November 1, 2018 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


Plumbing Contributes to a Greener World

Green PlumberEveryone likes to know they are doing their part to keep the earth clean and improve the environmental impact each of us is making, and All Star Plumbing and Restoration is no different.  We strive to do all we can to operate efficiently, to minimize waste, and reduce our carbon footprint.  Plumbers in general actually do a lot to participate in environmental protections.  Here are some of the biggest ways that plumbing, and plumbers, are helping improve the earth for everyone.

  1. Protecting one of our most precious resources, water – innovations in plumbing technology have dramatically improved water efficiency and reduced the amount of water used by consumers in their showerheads, faucets, toilets and other plumbing needs.  According to the EPA, “WaterSense-certified plumbing products meeting Environmental Protective Agency criteria have saved consumers 757 billion gallons of water and $14.2 billion in water and energy bills since 2006.”
  2. Helping in a water shortage - current products on the market for toilets and showerheads use at least 20% less water than products sold 10 years ago.  This can be especially important for areas affected by water shortages caused by droughts.  One interesting example is the city of Denver.  They stated that by replacing older toilets in the public schools with new, low-flow toilets they reduced their water use to a 40 year low back in 2014.  This of course led them to a new goal of replacing all city toilets to more efficient models by 2018 which should more than double the impact that the school toilets had.
  3. Saving water saves energy – the less water used, the less water transported as well as heated.  By reducing the amount of water transported through the city plumbing it reduces the amount of energy required to filter and move all of that water.  Once water gets to your home, more energy will be used to heat it, again if less water is consumed than less will need to be heated to replace it.
  4. Planning for the future – there are a whole group of plumbing part manufacturers focused on water sustainability for the future.  The goals continue to be to reduce consumption, reduce waste, and improve long-term sustainability.  Plumbers want to do all we can to preserve water for future generations.

Plumbing is an industry focused on people.  Whether that’s protecting the population from communicable diseases by providing clean drinking water, or protecting future populations by reducing water usage today, we’re all about serving our communities.





If you are contemplating a plumbing project you may at some point have to make a choice between ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) pipes.  This may bring you to a point of realizing that you have absolutely no idea what the differences are between the two, and thus no clue which is best for your project.  When you’re standing in the plumbing section at your local hardware store one easy way to know what you’re looking at is that ABS pipes are black and PVC pipes are white.  At least once you know which one you want you’ll know what to look for.

Before you spend too much time researching the two it’s probably best to start with a check of your local building codes.  In some areas the government has already decided for you which one you need to use, but for the majority of locations the decision will be up to you.  Once you’ve determined that the world is your oyster, at least the plumbing world, it’s time to do a comparison.  First the similarities,  both PVC and ABS are resistant to abrasion, are non-toxic, unlikely to collect condensation from cold water, good at keeping hot water hot, lightweight, low cost and not going to corrode.  So they both have a lot of similar features making them both great products for many plumbing projects.

They do have a few differences though.  PVC contains BPA which is a highly controversial chemical used to harden plastic.  It’s found in all sorts of plastic containers, many of which are used for food and water storage.  At this point the FDA’s position is that BPA’s are safe with no risk posed to humans.  That being said many toy and food manufacturers are moving away from the use of BPA’s so it may be worth considering.  Another difference is that ABS is more rigid and shock resistant while PVC is more flexible and durable.  ABS is better suited for extremely cold temperatures than PVC, but has been found to warp with too much exposure to direct sunlight.

The biggest difference comes in the installation.  PVC is a 2 step process during the install.  It must first be primed before the cement can be applied.  This can add substantial time as the primer must completely dry before you can move forward with the cement.  The ABS on the other hand skips straight to the cement.  This time difference can really add up on larger jobs.  If you ever have questions about the choice of piping you should use, or what the specialist from All Star Plumbing and Restoration is using on a job, feel free to ask.  We’re happy to talk through the options with you and make sure you’re comfortable with the final selection.




A Look inside Our Toolbox

Boise Plumber

When you open your front door and the technician from All Star Plumbing and Restoration greets you, you may be wondering “What are all those crazy tools he’s got?”  We thought we’d unlock the mystery to some of our most well used plumbing tools.  While this list is certainly not exhaustive it will cover the basics, and a few of our more unusual tools of the trade.

Pipe Wrench – this is probably the most common plumbing tool, and the most easily recognized by most of our customers.  What tends to surprise people though is the incredible variety of different pipe wrenches.  There are pipe wrenches for tight spaces, for odd angles, for close to the wall, for seized joints, and countless others.  On top of having all of these different types of pipe wrenches, they also come in a variety of different sizes for each different use as well.

Channel Lock Pliers – Channel lock pliers are tongue and groove pliers made by a company called, Channellock.   Essentially they are used for grabbing and pinching things.  Many plumbers will use 2 of them simultaneously – 1 to keep the pipe stable and 1 to unscrew it.  Depending on the individual plumber, you may find that channel lock pliers are replacing pipe wrenches as their tool of preference.

Hole Saw – this is tool used for a variety of trades, not just plumbing, and as the name implies it’s used to cut holes in concrete, wood, and masonry.

Drain Auger – in many scenarios this is referred to as a “snake” used to clear a drain when a plunger can’t get the job done. Essentially, it’s a slender, flexible metal cable with a crank that rotates and forces the cable through the plumbing to loosen the clog and remove it. In many cases the drain auger is all it takes to get water running cleanly through clogged plumbing.

Basin Wrench – this tool does just one thing. It’s used to remove or install a faucet.  It’s a critical tool to have in your plumbing toolbox.  It’s used to deal with the low-profile mounting nuts that are used to secure faucets on the underside of the sink.  There really is no other tool that can get into this space as well as a basin wrench.

Rib-joint Pliers – this type of plier is adjustable and great for gripping a variety of different sized nuts, bolts, pipes, and fittings. \

While our toolbox contains many other tools – hose cutters, metal files, fire-resistant cloth – just to name a few, these are the most commonly used and most specific to plumbing.  These are not necessarily the plumbing tools that every homeowner needs to own, but they are definitely some of the ones that we won’t leave home without.



8 Reasons to Become a Plumber

Become a plumber boise

Have you ever considered a career in plumbing?  Do you know a young person looking for a great career to pursue?  There are a whole host of great reasons to become a plumber in today’s world. It’s currently one of the most under-staffed trades and thus pay and other perks are on the upswing.

Great Pay – when it comes to the highest paid tradesmen, plumbers and electricians are at the top of the pile.  Given the current shortage of good plumbers, pay is likely only going to get better and better.

Job Security – there will literally always be a need for plumbers.  If you’re concerned about going into a field that you can work for the next 40 years, plumbing is a very stable option. 

Minimize Student Loan Debt – many college graduates are coming out of school with both a degree and a mountain of debt.  Plumbing has a distinct advantage here because most new plumbers attend a vocational school or community college rather than a more expensive university.  This means less time in school and less money spent.  Another great advantage to plumbing is that during your final training, an apprenticeship, you’ll actually be getting paid while you’re learning!

Market Shortage – as more and more baby boomers are retiring there are fewer and fewer master plumbers around.  This means that now could be the perfect time to apprentice under someone with decades worth of experience, build relationships with their clients, and be in the ideal position to step in when that person is ready to retire.

Change of Scenery – if you’re not someone who likes the idea of sitting in the same office day after day talking to the same people over and over again, than plumbing is for you.  You’re constantly going to new places and talking to new people.

Variety of Options – you may be thinking there’s just one type of plumbing, residential plumbing repair work, but actually there are endless plumbing options.  You could work on developing new plumbing technologies, work with cities and municipalities on water systems, design plumbing for new buildings, work in waste water treatment, you could even travel to foreign countries to provide educational services for areas just setting up water plants. 

Freedom – being a plumber means you always have the option of going into business for yourself.  This can mean incredible freedom to live and work where you want and when you want.  This can be an incredible asset when trying to balance work and family.

Pride in what you do – you may wonder if being a plumber is a respected job, but it definitely is.  Many people have tried to be DIY plumbers and failed, forcing them to pick up the phone to call a professional plumber.  Those people are incredibly appreciative that you’re knocking on the door to solve their problem and prevent costly damage to their home and most treasured belongings.

Becoming a plumber is a fantastic career with possibilities for growth and job satisfaction for years to come. Contact All Star Plumbing to learn more about getting started on a career in plumbing.



Past Plumbing Newsletters

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