must put some thought into your choices.

The first choice you have to make before the plumbing can even be finished is choosing a sink. The type of sink you choose will determine the path of the plumbing, so this is not a decision you can put off until the end. There are a variety of sink styles available, including drop-in sinks, vessel sinks, and freestanding pedestal sinks. Choose the sink that best fits the design theme of your bathroom.

When it comes to the faucet, keep the style of the sink and bathroom in mind. Again, there are a wide range of faucet styles available. The faucet is a focal point of the bathroom, so choose one that is worthy of its stature. Faucets come in various prices, so the most attractive one may cost you more – but it will be worth it when it completes the overall look and feel of your bathroom.

Finally, the type of finish that you choose for the faucet will depend on your personal style preference, as well as the design theme of the bathroom. Choose a finish that complements the design theme, but also one that is going to allow for easy cleaning. Taking your time when choosing the fixtures for your new bathroom will ensure that it is the vision of beauty you have in your mind.

Think the only place to design your dream bathroom is the DIY home stores? Think again. Start by working with a plumber and he can make recommendations to help you select the perfect fixtures at the best price available.

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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

Owning a home has its positives and negatives. When everything is running smoothly, its nice to sit back and enjoy the place we call home. But when emergencies strike, it can through our entire world into a tizzy.

And with household emergencies, they usually strike at the most inopportune time. Like when you’re expecting 10 people as guests for a dinner party. Or you have a large presentation at work in a half hour.

3 signs its time to replace your toilet 3 Signs Its Time To Replace Your Toilet

When your toilet clogs and/or overflows, the resulting mess can take hours to clean. There is no putting it off, shutting the door, and dealing with it in a day or two. You either have to dedicate the time at the moment, or call in a plumbing expert as soon as possible.

Like other appliances throughout your home, there are telltale signs you may be facing a toilet emergency in the near future.

Continuous Clogging

Clogging is usually caused by one of two things. In some cases, objects get flushed down the toilet that aren’t meant to go down. They can either stick right at the base of the toilet, or in some cases make it further down the pipes. In other cases, a build up of minerals over time can cause a blockage, resulting in an obstruction that takes more than a standard flush to eliminate. In either case, the more plunging and snaking you need, the bigger the indication that some of the parts of your toilet need replacing.

Cracks and Leaks

Like everything, toilets will only last so long. If you have an older toilet, water can seep in and cause tiny cracks, which ultimately cause small leaks in and around your toilet bowl. While you may not notice the first crack, gradual leaks turn into big problems over time. When a crack begins to show signs in the form of water in places it shouldn’t be, its time to replace the toilet before it leads to bigger problems.

Constant Repairs

Do you feel like your weekends are spent fixing the toilet? When the stopper in the tank wears out, followed by a faulty toilet handle, at some point its time to question the overall mechanics of your current toilet, and whether it would be better to replace the whole unit.

Toilets today offer energy efficiency and water savings you’ll never find in the older models. Give us a call today for all your plumbing needs.

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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 haven’t heard of waterless urinals, they are becoming quite popular, especially with businesses. Waterless urinals are a great alternative to regular urinals because they are cheaper and greener. And nowadays, more businesses and buildings than ever before are looking to save money and be more environmentally friendly.

how much water can waterless urinals really save you How Much Water Can Waterless Urinals Really Save You?

So how much water can waterless urinals save? It turns out, quite a lot! First, let’s take a look at how they work:
How do waterless urinals work?

Typically, waterless urinal bodies are constructed of vitreous china or porcelain, similar to standard flush urinals. Most waterless units use a liquid sealer and rely on a density differential between the sealant and the liquid waste. The sealant is less dense than water or urine, which pass through the sealant. The sealant creates a barrier between the liquid waste and the urinal bowl.

How much water can waterless urinals save?

According to manufacturers, a waterless urinal that replaces a standard one-gallon per flush urinal can save up to 40,000 gallons of water per year. Exactly how much water you will save really depends on what type of urinal you’re replacing.

Types of waterless urinals

There are two different types of liquid-seal urinals. One type is the cartridge design, which uses various types of disposable cartridge inserts that fit into the custom-designed urinal base. The cartridges collect sediment and direct the flow of liquid waste to the drain. They also work to block odors. The integrated-trap design uses a liquid sealant instead of a cartridge. It separates the waste from the urinal bowl through a fixed basin trap or a trap built into the urinal body.

There is another kind of waterless urinal that uses a flexible silicone diaphragm instead of a liquid seal. The diaphragm lets liquid waste pass through, and then it seals in order to stop sewer gases from expelling into the room.

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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

October is National Toilet Tank Repair Month, so now is the time to make sure your toilet is in perfect working condition.

As a homeowner, you know how costly a water leak can be. If you have a leaky faucet, you know you have a problem, and you can quickly address it. The toilet, on the other hand, can be a bit sneakier when it comes to detecting leaks.

celebrating national toilet tank repair month Celebrating National Toilet Tank Repair MonthYour toilet could be leaking right now, and you may not even realize it. You may see an increase in your monthly water bill, but you may not know where the problem lies because you cannot see or hear any leaks.

The source of your rising water bill could be your toilet. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to determine if your toilet is leaking. Of course, if there is water dripping around the valve leading into your toilet or out of the tank onto the floor, it is easy to see where the leak is.

If the problem is a leaky flapper inside your toilet tank, it can be harder to detect. All you need to do is add a few drops of dark food coloring to your tank. If the dye appears in the bowl of your toilet, you need a new flapper.

In celebration of National Toilet Tank Repair Month, here are a few things you should remember when it comes to maintaining your toilet.

  • If you notice that the water constantly flows into your bowl after flushing, try adjusting the ball/chain float in the tank.
  • If you have to jiggle the handle to stop the water from running after flushing, you may need a new handle.
  • In general, every two years, replace the fill valve and the flapper to keep your toilet in good condition and help prevent any running water or leaks.
  • Consider installing a low-flow toilet that requires less water per flush to help preserve water and protect the environment.
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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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