Plumbing is a component of home ownership that many people take for granted. Because many of us are accustomed to the convenience of modern amenities, it is easy to go for long periods without thinking about pipes or plumbing. However, Arizona has a host of unique conditions that make plumbing maintenance a top priority.
For example, Arizona has a desert climate that can affect the quality of plumbing and the amount of water used. In addition, cities like Phoenix consistently rank among locations with the hardest water in the country. This can impact the need for filters and determine whether your pipes need replacement or repair.
Along with climate and natural resources, even Arizona’s unique architectural style can impact plumbing. For instance, most Arizona homes now sit on concrete slabs. This is because Arizona’s soil has a high clay content that expands when wet and shrinks as it dries. These chemical properties make it harder to detect pipe leaks and can cause cracks in everything from swimming pools to sewers.
With these distinctive environmental factors like hot weather and shifty soil, it is important to become knowledgeable about the proper maintenance of your plumbing system. A look at some of the best upkeep practices can help you keep your Arizona property in premium condition.
Get a Water Softener
Arizona is notorious for its hard water. Factors such as high temperature, low rainfall, and red clay soil all contribute to water hardness in the region. In geology, water hardness refers to the concentration of minerals dissolved in water. Arizona’s red clay contains high amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium carbonate. When water flows through the clay, it absorbs these minerals and carries the particles into the residential drinking supply. Infrequent rainfall and hot temperatures mean that water evaporates more quickly and leaves the remaining water with an even higher concentration of unwanted minerals.
Hard water can lead to limescale buildup in your pipe, reducing water pressure and eventually weakening the structure of your plumbing. Additionally, hard water can even shorten the lifespan of essential appliances by eroding operational metal parts. To prevent these risks, you can contact a certified plumber to install a water softener system. A water softener is a whole-house filtration device that removes minerals from the incoming water supply. Also known as an ion-exchange unit, a water softener pulls carbonates before these particles can negatively impact your pipes, faucets, and filters.
Increase Water Pressure
After minerals and sediment have been collecting in your pipes for a while, the buildup or corrosion can eventually cause low water pressure. Contact a licensed plumber if you experience trouble with water flowing out of your showerheads or faucets. A professional can check to see if the issue is a blocked water-meter valve and make adjustments. If the problem is a bit more complicated, the plumber can offer other solutions such as installing a water-pressure booster pump. Contractors can also replace pipes that may have become fully corroded. This step can help prevent damage to your foundation or infrastructure.
Fix Water Leaks
Several environmental characteristics of Arizona can make it hard for the average person to detect water leaks. The hot, dry climate in Arizona can cause the clay soil beneath a home’s foundation to shift and move, altering the position of pipes and potentially causing leaks. For this reason, it is imperative to contact a professional for leak detection and repair. If you are unsure whether you have a leak, some of the warning signs include the following:
- Sudden increase in utility bill
- Sound of running water even if all faucets are off
- Damp spots on the foundation or near the mainline
- Changes in water pressure
- Sudden appearance of mold or mildew
A certified technician has the right equipment to determine the exact cause of your leak. Since it is unlikely that the average handyman can get past concrete slabs or Arizona’s indomitable red clay, you should contact a professional to correct your plumbing and avoid future damage.
Repair Clogged Drains
Heat and hard water can also mean that Arizona homes are susceptible to clogged drains. From bathtubs to toilets, the accumulation of buildup can eventually block water flow and cause pipe or sewage problems. Fortunately, a certified plumber can help clear your drains using special methods such as hydro-jetting. The technician may also perform troubleshooting using a plumber’s snake or install a drain screen to prevent a recurrence. You can also help protect your drains with the following smart practices:
- Use septic-safe toilet paper
- Only flush organic waste
- Dispose of grease and oil in mason jars instead of garbage disposals
- Install a water-filtration system
Because conditions like mineral and sediment buildup are common, it is important to schedule routine pipe inspections even if you are doing everything to avoid synthetic causes of damage to your drains. Certified plumbers provide pipe cleaning services to remove hardened minerals so that your drains work like new.
Take Care of Toilets
While it may be unpleasant to think about, mineral buildup in Arizona can also impact toilets. Modern toilets consist of several internal components, including parts like the flapper, float valve, and siphon. If there are problems with any of these components, the toilet may leak. A licensed plumber can fix the issue by correctly performing tasks like removing mineral buildup from your siphon or replacing the flapper at the bottom of your toilet tank. Similarly, if there is a problem with your supply line, you may also hear a constant flow of water known as “running.” When this occurs, some toilets also make a hissing sound. A certified technician can check your lines and correct the issues to avoid further water waste. The plumber can also do tasks such as repair your float valve to keep your toilet from overflowing.
Get a Water Heater Inspection
The home water heater supplies hot water to everything from your showerhead to your kitchen sink. It is one of the hardest-working resources in your home. Unfortunately, Arizona’s predisposition to hard water means that these water heaters are also prone to mineral buildup. Eventually, this buildup can cause your water heater to malfunction. Signs of a faulty water heater include leaks, continuous strange noises, temperature issues, or even foul-smelling water.
To combat malfunction, you should get the water heat professionally flushed at least once a year. This process removes sediment and solids, thereby prolonging the life of your heater. In addition to cleaning, a technician can perform a gauge adjustment so that your water reaches the right temperature in a timely manner. If you discover more serious issues like cracks or a broken tank, the technician can also replace the water heater or help you upgrade to a tankless heater system.
Contact Us Today
Because conditions in Arizona are unique, it is important to reach out to a licensed plumber trained to properly care for your home system. Sun City Mechanical offers a host of premium plumbing services for Sun City, West Valley, and the surrounding Phoenix area. Our certified technicians provide everything from water softening installation and drain cleaning to faucet and fixture repair. Even if you have more specialized concerns like sewage lines and sump pumps, we are always here to help. Our trained technicians handle AC and heating needs, too. Contact Sun City Mechanical to schedule an appointment today.