There’s a funny thing about buzz words – once a word gains traction, everyone quickly adapts it as if it were there own. Case in point … the word “green”.

Today everyone wants to jump on the environmental bandwagon and create a green product. You’ll find it in just about every industry. After all, we all want a way to live in a more environmentally friendly way, and leave our world a better place for the next generation.

Are Green Drain Cleaners Safe?

When we think of household drain cleaning, many of the products our parents and grandparents used go things clean, but in many cases they did more damage then they did good. Sure, they may have given the appearance of a clean house, but years later we’re finding out just how bad some of the chemicals really are. They may have damaged the surface of the items being cleaned. They may have created health issues. And they may have created environmental issues as the harsh chemicals make their way down the drain.

Enter the green drain cleaners.

It seems like a good idea, but are they really any better? Are they worth the investment? After all, when you find a product that touts “green drain cleaning” in the cleaning aisles of your favorite store, they almost always are a lot more expensive. And if you still can’t read the names of the ingredients on the back of the bottle, how do you know how safe they really are?

Most green drain cleaners you’ll find on the shelves use enzymes or bacteria to naturally feast upon the clog. When they are added to the drain, these microscopic organisms digest the waste in the clog while reproducing and moving throughout the pipes. Because they are natural, they take their time to do the job – you won’t find instant results like you’ll get with harsh chemicals. Which means you’ll have to have the time to leave the clog sit for a while until the process works its way through.

What makes these green products work is the enzymes or bacteria – two things that can lose power very quickly. Which means buying a green drain cleaner and leaving it on the shelf for the “just in case” isn’t an option. By the time you need it, the active ingredients may be gone.

While the concept of buying a green drain cleaner is a good one, there is actually a better way. DIY drain cleaners – all made from common household items.

And if none of these methods work at unclogging your drain, or you still have questions about safely unclogging your drain, give us a call today.

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 had a home with a sewer malfunction, you know the process is anything but fun. Raw sewage entering your home, sometimes even into your living space can take weeks to recover from.

Should You Have A Sewer and Drain Camera Inspection?

But even if you’ve repaired your sewer line in the past, plumbing is an ever-changing system throughout your home. Problems will occur again at some point in time. Which means the only way to prevent big problems is to know what to look for, and act before problems occur.

Sewer problems rarely occur without advance warning.

  • Slow drains
  • Problems with more than one appliance (for example, your toilet has trouble flushing and your shower has trouble draining)
  • Backups occurring again and again and you can’t find the problem

If you begin noticing a problem with your plumbing, don’t ignore it. It will only get worse over time.

A sewer and drain camera inspection is the best way to determine where the potential problem lies, and to determine if it’s a one-time clog, or may be a reoccurring issue from a deeper problem. A professional plumber will send a line with a tiny camera attached to it down into your plumbing, and review all the potential problem areas that may exist. The inspection typically takes about two hours of time, and will identify things like deterioration from aging, damage from digging, unruly clogs, intrusive roots or other damage from landscaping, a crushed pipe, or simply a grease clog that has become stuck over time.

When you clear a drain clog with a simple, natural solution, or use a tiny drain snake to reach a problem a few feet away, you can never be quite sure if you’ve reached the root of the problem. A sewer and drain camera inspection will provide you with full assurance your pipes are clean and in good working condition.

Whether you’re worried about a potential problem that exists in your home, or want assurance the property you are about to purchase is free from immediate potential plumbing problems, a video inspection will give you the answers you need. Give us a call today and schedule your sewer and drain camera inspection – you’ll be glad you did.

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 walked down the toilet paper aisle at your favorite store lately? Shelf after shelf is lined with promises of softness, thickness, and a great quilted feeling you’re sure to love. You can go generic, you can go earth-friendly, you can go with a top name brand. You can choose a four pack, a twelve pack, or stock up for months with the largest jumbo sized package you can find.

But, while toilet paper companies are touting to you the benefits of choosing their brand, the one thing they aren’t telling you is how their brand might not be so great for your plumbing. Thick, soft toilet paper may be a great thing for you, but your plumbing doesn’t agree.

How Toilet Paper May Be The Cause Of Your Plumbing Problems

There are three ways in which toilet paper is doing your plumbing harm:

1. Pipes

When your plumbing pipes are first installed, the newness lets anything sail right through. But over time, the inside of your pipes begins to change. Oil and grease begins to congeal and adhere to the pipes, causing them to have rough edges and slight variations to the regular flow. Small particles begin to build up. And depending on the age of your plumbing, tiny cracks may allow landscaping to begin the search for water, and enter your pipes in the process. All of this causes tiny ridges for toilet paper to get stuck on, and continue building up the problem in your pipes at an accelerated pace.

2. Low Flow Toilets

There’s the good and the bad of low flow toilets. The good comes from saving water, which in our drought-ridden and water thirsty world is a good thing. The bad comes from lack of power. Less water means less water pressure to push waste down the pipes. If it doesn’t have the power to make it where its suppose to go, it can build up over time.

3. Flushable Wipes

A new product entered the market a few years ago, and is wrecking havoc across the Front Range. Flushable wipes say they are biodegradable, but study after study shows they aren’t. They take much more time to break down than standard toilet paper, and because of their thickness, they don’t move through your pipes as fluidly as toilet paper. An added problem is you have a low flow toilet too.

Here’s a quick way to see if you have the right toilet paper to avoid future plumbing problems. Take a sheet or two of toilet paper and drop them into your toilet. If a few minutes pass and they still look like sheets of toilet paper, they are too thick and are putting your plumbing at risk. Choose a lighter, thinner option; your plumbing will thank you.

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

Tips For A Healthy Septic System Does your home operate with a septic system? If so, its important to provide regular maintenance to keep everything running efficiently, and avoid bigger problems down the road.

How often a system should be pumped depends on a number of factors:

  • The size of the tank
  • The number of people using the tank
  • How many gray water producing appliances are in use regularly
  • How much medication a person is using, since large amounts can impact the bacterial action of the tank

At a bare minimum, a septic tank should be pumped every 1 to 3 years. However, if your regularly scheduled maintenance is still a ways away, and you begin noticing:

  • Standing water in the leaching area
  • Lush vegetation
  • Odor or slow drainage in household drains
  • Sewage backup

It can be a sign of blockage, and maintenance work should be conducted as soon as possible.

While pumping regularly is the best way to maintain a healthy septic system, you should also be conscious of what is going down into your system, and change some of your daily patterns if necessary.

  • Never allow excess amounts of grease to enter your system
  • Don’t allow a water softener system to drain into your septic tank
  • Stagger laundry loads; you should never wash a dozen loads of laundry, allowing the soap to drain in the septic system all at once
  • Never use large amounts of chemicals, such as detergents, bleach, or chemical cleaners
  • Keep heavy equipment from driving or parking on your system
  • Never ignore plumbing leaks. Any leak can quickly saturate the system and turn small problems into large ones very quickly

If you have a plumbing problem, it could originate from your septic system. Pump regularly, stick with a routine maintenance schedule to reduce the chances of future problems, and give us a call whenever you have a question. No question is too small; and the small ones can help you eliminate the chance for large problems down the road.

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

Drano is one of the oldest, longest selling drain cleaners on the market today. Invented in 1923, its original slogan promised “Once every week, Drano in every drain”.

But is that still the case today? And more importantly, is Drano the best solution when your toilet has a clog?

Mixing CleanersCan You Put Drano Down The Toilet?

Lets start with the most important, mixing cleaners. Cleaners each have their own chemical makeup to do the job at hand. They are formulated to work by themselves, and handle the job they were designed to do. The problem is as a consumer, we don’t always follow those rules. Do you clean your toilet regularly with bleach? Do you drop one of those toilet tank tablets inside to keep things clean? Drano contains ammonia. Mixing bleach and ammonia will produce a toxic gas called chloramines. Exposure to chloramines will cause a number of symptoms, including eye irritation, chest pain, difficulty breathing, even pneumonia.

Toilet Design

The drain designed for your bathroom or kitchen sink is not the same design as that of a toilet. They are each designed for their intended purpose, and each will carry different items back into the system. Drano was intended for sink clogs, meaning it has different characteristics in place to reach the clog. Drano will not sink down into a toilet’s drain as it does with other drains, meaning the chances of Drano reaching the clog is limited at best. And that’s where the real problem can begin. If Drano settles into the water and you later decide to use a plunger, water can splash up onto your skin or even into your eyes.

The Heart Of The Clog

Lets deconstruct the average clog. A sink or a bathtub normally clogs with items like hair, soap scum, skin oils, and possibly food scraps if we’re talking about the kitchen sink. Clogs in a toilet normally contain human waste and toilet paper, possibly wet wipes (which have their own unique set of problems). If foreign objects such as a child’s toy is a part of the problem, it’s a different problem entirely. Draino is designed to work on problems found in drains – hair and soap scum – not in the typical toilet clog.

Your best bet for toilet clogs is to use a funnel cup plunger, since the rounded cup will fit into a toilets drain opening better than other plungers. After you remove the plunger, use a toilet auger to reach down to the clog and retract it with the blockage. Continue to do so until your clog is clear. If you continue to have problems, its time to call in a plumber, as the problem may be deeper than a simple clog.

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

Today’s technology has changed every industry in our society, and plumbing is no exception. Drain cleaning cameras and inspection technology helps us in three distinct ways:

  • Before drain cleaning, it helps us locate and determine the extent of the problem, and define the course of action
  • During drain cleaning, it allows us to determine progress
  • After drain cleaning, it ensures the job was completed and the root of the problem is gone, creating a free-flowing pipe in return

An inspection camera has several key components: a cable reel, a pushrod, and the camera with a light source to illuminate the problem. Cameras typically have self-leveling functions that allow it to always show the water at the bottom in the correct orientation as it sits in the drain line. Additional accessories, such as DVD or CD recorders and sewer inspection software can help capture and report data even more effectively.

What Inspection Camera Technology Does For Drain Cleaning

One key component of an effective system is equipment to locate a problem under a floor or below ground from a remote, above ground inspection point. This makes it easier and safer to locate potential problems without having to guess where the source really is. This can eliminate unnecessary digging, evacuating the wrong areas, or allowing a leak to continue for longer than it should, costing even more in repair costs down the road.

In the world of plumbing, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all, and it holds true when it comes to camera technology as well. Reels and camera sizes come in different sizes to be able to effectively get into different sized drain lines.

For example, a toilet or sink line can best be seen using a micro version designed for drain lines from 1 to 3 inches in diameter. The smaller cameras can navigate through smaller lines and toilet traps, and are also easier to adjust with smaller turning radius.

Lighter duty camera units typically weigh 7 to 11 pounds, while industrial technology often weighs in at 24 to 48 pounds and above. Most units today use LED lighting with 18 volt lithium-ion batteries that provide up to 5 hours of continuous inspection. Monitors come both in black and while or in color to make it possible to see and save information for future comparisons.

Statistics show that as many as one in four service calls require a second trip because the original problem wasn’t found and corrected the first time out. Which means more time and energy spent finding the problem and correcting the mess for you.

Traditional methods often don’t get to the root of the problem. With today’s technology, its easier than ever to find the source of the problem the first time, and eliminate it altogether.

If you have a clogged drain, give us a call today.

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

 

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.

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

We’re a nation of convenience. We always have something on our plates, some place to go, something to do. And because of it, we’re always looking for products that make our lives just a little easier.

That’s how baby wipes were invented. What could be more convenient than having clean flushable wipes for keeping messes off of your little one? And they come in convenient pouches that mean you can take them anywhere … and dispose of them anywhere.

The 3 Things You Should Stop Flushing Down The Toilet Today

People have been using baby wipes – flushable wipes – for years. Yet just because they use the terms “flushable” and “disposable” doesn’t necessarily make them so.

Talk with any municipal waste system employee, and you will hear of the perils of flushing nondispersible items. It can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars to clear clogs caused by these items, and unfortunately its becoming more commonplace every day.

What’s the difference between flushable wipes and toilet paper? Actually, quite a bit.

Toilet paper is made with paper that begins breaking down the moment its wet. Not so with flushable wipes. They are stronger with a tighter weave designed to give you strength for cleaning up. Consumer Reports tested flushable wipes against toilet paper to see the difference. Toilet paper turned into shreds just by being placed in water with a small whirlpool. Flushable wipes didn’t fare as well. After 10 minutes in an electric food mixer, the wipe was still intact.

Now imagine that in a small pipe making its way down stream. Or over a screen designed to separate particles in our municipal waste system. Big problem, right?

Flushable wipes are now one of the most common items flushed that shouldn’t be, but it isn’t the only thing. Right behind it in both amount and problems are paper towels and tampons. Both are designed with packaging that promises “disposable” yet takes time for the process to actually occur.

One may not seem like a big deal. Yet in urban areas, one turns into many very quickly, and that’s where the problem lies.

Don’t flush doesn’t mean don’t use. Instead, it simply means thinking differently when it comes to disposing. Keep a trash can handy and dispose of all nondispersible items in the trash, not by a flush. It takes very little effort, yet can save you time, money and resources down the road by avoiding a potential problem.

When in doubt, don’t flush it down.

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 our modern day plumbing system, a plumbing vent, or drain waste vent is the part of the system that removes sewage and greywater from the building and regulates air pressure in the pipes to facilitate flow. All fixtures and appliances must contain a trap to prevent sewer gases from leaking back into the house. Through this trap, the toilet is connected to the waste line, which in turn is connected to a soil vent pipe. At the building’s lowest point, the drain waste vent is attached, and rises inside the wall to and out of the roof. The waste is removed from the building through the drain and out through the sewer line.

What Is A Plumbing Vent?

The venting system consists of pipes leading from waste pipes to the outdoors usually through the roof. Vents provide a means to release sewer gases outside instead of inside the house. Vents also provide a way of equalizing the pressure on both sides of the trap, thereby allowing the trap to hold water, which is needed to maintain the effectiveness of the trap.

Without the help of plumbing vents, water and waste would not move properly through the pipes of your home. Venting helps maintain neutral air pressure within the drains, and as a result, allows gravity to successfully pull the water and waste through the pipes and drains.

Your pipes exist in one of two formats. If water is not flowing through them, the pipe is able to maintain neutral air pressure compared to its surrounding atmosphere. Once waste water begins to move, however, the air downstream begins compressing. This creates positive pressure in the pipe. The air upstream pulls like a vacuum, which pulls back on the waste.

Positive pressure in the pipes must be released. Air flow comes in behind the waste stream, pushing it forward. The volume of waste determines how much pushing or suctioning occurs.

According to building codes, every appliance in your home must have a trap. In addition, every fixture must also have a vent.

These vents must be placed somewhere within a five foot radius of your appliance. Therefore you will have a vent within a five foot radius of such items as your sinks, your toilets, your bathtub and your shower.

It is common for a plumbing vent to become blocked. Ice build up can occur in the winter, or even the body of a dead animal if it gets caught looking for warmth or a home. And if its old, it can soften and begin breaking down with age.

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

Picture this. It’s a torrential downpour once again here in Colorado. Unfortunately, its been repeating the afternoon downpour for several days in a row. Your system simply can’t handle any more. So this new burst of rainwater overwhelms your home’s sewer system or your sump pump. You come home in the evening to raw sewage seeping up through your drains into your toilets, tubs, and even flooding your basement.

Its one of the worst nightmares a homeowner can face. This situation can easily run into the thousands of dollars for repair, impacting your floors, walls, furniture, personal items, structure, and even your health.Are You Covered For Sewer Backups?

Not to worry. A quick call to your insurance agent will get the ball rolling. You’ll be back to normal before you know it.

Or will you?

Many homeowners facing this very situation often find themselves in a bad position. In many cases, a sewer system backup is not covered under the standard homeowners insurance policy, and are not covered by flood insurance. Which means as a homeowner, you are now responsible for the entire clean up process all on your own.

Start by giving your insurance company a call today and see if you are covered if the above event happened to you. Its more common than you think here in Colorado – we see it happen every summer when the rains set in.

Now lets talk about your sewer line.

Most homeowners don’t realize they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the main sewer line – the pipe that runs from your house to the municipality’s sewer main usually located under the street. If any of that breaks, cracks, leaks, collapses, or deteriorates enough to cause problems, you are responsible for the repair.

The most common things that affect a sewer line are:

Aging sewer systems – more than half of our nations sewer lines are over 30 years old. Your system is more at risk the longer your subdivision has been in existence.

Combined pipelines – newer systems combine the sewage and drainage systems for storm water into the same line. During intense storms, these can quickly become overfilled, backing up into low lying areas, including your basement.

Landscaping – those big trees and bushes you love can always be the root of the problem. Shrubs and tree roots search for water, and the sewage line may be the perfect target.

Blockage – if a main is blocked by some outside force, it will cause the system behind it to backup too. If yours is in the path, it can quickly become your problem.

To prevent sewer line backups:

  • Dispose of grease, garbage, and other substances in the trash rather than your garbage disposal.
  • Use appropriate paper products – flushable wipes, paper towels, diapers, and feminine products should never be flushed.
  • Audit your pipes on a regular basis to look for problems that are in the beginning phase.
  • Install a backwater prevention valve. They can be installed into a sewer line in the basement of your home to prevent sewer backups.

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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