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City Wide Plumbing

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

Choosing the Right Hot Water Tank

By hot water tanks No Comments

Hot Water When You Want It!

Most of us are very used to turning on the hot water faucet and having hot water come out.

It’s usually so reliable that we hardly think about it…until the water isn’t hot. And then suddenly, you’re in the market for a new hot water tank.

It’s been a few years since you’ve been in the market, so here are some of the choices you’ll have to make when deciding on your next hot water tank:

We say “tank” because that’s the most common choice out there, but there are tankless water heaters, too.

Pro: Tank or storage water heaters are the least expensive to buy and last between 10 – 15 years.

Con: Tank or storage water heaters can lose heat. Look for an insulated one.

Size: Tanks come in sizes ranging from 20 – 80 gallons. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but a good way to figure out what size you need is by estimating how much water your household uses during a peak time. Allow 12 gallons per person, but other items may be running, too, such as a dishwasher or clothes washer. Try this online calculator to more accurately gauge your use.

What kind of energy do you want to use to heat it?

The most common choices are electric or natural gas. Typically, natural gas will be less expensive to operate than electric, but it depends on your local utility costs. Talk to your local utility provider to learn more about which choice might be best in your area.

Green is growing in popularity, so be sure to check which options are viable for your area. In the southwest, solar heaters a great option because of the high number of sunny days and shorter winters. Although the cost of purchasing a solar-based heating unit can be pricy, the operating costs are low. Geothermal is another option, using energy from the earth, but like solar-powered tanks, the heating unit can be costly, while operating costs remain low. Propane water heater tanks are the longest lasting (up to 20 years) because they’re built with longer lasting heating elements. Whichever energy source you choose, be sure to check the energy factor or EF listing on its yellow energy use label. The higher the number, the more efficient the tank is.

Where will the tank sit?

Any tank you buy will have to fit in the space you have for it. Make sure if you’re going with a larger capacity tank that you have the physical space to accommodate it. Every water tank needs room around it for ventilation and future servicing.

If you decide that you don’t want a hot water tank, tankless options are out there. Take a look at some of the pros and cons for a tankless system here.

Overall, a new hot water system will be with your household for many years, and you’ll want to know which one will be right for you.

Call City Wide Plumbing 480-966-8795 and we’ll help you today.

What is Backflow Testing?

By backflow testing No Comments

backflow prevention cage and backflow

You know you have to have backflow prevention assembly testing done like clockwork, but what is it?

In the simplest terms, backflow prevention means maintaining the water flow in one direction.

It keeps waste water flowing away from taps and clean water running to the taps. Backflow prevention provides a continuous stream of fresh water. It also prevents contaminants, such as debris, gases or solids, from backing up into your water supply.

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.

Testing is done to make sure the backflow prevention device is working properly. It consists of a full battery of diagnostics designed to measure and gauge how well your backflow prevention assembly works, and whether it remains up to your local legal codes.

Who can do backflow testing?

A plumbing company that’s specifically certified to conduct backflow tests. Companies who have their certification must renew their credentials to stay up-to-date on new requirements and policies that impact public drinking water, health and other important facts to help maintain local water systems.

 

DIY Plumbing

By plumbing tips No Comments

plumber fixing sink

When you’re a homeowner, you know a plumbing horror story.

Even if you personally never had your plumbing go wrong, you know someone who has. Here are some ways to keep that story from coming home:

1. Know where your shutoff valves are. If you have a leak, you’re going to want to shut the water off before you’re floating.

a. Turn off water using the shutoff valves before doing any repairs.

b. Make sure all of these valves are in good working order before you need to use them.

2. A dripping faucet or a toilet that keeps running can cost you big money in wasted water.

a. For a leaky faucet, remove the handle on the tap that keeps leaking and check the washer. A worn washer may fall apart in your hands or be thin in some spots. Either way, it’s the reason why you couldn’t get the tap to shut off the water completely. Replace the worn washer and reassemble the faucet handle. Note: You probably want to take the old washer to the hardware store to make sure you’re getting the right size and type washer for your faucet.

b. For a running toilet, pull the lid from the tank and check the inside of the tank. The ball or flapper (located at the bottom of the tank) cover an opening, allowing the water to leave the tank when you flush the toilet.

  • The running toilet might be very simple to diagnose: The chain that lifts the ball or flapper is tangled, meaning the tank never fills with water. As a result, the water continues to run.
  • If the reason the water keeps running isn’t so easily seen, check the float. If it’s set too high, above the overfill tube, then the water in the tank will overflow into the tube, emptying the tank as fast as the water supply tube can fill the tank. Move the float down below the overflow tube so that water levels are about an inch below the overflow tube.

3. Maintain your water heater tank.

a. Drain and refill your tank at least once a year, clearing rust and other accumulated sediment out. This is particularly important if you have hard water.

b. Turn your temperature control down to 120 ͦF.

 

Call City Wide Plumbing 480-966-8795.

Our local plumbing experts are ready to handle your plumbing problems for you.

Troubleshooting a Stinky Dishwasher

By local plumber No Comments

troubleshooting a stinky dishwasher

Nobody really enjoys washing dishes, but we all appreciate them when they’re clean. That’s why we have dishwashers. But what happens when your dishwasher starts to smell and you’re at that point where you don’t want to open it to put the dirty dishes inside? And what can you do if, after a wash cycle is finished, the smell remains?

Here are some ways to troubleshoot a stinky dishwasher:

Arm yourself with a bit of liquid dish soap and a wet rag, a few sturdy toothpicks, the dishwasher’s owners’ manual and:

  • Check the bottom of the tub, under the lowest rack, where food and other debris may accumulate. Remove any visible particles and wipe the area around the spray arm.
  • Remove the dishwasher filter and empty any accumulated food debris. You may want to rinse the filter before re-installing it, or dip it into mild soapy water and then rinse well with clean water before you put it back, depending on what your owner’s manual suggests.
  • Wipe down the door’s seals and scrub discolored areas with an old toothbrush. If there’s mold, wipe the spots with a soft cloth soaked in a very light bleach solution…but use caution with bleach. Bleach can corrode the insides of stainless steel dishwashers and break down metal and plastic parts. If you plan on bleaching anything, use plenty of water with it and RINSE WELL.
  • So where do the toothpicks come in? To clean out the holes on the spray arm. Clean the holes first using toothpicks to remove lime scale and other build-up; then using the damp cloth, wipe the spray arm. If you have two (one upper and one lower), make sure to clean both.
  • Run the dishwasher on its hottest cycle while it’s empty. Some folks add a commercially available dishwasher cleaner, but basic household ingredients will do the trick, too: an unsweetened lemonade mix packet or baking soda sprinkled around the inside; or a cup of vinegar on the top rack in a dishwasher-safe cup can help deodorize and bring your dishwasher back to a more neutral scent.

So what happens when you’ve done all of that and the smell is still there?

  • Check the water supply and discharge hoses. Your manual will show you where yours are located. Over time, both of these hoses can develop low spots or even kinks, trapping water and food debris in the lines. Rinse them out, wipe them down and then re-route to help keep water moving and draining properly.
  • Make sure the discharge hose is installed properly. It needs to be able to drain freely.
    • If you notice that you have a puddle in the bottom of your dishwasher after running it, re-route your discharge hose so it will drain completely.
    • A draining sink can cause water to back up into your dishwasher through the discharge hose. Re-route by raising the loop higher.
  • Check under and around the dishwasher for foreign objects. Children and animals have a knack for knocking small items under appliances.

Call City Wide Plumbing 480-966-8795. Our local plumbing experts are ready to handle your plumbing problems for you.

Hosting BBQ Lunch for Journey of Hope

By Journey of Hope, local plumber No Comments

Journey of Hope in Arizona

Today we were honored at City Wide Plumbing to host a barbecue lunch for the Pi Kappa Phi bicyclists of The Ability Experience. The food was provided by Tom’s BBQ. It was great to hear their stories and get to know more about these incredible men .

In 1987, one man’s dream of riding his bike across the country came true. What he did not know was the inspiration and motivation his trek across America would give to The Ability Experience. The very next year his ride inspired The Ability Experience to create the largest fraternal fundraising and awareness event of its kind, the Journey of Hope. Today the Journey of Hope covers 32 different states, cycling over 12,000 miles combined, it is solely comprised of members of Pi Kappa Phi and continues to spread a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities.The Ability Experience

Journey of Hope is a cross-country bicycle trek beginning in San Francisco (North), Los Angeles (South) and Seattle (TransAmerica) and ending together with all teams in Washington, D.C.. The event raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Simply put, the Journey of Hope is a ride with a purpose.

 

Journey of Hope 2017

(excerpts from: http://www.abilityexperience.org/)

Pi Kappa Phi bicyclists of The Ability Experience

Troubleshooting Sewer Gas Smells

By clogged drain, sewer smell No Comments

When your house smells like sewer gas or methane, here are 5 things to know and check:

  1. The first step is finding where the odor is coming from. Because methane is a heavier gas, it’ll sink rather than rise. When the smell seems to be coming from an area completely away from any drain, look higher and upstream from the air current. Float a feather or a small piece of thin paper to determine air current direction rather than lighting a match when you’ve got methane. Methane can be flammable.
  2. Check the drains. Dry drains can be a major culprit for sewer gas leaks. The drain trap dries out and gets smaller, causing a break in the seal. Re-wet the drain by pouring a 5-gallon bucket of water into the drain, or running the faucet for approximately 30 seconds.
  3. Check the pipes under the sink. Is the odor stronger there? If so, is there a leak that you can see? Is there a vent? Call a professional to replace worn and broken parts, ensuring a proper fit and a better smelling area.
  4. The sewer line may be clogged. Do you have a lot of larger trees nearby? Do you have older clay sewage pipes that link your home or business to the city’s sewer lines? Tree roots can grow into clay lines and block waste water leaving your premises. It can make toilets flush slower or incompletely, or even create a sewage backup in your mechanic’s room or basement. When you live with a lot of trees or have older clay pipes, call a professional to clean your sewer line cleanout regularly. It’s well worth it to have good flushing toilets and free-flowing drains!
  5. The roof line stack might be blocked. This feature is usually found around your roofline, and helps pressurize your plumbing, creating the “oomph” to make toilets flush and waste water leave your building. The biggest tipoff to a blocked stack is when toilets don’t flush. A professional can help you here, too, by having the right equipment and experience to clear the blockage and bring back free-running drains.

Keep your place smelling great by keeping these five tips in mind.

Troubleshooting Sewer Gas Smells

The Plumber Who Saved Christmas

By holidays, plumbers No Comments

Plumbing isn’t for the faint of heart. Or amateurs.

( The following is a true story that happened to our friend and content writer: Lisa Butcher)

For three days, we’d wandered around our 110-year old house, trying to find the source of that distinctive sewer smell. It was so strong it made our eyes water. All we wanted to do was get rid of it! We wracked our brains: Maybe the basement drains were too dry and let gas into the house? Maybe the master cleanout needed to be re-snaked? Maybe the main stack was clogged?

A couple of gallons of bleach poured into all of the drains, a re-caulked floor drain, a call to the drain guy who snakes our cleanout valve twice a year, and a call to the stack guy who cleans out the breather valve on our roof, but to no avail. Where was that smell coming from?

It was the day before Christmas and all through the house, we were gagging on air with the windows pushed out. Holy moly, we had to do something. The whole family was coming into town and we expected a houseful of people in less than 24 hours. Did we have to tell them not to come? That we had a house emergency?

We called in the expert: a certified plumber.certified plumber

Our plumber re-snaked the drains, re-checked the air flow in the roof stack and then checked one last thing: the toilet. The toilet is on the second floor. What would happen with a toilet? It flushed fine, most of the time. Sometimes, we had to flush it twice, but other than that, we didn’t notice anything untoward. The plumber insisted, thinking maybe some of those baby wipes were stuck in the works.

By the way, even if those baby wipes say they’re flushable, they’re not. They can get tangled in sewage systems and shut down part of the waste water system for days.

But we didn’t have a baby, we assured him. We didn’t use baby wipes. Even so, he was pretty adamant. He was pulling the toilet. If it was nothing, well, at least we’d know for sure.

After he turned off the water supply, emptied both the tank and bowl, he pulled the toilet out and stared down the sewer pipe. Sure enough, it was blocked, but not by baby wipes or too much toilet paper. There were tree roots in the sewer pipe of a second-story toilet.

Even the plumber was surprised. A second floor was usually well beyond the reach for tree roots. And yet there they were, blocking the draw on the toilet, causing sewer gas to leak from the base of the toilet, down the stairs and into the main rooms of the house.

Our house had been vacant for a couple of years before we took residency. And we’d had a couple of years where the rains were nearly nonexistent. When it was dry, the neighboring trees searched for the best water source they could find: standing water from the toilet in our house.

The plumber snaked the toilet lines just like he would a cleanout valve. Once he was sure the lines were clear, he reset the toilet, turned the water back on and cleaned everything up neatly.

Honestly, we never would’ve imagined tree roots in a second-floor bath. But when you call in an expert, you get the answers and the solutions you need without a lot of wasted time and money.

Christmas went off without a hitch. And our plumber is on our Christmas card list from now on.

Peek at the Plumbing before You Purchase

By Phoenix Plumbing, plumbing trouble No Comments

Are you buying a new home?

Check the plumbing in the new home before you purchase.

Often we hear about people buying a home and then finding out they have plumbing issues that could have been detected before purchase. We’ve composed this list to help you avoid that happening to you.

Check the pipes. A lot of pipes may be hidden in walls, so you may not be able to see everything. Even so, look in the mechanics room or in the basement, under sinks and around toilets. Look for poor connections where leaks are most likely to happen. If you see evidence of water damage, stains, dampness and/or mold, start asking questions: Was this fixed? When? If you’re not getting specific answers, it may indicate that there are expensive repairs in the future.

Check the shut-off valves. You’ll find them around the water heater, behind bigger appliances, to the outside of the house for hoses and sprinkler systems, and to the main water supply. Do the valves twist easily or require a good deal of force? Do they leak when you turn the water off and back on? Do the taps still work a little even though you’ve turned the water off? You may want to have these replaced as a precaution if you have trouble turning the valves or they drip when you test them. When the valves are in poor working order, it’s best to replace them before there’s an emergency.

Check the taps and flush the toilets. How does everything work? Do you see any leaks? Is there a problem with the water going down? Do the taps continue to drip once you turn them off? All of the fixtures in a house may need basic maintenance, such as taps needing new washers or the main cleanout valve needing a cleanout.

Even if you detect some plumbing problems, you may decide the pros outweigh the cons. If you decide to buy anyway, your best bet is to ask for a professional plumbing inspection to provide an estimate. This decision can work to your benefit, as you can negotiate repairs into the final asking price, and avert problems before you move in. We can help.

Call City Wide Plumbing for quality plumbing at an affordable price. 480-966-8795

Bathroom Remodeling Can Be a Can of Worms

By bathroom remodeling No Comments

You need a new bathroom and you’re ready for a change.

Bathroom remodel - need a plumber?

You’ve got a style, some overall plans and a budget. To save money, you want to do some of it yourself. It sounds like the perfect mix, until you find some plumbing repair issues.

Here’s when to call in a plumbing contractor:

You find old pipes.
They might be galvanized or even PVC, but they will need upgrading. When you see white plastic pipes or gray steel pipes, know that the failure rates for these types of pipe are high, and it’s best to replace them as soon as possible. If you found copper pipes but don’t know how old they are, call in a plumber for a free inspection. An expert can evaluate your water flow, and how your fittings are holding up.

When your walls are opened up, it’s the perfect opportunity to get every part checked out, and either repaired or replaced. You can save hundreds of dollars in the long run by upgrading the items behind the walls first. That way, when your remodel is finished, you’ll know your next remodel won’t be until you decide it’s time.

You find a leak.
Many times, a sink, toilet, shower or bathtub that you want to reuse can look brand new on the outside. Once you’ve pulled away the surrounding areas, however, you get a much better look at what’s really going on. Mold is the biggest red flag that you have a leak, but do you know what’s leaking? Can you tell where it’s coming from? Do you know what to do to stop the leak? What else do you need to replace? Can you still save the piece or do you have to buy a new one?

A drain pipe leak, for example, can be tricky. A licensed plumber can trace the leak and repair the problem quickly. This can save you time, money and numerous trips to the home improvement superstore.

You didn’t find other problems, but that’s only because you didn’t know what else to look for.
A licensed plumber knows how one issue can trigger another. If there was a leak, did it compromise the integrity of your subfloor or cause dry rot behind your sink connections? Your bigger bathtub fits into the space, but can your floor support the heavier weight? The new floorplan works great, but does an electrical outlet need to be rerouted now that the toilet is on the south wall? A licensed plumber has the right training to look for potential issues, and can tell you the steps you need to take for your new bathroom remodel to go smoothly.

Will your water heater keep up with the new whirlpool tub?
If you have a big capacity tub and a smaller water heater, the answer is probably not. A licensed plumbing contractor can list your options and if a new water heater is in order, provide a quality water heater installation to help you start enjoying your new tub sooner.

You’re installing your new fixtures with the tools you have, not the ones you need.
Yeah, it’ll probably work….besides, it looks all right. But you just spent a lot of money on a new bathroom remodel. An improperly installed sink, tub or toilet can spoil everything in a matter of days. Do you really want to risk it on a “probably”? Get your installation done right the first time by a professional plumbing contractor. Save time, money and frustration. Call 480-966-8795 City Wide Plumbing for “Quality plumbing at an affordable price.”

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What to Look for in a Good Plumber

By Licensed Professional Plumber, local plumber No Comments

Whether you’re in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler or Mesa, a good plumber is hard to find.

Here are some tips to help you find the right plumbing repair solution in your Arizona town:

Good plumbers in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler AZ.

  1. Insured and licensed. You’ll want to know your prospective plumbing contractor has the right training and credentials. In Arizona, the Registrar of Contractors has a simple search that lets you confirm licensing and verify credentials. View it here to begin your search: http://azroc.gov/forms/contractorsearch.html

Typically, licensed plumbers who own their own business carry insurance. After all, even the best plumbers know to be prepared, just in case. When in doubt, ask.

  1. Now with Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, it’s easy to find references, view previous jobs and get into contact with previous customers. Pay special attention to projects that s

    eem bigger, but you’ll also want to know how well your prospective plumber handles small projects, too. For example, check out water heater replacements and water softener installation as well as major plumbing repairs like township backflow prevention.

You might want to talk to other types of contractors as well. Construction owners as well as electricians often work closely with other trades on new builds or even on restoration projects, and get to know other contractors. Trades people can usually tell you if a plumber takes time to do the project right and is detailed and thorough.

  1. How long has the plumbing company been in business? What’s the rating with the Better Business Bureau? Brand-new plumbing companies won’t have a rating, but check references by the plumber’s name. You’ll learn how long he or she’s been licensed and maybe some additional information on references, too.
  1. Talk to more than one plumber and set up a time for them to review your job in person. Even if you’re a former plumber yourself, you know that seeing for yourself is better than having someone describe it to you in an email or over the

    phone. You might think you’re in the market for a brand-new reverse osmosis system, when a smaller replacement part could be the answer. Face-to-face interviews are important when you want to find the right person for the job.

  1. Get more than one quote, and get it in writing. That way, you can compare the line items, ask questions and talk through any parts of the job that concern you. If money is going to be your deciding factor, make sure that the quotes you’re comparing are for the same amount of work. If there’s a big price difference between them, ask why so you understand how pricing can differ – it could be as simple as the quality of parts, or as complicated as a new company low-balling a bid just to get the work. When in doubt, ASK.

We’re available for you plumbing problems and your plumbing questions today. Call us at 480-966-8795.

Does your home in Gilbert, AZ have low water pressure?

By Gilbert Arizona, Phoenix Plumbing, water pressure No Comments

Water’s never too far from anybody’s mind when you live near the iconic Gilbert Water Tower. Gilbert water tower And we’ve made it our business to keep our commercial and residential customers’ water flowing and plumbing systems repaired in the Gilbert area.

Some of the ways we keep the water flowing is knowing what to look for when the only symptom is poor water pressure. It can depend on a lot of factors:

Water pipes. How old are yours? What are they made of? Depending on what your pipes are made of can determine how long ago your plumbing was updated. Galvanized pipe can oxidize and rust, creating pipe leaks and/or water flow blockages. Naturally, both problems can affect your water pressure. PVC pipes don’t rust or oxidize, but they can be sensitive to temperature changes, warping and putting stress on pipe junctures and fixture mounts. The older this plastic material gets, the more brittle it becomes. Brittle pipes can burst at any time.

Do you have a water softener? If the softener is too small and can’t keep up now that you have a new family member, then it might be time to upgrade your softener.

Do you have a water filtration system? If the filter needs changing or the pump isn’t operating at its optimal speeds, it may be time for some repairs.

Does the water pressure change frequently for no reason? You may need to have a new water pressure regulator installed.

City Wide Plumbing has experienced technicians who can offer solutions to your water flow problems. Give us a call to set up your free evaluation today.

Call 480-966-8795

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