Pueblo, Colorado Area Saving & Discount Coupon For Plumbing, Heating Or Air Conditioning Services
Better Business Patterson Plumbing Review & Rating
Patterson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Mission Statement

Blog Categories

Better Business Patterson Plumbing Review & Rating
Facebook Patterson Plumbing Review & Rating
Dex Knows Patterson Plumbing Review & Rating
Google Patterson Plumbing Review & Rating
Houzz Patterson Plumbing Review & Rating
Patterson Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
yp Patterson Plumbing Review & Rating

Uncategorized

The history of plumbing in America: 4 facts you might not believe

History of plumbing in America

The Native Americans may have lived in surprisingly big cities and had complex cultures, but they didn’t have plumbing.

These days, we might be annoyed if we have a leaky faucet.  We might be especially annoyed if our sewer line needs repairing. But what about if we had no plumbing at all? Or we had to use outhouses? Or if the city didn’t even have a sewer for our sewer line to connect to?

We’ve got it pretty good, if you think about it. So let’s get a little perspective with our history of plumbing in America.

The history of plumbing in America: plumbing isn’t as old as you think

You might already know, or may have assumed, but the Native Americans had no plumbing system whatsoever. But what’s more remarkable is that they still lived in cities of up to 40,000 people! The city of Cahokia grew to be one of the biggest in pre-Columbian America, and existed for up to eight hundred years between around 600 and 1400 AD.

In cities like Cahokia, archeological evidence suggests that some communities even lived in condo style apartments over a number of stories. But even so, they never invented or considered inventing running water or plumbing. Instead, the people would collect water from the rivers, lakes and wells in the area.

In fairness to the Native Americans, what you might not realise is that nowhere in the world had plumbing at that point! Not in Europe, not in China. In fact, the first running water systems were only re-invented in the last few hundred years. Why do we say re-invented? Because the Romans actually had running water for heating, washing and waste. It only took us almost two thousand years to think that running water might have been a good idea.

The history of plumbing in America: The pilgrims used hollowed out logs for sewerage

So, before we began to use true running water plumbing systems, what did we use? Well, we relied on nature instead. People would connect their houses to nearby streams using hollowed out logs. Each home would have an individual system, just like how each house was built by hand for (or by) the people who lived there. It’s actually a fairly good system, if you compare it to the alternatives: basic cess pits and dumping waste in rivers and lakes by hand.

The logs would work with simple gravity and a bucket of water. Plumbers- or just general handymen, back then- would install logs at an angle so that any waste could easily run off. The idea was so popular that during Andrew Jackson’s presidency, they plumbed the entire White House with hollowed out logs. The only problem was when it was difficult to achieve the necessary grade for the waste to flow out. The logs would begin to stink fairly quickly, as you can imagine, and would become a haven for germs and all sorts of other nasty things.

History of plumbing in America

They aren’t a myth, or just a joke: people used two story outhouses in some places in the U.S.

The history of plumbing in America: The two story outhouse isn’t a myth

You will have definitely seen two story outhouses in cartoons like the Simpsons and Looney Tunes. You probably assumed that they were a joke: how could someone sit in the lower stall without… Well, you get the picture. But they were real, and people really used them. Any ‘waste’ from the top stall would go back behind the first stall through a separate compartment. It would then join the cess pit underneath, just like a normal outhouse. So you never had to plunge your toilet!

You might ask why- the reason is actually simple. Outhouses like these weren’t necessarily just used by one family living in one house. They might be used by two, three or four houses. Anybody who lives at home with their family knows the pain of waiting for the bathroom while someone shaves or does their hair; well, people back then knew all about that too. But with a two story outhouse, you could both see to your business at the same time.

There are still two story outhouses that you can visit across America. One town called Gays, Illinois is particularly proud of theirs.  So proud, in fact, that they composed a rhyme for a nearby billboard:

In England they have urinals
In Paris bidets
But nowhere on earth
Has an outhouse like Gays.

The history of plumbing in America: Salt Lake City had a population of 45,000 before they built a sewer

Salt Lake City, out in the mid west, sits on the Great Salt Lake basin- hence the name. It was built to order in 1847 by Brigham Young, the spiritual head of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and lies next to what was christened the Jordan River. Unfortunately for Brigham Young, and unfortunately for the people of Salt Lake City, the town planners didn’t think to install a sewerage system before they began building the city!

The first cities to install sewers, like London and Paris, faced the unhappy dilemma of having to build underneath the city that was already there. Salt Lake City had it easy, but still decided it was best to let everything drain into the River Jordan instead. By 1890, the city grew to the population of 45,000. At this point, the sights, sounds and smells of open sewage clogging the river were becoming too much to bear, so the town council decided to finally install a sewerage system.

The only problem with their new system was that it still ran into the Jordan River, which still flowed into the Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake, big as it was and still is, is what’s called a terminal lake: it doesn’t flow anywhere. That’s why it’s so salty. All the collective sewage of 40, then 50 and then 80,000 people was flowing into the lake with nowhere to go. Not good if you were planning a boating trip.

Home heating repair: what to expect when you need help

Has something gone drastically wrong with your home heating system? Are you wondering how on earth you can get it back in working order without a call to your local maintenance man? Well don’t worry- we don’t bite. You can always try DIY home repairs– but the problem might not be as simple as it first appears.

The good news is that there’s always going to be someone out there who can help you. The point of this post is to let you know what to expect from home heating repair.

Diagnosis: what’s wrong with your heating system?

Even if you do your best to save on your water heating bill, and hardly use your heating system at all, problems can still occur, and even if you get regular maintenance. There’s nothing you can do to prevent an Act of God!

The first thing your repairman will do is to actually diagnose what’s wrong with your heating system. Home heating repair is easy if the problem’s obvious- a blown pipe, for instance. But electronic fixtures are less easy to fix. That’s why the first thing we’ll do is to take a look at what might have stopped your heating from working. The service provider should follow a clear, precise and thorough set of guidelines in identifying what’s gone wrong, so that the exact problem can be pinpointed and resolved.

Your repairman may have to check every part of your heating system to find the issue. But once they have, they should be able to offer you a quotation for both parts and labor. If you accept their offer, they can get straight to work, so long as they have the parts- more on that later.

home heating repair

Low hot water pressure is often one of the first signs that your heating system isn’t working properly.

What are some common problems with home heating?

There are a number of common home heating accidents that can damage the heating system, or even your entire home. There are also a number of common problems that stop your heating system from working as it should.

  • You’re not getting any hot water. Obviously, if your boiler or furnace isn’t producing hot water, there’s something wrong with it.
  • Your boiler itself is leaking water. This isn’t a healthy sign. A common reason is that some internal component, like a seal or a pressure valve, has either broken or corroded away. The cause could be either ageing or broken components, or it could be that the pressure is too high. Either way, it’s not wise to deal with this problem yourself.
  • Some kind of strange noise, like banging or gurgling, is coming from your heating system. Again, this could be because of a pressure problem, or it could be that there’s air stuck in the pipes.
  • Your heating system turns on and off at random times. If your heating is electronic, well, it’s most likely an electronic problem! But it could also be because of low water pressure, or a thermostat issue.
  • The pressure keeps dropping. Common sense should tell you that if the pressure in your heating system keeps dropping, then there’s a leaky pipe somewhere that needs to be fixed. But it could also be an issue with your pressure gauge, which might be giving an incorrect reading, and forcing your heating to act strangely.  
Home heating repair

Furnaces should receive regular maintenance, but even if they do, they can still break down.

Can they fix the problem with my heating there and then?

Some home heating repair jobs can be done straight away. If you have an old fashioned boiler or furnace, one that isn’t even electronic, then your repairman might be able to fix it immediately. Older models more commonly rely on readily available parts like nuts and bolts than chips and circuit boards. That might mean they’re less efficient, but it also means they’re much easier to repair in some cases. Your repairman might have the parts in their truck, or might even be able to source them from a local hardware store.

The main reason why your repairman may not be able to complete a job is because they need to send off for parts. This is especially the case with electronic boilers which sometimes use brand-specific parts. If the model is particularly rare, or has been discontinued for a long time, then your repairman might not have the part to hand. In fact, they may have to replace your boiler or furnace in its entirety. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing: new, modern heating systems are often far more cost-effective than their older counterparts. So you’ll be saving money in the long run, anyway.

Your repair man should clean up after themselves!

Good repairmen are always respectful of the house they’re working in, and the client they’re working with. That’s because most repairmen are sole proprietors, and run their own local business. Word would quickly get around if they aren’t pleasant to work with! So, after the job is done, your repairman shouldn’t leave a huge mess for you to clean up.

Most home heating repair men are polite, patient and easy to work with. Their business depends on it, after all. So if you do need to call someone out for home heating repair, don’t worry- we’ll be gentle! And in the future, to prevent any more accidents, you should schedule regular ‘tune up’ visits that will keep your heating system in top condition.

How To Find A Qualified Plumber


There are some things in life you just don’t skimp on. Your mattress, car maintenance, and plumbing services are perfect examples of these things.

If you try to save a few dollars by hiring an unqualified plumber, it will wind up costing you more in the long run. Shoddy plumbing work will always come back to bite you in the form of future repairs and damages.

Save yourself the time and hassle by hiring a good plumber who can get the job done right the first time. Here are a few tips to help you find one:

iStock_000043081200_Small

  • Ask friends and family. If you have a friend, family member, or relative that has recently had plumbing work done, ask them if they can recommend anyone.
  • Turn to online resources. If you don’t know anyone who can recommend a plumber, the internet certainly can. Resources such as Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau can help you find a qualified plumber in your area.
  • Look for licenses and experience. Who would you trust more – a fully-licensed plumber with 20 years of experience, or a random, unlicensed “contractor” performing his first job?
  • Upfront pricing is a MUST. When it comes to hiring any kind of contractor for your home, choose a someone who provides up-front pricing. An estimate is great, but paying triple what you were originally quoted for isn’t.
  • Do they guarantee their work? Warranties are another important factor to consider. If a plumber isn’t confident in their own work, how can they expect you to be?

If you are looking for a qualified, reputable plumber in Colorado, look no further than Patterson Plumbing & Heating! For the past 20+ years, homeowners in Pueblo and the surrounding area have come to us for our superior plumbing services. We offer up-front pricing, stand behind all of our work, and have an A+ accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. See what we can do for you – call us today at (719) 544-4922.

Budget Friendly Bathroom Updates

13050800783_f08a608d10_z

You may think giving your bathroom an upgrade is a costly project. To some extent, it could be – but there are plenty of affordable ways you could give your bathroom a makeover regardless if you rent or own your home.

Take a look at the below budget friendly updates you can complete in a day’s time, no demo required:

  • Repaint surfaces – You’d be surprised at what a fresh coat of paint can do! Give your bathroom an easy refresh by changing up the wall color or painting over your cabinet doors. All you have to do here is remove drawers, doors, and hardware and sand down any loose or peeling paint before getting started. Follow with priming, painting, and reassembling – as detailed here »
  • Switch out hardware – Basic hardware, like toilet paper holders or towel bars, can be the first to really show age. If yours are looking a bit drab, change out any bars, hooks, knobs, etc. to something different to give your space a new feel (for minimal cost). You may want to purchase new hardware from the same company and collection to maintain a unified look.
  • Redo your floors – Vinyl flooring is not only extremely durable it’s also water resistant and requires little maintenance. And with installation as simple as peel and stick – why not give it a try! Most vinyl flooring has an adhesive that can easily go on top of your current floors – no demo required.
  • Accessorize – Now that you’ve changed up some colors, look for some accessories to match. New floor rugs, shower curtains, towels, or window treatments can easily make your space feel different.
  • Add storage – Increase your bathroom’s functionality by adding some additional shelving units above your toilet or under your sink. This is a good way to help de-clutter any counter space that could be an eyesore.

If these small updates just won’t cut it, contact the experts here at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. Our bathroom remodeling division, Re-Bath® of Pueblo, will work with you to ensure your bathroom meets all of your remodeling needs. Start exploring our bathroom remodeling products or begin designing your new bathroom with our bathroom design tool. If you have any questions about our products, contact us at 719-404-4242 today!

 

photo via Flickr / emilysnuffer

July Home Maintenance

How ready is your home for summer? We’ve spoken at length about the importance of AC tune-up and maintenance, but what about the other aspects of your home? Check out the below fast fixes to keep up your home during summer stress:

iStock_000036881824_Small

Clean up your landscape: If shrubs or trees are in need of trimming, now’s the best time as they’ve already established their new spring growth. Additionally weed smarter – remember hand-pulling is easier after rain fall thanks to softened soil. Finally, ensure your outdoor sprinkler system is up to par!

Know your storm plan: Severe summer weather has lead to power outages and worse – damages to homes and belongings. With weather as unpredictable as ours, it’s important to know the location of your gas and water shutoff valves as well as knowing how to turn off the electricity in the case of an emergency.

Clean your bathroom fans: Give your fan a good, quick cleaning! First, disconnect the power at the circuit breaker. Then with a damp cloth, wipe down the blades and cover.

Tackle sidewalk mildew: Has your walkway seen better days? Clean away mildew by first spraying an outdoor mildew remover on the concrete before scrubbing away. Hose the area generously before and after to ensure you protect surrounding plants.

If you find yourself in need of plumbing, air conditioning, or home remodeling services this summer – call your trusted Pueblo, CO technicians at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. Patterson Plumbing & Heating provides the highest level of service and technical excellence. Give us a call today:  719-544-4922 or fill out our contact us form on the web.

Prepare Your AC for Summer

iStock_000009251418_Small

Hotter temps are around the corner and your best defense? Your air conditioner of course. However, when your air conditioning system sits idle for months it does require a bit of TLC to get it back up and running properly.
So act now – on the first sweltering summer day, the last thing you’ll want to do is turn on your AC only to find it doesn’t work. See below for some tips to help get your AC into tiptop shape before the heat really kicks in:

  • Remove any obstructions – Look around your outdoor unit. If anything is around it or restricting its airflow, remove it.
  • Check/replace your filter – Dirty filters restrict airflow, reduce efficiency, and result in poor indoor air quality. Be sure to check and replace your filter as needed (often once a month).
  • Call us for a tune-up! – A tune-up from a Patterson Plumbing HVAC professional is important for ensuring your system’s components are in working order to prevent costly and inconvenient breakdowns later on.

Maintenance and tune-ups are recommended by all manufacturers to provide all of the above benefits and more. While there are some steps you can take on your own to maintain your air conditioning system, it’s best to leave the tune-up process to a Patterson Plumbing & Heating professional. We’re the Pueblo, Colorado area heating and air conditioning tune-up specialists, offering upfront pricing and clean and courteous technicians.

Call and make an appointment that’s convenient for you today! 719-544-4922.

Pueblo Colorado HVAC Service

Do you have a heating, ventilation, or air conditioning problem and need it fixed as soon as possible? Has it been a long time since the last time you had the HVAC system in your home or at your office maintained?

Finding the right HVAC contractors can sometimes be hard. That’s where we come in:

We’re proud to offer the best services in the field. From sale, installation, to repair & maintenance – we take each project with care and focus on open communication and getting the job done right, the first time.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your home’s plumbing, heating, and cooling needs. Should you have questions about your systems’ operations give us a call. Our technicians provide the highest level of service and technical excellence: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

Celebrate World Plumbing Day!

HiRes (2)

On March 11th, every year, everywhere, the World Plumbing Council celebrates the important role plumbing plays in the health and safety of the modern world. All too often, we take having clean, convenient water for granted. The plumbing industry works hard to ensure all systems operate as intended. After all, plumbing is vital to global health.

In honor of today, we want to help by providing some water saving tips you can apply right now in your own home:

  • Using a broom instead of a garden hose to clean your driveway will save 13 gallons every minute you clean!
  • Checking for leaks and fixing them the moment you spot them can prevent a large amount of water waste.
  • Using a hose nozzle while washing your car will save you up to 100 gallons every time.
  • Upgrading to water-efficient toilets, faucets, and shower heads can help reduce your overall water use.
  • Conserve water by washing laundry and running the dishwasher only when you have full loads.

For more tips on how to celebrate World Plumbing Day head over to WPC’s website. If you have any questions about your home’s plumbing, feel free to give the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call! Our technicians provide the highest level of service and technical excellence: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

#TuesdayTips – For Preparing Your Home for Vacation

Traveling

Whether you have an upcoming vacation planned that will take you away for a weekend or a few weeks, there are some things you can do in advance to prepare your home for your absence to ensure a smooth return.

Use our departure checklist before leaving so you can rest easy on your vacation:

  • Clean out your fridge – Look for any food that will expire while you’re away and toss it. Wipe down the inside of your fridge if you spot any spills.
  • Lower the thermostat – Don’t waste energy while out of town, temporarily adjust the thermostat to a setting of 50-55 degrees.
  • Tidy the house – Sweep and vacuum, do all the dishes and laundry, take out all the trash, change your bed sheets, give your toilet(s) a quick clean, anything so you return to a clean, welcoming home.
  • Contact your security company – Let them know you are heading out of town. If you don’t have one, install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight as well.

For additional tips to prepare your home for vacation, visit our previous blog post here »

If you’re worried about leaving your home empty, call a friend, family member, or trusted neighbor to ask them to keep an eye on the house. Perhaps even ask your neighbor to keep their car parked in your driveway as a sign that someone is home!

The Guide to Winter Maintenance

Happy parents and teenage son warming near warm calorifer

Tis the season for gathering with friends and family near a warm fire. But this is also prime time for Mother Nature to wreak havoc on our homes and even our health. Follow the below winter maintenance checklist, courtesy of Angie’s List, to protect your most valuable assets this season:

HVAC System –

Call for an inspection: Lack of proper HVAC maintenance is one of the number one reasons for “no heat” calls. Not only does calling for an inspection help ensure everything is in good working condition, but it can also detect potential health hazards (ie: carbon monoxide leak).

Change Dirty Filters: Switching to clean filters helps your system operate more efficiently and thus reduces your energy costs. More importantly, a cleaner filter means improved indoor air quality!

Check Ductwork: Make sure all ductwork is sealed at joints and intersections to prevent heated air from leaking. Your warm air may be seeping out into the attic or crawl space – where it’s not needed. Or, the cold outside air can be drawn in instead. Either way, this increases your heating costs and reduces your indoor comfort.

Plumbing

Insultate Exposed Pipes: Pipes located in unheated areas are the most likely to freeze, while pipes that have been frozen in the past are more susceptible, now, to damage. Adding heat tape to these pipes prior to insulating can offer an extra layer of protection. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions.

Keep Cabinet Doors Open: If you have small children, remove anything that could be hazardous. Otherwise, open cabinet doors below the kitchen and bathroom sinks to help warm air circulate around those pipes.

Locate Your Shut Off Valve: If you have a winter retreat planned that will be taking you away from the home, shut off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent any emergencies while you’re away!

For more information on prepping your home this season, download Angie’s List’s full guide here »

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your home’s winter maintenance needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.