Homeowners often encounter various plumbing issues, and one of the most troublesome is the notorious slab leak. Slab leaks can lead to significant damage if not addressed promptly, making it crucial for homeowners to understand the root causes behind these issues. In this blog post, we will delve into what causes slab leaks, from faulty installation practices to the materials used and the impact of shifting soils beneath homes.

What Causes Slab Leaks?

Plumbing Materials Used During Installation

Understanding the materials used in plumbing systems is fundamental to identifying potential causes of slab leaks. The age of a home’s plumbing system often dictates the materials employed during construction; each material comes with its own advantages and vulnerabilities.

Cast iron pipes were prevalent in homes constructed before the 1960s. While cast iron offers durability and fire resistance, it is susceptible to corrosion when installed as underground service lines. Modern cast iron pipes address this issue by incorporating protective materials, improving their longevity compared to their outdated counterparts.

Galvanized steel pipes, standard in homes until the 1950s, are robust but prone to corrosion and clogging. As the protective coating inside these pipes wears off over time, rust and mineral buildup can obstruct the plumbing lines. The lifespan of galvanized steel plumbing pipes is typically around 50 years.

Rigid copper pipes, popular today for hot and cold water supply lines, boast durability and corrosion resistance. However, careful installation is crucial, as dents in the water line can lead to thinning and eventual leaks. Meanwhile, plastic pipes offer corrosion resistance and versatility, suitable for above and below-ground installations.

Faulty Installation

The choice of plumbing materials is only part of the equation; faulty installation practices can exacerbate the risk of slab leaks. With knowledge of the original plumbing work, homeowners may be aware of the lines’ locations, materials, and the quality of the installation. A minor error during installation, such as a dent in a copper pipe or improper sealing, can escalate over time, resulting in leaks.

Shifting Soil

While faulty installation and materials contribute to slab leaks, the primary culprit is often the shifting of expansive soils beneath homes. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), approximately 25% of all homes in the United States experience damage due to expansive soils. This staggering statistic underscores the significant impact of soil movement on residential structures.

Expansive soils create hydraulic pressure beneath the home, leading to soil expansion and damage to the slab. The ASCE estimates that the annual cost of damage caused by expansive soils in the U.S. surpasses $2.3 billion, exceeding the combined expenses of property damage from floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The slow, persistent nature of slab leaks continuously adds water to the soil beneath a home, exacerbating soil expansion and increasing the likelihood of substantial damage.

In some instances, the upward pressure finds weaknesses or cracks in the slab, resulting in wet spots in the flooring. In severe cases, the pressure causes the floor to erupt, resembling a geyser and flooding the home.

Need A Slab Leak Plumber?

If you find yourself facing the daunting prospect of a slab leak and wonder, “what causes slab leaks,” fear not—Custom Plumbing of Arizona is here to help. Operating 24/7 throughout the year, our dedicated team prioritizes your plumbing emergencies with a swift and efficient response. Serving various areas, including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Glendale, Buckeye, Cave Creek, Chandler, Avondale, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, El Mirage, Apache Junction, Mesa, Tempe, and Goodyear. Custom Plumbing of Arizona is your reliable partner for plumbing solutions. Contact us at 602-866-2665 to safeguard your home from slab leaks.

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Replacing the anode rod in your water heater plays a crucial role in providing hot water for various household activities. However, over time, the water heater’s internal components can deteriorate, leading to a decrease in efficiency and potential damage to the tank. One essential component that contributes to the longevity of your water heater is the anode rod. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of the anode rod and provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to replace it, ensuring your water heater operates at its best for years to come.

How to Replace the Anode Rod in Your Water Heater

Choosing the Right Anode Rod

Before diving into the replacement process, selecting the correct type of anode rod for your water heater is crucial. Generally, magnesium anode rods are recommended as they form a more effective bond with the metals and minerals in water, offering better protection to the tank. However, consider an aluminum anode rod if your water is exceptionally soft or has low pH levels. Note that some aluminum rods may contain zinc, which can help reduce sulfur smells in the water. Consider the water hardness and weigh the pros and cons when choosing the appropriate anode rod for your water heater.

Shut Off the Water and Fuel Supply

Safety is paramount when working on your water heater. Begin by turning off the water supply to the tank; the valve is typically located at the top. For electric water heaters, switch off the circuit breaker, and for gas water heaters, turn off the gas. Ensuring no water or gas flows while you work is essential to a safe and successful anode rod replacement.

Drain the Tank

With the water and gas supply turned off, connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the tank’s bottom. Run the hose outside or to a nearby drain, considering the water will be hot. Open the hot water valve of the nearest faucet to relieve pressure inside the tank, making it easier to drain. Though you only need to drain about a gallon of water to replace the anode rod, take this opportunity to flush the tank if you want to remove sediment. Once the water runs clear, close the drain valve, turn off the cold water, and remove the hose.

Find Where the Anode Rod Is Located

Locate the anode rod, typically on the top of the water heater. Some models may have it on the side. Look for a hexagonal plug screwed into the water heater and refer to your model’s manual to confirm the anode rod’s location.

Remove the Old Rod

Using a pipe wrench or socket wrench, loosen the anode rod. This may be challenging due to years of being in place. Avoid heavy impacts, as water heaters have a glass lining that can be damaged. Try a breaker bar for better leverage if the rod is difficult to remove. Once loose, lift out the old anode rod.

Replace the Anode Rod

Install the new anode rod using the plumber’s or Teflon tape on the threads. Opt for a flexible anode rod if space above the tank is limited. Secure the new rod in place using a socket or pipe wrench.

Turn On the Water and Fuel Supply

Open the cold water supply to refill the tank. Keep the hot water faucet open until water flows, indicating the tank is full. Check for leaks, then turn on the power for electric heaters or set the gas control back to the original temperature for gas heaters. If you turn off the gas entirely, relight the pilot light following the manufacturer’s instructions in the manual.

Get the Professionals to Take Care of It For You!

While replacing an anode rod is a manageable task, seeking professional assistance for any plumbing needs is always a good idea. At Custom Plumbing, we serve various locations, including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Glendale, Buckeye, Cave Creek, Chandler, Avondale, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, El Mirage, Apache Junction, Mesa, Tempe, and Goodyear, providing expert services tailored to your requirements. Contact us at 602-866-2665 for assistance with your water heater or any emergency plumbing issues. Our experienced plumbers are committed to delivering top-notch services to ensure the optimal performance of your water heater.

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Is there anything more exasperating than a bathroom faucet leaking at the base? That continuous drip-drip sound and the persistent puddle forming around the base of the tap can be truly frustrating. However, we’re here to assist you in resolving the issue. 

In this informative and actionable guide, we’ll delve into the common causes behind this problem and offer step-by-step instructions on how to fix a bathroom faucet leaking at the base.

Why Is My Bathroom Faucet Leaking at the Base of the Handle?

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s understand why your bathroom faucet might be leaking at the base. Typically, there are two primary culprits:

  • Worn-Out O-rings: Most bathroom faucets rely on O-rings to create tight seals wherever waterproofing is necessary. These O-rings, usually made of rubber, can dry up and crack over time. When this happens, water may seep down the faucet body while running and escaping from the bottom. This escaping water is what leads to the pooling around the base of the faucet, creating that frustrating puddle.
  1. Faulty Cartridge: Although less common, a worn-out cartridge within the faucet can also cause leaks. The cartridge, responsible for controlling water flow through the faucet, may wear out, allowing water to slip through when it shouldn’t. Often, this issue accompanies other worn-out components, such as tired O-rings, leading to water puddling around the faucet’s base.

Now that we know the possible causes, let’s move on to fixing the problem.

How to Fix a Bathroom Faucet Leaking at the Base

Install New O-Rings

  • Step 1 – Prepare the Workspace: Turn off the water supply valve under your sink before starting. Then, begin by safeguarding your workspace. Cover the sink drain with a towel to ensure no small components are lost during the repair process.
  • Step 2 – Remove the Handle Cap: Carefully eliminate the faucet handle cap, if it’s present, using either a flathead screwdriver or your fingernail. Be mindful not to damage the finish while doing this.
  • Step 3 – Unthread the Handle Screw: Unscrew the handle by turning the screw counterclockwise using a Philips screwdriver. Sometimes, you might encounter a hex screw, necessitating an Allen key for removal.
  • Step 4 – Handle Removal: Gently remove and set the faucet handle aside.
  • Step 5 – Loosen the Valve: With the screw removed, use pliers or a wrench to loosen the valve from the faucet body. Secure the pliers or wrench around the valve’s base and rotate counterclockwise.
  • Step 6 – Valve Extraction: Lift the valve away from the faucet’s base.                                                                                                                                                               

    Replace the Cartridge

  • Step 1 – Prepare for Work: Before beginning, ensure the water supply is turned off (if you attempted to replace the O-rings earlier). Drain any remaining water from the lines and place a towel over the drain to avoid any mess.
  • Step 2 – Handle Removal: Start by removing the faucet handle. This involves taking off the decorative cap and unthreading the screw. Pull the handle upward to detach it from the faucet.
  • Step 3 – Locate the Retaining Nut: Identify the retaining nut situated on top of the cartridge. Use either a pipe wrench or tongue-and-groove pliers to remove this nut and set it aside for later use.
  • Step 4 – Remove the Old Cartridge: Take note of the cartridge’s orientation and use pliers (either tongue-and-groove or needle-nose) to extract the old cartridge from the faucet’s body carefully. It may be helpful to take a picture for reference.
  • Step 5 – Grease and Insert the New Cartridge: Apply a small amount of plumber’s grease to the O-rings of the new cartridge using your finger. Insert the new cartridge into the faucet body, ensuring proper alignment.
  • Step 6 – Reassembly: Follow the reverse steps to reassemble the faucet. This includes replacing the retaining nut, securing it firmly, reattaching the handle, ensuring it’s properly secured, and then replacing the decorative cap.
  • Step 7 – Test for Leaks: Turn the water supply back on and check the faucet for any signs of leaks. Ensure there is no standing water around the faucet before conducting this test.

Installing a New Faucet

In some situations, replacing the entire faucet is the most viable option. This is typically the case with older faucets that have seen decades of use, as most bathroom faucets tend to wear out after 15 to 20 years. If you’ve already attempted O-ring and cartridge replacements without success, consider investing in a new faucet. Fortunately, you can find budget-friendly bathroom faucets for under $100, making it a cost-effective solution to persistent leakage issues.

Can’t Fix Your Bathroom Faucet Leaking at the Base? It’s Time To Call A Plumber

If your bathroom faucet is still leaking at the base despite following our troubleshooting steps diligently, it might be time to seek professional help. At Custom Plumbing, we understand the urgency of plumbing emergencies, and our dedicated team is available 24/7 to assist you with your emergency plumbing services. 

Whether you’re in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Glendale, Buckeye, Cave Creek, Chandler, Avondale, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, El Mirage, Apache Junction, Mesa, Tempe, or Goodyear, our expert plumbers are committed to delivering top-notch services tailored to your specific needs. Contact us at 602-866-2665!

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Want to avoid your home resembling a construction zone? Need to fix a slab leak without jackhammering your foundation? We hear you! The idea of jackhammering your precious foundation can be enough to make any homeowner cringe. But fear not! We’re here to share some ingenious methods to fix a slab leak without jackhammering. Yes, you read that right! In this blog, we’ll guide you through some creative solutions that will save your foundation from the wrath of a jackhammer while still addressing that pesky slab leak

3 Methods to Fix Slab Leak Without Jackhammering: How to Fix a Slab Leak When You Don’t Want to Tear Up Your Foundation

  • Re-Routing

Re-piping or re-routing is an effective method to fix a slab leak when only a small number of pipes need replacement. Then, the plumber will install new pipes to create a leak-free system. However, if the lines are under your floors or inside your walls, it will require demolition, which means you might have to leave your home while the work is completed.

Fixing a slab leak without jackhammering may take several days to complete, depending on the efficiency of the contractor and the extent of the work needed. But it’s a great option for those who want a reliable and long-lasting solution to their slab leak problem.

More: How Common Are Slab Leaks? For Arizonans, It Doesn’t Look Good

  • Tunneling

Tunneling is a popular option for homeowners who want to preserve their expensive flooring. The repair crew will dig tunnels underneath your home to access the broken pipe. They will ensure the structural integrity of your house is not affected during the process. Once the necessary repairs are done, they will return the removed soil.

One of the best things about tunneling is that you can stay home during the repair process. This method is also less messy than other methods, and it’s an excellent option for those who want a non-invasive approach to fixing their slab leak.

  • Trenchless Slab Leak Repair

If you’re looking for the most non-destructive method to fix a slab leak, trenchless plumbing repair is the way to go. The contractor will only need to create access holes to perform the repair, and it’s not as costly as the traditional methods.

The slab repair specialists will seal the broken pipe with epoxy pipe liners. First, they will do a camera inspection to determine the extent of the damage. Then, if trenchless repair is viable, they will clean the pipe, place the epoxy pipe liner, inflate it, and then let it cure. This entire process can be completed in just a few hours.

In addition to epoxy pipe liners, they can use pipe splitting to replace badly damaged water lines. This method involves inserting new pipes slightly larger than the existing ones.

Contact Custom Plumbing of Arizona Today to Get Started

Fixing a slab leak without jackhammering is a challenging task, but it can be done with the right approach and expertise. That’s why you need to contact Custom Plumbing of Arizona as soon as possible. We’re a trusted 24-hour plumbing company in Arizona, specializing in fixing slab leaks without resorting to the dreaded jackhammer. In addition, we’re always available to provide emergency services, ensuring that your slab leak gets fixed quickly and efficiently.

We understand the importance of keeping your building safe and reliable for the people and communities that rely on it. With over fifteen years of experience under our belts, you can count on us to handle your slab leak with expertise and care. So, if you’re dealing with a slab leak and want to avoid the hassle of jackhammering your foundation, don’t wait another minute. Give us a call at 602-866-2665 before it’s too late.

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Searching for a “plumbing inspection near me”? Here’s the answer to “what is a plumbing inspection” and why you might want to schedule one.

When it comes to your home’s plumbing system, it’s important to keep it in good working order. One way to do this is by scheduling a plumbing inspection. But what is a plumbing inspection, and why should you get one? 

In this article, we’ll answer those questions and provide some critical reasons why you should consider scheduling a pipe inspection.

What is a Plumbing Inspection?

A plumbing inspection is a thorough examination of your home’s plumbing system. This includes checking the pipes, fixtures, and appliances that make up your system to ensure they are in good working order. A plumbing inspection can be performed by a professional plumber or a home inspector.

During a plumbing inspection, the inspector will check for issues such as leaks, blockages, and faulty pipes or fixtures. They may also test the water pressure and check for potential hazards, such as gas leaks.

Why Should I Schedule a Pipe Inspection? 3 Critical Reasons

There are several reasons why you should consider scheduling a plumbing inspection. Here are three critical reasons:

Buying or Selling a Home

If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, a plumbing inspection can be extremely beneficial. When you buy a home, you want to know that the plumbing system is in good working order and that there are no hidden issues that could cause problems down the road. A plumbing inspection can give you peace of mind by identifying potential issues so you can address them before closing the home.

On the other hand, if you are selling a home, a plumbing inspection can help you identify any issues that need to be addressed before putting your home on the market. This can help you avoid any delays or problems during the sales process.

Preventing Plumbing Emergencies

Plumbing emergencies can be stressful and costly. By scheduling a plumbing inspection, you can identify potential issues before they turn into emergencies. This can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches.

For example, if a plumbing inspection reveals a small pipe leak, it can be repaired before it becomes a major problem. On the other hand, if the leak is not addressed and grows, it could cause significant damage to your home and require much more extensive and expensive repairs.

Protecting Your Home from Damage

Plumbing issues can cause significant damage to your home. For example, a leaking pipe can lead to water damage, which can ruin your home’s walls, floors, and other structural elements. A plumbing inspection can help identify potential issues before they cause damage, allowing you to address them before they become a bigger problem.

Are There Different Kinds Of Plumbing Inspections?

Yes, there are two main types of plumbing inspections: visual inspections and camera inspections.

Visual Inspection

A visual inspection is exactly what it sounds like–a visual examination of your plumbing system. During a visual inspection, the inspector will examine your pipes, fixtures, and appliances to look for any visible signs of damage or issues. This can include checking for leaks, rust, or any other visible problems.

Camera Inspection

A camera inspection is a more in-depth examination of your plumbing system. During a camera inspection, the inspector will use a specialized camera to examine the inside of your pipes. This allows them to see inside the pipes and identify potential issues that may not be visible during a visual inspection.

A camera inspection is a non-invasive method of examining your plumbing system, which means that it does not require any digging or destruction of walls or floors. This makes it a convenient and cost-effective way to get a comprehensive look at the state of your plumbing system.

Call “The Drain Whisperer™” Today!

Is your plumbing up to par, or do you have more questions about what is a plumbing inspection? Don’t take any chances–schedule a plumbing inspection with Custom Plumbing of Arizona today! Our team of experts will thoroughly check your pipes, fixtures, and appliances to ensure everything is in good working order. 

Contact us at 602-866-2665 to book your inspection and get peace of mind. Act now and protect your home from unexpected plumbing issues.

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