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.

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.

Piping

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!

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! 

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.

Where Could Your Home Be Leaking Money

Are you boiling over high water bills? Here are some simple steps you could take to simmer down.

In the US, the average person uses about 80 gallons of water a day. If your daily consumption seems out of the norm, you could have an undetected leak in your house.

You can determine if you have a leak by checking your water meter.

  • First make sure no one is using the water.
  • Next, look at the meter. If the red dial is moving, that means that water is running somewhere in your home.
  • If the dial is moving, turn off the water to all your toilets one at a time. Check the meter again after each one is turned off. If a toilet is leaking, you should be able to tell which one it is.
  • After that, if the dial is still moving and all the toilets are off, check the faucets and hose bibs the very same way.
  • At night, after you’ve finished using your water for the evening, take a reading.
  • Then, read the meter in the morning. If the reading is higher, you still have a leak and at this point and you should contact a professional, like the Eastern Plumbing team, to determine where the leak is coming from.

Here are some other things you could check that could be leading to a high water bill. By checking and fixing these types of leaks, you could save money on your next water bill.

The toilet flapper

The flapper is the large rubber plug, behind the bowl, at the bottom of your toilet’s tank. If you hear any dripping from your toilet, it’s likely the flapper. You can put a small amount of food coloring or a toilet dye pill into the tank. Wait 30 minutes, no flushing, then check in the toilet bowl for the colored water. If you have colored water in the bowl, you’ve got a leaking flapper.

Your toilet overflow

In the tank, if water is leaking into the overflow pipe, the fill valve could need to be adjusted.

Outside bibs and faucets

Outside temperatures could cause your bibs and faucets to fail. Check for leaks around them. You may also want to check the settings on automatic sprinklers, as they could be running too often or for too long a period of time.

Dripping faucets

If your faucet is dripping, more times than not, the problem is from a worn fitting.

Water heater

Check to see if the tank is leaking. Is there any water dripping down the side? If so, that could indicate that the pressure valve isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced.

Dishwasher and/or washing machine

Water on the floor around either of these appliances is a bad sign. Check your connections for leaks.

If your water bill is high, and you can’t find the source of your leak or if you need help fixing the leak, call the professionals at Eastern Plumbing. We can help you find and repair your leaks so you can save money and prevent damage to your home. Our licensed plumbers are available 24/7, and we service Pitt and surrounding counties including Beaufort and Craven.

Don’t Flush Feminine Products (Really!)

Listen up ladies! Here is a public service announcement for you: do not flush feminine products down the toilet. We know, we know, it says “flushable” right on the box. But this really isn’t the case. Tampons, pads, wipes, and other “flushable-friendly” products take a toll on your plumbing system and septic tank. Really! At Eastern Plumbing, over 25% of our calls about stoppage problems are caused by flushing tampons. Don’t wait until you have a costly plumbing problem before you start thinking twice about flushing them.

If you’re still skeptical that flushing feminine products could actually cause plumbing issues, here are a few more facts. Tampons grow up to 10 times their size once they absorb fluid, making them prime for clogging sewer drains – especially in older plumbing systems where roots may have started to grow through pipes.

Also, tampons NEVER break down. Unlike toilet paper (which, of course, is made to be flushed), if one gets caught on its way down, it isn’t going to dissolve. It will linger in your plumbing system allowing other debris to build up around it until you will ultimately be forced to call a plumber to clear the clog.

Even if your flushed feminine products make it out of your plumbing system, they are damaging to your septic system. Since they never break down, they will take up space in your tank, raising liquid levels and causing solids to build up blocking distribution tubes. Eventually, water may collect around the tank or back up into your home!

If you have been flushing these products down the toilet, make sure to stop immediately. Keep an eye out for any signs of a clog such as slow drains, sluggish flushing or gurgling pipes. If you notice any of these things, contact Eastern Plumbing!

Oh! And be sure to check out our blog “8 Things You Should Never Flush” to learn what other commonly flushed items shouldn’t be going down the toilet.

Questions to Ask Your Plumber Before & After Service

Finding the RIGHT plumber is important! While a simple Google search can lead you to numerous options, don’t just hire the first plumbing company that shows up without doing a little research for yourself. To get the best plumbing services, you need to know what to look for and the right questions to ask.

Questions to ask BEFORE your plumbing service:

1. Are you licensed?

All plumbers in North Carolina must obtain a license. Make sure that the person (or company) you hire has met all of these state requirements for education and training. 

Eastern Plumbing is a fully licensed plumber, AND all of our technicians are drug tested and background checked, so you know the person you let into your home is someone we’d let in our home.

2. How long have you been in business?

You will want to choose a reliable plumbing business that has been around for a while. Not only will this speak to the quality of work they do, but you can be certain that they will still be around if you need further repairs or need to have warranties honored.

At Eastern Plumbing, we have been setting the standard in quality service for OVER 15 years and have established ourselves as one of the strongest plumbing companies in eastern NC!

3. Is your company insured?

Every plumbing company should be insured to cover any property damages or on-the-job injuries that occur as a result of the job. You do not want to be on the hook for any repairs or medical bills that were beyond your control.

Eastern Plumbing is fully insured, and we offer service agreements with upfront pricing and NO hidden costs.

Once you’ve picked the right plumber and the repairs have been completed, it can be helpful to ask some follow up questions. Here are questions to ask AFTER your plumbing service:

1.  What caused this problem?

If you have an issue with your plumbing, there’s a reason. If your plumber is able to repair the problem, they should be able to explain why it happened.

Eastern Plumbing has been in business for over 15 years, which means we’ve pretty much seen it all. We have the experience to diagnose and fix any of your residential, commercial or industrial plumbing problems.

2. How can I prevent it from happening again?

Once your plumber tells you what caused your plumbing problem, your next question should be “How do I prevent it from happening again?”. Naturally, if your toilet was clogged by something that never should have been flushed, you have a pretty easy solution. For other problems though, regular plumbing maintenance may be what you need to prevent future problems.

Our technicians will let you know what kind of regular maintenance you can do to keep your plumbing system in top shape.

3. Do you offer 24/7 emergency service?

If you’re satisfied with the work your plumber has done, you’re going to want to know if you can rely on them if a plumbing emergency arises.

Eastern Plumbing is available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency. Be sure to keep our number handy to have peace of mind that if something happens, you’ll have someone to call – Greenville: 252-758-7579, New Bern: 252-514-0002.

If you are in need of plumbing services in eastern North Carolina, Eastern Plumbing is more than happy to personally answer all your questions and more! Contact us today.

8 Things You Should NEVER Flush Down the Toilet

At Eastern Plumbing we’ve seen a lot of mishaps from people flushing the wrong things down the toilet. You couldn’t imagine the things our plumbers have cleaned out of pipes. We know it’s tempting to flush it – it’s like a black hole, just dump, flush and it’s gone. But what you can’t see is the risk of damage. People often don’t think about this until they have a huge clog or costly septic tank problem.

To help you flush safely, here is a list of 8 things you should NEVER flush down the toilet.

1.  Dental Floss

Floss isn’t biodegradable and even though it may not seem like much, just think about what happens when a bunch of it starts to tangle together and flow through your sewer pipes. It isn’t pretty.

2. Band Aids

Like floss, band aids are not biodegradable so flushing them down the toilet can lead to clogs. Whether they are made of plastic or cloth, just throw it in the trash.

3. Medication

While flushing medicine isn’t a concern when it comes to causing clogs, it is for contaminating water supply. The water in your toilet ends up in lakes, river and oceans – and sewage systems do not remove medicines from the water. Please dispose of your pills and other medication through your local pharmacy.

4. Hair

Even though it comes from your body, it doesn’t mean it can be safely flushed down the toilet. Think about it, hair clogs your shower drain so why wouldn’t it clog your toilet? It’s like dental floss, it may not seem like a big deal, but when it forms into a giant ball it creates blockages in your plumbing and sewer.

5. Kitty Litter

Cats have their own toilet, so don’t flush their litter down yours. Most toilets do not use enough water to move litter properly through your pipes.

6. Oil or Grease

You already know it isn’t okay to pour grease or oil down your sink, so it makes sense that it isn’t okay to flush it down your toilet either. Cooking greases congeal when they cool, which can create build up in your plumbing system.

7. “Flushable” Wipes

This one is a little controversial. We know it says “flushable” but trust us it really isn’t. Wipes don’t disintegrate the way toilet paper does, which can eventually cause a clog. If you do use wipes, you should throw them away in the trash instead.

8. Your Unlucky Goldfish

When you say goodbye to your pet goldfish make sure it gets a proper “burial” in the backyard. Flushing a dead goldfish down the toilet can cause a clog.

Bottom Line: To put it bluntly, the only thing you should really flush down the toilet is one of the “three P’s” – pee, poop, and paper (toilet paper that is). Oh, and vomit is okay, but to stick to the “P” theme we’ll call it puke.

If you have not-so-great flushing habits that have led to a clog, call the experts at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville and New Bern today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any plumbing emergency!

5 Things Your Plumber Wishes You Knew

Being a plumber is hard work. Much of a plumber’s job is repairing plumbing accidents, many of which could have been prevented or avoided if homeowners only had the right information. Don’t get us wrong were always happy to help, but to save plumbers from extra time spent crouching under sinks and drains, the experts at Eastern Plumbing have put together a list of tips just for you, we call it “5 Things Your Plumber Wishes You Knew.” Not only will these tips save plumbers some time, but can also save you from costly plumbing repairs.

1. This is a pretty big one and while many people may already know this, we feel it’s still important to have on the list: “Don’t put oil or grease down the drain.” We repeat: “Never pour cooking oil, bacon grease or anything else remotely similar down your drain.” Oils and greases being poured down drains by homeowners is the leading cause of clogs. Instead, pour used oil or grease into deposable plastic or foil containers, freeze them, then throw them out with the garbage.

2. Ah, the water heater. Many homeowners tend to forget their water heater even exists, until there’s a problem. I mean think about it, it’s tucked in a closet or basement and you don’t see it a lot. But, your plumber wishes you’d know that your water heater needs love too. It’s important to remember that your tank needs to be flushed at least once a year to avoid the buildup of rust and sediment. When it comes to plumbing, preventative maintenance can save you a lot of stress and money down the line.

3. Imagine this: your home is unrelentingly flooding and you’re not sure why. Your scrambling around the house in soaked pajama pants, doing anything you can think of to make the water stop. But, you don’t know where your water shut off valves are. As a homeowner, it is important to familiarize yourself with your home’s plumbing system before problems like this occur so you can respond quickly, if and when, they do. Once you turn off your valves at the water main, your next step should be to call Eastern Plumbing in Greenville or New Bern, with 24/7 emergency service you won’t be left to deal with the plumbing problem alone.

4. Liquid drain cleaners may be helpful when it comes to clearing a clogged drain, but only use these as a last resort. Many commercial chemical cleaners eat away at more than just the gunk buildup. Dumping these cleaners down your sinks too often can cause harm to your pipes and drains. Instead, prevent clogs by investing in drain screens, and if you still notice persistent clogging, contact the professionals at Eastern Plumbing before turning to harsh chemicals.

5. This last one may be at the top of things plumbers want homeowners to know: “Don’t try to diagnose and fix a plumbing problem yourself.” It is always best to call an expert. On that same note, waiting until the last second to call for help, really doesn’t help much. The longer you let a problem linger, the worse the problem is bound to get. Catching an issue early can save you time, money and stress.

Now that you have the inside scoop on things plumbers wish you knew, you know how to prevent some plumbing problems and are prepared to react quickly if a plumbing emergency should occur. The experts at Eastern Plumbing know how to handle the messiest of situations. Do not hesitate to call us if you encounter any type of problem that is too big for you to handle – like we said, it’s always best to call an expert.

Plumbing Tips for Pet Owners

We love our pets! I mean after all, they are family. But remember, pets and plumbing don’t really mix (unless you’re talking about our beloved friends at the Eastern Plumbing office). You need to take special precautions if you are a pet-loving homeowner. So, to help you and your plumbing system out a little, here are six plumbing tips for pet owners.

  1. Use drain strainers in the tub or shower during bath time to help prevent clogs due to animal hair buildup. Just imagine all of that dog hair that accumulates on your couch. Now imagine that same amount of hair in your plumbing system – not a pretty sight. So, always use a drain strainer to prevent from having a slow and smelly drain.
  2. Another useful tip for pet bath time is to install a hand sprayer in your shower, if you don’t already have one. You will have better control of the water, which will make for a faster and better bath, and waste less water.
  3. The residue left behind from toilet cleaners can contain chemicals that are harmful for your pet to ingest. Be sure to keep your toilet lids closed at all time to prevent any four-legged friend from taking a sip.
  4. Never flush cat litter down the toilet, even if the packaging claims it to be “flushable.” Flushing cat litter increases your chances of getting a clog in your drains and sewer lines, especially if you have a septic tank. Trust us, this can be a messy situation. It is best to just throw everything away in the trash.
  5. Keep in mind that water and/or sewer lines can be found as shallow as 18 inches in your lawn, so watch how deep your dog digs in the yard – you wouldn’t want them getting their paws on something they aren’t supposed too.
  6. Pets love to chew, bite and scratch at things so be sure to cover any exposed pipes in your home. The last thing you want is an unexpected visit to the vet and unexpected visit from a plumber to repair a pipe.

However, Eastern Plumbing in Greenville and New Bern is here for you if you do have a pet-related plumbing uh-oh’s! Our expert plumbers have the know how to diagnose and fix any plumbing problem your furry friend manages to create. Give us a call today!

Outdoor Plumbing Needs for Summer

Summer is in full swing! By now, we’re sure you’ve spent a lot of time entertaining outdoors – whether that be with friends or your kids who are out of school for the summer. At Eastern Plumbing, we know that perfect outdoor entertaining areas need the perfect outdoor plumbing systems, like:

Outdoor Spigots and Faucets

You may not even realize it, but if you spend time outdoors chances are you use your outdoor faucets and spigots a lot – and even more often in the warmer months. Think about it. You water flowers, fill a pool, clean outdoor furniture, wash your car or dog – you name it! And to entertain your kids, you use it to hose down the slip and slide.

Sprinkler Systems

Sprinkler systems are also very handy during the summer. They allow you an easy and convenient way to water your grass and garden, and keep your outdoor area in great shape. You can even have sprinklers with a timer so that will automatically pop up and water your lawn at set times on certain days of the week.

Outdoor Showers

Outdoor showers are a convenient way to prevent sand and dirt from entering your home. They are also useful if you want to shower off before or after a dip in the pool. Not to mention, your kids will surely be happy and excited to shower outdoors.

Outdoor Sinks

Take your outdoor entertaining to a whole new level with an outdoor kitchen or wet bar equipped with a sink to make it easy to wash your hands and other items without having to go back into the house.

Eastern Plumbing is your outdoor plumbing experts. We can install, replace or repair any outdoor plumbing system to help you have the best summer yet! Contact us today and get started on your perfect outdoor oasis.

Different Plumbing Noises and What They Can Mean

You don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your plumbing when everything is flowing right. Water comes in, and water goes out. But when you hear an ominous drip, gurgle, bang or any other mysterious sound, you start to worry. Don’t panic, these aren’t horror movie sound effects. Often times, these noises are indicators of different problems in your plumbing system. Hearing these noises may concern you, but it’s better to be aware of a problem before it causes more damage. Here is a list of the different plumbing noises and what they could mean.

1.Hissing

Nope. There isn’t a snake or scary sea creature lurking in your plumbing! A hissing sound coming from your fixtures is commonly a sign that water pressure is too high. Basically, the sound happens because excessive force is pushing water through the pipes and to the tap. It is important to have this looked at by the experts at Eastern Plumbing because unnecessarily high water pressure can lead to an increased water bill and, over times,  stress your pipes. One way to fix this noise is to have a pressure regulator installed by one of our professional plumbers.

2. Banging

A distinctive bang or thud when you turn off a faucet can be another indicator that your water pressure is too high. A banging sound could also point to loose water pipes, or pipes that are not secured well to the wall. To find out why you may be hearing this noise, contact Eastern Plumbing today!

3. Rattling

A rattling, or vibrating sound, coming from your toilet after flushing may indicate that there is an issue with the fill valve. This fitting in your toilet wears out naturally, which means at some point it is going to not work properly or even break. If you lift the arm of your toilet valve and the noise stops, then that is most likely the problem. The experts at Eastern Plumbing can replace this part.

4. Gurgling

A gurgling sound after using the sink, shower or toilet is a tell-tell sign of a blocked drain or vent pipe. Dirt, grease and other materials build up in drains and plumbing, which causes water to drain slowly. As a result, air bubbles cannot move through the pipes to be expelled at the nearest vent, resulting in a gurgling noise. Aside from the noise, clogged drains can also cause foul odors and gases to back up into your home. An experienced plumber at Eastern Plumbing can inspect your plumbing for clogs and recommend solutions to fix the problem.

5. Dripping

And last, but not least, the dreaded drip. Remember, if one of your plumbing fixtures is dripping don’t just write it off as a minor annoyance – it is a serious waste of water. In fact, just one leaky faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water per year according to the EPA. Don’t waste another drop! Eastern Plumbing can help you solve the problem by putting in a new washer or even installing a brand new faucet.

So, if you notice any of these sounds, or even a sound not mentioned here, don’t hesitate to contact Eastern Plumbing in Greenville or New Bern. We have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose any plumbing problem you may encounter.