At Allied Reddi-Rooter, November is a month that gives us pause. In honor of Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, we recognize, remember, and pray for the American men and women who fought — and for those who continue to fight — so that we may enjoy our American freedom. Some gave a little and some gave everything so that we might live in peace in this great nation.

American Flags and Red Poppies – Icons of Our Fight for Freedom
Remember those tiny red paper poppies in the lapel of every VFW man you ever met in the 1970s and ’80s? The legend of the poppy began with this famous poem, by Canadian John McCrae (1872 — 1918). During WW1, McCrae served as Major, military doctor and second-in-command of the 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. The field guns of his brigade’s batteries were in position on the west bank of the Ypres-Yser canal, just to the north of Ypres. The brigade had arrived there in the early hours of April 23. Legend has it that McCrae drafted this poem on the evening of May 2, 1915, in the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres. The poem was originally published in Punch magazine on December 8, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Where is Flanders Field?
The Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War I cemetery in the town of Waregem, Belgium. 411 American servicemen are buried or commemorated there.

A Free American Flag for You, From Allied Reddi-Rooter
During the month of November, mention this promotion (and where you saw it) when you call Allied Reddi-Rooter for service. Upon completion and payment for service, you will receive a top-quality 3×5 embroidered nylon American flag (retail value of $29.99).

If you’ve got an interest in plumbing, you’ve got a friend in Allied. In the Greater Cincinnati Area, the shortage of people with hands for pipefitting, a head for math, and a problem-solving, people-friendly personality is real. It hits home. It’s right here in our offices on Hunter Ave in Norwood.

If you believe in the adage that “the plumber protects the health of the nation,” and enjoy the daily challenges in keeping household and small business plumbing systems in good working order, we invite you to consider a career with Allied Reddi-Rooter. It’s a dirty, hands-on jo, but it’s incredibly rewarding and you’ll meet the most interesting people. Masterful customer service skills, a cheerful outlook, relationship building and, of course, analytical and hands-on engineering skills are required. A good understanding of math (including angles), hand tools, and piping strategies is a must.

Salary Scale – It Varies but It’s Good
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2013 median salary for a plumber was about $50,180. At the high-end, highly skilled and successful plumbers running their own shop can earn about $86,120; entry level positions earn about $29,590 annually. Plumbing is a career that still uses the apprentice model; apprentices typically earn about half the wages of a fully trained plumber.

How Do I Become A Plumber?
Time, patience, trade school course work, study and hands-on training are the formula for becoming a skilled plumber. US News & World Report notes that “Traditionally, a hopeful plumber begins a four- or five-year apprenticeship program to receive technical education and complete the required hours of on-the-job training under a licensed professional. Plumbers who have successfully completed their apprenticeship are known as journeymen.”
Typically, an apprentice plumber undergoes about 250 hours of course work, math, applied physics and chemistry. About 2,000 hours of paid, practical training alongside an experienced plumber is also required. Last but not least, safety training is crucial in this field because injuries are common in this line of work (plumbing is considered to be part of the construction industry). To work independently, one or more licenses are required.

Water You Waiting For? A career as a plumber is a noble one. And, once you become a plumber, you’ll never have to call one again (think of the savings!). If you are interested in working with an A-team of skilled, professional plumbers, talk with Ray today. 513-396-5300.

For those who love the idea of fancy blue (or green) water in the toilet bowl, consider this: over time, the cleaning chemicals in drop-in tank tablets can cause your toilet gaskets to slowly rot. While that colored water looks pretty in the toilet bowl, it can do a number on your budget if it’s slowly leaking into your floor.

Are Drop-In Tablets Really That Bad?
Yes, they are. With long-term use, the bleach and other chemicals in the tablets will damage the flush valve, flapper, plastic and rubber parts (e.g., gaskets and washers). A few notes:

• Toilets that are seldom flushed (such as in a guest room or basement) are the worst candidates for drop-in tablets. Without flushing, the tank water becomes chemical-laden, which eats away the rubber and plastic in your toilet parts.

• Review the manufacturer’s warning label on a new toilet tank. The label typically indicates that “damage caused by in-tank tablets will not be covered under product warranties. These products can seriously corrode the fittings in the tank. This damage can cause leakage and property damage.”

• When the tablets become partially dissolved, they can float into the flushing mechanism and restrict water flow, which can lead to flushing problems.

What’s the Best Way to Clean a Toilet?
The old-fashioned way – put on the big yellow plastic gloves, cover yourself in plastic and grab a scrub brush. Haha, just kidding (except about the gloves). Plumbers are generally pro-chemicals (THANKS, DuPont!) when heavy cleaning is required. Below is a list of the five best toilet cleaners, according to About.com. Our personal favorite is #5.

1 Best Disposable Toilet Cleaner: Clorox Toilet Wand
• Easy to use
• Reaches under the rim
• Disposable pads are pre-loaded with cleaner
• NOTE: Do not flush the pads or detachable heads.

2 Best Liquid Toilet Cleaner: Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner
• Gel formula provides good coverage
• Gel “stickiness” doesn’t run off when applied under the rim
• Heavy duty cleaning power

3 Best Natural Toilet Cleaner: Seventh Generation Natural Toilet Cleaner
• Environmentally friendly

4 Best Maintenance Toilet Cleaner: Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel
• Easy to use gel “stamps”
• Stamps dissolve over a period of about 5-7 days, depending on the number of flushes
• Prevents toilet residue buildup

5 Best Last Chance Toilet Cleaner: Lime-A-Way Toilet Bowl Cleaner
• Most powerful – do not let this cleaner remain on your toilet (or tub/shower) porcelain for more than 2 minutes (it will erode the glaze)
• Use in a well-ventilated area; avoid breathing in the fumes
• Caustic
• Awesome for getting the J-O-B done

Water You Waiting For? If you are having toilet troubles – leaks, slow flushes or clogs, Allied Reddi-Rooter is available to assist 24/7. Ray’s team will have your water flowing in a jiffy. Call for a free quote: (513) 396-5300.