May 30, 2016 Plumbing Services Newsletter - PVC Pipe

"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

Plumbing Myths and Facts

There are many myths about plumbing. Homeowners should be careful when it comes to listening to some so called “facts” about their toilets, faucets, and pipes. Here are some of the most common myths about plumbing:

1. A plunger can fix any clog

With small clogs, plungers can do the job. However, sometimes a plunger can make the situation worse, even causing the toilet to overflow. If a clog just won’t budge, call the experts at All Star Plumbing and Restoration.

2. Animals can’t swim into the toilet

Rats and snakes, two things many people fear, can actually crawl or slither their way through pipes and into the toilet. There have been a few escaped snakes in apartment buildings that have found their way into a neighbor’s toilet bowl.

3. Water drains counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere

The Coriolis force actually does not cause the water to drain in the opposite direction. The structure of the plumbing, like the jets in the toilet bowl, are what determine to drains motion of the water. This myth has been around for quite a while, and has spread widely.

4. Cat litter is flushable

 Many litters are deemed “flushable” as they are made of natural materials. The litter isn’t exactly the problem, though. Cat feces contains a parasite that is harmful to humans. Flushing it could pose a problem with wastewater.

5. Lightening can’t travel through pipes

Metal pipes make great conductors. Which is the reason lightening has traveled through plumbing before. Just be careful when deciding to take a shower or bath during a major storm. It might not be such a good idea.

6. Flushing goldfish is fine

Dead fish can be flushed down the toilet. Live ones should not be disposed of via the pipes. They can and will make their way through the sewer system. They could end up changing the ecosystem and not for the better. Goldfish can grow to be very large and reproduce at rapid rates, making them difficult to control.

7. Hot water heaters can’t explode

If safety mechanisms fail, such as the pressure relief valve, the hot water heater could in fact explode. It should be regularly serviced and inspected for safety. Call All Star Plumbing and Restoration for routine maintenance.

All Star Plumbing and Restoration can handle all plumbing and restoration needs for those in Boise, Meridian and throughout the Treasure Valley. If the plunger can’t get the job done or the water heater starts malfunctioning, give us a call.



Water Heater Problems

Hot water is essential for many things in the home such as washing dishes, laundry, taking a nice shower or bath, and more. When the water heater isn’t performing up to par, it can create an uncomfortable situation. Here are some of the more common issues associated with hot water heaters:

  • No Hot Water

This problem is especially frustrating. The most frequent cause depends on the type of water heater. If it’s an electric hot water heater, it could be the electric heating element. If it’s a gas hot water tank, the pilot light might be out. Another likely culprit could be a malfunctioning thermostat.

  • Small Amount of Hot Water

When someone is looking forward to a nice, hot shower but the water starts turning cold after only a couple of minutes, is can be a hugely disappointing. This problem usually has to do with the thermostat or a clogged flue/vent.

  • Colored Water

Turning on the faucet and seeing rusty or black-colored water is disturbing to say the least. When the metal element in the water heater is exposed to heat on a long term basis, this could cause it to rust and degrade. The metal element will need to be replaced.

  • Too Hot

Most people like a hot shower but when it becomes scalding hot, it can be dangerous. This again has to do with the thermostat. Generally, water heater manufacturers recommend setting the temperature on the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Smelly Water

If a rotten smell is coming from the faucet, there is probably a bacterial or fungal contamination in the water heater. The metal element lets out hydrogen gas, which bacteria feed on. If the water supply becomes contaminated, it could cause health problems.

For any of these water heater problems and more, contact All Star Plumbing and Restoration. We have homeowners’ hot water heater and plumbing needs covered.



Getting Jewelry out of the Drain

Many people keep their jewelry in the bathroom or take their rings off when washing dishes. This causes quite a bit of jewelry to get lost down drains. Of this happens, don’t panic just yet. There are a few tricks that might help to retrieve that lost piece of jewelry.

First, if there’s a chance the jewelry is magnetic, there could be a very simple solution. Tie a strong magnet to a string and dangle it down the drain. If it is magnetic, there’s a good chance the magnet will adhere to the jewelry and bring it back up.

If it’s not magnetic, go through these steps:

  1. Turn off the water supply under the sink. Turn the valve clockwise to do this.
  2. Locate the P-trap. If it’s visible and accessible, use a large set of channel lock adjustable pliers or a wrench to loosen the two slip nuts on either end of the trap.
  3. Put a small bucket under the sink to catch everything that falls out when this trap is removed.
  4. Remove the valve and sift through whatever falls into the bucker. It the drain is plugged up and nothing falls out, put on a pair of gloves and clean off the inside of the valve.
  5. Putting some hot, soapy water down the drain should loosen the gunk and let it fall into the bucket.
  6. After retrieving the piece of jewelry, replace the P-trap and tighten the slip nuts securely before turning the water supply back on.
Not everyone feels comfortable messing with the pipes in their home. Also, the P-trap might not be accessible. In that case, call a All Star Plumbing for help retrieving the lost item.



Fun Things to Make Using PVC Pipe

PVC pipe is cheap and versatile, making it a good material for projects. With school ending soon and the kids out for summer, parents are concerned with keeping them busy. Some of these PVC pipe projects might help with that, but parental supervision and help is necessary.

PVC Frame

Need a frame for a mirror or other wall decoration? Make it out of PVC pipe. Find pipe of different sizes and cut them into 1-1/2 to 3 inch pieces with a miter saw (parents). The varying diameters make it look funky and artsy.

Next, paint the pieces if white isn’t the color wanted. Once dry, arrange them in a frame shape using a template of some sort to get the size, layout and design right. Glue it all together once the design is together. Then hang it!

Succulent Planters

Succulents are the rage right now in gardening. These hardy plants need little watering, making them easy to care for. All that’s needed for this project is:

  • Cactus/succulent soil
  • Succulents
  • PVC coupling and caps

First, fit the caps into the couplings. Don’t worry about gluing them together. Then simply fill them with soil before putting the succulents in. Again, if white is too boring, PVC pipe is easily painted.

Tooth Brush Holders

If the countertop doesn’t have much space for a toothbrush holder, consider making this PVC holder that can be stored behind the cupboard door. Gather 1 inch PVC pipe, PVC pipe end caps (one for each holder), and SM Command hooks.

Cut the pipe into 4 ¼ inch sections. Drill a hole about ½ an inch from the end. Wash the pipes before adding the end caps to them. Install the command hooks on the inside of the cupboard door where the holders are to be placed. Let them set for an hour before hanging on the holders.

If there’s more than one toothbrush holder being hung up, stickers can be used to label the individual holders so nobody gets confused.


Past Plumbing Newsletters

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