March 2, 2016 Plumbing Services Newsletter - Sewer Lines

"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

10 Things You Shouldn’t Flush

When it comes to flushing things down the toilet, people have to be very careful. The pipes can get clogged easily, causing water to back up into the toilet bowl or worse yet, overflow all over the floor. Although flushing anything besides toilet paper is not recommended, some people disregard this warning. Here are ten things that should never be flushed down the toilet:

1. Disposable Wipes

While these have become more common in bathrooms, and some even claim to be flushable, they are generally too thick to be flushed down the toilet. Instead, they should be discarded in a waste basket just to be safe. These could get stuck on a small clog and create and even bigger issue.

2. Floss

Although it seems like such a small object, dental floss isn’t biodegradable. If it tangles in the pipes and catches on a clog or rough pipe wall, it could become a big problem. The best way to dispose of it is to just throw it in the trash. 

3. Medication

In a lot of movies, people are seen flushing medication and drugs down the toilet. This isn’t actually a good idea. While pills will probably dissolve and not cause a clog, they could potentially contaminate the water supply. There are safe disposal programs in most areas to help people get rid of old medications.

4. Fats, oils, and grease

Dumping fats, oils, and grease down the garbage disposal isn’t a good idea, so why would flushing it down the toilet be any different? Once it cools and congeals it will clog the pipes just like in the sink. Put it in the trash once it has cooled or keep it for cooking purposes.

5. Sanitary Products

In almost every public women’s restroom there is a sign advising against flushing sanitary napkins and products down toilets. Cotton snags easily, making these one of the major culprits for toilet clogs. They also don’t break down easily in water.

6. Paper Towels

Aren’t paper towels just a thicker, larger version of toilet paper? No, they are not designed to break down in water like toilet paper. They are meant to absorb it instead. Flushing paper towels will create a clog faster than you can call All Star Plumbing and Restoration.

7. Cigarette Butts

Smoking in the bathroom is fairly common, so people think they best way to put out their cigarettes is to throw them in the toilet. Once again, this deals with contaminating water instead of creating a clog. It can also be a huge waste of water just to flush a cigarette butt. Invest in an ash tray instead.

8. Cat Litter

Kitty litter is made from clay and sand, which should never be put into a plumbing system. Their waste also contains toxins and parasites that could be harmful to the water system.

9. Diapers

Diapers are made from toxic plastic that is designed to expand when in contact with water, hence the absorbent qualities they possess. It will easily get caught in the U-bend and create a huge water backup. They should be disposed of in the trash.

10. Cotton Balls and Swabs

Once again, cotton is not the best thing to flush down the toilet. They can gather together and create a blockage in the bends of the pipe. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they can’t do some damage.

If one of these items gets flushed and causes a clog, call All Star Plumbing and Restoration. They can unclog the toilet and get everything working the way it should.



What to Do if a Pipe Bursts

It seems like plumbing emergencies always happen at the worst times. Pipes can burst while homeowners are out of town or in the middle of the night, causing all kinds of issues. If homeowners happen to catch a pipe burst early, here’s what they should do:

  • Collect the water

If the water is leaking from the ceiling, put a bucket under it to catch the water. If the ceiling is bulging, but has yet to start dripping, pierce it with a broom handle or drill to relieve the pressure and let the water through.

  • Relocate Items

If anything nearby has become water logged, move these items to a drier location to start the drying out process. However, if it is something that contains wires, it’s best not to touch it.

  • Turn off the electricity

Don’t touch any switches that could be affected. Instead turn off the electricity at the main breaker to the effected room or area.

  • Turn off the water

Make sure the stop tap is off and turn on the taps to drain the water system. This could help decrease the amount of water leaking from the broken pipe.

  • Open windows

In the affected area, it can be a good idea to open windows and doors to start letting the room dry out right away.

  • Call All Star Plumbing and Restoration

All Star Plumbing and Restoration can not only repair the broken pipe, they can also handle the water damage the broken pipe has caused. They are available 24/7 for plumbing emergencies such as a broken pipe at 2 a.m. After they find and replace or fix the broken pipe, they will assess the water damage in the home. All Star Plumbing and Restoration can then begin the dry-out process to minimize any losses.



Tree Roots In Sewer Lines

Tree roots can wreak havoc on sewer lines in yards. Roots extended as far as seven times the height of the tree, easily reaching sewer systems, entering pipes and plugging up the system. There are a few ways to get rid of tree roots clogging up sewer lines:

1. Mechanically Cut Tree Roots

The most common technique for getting tree roots out of sewer lines is with a mechanical auger. This piece of equipment has a rotating spiral head with teeth similar to a saw blade. The auger is sent down the sewer line, clearing out tree roots that are inside. However, the roots will often grow back after this process.

2. Chemical Tree Root Removal

To kill the root structure and prevent it from growing back, chemicals should be used. There are many types used to do this, but copper sulfate crystals are very effective. The copper creates a poison zone in the soil outside of the pipe, which kills any roots that attempt to grow into the pipe.

3. Use a Hydro Jetter

This clears sewer lines by pumping up to 17 gallons a minute of water through the pipes. After it clears roots by breaking them with the fast-paced water jets, the pipes can be flushed with chemicals to get anything that might have been left.

4. Digging Up Sewer Lines

If it’s too difficult to clear the sewer line due to damage from the roots, it will need to be replaced. Tree roots can be removed at the same time to try and prevent it from happening again.

If the sewer lines keep getting clogged, contact All Star Plumbing and Restoration. They can investigate and discuss the best course of action with the homeowner.



Fun Toilet Facts

The chamber pot, dunny, house of office, loo, lavatory, porcelain throne. There are at least 100 different ways to say toilet in different languages and slang terms. For such a boring bathroom fixture, there sure are a lot of interesting facts about the toilet. Here are some All Star Plumbing and Restoration would like to share:

  • More people in the world have mobile phones than toilets
  • People have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being injured by a toilet
  • A third of people flush the toilet while they’re still sitting on it
  • Most American toilets flush in the key of E Flat
  • The average life expectancy of a toilet is 50 years
  • The White House has 30 bathrooms
  • The Pentagon uses about 636 toilet paper rolls per year
  • Toilets use more water than any other appliance in the house
  • A study found that women tend to wad toilet paper while men tend to fold it

Speaking of toilets, homeowners that are in need of a new one should contact All Star Plumbing and Restoration. If the toilet has reached its life expectancy of 50 years, or needs replaced in the event of a remodel, they can help install a new one. They have a ton of models to choose from ranging from basic to funky designs.


Past Plumbing Newsletters

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