June, 2020 Plumbing Services Newsletter

"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


Pet-Proof Plumbing

Pet proof your plumbing

With the recent pandemic, more homeowners than ever are adding furry friends to their homes. Currently 65% of American homes have a dog, cat, or both living with them. While this can be great for comfort and entertainment, it can be problematic for your plumbing. Chewing up your favorite shoe may be annoying, but clogging the drain is a major problem. There are some very simple things you can do to minimize the impact of a pet on the household plumbing.

Bathing your dog is a necessary part of pet ownership, more so if they regularly get muddy or go swimming in a lake, but it’s best to make this an outdoor activity. When at all possible, wash your dog in the yard. This will keep hair from getting in the drain and keep the mud from coming in your home. There are times, like winter, when this just isn’t practical. If you have to bathe your pet inside use a drain stopper. These handy little devices use mesh to prevent dirt and hair from going down the drain and causing a clog. Depending on the breed of dog you have, there may be an incredible amount of fur hitting the drain during bath time. One final option is to take them to a groomer for winter time baths. They’re set-up to handle the fur without a plumbing problem.

The toilet is another problem area for pets. While drinking from the toilet may seem like not a huge deal, other than possibly being disgusting, it can actually be unhealthy for them. There are bacteria and trace amounts of cleaning products left behind in the water sitting in your toilet. Both of these could cause harm to your furry friend. If you simply can’t keep them out, close the lid. One other toilet problem is cat litter. Recently some cat litters have hit the market that advertise they can be flushed – don’t do it. Even “flushable” cat litter can cause damage to your plumbing.

The pipes running to your home and inside it need to be protected. Don’t let your dog chew on an exposed pipe. If your dog starts the habit of chewing on a pipe, make sure to discourage it right away. The pipe could be toxic for your pet, and their teeth could easily cause a rip or tear that leads to leaking. If your dog is a digger, then your outside plumbing could be at risk too. Most pipes are buried deep enough not to have a problem, but on occasion a pipe will be laid too close to the surface and an industrious digger will find it. If your dog is a digger it might be best to contact your utility company and have them confirm the depth of your pipes or mark their locations for you.




Water Usage in Your Home

Saving on home water usage

Did you know that on average each person in your home will use 80-100 gallons of water per day? So where does all that water go? Let’s take a look at your biggest water consumption areas within the house.

Toilets – turns out flushing the toilet is the largest use of water in your home. Your toilets will go through about 33 gallons per day, which in most homes comes to about 24% of the total household consumption. Most toilet manufacturer’s now offer low flow, water efficient toilet options which are great for homeowners who are looking to cut back on their water bill.

Shower – as the majority of Americans take showers now rather than baths, showers are now tied for the #2 water use in the home. Baths are much further down the list. In the majority of homes, the shower goes through about 27 gallons per day, or 20% of the total use for the home.

Faucet – every time you run a faucet, the kitchen or bathroom sink, you run through a tremendous amount of water. Between washing dishes or vegetables, washing hands, and the million other things your sink handles, your home will use about 27 gallons of water again.

Washing Machine – most homes run 1-2 loads of laundry per day which makes it the #4 water user in your home. Coming in at an average of 22 gallons per day it’s 16% of the total household use. With this level of water draw you can definitely see the value of making sure each load you run is a full load.

Leaks – most homeowners assume that they have no leaks in their plumbing, but it turns out that’s generally wrong. Leaks in most homes account for 18 gallons of water per day being used, which is 13% of your total water budget. If you have, or suspect you have, a leak anywhere in your plumbing contact All Star Plumbing and Restoration. Our team can be onsite in no time to help you start saving money on your water bill.

Bath – down towards the bottom of the list is your bathtub. Luckily the use of the tub has substantially decreased over the last few decades, which has helped to reduce the American water footprint per home.

Dishwasher – the final item that draws a notable amount of water is the dishwasher. Most homes have moved to high efficiency dishwashers which have a very minimal water draw. This brings the water use from your dishwasher down to just 2 gallons per day, roughly 3% of the total use.



You May Be Causing Your Own Shower Problems

Removing drain hair

While you may have bad habits like eating too much candy or playing too many hours of video games, you may also have some bad habits in the shower. It turns out that your shower habits may actually be causing damage to your plumbing. While you may be barely awake when you turn on the water in the morning, there are still some small changes you can make that reduce your risk.

Deal with the Hair – while hair in the bottom of the shower may be gross, it’s also problematic. Letting hair gather around the drain increases the chances of it going down. Anything, including hair, that goes down the drain can cause clogs and ultimately completely block the flow of water. Be sure to use a drain cover to limit the amount of hair that can get down the drain, and then clean your shower drain regularly. Remove the built-up hair as soon as you see it.

Spa Treatment Monthly – everyone loves that long, hot shower but it’s best to limit your spa visits to only on occasion. Daily long showers can drive up your water bill and actually lead to dry skin. Using hot water creates more humidity in the bathroom and that can cause mold to grow. You can limit this by running the bathroom fan, opening a window, or leaving the door open but your best choice is to use more moderate water temperatures for the daily shower trip.

Deal with Hard Water – if you see signs of hard water, like the residue that collects on the nozzle of your shower head, don’t just ignore it. Hard water build-up will eventually block the holes in the nozzle and limit the water flow. Wipe the shower head down regularly with vinegar, a Clorox wipe, or shampoo on a washcloth. This will keep it clean and water flowing. You may also want to look at adding a home water softener to address the root of the problem. Hard water can cause other plumbing issues if it’s substantial enough.

Check the Floor – if the kids leave a pool of water on the floor next to the shower, or you simply have water there from the normal process of getting out and drying off, make sure you address it. Leaving water on the floor can cause damage to the floor, increase the chances of mold, and wear away the grout. Consider adding a bath mat to the area outside the shower, or drying off before getting out. Either of these will limit the potential of water sitting on the floor.


Bathroom Mason Jar Crafts

Looking for something to pass the time? Want to give your bathroom a summer makeover? With just a few mason jars you can create some adorable summer décor items for your bathroom. You choose whether to paint the jar white, a color that goes with the room, or leave it unpainted. After you’ve selected the jar appearance here are a few ideas for ways to modify the jars for different purposes.

Mason Jar Toothbrush Holder
Get some wire accent chicken net, cut it the same size as the lid portion of the jar, then hold it in place on the top of the jar with the metal ring that screws on to the top of the jar. The holes in the chicken wire are the perfect size to slide your toothbrushes through.

Mason Jar Storage Containers
Get some wooden door knobs (the kind for pulls on drawers) and paint it black, then spray paint the jar lids and rings gold. Use wood glue to secure the knobs to the top of the lid. These jars look especially cute in a set of 2 or 3 and filled with common bathroom items like Q-tips or cotton balls.

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
First you’ll need to acquire a pump for the soap to come out of. These can be found online or by just watching for the crazy mark downs on holiday ones after a holiday is over. Use a tape measure to determine the center of the lid and drill a hole here. The hole should be the size of the straw portion of your pump. Slide the pump in to the hole and apply caulk on the bottom side of the lid to seal the area around the pump. Wait for the caulk to dry and then screw the whole lid assembly with the pump on to the jar. These work great for both soap and lotion.

Mason Jar Tissue Holder
Trace the lid of the jar on to some heavy card stock and cut out the circle. Use a craft knife to cut an X in the center of the card stock. Be sure to stop just short of the edges. Place your circle of cardstock in to the ring of your lid. Take a stack of Kleenex from an upright box of tissues and place inside the jar. Then screw the top on. You should now be able to reach through the X you created to pull a tissue out and get it started.

Past Plumbing Newsletters

May, 2020

April, 2020

March, 2020

February, 2020

January, 2020

December, 2019

November, 2019

October, 2019

September, 2019

August, 2019

July, 2019

June, 2019

May, 2019

April, 2019

February 20th, 2019

January 21st, 2019

January 5, 2019

December 13, 2018

November 25, 2018

November 1, 2018

October 17, 2018

October 1, 2018

September 7, 2018

August 18, 2018

July 17, 2018

July 6, 2018

June 19, 2018

June 1, 2018

May 1, 2018

April 5, 2018

March 15, 2018

March 1, 2018

February 15, 2018

February 1, 2018

January 15, 2018

January 1, 2018

December 18, 2017

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

July 13, 2016

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

October 6, 2015

September 16, 2015

August 31, 2015

August 3, 2015

July 8, 2015

June 22, 2015

June 3, 2015

May 21, 2015

April 16, 2015

March 17, 2015

March 2, 2015

February 2, 2015

January 7, 2015