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Bathroom Cleaning Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Rubber-gloved hand scrubbing bathroom tile with a sponge

Let’s face it, nobody likes cleaning the bathroom. It’s dirty, it’s gross, and it’s not a quick job. Most of us put it off until it can’t be put off any further, which ultimately makes it even worse. These bathroom cleaning hacks will help cut down on your cleaning time and make the job that much more tolerable.

  • For the grout… spray with Resolve carpet cleaner. Let sit for 5 minutes and scrub with a toothbrush.

  • For the shower head… fill a plastic bag with distilled vinegar and tie it around the shower head using an elastic band. Let soak for two hours.

  • For clogged drains… flush the drain with boiling hot water. Dump in ½ cup of baking soda and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Pour a 50/50 mix of vinegar and hot water down the drain, and let it fizz up. Let it sit for a minute or two, and flush one more time with hot water.

  • For your faucets… rub shaving cream on all of your chrome fixtures and wipe with a damp cloth for a sparkling finish.

  • For the toilet bowl… drop in two tabs of Alka Seltzer and allow to fizz for 15 minutes before scrubbing with your toilet brush.

  • For the shower door…wipe it with a dryer sheet. It should easily cut through soap scum. Rinse with soap and water afterward.

  • For the mirrors… use a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Paper towels cause streaks and leave behind lint.

Patterson Plumbing is Colorado’s number one choice for plumbing repairs, installations, and services. With more than 40 years of experience serving Pueblo County, you can trust our experts to get the job done right. If you live in Pueblo or the surrounding area, contact us online or call (719) 544-4922.

How to Deal With Common Plumbing Problems

water dropWe’ve all got a little plumber in us – whether we know it or not. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to deal with some of the more common plumbing problems you are likely to come across in your home.

Dripping Faucet

Leaky faucets are annoying and wasteful. If your sink has a case of the drips, solve the problem by following these steps:

  • Turn off the water supply

  • Remove the handles on your sink. You may need to use a flat head screwdriver to pry away any decorative pieces.

  • Loosen the packing nut, if necessary, and remove the stem.

  • Replace the o-ring and seat washer with new ones. You may need to bring these pieces to a local hardware store to find the exact fit.

  • Reconnect the stem, packing nut, and handle, and turn the water back on.

Running Toilet

Is your toilet running? If so, you better fix it! A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per week. Not only is that bad for the environment, you are sure to notice a spike on your next water bill. Here’s how to fix it:

  • Open the toilet tank when the water is running.

  • Push down on the flapper. If the water stops running, you know this is the cause of the problem and it likely needs to be replaced.

  • Lift up on the float arm to see if the water stops. Bend or adjust the float arm so the tank stops filling when the water is 1” below the overflow pipe.

  • Make sure the float is not waterlogged or dragging against the side of the tank. These things could prevent it from raising properly.

Clogged Shower Drain

If your showers turn into baths by the time you are done, you will need to unclog your shower drain. Here’s how:

  • First, flush your drain by pouring boiling hot water in it.

  • Next, dump in ½ cup of baking soda. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes.

  • Combine 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup of hot water. Pour it down the drain.

  • Your drain will start to bubble up. Close the drain plug (if you have one) to keep this chemical reaction inside the pipes.

  • Flush one more time with boiling hot water.

If you have followed these steps to no avail, it’s time to call in the experts. The professionals at Patterson Plumbing & Heating have more than 30 years of experience helping homeowners in the Pueblo, Colorado area. If you live in Pueblo County, trust Patterson for all of your plumbing needs! Contact us online or call (719) 544-4922.

Do’s & Don’ts of Drain Maintenance

The pipes and drains in our homes are usually an afterthought for most people – until there is a problem. Dealing with a clogged drain or a burst pipe is much more difficult than preventing them in the first place, so keep this advice in mind to keep your plumbing system in tip top shape.

DO this to properly maintain your home’s drains.

  • Use a drain guard. They can catch food, hair, and other debris that could clog your pipes.

  • Flush your drains with warm water every month to help clear debris. Use a stop to fill your sinks to the edge, then let them drain fully. The pressure created by this volume of water can dislodge debris deep down in your pipes.

  • Keep your home’s heat on at least 60° at all times during the winter – even while you are away on vacation.

DON’T put these things down the drain — doing so is asking for trouble.

  • Oil, grease, and fat. These can all solidify in your pipes and cause clogs.

  • Flushable wipes, cigarette butts, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, etc. Your toilet isn’t a garbage can, don’t treat it like one. Only flush down waste and toilet paper – even “flushable” wipes should be thrown away.

  • Hair. Hair from your head, face, body, pets, dolls, it doesn’t matter. Keep it out of your drains.

  • Commercial drain cleaners. They release harmful toxins into the air and damage your pipes more than they clean them. Use a homemade combination of baking soda and vinegar instead.

Despite your best efforts, the occasional plumbing problem is inevitable. If you run into a clogged drain, burst pipe, or any other issue, contact the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. We provide fast, friendly service to Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area. Get in touch with us online or by calling (719) 544-4922.

How To Fix A Clogged Sink

A clogged sink drain is nowhere near as common as a clogged toilet, but it is still a problem that many homeowners will encounter. Whether it be hair in the bathroom or grease in the kitchen, not everything you pour down your sink makes its way to the sewers.

Don’t worry, though. More times than not, a sink can be unclogged without the help of a professional plumber. Try some of the following methods to unclog your sink:

Bent Coat Hanger

Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it the best you can. Make a small hook on one end and go fishing – you might be able to pull up a surprising amount of hair. Remember, your main goal is to fish up the clog, not push it further down.

Plunger

Fill the sink with about 3-4 inches of water to ensure the plunger seals around the sink hole. Hold a wet rag tightly around the other drain if you are dealing with a double sink. Then, roll the head of the plunger into the water (you want to force water down the drain, not air) and begin pumping vigorously.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

Do not use a commercial drain cleaner, such as Draino. These contain harmful chemicals that can deteriorate your pipes. Instead, make a homemade solution that is completely safe using one part baking soda and one part vinegar. Let the solution sit in your drain for an hour or two, then flush with hot water.

Snake

The snake is a very handy plumbing tool that can clear up nearly any clog in the home. If first three options were unsuccessful, the snake is usually a good bet to get the job done. This video shows you exactly what to do.

If you’ve run through all of these options and your sink is still clogged, call the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating. We have been Pueblo’s leading plumber for over 20 years! If you live in Colorado, contact Patterson Plumbing online, or call (719) 544-4922.

What You Need To Know About Water Softening

hand pours water into a glass

Is the tap water in your home cloudy, distasteful, or downright dirty? You could be dealing with something known as “hard water”.

Don’t worry – there are ways to purify your home’s water to make it cleaner, clearer, and better tasting. This process is called water softening; here is what you need to know about it.

What is hard water?

Water is said to be “hard” when it contains dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water is generally no threat to our health, but it can harm our home’s plumbing system and appliances. The minerals in hard water can accumulate to clog pipes, reduce water flow, and hinder energy-efficiency.

How do I know if I have hard water?

Be on the lookout for the following signs around the home, which could indicate that you have hard water:

  • Bad-tasting water

  • Cloudy or rusty-looking water

  • Water spots on freshly-washed dishes, glasses, and cutlery

  • Film or residue on shower faucets, curtains, or doors

  • Soap does not work as effectively on your skin, clothes, or dishes

  • Your hot water bill has skyrocketed

What is water softening and what are the benefits?

Water softening is a technique used to remove minerals from hard water. It works by using a process called ion exchange. Just like magnets, the minerals in water contain a charge. Two opposite charges attract each other, and two similar charges repel. The water softener is charged in order to attract the minerals in the tap water, removing them before they ever make it to the faucet.

Some benefits of water softening include:

  • Clean water that tastes good

  • No more soap spots on your dishes

  • Softer skin and smoother hair

  • Improved performance of plumbing system, as well as appliances such as washing machine and dishwasher

  • Reduced water heating bill

Many homes in Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area suffer from hard water. As an authorized retailer and installer of Kinetico water softening products, the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating can solve your hard water problems once and for all. Call us at (719) 544-4922 to schedule a free in-home water quality analysis.

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:

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  • 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.

Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

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If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you know what a convenience it can be. This under-the-sink workhorse can help relieve household duties by providing an easy solution for food waste disposal. We often take our garbage disposals for granted… until something goes wrong.

Use these do’s and don’ts to help prevent any future problems for your garbage disposal.

  • DO clean your garbage disposal when it starts to smell. Grinding a handful of ice cubes and lemon peels for 30 seconds should do the trick.

  • DON’T put fibrous objects in your garbage disposal. Items such as banana peels, broccoli, corn husks, potatoes, and celery stalks can jam the blades.

  • DO run your disposal at least once per day to avoid rust and corrosion.

  • DON’T run your garbage disposal dry. Have cold water running before, during, and after you turn on your garbage disposal.

  • DO keep silverware, shot glasses, and other small objects away from the disposal to prevent them from falling in.

  • DON’T pour grease, oil, fat, or coffee grains down your disposal. These don’t harm the blades, but they can clog your drain.

  • DO unplug the garbage disposal or turn off the appropriate circuit before attempting to fix a jam. You don’t want to lose your hand!

Looking for more garbage disposal advice? Check out the full list of do’s and don’ts from Horizon Services.

Got a problem with your garbage disposal? Call Patterson Plumbing & Heating! For over 20 years, homeowners in Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding areas have depended on us for superior plumbing solutions. Call us now at (719) 544-4922 for quick service, or contact us online and we will get back to you shortly.

Tips & Tricks To Reduce Your Water Consumption

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Did you know that a small drip in an old faucet can result waste over 7,000 gallons of water each year? Now imagine how much water is wasted from large leaks and inefficient habits. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you reduce your household water consumption:

  • Don’t use your toilet as a wastebin – save tissues, cigarette butts, and other pieces of garbage for the garbage.

  • Install low-flow shower heads and sink faucets around the home. These can help cut water consumption in half or more!

  • Try to limit the amount of time you spend in the shower. A long, hot shower is nice, but every extra minute wastes 5-10 gallons of water.

  • Insulate your water pipes. This quick, simple process will save you money by reducing the time it takes your water to heat up.

  • Don’t use your dishwasher or washing machine unless there is a full-sized load that needs to be cleaned.

  • Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Most modern units are capable of blasting away even the toughest stains and grime.

  • Water your lawn during the early part of the day, and avoid watering when it is windy outside.

  • Use a push broom to clean your sidewalk and driveway, as opposed to a garden hose.

  • If you have a dripping faucet or leaking pipe, have it fixed immediately by a professional plumber.

For more ways to conserve water, check out this article from Water: Use It Wisely.

If you live in Pueblo or the surrounding area, Patterson Plumbing is just a phone call away. We have provided fast, professional heating and plumbing services to Colorado homeowners for the past 30 years. Call us to schedule an appointment at (719) 544-4922. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Why You Are Running Out Of Hot Water

shower water drops on black background

Nothing is better than a long, hot shower on a cold winter day. Conversely, nothing is worse than running out of hot water halfway through it. Does this sound familiar? If you constantly find yourself using up all the hot water in your home, it is probably due to one of these reasons.

The demand is too high.

Is everyone in your household showering one after another? Or using the washing machine, dishwasher, and bathtub simultaneously? These activities can put a lot of strain on any hot water heater, and yours may not have the capacity to keep up with demand. Try shortening your showers or waiting 15 minutes in between users and see if that helps.

There is a sediment buildup.

As water from the outside enters your heater, it brings with it minerals such as calcium carbonate. Over time, these minerals accumulate in your tank in the form of sediment. This decreases efficiency, so it is important to flush out your tank at least once per year to clear the build up. You can do this yourself or call a professional plumber.

Your hot water tank is too old.

Your hot water troubles could boil down to the simple fact that your water heater is too old. Like any home appliances, hot water tanks lose their ability to heat as they age. The average water heater has a lifespan of just over ten years, so if yours is much older than that you should consider getting it replaced.

Not getting the hot water you need in your Colorado home? Contact Pueblo’s plumbing experts at Patterson Plumbing and Heating. Our staff is courteous, knowledgeable, and has over 30 years of experience. Call us at (719) 544-4922 to get started with an in-home consultation.

Is It Time to Replace Your Water Heater?

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Reminder – new water heater requirements go into effect April 15th. So if you’re looking to replace your home water heater, now is the perfect time! The new mandates require higher energy efficiency ratings which brings big changes to you and your family.

Some of the changes that affect you as a consumer are:

  • Higher priced units – up to 35% more expensive.
  • Larger units in size
  • More complicated installation requirements
  • Possible significant home remodeling costs if your water heater doesn’t fit in your space

If you think that you are in need of a new water heater, consider replacing your unit before the new requirements go into effect on April 15th. Patterson Plumbing recommends you book a consultation with one of our experts who will answer any questions you may have about the new regulations, evaluate your current water heater and provide you with options on the next steps. Then, if you decide you want to install before the new regulations take affect we’ll reserve your water heater from our inventory.