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!

Preventing Fall Plumbing Problems

It’s cooling down, the leaves are changing colors and everything is getting an added dose of pumpkin spice, which can only mean one thing – fall is here! But before you pull out your hoodies, decorate for Halloween or start up the fireplace, it is important to make sure that your plumbing is as ready for fall as you are. The best way to avoid plumbing problems is with preventive maintenance. Here are a few tips to help make sure this autumn is the most comfortable one for you and your home.

Protect Your Pipes

Here in eastern North Carolina we usually have a pretty mild fall season, but there can be unexpected freezing days as well, especially as winter gets closer. Much like you bundle up in that hoodie to protect from the cold, it is important to do the same to your pipes. This fall, make sure that your pipes are properly insulated. If you’re not sure how to insulate your pipes, call the plumbing experts at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville and New Bern today! Oh, and if you have pipes outside, like many of us do, make sure to cover them too!

Wrap Up Your Water Hose

Your outdoor water hose was a blessing all summer long, but once the chilly season approaches that means it is time to wrap it up until next spring. If you leave your hose hooked on the outdoor faucet, the water in the pipe may freeze, causing damage to both your hose and your pipes.

Drain Your Water Heater

We dare say that no other home appliance is more important than your water heater in the fall and winter months! Nothing beats the cold like a warm bath or hot water for cup of coffee or tea. That’s why you should make sure that you drain your water heater. Draining your water heater empties out any sediment that may have built up over the months. This is especially important if you live in an area that uses hard water.

Tame The Leaves

Keep an eye on falling leaves and take notice to where they land. Remember that leaves don’t just fall on the ground below the tree – the wind, rain and traffic can move them in masses around your yard often times in hollows like eavestroughs, basement window wells and gutters. These falling leaves can block your drain spouts and cause your gutter system to clog. Backed-up water can get into your roof and foundation and cause major headaches, especially in the upcoming winter. Be sure to rake up piles of leaves and bag them immediately so they don’t disturb your yard a second time.

Get An Inspection

At Eastern Plumbing, we recommend regular inspections of your drains and plumbing. Fall is the perfect time to schedule one for your home. Before it gets colder and plumbing problems become much more damaging, Eastern Plumbing can:

  • Identify and repair cracked or leaking pipes,
  • Check your hot water heater for full efficiency, and
  • Conduct any faucet repair you may need.

We know how quickly the weather can change in eastern North Carolina, so we suggest getting your fall plumbing maintenance done now. At Eastern Plumbing, we want everyone to have a cozy fall and winter. Contact us today to make sure your plumbing is ready for the colder weather – and don’t forget we’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency!

Common Plumbing Issues in Older Homes

Buying and renovating older homes is all the rage today (thanks Chip and Joanna!). And, if you already live in an older home, you may feel inspired to begin some renovations of your own! But remember to look past the surface of the home. When making improvements or renovating your older home, don’t forget to check out the plumbing! Eastern Plumbing has put together a list of common plumbing problems in older homes to help you get started.

1. Galvanized Piping

Galvanized piping is most commonly found in houses built before the 1960s. It may be the case that previous owners have replaced pipes, but they may have just concentrated on pipes that were clogged or eroded. It is important that you check the entire plumbing system in your old home to make sure that there are no corroded or rusted pipes that need to be replaced. Old galvanized pipes can produce discolored water and are more prone to leaks, so if you notice any of these your older home – galvanized pipes could be the problem.

2. Polybutylene Piping

This type of piping in commonly found in house built from the late 70’s to the early 90’s. At the time it was relatively low cost, but today this type of plumbing system is no longer accepted by US building codes. Polybutylene piping is prone to failure because of the way it reacts to oxidants found in water, causing weak pipes. Replacing these pipes will ensure that you have a durable material and will save you money and stress in the long run.

3. Pipe Bellies

We all know that the earth below our homes doesn’t sit still. Over periods of time, the constant movement and ground shifts can affect the plumbing that lies beneath your home. The pipes move downwards, resulting in what are called pipe “bellies.” These bends in your plumbing pipes makes it difficult for water to pass through, causing stoppages.

4. Sewer Lines

Remember that your plumbing system does not just lie within the confines of your home – it extends down to the sewer line. First, you need to determine if your home is on a sewer line. If so, there are few problems that can arise. The sewer lines in older homes are more likely to face issues because of the shifting of the ground and the potential for roots to grow into the sewer line and cause a blockage or leak. So, focus on your sewer line during the renovation as well.

5. Faulty Gas Lines

When thinking about your plumbing and pipes, don’t overlook lines the that don’t involve water – the lines that supply gas to your water heater. It is important for your safety that you have these gas lines tested and repaired if necessary.

6. Inefficient Plumbing Fixtures

Of course, we understand that old plumbing fixtures are beautiful and compliment your “farmhouse-style” perfectly. But, keep in mind that everything has a lifespan – even plumbing fixtures. These fixtures in older homes have gone through wear and tear which can lead to leaks and inefficient water flow. Consider replacing these fixtures with more efficient ones that can save water.

Now that you know common plumbing problems facing older homes, it’s time to determine a course of action. In any home, new or old, Eastern Plumbing recommends that you schedule regular maintenance checks for your plumbing system and gas lines. The professional plumbers at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville and New Bern can evaluate your home and help you decide on the best plan of action to make your home safe and efficient, and give you peace of mind. And, if you need us – we can also assist with the renovation! Give us a call today!

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.

When Should I Replace My Old Plumbing?

We know you’ve all heard the saying, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But is the old plumbing in your home still working the best it could be? The answer, most likely, is no. While you may not have had any real plumbing issues or leaks, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider replacing old plumbing. You may ask, “How old is old when it comes to plumbing?” Well, here are a few signs that it is time to replace the old plumbing in your home.

1. You notice the water stops being clear.

Water is supposed to be clear. So when you turn on your faucet to discover water that is discolored or cloudy, this is cause for concern. Water that has a darker brown tint usually indicates that you have some kind of pipe corrosion. Not only is this water not good to use, but rusting pipes are prone to sediment and mineral deposit buildup. This can increase your chances of having clogs and bursting pipes in the near future.

2. You notice the water starts to smell.

If you notice that water has a foul odor, know that this is not normal. Water with any sort of smell is a sign that there is a buildup of bacteria within your pipes. One distinct smell many people notice right away is that their water smells like eggs.

3. You notice mold or water damage.

Some leaks can be hidden behind walls, so you may not notice them. The only way you become aware is when you see the tell-tale giant brown water stain with mold. Once you notice this, you should call Eastern Plumbing immediately. The longer leaky pipes sit, the more damage your home will sustain.

Plumbing doesn’t age like fine wine – often times it’s more likely to age like milk. So if you’re noticing issues with the old plumbing in your home, it may be time to replace. Waiting to replace can cause serious and costly damage. Give the experts at Eastern Plumbing a call. We have been setting the standard in quality service around Greenville and New Bern North Carolina for over 15 years. Once you replace your plumbing remember that regular maintenance is key to keeping your plumbing in top-notch shape for as long as possible.

Detecting Plumbing Leaks in Your Home

In many cases the water line running to your home is metered for accountability and billing purposes. This means that a leak in your line, no matter how small, can be very costly. You can find, even a small leak, by trying these few simple techniques that can save you from a nasty surprise on your water bill.

1. Check your toilets.

If you hear any running or hissing near any of your toilets, try to locate where the noise is coming from. If nothing is noticeable, try adding a few drops of food coloring in the tank (not the bowl). Wait several minutes. If you have coloring in the bowl, this may mean that you have leak that is allowing water to seep through the flapper at the bottom of the tank. Be sure to repeat this process with all of your toilets to be certain you don’t have more than one problem.

2. Check your outside spigots.

Another way to determine if you have a leak in your home is by checking your spigots (the pipes that you hook your hoses to, in case you were unsure). Usually the average home has one in the front and one in the back.

3. Check for any drips or puddles.

If you hear or see any signs of drips or puddles around the base of your faucets, this probably means a leak is nearby. Listen closely in frequently used rooms and check regularly in rooms you don’t use as much to uncover possible hidden plumbing leaks.

4. Check for moldy or rotten smells.

Another sign that you may have a leak in your home is a moldy or rotten smell in your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.

But, did you know your water meter can help you determine if you have a leak in your home? This is actually the best way to determine if there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing system. The experts at Eastern Plumbing can check your water meter to determine if you have any leaks in your home. This can give you peace of mind and ensure that you aren’t paying for water you aren’t using in your monthly bill.

If you found a leak, notify the professionals at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville or New Bern. Our professionals have been trusted for over 15 years throughout eastern North Carolina. We provide quality service you can count on.

Plumbing Tips For a Worry-Free Holiday

During the holiday season, our homes often become the hub for family and friends, but all the hustle and bustle of family gatherings and holiday parties can put a strain on your plumbing. There’s nothing worse than running out of hot water mid-shower when all the cousins are in town or a toilet getting stopped up before the ball even drops on New Year’s Eve. To avoid the issues and have a worry-free holiday remember these plumbing tips…

1. Go Easy on Your Sink

Coming together with family and friends to enjoy a holiday meal is one of the staples of the season. With Aunt Abby’s fruit cake, Uncle Tim’s ham, Grandma’s fudge and all the food in-between it’s almost impossible to clear your plate and you are bound to have some scraps. Avoid a clogged drain and an over-worked/ill-performing garbage disposal by throwing your food scraps into the regular trash and NEVER pouring grease, oil or fat down the drain.

2. Don’t Run Out of Hot Water

If you have a lot of holiday guests using your shower, your hot water could run out pretty quickly. To avoid running out of hot water mid-shower, turn up your water heater to increase its capacity to meet holiday house guest demands (we suggest not exceeding 125ºF). Spacing out the times people shower and allowing the hot water tank enough time to heat up between uses will also help ensure that everyone has plenty of hot water.

If the lack of hot water isn’t just a holiday issue, consider switching to a tankless water heater that will heat water as it is used to make things more convenient. Bonus: you won’t have to worry about running out of hot water for countless holiday seasons to come!

3. Prevent Frozen Pipes

Fitting pipes with insulation, either in sleeve form or wrapping, can help prevent them from freezing. Keeping interior cabinet doors open can also help keep your pipes warm. Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well.

If you are afraid a pipe will freeze on a bitter cold night, it is also a good precaution to allow your faucet to drip slightly. Allowing the faucet to drip will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe does become frozen, it is the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to drip will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.

4. Prevent Clogged Toilets

If your toilet already seems to have a slow or weak flush, this can indicate that a clog is forming in your toilet drain. Instead of waiting until your home is filled with holiday guests and your toilet won’t flush at all, go ahead and take care of the problem (just call us). It is also a good idea to remind your holiday guests to ONLY put toilet paper in the bowl. Flushing facial tissues, wipes, napkins, paper towels, floss, coffee grounds, hair, feminine hygiene products, grease and other fats or oils, medications, plastic and diapers will only contribute to more clogging.

Remember these plumbing tips to avoid issues and have a worry-free holiday AND if a holiday plumbing emergency does occur, don’t forget that you can always call Eastern Plumbing we’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency!

Protect Pipes and Tankless Water Heaters From Freezing Temperatures

“Make sure to drip your faucets,” is a piece of advice we often hear from others when the temperatures begin to drop below the freezing mark. You’ll be happy to know these advice givers are right! Leaving your faucet open during cold weather will help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting – which can lead to very expensive damages to your home. In addition to dripping your faucets, there are more ways to prevent winter from wreaking havoc on your plumbing system. Keep these tips in mind as things begin to cool down.

1. Keep Your Heat On

If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, especially around the holiday season, or if you are looking to winterize your vacation home, be sure to keep the heat on. You do not have to set the temperature as high as you normally would if you were actually there, but keeping it set above 50° is advised. This should provide enough warmth to keep the water inside your pipes from freezing.

2. Open Cabinet Doors

You may not know this, but pipes are often located in the cabinets. As the temperature begins to reach the freezing point, it is a good idea to keep cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of your house can keep these pipes warm as well.

3. Use Domes on Outside Faucets

To reduce the likelihood of water pipes freezing and causing a costly leak, place an insulating dome or other covering on any outdoor faucet or spigot. You can purchase these inexpensive covers at your local hardware or home improvement store.

4. Insulate Your Pipes

It is important to insulate the pipes in your home’s attic, crawl space or other areas that may not have proper insulation. Fit your pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing.

5. Seal Cracks and Holes

While you are in the basement or attic insulating exposed pipes, take the time to look for any holes or cracks that may exist near pipes. Caulk any holes you see on both interior and exterior walls. By doing this you are helping to keep warm air in and cold air out. Remember that in severe cold, even the slightest hole can let enough cold air in to cause pipes to freeze.

Old Man Winter does not look kindly upon plumbing systems. In addition to protecting your pipes from freezing, you should also take measures to prevent your tankless water heater from freezing as well.

6. Insulate External Pipes

While tankless hot water heating systems contain freeze prevention heaters, the hot and cold water plumbing lines leading to and from the water heater do not. Protect these lines from freezing by insulating them with items such as pipe covers, solenoids or heat tape.

If your pipes or tankless water heater freezes despite taking these preventive measures, don’t panic. Just because your pipes are frozen does not mean they have already burst. If you turn the faucet on and nothing comes out, leave it turned on and contact Eastern Plumbing right away. We’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency.

Garbage Disposal Do’s & Don’ts

Garbage disposals may be one of the handiest appliances in your entire house, or at least we think so! If you disagree, you can at least admit they make things much easier in the kitchen. That is…as long as they are maintained and used properly. When not maintained and used properly, garbage disposals can easily break down, clog and block your drains. Unfortunately, these break downs and clogs can cause a long list of expensive plumbing problems. Don’t worry – we have put together a few Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts to keep our favorite kitchen appliance running problem-free!

Garbage Disposal Don’ts

DON’T just throw everything in it

A garbage disposal is NOT a trash can. You should only use your garbage disposal for small table scraps. Adding too much food at once can result in some serious clogging.

DON’T grind the following items:

  • Glass
  • Plastics
  • Metals
  • Cigarette butts
  • Paper
  • Non-food items
  • Large bones
  • Banana peels
  • Fruit Pits
  • Coffee Grounds

Foods that have a lot of strings or fibers such as, corn husks, onion skins and artichokes are also bad for your disposal. If any one of these items from the above list falls into your disposal, turn it off at the circuit breaker and retrieve it safely.

DON’T pour any grease in it

Oils, fats and grease are not good for your disposal. They do not drain properly and will accumulate around the blade system and clog your drains.

 

Garbage Disposal Do’s

DO use it regularly

Frequently using your garbage disposal will help prevent it from rusting and will keep things from getting stuck down there.

DO sharpen the blades

Small chicken bones and fish bones are good for keeping your garbage disposal blades sharp. Running these items through the disposal will help clean grease and other debris from the inside walls of the unit as well. Ice cubes are also a good option for keeping your disposal blades nice and sharp.

DO remember that size matters

How you put things into your garbage disposal and how much you put in your garbage disposal is just as important as what you put in there. To keep your disposal running smoothly and to avoid clogging, just remember to toss your larger food pieces in the trash or chop them up small enough so that the disposal can grind them more easily.

DO flush the disposal every time you use it

Any time you have your garbage disposal running you should have your water running. It is also best to continue running the water for 15 seconds (or more) after the disposal is done grinding so that the water can flush the food down the drain.

DO clean it

Running a little dish soap through your disposal and flushing it with cold water for about 15 seconds after each use should keep your garbage disposal nice and clean. Freezing vinegar in ice cube trays and placing the frozen cubes in the disposal while it runs with cold water will also clean your disposal.

If you are looking for a more heavy-duty clean you can let 1/4 cup of baking soda sit overnight in your disposal, then in the morning (or a few hours later) pour vinegar into the garbage disposal. The combination should bubble and clean the inside of the unit for you.

DO know when to get help from an expert

If you are still having garbage disposal problems, it may be time to call the professionals at Eastern Plumbing. We are available 24/7 for your plumbing emergencies; just give us a call at 252-758-7579 for Greenville, NC and surrounding areas or at 252-514-0002 for New Bern, NC and surrounding areas.

Halloween Plumbing Nightmares… and How to Avoid Them

The spookiest season of them all is in full swing, from watching your favorite scary movies to trick-or-treating, the last thing you need is a plumbing problem to spoil your plans. So leave the plumbing tricks to us and starting enjoying all the treats this bewitched season has to offer by avoiding these halloween plumbing nightmares!

1. Double, double toil and trouble; Pumpkin carving and drains will bubble…

Trouble is right… pumpkin pulp and seeds are not meant for your sink or toilet. If pumpkin carving is part of your Halloween plans then it is important to stay mindful of where you choose to dispose of your goo and seeds. As you remove the insides from your pumpkins, keep the guts away from your drains. The sticky pumpkin pulp can stop up your sink drains and clog your toilets. The guts may seem soft, but they can harden in your pipes and cause problems. Pumpkin pulp and seeds can even land those of us with garbage disposals in the middle of a halloween plumbing nightmare. Keep your plumbing damage free and simply toss all of your pumpkin parts in the trash!

2. Put a stop to all the spooky sounds

Are strange noises keeping you up at night? The haunting sounds of your pipes banging, thumping and rattling are scary for more than one reason. When you hear your pipes making these noises it may be a warning sign of something seriously wrong. Your water pressure may be too high or worse, some of your pipes could be loose. Loose pipes can cause flooding in your home among other issues and you should have them fixed ASAP to avoid a real Halloween plumbing nightmare. Find out the cause of those spooky noises by contacting us at (252)758-7579 or (252)514-0002

3. Beware of leaky faucets

Frightening enough, a leaky faucet is a major signal for potential underlying problems with your plumbing system. Unfortunately, that isn’t the scariest thing about a leaky faucet. According to National Geographic, leaks contribute to about 14% of your average water use each day. Which means the scariest thing about a leaky faucet is all the money you are wasting on your water bill. Even small and slow leaks add up. Have a professional fix your leaky faucet and stop your money from going down the drain.

4. Don’t be a scaredy cat, you aren’t alone!

If a plumbing nightmare does strike your home this Halloween season, we are here for you. Our professionals are available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency, no matter how scary it may seem!

Contact Eastern Plumbing Today!

5 Most Common Summer Plumbing Problems… and How to Avoid Them

Summer is all about having fun – backyard barbecues, enjoying the outdoors, traveling and relaxing. However, the warmer months are a prime time for plumbing problems that may not occur at other times of the year. Here are five common plumbing problems to watch out for, so you can spend more time having summer fun!

1. Clogged Drains

Whether your summer fun includes sandy beaches, surprise muddy afternoon rain showers or grassy sprinkler play, it’s a good bet that it comes with some extra sand/dirt at the end of the day. When washing up after your days adventure, make sure to keep the worst of it out of your drains. They weren’t designed to handle sizable amounts of sand, mud or other debris, and could become clogged or damaged. Instead of hoping right into the shower, hose the kids, any four legged friends and yourself off outside. Knocking any extra debris from clothes, you plan to place in the washing machine, while outside will also give your drains a hand.

2. Washing Machine Maintenance

With the kids at home for the summer, your washing machine will be running a lot more than usual. Those summer activities we love so much, like spending days at the pool or the beach, will also results in more laundry to wash, which can put additional stress on your washing machine. To prevent creating an indoor swimming pool in your house, check the hoses at the back of the machine for any possible leaks. Moving the machine out from the wall a little will help prevent the hose from kinking as well.

3.  Clogged Disposal

With all the barbecues going on and guests running around your house, you will need to be careful of how you dispose of waste food. Avoid flushing hard fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and corn, down your garbage disposal. These types of produce can damage the blades in your disposal or cause unwanted clogs. Hard seeds and pits, including popcorn kernels, can also be a hazard. You also shouldn’t pour leftover grease and oil down the drain after grilling out. Grease and oil can solidify inside a garbage disposal and cause clogs in the drain pipe. It is always (not just in the summer months) a good idea to run cold water through your disposal for a few seconds before and after you use it to clear any remaining bits of food. Following theses tips can help keep your disposal clean and fully functional all summer long!

4. Sprinkler Issues

Having your lawn’s sprinkler system heads inspected and cleaned before the season begins is the first step to having happy and functioning sprinklers all summer long. Throughout the summer it is important to be careful while mowing the lawn. Aboveground sprinkler heads are easily damaged by mower blades and broken sprinkler heads can waste water and cause the grass to die.

5. Sewer Line Backups

Sewers can backup when afternoon summer showers or thunderstorms hit and over saturate the ground. Excessive rain can get into sewer pipes through cracks, causing the sewer line to back up. Servicing your sewers before the summer comes can help you avoid the worst of the issues. Installing a drain plug can also help prevent water from backing up during summer storms. However, if you do see signs of sewer line problems, such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a plumber right away!

We’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency, contact Eastern Plumbing today.

Ice Maker FAQ

It’s lemonade season. Sun-soaked summer days mean fun outside as well and the need for cool drinks. Your ice maker this time of year is relied upon daily.

Why is my ice maker not producing any ice?

If your ice maker is not making ice, there could be several causes. The most common cause is frozen water in the line. To fix this, first unplug the refrigerator. Then locate the shut-off valve and turn it off. After it is turned off, pour warm water over the water line to defrost it and get water running again. Other methods for thawing out the water line include using a hair dryer, warm towel and just leaving the refrigerator unplugged for awhile.

Why does the ice smell or taste bad?

There are several potential causes for your ice smelling or tasting bad. One is your water filter. If the water filter is old, then it can cause foul odor and taste in the ice. A best practice is to replace the water filter every 6 months or so.

Another potential cause is the food in your freezer. If food has spilled into the ice maker, this could cause odors and bad taste. This could be worse if there is spoiled or bad food in the freezer.

Low usage can also be the culprit. Ice can actually become old and stale, and absorb food odors. Make sure to run the ice machine a couple times a week just to make sure this does not happen.

If different minerals or materials get into the water supply, that can cause bad tasting ice. Make sure to check and see if this is happening before making other changes. This will have to be fixed by a professional.

Why is my ice maker leaking or dripping?

There are several things to check if your ice maker is leaking or dripping. Check the water valve for leaks as well as the water line fittings. If these are not secure or have cracks, that can cause problems with the ice maker.

The refrigerator also needs to be level. If it’s not level, that can cause an uneven flow of water and lead to leaks and drips.

There could also be leaks in different parts of the ice machine or refrigerator. The diagnosis and treatment of this depends on your exact model of refrigerator.

If the ice maker is leaking onto your kitchen floor, then turn off the ice maker and the water supply before anything else is done. This will help you be able to fix the problem and not waste water.

How do I clean my ice maker?

The exact method depends on the model of your refrigerator. But, these are the general guidelines that need to followed. The first step is to lift up the ice maker bar. This will stop the machine from making any more ice and enable you to clean it thoroughly. After you remove the ice maker, fill your sink with warm water and dishwashing detergent. Dip a rag in the water and then wash the ice maker unit in the freezer. After you dry this, wash the ice bin the same way. Now it’s time to sanitize the storage bin. Mix 1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Dampen a rag and wipe down the ice maker in the freezer. Do the same with the storage bin. After this, run the storage bin through the dishwasher on a sanitizing cycle and then dry off the bin and ice maker unit.

We’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency, contact Eastern Plumbing today.

Saving Water Outside – Tips

Outside water use accounts for a large portion of consumption, especially during the summer. To help conserve resources and money, here are a few best practices for this year.

Adjust the height on your lawnmower

By increasing the height of your lawnmower, the grass will be cut at a taller level. Taller grass improves shade on the ground underneath which holds moisture better. This lessens the need to water your lawn as often, therefore saving water.

Aerate your lawn every so often

By inserting holes every couple inches throughout your yard, more water reaches the roots. This also lessens the need to water your lawn as often.

Get rid of weeds every chance you get

Weeds compete with grass and other growth for water and nutrients. This can increase the water needed to ensure desired growth and care.

Go easy on the fertilizer

Using too much fertilizer can increase the amount of water needed for growth. When fertilizer is used, plant growth is promoted, which means the plant needs more water than normal. Allow plants to grow at a normal rate to eliminate the need for excessive water.

Wash your car on the grass

Without the expense of damaging your lawn, park the car on the lawn as you wash it. The runoff water will go into the ground and water your lawn at the same time. Make sure not to use too many chemicals if you use this method. This saves water and also eliminates water running down the driveway and into the street. This same method can apply to washing your pets, but isn’t recommended for humans.

Give your car a “military shower”

When you’re washing the car, turn the water off. Only use the water to wet the car and to rinse at the end. This can save a large amount of water and not at the cost of a less-clean car.

Repair broken or cracked pipes

Water seeping through these pipes can be underneath your house or throughout your yard. This leads to large amounts of water being wasted and used. Eastern Plumbing is ready, 24/7, to help you, contact us today.