Keeping your sewer and drain lines working smoothly doesn't have to involve dangerous chemicals. Natural drain cleaners like BioOne offer a safe, effective way to remove buildup in drain lines that can eventually lead to an obstruction. BioOne is made of naturally occurring cultures that can be introduced directly into plumbing and septic systems. The patented BioOne Hungry Bacteria get to work immediately on degradation of fat, oil, grease and organic waste build-up through natural biological digestion. BioOne has earned the EPA's Safer Choice Program certification. Only products that are made of the safest possible ingredients are eligible for the program.
Keeping your home's sewer and drain lines working smoothly doesn't have to involve harsh chemicals. Natural drain cleaners like Bio-Clean and BioOne offer a safe, effective way to remove buildup in drain lines that can eventually lead to an obstruction. Both use naturally occurring cultures that can be added directly into drain and septic systems. Bacteria get to work immediately on degradation of fat, oil, grease and organic waste build-up through natural biological digestion. Both have earned the EPA's Safer Choice Program certification. Only products that are made of the safest possible ingredients are eligible for the program.
To remove minor drain clogs, try this homemade drain cleaner: Boil 3 to 4 cups of water. Pour one cup each of baking soda and white vinegar into the drain, followed by the water.
One of the most common reasons sewer lines fail is tree root intrusion. When a small crack forms in the sewer line tree roots are drawn to the moisture and nutrients inside the pipe. Eventually, tree roots will obstruct the sewer line.
One of the most effective biological sewer line cleaners is RootX. RootX kills roots in residential sewer lines, storm pipes and septic systems. A root intrusion left untreated can restrict flow, cause complete blockage and can eventually destroy a sewer or septic system, costing you thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
Need help clearing your sewer or drain lines? Call Grand Lake Plumbing. We can help clear the toughest clogs.
In the Colorado mountains water quality is a top concern for many homeowners. Wildfires, agricultural run-off, and hard water are just of few of the factors that can cause water quality issues. In higher quantities, minerals, inorganic compund and man-made chemicals can cause health problems, as well as damage to your plumbing system.
The first step in choosing a water treatment system for your home is to understand what's in the water by having your home's water tested. You may be experiencing high mineral content, strange odors or have other concerns. A water test will diagnose the cause of the problem and help you select the right water treatment solution for your needs.
Because not all water filters are going to be effective for the same group of contaminants, once you have identified the specific contaminants in your water check the NSF's water filter certification page. The NSF certifies different water treatment systems by the types of contaminants they remove from the water.
There are two basic types of home water filtration systems. Whole house/point-of-entry (POE) systems typically treat all or most of the water entering a residence. They are usually installed after the water meter (municipal) or pressurized storage tank (well water). A water softener is an example of a POE system.
Point-of-use (POU) systems typically treat water at the point of consumption, such as at the kitchen sink, refrigerator or shower head. Some may install inline while others will dispense filtered water through a separate faucet.
Need help choosing a water filtration system? Call Grand Lake Heating and Plumbing. We can test your home's water and help you choose the right water filtration system for your needs.
Perhaps you have experienced it...you're enjoying a nice, relaxing hot shower when all of the sudden the water turns ice cold. This unpleasant surprise is brought to you by uneven water pressure between the hot and cold water supply. When the hot water is running in the shower or bath, other demands such as the flushing of a toilet or turning on a washer can cause the water temperature to drop as the pressure is diverted.
A pressure-balancing tub and shower faucet is designed to balance the incoming hot and cold water pressure to compensate for fluctuations in water flow. By keeping the temperature at a constant ±3°F of the set temperature, even if other water supplies are turned on and off, the temperature in the shower will remain constant and comfortable.
It's important to understand that a pressure-balance valve is only designed to prevent temperature fluctuations by sensing and controlling the ratio of hot water to cold – it's not designed to prevent scalding. To safeguard against thermal shock and scalding, the most effective measure is to install and anti-scald device. We recommend installing anti-scald devices in all homes with young children.
Have questions about your home's plumbing? Give Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating a call. We're here to help.
Considering a new water heater. Today there are more choices when it comes to providing hot water to your home than ever. Here are the most common types of water heater and the advantages and disadvantages of each style.
Heats and stores water in a tank using electricity.
Heats and stores water in a tank using natural gas or propane
Heats water on demand when its needed. Doesn't need to use energy maintaining a tank of water.
Uses electricity to move heat from one place to another.
Heats and stores the water using gas, then uses the combustion gas to further heat the water.
Combines the advantages of a small storage tank with a tankless water heating efficiency.
Need help choosing the best water heater for your needs? Call Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating, we're here to help.
Water jetting is one of the most effective tools a plumber has for cleaning and maintaining home sewer and drain lines. While cable machines (also known as drain snakes) can remove tough clogs and obstructions, they are not as effective at removing residue like grease that can cling to the inside of sewer and drain lines. Cables also can't completely clean out the debris that they break up inside the pipe.
The water jetting process uses advanced pumps and flexible hoses to propel water under pressure into the sewer or drain lines. The key to effective water jetting is a special nozzle that directs water jets both forward and backwards to "scrub" the pipe walls and cut through the toughest residue.
High-pressure water jetting is a safe, environmentally-friendly sewer and drain cleaning method that offers the following advantages:
Have questions about water jetting? Give Grand Lake Plumbing a call. We can help with all your sewer and drain line needs.
A leaking water heater can range from a small, barely noticeable drip to a full-blown flood. Either way, the damage to your home and property can be expensive; ranging from damage to ceilings and floors, to unhealthy mold and mildew.
If you notice water accumulating near your water heater, it may not actually be coming from the water heater. Nearby appliances and condensation on pipes near the water heater can also cause moisture to accumulate nearby. To determine if the water heater is the source of the moisture, closely inspect the base of the water heater and valves for signs of leaks or excessive rust.
If you determine the water heater is the cause of the leak, the first step is to turn off power to the water heater. If you have an electric water heater, turn the power off from the circuit breaker. A gas water heater can be shut of from the power supply attached to the unit, usually by turning the gas supply knob to the off position. Next, turn off the water supply to the water heater at the cold water shut-off valve, located near the top of the water heater.
Water heater leaks can occur in several locations, including: the cold water inlet and hot water outlet, the pressure relief valve, the drain valve, and the bottom of the tank. Fixing a water heater is not a do-it-yourself project. A qualified plumber should make the repair. Depending on the location and severity of the leak, your plumber will either have to repair the water heater, or recommend replacing it.
In the Grand County area, many homes are occupied for only part of the year. With wide fluctuations in temperatures, plumbing problems can arise if systems are not properly shutoff during extended periods of disuse.
If the water heater is located on an upper level of the home, it's important to have a drain pan connected to a drain line to divert any leaks and prevent water damage.
There are also special water leak alarms that can turn off the water when a leak is detected from the water heater or another source. For the ultimate protection from water leans throughout your home, Grand Lake Plumbing installs WaterCop® Automatic Water Shutoff Systems. The WaterCop system utilizes an automatic shut-off valve installed on the water supply line. When sensors detect a leak, a signal is instantly sent to the automatic shut-off valve to close the main water line. Water flow is quickly stopped, reducing the chance of major water damage.
Tankless water heaters, or on-demand water heaters, have been around for over a decade and have been proven to be a reliable, and an energy efficient alternative to tank-style water heaters. When problems do arise it's often a result of installation issues or a lack of maintenance.
Tankless water heaters are hi-tech appliances that heat water rapidly only when it's need, resulting in less wasted energy and a nearly continuous supply of hot water. When properly maintained they will last around 20 years. Here are some of the most common problems experienced with tankless water heaters.
Hard water can lead to scaly calcium buildup which can increase the maintenance requirements for the unit. The unit should be flushed with vinegar following the manufacturer's instructions to prevent minerals from reducing performance or potentially damaging the unit. If your home has excessively hard water, it's recommended that a water softener be installed to prevent excessive calcium deposits form accumulating in the water lines.
This is related to the above problem. Most tankless water heater manufactuers include a maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. One of these maintenance items is flushing the water lines, usually with vinegar, to prevent the accumulaiton of mineral deposits that can build up over time and reduce burner efficiency and water flow. Check your owner's manual for the correct procedure for your tankless unit. Or, give us a call, we would be happy to help.
While you're more likely to experience corrosion problems with a conventional tank-style water heater, tankless water heaters can also be damaged by corrosion if condensation drips onto on the gas burner and causes problems with the gas supply.
Before installing a new tankless water heater your plumber will ask about your water usage to calculate which unit will best serve your hot water needs. If you exceed the capacity of the unit by showering, doing laundry and other water-intensive tasks simultaneously, the unit may shut down to prevent damage from over heating. If you use a lot of hot water at the same time in different areas of your home, you may be better off going with a larger tank-style water heater.
5. Improper Installation
When a tankless water heater is installed it's essential that the unit have enough ventilation to allow excess heat to escape, and in the case of gas units, for exhaust gases to vent to the outside of the home. If not properly vented, the unit may overheat and automatically shut down as a safety precaution.
Have questions about tankless water heaters? Call Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating. We can help answer all your water heater questions.
Backed-up sewer and drain lines can be a real headache, causing extensive damage to your home and in some cases requiring expensive repairs to your home's plumbing system. It's important to recognize the warning signs of sewer and drain problems to prevent the small preventable problems from becoming sewer line disasters.
Your home's sewer and drain system is designed like a tree, with branches of drain pipes leading to main trunk line that runs out of the house to the sewer main. If there is a clog in a secondary line it's going be isolated to that line. For example, if your bathroom sink is clogged and the toilet flushes normally, it's isolated to the sink drain. However, it the problem is with the main line, the toilet may percolate and waste water may come up from the shower or tub drain or floor drain in the basement.
Slow drains and gurgling noises from toilets are often the first warning signs that your sewer system is obstructed. It's important to have a sewer line inspection as soon as possible to identify and correct the problem.
Most home owner's insurance policies do not cover sewer line problems and repairs and in most cities, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sewer line that runs form the house to the sewer main by the street.
You can reduce the potential for sewer and drain clogs by keeping materials like cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, baby wipes and other waste products out of toilets. This would include products marketed as "flushable".
Pouring paint, grease and oil and other chemicals down the drain is not only harmful to the environment, it can cause problems inside the pipes.
Among the most common cause of sewer line backups and damage is tree root intrusion. A sewer and drain line inspection is cheap insurance and can find potential problems with tree root intrusion, broken or disconnected pipes, debris build-up and more. If problems are found your plumber has many tools to help clear or repair the line, including rodding, water-jetting, and trench-less sewer line repair. A follow-up video camera inspection will help to ensure that the repair was successful.
Have questions about your sewer and drain lines? Call Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating. From video camera inspections to sewer and drain line cleaning and repair, we can help.
There are several reasons you may want to drain your home's plumbing system. If you own a vacation home in the mountains that will be unoccupied during the winter months, draining the plumbing system can prevent frozen pipes and water damage. In other cases you may be undertaking a major plumbing, such as a new addition or repiping your home. Drain water lines is also commonly done to rebalance pressure valves and fix problems like water hammer.
Here are the steps to drain your plumbing system.
1. First, locate the main water shut-off valve. This is usually located near the water meter. on the lowest level of the house.
2. Next, go to the highest floor in the house and open all the the sink faucets.
3. In the basement, or lowest level of the home, open the laundry tub faucet if you have one.
4. Return the the top floor of the house and turn on the shower and tub supply valves.
5. Next, flush the toilets on every floor.
6. All the faucets should be left open and the water should be drained now.
Need help with draining your home's plumbing system? Call Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating. From plumbing system winterization to water leak repair, our expert plumbers can help with all your home plumbing needs.
In most households heating water is second only to home heating in terms of energy use. Hot water that's lost through leaks or inefficiency doesn't just waste hundreds of gallons of water every year, it also adds up on your utility bill. Here are some ways you can conserve hot water.
Even minor leaks from faucets, shower heads and pipes can waste large amounts of hot water over time. Even a small leak of one drip per second could cost $12 a year. Replacing worn washers and seals on plumbing fixtures will pay for itself in a short period of time. If your water heater's tank is leaking it should be replaced.
Low-flow shower heads and faucets can be purchased for $10-20. For the best efficiency, select a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute). The EPA mandates that new shower heads cannot exceed 2.5 gpm at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi).
One of the biggest expenses of cleaning dishes and clothes comes from the energy used to heat the water. Before purchasing a new appliance check the EnergyGuide label to see how much energy it will use annually.
It can often take a while for hot water to reach the faucet. Instead of letting the water run down the drain, keep a container nearby and use it to store water for cleaning floors, refilling the dog bowl, watering plants and other uses.
When doing laundry choose the cold water clean cycle when possible. Many soaps and detergents will work fine with cold water.
Have questions about conserving water around the home. Give Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating a call. We're here to help.
Many homeowners purchase a new water heater and simply forget about it until it starts leaking or no longer heats efficiently. Once the tank starts to leak or the burner wears out, it's usually best to replace the unit rather than try to repair it. The good news is with regular maintenance you can help ensure that your water heater lives a long, efficient lifespan. Instead of getting only 7-8 years of life from your tank, you can get more than ten years from your ttank-style water heater.
Almost all water heater manufacturers recommend flushing the water heater tank every year. Draining the tank will remove sediment that collects at the bottom of the tank which will allow the burner to work more efficiently. In the Colorado mountains, where hard water is common, minerals in the water can quickly accumulate in the bottom of the water heater tank, reducing efficiency and leading to premature wear.
If you decide to drain your water heater yourself, be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions for the correct procedure for draining your model of water heater. If you need assistance, give Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating a call and we can drain the tank for you.
An anode rod is a corrosive metal rod that's designed to sacrifice itself to prevent corrosion to the inside of the tank. The anode rod hangs inside the tank and should be checked annually when the tank is drained. Replacing a badly corroded rod is far cheaper than replacing the entire water heater. Without a good anode rod, hot water will rapidly corrode the inside of the tank, shortening its life.
This is a step you only have to do once. Wrapping your water heater in a blanket of insulation can improve it's efficiency up to 40 percent, meaning it has to heat less often. When installing an insulating blanket it's important to ensure there are cut-outs for all valves, connections and the themostat.
Have questions about maintaining your water heater? Call Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating. We can help with all your plumbing and hot water needs.
Finding the right temperture to set your water heater thermostat is a balance of safety, comfort and efficiency. If there are young children or eldery residents in the home, it's important that the temperature be set to a range no higher than 118 to 120F. By default, most water heater manufacturers set the temperature on the thermostat as high as 140 Fahrenheit. For most households, this is simply too high. One rule of thumb: if you can't hold your hand under the tap with the water on it's hottest setting, then the thernostat is turned up too high, and your wasting energy. In addition, setting the temperature too high increasing the risk of scalding, again, this is a concern if there are young children or elderly residents in the home.
Setting the water heater to 120 Fahrenheit work well in most cases. Turning the temperature down 20 degrees will save between 6 to 10 percent on energy costs. If you're finding that 120 F is leaving you wishing the water was hotter, gradually adjust the setting upward until a comfortable setting is achieved. If you are noticing that the water temperature is fluctuating widely, the temperature never reaches the set level, or you're running out of hot water too soon, don't turn up the thermostat on the water heater, call Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating. We can help identify the cause and recommend solutions to ensure you have a sufficient supply of hot water at the right temperature.
As with most components in the home, plumbing fixtures and pipes will eventually deteriorate to the point that they are at risk of failure and need replacement. One of the main factors in determining whether repiping is necessary is the age and type of pipe material. For supply lines, these pipe materials include:
Drain lines are usually made of one of the following materials:
The symptoms of damaged or deteriorating pipes include:
To determine if repiping is necessary Grand Lake Plumbing can inspect the supply and drain lines to determine what materials are used, the age of the pipes and the presence of any leaks or defects. For drain lines, a video camera is often used to get a more complete look at the condition of the pipes.
Have plumbing questions? Give Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating a call, we can help solve all your plumbing problems.
Do your dishes have spots? Does water have an off taste? Are your clothes dull looking and rough after laundering? These are just a few of the problems that a whole home water filtration system can help solve. The quality of the water in Colorado can vary widely. Hard water, agricultural runoff, mining, and other contamination sources can all play a role in the purity of your home's water. A water test can help determine if there are organic or inorganic contaminants that could lead to problems. If problems are found, we offer effective solutions to remove most impurities. We install one of the most effective and efficient water treatment solutions available – reverse osmosis. Call us today and start enjoying cleaner, better tasting water.
An annual plumbing check is a great way to keep plumbing repair costs to a minimum by catching the small problems before they become expensive disasters. Water leaks, clogged drains, failed sewer lines, frozen pipes, no hot water from your water heater... many of these problems can be prevented by having an annual plumbing check.
For over 100 years Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating has been helping Colorado homeowners protect their homes from plumbing problems before they become major repairs. Call us today and rest easy knowing your home is protected all year long.
|Water Heater Thermostat Setting||Exposure Time||Effects of Exposure to Hot Water at High Temperatures|
|Water at 100 degF or below||-||Most water heaters are unlikely to scald an adult|
|Water at 120 degF||5 minutes||2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin|
|Water at 130 degF||30 seconds||2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin|
|Water at 140 degF||5 seconds||2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin|
|Water at 150 degF||1.5 seconds||2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin|
|Water at 160 degF||.5 second||2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin|
Dropping a piece of jewelry down the drain can be heartbreaking. But if you know what to do, there's a good chance you can get it back yourself. First, you'll want to shut the water off and leave it off. You don't wha to push the jewelry further down the drain. If the jewelry hasn't completely washed away it will be in the bent section of pipe called the p-trap. Every sink has one and it's designed to hold a small amount of water and keep sewer gas odors from entering the home. It also can help trap objects dropped into the sink, like an earring or ring.
Before removing the p-trap, place a bucket underneath to collect the water inside the pipe. In most cases the slip nuts connecting the u-shaped pipe can be removed by hand without any tools. Slowly lower the trap and drain the water from the pipe. If you're lucky the jewelry has stayed inside the trap. Before putting the p-trap back on clean out any muck inside to ensure the water drains freely. After screwing the p-trap back on fill the sink and check the connections for leaks.
If it has made it's way past the p-trap, stop using your home's plumbing and give Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating a call, we have video camera technology that can help locate the jewelry.
Do you have issues with your home's water quality? In Colorado's mountain environment where many homes get their water from wells, bad taste, strange odors and colors and hard water are water quality problems we hear about all the time. Common symptoms of poor water quality include spots on glassware coming out of the dishwasher, soap scum buildup on shower enclosures, and rust stains in sinks. Water shouldn't have a noticeable odor. If it has a chlorine smell like a swimming pool or smells of rotten eggs, it's a symptom of problems with the water treatment system.
Poor water quality can also affect your home's plumbing system, shortening the lifespan of water heaters and plumbing fixtures.
The solution to all of these water quality problems is a reverse osmosis water treatment system. Call Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating for an in-home water quality assessment. We'll check the quality of your home's water and recommend solutions for cleaner, better tasting water.