3 Earth-Friendly Benefits of a Water-Efficient Dishwasher

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has two labels to help you locate and choose eco-friendly appliances: the Energy Star certification and the WaterSense logo. The WaterSense program helps you identify appliances that use water efficiently, such as dishwashers that have lower water requirements per load.

The Energy Star program identifies appliances that work in an energy-efficient way. Of course, not all Energy Star or WaterSense appliances are equal; minimum standards need to be met, but many appliances go above and beyond those requirements.

But whether you choose the most efficient one possible or just a basic efficient model, you can enjoy many benefits inherent in choosing a water-efficient dishwasher. Here are three of the top ways in which this choice can help the Earth.

1. Reduce Water Use and Waste

One of the most obvious benefits of an efficient machine is that you’ll have to pay less for your water and sewer if you save water on a daily basis. But in addition to saving money, this factor also helps the environment in several ways. For example, less water waste means the municipal plant doesn’t have to expend as much energy on water processing.

Reducing water usage can also have big eco benefits on the upstream side. For example, if you live in a big city where water is sourced from out of state, less water usage means less water has to be moved from its natural environment to the city.

Another benefit is the reduced strain on the supply, making shortages (and soaring prices) less likely.

2. Use Less Energy

Modern dishwashers have been developed to use less water and energy compared to older models.

WaterSense models can also be Energy Star Certified. This means that you can easily choose a model that uses not only less water but also less energy per load.

These machines will often have an eco-cycle as well. This cycle will typically use less water and energy, allowing you to maximize the efficiency of your new machine. The tradeoff may be that the cycle takes longer to run (perhaps two hours or more versus an hour). Fortunately, newer machines are often quiet, so the longer cycle shouldn’t be overly disturbing.

3. Support Eco-Friendly Products and Companies

When many customers spend their money on certain things (such as eco-friendly products and appliances), they creates more demand in the industry for those products, which often results in a greater proportion of the market being filled by those products.

When you choose an eco-friendly dishwasher and eco-friendly detergents, you’re influencing the market in a small way in addition to directly supporting businesses that make it their mission to produce those Earth-friendly products.

Of course, not all eco detergents are equal. Some good criteria when comparing eco-friendly detergents include:

  • Does it have synthetic or natural fragrances? Both can contain chemicals known as phthalates, so they are best avoided.
  • Is it dye-free? Dyes are unnecessary and often toxic or harmful.
  • Does it have preservatives? Many of the preservatives in detergent can cause allergic reactions.
  • Does it contain polyacrylates (often an ingredient name with “ethel,” “acrylate,” “methyl,” or “ester”)?

These three eco benefits show how your dishwasher product choice can have a real influence on your ecological footprint. Choosing an eco-friendly dishwasher and complementing it with eco-friendly, non-toxic dishwashing detergent can help safeguard your health and even save you money over time in reduced energy and water costs.

For more help with water-efficient plumbing and appliances or to get a new dishwasher installed, get in touch with Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter today. We look forward to working with you to create a more efficient home.

3 Ways to Avoid Plumbing Problems When Purchasing an Older Home

If you’ve decided to forego the plumbing inspection on your pre-existing home purchase, you need to rethink your decision. There could be hidden plumbing problems that you’ll want to know about before you make an investment. Before you purchase an older home, conduct the following tests to identify potential plumbing issues. Read more

4 Reasons to Choose PEX Lines for Your Commercial Facility

Whether you need water-supply lines in a new structure or need to retrofit the lines in an older building, cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) lines can improve your facility’s operation and its plumbing system. Here are four reasons to use PEX piping for new or replacement plumbing in your commercial facility.

1. PEX Can Reduce Hot Water Expenses

PEX pipes are made of plastic, which offers better insulation of hot water than metal pipes. However, the real genius of a PEX piping system is the plumber’s ability to create manifold connections with the material.

Manifold or parallel systems are like control centers for your water supply system. A series of pipes feed into one central connection. Each line includes a shutoff valve at the manifold connection so you have complete control of the lines in the system.

PEX lines run directly from supply to the manifold. Pressure drops are not a problem with the parallel lines attached to the manifold, so you can use multiple fixtures at the same time. Your hot water comes quickly and efficiently due to its higher velocity in the parallel lines.

Less heated water flows down the drain with a PEX system. Workers do not need to let water run from the tap to reach the desired hot water temperatures for their tasks. Heat does not dissipate as quickly from direct runs of hot water as it does from more complicated pipe arrangements with elbows and bends.

2. PEX Is Durable and Safe

PEX is a safe choice for drinking water. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certifies that no toxins or heavy metals are in the material.

The material does not corrode, so your water does not leach rust and other unsafe particulates. Corrosion-free pipes do not pit, develop pinholes, or blow out under pressure. The interior surface of a PEX pipe is smooth, so scaling or mineral buildup lessen when the pipes are used with hard water supplies.

PEX pipes are also resistant to chlorine damage, so they work with chlorinated water supplies. Abrasion and notching of PEX lines are less likely due to the material’s flexibility.

3. PEX Requires Fewer Connections and Fittings

PEX plumbing systems require fewer connections and fittings. PEX line is on spools so the lines can roll out in long stretches. Fewer fittings mean fewer chances for leaks and flooding from fitting disconnections.

You do not need glue and solder to install PEX tubing. If pipes in a confined or hard-to-reach area need replumbing, you do not have to worry about strong adhesive fumes in the workspace or providing support for soldering operations. Its ease of installation makes PEX an ideal retrofit choice for older structures.

Plumbers can install PEX lines in less time than they can install pipes that need cut to fit around corners. Your plumbing labor costs are lower because your new PEX pipes do not have priming or gluing.

4. PEX Expands and Contracts With Temperatures

Pipes made of PVC and CPVC can split if they freeze and expand. When the water supply to a split plumbing line thaws, you have a serious flooding issue on your hands.

Your facility maintenance crews will have fewer frozen pipe and flooding issues when you install PEX water supply piping. PEX lines expand and contract with temperature changes.

Integrate PEX lines with existing piping to protect unheated areas or areas where pipes have burst. Your plumber can install PEX pipes in stages to reduce disruption in your facility.

Schedule your commercial PEX plumbing system installation in Phoenix by contacting Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter Valleywide today. We specialize in water line replacement with cross-linked polyethylene products.

adjustable wrench and pipes on the wooden background

Facts About Pipe Bursting And Pull-In-Place Sewer Lines

Pipe bursting and pull-in-place pipe installation are two techniques used in trenchless pipe repair. If your underground sewer pipes are deteriorated or fractured, these methods may be employed to fix the problem. Here’s more information about pipe bursting and pull-in-place pipe replacement. Read more

3 Ways to Improve the Efficiency of Your Home’s Hot Water System

Indoor plumbing is one of the conveniences that modern homeowners often take for granted. Access to a supply of heated water makes it possible to comfortably shower each day, disinfect your clothing and dishes, and wash your hands with ease.

Although hot water plays an important role in your day-to-day life, the system supplying your home with this hot water could be draining valuable energy and financial resources. Here are three simple things you can do to help make your home’s hot water system more efficient in the future. Read more

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.

Plumbing Tip: Check Under Your Sink and Water Heater to Make Sure There Are No Leaks

April Blog Tip

When it comes to home plumbing problems, leaks are not uncommon. While some leaks may be quick fixes, some may also indicate a much larger problem. By regularly checking your hot water heater and under your sink for leaks, you can prevent excessive water damage, prevent health issues caused by mold and mildew and even catch a potential problem before it becomes a much more expensive one.

Checking Your Hot Water Heater for Leaks

Water dripping from the hot water tank or pooling below the heater itself can indicate several potential problems, such as corrosion, loose valves or something as simple as condensation. Because it can happen suddenly, it’s important to routinely check your water heater for any signs of leaks as it can also be a sign of a much larger problem waiting to happen.

Determine if Your Water Heater is Leaking

Pools of water and moisture around your hot water heater may simply be caused by condensation. If you notice a suspicious pool of water around your water heater, wipe it up before inspecting the surrounding plumbing, such as water softener discharge lines, the body of the water heater itself and the pipes overhead. If you are unable to pinpoint the source of the leak, continue checking the area for several days. If the water returns, it is likely that your water heater is, in fact, leaking (source).

What to Do if There Is a Leak

If you were able to find the source of your leak, turn off the power to your water heater. On electric heaters, simply switch off the breaker for the water heater in the circuit breaker box. For gas heaters, avoid closing the gas shut-off valve when shutting the power off.

Secondly, turn off the water supply. It’s important to remember that the water inside these tanks can reach temperatures of up to 190 degrees, so if you are unable to access the gate valve safely, turn off the water supply to the entire home.

If the source of the leak has yet to be found, leave the water supply on. This will help you and your plumber pinpoint the problem quicker.

Inspect the Area for the Source of the Leak

There are multiple parts of the water heater that could be the source of your leak. While inspecting the area, make sure to check:

  • The cold water inlet and hot water outlet
  • The temperature and pressure relief valve
  • The heater drain valve
  • The base of the hot water tank

A leak coming from the hot water tank itself is common and typically indicates degeneration. Unfortunately, this usually means the tank must be replaced.

Checking Under Your Sink for Leaks

Similar to hot water heaters, it is important to check under your sink for any potential leaks that may result in water damage, health issues or even indicate a much larger problem. Luckily, leaks under the sink are typically easy to fix when found, often coming from the faucet itself, supply hoses or drain pipes. The source of a leaky sink is typically much easier to find than with a water heater.

Determine if There Is a Leak Under Your Sink

Generally, a saturated floor or wet cabinet is the first indication of a leak under your sink. There may even be water spraying or a pool forming underneath or around the sink itself. However, if a faulty seal is to blame, the leak may not be evident until the sink if full of water.

What to Do if There is a Leak

Often, dripping water is a sign of a loose connection, although it may imply faulty pipes as well. In the event that any of the pipes fittings are too loose, a simple tightening will often fix the problem and prevent further water damage. However, if you are unable to locate the source of the leak, chances are the sink drain or faucet itself is leaking (source).

Contacting Professional Help

If you are unable to identify the source of a leak from your water heater or under your sink, you may benefit from contacting a plumber for assistance. Additionally, if you discovered a problematic leak, ensure your safety by reaching out to a professional. What may seem like a small plumbing issue can turn into an expensive plumbing failure or flood. If you’re concerned about a leak, contact Moon Valley Plumbing today at (480) 588-1926.

Plumbing Tip: Don’t Forget to Flush Your Water Heater

Plumbing Tip: Don’t Forget to Flush Your Water Heater

Don’t Forget to Flush Your Water Heater

Water heaters enable the luxury of warm water and hot showers with only the turn of a handle. These typically cylinder-shaped systems are often tucked in the basement corner, made of steel and insulated to retain heat. While water heaters are generally low-maintenance, it is crucial to flush your them regularly.

Flush Your Water

Flushing Your Water Heater: Why It’s Important

Water heaters hold a large volume of water inside its tank. Overtime, iron sediment settles to the bottom and can stir up whenever the bathtub or washing machine is used, causing an unappealing discoloration of the water. In order to control the buildup of mineral deposits and to optimize the operating efficiency and life of the heater, it is important to to flush this system regularly (source).

When You Should Flush Your Water Heater

Generally, it is recommended that you flush your water heater annually (source); however, the recurrence of your maintenance will depend on your water heater model and your home’s water source. If your water heater is getting older or if you just moved into your home, it’s a good idea to flush your water heater right away to assess its quality. Additionally, if you have a water softener that uses salt, it is necessary to flush your water heater at least once a year or once every six months.

How to Flush Your Water Heater

If you wish to flush your water heater yourself, there are quite a few steps to follow:

  1. Locate the and disable the main power source of your water heater

An electrical heater will be powered by a breaker or fuse box, whereas a gas heater will use a thermostat.

For a breaker box: disable the circuit that powers your electrical water heater. If you are unsure which branch circuit breaker this is, you may turn off the main circuit breaker. Remember, if you do this, the power in your home will be off throughout this procedure.

For a fuse box: remove the fuse box powering the water heater. This fuse box will have a handle that may be hot, so be careful when pulling it closed.

For a thermostat: turn the setting to “pilot” on the gas heater.

  1. Turn off the cold water inlet into the water heater

The shut off valve will be located at the top of the tank. If you have a ball valve, this will simply close with a quarter-turn, whereas a gate valve will take more rotations to shut completely.

  1. Turn on the hot water spigot in your sink
  1. Attach a garden hose to the tank’s valve

This valve will be located at the bottom of your heater.

  1. Place the draining end of the hose in a safe location

Because the water dispensed from the hose will be extremely hot, make sure to place the end of your garden hose in a safe location, such as a sink, outdoor drain or driveway.

  1. With the pressure relief valve open, open the water heater’s drain valve
  1. Let the water run

After a several minutes, if the water appears clear and has cooled, use a drinking glass to collect the running water. Once the water settles in the glass, look for any remaining sediment.

If the water is still clouded, continue flushing until it is clear. If for some reason the tank empties before the water appears clear, turn your cold water supply on and partially fill the tank to continue flushing.

  1. Close the drain valve

Disconnect the garden hose, turn off the hot water spigot and turn on the cold water inlet to the tank.

  1. Power-up

Finally, turn on your water supply to let the tank refill. Reopen the pressure relief valve slowly, closing it once any compressed air has vacated. Close the water heater drain, only turning on the water supply once the hot water starts running; at this point it is safe to turn on the power source again.

Need Some Guidance?

Many opt for professional service when it comes time to flush a water heater. If your schedule is too busy, the process seems overwhelming or if you stumbled upon problems, Moon Valley Plumbing is here to help. Contact us today for assistance!