5 Places to Check Water-Using Appliances for Leaks

Although professional plumbing inspections are a necessity for a well-maintained house, every homeowner should also stay on top of home maintenance by using drains mindfully and checking for visible leaks. In addition to checking under your sinks for leaks, you should also check over any appliances with water hookups.

Here are five important places to check your major appliances with water hookups — like the refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher — for water leaks.


1. Hoses and Supply Lines

The lines that bring water to the appliance can spring leaks. These are especially common at the ends of the lines where they connect to the appliance or to the water supply pipes. Your dishwasher also has a recirculation hose that can go bad and cause a leak.

Use a clean, dry tissue to check for moisture on the lines. But remember that if it’s a cold-water line, there could be some naturally occurring condensation that doesn’t necessarily indicate a leak.


2. Pan or Drip Pan

The pan of the dishwasher where water collects and the drip pan under a refrigerator can both spring leaks. These parts are often made of plastic, which can be damaged more easily once it’s old and brittle.

If your refrigerator drain pan is dripping, though, that doesn’t always mean it’s damaged. When you see a leak under the fridge, check the pan to see if it’s actually full and overflowing instead. If so, that could simply indicate that the condenser fan has died.


3. Drain Lines

The drain line is another common spot for leaks on both the dishwasher and the clothes washer. Seals around where the dishwasher drain line connects can also start to leak when they become old and cracked. Check these seals periodically and wipe the drain lines with a tissue to check for leaks.

Although your refrigerator doesn’t regularly discharge gallons of wastewater like the clothes washer and dishwasher, the refrigerator does have a condensate drain line that can clog and cause a leak. Typically this water leaks inside the refrigerator, meaning the puddle could be hidden under your vegetable drawers, so be sure to check there periodically.

A clogged condensate line is, fortunately, relatively easy to fix and can even be a DIY project.


4. Dishwasher and Washing Machine Door Seals

If you have a modern or high-efficiency washing machine, chances are it’s front-loading. Unlike top-loading machines, these washers rely heavily on their door seals, like dishwashers. But the washing machine door seals are prone to leaking not only if they wear out but also if they become full of lint and other debris. So be sure to wipe the washing machine seal regularly.

Both the washing machine and the dishwasher should have their door seals checked for brittleness, stiffness, and cracking. If you notice these symptoms, it’s time to replace the seal. Your machine may already have a leak, or if not, it could develop one in the near future.


5. Drain Pumps

Drain pumps on both the dishwasher and the clothes washer can go bad in a variety of ways. The seals where they connect to the drains and to the machine can fail, or the drain pump itself can start to leak (or the pump can simply stop working, meaning the machine doesn’t drain properly, which is another possible cause of leakage).

You can check the seals around the drain pump yourself, but if you see the pump leaking or suspect that it’s not working correctly, you’ll want to call in a professional to diagnose and repair the damage for you.

These are five common spots you should check when looking for leaks. Many appliance leaks will make themselves known early on because of the large amount of water they emit (although tracking down the exact source of the leak can still be a problem). But even a slow drip that you don’t notice can still waste gallons and gallons of water.

For more information on the plumbing maintenance and repair services we provide, call Moon Valley Plumbing today.

4 Common Pipe Materials Used in Homes

From showering and washing clothes to running the dishwasher and flushing the toilet, the various pipes moving water and waste in and out of the home do a lot of work. A combination of water supply and drain, waste, and vent pipes are used throughout the home to create an effective and efficient plumbing system.

Even though there are so many feet of pipes running in and out of the home, most homeowners do not place much importance on them. Understanding the different types of piping that may be found in your home is smart for preventative maintenance and possible repairs. Here are a few common pipe materials you may have in your home.


PVC pipes are made using polyvinyl chloride, which is a durable, versatile, and affordable option for your home’s plumbing needs. In most cases, PVC pipes are used for cold and hot potable water or sewage applications.

Of course, you may be surprised by the different numbers used to size PVC pipes. Schedule 40 and schedule 80 PVC pipes are most common.

Basically, the higher the number, the thicker the PVC walls are. Therefore, a schedule 80 PVC pipe has thicker walls than a schedule 40. A thicker wall is beneficial for higher temperatures, so a schedule 80 PVC pipe would be an option for supply lines coming from your hot water heater.

It is important that you do not confuse PVC with CPVC pipes. While PVC plumbing consists of white pipes with large or small diameters, CPVC, or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, pipes have a smaller diameter and a yellowish tint.

2. PEX

PEX pipes come in white, red, or blue and these colors are used for a good reason — they help you determine and label which lines are used for hot (red) and cold (blue) water supplies. Or you can use white PEX lines if preferred.

PEX pipes are made from a flexible plastic material that is surprisingly durable. With proper installation, PEX plumbing lines can last up to 30 years or longer in some instances.

PEX offers the durability of copper without the risk of rust and corrosion. If you live in an area with acidic water that can rust your plumbing lines, PEX is a great option to reduce the risk of corrosion and underlying water leaks in your home.

Another benefit of PEX is the cost. If you want durability without the high expense, choose PEX because it costs about a third less than copper.

3. Copper

If you live in an older home, you may have copper pipes. Copper is durable and can withstand higher temperatures and pressure, but it can also develop rust and start to corrode, affecting the taste, smell, and quality of your water.

Copper is also expensive, so replacing a damaged copper pipe can be a costly project. Because of the cost, many homeowners forego copper and repipe their entire plumbing system using PEX or PVC pipes.

4. Galvanized Steel

Gray metal pipes are made out of galvanized steel. This material became popular for plumbing in homes built in the 1960s. If your home has galvanized steel pipes, replacing them will be recommended.

On average, galvanized steel can last about 40 years. Unfortunately, the coating inside the galvanized steel pipes eventually wears down, flaking off, rusting your pipes, and affecting your home’s water supply.

If you are not sure whether your older home has galvanized steel pipes, check the water pressure. Turn on a hot water faucet. If the pressure is low, the pipes are most likely made of galvanized steel, since hot water pipes are the first to corrode.

For assistance determining what type of pipes are used in your home or to start a repiping or repair, contact Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter today.

Learn About Current Popular Bathroom Additions

Some exciting introductions in the plumbing industry have been gaining attention lately, and some old ideas have been making come backs. If you like the idea of bringing your bathroom up to speed with regards to some of the recent happenings in the plumbing industry, then you want to read the information here.

Clawfoot Bathtubs

Clawfoot bathtubs can be traced back to the middle of the 18th century, but they became very popular during the 19th century. Since that time period, the popularity has shifted to more modern styles of bathtubs, including Jacuzzi tubs, his and her tubs, and numerous other variations and styles.

Recently, the plumbing industry has seen a comeback in the clawfoot bathtubs. Popular free-standing tubs that are much like clawfoot bathtubs, but with a modern twist, are also available.

Besides aesthetic reasons, clawfoot and standalone bathtubs have the added benefit of giving the homeowner the option of easily selecting where the bathtub goes, as well as what angle they would like it to sit at, such as catty corner or parallel to the wall.

Hands-Free Sink Faucets

Hands-free faucets have been around for a while. However, they have mostly been reserved for places like medical facilities and restaurants where clean hands are of the utmost importance. Recently, both touchless and foot-activated sinks have become popular with many home owners.

These homeowners appreciate their ability to cut down on the spreading of germs while offering them more convenience at the same time.

Pedestal Sinks

The pedestal sink is another blast from the past that has been gaining traction in the past few years. A pedestal sink is comprised of the pedestal column and the sink which sits on the top.

Classic style pedestal sinks can closely resemble sinks of the past and can be more modern, ranging from basic designs to elaborate ones. Pedestal sinks offer more floor space in small bathrooms.

Wet Room Showers

A very popular trend for many homeowners with spacious bathrooms is to forego a traditional tub or shower and have a portion of the bathroom transformed into a wet room area. This is an area of the bathroom that has a tiled area for showering. Installation of a wet room must be done by a qualified person due to the importance of proper drainage and sloping degrees.

Wet rooms can be installed in smaller bathrooms as well, but you should then consider adding a screen, glass wall, or another form of protection to prevent spraying from the wet room area getting all over parts of the bathroom that haven’t been properly protected.

Brain Pipes

Current trends don’t all revolve around bathroom fixtures. Brain pipes are a current trend that’s popular with homeowners who are concerned about preventing plumbing issues from going unnoticed in their home.

Brain pipes are plumbing systems that connect to home automation systems. However, brain pipes can be their own system.

When brain pipes are installed in a home, the system closely monitors the water usage and send the homeowner an alert if the system picks up a change in the water pressure that would indicate a possible broken or leaky pipe. The system can even direct the homeowner to the location of the issue.

The installation of brain pipes in homes also helps to prevent wasted water which makes it popular with those actively interested in water conservation which largely includes people living in drought areas.

Get Help Transforming Your Bathroom

If you would like to start transforming your bathroom into the tranquil yet stylish place you have always wanted it to be then you should contact us. We can help you with your plumbing needs, so you can enjoy the new additions in your bathroom.

5 Plumbing Tasks to Do Before Renting Out Your Property

You can make a great profit on your real estate investment if you rent out your property. But as a landlord, you’re responsible for ensuring all plumbing in the home is sound and safe for your renters and you’ll be responsible for all future plumbing repairs as well.

Have the following five plumbing tasks done by a professional plumber before you rent out your home to limit plumbing issues with renters now and in the future.

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3 Common Plumbing Problems Found by Home Inspectors

The time between having your offer accepted and closing can be crucial for determining if the house you hope to buy will be a good investment. During this period, a licensed, experienced professional should inspect all elements of the home including the roof, HVAC, foundation, and electrical systems to ensure they are in good condition.

Inspectors will also focus on the home’s plumbing, making sure there are no hidden dangers, which are all too common. Knowing which plumbing issues are most common is smart so you can have your potential new home evaluated and repaired by professional plumbers. Here are a few common plumbing dangers often found during a home inspection. Read more

A 3-Step Approach to Better Water Quality

Water is one of the elements essential to life. Toxins or contaminants found in your drinking water supply could be detrimental to the health of your family. Although municipal water plants treat residential water before it is distributed throughout a city, this water can pick up contaminants as it travels through pipes and into your home.

The addition of a whole-house filtration system will allow you to rest assured knowing that your water supply is as safe and healthy as possible. You have many options when it comes to water filtration systems, but the best systems will offer a three-step approach to treating your home’s water supply. These steps include reverse osmosis, remineralization, and ionization. Read more

Does Your Garbage Disposal Need Repairs?

Your kitchen is much more functional with a garbage disposal. You likely use this unit in your sink nearly every day. When your garbage disposal is showing signs of distress, call a professional for help. Never attempt to fix your garbage disposal on your own; you could get hurt.

Here are signs your garbage disposal is in need of professional maintenance. If you see these signs, call a plumber right away to inspect the unit and make repairs as needed. Read more

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. Read more

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.

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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.