Travis Talks About…. The Top 3 Causes of Plumbing Panic!

Travis Talks About…. The Top 3 Causes of Plumbing Panic!

Hi, I’m Travis Mingle, and I’m the guy who started Moon Valley Plumbing almost 15 years ago, when I was in my early 30’s. The truth is – I went into plumbing because I love the work. Some people may think that’s crazy, but it’s the truth. It’s really interesting work, it’s different every day – and it’s never, ever boring. Plus – my team is a great group of talented and dedicated guys, and I’m proud to work with every one of them. Finally, my customers are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met.

Now, we are dedicated to handling your plumbing problems 24/7, because plumbing emergencies don’t always cooperate and happen conveniently, like – 9 to 5. No, emergencies will generally happen at the most inconvenient time, but that’s all right – because we’ll be there!

An emergency is an emergency, but – on occasion – that emergency causes flat-out panic. We call these our “911 Plumbing Panics.” This is a plumbing situation where “NOW” isn’t really quick enough. I guarantee that we’ll get there as fast as we can, but just as a sort of “FYI” – let me give you a few ideas that might help while you’re waiting for us.

Dropping a wedding or engagement ring down the drain:

While this one isn’t dire in terms of damaging your number 1 asset – your home, it is completely dire to a person’s mental health and well-being. This is – dropping the wedding or engagement ring down a drain (while wedding rings are awful enough, we have found that the engagement ring going down the drain will actually promote out and out hysteria at times, so…):

First, breathe, and immediately stop running water down the sink. Sometimes the following steps will work without calling us:

  • If you’ve got a sink where the metal drain plug pulls up completely, pull that out and look at it. Sometimes, even when things are running smoothly, there is still hair and debris clogged around the base of the drain plug stem at the bottom – your ring might be trapped in this.
  • If it’s not there – leave the drain plug out, and take a wire hanger apart and bend the tip into a small, narrow “U” shape – like a hook – so that it fits down the drain. Carefully thread that down until it hits the bottom of the pipe, move it around and see if it will fish up some hair or goo caught in the “U” shaped bend of the pipe – sometimes the ring will be caught in that.
  • Alternately, if you just cleared your sink a little while ago, and you think it’s pretty clear – try tying a kitchen magnet onto a piece of string (or attach it to the end of the hanger) and lower it in to see if the magnet will pick it up.

Then – call us!


This is one of those things you should figure out when you move into a home, but – well, if we did everything we’re supposed to do, life wouldn’t be as exciting, would it?

We will occasionally get calls from a panicked homeowner, telling us that water is pouring out all over the floor, and when we ask the homeowner – “Did you turn the water valve off?” they have no idea what we’re talking about – or they have no idea where it is.

Turning off the water supply valves on different fixtures:

  • There are two kinds of water valves, the first are called fixture supply stops – and those are inside your house, either under or around or behind every toilet, faucet, dishwasher, washing machine, water softener, and/or water heater in your home. Look for a handle, or spigot, or oval handle that looks like it’s “turnable.” These are usually located down towards floor level behind the fixture, or – in the case of sinks, open the cabinet and it will be under the sink and behind the pipes. To turn it off, remember that “righty-tighty” is off, and “lefty-loosey” will turn it back on when everything’s fixed, all right?

Turning off the main water supply valve to the house:

  • Occasionally – there’s a bigger problem going on, and turning off a fixture supply water valve doesn’t solve it; water keeps pouring out of something. This is when you – as a homeowner – should know where your home’s main water supply valve is located. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes the main water supply valve can be a little tricky to find.
  • In Arizona, where the weather is warm and we don’t have basements, that main water supply valve is located on the outside of your home, usually on the front or rear of the house. The main water shut-off valve is generally somewhere near where the water meter is, or where a pipe comes out of the ground and goes through an exterior wall. Locate that, and determine where it is inside your house – and try there first. If that doesn’t work, or you can’t find it, then try the outside valve, just know that you may need some tools for this – notably a ratchet wrench.

THEN – call us!

Toilet backing up:

While water running everywhere certainly qualifies as a disaster, toilet water running everywhere can be even worse. In this case, when you have toilet water pouring over the rim of the toilet – so first –

  • Get that water valve off as quickly as possible! Fortunately – while main water shutoff valves can sometimes be tricky to find – the water shut-off valve is always right there behind your toilet, near the floor, and it looks like something you would turn to turn something off. So turn it, again remembering “righty-tighty,” etc. etc. to make sure you get it off.
  • While this is not our favorite topic to talk about, the fact is that you don’t want this water seeping into the cracks of your linoleum floor or the base of the toilet. So hopefully you have a hamper full of dirty bedding close by. We’re going to choose bedding and/or towels because, truthfully, these things can then be washed repeatedly in hot water, and/or bleached to within an inch of their lives. Clothing? Not so much.

Then — CALL US!

When I started Moon Valley Plumbing, my number one commitment was to create the kind of company that people believe in and trust. And if our reviews and our testimonials are to be believed – that’s exactly what we’ve done, and I’m proud of that! Some of our customers have been with us for years, and a lot of our new customers come because we’re recommended to them by our old customers, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to every one of them!