August 30, 2016 Plumbing Services Newsletter - Plumbing Emergency

"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

Cleaning the Dishwasher

Just because dishwashers clean dishes, does not mean they are automatically clean themselves.

Here are three steps to get the dishwasher sparkling clean:

1. Take the bottom rack out to gain easier access to the filter at the bottom. Food particles and other items can get stuck in and on the filter, causing the dishwasher to improperly drain and creating some funky odors.

2. While the dishwasher is empty, fill a dishwasher-safe container with a cup of vinegar. Then place it on the top rack before running the dishwasher on the hottest option.

3. After the vinegar cycle, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the appliance and run a second short hot cycle.

These steps should be taken every six months to make sure the dishwasher is running at its full capacity and dishes are actually getting clean.

If the dishwasher is having other problems, it might be time for a new one. Here are some signs that it might be time to purchase a new appliance:

  • Broken latch
  • Fails to drain
  • Rusty
  • Not working consistently
  • Leaking water
  • Loud humming motor

When it’s time for a new dishwasher, give the experts at All Star Plumbing and Restoration a call. They can help install the new dishwasher and make sure everything is working properly.  Installing appliances that require plumbing should be done by plumbing professionals so there’s less chance of leaking and water damage later.



Troubleshooting a Leaking Hot Water Heater

Is the hot water heater leaking? The source of the leak determines what needs to be done. Leaks don’t always mean the entire thing needs to be replaced. Here are common sources of hot water heater leaks and what they can mean:

1. Condensation

If the hot water usage in the home has been high, it can cause condensation to occur, leaving a puddle on the floor. The cold water in the tank reacts with the warmer air in the home and causes condensation to occur. To remedy this issue, try to even out the hot water usage.

2. Pipes

The hot and cold water pipes can be prone to leaking at their elbow joints. Tightening the joints generally does the trick, but if it doesn’t, give All Star Plumbing and Restoration a call.

3. Gaskets

The heating elements inside the water tank are sealed with gaskets. Of these become old and worn or damaged, leakage can occur. It’s best to let a plumber deal with changing and fixing gaskets because it can involve turning off the electricity or gas and draining the tank.

4. Pressure Relief Valve

The relief valve will open if the pressure in the tank gets too high. When it opens, steam comes out to lower the pressure. The steam can then condensate on the tank and drip down to create a puddle on the floor. The pressure can increase like this if the operating temperature is too high. If the temperature hasn’t been increased and this is still happening, the problem could be a faulty valve, which could be dangerous if not corrected.

5. Tank

If the water leakage isn’t coming from any of the above issues, then the problem is most likely the tank itself. Once the tank begins to leak, it’s time to replace the whole thing. When this happens, All Star Plumbing and Restoration can install a new hot water tank.



Making a Toilet Planter

Sometimes upgrading the toilet doesn’t mean the old one is damaged and needs to be thrown out. Upcycle old toilets by turning them into planters for the yard. Just be sure to choose the right spot the first time around because it will be too heavy to move later on. Here’s how to do it:

  • Preparing the Vessel

The toilet should be thoroughly cleaned before being used for a planter. This means using a diluted bleach solution over the entire thing. Scrub the bowl a little extra just for good measure. Once it is cleaned, let the toilet sit and dry before the decorating stage.

  • Painting

Some people prefer the pristine white color of the toilet, or whatever its original color was, but others might want to get creative with colors. Also, painting it with an outdoor latex paint can help to seal it. Whether it blends into the garden or stands out, painting can help to transform it.

  • Growing

Both the tank and bowl can be used for planting purposes. Before planting in the tank, be sure to take out any of the equipment such as the flapper and float. The hole in the tank and drain in the bowl should both be sealed before planting. Use a towel to keep the soil from falling through because it will still allow for the water to drain if necessary.

When All Star Plumbing and Restoration comes to install a new toilet, consider using the old one for a planter! It could be a fun project and conversation piece when visitors come over.



Emergency Plumbing Kits for Homeowners

Even though the plumbers at All Star are available 24/7 for plumbing emergencies, it is still a good idea to have a plumbing emergency kit on hand. Water can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time, so having the necessary tools available could help save the house from serious water damage.

Here are some things to keep around for plumbing emergencies: 

5 Gallon Bucket
Buckets can come in handy to catch leaks coming from pipes. Or if water has pooled somewhere, it makes a good place to throw the towels that soaked up all the water.  

A good rule of thumb is to have a plunger for every toilet in the house. Also, keep one separate for the sink so plungers dedicated to the toilet are not used in the sink. Plungers don’t cost much and are great to have when the sink, toilet or shower backs up unexpectedly. 

Homeowners and even renters should make it a point to invest in a toolbox that has a few wrenches. Sometimes tightening a pipe fitting with a wrench is all that is needed. Wrenches can be useful for many projects other than plumbing issues too. 

Toilets and sinks can be gross especially when they backup. Having a set of rubber gloves handy will scale down the “ick factor” when having to deal with plunging.  

Drains and pipes are often located in dark places so a flashlight is necessary. One that is hands-free, like a headlamp, is even better. Make sure to keep fresh batteries around as well. 

Duct Tape
If there’s a leak in a pipe and it might be a little while before the plumber can take care of the problem, duct tape can be a useful tool for temporarily stopping leaks until there’s a better solution. 

To minimize the chance of water damage from a plumbing emergency, it is best to call a plumber. However, these tools can give homeowners the means to fix small problems and stop them from becoming a larger issue. For any plumbing emergencies, give All Star Plumbing and Restoration a call.



Past Plumbing Newsletters

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