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.

2 Ways Moon Valley Protects Your Home

We have all heard these pleas: “Hey, wipe your feet, you’ll ruin the carpet,”Watch it with that, you’ll break a window,” “Don’t drink that on the couch please! You might spill.” Our homes are our biggest investments and as homeowners we want it respected whether it is by the roommate, the kids or the dog.

Moon Valley Plumbing understands that entering your home is a privilege. We always want to leave the house untouched and exactly in the shape we found it. In order to ensure this, we always use protective floor mats whenever we are working in areas that need to be protected. We don’t want to leave a mark, a footprint or negatively affect the aesthetics of your home in any way.

Two of our customers wrote the following, describing MVP’s respectful manner.

“Moon Valley Plumbing did a great job with this project. The staff was professional and courteous. Their price was reasonable, and I’m most pleased that they didn’t tear up our yard in the process. You could hardly tell that any work was done by the time they completed the project. I would recommend Moon Valley Plumbing to anyone who needs a plumber.”

-Amy and Jeff Holly

This is exactly what we like to hear from all of our customers. We want all of our customers’ home to be left untouched except of course for the eradication of their plumbing issues. Then we know that we are supporting our words and our claims with actions.

A few more words that come to mind when we are thinking about our homes besides respect are safety and protection. We know that when you call a plumber you are opening up your home to a stranger and that there is a big trust element involved. Besides closely screening all of our new hires with Crimshield, another safety step we take is to make sure that you know when a plumber is on your doorstep. All of our plumbers are attired in professional service uniforms each and every time they go out into the field. This is one way that Moon Valley Plumbing provides some additional safety, protection and peace of mind for our customers.

Whether it is remembering to wipe our feet or straighten our name tags, you can be sure that when you call Moon Valley Plumbing you are calling a team of professionals who understand your needs and respect your home. We can fix your leaks and install your water heaters or address any and all of your plumbing needs with ease of mind and high quality of work.

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Grundfos Comfort System

The average home wastes 11,461 gallons of water a year. Don’t let 11,461 gallons go down the drain in vain.

The average home wastes over 31 gallons a day and over 11,000 gallons a year waiting for hot water. That’s not just wasted water, that’s wasted money and wasted time. But you don’t have to take it anymore. The Grundfos Comfort System pumps hot water through your existing pipes, so hot water is never wasted and comfortable water is always at hand—in an instant. With Grundfos, you save water from needless waste, you save money on your water bill and you save time waiting for hot water. Saving water and money has never felt so good. Yes, hot water recirculation works. No, it’s not hard work.

The Grundfos Comfort System is really quite simple. Unused hot water is recirculated back to the hot water heater by using the cold water line as the return line. A pump forces  the unused water back into the cold water supply line at a slow and steady pace. So water is neither too cold nor too hot—it’s always just right.

Installation is easy. There’s no return line to install and no electricity required under the sink. Moon Valley Plumbing just installs the pump, a valve and a few accessories. Plus, the system uses less energythan a 25-watt light bulb.

Check out our January special:

Crazy Water Bill? Could be a “Loo Leak!”

Last month Lucy Greene stared at her water bill in horror.  It was $93 higher than the previous month. “Bob!”  she yelled to her husband.  “Do we have a swimming pool I don’t know about?”  Bob came bounding down the stairs and grabbed the bill.  “Not a pool,” he answered, “but I think I can guess what this is… I bet the kids’ toilet has a leak. You might want to get the plumber on the line.”

Though toilet leaks are very common in most U.S. households, they can be tough to detect. Fortunately, there are ways to figure out if your “loo leaks” long before you’re out an extra hundred bucks like the Greene’s.

In some houses, the problem is that there’s a defective flush valve, or flapper ball at the bottom of the toilet tank. If this valve doesn’t seat properly, it won’t be watertight; and soon water will begin leaking–often silently.

To test for this type of leak, a homeowner can add a few drops of food color into the toilet tank after it has stopped filling.  He should wait about a half an hour, and if any trace of color appears in the toilet bowl, there is a leak. Plumbers also have a special kit that quickly reveals leakage.

The good news is that not only is there a quick way to detect leaks, but there is also an easy, inexpensive solution.  Usually it’s as simple as reinstalling a new flapper.  At Moon Valley Plumbing, we offer free estimates for this–or any other plumbing issue– with no service charge on any consultation visits. So don’t settle for damp floors or out-of-control water bills when your friendly neighborhood plumber and his bag of leak fixes is just a phone call away.