The Unpredictability of Foul Territory

(Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)   I like to check google every week or two to see if there are any interesting articles concerning plumbing or underground or something that might give me fuel for these blogs. Unfortunately, my recent search yielded nothing interesting that I could use. I wasn’t sure what my next blog would be on until I decided to see what was happening in the world of sports. I visited ESPN’s website and, low and behold, I found my next article idea. On the home page of ESPN, they had a story of the Dodgers vs. Angels game being cancelled after the 5th inning due to a broken main spilling sewage onto the field at Dodger’s Stadium. Being a Rockies fan with the Dodgers as a division rival, there are many jokes to be made here, but I’ll keep them to myself. However, as the ESPN writer noted, it was quite the coincidence that the leak happened in foul territory. After the game, the Angel’s manager, Mike Scioscia, stated, “You can always say you’ve seen everything, but we haven’t seen something like that.” Sometimes the unexpected happens and disaster strikes. Being the last game of Spring Training, I’m sure both teams were understandably upset that they could not finish strong before beginning the regular season. A broken sewer main can have major consequences for anyone nearby, apparently including two pro sports teams. Sewer lines, attached to the main, can often have issues as well. These sewer problems can be very frustrating, can occur at any time, and can happen to anyone. If you own a home...

The World Under the Surface

I’ve always been pretty fascinated with what is underneath us. Whether it be James Cameron going in a submarine to explore the depths of the ocean or Indiana Jones finding the Ark of the Covenant under a mound of sand in Egypt, the real or even fictional mysteries that are beneath us captivate me. However, underground is not always about exploring the unknown but about using the space beneath the surface to do amazing things. A recent Business Insider article featured a London-based business called “Growing Underground” that is a farm located 10 stories below the street. This particular farm established in 2012 uses a World War II deep-level bomb shelter to produce two tons of food each month. The owners use hydroponic systems and LED lighting to simulate a day and night cycle. How cool is that? The article states, “The process takes place entirely underground, from the sowing of the seeds to the harvesting and packaging.” This business shows us there is so much land under the surface that could be used in a number of ways. In fact, a quick google search shows the total land surface area of earth is 57 million square miles. Imagine what could be done if we were to utilize the space underneath? Yet, it seems most people don’t think of what is underground or the purposes it could have. We at APEX see this all the time. People don’t often think about the underground pipes and sewer systems that make modern plumbing possible. Just like that London company understands, there is so much use for the area beneath the surface...

The DIY and DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself) Plumbing Projects

{Image credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock}   With the increasing popularity of the HGTV channel, it seems the idea of Do-It-Yourself projects at home has grown astronomically in the last few years. People all across America are now attempting to renovate their entire houses, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, backyards, porches, etc. Why pay for someone else to do a job you could do for cheaper, especially when you have the exact vision for it, right? Whether it be YouTube videos, blog articles, or full websites devoted to it, you can pretty much figure out how to do any job with a few tools and an open schedule. However, unless you’re well versed in construction projects, you can pretty much count on mistakes happening from time to time, even if they’re small. When it comes to DIY plumbing, small mistakes can turn into huge problems due to the water involved. Unless you know plumbing well, it may be best to avoid doing it yourself. But if you are brave and decide to take on the project, consider this recent Washington Post article by Tim Carter (Tim ‘the Tool Man’ Carter?) about how to avoid DIY plumbing mistakes. First, Tim says, “It’s a bad plumbing practice to have a hard 90-degree bend in a horizontal drain line that’s buried in a slab or otherwise hidden. If you have to make a 90-degree bend, use two 45-degree fittings and put a small piece of straight pipe between the fittings, if possible.” However, it is okay to have a larger-radius (sweep) 90-degree bend at the base of a vertical drain pipe where the water begins to travel horizontally....

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...

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...