Just Plane Funny

If you’re like me, you love flying on planes and love the anticipation of getting to your destination. Although I’ve never been on a flight that’s been forced to turn around, I figure that’s one of the worst feelings. Not only is the anticipation put on hold, but there also might be a tendency to freak out in thinking something must be wrong. There are actually quite a lot of reasons for flights to turn around, many of which are weird. But a recent USA Today article reported on a flight turning around mid-flight for a pretty funny reason. Shortly after departing Oslo Airport for a two-hour trip to Munich, the Norwegian plane was forced to turn around at the Swedish border because the toilets were out of order. What makes this funny? The flight had around 85 plumbers on board going to a trade show in Munich. Of course, the problem could only be remedied from underneath the plane, but the irony of the plane turning around, especially for that reason with so many plumbers on board, is too funny. As ironic as that is, I think there is a similarity between that plane and real life. Though plumbers can work on toilets, many can’t fix what is underneath the surface. This is where Apex comes in. Known as “the underground guys,” we fix what traditional plumbers can’t. Water, sewer, and fire lines require special equipment to dig them up and, in turn, that equipment requires men with experience to operate them. Our crews have several decades of combined experience. Just like with the plane, sometimes plumbers can...

Dealing with Frozen Pipes?

With the most recent cold front that moved through CO this last weekend, most of Denver was hit with at least 4” of snow and temperatures that got down into the teens. Though that was the most snow we’ve had this winter, the Denver Metro area has had some seriously cold days and nights in the past few months and I’m sure we will have more in the upcoming months. We in Denver aren’t the only ones facing cold spells in the U.S. Over New Year’s holiday, nearly the entire country saw some of the coldest temps they’ve seen in a while. An unfortunate effect of this weather is pipes freezing and breaking. Do a simple Google search of the word “plumbing” and click on the ‘News’ section of Google and you will see several articles from news sources all over the country about safeguarding your home from frozen pipes. I would encourage every homeowner to become familiar with ways to keep your pipes from freezing to prevent expensive and frustrating outcomes. These ways include keeping your garage door closed, opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors, wrapping insulation around exposed pipes, putting an insulation blanket on the water heater, turning off the water supply to sprinkler pipes, and more. Burst pipes can cause all sorts of problems, the most obvious of which is flooding, which can result in thousands of dollars of damage. You can find more tips to prevent frozen pipes here and here. Though the majority of major frozen pipe problems come from above ground pipes, sometimes those forgotten lines well underneath the ground can crack due to...

Technology in Plumbing

For the last 50 years, the world has experienced an unprecedented jump forward in technological advancements. From computers and internet to smart phones and tablets, electric vehicles and self-driving cars to rockets that are being built to reach Mars, it seems we are definitely in the golden age of technology. Though it is not often thought about in terms of advancements, the plumbing world has experienced some amazing technological feats in the last few years as well. Most recently, scientists from USC’s Information Sciences Institute have developed a new device called the Pipefish. This nifty little gadget is sent through fire hydrants into a city’s underground water system. As an article from Phys.org states, “The device captures real-time video, using sensors and navigation technology to collect data and log its position as it goes.” While the U.S. is soon to face a crisis due to the aging plumbing infrastructure and deteriorating pipes, this invention proves to be a possible game-changer. Denver Water has stated that there are over 3,000 miles of water pipe in the Denver area. Instead of having to manually scope lines to see if they’re broken, imagine being able to view all 3,000 miles and know exactly where each break and crack is? That’s what the Pipefish offers. Along with this amazing gadget, another new invention is on the horizon that has the ability to help cities better detect lead in water lines. Noticing the devastation caused by lead poisoning during the floods in Flint, MI, a 12-year-old girl from Lone Tree, CO named Gitanjali Rao began looking for a way to help. As someone who...

Where Are All The Plumbers?

A recent article from Long Island, NY news publication Newsday revealed that Long Island is facing a plumber shortage despite a median annual wage of $95,010. How could a job that pays nearly $100k be facing a shortage? The article states it is mainly due to the number of baby boomers retiring and the lack of young people who are interested in the trade. The supply of young plumbers is not meeting the demand caused by the retirement of older ones. However, the article states, “Ironically, plumbing is one of the fastest-growing professions on Long Island. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of plumbers on the Island is expected to swell 32 percent, Labor Department data show.” Demand is still so high that plumbers are having to turn away work due to such a heavy workload. Business owners cannot hire enough people to fill the demand for the work they’re offered. For the last half a decade, the State of Colorado has seen major growth in population, but we are experiencing a similar plumber shortage like Long Island. Though we at APEX specialize in underground plumbing, we feel the same pain in that it has been difficult to find people interested in the trades. However, there are multiple reasons why working in the trades can be more rewarding than merely pushing paper. Just consider what APEX Plumbing offers. Full-time work in an exciting field Highly competitive pay Review for raise after 90 days Ability to move up in the company Benefits (eye, dental, health) Holiday pay Paid vacation after one year A positive working environment A family-like atmosphere Working...

The War Between Plastic and Iron Pipe Makers

Did you know there are 1.6 million miles of water and sewer pipes in the United States? Did you also know cast iron pipes in at least 600 towns and counties are more than a century old? A New York Times article earlier this month gave these and many more details about the state of America’s underground plumbing. The article mainly focused on the war between the iron and plastic industries to win contracts from city and town councils, state capitals, and more to replace their underground plumbing in the upcoming decade. According to the Times, “Traditional materials like iron or steel currently make up almost two-thirds of existing municipal water pipe infrastructure. But over the next decade, as much as 80 percent of new municipal investment in water pipes could be spent on plastic pipes, Bluefield (Research) predicts.” The push for plastic pipes has grown increasingly since the flooding in Flint, MI that caused as many as 8,000 children to be exposed to unsafe levels of lead in the aftermath. Corroding iron pipes in Flint have also been linked to two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. The nearby town of Burton, MI chose to use plastic to replace their service lines, which has saved the city of 29,000 residents at least $2.2 million. However, many argue that plastic service lines are unproven and could be putting chemicals into the drinking water. Though the cost is considerably more expensive than plastic, the City of Flint chose to replace service lines with copper. This has proven to be a very reliable material for water lines and is what we at APEX...

90-Year-Old Plumber? What’s Wrong With That?

Herb Hohengasser doesn’t know what it means to retire. Who is he? He’s a 90-year-old plumber and gas inspector in Deerfield, NH. At 90, he is one of the oldest plumbers in the U.S. As the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports, Hohengasser is technically retired, but he still inspects on average five to 10 buildings per week and continues to plumb. In the 1950s, Herb joined the Franklin County Master Plumbers Association, which is now composed of dozens of plumbers. He worked under the organization’s founder before becoming a self-employed plumber in 1965. Why does he continue to work at 90? “It gets me out of the house,” he says. His friends/co-workers call him a “wealth of information.” After all, you’d probably learn a thing or two in 60+ years! Did you know APEX Plumbing has been around for 32 years? Not quite as impressive as Herb Hohengasser, but we’d like to think we too have learned a few things in the last three decades. Unlike Herb, we specialize in underground plumbing and have become the premier wet utilities contractor in the Denver Metro area. Having performed tens of thousands of water and sewer line installations, repairs, and replacements, we believe we can answer any question about wet utilities that is thrown our way. Like Herb, we too are considered a wealth of information by plumbers, homeowners, realtors, municipalities, and contractors. In fact, we offer free presentations that explain the process of working on underground utilities, how to evaluate a sewer line video, the important questions to ask before beginning a project, and much more. And coming soon, we will...

World Kindness Day

Did you know that today, November 13th, is World Kindness Day? It is a day to focus on the kindnesses that have been shown to you and to think of how you can spread that kindness to others. The day came about through the organization known as the “World Kindness Movement” (WKM). On November 13, 1997 in Tokyo, Japan, the organization was formed when Japan brought together like-minded kindness organizations from around the world for the first time. As their website states, “WKM is now recognized as the peak global body for Kindness and whilst not a governing body it is a platform for collaboration and sharing.” Now, there are over 28 nations involved in the movement! Today is a day where we can focus on doing random acts of kindness for others, regardless of the appreciation or anything else we may get in return. One great article gives some suggestions for how you can do this including calling a loved one, giving someone a nice note, adopting a pet, donate some money, give someone a compliment and more. Here at APEX Plumbing, we are always looking to show kindness to others and to demonstrate our appreciation for the kindness that has been shown to us. Whether it is donating our time and money to help out the community or keeping our prices at wholesale to give each customer the best bang for the buck, we strive to be a kind company. We also believe in showing kindness through our excellent customer service. Our receptionists seek to brighten your day and our estimators work hard to give you the...

Old Faithful’s Underground Plumbing

Old Faithful’s Underground Plumbing                         If you’ve ever been through Montana, you’ve probably stopped by Yellowstone National Park and seen the beautiful mountains and various wild animals. More than scenery and animals, if there’s one thing the park is known for it’s their geysers, specifically Old Faithful. Called Old Faithful due to its eruptions at regular intervals, this geyser can shoot anywhere from 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water to a height of up to 185 feet. Eruptions can last from 1.5 to 5 minutes.[1] This is an unbelievable natural wonder, but have you ever wondered how it works? Where does the water come from? What exactly is going on underground that would cause 8,400 gallons of water to burst from the ground with such force? For the first time ever, scientists from the U.S. and Denmark are looking to map out the plumbing system under the geyser to see how it works. Starting this month, scientists will conduct helicopter flights over Old Faithful. According to the Denver Post, the helicopter will have a giant electromagnetic system attached to the bottom that will essentially x-ray the ground to determine where and how hot water flows beneath the surface.[2] This survey of the hydrothermal plumbing could help us understand natural underground plumbing better than ever before. Of course, when it comes to the underground plumbing leading up to and below your house or business, APEX already understands how it works. We do know what is underneath and we are very aware of the inner workings having been in...

The Major Lead Water Line Problem in Denver and How APEX Can Help

  Join APEX and Denver Water in Replacing Every Lead Water Line in Denver!   A National Problem Did you know it’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week? October 22-28 is a week dedicated to informing the public of the harmful effects of lead in drinking water and reducing childhood exposure. Led by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. government is attempting to make all Americans aware of this issue. On a local level, Denver Water is taking steps to remove every lead water line in the Denver Metro area. Even though their water supplies do not contain any lead, Denver Water has estimated there are as many as 58,000 lead service lines remaining throughout their service area that may contaminate their clean water with lead particles. This is a massive project, but to manage it Denver Water has established its own lead reduction program that is spearheading the efforts to remove lead water lines. They are offering free lead tests and educational materials for customers and are urging people to be proactive about this problem. A Local Solution As a locally owned business for 32 years, APEX Plumbing shares Denver Water’s zeal in ensuring the people of Denver’s health and safety. Having replaced thousands of water lines over those years, we are amply experienced and equipped to remove and replace your lead water line, often times within one day. We use a safer and much more reliable material, copper, to replace your lead, and we stand behind every one of our jobs with our 5-year unconditional warranty....

Ancient Rome’s Lead Problem and Its Meaning Today

Rome’s Plumbing Issues: Did you know that the mass system of underground pipes that run into just about every building, home, and establishment in the U.S. was once considered a sign of prosperity? Though they weren’t the first to have plumbing, the ancient Romans excelled in their intricate pipe systems that brought running water into homes, bath houses, and the popular town squares with their fountains. It took years to build the aqueducts and underground pipes that archeologists are still finding today. But more importantly, it took money. In war times and poor times, funds were lacking to repair many cities’ infrastructures including the plumbing and aqueducts, so there was a lack of societal progress. Recent discoveries have allowed us to understand this better through the Romans’ use of lead pipes. During their wealthier periods when new pipes were installed and old ones replaced, large lead particles would float through the water and eventually come out into the Tiber River. This water would soak the surrounding areas leaving large residues of lead. However, in poorer times, pipes were not kept up to date or replaced so the pipes began to be worn down. This resulted in a less visible presence of lead in the surrounding soil due to the lack of large particles from the new pipes. Wealthier times: updated plumbing and more lead residue. Poorer times: dilapidated or non-existent plumbing and less lead residue. See, the use of these certain pipes for underground plumbing has allowed archeologists to determine the rich and poor periods of Rome’s amazing history by examining the lead in certain layers of ground. Who...