4 Things to Learn About Low Flow Toilets & Plumbing Fixtures

The conservation of water can prove crucial for communities in dry, hot parts of the country such as Arizona, especially when the local reservoirs run particularly low. For many Americans, low-flow toilets offer a more resource-efficient way to flush, preserving more water for the community while also reducing utility bills.

If you have never had a low-flow toilet in your home, you should get to know these pieces of equipment, from the various mechanisms that make them so efficient to the potential repair and maintenance issues to keep in mind. Start by examining the following four important points.

1. Low-Flow Toilets Save Water

Throughout most of the 20th Century, residential toilets commonly featured tanks that typically used five gallons of water for each flush. In 1994, new federal rules aimed at conserving water led to the adoption of the first generation of low-flow toilets that used only 1.6 gallons per flush.

The latest developments in low-flow toilet technology permit units to work successfully while using a mere 1.28 gallons per flush. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards a WaterSense label to models that meet their standards for efficiency. These toilets can reduce residential water usage by up to 60 percent.

2. Low-Flow Toilets Can Pose Some Special Challenges

As effective and appealing as low-flow toilets may seem as a way to slash your water bill and help your community, these appliances can prove more vulnerable to certain problems than traditional pre-1994 toilets. In fact, the earliest low-flow toilets almost always required two flushes instead of one, limiting their cost-effectiveness.

Modern low-flow toilets benefit from design modifications that reduce the need for multiple flushes. However, these units may still clog relatively easily, since the lower volume of water moves with less force. Power towels, trash, feminine hygiene products, and other flushed items can easily create a partial or total blockage.

The installation of low-flow toilets can also have a negative effect on certain kinds of plumbing pipes. Old-style drain pipes made from iron or galvanized steel, in particular, may corrode more quickly than usual as liquid and solid waste move through them at a reduced pace.

3. Low-Flow Toilets Come in Different Forms

Just as low-flow toilets provide a welcome alternative to older traditional designs, modern low-flow toilets offer a few different alternatives for homeowners looking to make the switch. For one thing, several of today’s designs actually need far less than 1.28 gallons per flush, making them especially water-efficient.

Many low-flow toilets come with a dual-flush capability. In this design, you have the option of using one button or lever to flush liquid waste and another button or lever to flush solid waste. Each option uses a different volume of water, ensuring that solid waste gets flushed the first time while using minimal water for liquid waste disposal.

Some state-of-the-art low-flow toilets combine water pressure with air pressure to keep waste moving along without the need for excess water. These pressure-assist models cost more than standard toilets and can prove mechanically complex, but they have the added advantage of sporting a small tank that saves space.

4. Low-Flow Toilets Work Just Fine With Proper Care

Don’t assume that the switchover to low-flow toilets has to result in clogs and breakdowns. You can keep your low-toilets running perfectly well simply by taking care about what kinds of objects you try to flush with them. Warn family members and visitors not to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper down these toilets.

Think about the state and age of your pipes before installing low-flow toilets. Your plumbing technicians can check to see whether you have old metal pipes that might face a heightened risk for corrosion. If so, ask the plumbing team to replace them with modern PVC pipes that will resist corrosion and provide more trouble-free service.

Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter can help you take the plunge into the world of low-flow toilets. Whether you want to install low-flow toilets throughout your home, need to check the status of pipes before taking that step, or develop a problem with your low-flow toilets, contact us today for skilled professional assistance.

Do you Have a Gurgling Toilet? What You Need to Know.

When you flush your toilet, you expect to hear the familiar sound of the water going down the drain. If you hear anything odd, especially bubbling or gurgling sounds, you probably have something wrong that needs immediate attention. Read more

Plumbing Problems That Only a Skilled Plumbing Technician Can Find

Leaky pipes, a dripping faucet, a clogged drain — these are obvious plumbing issues that an average homeowner can detect without the help of an expert. If you’re confident, you might even try to fix them yourself. But doing so might lead to much bigger problems. You might not know when you’re making a mistake. Read more

Plumbing Upgrades to Consider During a Bathroom Remodel

There are two compelling reasons to consider plumbing upgrades: greater convenience and safety for your family, and increased resale value for your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners aren’t familiar with all of the options available to them to accomplish these goals. Here is an overview of four of the best plumbing upgrades to consider if you want to take advantage of the latest innovations. Read more

Basics of Thermal Expansion Tanks for Water Heaters

A typical water heater has a tank to hold the water during the heating process and keep it at the ready once it’s been heated. However, most water heaters also need a secondary tank called a thermal expansion tank. This is a smaller tank that typically sits above the water heater and holds both water and air. Read more

New kitchen water faucets

How to Conserve Water In Your Home

Water inefficiency is bad for both your pocket and the environment. Fortunately, you can take a wide range of measures to avoid water wastage at home. Below are some of these measures.

Install High-efficiency Appliances

Water appliances have different efficiencies. Choose the highest efficiency within your budget whenever you want to install an appliance. Here are some useful examples of such appliances:

  • Low-flow showerheads with rates as low as 2 gallons per minute
  • Low-flush toilets that use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush
  • Low-flow faucets that deliver as little as 1.5 gallons per minute

Water appliances are becoming more efficient as time goes on — and without compromising on functionality. If you have old appliances, the chance is high that the contemporary market has numerous efficient appliances you can use to update your current appliances.

Use a Tankless Water Heater

Water heaters come in different varieties, but you can choose between two major categories — tank and tankless systems. The tank system heats and stores hot water, while the tankless system only heats water when you need it.

A tankless water heater is both energy- and water-efficient. Water efficiency is possible because the appliance instantly heats the water when you need it. Thus, you don’t have to wait for some cold water to flow down the drain as the water heats.

Lower Your Water Pressure

Low water pressure reduces the risk of water leaks, which high water pressure can cause by forcing its way through small spaces in pipe joints. Additionally, low water pressure reduces water delivery per minute, which reduces overall water use. Both of these perks can help you achieve better water efficiency in your home.

To lower the water pressure in your home, adjust the pressure regulator that sits just after the water meter outside the house. Ensure the pressure reading doesn’t exceed 80 psi.

Prevent Plumbing Leaks

A leaking plumbing system wastes water and makes you pay for the water you aren’t using. Because of this, you’ll want to prevent and plug leaks as soon as they occur. The following tips should help:

  • Prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting by wrapping them in heated tape.
  • Replace corroded pipes that are likely to leak.
  • Replace worn-out fixtures, such as washers or gaskets.

Install a leak detector to alert you as soon as a leak occurs. If you detect a leak, shut off your water supply and plug the leak as soon as possible.

Install a Water Recycling System

Did you know you can recycle some of the wastewater from your house for reuse? A typical house produces two types of wastewater — black and gray water. The black water comes from the toilet and shouldn’t be recycled. Grey water comes from various other sources, such as showers, sinks, and bathtubs, and you can often recycle this water.

You can install a recycling system that separates the grey water from the black water and purifies it. The installation is especially easy and cost-effective during construction. You can use the water for non-consumption activities, such as watering the lawn and washing clothes.

If you choose to install one of these systems, ensure you follow your state’s water recycling regulations.

Change Your Water-Usage Habits

Changing your water-usage habits can have a big effect on your overall water efficiency. Some things you can do include the following:

  • Take shorter showers.
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t flush garbage down the toilet.
  • Run washing machines at full load.

Indoctrinate all household members to water-saving tips — collective efforts work better than individual efforts.

Three things are critical to your water conservation efforts — good plumbing installation, proper maintenance, and water-usage habits. Moon Valley Plumbing can help you with the first two things. We also provide emergency services to those who need immediate help after hours. Contact us with your plumbing problem to get a professional solution.

Water filtration vs Water softener

Water Filtration Vs. Water Softener

The water that runs into your home is extremely important. Now more so than ever, Americans are getting a vast majority of their drinking water from home, and if you are not sure how safe your water is, you may be welcoming in some unfortunate health complications. One of the most common questions that we get from our Arizona customers is “Do I need a water filter or a water softener?” You might think that these two water purifying devices do the same thing, but you would be sorely mistaken. If you are interested in improving the quality of water flowing into your home, schedule an appointment with the elite plumbing team here at Moon Valley Plumbing today. Our friendly and helpful technicians will make sure that you get the perfect system for your needs without breaking your budget. Here are some basic differences between water filtration systems and water softeners.

What Does a Water Filter do?

It may not seem like it at first glance, but water softeners and water filters serve very different functions. A water filter actively removes potentially dangerous particulates from your water like bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals. We recommend utilizing water filters for a number of reasons. If you are nervous about any potential chemical contamination in the water that you are drinking, a water filter can efficiently remove almost all of the harmful chemicals you may be worried about. Another reason to utilize a water filter is if you notice any strange taste or smell with the water in your home or business. Although not necessarily dangerous to your health, this bad smell or taste can be extremely off-putting to both you and your guests. Finally, if you live in a rural area and use well water that might be contaminated with Sulphur or iron, as it commonly can be, a water filter can easily remove these dangerous elements. Overall, a water filter will greatly improve the overall taste, clarity, and cleanliness of your water.

What Does a Water Softener do?

In order to understand what a water softener does, we first need to go into what hard water is. Hard water is a term that means that the water in your home is carrying a large amount of calcium and magnesium. This calcium and magnesium can cause your dishes to get spots on them, can cause dry or irritated skin, and can cause serious backup issues in your plumbing. A good water softener lowers the calcium and magnesium levels in your water to make it gentler on your skin and remove the white residue associated with hard water. A water softener will not remove other dangerous chemicals, so it is important that you make the right decision between these two fantastic water improvement products.

If you are interested in learning more about which of these water-improving methods is best for you, contact the friendly and helpful team here at Moon Valley Plumbing today. We will help you get the perfect system for your home or business and have it installed quickly and efficiently so you can keep living your life without interruption.

Things to Look for During a Plumbing Inspection

House inspection is a critical step when buying a home. During the inspection, you should pay attention to the structural integrity, roofing system, security features, interiors, HVAC systems, appliances, electrical systems, exteriors, and plumbing systems.

A reliable plumbing system allows free flow of clean water and wastewater in and out of the house, respectively. Therefore, you need to inspect the plumbing systems with the help of a professional before you close the deal. Here are things to look for during plumbing inspection.

Water Heater

The efficacy of a water heater can help you assess the performance of the entire plumbing system. Switch on any faucet and find out whether the heater produces enough hot water or not. Do this for a couple of minutes to detect any temperature fluctuations.

If you hear strange sounds from the water heater, this could be a sign of sediment buildup that needs to be flushed.

Remember to check for any leak signs around the water heater. Make sure the pipes and other fittings are well connected and sealed. With the help of a technician, you should identify signs of loose parts, leaks, and faulty accessories and estimate the repair or replacement costs.

Moreover, the plumbing technician can help you check the heater type in the house in question and offer advice based on the degree of efficiency.

Kitchen

In the kitchen you need to check the sink, garbage disposal, shutoff valves, and other kitchen appliances. Here is how to inspect them.

Sink

Turn on the faucet and check for any leakage around it or slow draining. You can let tap water run for a few minutes and watch how it behaves.

Be wary of water that drains slowly because this could a sign of blockage. Fortunately, a plumber can disassemble the sink, clean the drain, or replace any problematic parts.

Even if the drain is in good condition, however, you need to observe proper maintenance strategies to prevent clogging once you buy the house.

Garbage Disposal Unit

Check for any leaks from the garbage disposal, and let the plumber tighten the connections. Strange smells from the garbage disposal is a common sign of clogs. Since the garbage disposal units might also fail to turn on, you should test it during the inspection session.

Shutoff Valves

Shutoff valves regulate water supply to your taps and appliances. Turn off different valves to find out if they affect the water supply. If not, you need to repair or replace the faulty ones.

Appliances

Kitchen appliances, such as dishwashers, also depend on the home’s plumbing system. During the inspection, turn on the dishwasher and carefully assess how it functions. Check how long it takes to fill or drain, and make sure the shutoff valve that controls it works.

Bathroom

In the bathroom, make sure the faucets don’t leak. Also, find out if the bathroom drains are clogged by hair or soap scum. If you notice any issues, you can hire the technician to open the drains and eliminate any trapped debris.

Toilet

Open the toilet cistern, flush, and watch how it behaves. A toilet that flushes continuously wastes a lot of water and might need repairs or replacements. Also, check for any leaks around the toilet.

Main Sewer Drains

If you want to buy an old home, the main sewer drain may have root intrusion and other issues that can block your sewer line. A professional plumber can use camera inspection to detect any signs of cracks, corrosion, or root intrusion and advise accordingly.

You need to inspect various parts of a plumbing system before you buy a home. This guide provides you with a checklist that can make your work easier and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Our company offers plumbing inspection and repair services for residential properties, commercial properties, foreclosure properties, and condos. Contact us today for quality services.

3 Signs of Water Quality Issues

Ordinary drinking water from your kitchen sink’s tap offers some significant advantages over bottled water for everyday use, from its cheaper cost to the inclusion of fluoride to encourage strong teeth. Unfortunately, even though the city purifies its water supply, household plumbing problems can introduce unwanted additions.

If you worry about the quality of your family’s drinking water, you can benefit from some basic knowledge about common telltale symptoms of water quality issues and their potential origins. Pay attention to the following three warning signs.

1. Unusual Tastes or Odors

Of all the troubles plaguing your drinking water, none will get your attention as swiftly and dramatically as a foul taste or unusual odor. In most cases, the underlying cause does not pose a direct threat to your health, but you may still find your water unpleasant until you eliminate the problem.

Taste and odor problems caused by algae can spoil the enjoyment of drinking water for entire communities. In Phoenix, the most common culprits include geosmin and methylisoborneol algae. An unpleasant smell may linger long after the city has successfully treated the water and removed the actual algae.

Sometimes the chlorine employed as part of this purification process imparts a swimming-pool taste and odor to the water. If you cannot tolerate even faint traces of this chemical, invest in a pitcher or faucet attachment that contains a carbon filter. This simple step can remove most of the substances causing the trouble.

A rotten-egg taste and smell indicates either sulfate minerals or hydrogen sulfide gas. Although this odor should trigger concern if it emerges from your toilet due to flammable, toxic sewer gas, it does not mean that your drinking water poses a safety hazard. However, your water heater might need professional treatment.

2. Floating Debris

Tap water may contain floating debris. The color and general appearance of this debris can provide clues as to what kind of substance has infiltrated your water supply and why. If you use a carbon filter, tiny black particles could simply represent carbon particles that have escaped from the filtration device.

If the black particles in your water look like rubber, you may have found tiny pieces of rubber coming from a deteriorated rubber seal or hose. A plumbing technician can replace the worn component, eliminating the issue.

In well-water systems, brown or earth-colored specks of dirt can enter drinking water. In systems that rely on the city’s plumbing supply, small pieces of iron from deteriorated pipes can appear brown or black. These particles won’t poison you, but they can clog up your plumbing fixtures over time.

3. Discoloration

Tap water that doesn’t look perfectly colorless may startle you. Water that assumes a milky haze may contain excess calcium, a problem known as hard water. Most people can drink hard water without safety concerns, but the accumulated calcium forms lime scale which narrows pipes and reduces water efficiency.

Brown water commonly contains rust or dissolved iron. As unappealing as it may look, the level of iron in the water won’t harm you unless you have a health condition that makes you sensitive to this element. However, it does mean that some part of your plumbing system has started to corrode.

Tap water can also take on a light blue or green coloration. These shades often mean that copper has leached into your water from a corroded pipe or other plumbing appliance. Excessive copper intake over time can cause liver or kidney trouble as well as anemia. Replace the corroded component to avoid long-term problems.

Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter can check out your home plumbing system, diagnose any issues affecting the quality of your drinking water, and make the recommended fixes to improve the situation. Contact us today to schedule plumbing service.

4 Reasons to Switch to a Tankless Water Heater

When it’s time to upgrade your home’s water heating solution, you should know that a storage tank water heater is no longer your only option. Tankless water heaters improve on traditional water heater technology in multiple ways, and many homeowners are making the switch to take advantage of these improvements. Here are four reasons you should consider switching to a tankless water heater.

1. On-Demand Hot Water

Imagine if your home could have immediate access to a virtually unlimited supply of hot water, rather than being limited to what was stored in your water heater tank. This is now possible with tankless water heaters, and these heaters are also known as on-demand water heaters for this reason. Tankless water heaters use gas burners to directly heat water as it flows into your home from the water main.

If you have a large home or household, a single water heater may not be able to meet demand in some cases. This is because tankless heaters have a slower flow rate than storage tank models. Fortunately, you can overcome this limitation by installing two or more tankless heaters so that your home has enough hot water for even the heaviest use cases.

2. Energy Savings

While the up-front costs of tankless water heaters is higher than storage tank heaters, the energy efficiency of these units lets them pay for themselves over the years. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that use less than 41 gallons of water per day could see energy savings of 24 to 34 percent.

The cost difference between tankless and storage tank water heaters is further offset by the longer lifespan of tankless heaters. With proper maintenance, you can expect a tankless heater to last more than 20 years. Every year that you use your tankless heater beyond the 10- to 15-year lifespan of a storage tank heater, you’re saving both on energy costs and on the installation cost of a new unit.

3. Low Maintenance Requirements

As with any water heater, the biggest enemy of tankless heaters is hard water. Hard water is water that contains an above-average concentration of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. As water flows through your tankless heater, these minerals will settle on the heating element as scale. Scale buildup inhibits heat transfer, wastes energy, and can damage your heater.

Hiring a technician to service your tankless water heater yearly is the best way to get the longest possible life out of the heater. The technician will flush the water heater with a descaling and deliming chemical to remove set-in mineral deposits from the heat exchanger. If your area is notorious for hard water, you may want to schedule maintenance more frequently, such as every six months.

Other than hard water removal, tankless heaters don’t usually require other frequent maintenance tasks. If you have that scheduled on your calendar, you don’t have to worry about your tank.

4. Reduced Risk of Water Damage

Storage tank water heaters keep tens of gallons of water inside your home at all times. A storage tank heater is a trusted design that meets building code standards, but a leak that results in hundreds of dollars of water damage and mold growth is not impossible. As the tank ages, there is even a possibility that it could rupture. Tankless water heaters reduce the risk of expensive water damage repairs in the future.

When it’s time to upgrade your water heater, a tankless heater could provide the performance improvements and energy savings that you’re looking for. Contact us at Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter for top-tier plumbing service, installations, and repairs, and we’ll help you find a water heating solution that you’ll be happy with for years to come.