Want a Tankless Water Heater? What You Need to Know

If it’s time to upgrade your water heater, you may be considering switching from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters offer several advantages, so you may find they fit your home’s needs better than a traditional model.

Before you make your decision, you should know the downsides to tankless water heaters. However, for many people the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Keep reading to learn if tankless water heaters are the right choice for you. Continue reading “Want a Tankless Water Heater? What You Need to Know” »

Hair and Your Drain Pipes: A Guide for Homeowners

Did you know that the average person loses at least 50 hairs a day? For a family of four, that means up to 200 hairs per day could be headed down your shower drain. As it turns out, hair is a plumber’s worst nightmare – causing clogs, backups, and endless headaches. Below, discover the consequences of letting all that hair flow down the drain, along with some tips for keeping it out of your pipes.

Continue reading “Hair and Your Drain Pipes: A Guide for Homeowners” »

Hydro Jetting

A Plumbing Tip for the Ladies: Don’t Flush Feminine Products Down the Toilet

A Plumbing Tip for the Ladies

Plumbing Tip for the Ladies. Find out exactly why plumbers urge you to toss – not flush.

Attention, women! This Plumbing tip is for you: How many times have you seen a sign at a public restroom begging you not to flush your feminine products down the toilet?
Plumbing Tip
The owners of those businesses probably had to call a plumber once or twice because someone flushed a feminine product—resulting in some serious repercussions.

While some products may claim they’re safe to flush, it’s best to follow the business restroom’s plea to refrain from flushing tampons or pads, even while at home. Here’s why:

  1. Tampons, on average, absorb about 10 times their size in fluid. This makes them hard to dissolve and can cause serious plumbing problems later, especially in older plumbing systems if roots have grown into the pipes.
  1. If the product makes it out of the plumbing system, there still may be blockages—this time, though, the damage can be more extensive. Sewage blockages can have a large-scale effect, causing plumbing problems for your nearby neighbors, and a more expensive tax bill for your neighborhood. Don’t make your neighbors hate you.
  1. The environmental impact is not strictly on landfills, where feminine products and their packaging can make up about .5 percent of the average woman’s “personal landfill load.” Tampons, which are more regularly flushed than feminine pads, contributed to more than $369.1 billion spent on public wastewater treatment from 2001 to 2008, which includes removing non-degradable items from the water that ends up in our ponds, lakes, streams, and faucets.

Oops! I Flushed. Now What?

So, the first sign that you might have a plumbing problem is water and waste not flushing down the toilet. Feminine products don’t break apart in water. You might think the best idea would be to use a plunger or hand auger, however more serious problems can arise from doing this.

Don’t Try to Fix It Yourself

Many homeowners want to try an avoid the cost of calling a plumber, but in many cases, DIY plumbing remedies can cause greater damage.

For example, there are many different plumbing snakes, and using the wrong one for the type of blockage can cause real damage to your plumbing system. You may end up scraping galvanized pipes, or cracking or breaking a pipe. Scratches on the toilet can also lead to rust down the road.

A Price Will Be Paid Over Time

You probably don’t want to hear this, but a buildup of feminine hygiene products and other non-flushable items can cause more unexpected issues. Plumbing often has a venting system to allow air to move and sewer gases to escape. Non-flushable items can cause a blockage in the drain pipe slope further down the line, creating a waste pool in the pipe. The result? Pipes and drains that gurgle and rattle. You might flush the toilet and hear your shower or kitchen or bathroom sinks make suctioning, rattling, or gurgling sounds. In the shower, your toilet might have water that shoots up because there isn’t enough suction. Not the best image to think about, huh?

Time to Call a Plumber

Since most situations requiring plumbers are emergencies, homeowners often dread calling in the professionals. Before you start looking for a plumber, find one who specializes in repairs, rather than in-home installation. Asking for recommendations is always a good idea, as your friends and family members can tell you who they like and dislike. They also might be able to give you a good idea on pricing and service.

If your plumbing situation hasn’t quite reached emergency level, consider calling several different plumbers to get quotes. Look for plumbers with the following:

  • Licensing
  • Positive reviews
  • Longstanding business experience

Moon Valley Plumbing has been providing quality service to homes in the greater Phoenix area for more than 20 years. If you find your toilets may have issues due to feminine products, we can help. Contact us today for honest, quality service and expertise.

Experienced Plumbers

Plumbing Tip: Do Your Research Before Hiring a Plumber

Hiring a Plumber – Do you research before hiring him?

A quick guide with seven tips to help you Hiring a Plumber in the Phoenix area

If you’ve ever had issues with your toilet, sink, or any kind of piping at your home, chances are you’ve made a call to a plumber. Most of the time, you’re desperate enough to have clean, running water again that you could care less about who comes to fix your drains—you just want a plumber who gets there quickly.

Hiring a PlumberBut while there are good plumbers, there is also a fair share of bad plumbers out there. So, here is a quick guide on what to look for when hiring a plumber.

 

1) Types of Reviews

The first thing you should always pay attention to before hiring a plumber is the kinds of reviews they have. What is the average rating they get on each of their reviews? The most helpful reviews of any business tend to be the three and four stars, because they give the most honest breakdowns of what a business did best, and what they lacked.

 

2) Number of Reviews

Before hiring a plumber, check the number of reviews they have online. For instance, if one plumber has 12 total reviews at a four-star average and another has over 100 reviews at the same average, the decision is clear.

 

3) Personal References or Recommendations

Checking reviews online should go hand-in-hand with personal recommendations from friends and family members. If you know someone who has had a good experience with a plumber, that is probably going to be your safest bet.

 

4) License Status

Ever think to question if your plumber is licensed? Most states require plumbers to hold licenses for credibility purposes and regulation; Arizona is one of them, so make sure that your plumber is licensed.

 

5) Pricing or a Quote

It’s best to scan the field before you decide to go with one plumber. After finding some of the better plumbers in your area, it’s recommended to choose the plumber with a price range somewhere in the middle. The cheapest plumber often yields results that cost more money in the long run. Instead, look for a company that is in the middle of the pack, that has longevity to warranty your job and the reputation of doing quality work.

 

6) How long Have They Been in Business?

Experience is essential. Make sure to ask the plumber, or look online, to see how many years they have been in business.

 

7) Warranty on Parts Used

Make sure to ask your plumber about the parts they are using and the warranties they have on them, should the parts break or fail. Also, check to see if your plumber has any personal warranties or guarantees.

 

Moon Valley Plumbing: Taking the Guess-Work Out of Hiring a Plumber

Next time you have a piping or drainage problem, don’t be afraid to do a little research. And if you live in the valley, there is no better option than Moon Valley Plumbing. Owner, Travis Mingle, has over two decades of plumbing experience and his team is known throughout the valley for their honesty and professionalism. Moon Valley Plumbers are licensed, bonded and insured—and have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Contact Moon Valley Plumbing for all your plumbing needs.

Garbage Disposal

Plumbing Tip: Be Careful of What You Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

If you have a garbage disposal, there’s a chance you might simply dump your remaining food and scraps down the drain on a daily basis. It seems like a no-brainier: the garbage disposal is easy and keeps food from stinking up your garbage can—but did you know you’re probably overusing your garbage disposal? In fact, overuse can result in some huge problems for your plumbing system.

Garbage Disposal 

What Your Garbage Disposal is Meant For

Your garbage disposal is meant to shred limited amounts of food waste into small pieces to help keep your kitchen clean and sanitary. It’s nice being able to rid your home of a noxious smelling food item that would really stink up your garbage can and the rest of the kitchen.

 

When running your garbage disposal, it’s essential to use cold running water rather than hot to keep the unit from overheating and to help flush the system. Feed the food into the system slowly, rather than all at once, to prevent it from being overburdened. For the most part, your garbage disposal is intended for softer foods, but there are some exceptions to this rule.

 

What Your Garbage Disposal is Not Meant For

There are a large number of foods that should never make its way down into your garbage disposal. Some things you should throw into your garbage can, rather than your sink, include:

 

  • Celery
  • Hard shells from eggs and shellfish
  • Artichokes
  • Grease
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Corn husks
  • Fruit pits
  • Peels from potatoes and bananas
  • Onion skins
  • Unpopped kernels of popcorn
  • Non-trash items

 

It’s also important to note you should never throw large quantities of food down your garbage disposal, even if they happen to be considered safe for your unit.

 

Plumbing Problems That Occur

When you use your garbage disposal the wrong way, a number of plumbing problems occur. The drain and pipes leading from your garbage disposal can get clogged to the point where no water can move through the pipes; grease is often a major contributing factor to these clogged drains. Additionally, the blades can become damaged or wrapped up—commonly caused by onion peels—which makes them ineffective for future uses; the ineffective disposal ultimately creates a clog in your system as well. Finally, the unit can overheat, which may require it to be repaired or replaced.

 

Fixing Garbage Disposal Problems

There are some quick, do-it-yourself tips to keep maintain your garbage disposal. If your blades are coated with food residue, put ice into your disposal. While this trick won’t sharpen the blades (a common misconception), it will help clear the system. You may even want to freeze some lemon juice into cubes to help with the cleaning and deodorizing process. Odor is a bit of an issue for some units, so be sure to keep it clean on the outside rubber portion, and you can run citrus peels through it to help with the potential for a bad smell.

 

Also, make sure to keep all of the materials that came with your garbage disposal if possible. A manual can come in handy in a pinch when things are going wrong, and can help diagnose the issue. There should also be a tool that came with your unit that can be used to unjam your unit if it freezes up.

 

When to Call in the Professionals

Although there are some maintenance tricks you can do yourself, ultimately you may need to call professional help for your safety—and to save time and money. If you have clogged drains, a frozen motor, or a mysterious issue caused by your garbage disposal, call a professional. A plumber will be able to best advise you on how to handle the particular problem you have going on, and fix it or install a new disposal unit if necessary.

Moon Valley Plumbing is here for you in your time of need when the frustration of dealing with your garbage disposal has gotten to be too much for you. Let us be your go-to source for all of your plumbing and garbage disposal needs.  Contact us today to learn more about our service.

Plumbing Tip: Does Your Home Have a Closed Loop System? Make Sure You Have an Expansion Tank

Plumbing Tip: Does Your Home Have a Closed Loop System

Another plumbing tip from our plumbers in Phoenix!

Most new homes today have closed loop systems. This means there are pressure reducing valves, or pressure regulators, that ensure water pressure remains between 50-80 PSI.
plumbing tip
Now, this also means the incoming water can only flow in one direction, which can cause issues when water is heated and expands with nowhere to go. Because of this, homes with closed loop systems need an expansion tank above the water heater.

 

What Is a Pressure Regulator?

High water pressure can cause serious plumbing issues. A pressure regulator is a valve that reduces the water pressure that comes from the main water line before it enters the plumbing fixtures of a home. This valve is typically located where the main waterline enters the home. Using a spring-loaded diaphragm, the pressure regulator constricts incoming water before releasing it into the home at a reduced pressure.

 

Pressure Regulators and Water Heaters: Thermal Expansion

Closed loop systems with pressure regulators are still vulnerable to pressure buildup caused by thermal expansion. When water is heated by the water heater, it expands and needs a place to go. This causes pressure to build rapidly in the tank and the house. Because of this, an expansion tank is necessary.

 

What Is an Expansion Tank?

An expansion tank protects closed water heating systems from pressure buildup.

The interior of the small tank is divided by with a rubber diaphragm. One side is dry, while the other side contains water and is connected to the pipes of the heating system.

The dry side of the tank contains highly compressible air. Water that expands from the water heater can flow into the expansion tank. There, the air compresses, which makes room for the expanded water. This gives the water a place to go without the pressure increasing significantly. As water pressure builds due to thermal expansion, the diaphragm moves compressed air to the other side of the tank.

 

Closed Loop Systems: Many Are in Need of an Update

Many houses with a pressure relief valve still don’t have an expansion tank, as it wasn’t required until recently. However, homeowners may have noticed water dripping intermittently from the relief valve on the water heater or washers that wear out quickly in plumbing fixtures. This pressure buildup due to thermal expansion can indeed cause issues, and installing an expansion tank will prevent further problems to arise.

 

Contact Moon Valley Plumbing to Install Your Expansion Tank

Is your home at risk of pressure buildup and plumbing problems? Make sure your home is safe and functional. Contact Moon Valley Plumbing to install your expansion tank and assess your system for safety and functionality today.

You can find other plumbing tip, on this page!

Plumbing Tip: Be Proactive with Your Plumbing

Be Proactive with Your Plumbing

It’s easy to forget how much we depend on plumbing in our daily life. The web of pipes and water units inside our home, while resilient, can cause some serious problems and damage overtime if not properly maintained.
Plumbing Tip: Be Proactive with Your Plumbing
Protect your pipes, your home, and your wallet by being proactive with your plumbing.

 

What Units to Regularly Check

The most effective and proactive way to ensure your plumbing stays problem-free and functional is to check these six plumbing units in your home regularly:

  1. Toilets

With so many internal components, there are a lot of small things that can go wrong. From the float ball, handle chain, and tank plug to a leaky tank or faulty seal—one malfunctioning component can result in a lot of water and money waste.

Be proactive by regularly checking your toilets for leaks and running water—taking a look at the internal components at the first sign of malfunction. If something seems off, it’s time to call a plumber.

  1. Sinks and Drains

Remember, what you put down your drain can’t always go out. Keeping your drains clear will minimize your chances of clogs and pipe damage. If, however, you find yourself with a clogged drain that just won’t clear, it’s important to seek professional assistance right away. Slow draining pipes may be an indication of a larger issue, and ignoring a clog may lead to pipe damage.

Additionally, regularly check for leaks under your sink that can cause water damage to your home and seek a plumber at the first sign.

  1. Water Heater

It takes a lot of work to warm up the water for those showers. Be kind to your water heater and make sure to drain it once a year for optimal function and proactive plumbing. Keeping the unit clear of buildup with ensure efficient heating and minimize your likelihood of costly damages down the road. Learn more about water heater maintenance here.

  1. Plumbing Lines

Do you have an old house? There’s a good chance your plumbing system is weak and corroded. Replacing your old plumbing lines will keep your home safe from damages and expensive fixes down the line. Additionally, installing a water softener will keep your plumbing lines free of buildup that causes deterioration.

For regular maintenance and upkeep, make sure to treat your sewer lines with care, flushing only toilet paper down the toilet and environmentally-friendly soaps down the sink. For more information on taking care of your sewer line, click here.

  1. Water Softener

While water softeners are relatively low-maintenance, it’s important to regularly check your unit to ensure water going through the plumbing system has been treated for harmful minerals, as any piping or appliances in the system are susceptible to mineral buildup.

Make sure to avoid salt bridges and sale mushing and be selective with your salt choice.

  1. Washer

To reduce the chances of water damage, keep the plumbing lines to and from your washer clean. A clean water line results in better water flow to the machine and a faster filling time.

For proactive maintenance, opt for running the washing machine only when it is a full load, inspect the hoses for signs of wear, and replace rubber hoses with more resilient stainless steel braided hoses. Similarly, check any exposed pipes under sinks for signs of leaks. At the first sign of a leak or malfunction, contact a plumber immediately to remedy the issue quickly.

 

Notice a Plumbing Problem? Be Proactive!

Regularly checking your plumbing fixtures and seeking professional help at the first sign of a problem is a proactive way to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape.

Contact Moon Valley Plumbing with any questions or concerns regarding your plumbing. Being proactive will ensure a healthy, functioning system for years to come.

Plumbing Tip: Be Careful of What You Put Down Your Sewer Line

Be Careful of What You Put Down Your Sewer Line

What You Should Never Put Down Your Drains? What are the Signs Your Sewer Line May Be Damaged? on this article?
In this article we will answer to those and other questions.

A particularly wasteful week at the house results in heavier trash bags piled on our curb. It’s unappealing, and perhaps makes us more conscious of what we do and don’t throw out.
Sewer Line
Our plumbing, on the other hand, tends to be a different story. Whether washing the dishes or flushing baby wipes down the toilet, it is not uncommon to neglect our sewer lines. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

The fallacy that our drains and pipes act as another trash can causes a great deal of damage to plumbing systems. In fact, sewer lines can be the most expensive portion of plumbing expenses for maintenance, repairs and replacement. Because of this, it is important to be conscious of what you put down your sewer line. The environmental implications and damage caused to pipes are too critical to ignore.

What You Should Never Put Down Your Drains

Generally, the rule of thumb is to only flush toilet paper and wash down environmentally safe soaps and shampoos. Even with a garbage disposal, food waste can cause buildup resulting in failure to your sewer lines. If you are ever in doubt of what can go down your sink or toilet, opt for the trash can.

Some commonly flushed and drained items that can cause serious damage to your sewer lines include:

  • FOG (fats, oils and grease)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Medications
  • Egg shells
  • Paper towels
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter (even if it says “flushable”)
  • Car fluids
  • Paint
  • Cleaning liquids
  • Cotton balls
  • Condoms
  • Fibrous foods
  • Stickers found on produce

Additionally, you should always read and follow instructions for discarding chemicals of any kind.

Signs Your Sewer Line May Be Damaged

Although there may be many contributing factors to sewer line damage beyond improper waste flushing, such as an old system or tree growth interference, there are some symptoms to watch for that indicate your sewer line may be damaged, including:

  • Smelling sewer gas odors
  • Slow draining
  • Mold growth
  • Septic waste pooling in your yard
  • Sewage backup and blocks
  • Insects and rodents appearing in your home and around your house
  • Cracks in your home’s foundation
  • Sinkholes
  • Lush patches of grass near your leach field

If you notice any of these symptoms or signs, it is imperative you seek professional plumbing help immediately. Catching these issues earlier rather than later can save you a great deal of money and time, as replacing sewer lines can be expensive and time-consuming.

Do You Think You May Have an Issue with Your Sewer Line?

Whether your system was mistreated or your pipes are old and susceptible to cracks and leaks, contact a professional plumber for guidance and assistance. Stalling will only result further damage.

At Moon Valley Plumbing, we have over two decades of experience. Owner Travis Mingle and his team are not only experts in the field, they are also known throughout the valley for honesty, professionalism and dedication.

If you’re concerned about your sewer line, contact Moon Valley Plumbing today at (480) 588-1926.

We’re honest. We’re affordable. We’re good.

Plumbing Tip: Never Attempt to Repair a Slab Leak Yourself

Never Attempt to Repair a Slab Leak Yourself

While plumbing issues should almost always be attended to by a professional, it is absolutely imperative that you do not attempt to repair a slab leak on your own.

slab leak
What Is a Slab Leak?

There are water lines that run below the concrete flooring of homes. A slab leak occurs when one of those water lines begins to leak.

Signs of a Slab Leak in Your Home

There are several indications that you may have a slab leak in your home. The signs may include (source):

  • No hot water
  • Cracks in your flooring or walls
  • The audible sound of running water when the water is, in fact, tuned off
  • Mildew
  • Low water pressure
  • Shifting foundation
  • Moisture under your carpeting
  • Increased water bills

How to Find a Slab Leak

Without the use of proper equipment and professional assistance, you will cause damage to your home in the search for a slab leak. Plumbers utilize electromagnetic pipeline locators as well as electronic amplification equipment to pinpoint the exact location of the leak. Without these advanced instruments, finding the leaking water line would cause excessive and expensive damage.

Once the it is found, your plumber will be able to fix the leak fairly quickly and easily.

What Causes a Slab Leak?

Generally, slab leaks are caused by a reaction between copper pipes and drinking water; however, there are typically four reasons a slab leak could occur:

  • Electrolysis—Electrolysis can occur when two dissimilar metals come in contact with each other or when your soil has a high metal content.
  • Vibrations, expansion and contracting that happen from water flow within the pipes can cause contact against concrete, gravel, or other pipes. Over time, the constant vibration can result in a leak.
  • High water pressure can cause damage to improperly installed pipes under the slab. A good way to avoid this is to install a pressure reducing valve.
  • Construction Issue. Faulty workmanship during construction can result in slab leaks.

How Slab Leaks Are Fixed

There are several options your plumber will chose from when it comes time to fix the slab leak. The method he or she chooses depends on the assessed condition of your leak.

  1. Repipe or Rerout. This method entails replacing the entire water line that is leaking and problematic. This is perhaps the most common solution, as it is typically the most effective for older plumbing systems with a history of leaking.
  1. Epoxy Pipe Coating. Typically used for systems with many small leaks, this approach involves in-place pipe coating that is applied throughout the inside of the plumbing.
  1. Spot Repair. Spot repair involves opening up the slab at the location of the leak and simply repairing the leaking water pipe. This method is generally the most cost effective option for new construction.

How Long Do Slab Leak Repairs Take?

Depending on the condition and damage, a slab leak fix typically takes no longer than two days. This includes locating the leak and preparing the site for repair.

Contacting Professional Help

If you have any of the listed signs or symptoms of a slab leak, it is crucial that you seek professional assistance right away. Stalling or attempting to resolve the issue yourself will result further damage.

If you’re concerned you may have a leak, contact Moon Valley Plumbing today at (480) 588-1926. We are proud to be Arizona’s premiere plumbers since 2003.

We’re honest. We’re affordable. We’re good.

Buying a Home: Why Plumber Inspections Are Important

Why Plumber Inspections Are Important

Plumber Inspections are always very important before buy a home.

Plumber Inspections

So, you found your dream home.

Often, the buyer makes an offer before ordering a home inspector to assess the home’s condition and functionality. And while the property may appear to be in satisfactory condition to the home inspector, it’s crucial to have a plumber also examine your potential new home before you make an offer to ensure the its longevity and easy maintenance.

If a plumber is called after the purchase of a new home, you may be at risk for expensive surprises that could have been avoided.

Common Plumbing Conditions That Are Overlooked Before a Home Is Purchased

There are three major plumbing issues that are often overlooked before a buyer purchases their new home, resulting in exorbitantly expensive repairs and replacements (source).

  1. Water Heater Risks

Signs of a Potential Issue:

A water heater over ten years old is always a reason for concern. Water heaters that heat a home in addition to supplying the hot water will often need to be replaced before the ten-year mark. Additionally, the location of the water heater may also be a red flag for past or imminent damage.

The Risk:

A water heater precariously located close to wood flooring, carpet, drywall or valuable assets of the property is a risk for damage. It’s equally important to assess the age and size of the water heater to ensure overflow and accurate volume availability for your needs.

For example, if the previous homeowner downsized to a smaller water heater after their children moved out for college, it’s important to make sure the water heater is big enough for your needs—particularly if you have a young family.

Why a Plumber is Necessary:

The age of a water heater can be determined by its model and serial number. A plumber can not only assess the water heater’s location and size, but also whether it is safe and up to code.

  1. Issues with the Main Sewer

Signs of a Potential Issue:

If the home of your dreams seems to have drains that clog incessantly, there is a reason—and the cause may be more serious than you expected. This frequent clogging may be a sign of an issue with the main sewer line.                                                                                                              

The Risk:

If there is an issue with the sewer line, such as deterioration, repair is critical in order to avoid a hefty replacement fee. Catching an issue with the main sewer before purchasing a home can save you thousands of dollars.

Why a Plumber is Necessary:

Plumbers will conduct a camera Plumber Inspections to determine if clogging within the home is more serious than anticipated. The camera can catch problems along the sewer line that are impossible to determine by a simple home inspection.

  1. Leaky Toilets

Signs of a Potential Issue:

Small leaks around the toilet have a tendency to go unnoticed and unrepaired for years. When inspecting a home, plumbers look for warping and discoloration around the toilet’s base, soft flooring around the toilet that moves when pressure is applied and a toilet bowl that can move from side to side.

The Risk:

While a leaky toilet may seem like a minor plumbing issue, over time the moisture causes rot in the subfloor and can get between the subfloor and the finished floor.

Why a Plumber Is Necessary:

Plumbers will pick up on the seriousness of a “minor” plumbing condition immediately and notice if the previous homeowner attempted to resolve the issue by sealing it themselves, which often exacerbates the problem.

Contact Moon Valley Plumbing Before You Buy Your Dream Home

At Moon Valley Plumbing, we want to ensure you are getting the best price for a safe home you can be happy in for the long-term. Finding out the true condition of your future home’s plumbing gives you the ability to negotiate an appropriate price and gives you peace of mind before moving in. Contact Moon Valley Plumbing to fully Plumber Inspections your dream home before it’s officially yours.