Stop the Madness! Check Your Home for Leaks & Drips

Leaks Waste Water – and It’s Precious

Water is a precious resource – and we’re running out. Want to hear some frightening statistics? Try these on:

  • In this country alone – household leaks waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water every year. That’s ONE TRILLION. A “1” with 12 (twelve!) “0’s”.
  • The average home leaks about 10,000 gallons of water every year.
  • About 10% of homes have leaks that waste upwards of 90 gallons or more a day, and they don’t know it.

 

Leaks Wreck Your Wallet

Water conservation isn’t just about the environment, though – our wallets take a hit too. Water bills in Arizona already skyrocket in the summer, and if you’re wasting any of it because of a leak – you’re digging a hole and throwing your hard-earned money into it. How about this statistic:

  • Correcting common, easy household leaks can save you at least 10% on your water bill every month, and often more!

 

How to Tell if You Have Water Leaks in Your Home

Here are some signs that you’ve got a water leak:

a)      If your water bill suddenly increases dramatically – and it isn’t summer, you didn’t install a pool, and you haven’t done any major landscaping – chances are you’ve got a leak somewhere.

b)      If your neighbor has lower water bills, and s/he has a similar size home with a similar size yard, and a similar size family. If you both have one spouse and two kids – chances are you have got a leak somewhere (unless one of your kids is a teenager, then all bets are off and you’re out of luck until s/he goes to college).

c)      Turn all water to your home off and take a meter reading. Wait at least an hour, and then take another meter reading. Even better – turn it off at night before you go to bed, leave it off all night, and then check it first thing in the morning (the longer the wait between checks the better the chance that the meter will record the problem, especially if it’s a slow leak). If the second reading is higher than the first – chances are you’ve got a leak somewhere.

 

A Few Ways to Check for Water Leaks in Your Home:

A lot of water leaks happen underground and behind your walls, and there’s little the average homeowner can do to diagnose those. If any of the above situations are going on – then you know something’s leaking that you’re probably going to need a professional for, and that’s where we can help. In the meantime, however, there’s a lot you can do inside your home to check for water leaks on your own. Here are some suggestions for where to look and what to do:

  • The Hot Water Tank: A hot water tank leak isn’t easy to find, especially if its small, but those small leaks can cause big problems – and expense. The first and most obvious sign of a leak is – you can hear it. If you hear water spraying inside the tank – then the tank has failed and you need to replace and drain it a.s.a.p.

To do a general check for leaks – first, know what kind of tank you have, and if its an electric tank – shut off the power – because water + electricity can kill you.

 

Basically, you need to “feel” every pipe, valve, nut, and screw, especially where it goes into or out of the tank, and if you find anything wet, tighten it if you can. See if that takes care of it. If it doesn’t, or if you don’t have the tools to tighten what needs to be tightened, or even if you’re not sure but you think it might be wet – give us a call!

 

  • The Toilet: Toilets are pretty simple – check for the sound. If you hear any kind of water or hissing at all – then try to locate where it’s coming from. If it’s coming from inside the tank – look inside and see if you can fix it yourself. The inner workings of a toilet are pretty easy to figure out even if you haven’t seen a flapper-ball – also known as the “black or pink rubber thing that goes up and down at the bottom of the tank.”

 

Sometimes you can see that a chain has slipped off the flapper-ball, or it’s not shutting all the way, etc. If no sound is audible or if you aren’t sure but you have a “feeling” about it, put a couple of drops of food coloring in the tank (not the bowl), and wait a few minutes. If you see the water in the bowl slowly change color – then your flapper has a leak and water is seeping through. And if it’s seeping through – it’s costing you money. Shut the water off, take the part into a plumbing store, and get a new one and replace it – or, give us a call!

 

  • The Faucets & Showerheads: This, of course, is the easiest clue – if a faucet is dripping, it’s costing you money, and its probably driving you crazy as well. Go through your home and check all the faucets (all the faucets – you’ll be surprised how many there are!), and if you find a drip, then see if you can tighten or replace something to fix it. Showerheads are notorious for drips because people tend to pull and twist them around, and they’re not really meant to move that much, so be sure to check those too.

 

  • The Appliances: Again, leaks around appliances can be tricky and/or sneaky. The time to really worry about these leaking is when they’re older. Expect your dishwasher to last about 7 years with heavy use, and 10 years if you use it lightly. 7 to 10 years is sort of a magic number for water heaters as well. As for washing machines, some people say that nowadays these are built to last no more than 5 years before they’re gone. Interestingly – older washing machines do tend to last longer because they tended to be built with sturdier parts. Still – if your washing machine is over 10 years and you use it a lot, start paying attention to it.

 

Like your hot water tank, for all these appliances, you need to check all the valves, nozzles, pipes, screws, and etc. that are either going into or out of the appliance. Dishwashers and washing machine parts can be trickier to get to, though, as sometimes these are under cabinets, in closets, or behind the appliance. Also – if you can – see how far you can get your hand under the appliance to check if there’s any dampness at all. Again – if you feel wet anywhere, and you have some idea of what to do – take care of it. However, if you can’t “DIY” – give us a call – we’ll be glad to do it – or help you choose a new model and replace it!

 

Save Money In the Long Run – Check & Fix Leaks Now

Leaks are something that usually start small but can become huge, in terms of both cost and damage. Remember, even an incredibly minor, slow, barely noticeable leak or drip is going to waste water if it isn’t taken care of. Ultimately, it can also cause serious damage to your home as well. Whether you know for sure or just suspect that you have a leak – give us a call, because leaks are what we do!

Travis Talks About Water Conservation and the 8 Most Common Water Leaks In Your Home

8 Most Common Water Leaks

Travis Talks About Water Conservation and the 8 Most Common Water Leaks In Your Home

Water Is Precious in Arizona
Water Leaks
Water and air – they’re our two most precious natural resources. Without them – there’s no survival. So – when you live in Arizona – water is something you become hyper-aware of, because our water resources are in serious decline. Water conservation is not just a concern here in the Valley of the Sun – it’s vitally important to everyone.

 

At Moon Valley Plumbing Water Conservation Is Key

Here at Moon Valley Plumbing, we like to keep an eye on the fact that what we do has an impact on environmental health – and what we’re leaving to our children. Plumbing isn’t “just a job” for us – it’s important because we know we make a difference. Plumbing is what keeps water flowing through our homes and cities, and protecting that water supply is crucial – on a personal, national, and global level. We take that very seriously.

 

Wasting Water Is Not an Option

Given how important our water resources are – the idea of wasting water just isn’t something you shrug your shoulders about and say, “Ah, no big deal. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Wasting water in this current ecological climate is irresponsible. And if it’s being wasted because of something as small and easily fixed as a leak – that makes it almost immoral.

 

Save $ and Save the Environment! Know Where the Problems Are

That’s why we have a two-part mission statement at Moon Valley Plumbing – our first mission is to take care of our customers – and our other first mission is to take care of the planet. As head of this company feel that part of how we do that is through education – for both our customers and ourselves. We look for ways we can help our customers make positive changes around the home that saves both money and the environment.

 

Here are 8 of the most common reasons you may have a leak that’s costing you money – and wasting water:

 

  1. toilets – cracked bowls or tanks, deteriorating tank bowl gaskets, a faulty float, worn gaskets, washers or bolts
  2. washing machines – loose connections or pinhole leaks in the fill hoses, a hole in the water pump, using too much detergent or the wrong kind of detergent, worn rubber hoses and washers, worn seals in front loaders, worn seals in drums
  3. dishwashers – leaking dishwasher door because latch not working correctly, leak in dishwasher tub, damaged drain hoses, worn connections and clamps, stuck water inlet valve, cracked hoses, dishwasher not level, wrong or too much detergent, over-filling the dishwasher
  4. faucets – problem with the o ring, corrode valves or valve seat, worn washers, washer installed incorrectly, have many moving part, worn seals, loose screws, rings, and nuts
  5. pipes – cracks, worn fittings, roots, corrosion all contribute to creating pipe leaks; because pipes are generally underground or in walls, they are often difficult to spot and go undetected too long, causing even more water loss
  6. corrosion – rust in any part of the plumbing system where there is metal, either metal pipes, fixtures, or fittings will weaken pipes causing leaks
  7. pipe joints – every length of pipe in your system – whether copper or plastic – is connected via a joint fixture; these wear out and loosen
  8. water pressure – water pressure that’s too high puts constant stress on every pipe, joint, fitting, faucet, and appliance in a home, causing cracks, pinholes, and loose mountings

 

First – Do No Harm – Figure Out What’s Leaking So You Can Fix It!

Our next blog will cover ways to figure out if you have leaks and where they are, but if that’s difficult for you, know that we’re always available to come and check your water meter, water usage, and plumbing system. We can help you figure out if your family is using a reasonable amount of water – or if there’s a problem somewhere that you need to fix. Generally, if your water bill is making you crazy – you’ve probably got a leak somewhere, so let us come help you find it. Helping our customers is what we do best – so give us a call!

 

 

Moon Valley Plumbing Has the Latest Video Technology – and It Can Save You Thousands of Dollars!

Moon Valley Plumbing Has the Latest Video Technology

At Moon Valley Plumbing we want to provide our customers with the best plumbing services in the valley – at the most reasonable cost. This is why we keep up with the latest plumbing technology and equipment, and every member of my team continually participates in ongoing training, as well as the yearly continuing education requirements necessary for plumbing licensure. We want to stay on the cutting edge – because that’s how we offer our clients the kind of service they can’t get anywhere else.

Plumbing

Video technology means we can see problems – without digging up your yard or opening up your walls

One of the greatest advances the plumbing industry has come up with in recent years is video technology. We now have the ability to actually inspect the interior of your plumbing system in detail, through the use of video equipment specifically designed to view the interior of your underground and in-wall pipes from above-ground, or outside the wall, without digging anything up or tearing a hole somewhere to get at your pipes.

 

Video technology has changed our approach to servicing your plumbing – now we can often prevent a disaster before it happens

Thanks to the advent of video technology, Moon Valley Plumbing has a way to head off or fix a plumbing problem before it builds to the point of failure. Traditionally, plumbers have pretty much been emergency responders; one of the main reasons we were called out was often to fix a disaster that had already happened. Now, however – we can offer preventative care and solutions for plumbing problems before you’re standing ankle-deep in water.

 

Plumbing maintenance and health care – both use the preventative, pre-emptive approach

The health care industry is a perfect example of exactly the same kind of change. In recent years there’s been a switch away from “diagnostic” health care to “preventative” health care, namely – physicians now try and prevent health problems before they occur, rather than treating the problem with drugs and surgery after the patient is already sick and in the hospital. We can now offer our customers the same kind of approach – a solution to a growing plumbing problem beforehand. Why? Because with video technology – we can actually see what’s going on before it happens.

 

We can now see inside plumbing pipes no matter where they are – underground or inside your walls

It used to be that a home’s plumbing system was sort of mysterious – once it was installed, the pipes and fixtures of your plumbing system were largely hidden underground and behind walls. Who knew what could go wrong or when it might happen? Clogs could be building, pipes could be leaking – and you just didn’t know until something busted and your water either backed up, stopped – or came gushing up through a floor or down through the ceiling.

 

Now, thanks to video technology – we can take a look inside your plumbing system and find potential problems before they become actual disasters. We now have specially designed high-resolution video cameras so we can actually see what’s going on inside your plumbing, no matter how difficult it is to reach, or how small or tight the pipes may be. We can use this cutting-edge video inspection technology to locate blockages, cracks, breaks, roots and other serious plumbing problems before they cost you thousands of dollars in damages.

 

How video technology is used to diagnose plumbing problems

It’s amazing what technology has come up with, and how many ways it can be used. Digital camera equipment has been developed strictly with the plumbing industry in mind. We now have very small cameras that are specifically designed with hardened, waterproof casings, powerful lights, and Plexiglas guards which are mounted on the end of fiber-optic cables. We use these cables to push these tiny, high-resolution cameras through your pipes, and they transmit a recorded video back through the cables to our operators above ground. The video shows the interior of your pipes in fine detail, so we can pinpoint exactly what the problem is, where it is, and what can be done to fix it – fast.

 

We can keep the history of your home’s plumbing on record

In fact, we can keep permanent videos of your plumbing system in order to track what might be a potential problem down the road. This can be helpful if you have an older home with a plumbing system that was installed more than 25 years ago. These systems are often subject to invasive issues like root growth, or cumulative issues, such as pipes that were made of older materials which are degrading.

 

With video inspection technology Moon Valley Plumbing can:

  • find collapsed, cracked, or broken pipes that need to be repaired or replaced

  • reveal pipes that may have shifted or become misaligned

  • see blockages or buildups from objects, sludge, mineral buildup, etc.

  • find rusting or corroded pipes

  • detect pipes that may be sinking

  • determine where joints or seals may be leaking or broken

  • spot roots that may growing into pipes

  • determine that there are substandard or outdated pipes

 

Call today to schedule a video inspection of your pipes – for preventative care and peace of mind! Moon Valley Plumbing is always more than happy to schedule a low- or no-cost preventative maintenance video check on your home’s plumbing system. In fact, it’s a highly recommended preventative step if you happen to live in a home that’s more than 20 or 25 years old, as chances are good that there may be potential plumbing issues building up that you’re unaware of, but could cost end up costing you thousands of dollars.

 

Check your homeowner’s policy – you might be surprised at what plumbing issues it doesn’t cover

We also advise homeowners to carefully check their homeowner’s insurance policy. We’ve had a number of customers who were hit by plumbing problems that they then discovered their insurance didn’t cover, and that’s always a budget buster.

 

If you’re buying a home – inspect the plumbing more thoroughly

Finally – if  you’re even considering buying a home, especially one that’s more than 25 years old, you really should do a plumbing inspection that goes above and beyond the basic, generic “home inspection” that a real estate agent will tell you to do. In fact, it’s a smart idea to bring in your own electrician and HVAC expert as well; because buying and then moving into a new home, only to discover there’s a major repair that needs to be made within the first few months, can be a definite damper on home-ownership.

 

If you’ve been our customer in your old house, we want you to be happy – and problem-free – in that new one, so let us come out and do a “house-call” on your plumbing today!

Signs of Problem Plumbing!

In the Market for a New Home? Look for  Signs of Problem Plumbing!

Problem Plumbing

Spring is one of the most popular times of the year to look at purchasing a new home – particularly here in Phoenix, when the weather is still pleasant and cool enough to drive around and check out open houses. But while you’re touring the inside of a home and looking at the floors, the paint job, and the kitchen appliances – don’t forget to take a look at the plumbing too. A lot of people become so fixated on the square footage and curb appeal of a home that they tend to overlook the mechanical, working interior parts. Along with the electrical and HVAC systems – the plumbing in a home is almost as important as “location, location, location!”

 

Unfortunately, fact is that 44% – or almost half of new homebuyers – will need to call in a plumber within the first year of buying a new house. So if you’re looking at new homes, we’d like to give you some visual signs to watch out for. Knowing what to look for can give you an idea of any potential Problem Plumbing that may need to be addressed before you consider putting in an offer.

 

Toilets:

  • look for discoloration or warping around the base of any toilets in the home; this could be a sign that there’s been a leak
  • step on the area around the base of the toilet with your full weight; if it moves or feels “soft” – this is another sign of water damage
  • hold onto the toilet and rock it; it shouldn’t feel loose or wobble to either side; if you get any kind of movement it’s a sign that there’s a bad seal or the toilet isn’t well secured
  • flush the toilets a couple of times, and listen to see if it empties and then refills correctly

 

Faucets, showerheads, drains, sinks, and tubs:

  • look at the seals and caulking in all of these areas; if it’s worn, peeling, or discolored – then it’s old and will likely need work soon
  • if the caulking looks brand new or fresh – then there may be a problem that the homeowner is trying to address; which might mean that they’ve fixed it successfully – or it might mean its still a problem
  • look for wetness or rust stains around all areas where water comes in or goes out, watch for dripping water
  • press on the tiles around the bathtub to see if they are loose or spongy; if they feel “soft,” chances are there’s water damage behind the tiles
  • look for seriously dirty and moldy grout around tiles on floors or counters

 

Water heater:

  • check the date of the water heater; if you look at the first four numbers of the serial number of the water heater, those are the month and year it was made; if it’s over 10 years old, it’s going to need replacing soon.
  • check for rust or water stains anywhere on or around the water heater; these are signs of trouble, or impending trouble.

 

Water pressure:

  • turn on the faucets in a couple of places at once, like the kitchen and a bathtub, to see if there’s a significant reduction of water pressure
  • check for water spitting out of the faucets, or flowing in irregular bursts

 

While these are all simple visual cues that can give you preliminary clues about the state of a homes plumbing system, the best idea is always to do an inspection on a home you’re seriously interested in purchasing. However, while a home inspection is always necessary, it’s often a good idea to bring in your own plumber to do a more thorough inspection as well, particularly if the home is an older one.

 

At Moon Valley Plumbing we’re always happy to come in and do a thorough plumbing check for you. We have specialized equipment and cameras that can do a thorough pipe inspection for you to determine if there are potential clogs or problems waiting to happen. In addition, there are many things we can check on that a pre-purchase home inspection can’t tell you, such as:

 

  • are there any lead pipes in the home; if a home was built before 1986 there may be lead or galvanized pipes
  • what size water pipes the home has; are they large enough for adequate water pressure
  • if you have the correct size and type of water heater for your home and family; how many years does it have left
  • what kind of sewage system a home has, whether it’s municipal or a septic tank; is it in good shape, are there possible root problems
  • have there been plumbing leaks that caused wall or ceiling damage and were they addressed properly
  • if you need or want to remodel a kitchen and/or bathroom, or add another bathroom, what kind of issues and estimated costs could you be looking at

 

We’re all homeowners here at Moon Valley Plumbing, and we know what a huge emotional and financial investment a new home can be. That’s why we know how important it is to know the possible plumbing pitfalls a home might have before you fall in love with it and buy it. Now, we’ll always be there to help you with any Problem Plumbing you may have in your new house after you buy it, but we’d also like to be there to help you make the right decision before you buy it, so give us a call and let us come out and give you a little peace of mind before you sign on the dotted line!