I was at a dinner party recently, and I witnessed the owner of the house stuffing the remaining dinner down the drain, packing it in as fast as it disappeared. The garbage disposal was working on overtime, trying to keep up with the mess. And while it did a good job and sent everything down the drain, I can’t help but wonder when the disaster will happen. Because it will. At some point in the very near future, especially if she does this on a regular basis, she will have one very blocked drain on her hands, followed by one very messy kitchen as pipes break and water overflows everywhere.

Drains are meant to be a modern day convenience. They are meant to provide us with an easier lifestyle. They aren’t meant to take everything we no longer want and send it on its way.

your drain can only take so much abuse Your Drain Can Only Take So Much Abuse

Do you see yourself in this picture? Have you overstuffed on occasion?

There may be other things as well.

The Faster-Than-Fast Person

I get a lot of calls from this type of person. These are the people that know they have a problem and will do anything to solve their problems … fast. When the drain blocks up, they grab a bottle of chemicals and being pouring away. After all, the bottle says quick solution. Yet its anything but quick. These chemicals say they will do to trick, yet rarely do. Chemicals attempt to solve the problem by eating through the problem. But in many cases, the problem is simply too big. And of course the chemicals don’t know the difference between a “problem” and your pipes, so it begins eating through everything. In many cases we’ll not only have to clear the drain from the clog, we’ll also have to fix or even replace some of the pipes because they’ve been eaten through.

The Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind Person

You’re standing in the bathroom next to the toilet. You have an object you no longer want, why not flush it away? It sounds good in theory. And if you ask any two year old, it’s a fun game that can peak interest. Yet it rarely works over time. That object has a long way to travel, and there are many things that can get in its way. Tree roots. Existing clogs. If things don’t break down quickly, they have the potential of building up as more and more is added to it. Those wads of paper towel, “flushable” wipes, toys and more won’t disappear just because you flush them away. They will soon add up to a much bigger problem overall.

The Ignore It Person

This last kind of person is the most common person we see on our daily calls. This is the person who ignores all signs of a problem as they present themselves in different ways. They fail to notice all the times they add a drain cleaner to the kitchen sink, thinking its just a common problem. They fail to notice the water building up around the toilet. They fail to notice the squishy carpeting in the basement by the water heater. They assume that the problem will go away. Unfortunately, it never does. And what could have been a small issue with minor repairs quickly escalates and turns into a major problem.

Do you see yourself in any of these? If so, give us a call today. Its much easier fixing a small problem now rather than deal with the consequences of a bigger problem later.

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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

Happy Birthday to you.

Have you ever learned the birthday song as a way to get your hands clean? That’s one of the tricks that is now being taught to children all over, giving them the skills they need to have clean hands and wash away harmful bacteria. Lather up and scrub your hands while you sing happy birthday, and you will have done your part to prevent the spread of germs.

That keeps you scrubbing, but what temperature water should you be scrubbing in?

should you use hot water for handwashing Should You Use Hot Water For Handwashing?

Common sense says hot water. But as humans, we can’t take water at a hot enough temperature to truly do any good. You see, major medical equipment is cleaned at a boiling temperature in order for sterilization. But if you washed your hands in water hot enough for sterilization, well, you probably wouldn’t be able to feel your hands. They would be red and blistered and would make you take an emergency trip to the ER.

So the next best thing to hot water is warm water, right? Think again.

Warm water actually makes you more vulnerable to germs and bacteria. It softens your hands and allows the germs to settle in rather than wash away.

Cold water is the solution. Cold water allows you both to save energy from not having to heat the water, and it allows the soap and the scrubbing to do their jobs more effectively.

With every handwashing you do, by letting the water run for seconds, even minutes to heat up, you are sending valuable resources down the drain. And it makes you more vulnerable to germs and bacteria. Small actions make big differences. So why not change your handwashing routine today.

sidebar coupons 250 Should You Use Hot Water For Handwashing?

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

Every appliance in your home is an investment in keeping your home running smooth and maintenance free. It makes life easier! And if you take care of each major appliance, they can last even longer than usual.

Not only is your washer an essential household appliance, its also one of the major contributors to water usage in your home. Investing in an energy efficient washing machine can help you save money from the beginning. There are also a few ways to make sure you keep you investment in good working order with these tips.

are you using your washing machine the right way Are You Using Your Washing Machine The Right Way?

Metal Can Damage

Those big, clunky zippers on sweaters, jackets and pants can be dangerous in your washing machine. They can snag delicate clothes, and quickly get caught in the drum of your washer, or even crack glass on front loading machines. Coins can act in a similar manner. To avoid problems, make sure you check all pockets before washing, and zip up zippers to their full position before adding a load of laundry to your machine.

Cold Water

One of the best ways to save energy is to wash with cold water. And by doing so, you also reduce shrinkage and fading in your natural fiber clothing. Yet cold water doesn’t keep your machine operating in top condition. A washing machine needs an occasional hot water cycle to remove mineral deposits and kill bacteria that may be sitting around. If you don’t wash with hot water on occasion, at least once a month run a hot water cycle with a cup of vinegar to give it a solid cleaning.

Too Much Detergent

Soap is good; too much soap isn’t. If you wash with too much detergent, a filmy residue will be left in your clothes, and it may cause damage to the control panel in your washing machine. Different types of detergents require different amounts of soap. Make sure you measure carefully and only use the recommended amount of detergent.

Too Much Laundry

While washing with small loads of laundry will waste energy and water, the opposite isn’t a good thing either. Washing with full loads is a good thing; over-stuffing can do more damage than good. It can put excessive wear on the suspension and the bearings, and actually prevent your clothes from being cleaned. Also remember that a full load of jeans is different from a full load of blouses. Check with manufacturers guidelines to load accurately.

Electricity Can Damage

Any appliance run by electricity can be damaged by a lightening strike or a severe power surge. Make sure your washing machine is grounded and is protected by installing a surge protector.

sidebar coupons 250 Are You Using Your Washing Machine The Right Way?

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

Occasionally, somewhere across America, a town suddenly is issued a warning not to drink or use the water supply in their homes. After a test, the water quality was deemed too bad for human consumption, and until the situation is resolved, only bottled water should be used.

Then just as magically, everything returns to normal, crisis averted.

Yet we all know that its only a momentary solution to a bigger problem. And it all stems from pollution in our water supply.

how water quality impacts your home and your life How Water Quality Impacts Your Home and Your Life

The main source of freshwater pollution is attributed to untreated waste, industrial dumping and runoff from agricultural fields. As a nation becomes more industrial and urbanized, the more problems we face in keeping up with the demands.

As water pollution takes hold, it quickly impacts aquatic life. Fish, birds, and many other animals die off and wash up on beaches. Pollutants such as lead and cadmium are eaten by tiny animals, which are consumed by fish and shellfish, which ultimately end up in our food supply. The more pollutants, the more poison ingested by these animals, the more it comes back to hurt us as we consume it as well.

It also impacts our groundwater – the water we use every day in our homes and our businesses. Its contaminated by

Pesticides – runoff from farms, golf courses, parks and your own backyard

Sewage – left untreated, it impacts surface water and spreads disease

Nutrients – increased levels of nutrients in the water supply can cause eutrophication

Synthetic organics – increasingly showing up in the aquatic environment

Water borne problems and health hazards with our drinking water are human caused and human preventable. They are mainly attributed to lack of education and improper management of water resources. And in many cases, it all starts with you.

Be conscious of what you put on your lawn. While a green lawn may make your landscaping stand out in the neighborhood, it is also causing bigger problems in our community. Be conscious of the fertilizers and enrichers you put on your lawn and throughout your garden – only use safe chemicals that won’t harm the environment.

Be aware of where your food supply comes from. If it has a high lead content, what is it doing to your overall health? Be visible in your request for food free from contaminants.

And be vocal in your community. Change happens one person at a time. The more you are aware, the more you can share with those around you. And eventually we can have a society with access to clean, safe drinking water for all.

sidebar coupons 250 How Water Quality Impacts Your Home and Your Life

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

Is there a difference between the tap water and the bottled water you drink? In general terms, the two are comparable in terms of safety.

The FDA oversees bottled water, while the EPA regulates tap water. Both have similar safety standards in place, which means either resource provides quality drinking water.

The FDA requires bottled water producers protect all water sources from bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants; use quality control processes to ensure the chemical safety of the water; and sample and test the water supply on a regular basis.

tap water versus bottled water whats the difference Tap Water versus Bottled Water: What’s The Difference?

The EPA mandates that all water utilities provide annual quality reports to ensure consumer confidence. They must include information on contaminant levels and potential health effects. However, keep in mind that the EPA only regulates public water supplies; if you rely on a private well for your drinking water, frequent testing should be performed on your own.

Where the differences lie is in the source of where your water comes from. If you use tap water, it comes from a water source right in your own community. If you use bottled water, it comes from the source of the manufacturer.

Right now, about 55 percent of the bottled water in the United States comes from spring water, 45 percent comes from the municipal water supply. Yes, the bottled water you may be drinking may just be treated tap water.

Yet when you buy from a bottled water company, you are purchasing water taken from the community where the business is located. And in many cases, those communities are the ones with the greatest need. California is currently facing exceptional drought conditions; its also home to many of the top used bottled water companies that use both groundwater and municipal tap water sources.

While bottled water is convenient for families on the run, there are other choices. Start by investing in a reusable water bottle that allows you to fill up at home and take your own tap water on the run. This is a great way to reduce the 10 billion gallons of bottled water produced here every year, and help the drought ridden areas begin to recover their water supply in the coming years.

Then be conscious about where your water comes from. And what its used for. Water is our most precious resource. The more we think about our water supply today, the better we can make it tomorrow.

sidebar coupons 250 Tap Water versus Bottled Water: What’s The Difference?

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

Its August! Time for the last hurrah of summer, a time when kids head back to school … and celebration time as its National Water Quality Month.

In 2005, the United Nations declared 2005 to 2015 to be an International Decade for Action celebrating Water For Life. During this decade, it continues to emphasize the importance of water quality on everything we do and as it relates to sanitation, human rights, geography, urbanization and sustainability.

celebrating national water quality month 2 Celebrating National Water Quality Month

Eutrophication – the incidence of high nutrient concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen – is the most widespread water quality problem we face. Our water systems are carefully interlinked, and everything we do impacts other water projects down the line. When runoff from agriculture, forestry, construction and even our own personal homes and yards occurs, it has widespread effects not just on us personally, but on civilization throughout the world.

The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that 40 percent of the nations waterways suffer from water quality problems. They have detailed analysis on each watershed throughout the United States, which allows users to locate the watershed they live in and learn how polluted it is and what they can do to begin to protect it.

At a minimum, there are a few things you can do right now to begin protecting the water all around you.

  • Stop using antibacterial soaps and cleaning products
  • Stop flushing unwanted or out of date medications down the toilet or drain
  • Stop putting anything but water down storm drains
  • Fix car leaks immediately. Always place liners on driveways and garage floors to collect oil and other drippings, to prevent them from flowing into storm drains
  • Avoid using pesticides and chemical fertilizers on your lawn and landscaping
  • Choose only nontoxic household products
  • Pick up after pets and dispose of properly
sidebar coupons 250 Celebrating National Water Quality Month

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

The Colorado legislature has been busy this year. This past week, they passed a variety of new laws, one of them impacting the plumbing in your home.

A newly passed plumbing fixture law will make it illegal to sell faucets, showerheads and toilets that aren’t certified by the federal government as efficient “WaterSense” fixtures. This measure will not require homeowners to change existing plumbing; it merely prevents future sales and installation of items not meeting the WaterSense standards. It takes effect in September 2016.watersense labels logos Water Efficiency: New Colorado Law Will Impact Your Plumbing

What is WaterSense?

WaterSense is a program through the US Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering simple ways for people to use less water with water efficient products and services. They bring together a variety of people and interests to:

  • Promote the value of water efficiency
  • Provide consumers with an easy way to save water, both through information and easy labeling on products they bring into their homes every day
  • Encourage innovation in manufacturing
  • Reduce the stain on existing water resources and our infrastructure

water efficiency new colorado law will impact your plumbing Water Efficiency: New Colorado Law Will Impact Your Plumbing

When you are out shopping for new products for your home, you can begin by looking for the WaterSense label. All products with this label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance.

By upgrading to these more efficient WaterSense labeled products, we can save billions of gallons of water throughout the US every year. Even one simple change in your home – switching out your current faucets for WaterSense faucets can potentially save a household up to 11,000 gallons of water over the life of the faucet.

That’s a huge savings! And something we can all start working on today.

sidebar coupons 250 Water Efficiency: New Colorado Law Will Impact Your Plumbing

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

What would you do is you walked into your basement and 3 inches of water covered the floor?

What is you walked into your garage after a bitter cold night to find ice hanging from everything?

What if a pipe broke in your kitchen and water began spraying everywhere?

the importance of a plumbing plan The Importance Of A Plumbing Plan

Not something we like to consider or even think about. Yet its something that becomes reality for many people across Colorado every day.

Things happen. And when they do, its best to be prepared and have a plan in place so you know exactly what to do in any kind of emergency situation.

When you walk into any room in your home to find standing water, or a pipe breaks and begins spraying water rapidly throughout your room, your first line of action is to turn off the water at the source so you can better assess the situation.

Every home has a water main – the point of origination for water entering your home. Most of your appliances also have shutoff valves exclusively for the appliance itself. Do you know where these shutoff valves are? Does your family? If not, now is the time to have a family meeting and show everyone where they are and how to use them.

Water is the most damaging resource we have. If you leave it sit for any length of time, mildew, mold, and rot can occur very quickly. Once you discover a water problem, stopping the water flow is the first step, the second is to find the source. Is it a leak? Is it a broken pipe? Is it a broken appliance? For instance, 3 inches of water in your basement could be a sign that your tank water heater broke, releasing all of the store water into your room. Finding the source will allow you to contact your plumber and provide a specific explanation of what the problem is.

Once help is on the way, then begin to retrieve any personal property that may be effected in the process. Remove furniture, draperies, and any other loose items that may have been sitting on the floor. Move them to a safe location and begin the dryout process. If you have severe damage issues with any of your personal items, it may be wise to speak with a restoration expert to determine the best course of action for saving them.

Do you have a plumbing plan in place?

sidebar coupons 250 The Importance Of A Plumbing Plan

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

Every home has one. And chances are when you need one, you simple grab it and start to use it without really thinking much about it. I’m talking about the common household plunger. Whether the water in your sink simply won’t go down, or a flush of your toilet makes the water rise instead of head down the drain, the plunger is designed to make everything move in the right way.

But do you have the right plunger for the job? And do you know how to use the plunger in the correct manner for every situation?

how to use a plunger to unclog your toilet sink or tub How To Use A Plunger To Unclog Your Toilet, Sink or Tub

General Tips:

  • Start with the right plunger for the job. There are two types of plungers on the market today: the cup plunger and the flange plunger. The cup plunger – probably the most familiar – is the best choice for sinks, bathtubs and showers. The flange type provides an extended rubber lip that provides a better seal when working on toilets.
  • Make sure your plunger is in top shape. A plunger is something you buy once and leave in storage until you need it. Yet that sitting around time can be hard on it. Any tears, cracks or damage can take away from the proper shape, meaning the vacuum seal is reduced when in use. If you notice any cracks or tears, its time to replace.
  • Never use a plunger after pouring chemicals down the drain. Some of the harshest chemicals in our lives are in drain cleaning solutions. If you plunge after use, you risk pulling chemicals back up and splashing them not only around the surface, but also back on you, your skin and your clothing.
  • Too much water can cause a big mess and reduce the effectiveness. If your tub or sink has several inches of standing water, remove some of the water first to gain better access to the drain. It will also give you more leverage to plunge easier.
  • Make sure you have a tight seal. Make sure you have full contact with the sink, tub or toilet and cover the hole completely. This allows a full air stream to work on its targeted location.

Sink, Tub or Shower:

  • Use a standard cup plunger.
  • Cover up the overflow drain with a wet rag or cloth to give you more traction.
  • Seal the plunger cup completely over the drain opening.
  • Push up and down with forceful thrusts. Repeat for 15 to 20 seconds before checking flow.

Toilet:

  • Use the flange plunger.
  • If the bowl is full, remove water until it is half full. If it is empty, fill with water so it is half full.
  • Place the plunger in the bowl and completely cover the drain opening.
  • Push down with forceful thrusts to concentrate the pressure for 15 to 20 seconds before checking flow.
sidebar coupons 250 How To Use A Plunger To Unclog Your Toilet, Sink or Tub

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

What’s the one appliance in your kitchen that saves more time and makes your life easier than ever? The dishwasher. Simply load it up, turn it on, and it does all of the dirty work for you.

But when your dishwasher goes down, not only can it leave you cleaning up a mess of dishes, it can also leave you with a big mess of water to clean up too.

plumbing tips dishwasher care and maintenance Plumbing Tips: Dishwasher Care and Maintenance

Fortunately, dishwashers are one major appliance that keeps on working if you give it just a little TLC along the way. With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to get many years of worry-free performance.

Maintenance Tips

Dishwashers have two things that make them work: a built in water heater and a motor. In order for your dishwasher to work effectively throughout the years, it must be plugged into a grounded outlet or wired direct. The main socket must also be adequately rated to handle the large load required by most dishwashers. If your kitchen isn’t built to handle these two things, you are at risk of electrocution, fire or power outages. Be sure to use proper wiring and connection to ensure a long life for your dishwasher and safety for your family.

Be sure your dishwasher is level upon installation. An unlevel dishwasher has the potential to leak. And even a small leak can quickly add up to a lot of damage over time, including rot, mildew and mold.

While a dishwasher is a fairly simply appliance, it does have plastic seals along the door that create an air-tight vacuum while in operation. If these seals are damaged or simply wear out, you’ll begin to notice small leaks around your dishwasher after use. These seals should be replaced at the first sign of leaks.

Your dishwasher has a screen or filter located near the bottom. Its designed to catch large food particles or other debris. This needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent blockage. As the filter ages, it may begin to get small holes, and should be replaced to prevent harm to other parts of the dishwasher.

Over time, the holes in the sprayer arm can get clogged with minerals from the water, or from tiny food particles. Clean these small holes from time to time to ensure they stay in proper working order. You can clean them by removing the arm and soaking in vinegar, or simply clean with a pipe cleaner or tiny brush.

If you begin detecting an odor from your dishwasher, it’s the first sign of a clog somewhere in your kitchen drain. Start by cleaning the filter in your dishwasher. Then move to your backflow where the dishwasher and garbage disposal drains into the system. Clean as soon as possible, to avoid further problems.

sidebar coupons 250 Plumbing Tips: Dishwasher Care and Maintenance

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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