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.

1. PVC/CPVC

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.

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

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.

Read more

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