It’s a cold morning. The air in your bedroom has yet to be warmed. The floor is icy to the touch. Yet all you have to do is make it to the shower, and you can stand there soaking in the warmth.

Nothing feels better than a warm stream of water working its magic to warm you up for the day. That’s why in many cases, shower options are becoming more elaborate. You can find multi-head shower fixtures, rainfall showerheads, and much more at your local hardware store; everything to make your dream shower a reality.

But is a dream shower a good idea? Water conservation is a big deal; and according to recent headlines, baths could be more eco-friendly than a shower.

how to give your shower more power without wasting water How To Give Your Shower More Power Without Wasting Water

According to studies, the average eight minute shower will use around 17 gallons of water. The average bath uses around 21 gallons.

And of course, this is where variables come in to play. How full do you fill the tub? How large is the tub? Are you using a water wise showerhead? Are you taking a power shower?

But no matter what choices you make, there are ways to reduce your water usage while enjoying your shower too.

Start with a clean showerhead

As you use your showerhead over and over again, build up from mineral deposits in the water occur. Instead of using harsh chemicals to remove the deposits, use an eco-friendlier cleaner of white vinegar instead. If you remove the showerhead, you can submerge it in a bucket of white vinegar for a couple of hours until the mineral deposits can be rinsed away. Or if you choose not to remove the showerhead, fill a small plastic bag with white vinegar and pull up over the showerhead and secure with a rubber band, hair tie, or other fastener. Leave on overnight, then turn the water on and rinse away the remaining mineral deposits. Either way you’ll bring your showerhead back to new-like condition.

Look for low flow showerhead options

Just because you choose to save water doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your shower too. Next time you are at your local hardware store, head down the bath aisle and browse through your options. Because today’s manufacturers know people demand both high quality shower options that save water too, there are many different options to choose from. You can also talk with your local plumber, who can share ideas of manufacturers that aren’t in your common, neighborhood big box stores.

Multiple Showerheads doesn’t mean more water

Since 1992, federal regulations have required that showerheads deliver no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Some companies sidestepped the regulation by interpreting it to mean 2.5 gallons per showerhead, so the solution to more power was to have more streams. In 2010, these regulations were updated to say that a showerhead, no matter how many sprays, nozzles or openings it uses, cannot exceed 2.5 gallon per minute in total. So if you want to update your bathroom and a multi showerhead shower is on your top wish list, install it knowing you will still meet today’s water conservation limits.

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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

The arrival of winter and cold weather has the potential to invite a multitude of potential plumbing problems into the home as well. Frozen or cracked pipes, a frigid step into a morning shower, small leaks that quickly escalate into big problems, even sudden bursts which cause flooding throughout your home all can make a winter morning even more of a headache.

And while its easy to assume that if you didn’t have problems last year, you’ll be okay this year, it simply isn’t true. Things change, items wear out, and certain condition

s change over time. The only way to prepare for the oncoming winter season is to take the necessary precautions now.

how to keep your water flowing even when its cold How To Keep Your Water Flowing Even When Its Cold

Start on the outside

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to unattach your garden hoses and close off all shut off valves that lead to your outside spigots. Drain off any residual water from spigots or hoses, and blow out sprinkler lines to prevent rupture over the winter months.

Prevent clogged drains

When you’re in the house more, you tend to use your drains more. Make cleaning your drains a part of your routine cleaning process. A simple solution of 1 cup salt, 1 cup baking soda, and ¼ cup cream of tarter, followed by several cups of boiling water will keep your drains naturally clean.

Running water

You know that spare bathroom down in the basement you rarely go into? That’s the place most at risk in your home. On a regular basis throughout the winter, make sure you turn on the water supply and allow the water to run for a minute or two. This will keep things flowing and will prevent freezing, especially on those severe cold spells we receive in December or January.

Plan for Holiday cooking

If you are planning for holiday get togethers and an overabundance of family over the holidays, take extra steps along the way to care for your drains. Cooking grease and oils put a strain on drains, pipes and your garbage disposal. Its one of the biggest factors in build ups, and can quickly begin collecting other matter to cause significant problems. Refrain from putting oils down the drain at all times, and avoid hard to grind or stringy substances as well. Always run cold water for at least 15 seconds before and after each use. Be sure to turn on the disposal before you send food down the drain to allow more power behind the process.

Pipe insulation

Even if you’ve never insulated your pipes before, its never too late to start. Use foam padding sleeves or special insulating tape to guard both hot and cold water pipes against freezing temperatures. If a pipe is exposed and vulnerable to cold temperatures, insulate it for added protection.

If your pipes freeze, burst or crack this winter, start by turning off the water at the main shut off valve. Turn faucets on to relieve pressure. Then use a blow dryer or space heater to begin thawing pipes. Call in Quality 1st Plumbing to help fix any damage, and get you back on track quickly.

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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’ve ever lifted the lid on the tank of your toilet, you’ve most likely seen the toilet float. The toilet float is the device that allows the water to fill the tank without overflowing. Also called the ballcock or float valve, they’ve changed in design over the years from a variety of materials.

Older style floats consist of a plastic ball attached to a metal rod. And if you go back further, you’ll find floats made of brass, copper or even glass. If you have an older home with old toilets, you may find a vintage float hand blown from glass; they can be quite valuable to collectors.

the basics of toilet tank floats The Basics Of Toilet Tank Floats

The float is often ball shaped, hence the reason it was originally termed ballcock. The valve is connected to the incoming water supply, with the intake opened and closed by a lever with the float attached to it. When the water level rises, the float rises with it. Once it rises to its pre-set level, the mechanism forces the lever to close the valve and shut off the water flow.

Too much water in your tank will cause it to run and waste water. Too little water in your tank will cause flushing issues, which can lead to possible clogs.

The first sign of trouble usually starts with the sound of running water in your tank. And when you hear it, the first place to start is with the tank float.

The first step is to determine what type of tank float you have.

Older toilets will have a large plastic or brass ball connected to a horizontal rod. The rod is connected to the toilet fill valve. Turn the screw to lower the float and continue until the water stops running. Flush the toilet and see where the water stops as it refills. It should be just below the top of the fill tube for the flush valve. If the water is no longer running, problem solved.

Newer tank floats move up and down along a vertical pipe of the toilet fill valve. A common name is Fluidmaster. This fill valve has an adjustment rod on the side of the assembly; you can pinch the spring clip to adjust the float up or down. Move it down slowly, checking in between to see if the water stops or continues to run. When the water stops running, flush the toilet and see if the tank refills to proper levels. Once its refilled, does the water stop running? If so, problem solved.

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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

A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology showed that only 35 percent of respondents wear eye protection when performing home repairs or work on home maintenance projects. That means 65 percent are subjected to potential threats to the eyes, and in many cases these injuries aren’t treated in the appropriate way.

home eye safety month stay safe with plumbing maintenance Home Eye Safety Month – Stay Safe With Plumbing Maintenance

  • Men are far more likely to sustain an eye injury than women.
  • Over 44 percent of all eye injuries occurred in the home.
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries were caused by projects and activities such as home repair, yard work, cleaning and cooking.
  • More than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury.

While injury can occur in any setting, studies also show that one of the main causes of accidents is when the home maintenance project centers around a plumbing activity. Plumbing often puts the average homeowner into situations they haven’t dealt with before, and often times aren’t prepared for the potential hazards.

  • Exposure to hazardous substances – lead, sulfur dioxide, asbestos, mold, solvents, solder and other toxic or carcinogenic substances
  • Proximity to flammable or combustible materials
  • Exposure to biohazards including raw sewage
  • Working in awkward positions
  • Lifting heavy ans awkward objects
  • Slips, trips and falls on wet surfaces
  • Risk of eye injury from flying particles, chemicals and hot water
  • Burns from steam, hot water, and hot equipment and parts
  • Working alone

If you are currently working on a home maintenance project, taking the necessary precautions will not only make your project safer, but will also make your work environment safer too.

  • Use fall protection when working at heights
  • Use eye protection when working with any type of cutting or grinding equipment, chemicals or other substances harmful to the eyes
  • Use protective equipment appropriate for the task – hard hats, eye protection, face protection, gloves, etc
  • Wear appropriate footwear – sturdy shoes with non-slip soles
  • Use heat insulating gloves, eye protection and face shields around hot pipes
  • Avoid electric shock by using power tools safe for wet environments.
  • Install and maintain good ventilation
  • Take frequent breaks if working in awkward situations

When in doubt, leave it to the professional plumber. If you have a question or need help with a home improvement project, give us a call today.

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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

The most popular water appliance in your home is the toilet, using on average up to 30 percent of the home’s total water usage every day. When it comes to water conservation and each of us doing our part, the most obvious place to start is with the toilet.

A single leak in a toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water every year. Not only is that costing you money, its wasting a precious resource as well. If conserving water starts with your toilet, where do you begin?

how to conserve water in a toilet tank How To Conserve Water In A Toilet Tank

Fix Leaks

The most obvious place to start is to fix leaks as they happen. However, toilets don’t always make noise when they leak. Drips and leaks are most often fixed by tightening fittings where two pipes meet, and where pipes join the tank. Be careful not to over-tighten, which may damage threads and the tank itself.

Flapper

The flapper is a valve that sits on top of the port that leads from the tank to the bowl. When the toilet is flushed, the valve opens and allows a certain amount of water into the bowl. Over time, the flapper wears out and begins to harden, making the seal not as pliable as it once was. The looser the fit, the more leaks and problems may occur. To test and see if you have a leak, insert a few drops of dye into the tank and wait to see if it appears in the bowl. If it does, your flapper is the cause of the leak. Simply replace the flapper to restore the water process back to normal.

Avoid The Toilet Dam

A common myth for water conservation is to fill the tank with bricks so water levels will be kept to a minimum. While it sounds good in theory, it can cause more harm than good. By filling your tank with bricks, it will allow chemicals and sediment to enter your toilet, and risk harming the internal parts of the toilet tank. It also poses the risk of cracking the tank during placement.

Upgrade

Instead, the best way to conserve water is to upgrade your toilet to a newer model. Older toilets use anywhere from 5 to 7 gallons of water with each flush. With newer models, you can reduce water levels down to 1.3 gallons per flush or even less with dual flush toilets. And in some cases, you may even qualify for a water rebate, depending on your county and your water system.

If you have any further questions about water conservation, we’d be happy to answer them, and provide you with the easiest way to save water within your home.

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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

its national toilet tank repair month is your toilet in good working condition Its National Toilet Tank Repair Month – Is Your Toilet In Good Working Condition?Lying in bed listening to the drip, drip, drip coming from the faucet is a sure indication that your money is going down the drain. But toilets don’t always give you that telltale sign. Instead, they often leak silently, leaving you unaware of the problem and unaware that you are wasting both money and water.

According to the EPA, a leaky toilet can waste around 200 gallons of water a day. That can lead to over 70,000 gallons of water a year if left unchecked. That’s a lot of water!

As a part of National Toilet Tank Repair Month, now is a good time to regularly check your plumbing fixtures and make sure they are in good working condition. Its also a good time to detect any problems you may be having with your toilet, and fix or update them to not only save you from wasting water due to leaks and cracks, but also to make your toilet as efficient as possible. It is one of the leading water users in your house, and every little bit helps.

Here are a few things you can do.

  • Replace flappers and fix valves at least every couple of years to prevent your toilet from running on a continual basis.
  • If you notice the water running long after a flush, adjust the chain or float ball.
  • Install low flow toilets throughout your home. Low flow toilets require 1.3 gallons of water per flush compared with older models that use 3.5 gallons or more.
  • To modernize even further, consider installing a dual flush toilet.

To locate a silent toilet leak:

Put several drops of dark food coloring into the toilet tank. After a few minutes, check the bowl. If there is dye in the bowl, you have a leak.

The problem usually lies in one of two areas. Either replace the flapper at the bottom of the tank, or adjust the fill valve to eliminate the leak altogether.

Have any further questions? Give us a call today.

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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

In very few cases, a major home repair emergency happens without warning signs. We may choose to ignore them. Or in many cases, we simply may not know what to watch for.

When it comes to a sewer line backup, you’ll never find an emergency that didn’t give warning signs first. It’s a gradual process that takes months, even years or more to turn into a true emergency. But when it hits, you’ll wish you had done everything possible before hand to eliminate the problem altogether. Its messy. Its stinky. It can be dangerous. And there are warning signs that show up well in advance.

sewer line backed up here are the warning signs Sewer Line Backed Up? Here Are The Warning Signs

 

Warning #1: Multiple Fixtures Are Clogged

One of the most obvious warning signs is when more than one fixture in your home backs up at the same time. Toilets are particularly effected by a sewer back up as it is the largest drain in your home. Toilets have the most direct path to the sewer, and rarely are your toilets working properly if the sewer line is backing up. You can also check your tub and shower, as they sit lower than drains in the sink.

Warning #2: Unexpected Reactions When Using Fixtures

If your sewer is backed up, your entire plumbing system will be affected. Which means every time you use your plumbing system, it will make strange noises or actions as it is put to the test. Flush your toilet and you’ll find the water not only doesn’t go down, but it may come up through your tub or shower. Run the faucet in the bathroom sink and you may notice bubbles or water rising in your toilet. Start up your washing machine and water begins to flow through other drains in the area. These are sure signs your sewer line is blocked, and that you don’t have a problem with a single fixture in your home.

Warning #3: Drainage at the Clean Out

If you have a main line clean out, you can verify a sewer back up in another way. Open the clean out by either unscrewing or pulling to remove the cap. Check the clean out for any waste water buildup. You should not be able to see the water coming up the clean out pipe. If water is flowing up and out, it confirms the fact that you have a sewer line backup.

If you suspect or have a sewer line backup, time is of the essence. Nothing is worse than having to go through restoration as raw sewage dumps into sections of your home. Give us a call is you suspect a problem. We can find the main problem and either get your line cleared by one of our many methods, or identify the breakage and get it repaired before further damage is done.

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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

Did the latest cold snap leave you yearning for winter? Ready to pull out your skis and hit the slopes? While winter is one of the best seasons in Colorado, with so much to do and offer right in our own back yard, it can still catch you off guard if your home isn’t prepared.

The last thing we’re ever ready for is waking up, turning on the shower, and only having a cold stream facing us as we get ready for our day ahead.

getting your water heater ready for winter Getting Your Water Heater Ready For Winter

In order for your water heater to work properly year after year throughout its useful life, its important for you to maintain it along the way. There are three things that should be done in order to ensure your water heater keeps working as efficiently as possible throughout the year.

Insulate it

Where is your water heater? What condition does it live in month after month, year after year?

Poor insulation around your water heater not only robs you of money during the winter, it also robs your water heater from working as efficiently as possible. And therefore shortening its useful life. Insulating your water heater means that the heating elements do not have to work harder than normal or be used on a constant basis trying to keep your water warm. This can translate into lower operating costs year round. It can also translate to the parts in your water heater – your heating elements – lasting longer because they aren’t used on a continual basis.

Tune it up

Everything in life with moveable parts needs an occasional tune up to make sure it stays in good working condition. Your water heater is no exception. A tune up makes sure your water heater is ready for the upcoming season; to prepare it to give you the hot water you demand in any condition.

Many people use hot water more frequently in winter as a way of warming up from the bitter cold outside. Nothing feels as good as a steaming hot shower to help bring you back to warmth after playing outside in the cold. This is where your tune up can help. It may be something as simple as cleaning the unit, or it may mean replacing a part or two. In any case, a professional plumber can quickly assess the working condition of your water heater and make the necessary changes to ensure your water heater is in the best working condition possible for the months ahead.

Temperature

Depending on where your water heater is stored, the air temperature around your water heater can be 10, even 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. This may lead to colder water being delivered to the fixtures throughout your home. A simple way of increasing its efficiency is by moving the thermostat temperature up in the winter to ensure you have an adequate supply of hot water.

Have other questions about your water heater, water efficiency, or ensuring you have hot water throughout your home? Schedule a water heater tune up visit today.

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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

What’s the most damaging thing in your home? Water. Water can slowly accumulate and cause extensive damage, or can quickly destroy in an instant. In all cases, the problem usually starts with one of the most common appliances in your home that you use on a daily basis. If it has pipes connected to a water line, it has the potential for serious flooding if left unchecked.

most common appliances that can flood your home Most Common Appliances That Can Flood Your Home

1. Water Heaters

Your water heater is one of the largest water holding tanks in your home, and if it breaks, you’ll have an instant flood of water. Yet water heaters rarely fail without tell-tale signs first. Proper maintenance and yearly checkups will allow you to fix and replace before many gallons of water quickly flood out your home. If you do notice signs of a leak or puddling water, speed is of the essence. Leaks are usually due to malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valves, or due to corrosion in the water tank itself. If you flush water through the tank to clear out debris and you still have a leak, it’s a sure sign your tank needs replacing.

2. Toilets

Toilets usually cause damage by a slow leak around the base of the toilet, or a sudden flood due to a clogged drain and a sudden overflow. With a sudden overflow, start by plunging. If plunging doesn’t work, the clog could be deeper in the pipes either inside or outside of your home, or may be caused by a malfunctioning float that allows too much water into the tank.

3.Washing Machines

The six most common areas a washing machine leaks are the inlet connections, the hose connections, the center post gaskets, the outer tub seal, the air dome seal, and the pump. If any of these areas are leaking, unplug your washing machine, turn off the water main and begin trouble shooting each feature one at a time. While puddling around the washing machine can be caused by any of these features, keep in mind that it can also be caused from a clogged floor drain.

4. Dishwashers

Dishwashers can overflow for a variety of reasons. If you use too much detergent, or the wrong type of detergent, the water has nowhere to go but out of your dishwasher. As your dishwasher washes away food particles, in some cases the food can clog the strainer or cause the float switch to fault. Simply remove the strainer and wash with a stiff brush, or replace the float switch with a new one. If your dishwasher is not leaking because of one of these issues, its likely caused by a plumbing issue, in which case a plumber will need to be called in to check the pipe fittings, connections, or to determine where the drainage problem exists.

5. Refrigerators

Refrigerators are natural attractors to moisture. Their sole purpose is to keep things cold or frozen, and every day it goes through a process of cooling and warming up depending on how many times you open the door and what items you put in or take out. As warm air passes over the condenser coil, condensation is created, which often pools water at the bottom of your refrigerator. Though refrigerators are outfitted with a drain line to allow this excess moisture to drain away, it can easily become blocked with bits of food, preventing the drainage process. If drain lines aren’t cleaned on a regular basis, you can quickly find a flood on your kitchen floor.

Another problem area for refrigerators is the water supply line that feeds your ice machine and your water supply in the door of your refrigerator. Should this become unattached, you’ll quickly find a large flood of water standing in your kitchen.

sidebar coupons 250 Most Common Appliances That Can Flood Your Home

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 contains a series of networks and systems that provide you with all of the modern conveniences we know and expect today. While the plumbing system is a series of pipes that run from top to bottom of your home, the water heater is the heart of it all controlling where water goes and at what temperature. Its also the most expensive. Keeping it in good, working condition will guarantee that you have an efficient home with water when and where you choose at any time of the day.

And while it will generally work without a second thought, there are some problems that will normally occur, some easier to fix than others. The key is speed; the quicker you fix things, the less likely a large problem will occur. And with water, that’s a fairly important guarantee to have.

does my water heater need professional repair Does My Water Heater Need Professional Repair?

The first problem area to watch out for is temperature. Have you ever thought to yourself, the shower seems to need longer to heat up than normal. If you notice it, its probably a sign something is changing with your hot water supply.

  • It could be a temperature gauge that is wearing out.
  • It could be sediment building up in your tank, making your water heater not as effective as it once was.
  • It could be higher usage – have you had guests?
  • It could be a clog in your plumbing lines.

Another problem could be age. If you live in an older home and have an older water heater, the parts won’t be as effective as they would be on a new water heater. If you hear noises, have trouble producing hot water on an regular basis, or find a change in your water supply, it may be worth having a plumber in to evaluate and make recommendations. A typical water heater is designed to last 10 to 15 years, anything older could be signs of near-future problems.

Finally, its also important to watch for leaks. Those small drips and shallow pools that form around your water heater could be a sign up a leaky pipe, a leaky connection, or a tank that is about to break. If you don’t fix leaks within your water heater immediately, you risk flooding and water damage to your home.

Have further questions about your water heater? Don’t wait for a problem; have one of our plumbers evaluate your water heater and give you assurance you need you’ll have hot water without the risk for the coming year.

sidebar coupons 250 Does My Water Heater Need Professional Repair?

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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