November 19, 2015 Plumbing Services Newsletter - Fire 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

Be Aware of Holiday Fire Hazards - Fire Damage

The holidays are a time for decorations, festivities, family gatherings and more. However, the holidays also bring with them a variety of potential fire hazards. Fire damage might be repairable, but the devastation is not. Know the dangers and take precautions to avoid a potential fire this holiday season.

1. Dried-Out Christmas Trees

Live trees are gorgeous and can make the house smell amazing, but must be cared for properly. If a tree is left un-watered, it will dry out. If lights are then left on the tree for long periods of time, the tree can catch fire quickly and become fully engulfed in flames in as little as 30 seconds.

Those who purchase live trees should check the water level in the tree stand daily to keep the tree from drying out. Don’t leave lights on overnight or when gone during the day. Also, once the holidays are over, properly dispose of the tree as soon as possible.

2. Overloaded Electrical Circuits

Holiday lights can light up the exterior of the house and create a beautiful holiday display, but they can also overload the circuits, creating the risk of a fire. Many older homes aren’t prepared for the electrical load limits of today, which puts them more at risk.

When hanging up lights, don’t use indoor lights outside and vice versa. Avoid plugging too many lights into one socket or stringing more than three strands of lights together. With LED lights becoming more common, remember they should not be connected to a non-LED strand of lights.

3. Candles

Candles can bring holiday scents to life and create a cozy atmosphere. However, the open flame from candles poses a constant threat of potential fire and should be kept away from flammable materials.

Candles should be in a candleholder and placed on a stable surface. Make sure they are kept safely away from children and pets too. Extinguish them before going to bed or leaving the house.

4. Fireplaces

Lighting a fire in the fireplace is one of the coziest ways to stay warm during the winter months. Since fireplaces only get used a few months out of the year, they should be professionally serviced once a year before use.

When starting a fire, avoid using excessive paper or flammable liquid. Metal or glass screens should be used to prevent embers from floating out into the house. Fires should not be left unattended for long periods of time.

5. Space Heaters

Space heaters are great for heating small areas or for providing extra warmth in houses with poor insulation. They’re also one of the largest fire hazards during the winter months. Be sure to follow instructions when using space heaters to avoid accidentally starting a fire.

Make sure the space heater has the necessary clearance space around it and is not plugged into an extension cord. Always turn it off when not in the room or when going to bed.

By taking precautions, homeowners can enjoy the holiday season without worrying about fire hazards. However, even with precautions, fires can happen. Call All Star Plumbing and Restoration to have the fire damage examined and repaired.


Tap Water Colors and Odors Explained

Turning on the faucets and seeing unclear water can be off-putting. What’s even worse is if it smells abnormal. What do these colors and odors mean? Is the water unsafe? Here’s a guide to what could be wrong when water comes out abnormal:


  • Red/Brown- This typically means there’s iron or manganese present in the water. It can stain sinks or discolor laundry, but isn’t regarded as dangerous.
  • Yellow- This is common with surface water supplies and shallow wells, but isn’t dangerous to drink.
  • Blue/Green- Usually this is due to copper in the water, or water flowing through copper pipes. If it is present in the water at a high enough percentage, it can cause some illnesses such as vomiting and stomach pains. Those who use well water should have their water tested for copper.
  • Cloudy/Foamy- this is due to turbidity, which is caused by finely divided particles in the water. These particles, either organic or inorganic, won’t cause harm to those drinking the water, but could be harmful to pipes and sinks.

Tastes and Odors:

  • Chlorine- When water is treated, often they add chlorine to kill off bacteria. It might feel like drinking pool water, but it’s not harmful.
  • Metallic Taste- This is generally caused by iron and manganese and is not harmful.
  • Rotten Egg Odor- This happens when water flows though areas with decaying organic deposits underground. In large quantities it can be toxic to aquarium fish but shouldn’t be a concern for humans.
  • Turpentine Taste/Odor- This can be due to Methyl Tert butyl Ether, which is a volatile organic compound that has contaminated the water. It’s unlikely that it will be at a high enough level to cause harmful effects.

If the water coming out of the faucets isn’t clear or smells bad, call the local water company first to see if they know what’s going on. If the problem isn’t on their end, have All Star Plumbing and Restoration examine the pipes to see if they can determine the cause. It most cases it won’t be harmful, but it’s a good idea to check.


Expectations When Hiring a Plumber

When looking for a good plumbing service, homeowners hope to find one that provides value, quality and expertise. Homeowners should be aware that plumbers, like many other service providers, should have certain qualifications before even being considered for the job. Here are some expectations homeowners should have when searching for the right plumbing service:

1. Proper Licensing

Plumbers should be up-to-date and compliant with local licensing requirements. Also, plumbers should have the proper insurance to cover them against potential damage that could happen during the job.

2. References

Many quality plumbers come with references and can provide them if asked. When checking with references, homeowners should ask about the quality, timeliness, cost and other concerns they might have.

3. Estimates

Homeowners often compare companies through getting estimates for a certain job. Without an estimate they can get a surprise bill at the end of the project. Make sure to ask whether the estimate is guaranteed, or whether to expect the price might fluctuate.

4. Emergency Work

When finding a plumber, and hopefully retaining them for all their plumbing needs, homeowners should check to see if they do emergency plumbing work and how that fits in pricing. Some don’t provide emergency plumbing services. All Star Plumbing and Restoration does so their plumbers are available 24/7.

5. Services Provided

Not all plumbers cover every plumbing mishap. Ask upfront what services they provide, and what they have experience with. All Star Plumbing and Restoration covers a wide range of plumbing issues as well as restoration services.


What to Do with Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare and for the most part can be prevented. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable and homeowners find themselves with a lot of problems. Find out how to identify frozen pipes and what to do with them.

Identifying Freezing Pipes

For pipes that are visible, if they are covered in frost or look like they’re bulging, there’s a good chance they’re frozen. Also, if water won’t flow out of the faucet or refill the bowl after the toilet is flushed, that’s another sign of frozen pipes.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

The first step homeowners should take when they realize their pipes are frozen is turn off the water supply. Whether just to that section of plumbing or the whole house, it could stop flooding once the pipes thaw. Using some heating component such as a hair dryer, space heater or heat lamp to thaw the pipe can be helpful but often a leak goes undetected until the water is turned back on, leading to water damage in the affected area.

In Case of Burst Pipe

If a pipe does burst, the water supply should be shut off and then a plumber should be contacted immediately. While waiting for them to arrive, homeowners can try to dry the area as much as possible.

All Star Plumbing and Restoration is just a call away if the pipes do freeze this winter. They can thaw them, install new piping and seal cracks in existing pipes. If a pipe does happen to burst, they also handle water damage as part of their restoration services.


Past Newsletters

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