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plumbing tips

5 Things Your Plumber Wishes You Knew

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Not everybody possesses the knowledge of a professional plumber, but having a basic understanding of these five things can help prevent costly problems down the road.

Just because something is labeled as “flushable”, it doesn’t mean it is.

Bathroom wipes can damage your home’s plumbing system and cause major clogs – even if they are labeled as “flushable”. The only household item that can safely be flushed down the toilet is toilet paper. Wipes, Q-tips, tissues, and feminine hygiene products should all be disposed of in a wastebasket.

It’s never okay to pour grease down the drain.

Pouring grease or liquid fats down your sink is asking for trouble, even if you flush it with hot water. Grease solidifies as it cools, and once it hardens in your pipes, clogs will soon follow. Instead of pouring it down your sink, let the grease cool in a pan, and scrape it into the garbage where it belongs.

You should flush your water heater once per year.

Tap water that enters your water heater contains trace amounts of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Over the course of several months, these minerals begin to accumulate in your tank in the form of sediment. This takes up valuable storage space and can lead to increased energy consumption. Flushing your tank once every year prevents these problems and can even extend your water heater’s lifespan.

Dripping faucets can help prevent freezing pipes.

For three-quarters of the year, dripping faucets are a problem. However, during the winter months, they can actually help prevent frozen pipes by keeping the water flowing. If you are leaving on vacation or expecting a deep freeze overnight, open your faucet enough that it drips every few seconds.

Not every problem is a DIY fix.

Sure, you can unclog your toilet, and maybe even repair a leaky faucet. However, some jobs require the tools and knowledge that only a professional plumber possesses. Trying to solve these problems on your own will only lead to trouble and frustration.

When plumbing problems arise, residents of Pueblo County, Colorado can count on Patterson Plumbing for fast, professional repairs. Contact us online to schedule your visit, or call (719) 544-4922.

10 Helpful Tips to Avoid Plumbing Emergencies

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They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to your home’s plumbing system, we tend to agree!

Follow these ten tips from the experts at Patterson Plumbing to stop plumbing problems before they start:

  1. Think before you flush. Your toilet isn’t a wastebasket – reserve it for toilet paper and . Even “flushable” wipes can cause problems.
  2. Always keep your thermostat on at least 65° F. Always keep your heat on during the winter to avoid frozen pipes, even if you are going away on vacation.
  3. Insulate your pipes. Insulating your pipes is a cheap, quick, easy job that can prevent costly bursts.
  4. Don’t pour grease down the drain. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in the kitchen. Grease solidifies when it cools down, which can cause major backups in your plumbing system.
  5. Be mindful of your garbage disposal. Your garbage disposal is powerful, but it’s not invincible. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you avoid clogs and breakdowns.
  6. Inspect your supply lines. Every few months, take a close look at the supply lines for your washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker. If any of the tubing is deteriorating, replace it immediately.
  7. Flush your hot water heater. Over time, your hot water tank accumulates sediment which can reduce efficiency and lead to breakdowns. Flush your water heater once per year to fix this problem before it starts.
  8. Stay away from exposed pipes. If you have exposed plumbing anywhere in your house, do not pull on or hang from the pipes.
  9. Be aware of your shut off valves. Know where all of your water shutoff valves are. In the event of an emergency, you will want to get to these valves as quickly as possible.
  10. Fix leaks as soon as possible. That little problem can become a big problem if left unaddressed.

Patterson Plumbing & Heating provides same-day plumbing repairs to Pueblo and Canon City, Colorado. Contact us online to get started, or call (719) 544-4922.

Debunking 3 Common Plumbing Myths

DEBUNKING 3 COMMON PLUMBING MYTHS

The internet is full of tips to keep your plumbing system operating like new, but everything on the internet is not true. In fact, there is a lot of misleading information out there surrounding home plumbing systems.

In this article, the experts at Patterson Plumbing help clear up some of the confusion by debunking three common plumbing myths.

Drain cleaner is a good way to clear up clogs.

Got a clog in the kitchen sink? Just pour in half a bottle of your favorite drain cleaner to clear it up. Or maybe not. While drain cleaners are an effective short-term solution to clear up a clog, the long-term damage they can inflict on your pipes is not worth the quick fix. You can make a homemade drain cleaning solution out of baking soda and vinegar that is cheaper and completely safe – click here to learn how.

A leaky faucet is no big deal.

Drip. Drip. Drip. That sound you hear is money leaving your wallet. You may think a leaky sink is no cause for concern, but think again. A faucet that drips just once per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons over the course of a year – that’s about 175 showers’ worth of water.

Plumbing fixtures require no maintenance.

Out of all the plumbing myths circulating around the internet, this one is the most dangerous. Neglecting your plumbing system and fixtures can result in breakdowns, pipe leaks, flooding, and costly repairs. At the very least, you should have your home’s plumbing system professionally inspected and tuned up once per year.

Residents of Pueblo County, Colorado can count on Patterson for all of their plumbing needs. Our specialties include drain cleaning, leak repairs, plumbing services, installations and more. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to schedule your appointment.

4 Plumbing Tips You Need to Know this Summer

Garden sprinkler

Follow these tips to make sure your summer fun in the sun doesn’t wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system:

Keep sand out of your drains.

If you are planning a trip to the beach this summer, make sure not to track any sand back into your house. Those tiny little specks seem insignificant when they go down your shower drain, but they can actually create some pretty big clogs. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is by leaving any sand at the door. Use a whiskbroom to brush it away, or wash off with a garden hose before stepping inside.

Turn off your water supply before leaving for vacation.

Vacation is supposed to be a relaxing, enjoyable time for the whole family. The last thing you want to come home to is a problem, especially a flood. Turning off your water supply before you leave will help prevent an unexpected pipe burst from putting a damper on your trip – no pun intended.

Be mindful what you put down your garbage disposal.

After hosting a family cookout, it might be tempting to put all your food waste down your garbage disposal, but that isn’t such a good idea. Fibrous foods like corn husks and celery stalks can do some serious damage to the motor, and greases, fats, and oils can solidify to cause clogs.

Inspect your outdoor water lines for leaks.

Water leaks aren’t just wasteful, they are costly too. Even a small leak in your plumbing system can result in hundreds of dollars being added to your utility bills. Make sure to inspect your outdoor water lines every month for signs of problems, including your sprinkler system, pool, and garden hoses.

If you run into issues with any of your home’s plumbing fixtures, help is just a phone call away with Patterson Plumbing. For more than 30 years, we have been Colorado’s most-trusted source for plumbing repairs, installations, and heating and cooling services. If you live in Pueblo County or the surrounding area, contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Home’s Plumbing System

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to your plumbing system. Use these tips from Patterson Plumbing to keep the drains and pipes in your home running like new.

Sinks

  • Don’t pour grease down your drains. Grease and cooking oils solidify as they go down the drain, causing clogs and backups.

  • Prevent over-tightening sink handles. Tightening valves is not a test of strength – sometimes turning that wrench too tight can cause leaks, rather than preventing them.

Toilet

  • Think before you flush. Your toilet isn’t a wastebasket, don’t use it like one. The only household item that can safely be flushed down the drain is toilet paper.

  • Test your toilet for leaks. Put a couple drops of red food dye in your toilet’s tank and let it sit for a few hours. If any red appears in the bowl, you have a leak on your hands.

Bathtub

  • Clean your shower head with vinegar. Water pressure can be affected when your shower head is clogged with sediment. Clean it every few months by filling a sandwich bag with vinegar, tying it around your shower head, and letting it sit overnight.

  • Use drain screens. Mesh drain screens can be purchased for as little as $2 and do wonders in preventing clogs.

Everything Else

  • Avoid using drain cleaner. Take care of clogs using a plunger, plumbing snake, or homemade baking soda solution. Commercial drain cleaners are harmful to your health, as well as the health of your pipes.

  • Routinely inspect supply hoses. Washing machine and ice maker hoses should be periodically checked. If you notice a small leak or tear, replace it immediately before it completely bursts.

Looking for more preventative maintenance tips for your plumbing system? Check out this article from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.

Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, problems can still occur. If you run into any issues with your home plumbing system, the experts at Patterson Plumbing area just a phone call away. We offer professional plumbing services to homes and businesses in Pueblo County, Colorado. If you live in the Pueblo area and are in need of a professional plumber, contact us online or call us at (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.

How to Fix a Weak-Flushing Toilet

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Does your toilet just not flush like it used to? A weak-flushing toilet is not only inconvenient, it can lead to some real messes down the road. The plumbing experts at Patterson will walk you through some of the most common causes for a weak flushing toilet, and what you can do to fix them.

Problem #1: Low Water Level

Sometimes, the solution is as simple as letting the float ride higher in your toilet’s tank, which allows the water level to increase. Adjusting the float is a simple process, but varies from toilet to toilet. Check your owner’s manual for instructions from the manufacturer.

Problem #2: Flapper Closes Too Quick

Your weak flush could be caused by the flapper in the tank opening and closing too quickly. Open the tank and check the length of the flapper’s chain – there should be ¼ to ½ an inch of slack. Shortening the chain will keep the flapper open for longer, allowing more water to enter the bowl and creating a stronger flush.

Problem #3: Mineral Buildup

The water that comes from your supply line isn’t pure – it contains minerals such as calcium and line. Over time, these minerals can accumulate in places such as your toilet’s rim flush holes (the holes under the rim in your toilet bowl where water enters). Clean these holes using a wire coat hanger, paper clip, or turn off the water supply and pour toilet cleaner down the flush valve. Let the solution sit for a couple of hours, turn the water back on, and flush twice.

If you have gone through these steps to no avail, it’s time to call the professionals. The plumbing experts at Patterson Plumbing and Heating have been diagnosing and fixing issues across Pueblo County, Colorado for over 30 years. If you live in Pueblo or the surrounding area,  or call (719) 544-4922 to get started.

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 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.

5 Steps To Prep Your Home for Vacation

New Year, new vacations, here’s what you need to do to make sure your home is ready for your departure:

Plumbers Pueblo

Step 1. Pull the plug on all of your electronics. TVs, toasters, coffee pots, computers, etc., can continue to drain power even while in the off position. You’ll want to keep your fridge plugged in and perhaps some lights (on a timer) for security reasons, but all else can be unplugged.

Step 2. Tidy up before you go, including cleaning out your fridge and freezer, sink traps and garbage disposal. After being away for days the last thing you want to come home to is offensive odors from old food. For a DIY cleaning solution – mix half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of water and pour each down your drains.

Step 3. Lower your heat, but do not shut it off. To avoid freezing pipes set your thermostats to no lower than 55 degrees. If you have pets or house plants in the home, adjust the temperature accordingly.

Step 4. Turn off the water supply to your home – this way if you missed any small leaks before, you can rest easy knowing there won’t be a flood to return home to.

Step 5. Phone a friend – not only to stop by and check on your home (and feed your pets) in your absence, but also advise your in-home service professionals (alarm service)that you’ll be out of town.

The last thing you’ll want to do is come home to a disaster. Look forward to your 2016 travels knowing your home is prepared!

For over 25 years, Patterson Plumbing has been Pueblo, Colorado’s go to company for plumbing, heating, cooling, water treatment, and remodeling needs. If you need us, we’ll be there – FAST. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call: 719.544.4922.