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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)

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.

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