December 18th, 2017 Plumbing Services Newsletter - Water Shutoff Valve

"I sure appreciated how quick and cost effectively you guys took care of my leaking copper pipes under the house this past summer. Highly recommend you to anyone I know who needs plumbing service!"

Andy Krivy, owner of Infinity Signs, Boise, Idaho


The Importance of the Water Shutoff Valve

Water Shutoff Valve

When moving into a new home, there are a lot of things homeowners need to learn about their plumbing. One of those is where the main water shutoff valve is, and how to operate it. Knowing this can save homeowners thousands of dollars in water damage if something goes wrong.

Shutting off the water in homes that are on a private well and on city water differs. Here's how to deal with each scenario:

Well Plumbing

Homes with well plumbing need to locate their pressure tank. The shutoff valve should be on the pipe that connects the pressure tank to the house. Simply turn it off to shut off the water. In some cases, the valve can be located before the tank. This provides homeowners with water when the pressure in the tank is reduced. However, when a leak occurs this can keep water flowing even after the valve has been turned off. Opening the outside hose bibs can help alleviate some of the pressure faster and stop the water flow.

City Water

With city water, there is a meter that homeowners should locate. It is usually found near the curb or sidewalk in front of the home. There are two sides, one for the homeowner and one for the city. The valve for homeowners should easily be hand-operated to shut off the water. If this valve isn't present, homeowners will need to have a meter key to turn off the city side. These can be found at most hardware stores, or the homeowner could call the city for help.

Some homes might also have a shutoff valve that can be found inside the home. These shutoff valves are often located in the basement or crawl space areas where the water enters the home.

If a pipe breaks, or there is another plumbing emergency, be sure to turn off the water as soon as possible. This limits the amount of damage the water can do to the home. Call All Star Plumbing and Restoration soon after to fix the issue and repair the water damage.



Dual Flush vs. Single Flush Toilets

With the constant evolution of toilet technology, homeowners have more options than ever when buying a new toilet. One of those options is a single or dual flush toilet. Many homeowners are now considering dual flush toilets and here's why:

The main advantage of dual flush toilets is that they use less water than their single flush counterparts. This leads to lower water bills, saving homeowners money. It's been found that over a 10-year period, a dual flush toilet will cost homeowners $250, while a single flush toilet will cost them $760. That's quite a difference.

Dual flush toilets have two separate flushing mechanisms, like the name suggests. One button flushes the toilet using about 0.8 gallons of water, which is used when there is only liquid waste. The other button uses about 1.6 gallons of water to flush solid waste. This is designed with the idea that liquid waste doesn't require as much water as solid waste when being flushed.

There are a couple of potential downsides to dual flush toilets. One is that the buttons can be harder to push for elderly people and children. Another issue is that replacement parts can be harder to find now since these toilets aren't as popular yet. The last downside is that guests might use the wrong flushing mechanism, negating the potential reduced water usage.

Single flush toilets might be a better option the dual flush toilets in homes with elderly residents and children, or in guest bathrooms that get a lot of traffic.

If a new toilet is on the list in the next few months, research dual flush toilets to see if they might be a better fit in the home. It might lead to lower water bills in 2018. Talk to All Star Plumbing and Restoration for assistance installing the new toilet, or if any toilet-related problems arise.



The Dangers of Flushable Cat Litter

Cleaning the litter box can be a smelly hassle. To shorten the process, some homeowners try flushing the used cat litter down the toilet. This is not the best idea, even with cat litter that is marketed as flushable. There are two main reasons that this practice should be eliminated:

Potential Clogs

Most cat litters are designed to absorb moisture, causing them to expand by up to 15 times their original size. This expansion can be large enough to create a sizable clog that is difficult to remove. After flushing cat litter for a long period of time, it could create a clog deeper in the plumbing system, requiring extreme measures to dislodge it.

If cat litter has created a clog in the toilet, homeowners can try eliminating the clog themselves using a plunger, toilet snake, or another method with household products like baking soda or dishwashing liquid. This might get rid of the clog, but if not, call All Star Plumbing and Restoration.

Health Issues

Cat excrement can contain a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. While most people who are infected with this parasite can fight off the infection without any symptoms, those with compromised or weakened immune systems aren't so lucky.

They may experience redness in their eyes, blurry vision, and pain. If a pregnant woman, who has a higher risk of infection, does become infected, their fetus is at risk of suffering brain damage and damage to the eyes.

When cat litter is flushed down the toilet, this parasite can enter the water supply, increasing the possibility of infection for those in the area.

Protect the plumbing pipes and stay healthy by throwing away cat litter instead of flushing it. For cat litter clogs, or any other toilet problems, the team at All Star Plumbing and Restoration is just a call away.



Decorating the Bathroom for the Holidays

Expand the holiday spirit into every room, including the bathroom! Here are some fun ideas for decorating the bathroom this holiday season:

  • Festive Shower Curtain

Take some leftover ornaments and put them on the shower curtain. Simply hang them through the curtain rings for a fun holiday look.

  • Mini Tree

Bathrooms with extra space could be the perfect place to put up a mini Christmas tree. It's a fun way to use up extra lights and ornaments, plus add some festive spirit to the bathroom.

  • Garland

Not much counter space? String garland and lights around the mirror. It's a pretty touch that adds a nice framing effect to the mirror.

  • Evergreen Arrangements

Some homes have fresh flowers in the bathroom all year long, but finding seasonal flowers in winter is tough. Instead, create an arrangement with evergreen boughs as the main greenery.

  • Holiday Towels

Swapping out hand towels and decorative towels for holiday-themed ones is an easy way to decorate. Whether they have snowmen and trees stitched on them, or are just holidays colors, it's a nice touch.

After getting your bathroom looking ready for the holidays, make sure it's physically ready for the holidays. Any toilet, sink, or shower issues should be resolved before guests arrive. This time of year, can be especially hard on the plumbing and plumbing fixtures.


Past Plumbing Newsletters

December 1, 2017

November 20, 2017

November 6, 2017

October 23, 2017

October 9, 2017

September 25, 2017

September 11, 2017

August 31, 2017

July 30, 2017

July 17, 2017

July 3rd, 2017

June 19th, 2017

June 1st, 2017

May 8th, 2017

April 27th, 2017

April 10th, 2017

March 27th, 2017

March 13th, 2017

February 27th, 2017

February 14th, 2017

January 30th, 2017

January 16, 2017

December 19, 2016

December 5, 2016

November 21, 2016

November 7, 2016

October 17, 2016

October 3, 2016

September 12, 2016

August 30, 2016

August 1, 2016

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June 13, 2016

May 30, 2016

May 2, 2016

April 15, 2016

March 28, 2016

March 2, 2016

February 15, 2016

January 26, 2016

January 12, 2016

December 7, 2015

November 19, 2015

October 29, 2015

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September 16, 2015

August 31, 2015

August 3, 2015

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June 22, 2015

June 3, 2015

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April 16, 2015

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March 2, 2015

February 2, 2015

January 7, 2015