February 15, 2016 Plumbing Services Newsletter - Water Damage

"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

Spring Brings Flooding - Water Damage

With the weather starting to warm up in the Treasure Valley, the risk of basement flooding is starting to increase. The issue stems from the ground beginning to thaw around a home’s foundation during the spring rain showers.

As the ground thaws, that water soaks the soil. Add rainwater during a spring rainstorm and the standing water will need somewhere to go. The easiest path it finds is generally along a home’s foundation, into the basement and the sump pump basin.

If the sump pump fails, the home is subject to extreme water damage. Because the sump pump pumps water from the lowest part of the basement before it rises enough to reach the basement floor level, it is the home’s last defense against flooding.

To make sure the sump pump is performing at its best, make sure it isn’t experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Debris

If something falls into the basin, it may cause the sump pump to malfunction by disturbing the float mechanism. Check it routinely to make sure there’s nothing in it that could cause issues for the float mechanism.

  • Check Valve

If the sump pump does fail, the check valve is responsible for preventing water from going back into the sump pump. Double check to make sure the arrow is pointing away from the sump pump.

  • Weep Hole

If the sump pump has a weep hole between the pump and the check valve, routinely clean it with a small object such as a toothpick to keep it clear.

  • Impeller

If the sump pump begins to make strange noises or stops working, the impeller may be clogged. This filter can be cleaned or replaced to get everything working properly again.

  • Power Source

Since the sump pump is most often needed during a storm, they frequently fail simply due to a lack of power, leaving the basement to flood. By attaching a back-up power source to the sump pump, homeowners can ensure it will work when it is most needed.

If you do find your home with water damage, or if you’re not familiar with weep holes and impellers, All Star Plumbing and Restoration can help. They can check the sump pump before it fails or if failure does occur, restore the home back to the original condition. Visit AllStarPlumbingandRestoration.com to learn more about preventing water damage before it happens.


Choosing a Bathroom Sink

When remodeling the bathroom, most people think a sink is just a sink. In reality, there are quite a few options for choosing a bathroom sink. Before deciding, it’s best to know how much room there is to work with, who the bathroom will be used by, and the aesthetics of the bathroom.


In bathrooms with less space, or if the waste pipe goes through the floor and can’t be changed, pedestal sinks can be a good choice.

Pros: Gives the bathroom a sleek, sophisticated look while also concealing pipework.

Cons: No storage or counter space.


This sink is mounted directly to the wall without needing to be attached to a pedestal or counter. This style has gained in popularity for its minimalist feel.

Pros: Makes the room feel bigger.

Cons: No storage space.


These sinks sit so their rim is flush with the countertop. It creates a seamless look due to its lack of rim around it.

Pros: Easy to clean

Cons: Needs to be with a solid surface countertop rather than laminate.


If a statement piece is what homeowners are looking for, they should consider a vessel sink. It sits on top of the counter, standing out from the rest of the counter.

Pros: It’s a statement piece and has the ability to hold a lot of water.

Cons: Since it sit above instead of flush with the countertop, shorter countertops may be required. If it ends up sitting too high, it will be uncomfortable and awkward to use.


This is the classic sink style that sits in the countertop with a rim connecting the two together. It is mostly seen in family bathrooms.

Pros: Works with basically any countertop material.

Cons: The edges can be difficult to clean.

When it comes to installing a new sink, homeowners should call All Star Plumbing and Restoration. Remodels often involve moving pipes and connecting them to new fixtures, so it’s best to leave it to the pros.


Different Types of Residential Pipes

Whether homeowners decide to work on plumbing projects themselves or call in a professional plumber, they should be aware of the type of pipes in their home. In most newer or updated homes the common types of pipes are copper, PVC, or ABS. In older homes however, there’s a larger range of pipe materials that can be found.

The most common pipes used for drain/waste/vent systems found in homes are:

  • Cast Iron

Before 1960, this type of piping was used for the vertical drain, vent stacks, and horizontal drain lines. Over time, this material can rust. Homeowners who move into a home that was built before the 1960’s should have the pipes checked for rust. Plumbers can replace rusted sections with plastic.

  • Plastic

Plastic pipes are either ABS or PVC. Most homes have these because they are relatively inexpensive and easier to install. ABS isn’t used too much in newer construction because joints can sometimes come loose. PVC piping lasts quite a while because it is strong and untouchable by chemicals.

  • PEX

This most recent residential pipe option cuts easily and is flexible. However, it can be three to four times more expensive than copper or plastic.

  • Steel

In older homes, galvanized steel is fairly common. It only lasts about 50 years, so it should probably be replaced if it starts to become damaged.

  • Copper

Since copper resists corrosion, it’s been widely used for plumbing. There are two common types of copper piping:

    • Rigid Copper: This one comes in three thicknesses and required some pretty heavy duty tools to install.
    • Flexible Copper: This one is used for dishwashers, refrigerator ice makers, and other similar appliances.
Depending on the type of pipes and how old the home is, homeowners might want to get the pipes checked when they purchase a new home. Older pipes could be rusted and in need of replacement. For any plumbing pipe problems, such as leaks, clogs, etc., you can depend on All Star Plumbing and Restoration to take care of the problems.


Unclogging the Bathtub Drain

When the bathtub drain gets plugged, a shower can quickly turn into a bath. Because people frequently wash their hair in the bathtub/shower, it is easy for the drain to get clogged with hair. However, getting the clog out can be difficult.

1. Coat Hanger

If the clog is close enough to the opening of the drain, try pulling it out with a coat hanger, tweezers or pliers. There could be a larger clog down below, so test to make sure the water drains normally after pulling the clog out.

2. Plunger

If the clog isn’t visible, a plunger can sometimes do the trick. Put enough water in the bathtub so that it covers the bottom on the plunger and block the overflow outlet with a washcloth. Then trying plunging it five or six times. Once the plunger is lifted away, the water should quickly drain out. If it doesn’t the clog is still present.

3. Snaking

Snaking a bathtub is a little more difficult than snaking a sink drain. It has to be fed down the overflow plate opening. Because of this, it might be easier to call a plumber at this point.
Once the clog is fixed, try these tricks to keep the drain clear:

  • Avoid dropping pieces of soap down the drain. They might not dissolve and could instead build up causing issues.
  • Put a strainer in the drain to stop hair from going down the drain. These handy little things will need to be cleared out routinely, but it is better than unclogging a drain.
  • Pour a kettle of hot water down the drain every month to melt grease from body oils.
For tough clogs in the bathtub, shower, and sink, call All Star Plumbing and Restoration. They can get the clog out without damaging the drains or pipes.


Past Plumbing Newsletters

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