How to Prevent Your Basement From Flooding

Clogged drain

Backed up drains can be a traumatic emotional experience and it’s vital to understand how prevent basement flooding. Waste water filling up a basement causes damage to carpets, walls, furnace, furniture, and personal memorabilia. The cost of restoring your home to pre backup standards can be costly. There is no price tag that can be attached to family photos, and collections that are damaged by waste water.

Most often a backed up sewer line develops over time. A restricted sewer line slows the waste water from flowing through. Restrictions can be caused by old drain lines that have failed, roots getting into broken drains, and ground settling that causes a drain line to sink and create a low spots. It is important as to what is being flushed down the drain, like rags, excessive toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, paints, construction material, or old motor oil. Always remember, that your drain line has been backing up long before it starts to backup in your toilets and showers. These are called mini backups or burps.


Sometimes a professional drain cleaning is needed. The restricted drain location can be 15-30′ away from your home, possibly in your yard or out into the street. The clog grows over time. The waste water fills the pipe from the restricted spot up to your toilet drain, this creates water weight on the clog. When this happens, your basement toilet will make gurgling noises and flush poorly, another symptom may be minor water stains around your floor drain with remnants of white Toilet paper and waste around the floor drain, another symptom may be that the gurgling noises occur when your washing machine is draining high volume waste water into the drain. The water weight pushes through the restriction and it starts to drain again. This cycle happens repeatedly in what is called a burp or mini backup under the floor until the restricted spot becomes strong enough to hold the water, fill the drain pipe, and overflow the toilet, floor drain and tub in the basement.

TechnicianAt Flatirons Plumbing, our goal is to prevent future backups in your home. The options can range from preventative maintenance up to traditional practices of repairing and replacing sewer systems. Not to mention,  utilizing new technology to reduce yard and landscape damage. The options become your choice based on what’s best for your family and budget. We are the residential service professionals. Our technician will arrive to evaluate the situation, provide upfront pricing and complete the work that day.



One of the most common plumbing emergencies we have seen in the plumbing business is that of burst pipes, whether in the home or in public building systems. A lot of things may cause burst pipes, but the main cause is freezing conditions. Other common causes of pipe failure include age, misuse and/or damage. The basic piping system is often under pressure, and any fault in the piping will only get worse over time and eventually lead to total breakdown.

This is exactly as bad as it sounds, as the impact of a burst pipe can be dramatic and devastating all at the same time. A burst pipe is no joke, as it can put people out of their homes due to damage and lack or running water, and can even close entire buildings or areas of town for a number of days; on top of that is the costly damage to property.

With the recent population boom in the Denver Metro area, there is now overcrowding in our cities. This has led to the integration of several complicated plumbing systems such as waste disposals, boilers and even garden features in our homes. A burst pipe in your home is simply the worst thing that can happen to you. This is not just because of the cost of the repair, stress or even any inconvenience you feel while being fixed. But, due to the vast amount and cost of damage the water can do. Often times, when a pipe bursts in the ceiling or floor it may take weeks or even months before it gets noticed. In fact, the first indication you may have is when a bulge appears on your roof or the water flows in a torrent.

Frozen pipes cause burst pipes

The most likely culprit of burst pipes in your home will be freezing temperatures on unprotected piping. Pipes burst when frozen due to the expansion of water as it becomes ice. This increases the internal pressure of the pipe and something has to give. This is often the soft copper shell or plastic of the pipe. Breaks can also occur at the weaker joints or in the middle of the pipe. Piping is designed to be invisible so most of the piping in your home is hidden in flooring, roof spaces or walls. This is why the damage caused by a burst pipe can be so devastating.

Luckily, there are some preventative actions you can take to reduce your risk of a burst pipe. When preventative measures don’t work, we always recommend you call Flatirons Plumbing service for your burst pipe emergencies. As you will be unable to get to most pipes, and there will be pipes that you may not even know exist, your first move when you notice a burst pipe is to get to your water shut off at the stopcock as quickly as possible.

At this point, Flatirons Plumbing knows exactly what is needed to do and has the equipment to repair the burst pipe. Please call us if you have any questions or need an emergency plumbing service call.

4 steps to unclog sewer line

Solution to unclog sewer line in 4 steps with a plumbing snake tool

unclog sewer lineIf you take your handyman skills very seriously and are still looking for some easy solutions to unclogging sewer line, here is a step by step guide on how to fix this type of problem. For this type of problem, we really recommend calling the experts, as this is a big and important task to get done right the first time. Please be aware that as a result of differences in manufactures and country regulations, some components may have different names depending on where you’re living.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 1

Locate the problem by first looking for the main sewer line inside your house. Depending on your home’s drainage layout, it may be located in more than one place. If you don’t know what your main sewer line looks like, you can look for a pipe with a threaded plastic nut bulging from the wall or underground.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 2

Be ready to get your hands dirty and have a bucket ready for spill outs. Before opening the nut, suspend a bucket to the base of the sewer pipe or drip pan to avoid spillage. Be prepared as this will be a very messy job.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 3

With preparation done, you can now unscrew the sewer drain plug with a pair of channel lock pliers or a wrench. Do this by turning the plug screw counter-clockwise until it is loose enough to unscrew by hand. Unscrew the nut and allow wastes and water to flow into the bucket. It’s best to have a rug or mop ready in case of overflows.

Unclog Sewer Line: Step 4

Now comes the tricky part of unclogging the drain with a snake tool. After connecting your snake tool, feed the cable into the gutter until it stops at an obstruction. Turn on the device and unclog the sewer line using the forward button. You have to keep a firm grip on the device while the snake tool works its way into the pipes. Whenever the machine stops, you can press the reverse button for a couple of seconds and then use the forward motion again. You may have to carry out this process over and over until you have free movement of the tool.

Alternatively, sewer repair can be a complicated and dirty job. In a lot of cases, your pipes may be damaged and not just clogged. Flatirons Plumbing has many ways of fixing various plumbing situations and is always ready for emergency plumbing services to help unclog your sewer line anytime.

Do you need help with a leaking pipe?

Do you need help with a leaking pipe?

leaking pipe repairIf you notice brown or discolored water in your sink/tub, warm spots in the floor, soaked carpeting, ceilings or walls and abnormally high water bills, you may be experiencing signs of failing and leaking pipes. Some leaks like water fixture or faucet leaks are fairly harmless, but when that leaking pipe or faucet is ignored for months, it can potentially cause you thousands of dollars in water and mold damage repairs for your home or business.

When used as recommended, the copper pipes that are commonly used by contractors in most homes are durable and long-lasting. They are however, not invincible and sometimes develop leaks that can cause damage to your home and businesses. When it comes to a leaking pipe a stitch in time can truly save you a lot. Early pipe leak repair is critical. These leaks can cause significant damage to your home, if not caught and repaired early enough.

Flatirons Plumbing offers inspection, repairs and installation services for all of you home’s pipes and water connections. Just give us a call and we will put you in direct contact with an expert who will listen to your problems and schedule and inspection if needed. In our professional experience the most common places where pipe leaks can occur around the house include bathtubs and showers, drains, sinks, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets. Pipe leaks such as leaking water heaters and dripping faucets are easily obvious. However many leaks often go undetected for years because they are not visible.

It is very important that you call in the experts as soon as possible, when you detect a water leak in your home due to a leaky pipe. We are always available to deliver professional plumbing services and skilled pipe repair.

What can I do?

There are several temporary repairs you can perform to keep your water pipes in working order until permanent repairs can be carried out by an expert. With a temporary fix toilets, sinks and other plumbing fixtures can still remain in use. However, you need to be careful as these temporary fixes are just not meant for long-term use and should never be depended on as a long-term repair.

Simple Leaky Pipe Fixes

  • If you notice a leak in the pipe joint, tighten the joint.
  • If you notice a leak in the pipe itself, you can attempt to remove the damaged section of pipe yourself and replace it.
  • In cases of a minor leak, like a hole in a pipe, you can wrap waterproof tape over the bad spot. Do not depend on this fix for long as it is only a quick, temporary fix.

What causes leaking pipes?

Several factors can cause you to have a leaking pipe. These factors may work alone or act in a combination to affect your piping system. These include:


Corrosion is a major cause of leaking pipes in the house. They are usually caused by chemical reactions, water quality or age. Depending on the level of corrosion, it may affect every aspect of your plumbing fixtures and steps should be taken to repair immediately.


This is the most easily found form of corrosion. Rust is usually found on older galvanized steel pipes. Modern plastic PVC and copper pipes are not vulnerable to rust, but other metal parts of the plumbing fixtures in your home are.


Cracks are rare in modern plumbing, but still possible. The bad side is that they can occur in most any plumbing fixture, and discovering where the crack is can be a chore. If you notice a crack, you should replace the fixture.


Most leaks are as a result of natural wear and tear, as your pipe system can degrade and develop leaks over time. Unfortunately, as placement of pipes are designed to be invisible, and most leaky pipe joints are hidden behind walls and the foundation of your home. This is why you may not notice one until it is too late.

Be assured if you come across a leaking pipe and need a professional plumber, Flatirons Plumbing is just a phone call away for advice or schedule an emergency plumber right away.