Thorough indoor and outdoor house inspection is a critical piece of due diligence that you should do as a home buyer. However, very few home buyers ask for a sewer inspection before buying their dream home. In fact, most buyers do not think about sewer inspections since it is buried in the ground and it requires special equipment to inspect and with all the excitement surrounding buying a house. Most of the focus is usually on getting a home inspection, and sewer lines are almost an after-thought if buyers think about them at all. Unfortunately, the sewer inspections remain one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes should conduct. Flatirons Plumbing is proud to announce that we now offer professional sewer inspection services using the most advanced tools available today.


The time to inspect if a sewer is faulty or needs replacement is before purchasing a home, not after payment. Prudent home buyers will always choose to invest in professional sewer line inspection, regardless of the age of the house. We recommend that you do a thorough sewer inspection for homes older than 20 years. This is because tree roots can still clog up a 20-year-old sewer line. As tree roots go in search for water, they often times grow into sewer lines and expand causing a blockade and potential backup. Roots crawl into tiny openings in the sewer line, growing around other debris such as grease or eggshell waste that typically causes backups. Sometimes chemicals can kill the tree’s roots, but if the roots reappear, the pipe may be damaged and require excavation to fix the problem.

Sewer backups are quite nasty and expensive, backup events are especially discouraging when they occur in a recently purchased home. Repairing a sewer line can also be extremely expensive, as it requires a bit of manpower for excavations and potentially street/sidewalk repairs. The cost of sewer line repair can cost about $5000, and if it gets to the street, costs can quickly reach two or three times that. Sewer repairs are considered the single most expensive repairs you could face as a homeowner. At Flatirons Plumbing, we provide expert sewer inspection analysis using multiple devices to ensure that you are protected from nasty sewer backups.


Your home’s side sewer contains the pipeline that exits the home and joins up with the community sewer main, usually located in the middle of the street. Some of the oldest homes were constructed with sewer pipes made of clay. This changed around the mid-20th century, to concrete. Clay and concrete pipes (builders switched to plastic in the late 70’s-early 80’s) are often susceptible to cracks and tree root infiltration at the joints between pipe sections. As plastic PVC pipes are glued together, they are impervious to roots. This doesn’t make them invincible as new plastic pipes may have issues too, including cracks, shifting pipes and low spots. We have encountered new houses with plastic lines that were crushed by trucks driving over them, or coming apart when contractors forgot to glue a joint.


Flatirons Plumbing offers top-notch sewer inspection services, you can simply place a call and ask for one of our professional plumbers. We work by using a camera to inspect your sewer line for obstructions and breaks. We will dispatch a professional to snake our video camera equipment into the clean-out and guide the camera through the sewer. By doing this, we will find out if the sewer line is clean or clogged and our on-site inspectors will disclose the condition of your sewer and what to do next. We also offer more in-depth information like what kind of material was used to construct the sewer line and whether that type of material is considered good construction today. The costs of an inspection when compared to that of replacing a sewer line, is money well spent.

If you have any questions or ready to schedule an appointment with Flatirons Plumbing, we will be ready to help you.

Plumbing Tip: How to prevent burst piping

Plumbing Tip: How can I prevent Burst Piping and Repair?

Burst pipes can cause devastating damage to your house and furniture. As with most systems, prevention is by far the best solution. In order to assist you with this prevention, we have highlighted several key things you can do to minimize the damage below.

  1. Ensure you know exactly where your stopcock is, as you may need this information in an emergency. Ask your landlord or building superintendent if you do not know where your stopcock is or how to operate it.
  2. Make sure that all outside taps and piping devices are insulated, including drain pipes for heating and overflow pipes. Make sure you do not leave any joints, bends or taps exposed. You can use insulating lagging or foam for this task.
  3. Pipes that are buried in the ground need to be buried deep enough to withstand the cold weather and/or lag. Examples are pipes the go to garages or sheds.
  4. Set the heating to a minimum of 12 degrees centigrade (or about 54 degrees Fahrenheit) at all times during the cold weather. This will ensure that your piping system is warm enough to keep the water flowing, which prevents pipes from bursting.
  5. Locate and fix all dripping taps or plumbing leaks before the cold season. The most common cause of burst pipes are due to leaks in the system.
  6. Service your Central Heating System regularly.
  7. If you happen to leave your home unoccupied for any length of time, ensure that you turn off the stopcock, drain any water from your pipes and close the taps. If possible, leave your heating on.

By chance, you notice any signs of a burst pipe, make sure you get in touch with a local emergency plumber who will carry out repairs and advise you further. Flatirons Plumbing is always available to help you with all your plumbing problems, give us a call today for excellent service.



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.

Let Flatirons Plumbing help you with a clogged sewer line.

unclog sewer line

Let Flatirons Plumbing help you with a clogged sewer line.

When you get a clogged sewer line, you will notice issues with waste water draining from the house. This is an issue that requires an instant solution. Any delay in contacting professional service can result in disaster. A clogged main sewer line may cause waste water to back up from sinks, showers, toilets and every other water openings in your house. Clogs may also cause a gurgling sound and occasional shaking from your drains. Call Flatirons Plumbing if you ever see signs like your toilet water bubbling, water backing up from your tub or shower when you flush, or water bubbling from your faucets. We are available to provide assistance whenever you experience indoor or outdoor plumbing-related problems.

What causes sewer line clogging?

Your home’s plumbing system is designed so that water from sinks, showers, toilets and every other water drain in your house is eventually directed through a sewer line to a bigger sewer which you share with your neighborhood. Drains are dirty places and from time to time, due to clogs in these lines, a blockage develops. Water may begin draining from sinks in the house or the gutter openings around your building because of such clogs.

Other reasons for a clogged sewer line include broken pipes, debris and tree roots. These can all hinder proper drainage flow throughout the sewer system. One common cause is tree and shrub roots growing into old sewer pipes in search for water, these may end up causing a ruptured or clogged sewer line. Debris, such as strands of hair, food particles, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products, can catch on small obstructions in the pipes, causing major clog buildups. It really doesn’t matter how it happened, if you have a clogged sewer line then you need professional help. Luckily, Flatirons Plumbing is here to help. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today.

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.

Find a Plumber Questions Answered

Drain Strainer

If you’re a homeowner or even a tenant, you want always to make sure one thing, especially in your home, is working properly – the plumbing. Too often, major plumbing issues can be avoided if the proper maintenance and attention is applied before the problem escalates. We’re going to cover two big issues we see in homes and how to approach them correctly from the start.

Clogged Drains
Hey, we’ve all been there! A drain that use to wash down no problem is transforming into a small puddle in your sink. You ignore it and ignore it until it reaches a point where you’re coming back into the room, and the water is still draining.

So, what do we do?

Our first reaction might be to run to the local store and buy the most powerful drain clearing chemicals on the market.

Before you do this slow down a bit…

Those powerful chemicals at your local store might solve your slow drain issue, but they’ll cause massive headaches down the road. A lot of commercial chemical based solutions will cause massive damage to your pipes and sewer lines, and we certainly don’t want that.

Try this:
Solution one – Grab the ever so handy (and versatile) baking soda and pour a medium amount down your drain. Follow it up with hot water and this should clear things up plus knock out any bad odors.

Colorado Backed up drains


Solution two – If solution one doesn’t work, pour a cup of vinegar down the tube and wait a half hour. Then pour down the hot water. This one-two combo should remove any organic buildup in the pipes.

Clear drains with vinegar Colorado


For a Garbage Disposal – Freeze a tray full of ice cubes of half water, half vinegar and dump them down the drain. The chopping action will help the ice physically chip off debris, and the vinegar acts as a mild acid to clean grease build-up.

garbage disposal back up


Hopefully, the above solutions helped. If not, call a local service professional like Flatirons Plumbing. Professional plumbers carry the necessary tools to unclog the problem while preserving your pipes and sewer lines.

Now the best case scenario is to prevent a clogged drain altogether. There is a lot of mixed information in terms of what you can and cannot do when it comes to your drains. Let’s demystify this once and for all to make sure your drains stay clear.

Fact – Don’t let cooking grease or oil, coffee grounds, hair, and soap scum slip down your drain. These are the heavy hitting culprits when it comes to clogged drains in the home.

Fact – Make sure to run hot water down the drain every time you use the sink to prevent build-up on the inside of your pipes. Hot water will keep things from building up. Feel free to add baking soda periodically to freshen the odor and give an extra layer of cleaning.

Fact – Use a drain strainer to keep food scraps out of the drain pipes. Drain strainers are extremely cheap when you compare it to the cost it might take to fix a drain. Pick up a drain strainer at your local hardware store to keep any unwanted items from breaching your pipes.

If you are performing these preventive measures and you still are having issues with clogged drains, then you may have issues with installation or failure of the piping.

Water Heaters

Ah, warm water. Whether it’s a refreshing shower or a need in the kitchen, warm water is a luxury that nowadays seems more like a necessity. Did you know that water heater failures are one of the top five sources of residential water loss?

Water heater repair

In fact, a review of homeowner insurance claims around the country revealed the following startling statistics:

– 69% of all water heater failures result from a slow leak or a sudden burst.

– Water heater failures cost an average of $4,444 per incident after the deductible was paid.

– Supply line failure was the cause in only 10% of claims, but these claims typically were 60% higher than those caused by leaking or bursting.

– The age at which a water heater tank failed due to leaking, or bursting was available for 32% of the claims. Water heaters up to 20 years old accounted for 95% of these claims.

– Failures of water heaters located on the first floor resulted in 33% greater losses than those resulting from water heaters in basements.

– Approximately 9% of all water heater failures occurred in unoccupied homes and resulted in 49% higher claims.

As you might conclude, a water heater failure can be a massive expense for a homeowner. What can we do to stay active and make sure any problem is dealt with before it escalates?

Water heater risk primarily correlates with the age of the water heater. The average life of water heaters in Colorado is 10-12 years. If your water heater is approaching anywhere near this number, call a professional to assess the functionality of the device and if it needs replacing.

The average cost in damages AFTER the deductible is $4,444. Compare this number to the cost of prevention replacement and it’s an easy conclusion that replacing an old water heater pays for itself. Layer that with the emotional strain of water heater damage, increased premiums after filing a damage, and the time spent with the hassle, it’s a smart decision always to be ahead of this problem.

If you’re in Colorado and unsure of your water heaters age, or how good of shape it’s in, call 720 – 630 – 1784

Overall, the plumbing of your home is a top priority. What few homeowners understand is that so many issues are intact preventive. Take action as outlined above, and if you have questions or need a second look from a professional, give us a call at 720-630-1784. We’re a family owned and operated business, and we’re here to help.Average Age Water Heater

Tips and Tricks from Plumbing Pros
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