How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

No one wants to deal with a clogged kitchen sink, whether it’s a slow drain issue or fully clogged. At some point you will probably find yourself in a situation where the clog is tougher than drain cleaner (which we do not recommend you using!) And what could make it more complicated is if the item causing the clog is something important that was accidentally dropped in the drain and you are hoping to get back.

Here are a couple quick things you can try, but to prevent damage we always suggest calling in the professionals.

1. DIY Drain Cleaner: How to Clear a Slow Draining Kitchen Sink Clog

Chemical drain cleaners are not good for your pipes or the environment, and they can be expensive! You can use vinegar and baking soda for an environmentally friendly solution. Follow these steps:

  • Remove kitchen sink drain cover or sink stopper
  • Pour ½ cup baking soda in drain
  • Pour 1 cup white vinegar in drain
  • Wait 10 minutes & then pour boiling water down drain

Often times the chemical reaction from this solution is enough to dissolve the slow drain and repair the clogged drain.

2. Directions for Plunging a Clogged Kitchen Sink

This method is best to use for standing water clogs. Remember, use a kitchen plunger rather than a bathroom plunger to avoid spreading germs. Follow these steps:

  • If you have a double sink, then make sure to plug up the sink drain on the opposite side with a wet rag to help deliver pressure directly to the clog.
  • Fill the clogged side of sink with a small amount of water for the plunger.
  • Start plunging (remember it is all about the up motion, not pushing down). Hopefully, any food or paper products locked in the pipes will budge when you do this.
  • If plunging won’t fix the problem, you do have a few other options for resolving a clogged kitchen sink.

3. Use a Drain Snake to Clear Out the Clog

If the above methods did not work, then the clog may be farther down the drain so you will need to follow these steps:

  • Run a drain snake down the kitchen drain. These can be purchased at your local hardware store.
  • If this still doesn’t work, try taking the trap beneath the sink apart and snake the drain more directly. Be sure to put a bucket beneath the trap to catch any dirty water. Then begin snaking the drain.

4. Use a Wet Vacuum or “Shop Vac”

Wet and dry vacuums have a lot of suction.

  • Set a wet vacuum to “liquids” and cover the vent
  • Create a tight seal around the drain and cover the overflow tube with your finger or a rag.

       The power of a wet vacuum can often be enough to draw the clogged material up and unclog the drain. Check the bag to identify the source of the clog.  A wet vacuum can also work when you need to recover jewelry from a drain.

5. Last Step:  Call in a Professional Plumber

When you have tried everything and nothing has worked, it is time to call a licensed plumber like Eastern Plumbing at 252-758-7579.

How to Maintain a Water Heater

One of the most important parts of your home is your water heater. It provides hot showers, clean dishes, and fresh laundry, so if it breaks on you, it could create some big issues. The average lifespan of a water heater is about 11 years, but without proper maintenance it might not make it that long. Here are some things you can do to keep it working for as long as possible:

Check the Temperature

Pay attention to your water heater’s thermostat. A lot of manufacturers set the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit by default, which is hotter than most households need. This can cause scalding, as well as accelerated mineral buildup and corrosion in the pipes. To help prevent you tank from damage, a recommended setting for water heater maintenance is no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Perform a Mini Flush on Your Tank

It is a good idea to flush out about one-quarter of the tank in your water heater a few times each year. This can easily be done by turning off the cold-water supply, hooking up a garden hose to the drain valve and then running the water until it looks clear. Draining the tank will help clear away sediment and maintain the heating efficiency of your water heater.

If this isn’t something you’ve ever done, or feel comfortable doing, call the professionals at Eastern Plumbing to help – but our first tip is to make sure you turn off the power or gas supply for safety before beginning.

Test the Pressure Relief Valve

A pressure relief valve that is working properly should release a burst of hot water into the drainpipe after you raise and then lower the test lever. This should be done regularly to check the pressure and to clear out debris.  If the valve isn’t letting out a big burst each time, then you need to call a professional plumber to get a new one installed.

Water heaters are complex and require regular maintenance. If you have any problems that you cannot solve yourself, call Eastern Plumbing and let us take care of it for you.

Plumbing Safety Tips for Kids

It is just a fact of life that kids are curious. But when it comes to their favorite toy swimming in the toilet, it is probably time to teach them some plumbing safety. You should show your kids what to do, and not do, but also show them safety measures they can use in case of an emergency.

Safety:  Water Valve

As kids get older, they could find themselves at home alone. Go ahead and show them where the water valve cut off is located. So, in case of an emergency, like a flooded basement or overflowing toilet, they can shut it off.

Safety:  Tools for the Job

We think kids should know the basic difference in what tools are used for different things such as plumbing, carpentry and mechanics. Some common tools used for plumbing include a plunger, basin wrench, plumber or drain snake and a pipe wrench. Just like being able to change a car’s tire can come in handy, knowing how to use these tools could prevent, or stop, any future accidents.

Safety:  Toilet & Sink are Backed Up

Kids can be taught at an early age how to identify and remedy a backed-up sink and toilet. First of all, teach them what can and cannot go in the toilet before they start wanting to watch their toys swim. 

Parents, no matter what the packaging says, DO NOT flush baby wipes! They don’t break down like toilet paper, so you will end up with a backed-up sewage tank. And teach your children not to flush Q-tips, cotton swabs or feminine hygiene products down the toilet. This can lead to septic tank issues which could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

The same approach can be applied to the garbage disposal. Much like the toilet, there are things that do not belong in your garbage disposal. Some kids may like to hear the sound of the grinder tearing up food, but everything isn’t meant for the disposal or your pipes. Some of these include celery, coffee grounds, eggshells, grease, bones, and pasta – just to name a few!

Safety:  Water Heater

Your teens should know how to turn off the water heater, especially if your home has a gas water heater. For electric water heaters, there should be a breaker in the panel box that can shut it off with the flick of a switch.

Another safety issue to teach kids with regards to water heaters is storage, what can and cannot be stored by the water heater.  Toys, paints and solvents and combustible items can start a fire if they are stored too close to the water heater.

At Home Water Science Activities for Kids

Are you looking for fun and interactive outdoor projects to work on with your kids? Then start by gathering some everyday items from around your home so you and your kids can perform these simple water science projects. Teach your kids the science of water with these fun projects!

1. Basic Water Science Experiments

    • Floating vs. sinking: Gather some of your child’s favorite toys along with other household items — measuring cups, plastic toy animals, small plastic cars, blocks, an egg, and coffee filters. Fill a bowl with water and drop the items into the bowl to see which sink and which  float. Older children can make predictions about which they think will sink or float.

For an advanced water science trick, show how the egg sinks when placed into the water alone but floats when sitting on the coffee filter.

    • Air bubbles: Show the magic of water by experimenting with air bubbles submerged in water. Stuff a piece of a paper towel into the bottom of a small cup. Then, with the top down, submerge the cup in the water inside a bowl. When you take it out of the water, have your child try to explain how the paper towel stays dry.
    • Colored bubbles: Drop food coloring down the side of a clear cup. Submerge the cup, top down, into the bowl or tub of water. Watch as the colored dye dissolves into the water, but above, the air bubble stays in place.

2. An Anti-Gravity Water Trick

You will only need a glass, a t-shirt and water for this science trick. To begin, place the cloth over the mouth of the glass, then use your finger to press a slight indent into the fabric. This will help the glass fill with water and dampen the material. Then, fill the glass about three-quarters full of water, and pull the fabric tight over the cup.

At this point, you have two options — either flip the glass quickly, using one hand to hold the fabric tightly, or place one hand over the top and use the other to hold the material and slowly turn the glass upside down. Either way, you will notice the water will not pour out. This trick uses gravity and the high surface tension in water to keep everything in place using the cloth. Now, see what happens to the water if you dab detergent or other liquids on the cloth.

3. The Pepper and Water Experiment

The pepper and water science experiment explores the surface tension of water. For this project, you will need a shallow dish, pepper, dishwashing liquid, and water.

Fill the dish with water and sprinkle pepper over the top, then dip your finger in the water — nothing will happen. Then, do the same with a bit of detergent on the tip of your finger, and watch as the pepper retreats to the edges of the plate. With the detergent addition, the surface tension of the water is lowered.

We hope you enjoyed these experiments with your children, for common or emergency plumbing services and installation, call Eastern Plumbing! Our experienced technicians are available 24/7 at 252-758-7579.

Teaching Kids About Plumbing

Teaching kids about plumbing is a great way for them to learn helpful skills like conserving water and other responsible behaviors.

At an early age kids are fascinated with water, toilets, and everything else they can get their hands on. Teach them what is and is not okay to do in the bathroom to help prevent plumbing issues in the future.

Kids should be taught not to flush:

  • Toys – it’s okay to play with toys in the bathtub, it’s not okay to give the toys a bath in the toilet
  • Wipes – baby wipes, cleaning wipes, “flushable” wipes
  • Q-Tips – they are small, but they can still cause an obstruction in the pipes
  • Dental Floss – it can snag into something and cause blockage.
  • Hair – hair from the shower drain or the hair brush should go in the trash.
  • Diapers – Kids who are learning to potty train should be taught not to take off their diaper and put it in the toilet.

Extra tip: As kids brush their teeth, make sure they keep the water off until they are ready to rinse, this helps the family conserve water and helps lower the utility bill.

Kids who are old enough to do dishes

Helping out can be fun and instills good habits early on. Make sure they know:

  • What NOT to put down the garbage disposal (bones and grease.) You can put food such as  pasta and pieces of veggies in the disposal, but in moderation. This means not a whole pot of pasta or whole carrots😊
  • How to properly clean the dishes before loading them into the dish washer.
  • To only run the dishwasher when full which helps save water.

Old enough to be home alone

Giving your kids independence also means giving them responsibility. When they are home alone, make sure they know how to:

  • Shut the water off  in case there is an emergency leak.
  • Plunge the Toilet if it becomes clogged.
  • Plunge the sink if it backs up.

Teaching kids to be independent and teaching them how to handle simple plumbing issues will be helpful for you  now and in the future. We hope that you will never need us, but if you do, Eastern Plumbing is available 24/7 for all your emergency needs.

At Home Outdoor Water Activities for Kids

With summer comes more hours of daylight for families to be outdoors. So, now’s the perfect time to try these low-budget water activities to add some family fun, and with the help of your outdoor plumbing.

These fun outdoor activities are sure way to bring a smile to you and your kids, as well as keep them occupied for hours.

Slip Sliding Fun

One low-cost way to have fun outdoors is running through the sprinklers. It is not only fun for the young but also the young at heart – we dare you not to smile like a little kid!
Running through the sprinklers can be fun for the entire family and will also keep the yard looking green. If you don’t have a sprinkler, the kids can take turns holding a finger over the hose to make your own sprayer, or you can buy a hose nozzle with different settings.
It’s also easy to set up a homemade water slide for your kids and their friends by laying out a big sheet of plastic or a tarp, then spraying it down & keeping it wet, and rubbing it with some dish detergent or shampoo to make it slippery. What a fun way to stay cool!

Hose Fight Alternative

With these hot days, it might be tempting to have a water hose fight. But, since Eastern Plumbing is interested in helping you save money on your water bill, we are suggesting water gun fights instead! This is just as fun and will save you water and money in the process.

Not only do water guns allow for more strategic fun, they also use less water than a hose. As an added bonus, water guns are much easier to run away with and avoid attacks.

Water Balloon Battle

Another great activity is a water balloon fight. You can make teams of boys vs. girls, parents vs. kids or just throw water balloons at each other! Much like the hose vs. water guns issue, using water balloons also saves water.
Whether it is a friendly competition or not, water balloon fights are a great activity for family and friends alike and offer the same fun a snowball fight would offer in the winter.
So, this summer, we hope you will find time to enjoy these fun water activities we’ve shared with you! At Eastern Plumbing we want you to make the most of the hottest days of the summer, and just maybe this will become a new family tradition.

Using a Plunger Your Sink

We know, we know, that title may sound a little funny. You may have never thought about using a plunger on your sink. The plunger is just for the toilet, right? But when you have a clogged sink, what do you do about it? We’ve heard of pouring hot water down the drain, using chemicals, and even trying to fish out the clog with a hanger. While some of these may work, more often than not a plunger is actually the best option for your sink. A plunger is a great option for unclogging drains all around your home, provided you know what you are doing.

Remember, plungers are not a one-size-fits-all tool. You need to use the right one for the job. When using a plunger on the sink, we recommend using one that is flat on the bottom, as opposed to a protruding flange plunger. Because sinks are flat on the bottom, using a flat plunger as well will help create a tight seal.

Once you feel you have a tight seal, gently compress the plunger, and use force to pull it back up. Continue this even up-and-down motion. The suction from the plunger will pull the clog up and out of the sink, as opposed to becoming further stuck in the drain. Once the clog is freed, run hot water for several minutes to flush any debris down the drain. This can dissolve soap scum and help prevent new clogs from forming.

Even if you correctly use a plunger on your sink, you may still find that the drain is clogged. This is common! Don’t start taking the whole sink apart to remove the clog though. Instead, call the experts at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville and New Bern, NC. Our professionally trained plumbers have the knowledge to handle this job. Remember, when plungers are not getting the job done, a local professional is just a phone call away!

How to Increase Your Water Pressure

Starting or ending the day with a weak shower isn’t satisfying for anyone. When you start to notice that your water pressure is low, it usually doesn’t rank high on your priorities. If you are a homeowner, you probably have other around-the-house fixes that seem more important, and you just learn to live with low water pressure. But you shouldn’t have to tolerate the trickle. Here are a few things to try to see if it is an easy fix or if it’s time to call a plumber.

Ask Your Neighbors

If you live in a neighborhood, ask around to see if others are having the same problem. If so, the issue could be the city’s water system. Just like the pipes in your home, these systems are also subject to leaks, clogs, buildup, and corrosion.

Clear the Clogs

Overtime, fixtures, valves, and pipes can develop a buildup of mineral deposits. In extreme cases, this buildup can prevent water from freely flowing through. This will leave you with a pitiful drip when you turn on the shower or sink. While some extreme cases can require a professional’s help; you can take care of clogs at your system’s exit points by dissolving any minerals that are gumming up the works inside your faucet fixtures and shower heads.

Place an open zip-lock bag filled with vinegar over your shower head or faucet, tie it in place with some string, and leave it overnight to soak. Rinse off your cleaned fittings the next morning. If this trick doesn’t work and you believe you have a more severe mineral clog inside the pipes, call Eastern Plumbing and we’ll take a look.


Corroded pipes are a common cause of low water pressure. If you live in an older house with galvanized iron pipes, they could have accumulated corrosion inside over the years. The accumulated corrosion eventually restricts the water flow. Other common piping issues that cause water pressure issues are debris and kinks in piping as well as improperly sized piping.

Check the Valve

Your home has a main water valve, usually located near the meter, which controls the flow of water into your home’s pipes. Locate the valve and check to see if it is completely open. Sometimes the valve gets accidentally turned during routine repairs and maintenance. If, for example, your drop in pressure coincides with recent work you have had done on your home, your contractor may have turned off the main water supply and at the end of the job only partially reopened the valve. This resulted in restricted flow and reduced pressure. Fortunately, the valve is easy for you to adjust yourself!

Look Out for Leaks

Damaged pipes may result in leaking water as it travels through your pipes, leaving you with just a trickle at the tap. To determine if your main pipe has any damage, make sure all faucets indoors and outdoors are turned off, then turn off the water valve in your home and write down the number that appears on your water meter. Return in two hours and take the meter reading again. An increased reading is a sign of a leak—and a sign that it is time to give us a call.

If you discover any concerns or want a professional to take a look at why your home’s water pressure is not up to par, contact Eastern Plumbing today!

3 Reasons You Should Go Hands-Free

We’ve all seen hands-free faucets before. You know, the ones at restaurants, stores and offices that automatically turn on when it senses your hands below. But these aren’t just for commercial buildings, they are now making their way into residential homes as well! If you’re building a home, in the middle of a remodel, or just simply thinking about updating the faucets in your home, hands-free may be a great option for you. Here are three of the top reasons hands-free faucets may be the perfect fit for your home.

1. They’ll Conserve Water

Did you know that every time you wash your hands you use approximately 2.2 gallons of water per minute? That sounds like a lot of water for such a short period of time, right? Because hands-free faucets turn off automatically when your hands aren’t actually under them, you’ll see instant water savings. Think about it, while you’re soaping up your hands, for at least 20 seconds, the water won’t be running! Not only is conserving water better for the environment, but it can be better for your wallet as well. You may even start to see your water bill decreasing!

2. They’ll Stay Clean

We can probably all agree that cleaning the bathroom is one of the most dreaded household chores. With hands-free faucets it can make that job a little easier. You won’t have soap buildup, dirt or other mess lingering on them like you would a normal faucet. This is true for the kitchen too! If you’re cooking or doing other messy tasks, you can easily wash your hands without transferring that mess to your fixture. There is aesthetic value in a hands-free faucet because it won’t get as visibly dirty as its counterparts.

3. They’ll Prevent Germs From Spreading

Not having to actually touch the faucet has more than just visual benefit; it will help prevent the spread of germs. Germs and other particles often linger on faucets, which means they can easily transfer to your hands when cutting on and off the water. Especially, for families with children these faucets are a great addition to help keep everyone healthy.

If you have any questions about options for hands-free faucets or need help with installation, call the professionals at Eastern Plumbing.

The Warning Signs of a Main Sewer Line Blockage

Trivia time! What is one of the most vital parts of your household plumbing? It’s the main sewer line! If your sewer lines become damaged or clogged it can cause a number of costly issues to your property. So, the sooner you detect sewer line blockages or a breakage, the more likely you’ll be able to have it fixed without a huge hassle or cost. The longer damage sits, the worse it gets over time. To help you avoid a costly repair, here are a few warning signs indicating there could be a blockage in your main sewer line.

1. Sinks and Bathtubs Draining Slowly

When there is a blockage in the sewer line, you may notice that your sinks, shower, bathtubs, and even toilet may be draining slowly or not at all. Multiple plumbing fixtures may be affected by this problem.

2. Gurgling Sounds

If you hear gurgling sounds when you flush the toilet, this can mean a blockage in the drain system.

3. Constant Need to Plunge

If you’re having to break out the plunger more frequently than you use to, this is a clear indication that the real clog might be further downstream in your sewer system. This also applies to the kitchen sink and other appliances. Remember, if you have more than one slow drain in your house, this is pretty good indicator that the source of the problem is a clogged sewer.

If you are experiencing any of these issues with your home’s plumbing, contact Eastern Plumbing right away. Waiting could create an even bigger issue or you to deal with! A clogged sewer can’t be cured with a plunger or over-the-counter chemicals. To clear sewer lines of roots and/or debris, you will need the help of a professional. Eastern Plumbing also offers video inspection of sewer lines to ascertain where the blockage is and determine the cause! With this information, we are able to recommend repair options to the homeowner. Give us a call today!

5 Reasons Why Toilets Get Clogged

We’re sure that we can all agree that the toilet is probably the most used fixture in your home. So, dealing with a clogged commode is extremely frustrating – and sometimes requires unpleasant clean up. To understand why your toilet may be getting clogged and help you prevent future blockages, the pros at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville, NC have put together a list of five reasons why toilets get clogged. So, keep your eyes out for these clogging culprits and keep the plunger where it belongs – stored away!

1. First-Generation, Low-Flow Toilets

Many modern toilets utilize a low-flow design aimed at saving water. But, some of the earliest models of these toilets may lack the necessary pressure to clear the internal trap and drain, meaning that they often develop clogs. You can find the stamped date on the back of your toilet. If it was made in the mid-1990s, you could have one of these first-generation, low-flow toilets. If you have one of these toilets, but are not in a rush to replace it, you can reduce clogging by using less toilet paper and avoiding clog-prone items. But, if clogging persists, the best solution is to install a more up-to-date toilet.

2. Flushing Non-Flushable Items

Remember, your toilet is designed to only dispose of certain material. Paper towels, wet wipes, dental floss and other items can restrict drainage and cause constant back up in your toilet. Check out our blog, 8 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet, to learn more! Talk to others in your household about what is and isn’t safe to flush. If you have young kids, it may be good to keep a list of non-flushable items close to the toilet. A big trash can near the toilet is a great idea too!

3. Blocked Toilet Trap

The toilet trap is a curved part of the porcelain that is built into the side of the base of the toilet. It is there to hold standing water and keep sewer gases from entering your home. Items can clog the trap and cause a backed-up toilet. A few minutes with a plunger should loosen any blockage and remove the clog. But, for more stubborn clogs, it may be necessary to use a toilet auger. To keep this from happening, use less toilet paper and don’t flush ANYTHING down your toilet that shouldn’t be flushed. By following these simple steps, your toilet trap should stay clear!

4. Blocked Plumbing Vent

Toilets, and other plumbing appliances, have vents to funnel fresh air into and out of the system, which prevent air-pressure vacuums that can block drain flow. Over time, these vents can become closed with leaves, sticks, animal nests and other debris. A blocked toilet vent will reduce the flow and cause clogs over and over again. The best solution is to hire the pros at Eastern Plumbing to clear your vents. Because blockages are hard to spot and require special tools to remove, this isn’t a chore you need to try to tackle yourself!

5. Main Sewer Line Problems

If you are experiencing continuous clogs in multiple toilets and even in other drains, this is usually a sign of a larger sewer line problem. Clogs in multiple fixtures are often caused by a buildup of material, toilet paper and other non-flushable items in both the sewer and main drain lines. Tree roots can even puncture your sewer line, letting in sediment. Problems in the main sewer line can cause major issues inside and outside of your home, and even threaten the health of your family. Sewer-related problems should always be tackled by licensed and experienced professionals.

If you are experiencing clogs, give Eastern Plumbing a call today. Servicing Greenville and New Bern, North Carolina, our experienced pros can diagnose and fix your clogging issues!

How to Maintain a Water Heater

Your water heater probably isn’t something that you think about often. That is, until it stops working! You probably don’t even realize how many times a day you and your family rely on the hot water heater. Your hot water heater works hard to provide you with warm showers, clean clothes and sparkling pots and pans. Did you know, the average life span of a water heater is 11 years? But, without proper maintenance, it may not make it that long! To keep your water heater in top shape, and avoid breakdowns, here are a few ways to show some love to this often-neglected appliance. Note: These tips are specifically for traditional (tank) water heaters.

1. Check and Adjust the Temperature

It is important to keep an eye on the temperature that your water heater thermostat is set too. By default, most manufactures set the temperature to 120 degrees. This is temperature is adequate for most households need. At Eastern Plumbing, we recommend setting the water heater thermostat no higher than 130 degrees. With higher temperatures, you increase the chances of scalding and severe burns. Lower temperatures can extend the life expectancy of your water heater and will also save you money on your electricity bill.

If you have a gas water heater, it is very easy to adjust the temperature. Just locate the thermostat on the tank. For an electric hot water heater, first you need to shut off power to the appliance by flipping the breaker in your service panel. Next, remove the covers and pull back any insulation to reveal the thermostat. You will need to use a screwdriver to change the temperature. Make sure to set both thermostats to the same temperature.

2. Drain the Tank

It is a good idea to flush out your hot water heater tank once per year. Draining the tank gets rid of any sediment that has built up and can clog water lines. A buildup of sediment also reduces your water heater’s energy efficiency.

Draining the tank is a very simple process. Simply, hook a standard garden hose to the drain valve located near the base of the tank. Place the other end of the hose in an area where the hot water and sediment will not cause any damge. Then open the drain spigot to flush sediment from the bottom of the heater. Allow the water to flow until it runs clear.

3. Test the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve is a safety mechanism that prevents your water heater from exploding if too much pressure builds up. If the pressure inside the tank gets too high, the valve will open automatically to release it. Obviously, this is a pretty important part of your hot water heater!

To test the pressure relief valve, place a bucket under the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe is a long, copper or plastic pipe leading down from the tank. Once your bucket is under the pipe, lift the lever. If water comes out of the pipe, you are good to go. If lifting the lever doesn’t open the valve or the valve leaks after you test it, it needs to be replaced.

If you have any questions about water heater maintenance or need any kind of water heater repair, contact the experts at Eastern Plumbing. We have pros experienced in installation and repair of both traditional and tankless water heaters. And, because we know water heater problems can be a real mess and inconvenient for you and your family, Eastern Plumbing offers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency service. Give us a call today!

Smart Technology To Save Money on Your Utility Bill

Smart technology is starting to become a norm in households today. Homeowners are implementing all kinds of smart technology to help save money on heating and cooling. However, many are overlooking the smart technology that is available for lowering water usage. Thankfully, there are several in-home technology products that will save you money on your water bills and help the environment at the same time!

The average U.S. household uses about 90 gallons of water every day and a lot of this water is wasted. Showers and toilet flushing are the two biggest culprits when it comes to wasting water with dishwashers, washing machines and outdoor watering right behind them.

Here are some everyday activities and their water usage:

  • Taking a shower for 10 minutes with a regular shower head uses 50 gallons of water.
  • Taking a shower for 10 minutes with a water saving shower head uses 20 gallons of water.
  • Flushing an old toilet will use up to 3  gallons of water.
  • Flushing the toilet with a low flow, flushing toilet uses 1.6 gallons of water.
  • Using a regular dishwasher uses 16 gallons of water.
  • Using an EnergyStar rated dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water.
  • Taking a standard bath uses 36 gallons of water.
  • Outdoor watering for 30 minutes uses 60 gallons.

Other than cutting down on water consumption by taking shorter showers and doing fewer loads of laundry, here are a couple of things you can add to your home to help reduce your water usage:

  • Energy-efficient washers: Typically, an ENERGY STAR washing machine uses 25 percent less electricity than its non-eco-friendly counterparts do, and close to 50 percent less water! You’ll save even more money by washing your clothes in cold water.
  • High-efficiency faucet aerator: Cut your water consumption in half by installing a high-efficiency aerators on your faucets.
  • Smart toilets: Can help you save water, as well as eliminate toilet paper waste. The EPA states that toilets labeled with WaterSense labels can reduce water usage by 20-60% and save around 13,000 gallons of water per year.

When it comes to the latest plumbing trends and the up-and-coming use of smart technology, more and more plumbers are being asked to install more efficient and advanced systems.  Whether you’re looking to upgrade your systems with new technologies or simply looking for a better, more eco-friendly way to use resources, Eastern Plumbing can help you make the transition. Our team is experienced and ready to help so, give us a call today! 

Fun Toilet Facts for World Toilet Day

Here are some fun facts about toilets we thought we’d share with you on World Toilet Day:

  1. More people in the world have mobile phones than toilets.
  2. Your smartphone has about 20 times more bacteria on it than your toilet handle.
  3. The average person spends about 3 months of their lifetime sitting on a toilet.
  4. Over $100,000 US dollars was spent on a study to determine whether most people put their toilet paper on the holder with the flap in front or behind. The conclusion: three out of four people have the flap in the front.
  5. The average person goes to the toilet about 2,500 times a year.
  6. The average desk has 400 times more bacteria on it than the average toilet seat.
  7. Did you know that you are flushing up to 1.6 gallons of water in every single flush?
  8. The cleanest toilet in a public place is typically the first toilet cubicle in the row, as it is the least used and thus the cleanest of all.
  9. Almost 20% of people do not wash their hands after they visit the toilet. And of those who do, only 30%, use soap to wash their hands.
  10. In an average household, the average roll of toilet paper lasts approximately five days.
  11. We use an average of 57 sheets of toilet paper a day.
  12. It takes about 384 trees to make the toilet paper that one man uses within his lifetime.
  13. The average person uses 100 rolls of toilet paper per year (over 20,000 sheets).
  14. The daily production of toilet paper is about 83,048,116 rolls per day

And, here are just a few plumbing misconceptions we hear a lot – Fact verses Fiction:

  • Roughly 157 gallons of water are wasted every year due to a slow leak of 3 drops a minute – FACT: every extra drip wastes a ton of water and can costs you a lot of money. You should get a leak checked out and fixed as soon as possible!
  • Liquid drain cleaner can unclog your sink – FICTION: buildup of materials such as hair, skin and makeup typically cause a sink to clog.  Any kind of liquid drain cleaner will not permanently fix your clogged sink because it can’t dissolve solids and overuse can lead to the deterioration of your pipes due to some of the active ingredients in the cleaner.
  • A small critter can climb up a pipe and into your toilet bowl – FACT:  a typical home has many pipes that run from your sewer system to the roof of your home and these pipes connect to your home’s drain system. It is possible for a snake or rat to make their way through the sewer line and into your toilet bowl, however, it is not very common.
  • Flushable wipes are OK to flush down the toilet – FICTION:  often times toilet wipes are the cause of clogged toilets, so don’t flush.  We always tell our customers the only two things that should be flushed down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper.

We hope you enjoyed these fun facts! If you have any type of plumbing problem, from clogged drains to water heater issues, our experienced technicians are standing by to fix them! Give Eastern Plumbing a call today at 252-7589! We are available 24/7.

How to Pet Proof Your Plumbing

We all love our four-legged family members, and according to the American Pet Product Association, approximately sixty-eight percent of US households have a pet. But not every owner knows that with your pets comes the potential for plumbing problems.

Since most pets have access to all areas of your home, be sure to keep them safe by pet proofing. Here are some tips to follow to pet-proof your home’s plumbing. With these, you shouldn’t have to worry about plumbing problems, or your pets, again.

Keep plenty of water out

Keep your pets water bowl clean and full, otherwise they will look for other water sources, like the toilet bowl.  This sounds disgusting and it is, but it’s also hazardous to your pet’s health, especially if you use some type of daily toilet bowl cleaner or freshener. So, make sure to keep the lid closed!  And, as a general rule, check on your pet’s water bowl and refill at least twice a day.

Conceal exposed pipes

Pets are curious by nature, and they love to chew on things, so avoid unnecessary trips to the vet, or calls to your local plumber, by covering up exposed pipes and wires.  If a pet bites through a pipe, this could result in a pricey plumbing problem and may also cause damage to your home , or even worse, hurt your pet!

Keep cleaning chemicals out of reach

While it’s not recommended to use harsh chemicals in your plumbing system since most of these store-bought chemical cleaners can cause serious damage to drain lines, you may still have them in your home. To prevent your pets from accidentally getting into these chemicals and getting very sick, keep them locked up in an area your pet can’t get to.

Wash dirty pets outside

Dogs love to roll around in the mud and muck, which means clean up time can be a plumbing nightmare. When you wash a muddy dog off in the tub or shower, all that mud and matted fur comes off and goer down your drain and unfortunately has the potential to cause a serious clog.

Rather than having to pay a lot of money for a plumber to come remove the clog every time you need to give your dog a bath, try rinsing them off outside first before taking them inside to finish the job.

If your family pet has caused a plumbing problem, don’t worry. Just call the professionals at Eastern Plumbing.  No matter how stubborn the clog or bad the burst, we have just what you need to fix it.  Our licensed plumbers are available 24/7, and we service Pitt and surrounding counties including Beaufort and Craven.