How do I?

Avoid frozen pipes

 
Cold weather can equal frozen pipes. Here are few tips for when temperatures drop below zero:  

  • Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall of the house. This small amount of water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks near exterior walls.
  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees. 
  • Insulate pipes in your home's crawl space and attic. These exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Insulation, heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables can help.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located (e.g. electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes).
  • Disconnect garden hoses.
frozen pipe photo web
If your water pipes are frozen, or if there is only a trickle, try some of the helpful tips listed below before calling a plumber:

  • Locate where the water comes into your home - basement, crawl space, garage. Is there heat to that area? Is the vent to your water closet (where your water heater is located) open?
  •  Open a faucet, let a trickle run. If there is no water at all, leave the faucet open, but make sure the drains are clear.
  • Open your cabinet doors to let heat in on your pipes. A small space heater would work well.
  • Run a hair dryer on your pipe so heat can dispense through your plumbing system. 
If you are completely out of water after trying these steps, call us at 720-733-6000.

Identify and fix common toilet leaks


Toilet leaks can waste as much as four to five gallons of water per minute. It can also add up to $100 per month to your water and wastewater bill. Toilet leaks occur in two ways and are often very difficult to detect.

The most common toilet leak and often hardest to detect is caused by a deteriorated or defective flush valve (flapper) ball at the bottom of the toilet tank. If the flapper or ball valve does not seat properly and form a water tight seal, water will leak around it into the toilet bowl. Often, this leak will occur without being heard. View more step-by-step tips on how to fix / detect some common toilet leaks.

Resolve pressure issues


We offer this basic information on pressure issues, every situation is different
and it is by no means professional plumbing advice.

Here is a photograph of the typical water main / meter stack installation. Yours
may look different, depending on the type of installation. Your water meter may
also be located in a pit in the front yard. These stacks are typically located in the basement.
 meter stack installation
1. Check the shut-off valves 
Check your shut off valves to ensure that they are in the fully open position. If you have a lever handle, it should be parallel with your pipes. If the handle is
perpendicular to the pipe or at an angle, then that indicates that your valve is partially or completely closed.If you have a round handle, it should be opened
all the way counter clockwise.  If you turn it to the right and it won't move, then
it is in the closed position.
water valves  
2. Check your pressure at an outside hose bib 
Next check your house's water pressure. Make sure there is no water being used in the house or with the irrigation system. Thread, like you would
a garden hose, a pressure gauge (this can be purchased at home
improvement stores for lessthan $15) onto your outside hose bib, and
then turn the faucet on all the way.  

This will give you a baseline of your house's pressure. Standard household pressure should be 40-80 pounds per square inch (psi). Pressures higher than
80 can possibly damage household appliances. If your pressure is higher than 80, your pressure should be reduced using a pressure regulating valve (PRV)
 pressure gauge
3. Adjusting a pressure regulating valve (PRV) 
Once you have determined your household pressure, you may be able to adjust it up or down using your PRV. You will need a flat head screwdriver and
a wrench. The PRV is normally located in the basement, where your water shut offs are located. The PRV is a bell shaped fixture with a lock nut and bolt on the
end. Loosen the lock nut, by turning it counter clockwise with a wrench, before
trying to adjust the pressure, this allows you to maneuver the bolt. Turn
the screw clockwise to tighten -increasing the pressure, or counter clockwise
to loosen and lower the pressure. After each full turn of the screw, take a new reading at your outside faucet, ensuring that you are not raising the pressure
too high or too low.

Remember to count the turns, in cast you want to reset the PRV to its original
position. The pressure should not be adjusted above 80 psi. Once you have
reached the desired water pressure, make sure you re-tighten the lock nut on the PRV.
 PRV pressure regulating valve

Is your pressure regulating valve failing?

The most common signs that a PRV is failing are:
  • ​Sudden loss of water pressure and water flow.
  • ​Suddenly high water pressure (this can also be a symptom of a failing water heater expansion tank).
  • ​Water pressure surges often occur when a PRV is starting to fail. The water will come out strongly when the faucet is first turned on and then taper off. This means the PRV is unable to hold and maintain the pressure in your system.
​​There are many YouTube videos that explain how residential plumbing systems and PRVs work.  These videos can help you become familiar with your water system.