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Residential Plumbing Maintenance Program

Residential Plumbing Maintenance Program

By maintenance program, residential plumbing No Comments

Home sweet home!

It’s where we go to take a hot shower on a chilly evening, or water our gardens after a stressful day. Now that many of us work from home, too, it’s where we eat, sleep, work, laugh, love and live. And to fill that tall order, all of your household systems need to be on point and stay there.

One of the easiest ways to keep your household systems running is to do the preventative maintenance. It lets you spot the trouble spots before they spot you. Or spot on you, and then you have a mess. 

Here at City Wide Plumbing, we think that life is messy enough. That’s why we’re proud to offer The Residential Maintenance Plan. It’s a really great way to stay on top of your plumbing maintenance tasks – without investing in special tools or teaching yourself from a self-professed guru on the Internet. Instead, let us do the work. Once a year, one of our certified, fully licensed and trained City Wide Plumbing Technicians will:

  • Inspect and flush your water heater
  • Check your faucets, toilets and showers for leaks and proper operation
  • Determine your drain flow rate with an under-sink drain inspection
  • Evaluate your water hardness
  • Provide an “angle stop” valve operation inspection at key points in your home

You’ll get a heads-up on any problem areas, and have the chance to make an informed decision. That way, you can minimize those surprises, saving your pocketbook and your belongings from irreparable damage. 

As a City Wide customer, you’ll benefit from our exceptional service, but when you’re on our special Maintenance Plan, you’ll also receive priority scheduling and your trip fee is included – that’s almost a $70 value!  Plus, you’ll receive a 10% off any service during your maintenance agreement.

Call City Wide Plumbing today:  480-966-8795.
We’ll tell you more about how our special customized plan can work for you.

Hard Water Wreaks Havoc

By backflow device, backflow prevention No Comments

It can seem like a no-brainer: The hot water in the shower isn’t getting hot enough?

Turn up the temp on the hot water tank. Problem solved, right?

Well…yes…but was it the right solution for the problem?

At first, the answer was yes. It worked very well. The water in the shower felt hotter and everyone was happy…but over time, the solution was actually the cause of more problems. 

In a few short weeks, the hot water tank became simply a water tank, and the homeowners were in the market for another hot water tank…even though the one that they just bought a few years ago was a good one.

So what happened?

When the homeowners turned up the temperature, they didn’t realize that there were two temperature controls. Inadvertently, they adjusted only one control. That meant one control worked harder than the other one to maintain the new, higher water temperature. And when one control is forced to work harder, it wears out faster. In this particular instance, there was another underlying issue that created the perfect storm: hard water calcification buildup. 

Higher water temperature settings accelerate the calcification process. More calcium deposits build up on the hotter heating elements, forcing them to use more energy to heat the water, and remain hotter much longer to maintain the higher setting. 

It becomes a vicious circle: More heat = more calcium buildup = more energy.

More heat = more calcium buildup = more energy.

After a few weeks, the easy thermostat tweak on the hot water heater became the number one reason the heating elements stopped working…and why they were in the market for a new water tank. 

 

When they called City Wide, they learned the real reason they weren’t getting enough hot water, and it had nothing to do with the hot water tank. Instead, the problem was with the shower faucet. Hard water deposits built up within the tap, limiting how far it would turn. 

 

When your hot water isn’t so hot any more, call in the experts at City Wide. They’ll keep your showers at just the right temp, diagnose the problem at the source and give you the options you need to make an informed choice. 

Call City Wide Plumbing today:  480-966-8795.

One size toilets doesn't fit all!

Tall Toilets for Tall People

By bathroom remodeling, tall toilets, toilets No Comments

Did you ask for a “taller toilet?”

One of my customers is a large man, and now that he’s getting older, he just requested that we replace his old 15-inch toilet with a taller, 16.5-inch “handicap” toilet.

“My knees aren’t what they used to be,” he joked, “and so I’d really like to have a taller stool – one that isn’t quite so far down for me.”

While the 16.5-inch toilets are usually marketed to handicapped people, I could see how a taller toilet would be more comfortable for someone with his proportions. I could imagine his 6-feet, 3-inch, 300-pound frame would certainly benefit from the increased height of the taller toilet.

A few weeks later, I checked to make sure that he was still happy with our work. “I am,” he said, and I could hear the smile in his voice. We talked a little while longer and he wrapped up the conversation with a great suggestion:

“You know, I should have upgraded to one of these [taller toilets] years ago, but I didn’t even think about it until my knees started giving me trouble. You should market toilets with the added height to guys like me – you know, bigger and a little older. I’m sure they’d appreciate one as much as I do – maybe more.”

The 16.5-inch toilet can be a great addition to any household with taller family members.
Let us know if City Wide Plumbing can help you with any of your plumbing requests! 

Call City Wide Plumbing today:  480-966-8795.

City Wide Plumbing Phone

Call Spoofing and City Wide Plumbing

By Phoenix Plumbing

City Wide Plumbing has become the target of Call Spoofing.

Our phone number is being used for call spoofing. Please understand that telemarketers or scammers are using  480-495-5875 and 602-273-9082  without permission. For your own security, do not engage with them and please block the number.

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust. If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity.

Watch the video and click through the tabs to learn more about spoofing and how to avoid being scammed.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a spoofing scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC.
(This info was copied from https://www.fcc.gov/spoofing.)

 

bathroom, shower and tub and sink

Make Your Water Heater Last Longer!

By home repairs, water heaters No Comments

Water heaters don’t last forever, unfortunately, and once you get a new one, you’ll be looking for ways to make it last longer.

Here are three easy steps you can do once a year to keep your new hot water tank in tip-top shape.

3 Steps to Flush the Tank

  1. Hook a garden hose to the valve at the bottom of the water heater and run the hose outside or to the nearest drain.
  2. Leave everything on, open the drain valve and let the water flow for a few minutes.
  3. Shut off the valve and remove the hose. 

Note: This is only recommended for newer tanks. Older tanks may have too much sediment built up and may not flush or the valve at the bottom of the tank may break. 

Besides an annual tank flush, there is some simple maintenance you can do along the way: 

  • Set the tank’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A lower temperature:
    • Helps preserve the life of your tank, saves on your energy costs and helps prevent scalding accidents. 
    • Helps prevent mold and bacterial growth in the tank – a great way to maintain your home’s water quality.
  • Use the “Vacation Setting” when you leave for an extended visit. 
    • The pilot light stays lit but the water won’t heat. 
    • You’ll save on your energy costs!
  • Check the area around your water heater regularly. 
    • Keep the floor around it clean – excessive rust or other buildup in the area can indicate potential problems.   
    • If a leak develops, you’ll help prevent water damage to your belongings.
  • Make sure you change out anode rod at three years.

bathroom, shower and tub and sink
Even the best water heater needs periodic replacement, but with yearly maintenance and very minor upkeep, you’ll keep the hot water flowing.  

Call City Wide Plumbing today:  480-966-8795.

Mesa Residents Update Water Heaters

By home repairs, Mesa Arizona, water heaters No Comments

When Mesa residents think about their town, the first adjective that comes to mind is “smart.”

Smart technology when it comes to appliances usually equates with efficiency, but you may not think about how water heaters are at the heart of your dishwasher’s and washing machine’s performance. For example, when your hot water isn’t so hot anymore, its lack of performance can compromise those big-ticket items in the following ways:
Dishes aren’t getting clean. If you have to use an elaborate pre-washing process before you put dishes into the dishwasher, where’s the benefit? You’ll notice detergent not dissolving all the way or that your dishes are coming out still greasy, you’ve just wasted a lot of time and money.

Lukewarm water equals lukewarm performance. When your washing machine’s water isn’t getting water that’s hot enough, whites and other clothing won’t get sanitized, and greasy stains can set in deeper. You’ll have to rely on extra spot treatments, chemical additives or bleach to make up for your lack of hot water – all requiring more work and time.

So when your water heater isn’t living up to its name, give us a call. We’ll provide the answers you need, and give you options so you can make an informed choice on whether water heater repair is the way to go, or how a new water heater can help save you in the long run. Same-day service – even on Saturdays – can help you get your water temperatures back up where they belong.

 

Call City Wide Plumbing today:  480-966-8795.

Chandler Residents Update Water Heaters

By Chandler Arizona, home repairs, water heaters

Man Updating a Water Heaters

If you are a new resident to Chandler and need to update your appliances, water heaters probably do not come to your mind.

They do not get the press that a fancy new washing machine or even a high-tech dishwasher does, but both rely on hot water to keep them operating in tip-top shape.  When your hot water isn’t so hot anymore, its lack of performance can compromise those big-ticket items:

  • Dishes aren’t getting clean. If you have to use an elaborate prewashing process before you put dishes into the dishwasher, where’s the benefit? You will notice detergent not dissolving all the way or that your dishes are coming out still greasy.  You have just wasted a lot of time and money.
  • Lukewarm water equals lukewarm performance. When your washing machine’s water is not getting water that’s hot enough, whites and other clothing won’t get sanitized and greasy stains can set in deeper. You’ll have to rely on extra spot treatments, chemical additives or bleach to make up for your lack of hot water – all requiring more work and time.

So when your water heater isn’t living up to its name, give us a call. We’ll provide the answers you need and give you options so you can make an informed choice on whether water heater repair is the way to go, or how a new water heater can help save you in the long run.  Same-day service – even on Saturdays – can help you get your water temperatures back up where they belong.

 

Call City Wide Plumbing today:  480-966-8795.

Water Saving Tips

Water Saving Tips

By Gilbert Arizona, plumbing, plumbing tips, water heaters No Comments

Remember water is a valuable resource that shouldn’t be wasted.

Your water is clean, safe and convenient but you have to pay for its treatment and the system to deliver it to you. By conserving water in your home, you also save energy needed to heat it or run appliances.

Two thirds of the water used in an average home is used in the bathroom, and a lot of it goes into the sewer. From 2-7 gallons of water are used every time a toilet is flushed. Do not use the toilet to flush items that can go in a wastebasket or garbage can.

Be aware of toilet leaks. Be sure to check toilets at the property! Toilet leaks are the most common and are hard to see or hear. Put food coloring or laundry bluing in the toilet tank and wait 10 minutes. Do not flush the toilet during this time. If the coloring appears in the toilet bowl, there is a toilet leak. Also, if you hear the toilet refilling and no one has used it, there is a leak. A major toilet leak can waste 800 cubic feet of water a day — which would cost over $24.00 for water and over $23.00 for sewer each day. That adds up to over $1,400.00 a month!

You may have been advised to take showers rather than baths to conserve water. If you take a long shower, however, you may use more water than if you took a bath. Long, hot showers not only waste water but also energy to heat the water. Consider using reduced-flow devices for shower heads.

Don’t leave the water running while you shave or brush your teeth. You are just running clean water down the drain.

Turn down the temperature on your water heater. If you set the temperature at 120° F or below, you will save about 4% of your energy cost per 10° that you lower your thermostat.

Flush Your Water Heater.
Flushing your water heater regularly ( every six months)will help you save money and extend your hot water heaters life.

sink in home bathroom

Slow Slab Leak Results in Big Damage

By Slab Leaks

 

When you ask a jack-of-all-trades to fix your plumbing, you expect that the job will be done right, and the work will stand the test of time, but sometimes, that’s not always the case.

The hot water tank is always a likely suspect.

A customer noticed water near his hot water heater. The tank was older and hot water heaters have an approximate 15-year life cycle, so he assumed it was probably time to replace it. That’s when he called City Wide Plumbing to install a new one.

When City Wide Plumbing came out to take a look, the technician examined the hot water tank, but found that it was still working without a leak. Even so, the water was coming from somewhere, and it was cold – definitely not from the water heater, then.

So what else could be leaking?

The tech traced the water lines all the way back to under the toilet, where he found the hot and cold exchange pipes crisscrossed on top of each other. That’s when he knew what happened: Every time the hot water pipe heated up and expanded, it rubbed against the cold water pipe. When it cooled, it contracted back its normal position. After so many years, the friction from the pipe expanding and contracting caused a small hole in one of them.

Just because it fits, doesn’t mean it sits well.

That slow leak over a great length of time wasn’t visible right away. Instead, it had continued to leak into the concrete slab, rotting the surrounding areas and creating a potentially unstable foundation that could cost thousands to repair. What damage can a little water do? If left unchecked, it can wear away mountains. Imagine what it can to your home.

Call City Wide Plumbing and keep slow leaks from damaging your biggest investment.
480-966-8795

water heaters maintenance - Mesa, AZ

Why You Should Hire a Plumber, Not DIY

By plumbers No Comments

If you want to ensure your home’s plumbing runs at maximum efficacy, hire a reputable plumbing professional for all of the work you need to be done.

We’ve all had those gut-wrenching moments when a waterline burst or our toilet didn’t flush; It happens. When it comes to plumbing, some repairs and replacements can be extremely complex with a high risk of making the problem even worse. For example, replacing a broken inch and a quarter copper waterline; a repair of this caliber requires certain tools and specialized training. Although costs for hiring a plumber can be steep at times, it’s worth it to have a difficult job done right. Let’s go over some key reasons on why you should leave your plumbing to the professionals.

Specialized Training

Professional plumbers are experienced and trained in identifying and fixing a variety of plumbing problems, which means there’s nothing they haven’t dealt with or know how to fix. Plumbing problems require specialized tools like a flaring tool, strap wrench and pipe cutters. You could hire a professional who already has the specialized tools and specific training necessary to complete almost any repair. You don’t want to risk destroying your plumbing or worst off, injuring yourself.

It Could Ruin Your Home

Major plumbing jobs, such as moving bathroom fixtures or swapping a bathtub, can go horribly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you don’t get everything properly installed and tightened, you can end up with a leak, possibly one that goes unnoticed for ages until it weakens a wall to the point of a catastrophic rupture. Of course, that would also be true if a plumber hired by you made the same mistake, in that case, the plumber would be at fault and would have to pay for the damage. It’s best to leave it to the professionals for the sake of your home and your sanity.

Detailed Diagnostics

An enormous big benefit of hiring a plumber is that you are going to get a very detailed diagnostic report. There are many plumbing problems that the layperson wouldn’t be able to identify. A professional who is well trained can find the problem’s cause and give you a detailed report. Plumbers can check your whole system so that they can find any problems.

Another key benefit of hiring a professional plumber is that you’re given a detailed diagnostics report. A highly-trained professional will be able to locate the source of the problem and provide you with a comprehensive diagnostic report.

Permanent Solutions

When you call a professional plumber, you are going to have someone who can offer you a permanent solution to your plumbing issue. If you hire a competent, professional plumber, you shouldn’t encounter the same problems again. If you are remodeling or adding new construction to your home and you need projects completed in your kitchen or bathroom, a professional is the best option to mitigate the risks of doing it all yourself.

As you can see from what we just went over, you should leave the plumbing to the professionals. Plumbing is a very complicated process that requires years of training and on the job experience. If you want to ensure your home’s plumbing runs at maximum efficacy, hire a reputable plumbing professional for all of the work you need to be done.

Hire a reputable plumbing professional for all of the plumbing work you need to be done.

This article was written by Nina Wells from Clearwells. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.

City Wide Plumbing Co. Responds to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

City Wide Plumbing Co. Responds to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

By plumbers

March 16, 2020

To: All Current and Prospective Customers

Subject: Coronavirus Impacts

 

Valued Clients:

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact all of us, City Wide Plumbing Co. is monitoring the situation very closely. Like you, our top priorities are the safety of our staff and customers, and doing what we can to minimize the spread of the virus.

Accordingly, we have confirmed that our employees have adhered to the guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov.

Our employees have not:

  • Traveled to at-risk areas, otherwise known as Level 2 and 3 countries https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices, or been exposed to anyone who has traveled to these areas in the past 14 days.
  • Been in known contact with anyone testing positive with the virus in the past 14 days.

As a company, we’ve asked everyone to stay on top of their good practices, and these are excellent reminders for all of us moving forward:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • When soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until the sanitizer air dries.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day, such as door knobs, handles, work surfaces, etc.
  • Allow those who are at risk to work from home.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick – 6 feet is the recommended distance.
  • Insist on those who are sick to remain at home.

 

City Wide Plumbing Co. wants to assure all of our customers that WE WILL NOT send a technician out who exhibits cold and/or flu symptoms. We provide our employees with sick leave and strongly encourage them to stay home when they aren’t feeling well.

We take safety very seriously and ask all of you to stay safe and know we’re working together for the betterment of our community and our customers.

Best Regards,

Larry

City Wide Plumbing Co. Responds to COVID-19 (coronavirus)
City Wide Plumbing Tempe, AZ.

When in Doubt, Call in the Plumbing Experts

By backflow device, backflow prevention No Comments

drinking water

A licensed back flow plumbing technician can save you
time and money!

It’s easy to take clean running water for granted.You turn on the tap and there it is. When the flow stops running altogether or your water quality degrades significantly, it’s time to call in an expert. You’ll save time, money and peace of mind.

I had a restaurant call me to certify their brand-new backflow.

Backflow preventers are used to keep your water supply from becoming contaminated. A properly installed device helps keep fresh water flowing into your water lines while keeping possible contaminants out. Another company recently installed this backflow preventer, but the technician wasn’t licensed and couldn’t certify the work.

When our licensed backflow plumbing technician arrived, he knew right away that it wasn’t the correct backflow for that installation. Since city requirements change all the time and there can be new ordinances, he tried to call the municipality to double-check if they would accept that backflow for the restaurant.

Our technician was unable to get a hold of the city’s official, but there were only two options: Replace the backflow completely or chance it and pay to have the backflow certified. The customer decided to gamble on the city accepting the backflow at inspection and paid for our tech to certify it.

Gambling can pay off, but it can also cost more money, time and effort in the long run. When the city official inspected the work, the backflow preventer did not pass. In order for the restaurant to continue operating, it had to have the right backflow preventer installed, certified and then re-inspected by the city.

More time. More money. More effort.

The restaurant owner paid for two backflow preventers and two certifications, and was closed until the restaurant passed its inspection. It was a costly mistake that could’ve been easily prevented. This happens a lot, especially in restaurants, because each city has different requirements. Only licensed backflow testers know these regulations. Their continued training and licensing demand it.

Our motto is and always has been to do it right the first time. In the long run, you’ll save time, money and peace of mind.

Call City Wide Plumbing today:  480-966-8795.

Hot shower

Water Heater Costs Goes Up With NAECA

By hot water, hot water tanks

A hot bath or shower may be one of the best ways to feel better except when the water turns cold midway through.

hot bathIt’s then you know there’s a problem – and it may be stemming from an older hot water tank.

Most water heater tanks last about 5 to 10 years. If your hot water heater dates back to 2009 or earlier, you may be in the market for a new water heater, and there are some updates you’ll need to know.

After March 16, 2015, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act went into effect, requiring higher energy efficiencies for almost all residential tank-type gas, electric, oil and tankless gas water heaters manufactured in the U.S.

Every hot water tank is labeled with an efficiency rating, called an energy factor (EF). The higher the EF, the more efficient the tank will be. The rating measures efficiency in two ways: when it converts the power source – gas, propane or electricity – into hot water and how well it reduces the amount of energy lost. The higher the EF, the less your tank will cost you to operate every month.

For example, the new electric-powered hot water tank requirements are 95 EF, a 3 EF improvement over the previous, pre-2015 92 EF standards. While both 92 EF and 95 EF water heaters may use the same amount of fuel to heat the water in the tank, a 95 EF water heater will minimize the amount of energy wasted on the heating. A 95 EF-rated unit means 95% of your fuel dollars are being used to heat the water. The other benefit is that your water heats faster and stays hotter over time. Together, the higher efficiency water heaters are less expensive to operate, helping you keep more money in your pocket – about 10 to 20% annually.

Initial costs for a new water heater with the higher efficiency standards are greater depending on the size tank you choose – but there are some other considerations, too. When you upgrade, the new tanks are larger in height and width (circumference), which may require a custom installation. This is due to the additional insulation. Talk to your City Wide Water Heater experts – they can advise you on your options, provide you with an accurate estimate and show you how you can save on energy costs with a new, energy-efficient water heater.

In the meantime, protect the water heater you have. You can do that by following some easy maintenance tips:

  • Drain the tank twice a year. Write date on tank with a sharpie.
  • Keep your tank temperature at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Use the “vacation” setting when you’ll be out of town for a longer period of time on gas water heaters.
  • Check the area around your tank regularly – when you see water leaking or a rust build-up, it may be time for a water heater checkup.
  • Have a drip pan installed under the water heater.
  • Check water pressure, if too much it can be a problem.

 

backflow device

What Is Backflow Prevention

By backflow prevention, plumbers

In the simplest terms, backflow prevention maintains the water flow from the water supply lines to your faucets, irrigation lines or hydrants.

It provides a continuous stream of fresh water, and prevents contaminants, such as debris, gases or solids from backing up into your water supply.

Regardless of where your water comes from, a cistern, well or city water plant, you need it to flow in one direction: Clean water comes in, while waste water flows away. The word “backflow” means that the waste water that normally leaves your building is literally flowing back, inadvertently mixing with your clean water. As you can imagine, it’s a sanitation nightmare!

Possible Contaminants in the Drinking Water after a Backflow Assembly Failure

  • Agriculture runoff: fertilizers, pesticides, animal wastes
  • Gray/soapy water discharge: Dishwashers, showers, sinks and washing machines
  • Raw sewage from toilets
  • Chlorine and pool/spa by-products

Backflow Prevention Cage

Backflow can happen in any closed system that includes connections that cross or feed into the water line – a fairly common piping architecture. Cross connections are like street intersections, where a main line branches off into smaller supply lines that pipe water into individual businesses, farms or households. While you, your neighbors and nearby commercial and agricultural facilities may share the same main water supply lines, the differing pipe sizes will depend on the water requirements of each facility.

With varying-sized pipes comes a greater reliance on maintaining a pressurized system. That’s where backflow assemblies come into play. They help keep the pressure evenly distributed to ensure that the water flow moves cleanly from your water supplier and exits back to a waste water treatment center.

So what makes a water system backflow? Low water pressure or even higher water pressure on a portion of the system can be enough to trigger a vacuum. This condition can force contaminated water back into the clean water. When a municipality backflow prevention assembly fails, you’ll be asked to boil all of your drinking water for the next 24-48 hours.
Another reason why a system may experience backflow is when a break in the water main occurs. It literally “opens” the closed water system and causes the water pressure to drop. And when the water pressure drops, the water can back flow.

In the event of a fire, where the local fire hydrant is used, is another cause for backflow. Again, the pressure becomes uneven, which can change the flow of contaminated water.
Backflow assemblies act as a one-way gate. When the water flow maintains its pressure, and the water continues to flow in the appropriate direction, the gate remains open. Conversely, the gate will close when it detects a change in the water flow’s direction. It will still allow clean water to flow into your building, such as when you open a tap or flush a toilet, but the gate will close to prevent any waste water backflow from contaminating your clean water supply. You can think of it as a backflow assembly acting like your water flow traffic cop who keeps the water flowing smoothly on its one-way path.

Even though farms and other more remote locations might have their own systems, a backflow prevention assembly is highly recommended. It will prevent contaminated water, such as fertilizers, pesticides and animal waste runoff from contaminating their clean water, and in some areas, a backflow assembly is mandatory.

Different Types of Backflow

There are two different types of backflow, and their differences are based on how the backflow begins:

  • Back-siphonage backflow occurs when there is a negative pressure that results in a vacuum. It can be cause by a fire hydrant in use or a break in a local water main. A negative pressure creates a vacuum – think about how you drink through a straw. You draw pressure on the straw, and the liquid responds. It travels in the direction of the vacuum you created. When you release the pressure on the straw, the liquid travels back to its “resting” state.
  • Back-pressure backflow is caused by a supply-demand imbalance. When the amount of water being used exceeds the amount of water being supplied, the water pressure can change, creating a backflow. This can happen during droughts or whenever there is a dramatic increase in water use, such as a water main breaks or fire-hydrant use.

Who needs a backflow assembly?

In Phoenix, every commercial building is required to have a backflow assembly. That’s including but not limited to:

  • Industrial and Commercial
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Schools
  • Farms and other agricultural locations
  • Construction sites with potable running water
  • Municipalities such as libraries and other city government buildings
  • Other businesses
  • Residential homes will need a backflow if they have an irrigation system or pool filler but is not required to be annually tested

What kinds of backflow prevention assemblies are available?

There are two kinds of backflow preventers, testable and non-testable. Here is a quick rundown of each one:

Testable backflow is tested annually to ensure its continued reliability. Pieces can be cleaned and/or rebuilt as needed and the system can be retested as needed. They’re usually required on the following more critical applications:

  • In-ground irrigation and fire sprinklers
  • Commercial boilers
  • Medical Equipment and Laboratories
  • Car Washes
  • Soda machine
  • Processing Plants

FYI: Annual testing is required in medical, restaurant and other commercial businesses that must follow health department mandates. Arizona Backflow Prevention can make sure you stay up to date on testing dates and that your backflow prevention is up to code.

Note: Non-testable backflow units cannot be repaired. They must be replaced, and may have a relatively limited operating life span. This type of backflow protection is used as leak-proofing rather than security measures, and you’ll find them on items like:

  • Residential hoses, hand-held shower heads, boilers, fire sprinklers and humidifiers
  • Commercial emergency eye washes, ice makers, beverage dispensers and food service equipment

Who does backflow testing?

Arizona Backflow Prevention makes it easy on you. They will test your backflow assemblies, ensuring that your water supply remains sanitary and up to code. They’ll keep track of your requirements and certification, so you don’t have to. And they’ll repair, replace and install new backflow assemblies, helping preserve your certification.

How long will a backflow assembly last?

A typical backflow assembly will last between three to five years. Arizona Backflow Prevention will keep track of the last time your assembly was tested, and even submit certification on your behalf. They’ll do the testing, the certification and even connect with municipalities who may need to keep track of your business’ codes.

What will cause a backflow preventer to fail?

Backflow assemblies don’t last forever, unfortunately; and there are some key failure causes:
• Hard water is a big culprit of system failure, thanks in part to the naturally occurring sediments and deposits. Over time, they wreak havoc on springs, gates and seals, causing them to seize, rot or lose their flexibility. Any one of these things can result in a depressurized, leaking backflow preventer system.
• Bad weather can also destroy a backflow preventer: Sudden spikes or drops in temperature can cause a backflow assembly to fail. Freezing temperatures can cause a backflow assembly to crack, while a sudden heat wave can expand the seals beyond their capacities.
• Theft is a growing concern – the copper and other metals within the backflow assembly can be seen as valuable to scrappers. A theft prevention device is almost always recommended to help keep your backflow assembly intact and in place.

Do you need a backflow assembly?

  • If you’re a homeowner, you might. If you have an irrigation system or a pool filler you will need one. Check with your local municipality who can guide you on your water supply.
  • If you’re a business in the City of Phoenix, yes.
  • Most businesses that rely on clean, safe, sanitary running water will opt for a backflow assembly.

 

Talk to Arizona Backflow Prevention. Call us today to schedule your evaluation.

Call Today: 480-966-8795

Sump Pump Installation- City Wide Plumbing AZ

Keep Your Area Dry by Having City Wide Plumbing Install Your Sump Pump

By plumbers, sump pump

Standing water is the bane of any commercial building owner.

When no other options are available installing a sump pump can help keep water from accumulating. There are two types of sump pumps named solely on how to locate them: the pedestal pump and the submersible pump. The one we are installing here is a submersible pump. It is called a submersible pump because it is installed under the floor to be flush with the underside of the flooring.

We located the sump in the wash rack area of the building.

This sump pit (the blue basin shown here) is not elaborate but is made of every day plastic and is designed to surround the pump. As the water levels rise to a certain level and fill the pit, the sump is triggered to start pumping. The water is then routed to a sewer ejector drain to exit the building. As the water level drops, the sump automatically shuts off.

This was the least expensive repair for this property owner.

The advantages of a submersible sump pump are that they are quieter, cost effective, take up less room and are usually a good choice for living and working areas as they are well-protected by a concrete slab. The submersible sump is positioned in a hole where the lip of the plastic pit is level with the underside of the concrete. In many cases, a jackhammer will be required to get the depth necessary to house the pit and to handle any excess water drainage.

Sump pit with drain lines coming into it, floor sink for future use. Vent line and ejector line run along wall to sewer main outside.

Sump pit with drain lines coming into it, floor sink for future use. Vent line and ejector line run along wall to sewer main outside.

As depicted in the picture, the sump pits’ location is at least 10 inches away from the walls and the hole is deep enough to accommodate the depth of the pit and is lined with gravel for additional stability.

The three white PVC pipes coming out of the pit include, from left to right, drain lines, a vent line and an ejector line that runs along the wall to the sewer main that is outside. In order to keep the water flowing out and away from the building the PVC must be installed and secured properly. When done correctly, this thorough water re-routing system helps protect the buildings’ walls, floor and footings by keeping water away from the structure. The vent helps prevent an air lock from forming, ensuring water flow.

The sink (the white square object on the far left) is an important part of the sump’s continued operation. It allows owners to pour water directly into the sumps’ pit to make sure the sump is still working. For future use all equipment can be indirectly wasted into floor sinks.

Once the plumbing is completely installed and tested it is ready to be secured by pouring the concrete.

To keep the new floor looking good for years to come, the soil within the hole is tamped down firmly and then lined with steel rebar. Both actions will minimize future soil movement and help keep the concrete from buckling, pitting or cracking.

The rebar set under the piping helps keep the pipe in its proper position even while the concrete is being poured. Later on, it will help minimize floor settling and work to support the new concrete.

The all-new floor drain is positioned specifically to handle any potential sump pump failure and can also handle overflow in the event of heavy rains or discharge.

Things to consider for sump pump installation:

  1. How to handle clogs. The first line of defense is a good offense by keeping the clogs from forming in the first place. You can do this in two ways. The first way is to avoid screened intake lines. The second way is to create a more robust design. As in the picture, this sump pump is elevated on a platform at the bottom of the sump liner. This helps prevent clogs before they start.
  2. More may be better. Installing one sump pump for a big building or a larger water accumulation problem may tax your one-pump sump and cause it to burn out more quickly. Have an expert evaluate how many pumps you will need to move your water out of your living or work space.
  3. Battery backup? When a storm knocks out the power, it typically means your sump will not work. Better systems have a battery backup that will run even when the power is out.
  4. Why insist on cast-iron motor housing? As you can see in the picture, the motor housing is made of cast iron. Typically, we recommend cast iron instead of the less expensive plastic because it tolerates and dissipates heat better than its plastic counterparts. That means you’ll have a longer-lasting motor and less overall expense.

Keep your area dry by having City Wide Plumbing install your sump pump.

Their expertise means they will get it right the first time, have the right equipment and skills to handle the job and understand how to solve your water problems without the additional frustration.

Call City Wide today! 770-872-0867.

water heaters maintenance - Mesa, AZ

Maintenance For Your Water Heater That Keeps You Smiling

By plumbers, water heaters

Taking a shower on-demand is one of life’s little pleasures. When the water temperature isn’t quite right, you want it fixed – quickly!

We have some tips for our residential Mesa, Ahwatukee, and Chandler customers to keep your water flowing, and to help preserve your daily routines.

water heaters maintenance - Mesa, AZ

Cleaning your Water Heater
The average lifespan of your water heater’s tank is about 10 years, but you can help extend its longevity by draining the tank at least once a year.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • A garden hose that’s long enough to reach a nearby drain or suitable exit point for water to go
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Old nylon stocking
  • Zip-tie or bread bag wire fastener
  1. Make sure you have a garden hose handy – one that you can connect to the bottom of your tank and that’s long enough to reach a floor drain or another other exit point. A good rule to follow is that water flows downward much more easily, so you’ll want to position the hose’s end so that it’s lower than the tank’s drain point.
  2. Fasten an old nylon stocking over the end of your garden hose with a zip or wire twist tie, giving you an automatic filter. That way, any debris coming from the tank won’t clog your drain or soil your driveway.
  3. First and foremost, turn off the power that goes to the tank. If you have an electric water heater, you’ll want to shut off the breaker that controls the tank’s power source. If you have a gas water heater, you’ll want to use the gas shut-off valve that goes directly to the tank.
  4. The next step you’ll want to take is to shut off the water supply line. Typically, the water shut-off valve is located above the tank.
  5. Then, connect your hose.
  6. At your closest sink, open up the hot water tap and let it run. It’ll help relieve the system pressure inside the tank.
  7. Clear the area around the tank before you open up the drain valve. The hot water from your tank is HOT!
  8. With the hose connected, open up the drain valve on the tank. When the valve is open, the hot water will drain out of the tank.
  9. Once the water is completely out of the tank, close the drain valve and then remove the garden hose. Turn the gas or electricity and your water supply line back on.
  10. Make sure you check how much sediment the nylon stocking caught. If it was a cup or more, flush your hot water tank more often than yearly. If it was about a tablespoon’s worth, then once a year will probably be often enough.

Other adjustments to your water heater that our residential Mesa, Ahwatukee, and Chandler customers can make:

  • Keep your tank’s temperature down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A lower temperature helps preserve the life of your tank, saves on your energy costs and helps prevent scalding accidents. It’ll also help you to prevent mold and bacterial growth in the tank – a great way to maintain your home’s water quality.
  • To save energy, use the “Vacation Setting” when you leave for an extended visit. The pilot light stays lit but the water won’t heat.
  • Check the area around your water heater and keep the floor around it clean. You’ll be able to detect excessive rust or other debris buildup in the area that can indicate potential problems.

When water quality is also a concern, you have some options. You can install a whole-house filtration system that filters your water as it comes into the house. That way, you can be assured that the water reaching your water heater is clean, filtered and, by the time it reaches your taps, good tasting. The other added advantage is that it can help extend the life of your appliances, including your water heater, but also a dishwasher or clothes washer, for example. A filter removes these elements before they can damage your appliances.

A whole house water filter can also pair with a water softener, so double check to make sure you have hard water before you add a softener. A water softener dramatically reduces visible spots and your need for heavy detergents when washing dishes and clothes.

A water softener can also help preserve the life of your plumbing and fixtures. It removes the calcium, iron and other deposits that clog pipes and appliances. A water softener helps keep your washer, dishwasher, faucets, shower-heads and toilets running cleanly and smoothly for longer periods of time.

A Reverse Osmosis System (RO) can be a great solution with several advantages:

  • Improves taste, odor and appearance of your water, straight from the tap.
  • Removes pollutants by flushing them away and does not collect them.
  • Consumes no energy.
  • Uses the latest technology to purify your water.
  • Gives you quality water for pennies per gallon.

As plumbers, we go with the flow…and our goal is to improve yours for a better peace of mind.

Call Today: 480-966-8795

Running water in a faucet - hot water heaters

Water Heater Tales from the Mechanical Room

By water heater fires, water heaters

We’ve been in the water heater tank maintenance and replacement business for a lot of years, and yet there are still some jobs that surprise us.

Like this one.

We went on what we thought was a typical call. A water heater wasn’t working properly, so we made a service call to determine the problem. In many instances, it’s because a water heater’s life expectancy is only 10-15 years, and when it’s on the older side of that range, it’s probably time to consider replacement.

The new homeowner said that the water heater had already been there when she moved in, but according to the paperwork from the sale, it wasn’t quite 10 years old and it was a pretty heavy-duty brand. We didn’t automatically assume that she’d need a new one, but just to be on the safe side, we loaded a replacement into our truck before we made the call.

When we got there and took a close look at what was happening – we drained the tank a little and noticed a great deal of brackish water coming from the spigot – we realized that she was probably in need of that brand-new water heater after all.

In most cases, a water heater replacement is a matter of draining the old one, pulling it out and then dropping in the new one. It’s simply a part of the job, and usually a very textbook installation.

Everything was going along as planned – we’d turned off the gas and disconnected all of the plumbing – until we realized the doorway width was smaller than the tank’s circumference. How were we going to get the old water heater out of the mechanical room? It must’ve been built around the tank!

Knocking down a wall wasn’t an option, so we had to get creative. And that creativity involved cutting the water heater into smaller pieces that would fit through the doorway.

What guy doesn’t like breaking out the heavy-duty power tools? As much as we wanted to use the SawzAll, a reciprocating saw that will slice through almost anything like butter, we had to be smart about where we cut the water heater to minimize mess and keep the destruction to a minimum.

Instead of the giant saw, we chose a smaller, handheld metal cutter and carefully cut around the bottom of the tank. It was a strategic location that housed both the anodes (heating elements that heat the water) and a lot of the valves that allow water in and out of the tank.

After cutting midway through the tank, our safety glasses firmly in place (thankfully with all of those sparks flying) and that shrill metal-on-metal sound piercing through our ear protection, we realized we may be able to shorten the time and see more of where we cut if we removed part of the outer shell first, and then cut through the anodes.

As the light hit the inside of the water heater, we could see the green lime-scale build-up from years of hard water running through the tank. The rust that poured out of the bottom also showed us that it had been a long time since the tank had been drained and then refilled. The anode rods themselves were

original to the tank. They’d never been swapped out. The more corrosion we revealed, the more amazed we were that this tank had lasted as long as it did.

 

It was a painstaking process, but one that had to be done. Eventually, we cut the tank into smaller pieces and moved them out to make room for the brand-new water heater.

With the old water heater out of the way, we installed the new one and left the homeowner with some tips on how she could prolong the life of her new, high-efficiency water heater:

  • If you have hard water, drain and clean your tank regularly. Check your owner’s manual for how often the tank manufacturer recommends, but a good routine is picking a consistent date at least once a year, and then following these guidelines:

a. Turn the tank’s electricity or gas off first. Then turn off the water supply to the tank.
b. Let the water in the tank cool for about an hour, and then drain the tank until it’s empty. It’s a good idea to use a screened drain for this, as rust particles and other sediment can collect and form larger particles that can clog smaller pipes.
c. Turn the water supply back on and refill the tank about half way. Drain it again to remove any lingering sediment.
d. Refill the tank.
e. Turn the gas or electricity to the tank back on.
f. You may want to consider investing in a water conditioner that will help soften hard water. You’ll get a number of benefits in addition to preserving your water heater.

  • Check your thermostat. If it’s set higher than 120 degrees, then you may want to nudge it down to 120.

a. A lower temperature helps preserve the life of your tank, saves on your energy costs and helps prevent scalding accidents.

b. Keep it at 120 or higher to prevent mold and bacterial growth.

c. Use the “Vacation Setting” when you leave for an extended visit. The pilot light stays lit but the water won’t heat. You’ll save money on energy.

  • Check the area around your water heater and keep the floor around it clean. That way, you can immediately detect excessive rust or other debris buildup that can indicate potential problems.

Although there wasn’t anything textbook about this water heater installation, we made sure the job was done right. Also, the new tank fits through the doorway. We made sure of that.

Water Heater Recall Notice – Find out if you are at risk?

By water heater fires, water heaters

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling more than 616,000 of its natural and propane gas-powered water heaters made by A. O. Smith.

The recall is due to a fire hazard risk when the units are installed on a wood or combustible surface.

Water Heaters Recalled:

Residential Ultra-Low NOx Water Heaters Manufactured Between April 2011 and August 2016  were sold under the brand names America, A. O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftmaster, and Whirlpool.

Thirty-Gallon A. O. Smith brand Model G6-UT3030NV: If you purchased an A. O. Smith brand G6-UT3030NV thirty gallon water heater at a California Lowe’s Home improvement Store between the dates of February 1, 2018, and April 9, 2018.

To see if you are at risk, check to see if your water heater has the first four digit serial numbers between 1115 and 1631. (They represent the year and week of production.) The serial number can be found on a rating plate located near the bottom of the heater’s outer jacket.

If you believe you have a water heater included in the recall:

  • Check the serial number on the website WaterHeaterRecall.com.
  • If yours is included and it’s in use, you will need to turn it off immediately.
  • Contact A. O. Smith at 866-880-4661 to see if your unit qualifies for a free repair.

If you are not sure or need help, Give us a call! We’re here to help!

Toilet Parts Explode – Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing system

By toilets

Now that’s a headline to grab your attention! We’re sorry it’s also a true headline.
There were 23 injuries reported and everyone’s safety is serious business. Please take notice of the recall.

Summary of Recall

Name of Product:  Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems

Hazard:  The system can burst at or near the vessel weld seam releasing stored pressure. This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact and laceration hazards to consumers and property damage.

Remedy: Replace  

Recall date: October 18, 2018

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Flushmate II 501-B systems, turn off the water supply to the unit and flush the toilet to release the internal pressure. Consumers should contact Flushmate to request a free Flushmate replacement unit and installation by a technician.

Read the full articles below for more information:

https://www.azfamily.com/exploding-toilet-parts-sold-at-home-depot-lowe-s-recalled/article_e668f4a9-3a72-5609-9467-8421fad68155.html

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Flushmate-Recalls-Flushmate-II-501B-PressureAssisted-Flushing-Systems-Due-to-Impact-and-Laceration-Hazards

Consumers should contact Flushmate to request a free Flushmate replacement unit and installation by a technician.

You can reach Flushmate toll-free at 844-621-7538 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, or online at www.flushmate.com and click on “501-B Recall” in the blue box on the top of the page for more information.

Flushmate II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems

Flushmate II 501B-Pressure Assisted Flushing Systems

Backflow Prevention Devices Targeted by Thieves

By backflow prevention, backflow prevention theft No Comments

Local City Wide Plumber handles backflow prevention cages and backflow testing.

Scrappers, thieves who steal metal objects and turn them in for scrap metal, are now targeting backflow prevention devices in area.

Backflow preventers are placed above the ground, usually along the street fronts, and tie into water supply lines to keep clean water flowing into homes and businesses around town. When backflow preventers are removed from water lines without warning, contaminated water can flow into your home or business, making water unsafe to use in any way, even watering your garden.

According to police reports, these scrappers cut open the metal cages around the valves to remove the backflow prevention device, a process that takes approximately 5-6 minutes. Thefts happen mostly at night and in areas like business and apartment complexes, and motels. They have most recently been targeting Tempe, Mesa, Ahwatukee, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Because a new backflow prevention device costs between $2,000-$4,000 and replacement is absolutely necessary to maintain water safety for your business, here are some ways to protect your building:

  1. Enclose your backflow prevention device with a cut-proof cage and secure it with a tamper-proof lock. Make sure your maintenance crew has the key.
  2. Mount the cage to a cement pad.
  3. Stamp, label or identify the backflow preventer with a recognizable code or name.
  4. Paint the cage and the preventer to match the area around it so it blends in.
  5. Plant a screen of greenery and/or a fence to camouflage the devices, making them more difficult to see from the road and passers-by.
  6. Set up cameras in the area to keep tabs on each device.
  7. Post a visible warning to would-be thieves, telling them that there is video surveillance on the devices.

Do you still have questions? Contact your local City Wide Plumber and let the pros do it for you. 480-966-8795

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