4 Reasons You Should Install a Garbage Disposal

The Garbage Disposal – One of the Great Inventions of the 20th Century! 

4 Reasons You Should Install a Garbage Disposal

4 Reasons You Should Install a Garbage Disposal

The InSinkErator Was Born in 1933

The first garbage disposal was called an “InSinkErator,” and it was invented by an architect name John W. Hammes, in Racine, Wisconsin. Apparently, he came up with the idea when he saw his wife wrapping up food scraps in a newspaper before she threw them into the waste can. At the time, the smell of rotting food in the garbage was something everyone had to deal with, as there were regulations prohibiting putting any food and waste down home drains because it damaged the sewer systems. Mr. Hammes thought that – if food could be shredded into tiny pieces before it went down the drains and into the sewer system – it would be a faster, cleaner, and less smelly way to eliminate the problem of food in the garbage.

“InSinkErators” Were Banned at First

It took Mr. Hammes 11 years of testing prototypes that he made in the garage of a mechanic, but he patented his InSinkerator in 1933, and it hit the market in 1940. Unfortunately, though, a lot of cities in the United States prohibited them throughout the ‘30’s and ‘40’s because of the regulations still in existence that prohibited food down the drains. In fact, garbage disposals were illegal in New York City until 1997 because it was thought that food in the sewer system – even food that had been chewed up into tiny bits so it would go through the pipes – was a danger to the city’s plumbing.

Garbage Disposals Are Great – Is It Time You Had One?

Even though InSinkErators proved to be incredibly useful, they didn’t really take off until the 1970’s and 1980’s, but now – they’re considered one of the “must-haves” in any new home on the market. Even if your home is older, and didn’t have a garbage disposal originally, there are many models you can put in that will upgrade your kitchen and make it a friendlier, easier place to cook and clean.

The benefits of garbage disposals are many; if you don’t have one – here a 4 reasons why you might consider putting a garbage disposal in your home:

  1. Saves Plumbing: Garbage disposals reduce the risk of clogging up your sinks and plumbing.
  2. Saves Money: Protecting your plumbing by not putting material down your sinks will save on plumbing repair and replacement bills.
  3. Benefits the Environment: Studies have shown that sending food waste into the sewer system via garbage disposals is not at all harmful to the environment, and far, far better than sending food scraps to landfills. It also cuts down on the use of plastic garbage bags, and inhibits the growth of vermin around landfills.
  4. Benefits Your Home: Food scraps in the garbage cause foul smells, and increases the risk of air-borne bacteria in your home. It also attracts insects and other pests, and that often means calling in an exterminator.

Moon Valley Plumbing Can Handle All Your Garbage Disposal Needs

Moon Valley Plumbing can help you with any plumbing problem or need, and that – of course – includes garbage disposals. If it’s a repair job you need, we have 24-hour emergency plumbing service. Alternatively, if you already have a garbage disposal but it’s seen better days, we’re happy to come help you find the right kind to replace it – fast!

If you’re installing a garbage disposal for the first time, however, and are unsure of what kind is right for your kitchen – you can give us a call on that too. We’re always happy to come out and give consultations. We’ll take into account the structural aspects of your kitchen, and what kind of food waste your family generally produces, because we want to ensure that you’ve chosen the right model for your needs. Once you have the garbage disposal you want, we’ll install it for you quickly and easily.

Our customer’s convenience is always our first concern, so our commitment to fast, friendly service is number one for all of our technicians. Making sure your plumbing needs are covered while saving them money is – well – that’s our other number one job, because we are the number one plumbing company in Phoenix; we just don’t do anything less!

Travis Says – Hard Water is Hard on You – and Your Home’s Plumbing Systems

It’s well known that the water here in the Valley of the Sun is notoriously hard – but do you know why? It’s because the rivers that feed the Phoenix reservoirs – the Colorado, Verde, and the Salt – are running through and over rocks and lands that are highly mineralized. (I mean – the “Salt River?” seriously?) Phoenix’s water is literally packed with minerals and chemicals that make your water taste terrible, leave deposits in your pipes, and a cloudy film on anything you try to wash – whether its your hair, your clothes, your dishes, or your dog.

But wait – what is hard water?

Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals in it, specifically – calcium and magnesium, and minerals are hard and solid, except when they’re dissolved in your water. When they’re dissolved in your water, they make your water – in effect – “hard and solid.” These minerals are what make the water taste bad, they deposit themselves on every plumbing pipe and appliance surface they touch, and they keep any kind of soap or detergent from doing it’s job.

Why is hard water “bad” – what does it do?

Hard water isn’t harmful, but it isn’t exactly healthy either. For one thing – it makes water taste terrible, and when water tastes terrible, it’s tough to get down the 8 glasses of it that we’re supposed to be drinking every day. And it’s certainly not convenient or helpful when it comes to cleaning either. Without going into a science project about negative and positive ions, soap simply doesn’t dissolve in hard water, which means it’s cleaning agents don’t “clean” the way they’re supposed to, and they don’t rinse off either, which creates the dreaded “soap scum” problem on your hair, glasses, clothing, etc.

Both the drinking and the cleaning problems cost a homeowner; either because they end up buying and carting in bottled water for drinking purposes, or from using way too much soap, bleach, and cleaners out of sheer frustration. But the biggest cost of having hard water in your home is going to be the scale and deposits that will build up in your pipes, your hot water tanks, your dishwashers, and washing machines. This build-up both reduces the efficiency of the appliances and requires that you use more water to get the job done, and it means that your appliances and plumbing will need servicing – or replacing – more often thanks to that build-up. Unfortunately, the hard water problem is truly hard – there’s simply no way around it.

Don’t just pick the first water softener you see – let us help!

You could just walk into a big box store and point to a water softener, have them load it up in your truck, take it home, and try and put it in yourself, and we have customers that do exactly that. Unfortunately, though, we sometimes have to go out and help them put it in the right way later. Either that, or sometimes we discover that they may not have gotten the right or best water softener for their needs. This is why – honestly, we’d like to advise you to give us a call and let us come out to help you figure out what water softening system is the best one for you. It will save you money in the long run, and you’ll know you’ve got the best system for your needs.

Here are just some of the considerations that many people don’t realize they need to look at in a water softening system.

  • How hard is your water – really? Before you buy a water softener, you really need to know how hard your water is. You can do this with a home testing kit, but the best answer is to give us a call and let us come out and test your water for you. Knowing exactly how hard your water is, and what degree of which minerals your dealing with, will help you choose the best system.

  • Size & Capacity A water softener needs to be large enough to handle the size of your family and your home, but you don’t want it so large that you’re paying for capacity that you don’t need and you won’t use. Water softeners need to recharge to remove the collected minerals every few days, and you need a softener that’s large enough to provide softened water while its recharging. Calculating the necessary capacity for your family will determine the size and kind of water softener that’s best for your home’s needs.

  • One tank or dual tank system? There are single tank and dual tank water softening systems of varying sizes, and one or the other may be a more economical choice for your home and the needs of your family. Obviously, if you’re a family with 3 teenagers there will be a lot more water going through your home on a daily – sometimes hourly – basis, than if you’re a retired couple with a Chihuahua.

  • Reverse osmosis, hot-water only, and saltless water softening systems  There are a number of choices and ways to treat the hard water in your home today, and some people would rather have a system that doesn’t use salt the way traditional water softeners do. The amount of salt used in most water softening systems is minimal, but sometimes people who are watching their salt intake prefer water softening systems that use potassium chloride instead. Or, we can help the salt issue by putting reverse-osmosis filters on the water taps can eliminate the salt from the water after its been softened. Another option for some people is to soften only the hot water in their home, leaving the drinking water untreated. And finally – there are completely salt-free water conditioners, but these operate differently from water softeners and “condition” the water rather than soften it.

Let Moon Valley Plumbing help you choose a water softening system:

At Moon Valley Plumbing, we specialize in water softening and conditioning systems. We do ongoing research and education around the best options for our customers, and we can come out to your home, test your water, and show you the number of different water softening and/or conditioning options available for your home. We’ll lay out the pros and cons of all the different systems on the market today, discuss the most economical options for you and your family, and then get it installed and up and running for you in a matter of hours. Give us a call today, and let Pam set you up with a consultation time; you’ll be drinking crystal clear water the next day!

Problem’s With Your Water Pressure? Arizona Homes Often Need Water Pressure Regulators

One of the aggravating things we have to deal with in the Phoenix metro area is higher than normal water pressure. Ideally, water pressure should be above 50 psi, but below 70 psi (Here’s the tech tip: “psi” stands for “pounds per square inch” – which is “pressure” – or how hard and fast the water comes out of your faucets). If you’ve got water pressure that’s over 70 psi – this isn’t a good thing, and different parts of Phoenix regularly have water pressure over 90 psi. If you own a home – this is definitely something you should check into, because this kind of high water pressure can affect your Faucet and fixtures, causing leaks from gaskets and washers. This will cause warranty issues with your appliances, as well as cause floods.

 

Problems that high water pressure causes

Why is too much water pressure a problem? High water pressure may be great for a good, hard shower, but it’s bad for plumbing, and it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in repair bills. The problems that high water pressure cause are:

  • Wasting water: Water that’s running at higher-than-normal pressure uses more water than needed, and given Arizona’s consistent water issues – this is a huge problem.
  • Higher water bills: If more water is gushing out of your faucets than you need – you’re running up your water bills unnecessarily.
  • Increase hot water cost: again – if hot water is flowing too fast through all the appliances that use hot water – dishwasher, washing machine, etc. – this means your hot water heater is operating longer and harder. It also means more wear and tear on every hose and gasket in contact with the water.
  • More expensive sewer bills: If you’re in a community that meters water usage on sewer charges – it’s going to be higher the more water your system uses.
  • Shorter lifespan for water heaters: not only does the water pressure wear out your water heater faster, there’s also the possibility of a boiling liquid vapor explosion, and this is definitely something you don’t want.
  • Shorter lifespan on dishwashers and washing machines: Again, water simply wears everything out (think what it did to the Grand Canyon); and too much of it flowing through your appliances will make them wear out far faster than they should. Also – if you happen to have an extended warranty – high water pressure may invalidate that warranty.
  • Leaks: Lots of water pounding through your pipes is going to cause leaks at joints throughout your home.
  • Moisture damage: moisture damage is the homeowner’s bane, and it can happen under the slab, in the walls – anywhere a pipe springs a leak. If the leak goes unnoticed it can cause a lot of damage, and sometimes the leaks caused by high water pressure are easy to miss.

 

How to tell if your water pressure is too high

Have you or are you experiencing any of the following problems? If you have – then you may have water pressure issues that are damaging your plumbing system, so look for:

  • running toilets
  • leaking faucets
  • water spitting out of pipes
  • water that gushes out when faucet first turned on, then slows to a normal rate
  • pipes that bang or make noise
  • water/sewer bills that seem excessively high compared to neighbors

 

Sometimes high water pressure may not be obvious

The problems above are definite signs of high water pressure, but sometimes it’s just not as obvious that this is what’s going on, and the damage that’s being done may go unnoticed until something leaks and/or fails. It’s possible that your water pressure may “seem fine,” or normal, and still have water pressure that’s running too high. This is because your fixtures may have flow restrictors on them that are regulating the flow, so none of the symptoms that are easy to recognize are happening.

 

You may not know you have a problem – it’s best to test

Because of the above, we’ve had customers that were shocked to find out that the problem with their plumbing was actually a result of high water pressure. This is why we feel it’s always “best to test.” When we’re out on a call, we’ll almost always test the water pressure while we’re at it to make sure there’s not an issue that can cause problems for our customers.

 

What’s the fix?

If in doubt – go ahead and call us so we can come on out and test your pressure. If it’s over 70 or 80 psi – a water pressure regulator is inexpensive and we can install it quickly and easily. It may also be a good idea to install braided stainless steel flex lines in certain places in your home, like under toilets and sinks, and at the washing machine connection. If the flex lines you have installed now are low quality, then they’ll continue to be a weak link, even if you get your water pressure under control.

The bottom line is – your home is your most valuable financial asset, so protect your investment by installing a pressure regulator. It’s a cost-effective fix that may save you thousands of dollars down the road, and at Moon Valley Plumbing we’re all about taking care of our customers – and their wallets, so ask us how.