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.

Saving Water Indoors – 6 Tips

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water per day, and 70 percent of that is used indoors. The fact is that a lot of this water is wasted through overuse or leaks. This can lead to a lot of money thrown “down the drain.” Here are a few ways to save water and subsequently; money.

Check all pipes and faucets for leaks

Leaky pipes and faucets are one of the biggest contributors to water waste every year. Make sure to check all around your house for wet spots and puddles to avoid paying more for your water bill each month.

FACT: According to National Geographic, leaks contribute to about 14% of your average water use each day.

Take shorter showers

Showers can be a very comforting oasis, especially in the early morning. But, several gallons of water are used each moment you spend in there.

TIP: Use a kitchen timer to make sure you are only taking 3-5 minute showers. Your wallet will thank you.

Install a low-flow shower head

Switching to a more modern and efficient shower head can save you water and money. Look into investing in a water-wasting solution and start saving today.

FACT: Energy.gov reports that installing low-flow showerheads can save you up to 60% each year.

Don’t leave water running while brushing teeth, washing hands etc.

Several gallons of water go down the drain each time you brush your teeth and/or wash your hands. Instead of letting it run, turn off the water while you are brushing and washing.

TIP: Use a cup to moderate the amount of water you use while you brush your teeth. Instead of letting it run, dab you toothbrush out and use a small cup to rinse your mouth.

Wash full loads of clothes and dishes

Your dishwasher and washing machine are two of the biggest users of water in the house. To avoid having to use them too often, make sure to do full loads to not waste water. Good news is there are many washers that have a light wash option. Also, most modern washing machines (clothes and dishes) have an eco option when it comes to cycles. Another option is to clean food and dishes in sitting water instead of running it. Before you put dishes into the dishwasher, do not pre-rinse dishes. This uses more water than needed, and most dishwashers don’t require pre-rinsing.

TIP: Stay away from the permanent press cycle. This cycle uses more water than any other option.

Store cold water in the refrigerator

Keeping cool drinking water in the refrigerator instead of waiting for tap water to get cold can save lots of time, money and water.

TIP: You can also use this water for watering plants so your hose is not constantly running while in use.

Minimize garbage disposal use

The garbage disposal uses a large amount of water to be able to run. It can be easy to just put waste down the drain, but it requires more water to break down.

TIP: Go with throwing things away in the garbage can or compost heap instead of relying too heavily on the garbage disposal.

Check toilet for malfunctions

Make sure to check your toilets all over the house to avoid costly water bills. If there is any liquid on the floor or running alongside the outer rim of the toilet, you may have a leak. Also check and see if your toilet handle is sticking. This can be another warning sign of a leak.

TIP: To check your toilet for leaks, drop about 10 drops of food coloring in the tank. Come back later to check up on the toilet. What you find may tell you something. If when you come back the water in the bowl is tinted with color, then you have a leak.

Don’t throw things away in the toilet

Each time you flush the toilet, it uses water. Some toilets are not modern, so they are using a lot more than others. While flushing in itself uses a lot of water, flushing non-compatible things can result in damaged pipes and plumbing.

TIP: Invest in a low-flush toilet and pair with this practice to achieve maximum water conservation.

Thaw in the microwave

Thawing food with warm/hot water can use a large amount of water, especially if it is running continuously. Go with the microwave for a much more eco-friendly option.

TIP: Another great water saving tip is to pour some vinegar on whatever you need to thaw. This lowers the freezing temperature and aids in breaking down the food.

Install aerators on faucets

Using a faucet aerator can help you save water and money without having to do anything. An aerator puts tiny air bubbles into the flow, resulting in less water use overall.

TIP: Faucet aerators come in different types. For rooms that need more water output, such as the kitchen, installing higher GPM (gallons per minute) aerators would be best.

Installation instructional video

7 Easy Plumbing Tips to Save Money

Have you ever gotten a water bill that was much higher than you expected? Or have you had to call an emergency plumber because your main drain is backed up? These expenses add up, but they can easily be prevented. Follow these simple tips to save money and avoid unnecessary hassles.

Turn off the taps.

Drip. Drip. Drip. A dripping drain makes an annoying sound, but it can be even more annoying when you get your water bill. One dripping tap can waste 15 gallons of water a day and can cost you around $100 every year. Make sure all of your taps are fully closed to prevent dripping. If a fully closed tap continues to drip, call Eastern Plumbing in Greenville at 252-758-7579 because having it repaired or replaced will save you money in the long run.

Low-flow is the way to go.

A low-flow shower head is easy to install and saves much more water (and money) than a normal shower head, which can use over 42 gallons of water per shower. Your teenagers might not appreciate a low-flow head, but your wallet will.

When your toilet talks, listen.

If your toilet is talking to you by making an odd gurgling sound, it may indicate a problem with your main drain. If your main drain was put in before 1980, there’s a chance that it is made of clay and can be easily penetrated by tree roots. A gurgling toilet usually means that roots are putting pressure on your pipes and can lead to them breaking. If your toilet is talking to you, call Eastern Plumbing to inspect your pipes before it is too late.

Keep your drains happy.

With so many ways a drain can become clogged, why not help it out as much as you can? Pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down your drains monthly to keep them clean and avoid buildup. This combination is better for your drains (and the environment) than harsh chemical products.

Floss and drains don’t mix.

Dental floss is good for your teeth, but bad for your drains. Make sure you throw away your floss instead of flushing it. Today’s dental floss is shred resistant and can block pipes when it enters the sewage system and joins together with other waste.

Same goes for hair.

Just like floss, hair is bad for your drains. Throw away your discarded hair instead of flushing it down the drain to avoid your toilet becoming backed up.

Test for hidden leaks.

You may be a pro at finding leaks in your home, but some can be hidden and hard to find. To test for hidden leaks, check your water meter before and after a period of time when no water has been used. If the meter has moved, there is probably a hidden leak somewhere in your home. Hidden leaks are best left to the professionals, so call Eastern Plumbing if you discover you may have one.

By following these tips, you can conserve water, lower your water bill and avoid unnecessary emergency calls to a plumber. However, if the time comes and you have an emergency, call Eastern Plumbing and our experience staff will be there for you.

5 Plumbing Resolutions for the New Year

The New Year is an excellent time to take initiatives to better care for yourself, your family and your home. This includes your plumbing. Not all resolutions are meant to be broken! Plumbing and drains are fundamental elements of your home. They work tirelessly, but usually do not get much attention. They keep a home running smoothly. This year, along with your diet, be mindful of how you treat your plumbing. To ensure it functions better, read this list of resolutions to keep in the upcoming year.

1. Conserve water usage.

Have you ever thought about how much water you use on a daily basis? Although you might not realize, it’s easy to scale back on water usage. Start out with a simple adjustment like turning the water off while brushing your teeth every day. Before long, you’ll see a decrease in your utility bill.

2. Treat your toilet well.

Toilets work hard for you. They endure messes no one wants to deal with. That is why you should be careful with what you flush down your toilet. There are many things your toilet can’t process, such as sanitary pads, q-tips, tissues, wet wipes and more. Rather than flushing these items, put them in the trashcan.

3. Be kind to your garbage disposal.

Much like your toilet, you should be observant of what you put in your garbage disposal. Learn which items are acceptable to go inside it. Be sure to run water each time you use your disposal to avoid buildup that causes unpleasant odors in the home.

4. Keep your pipes warm during winter.

When the temperature drops, don’t let your pipes suffer in the cold weather. Burst pipes are a huge hassle and can be very expensive to repair. Make sure they are properly insulated to avoid plumbing disasters in the future.

5. Contact Eastern Plumbing as soon as possible.

This year, as soon as you notice something wrong, contact Eastern Plumbing instead of waiting until it’s too late. Plumbing issues only get worse, and more expensive, as time goes on. Our team of professionals consists of some of the most experienced and qualified plumbers working today. They are ready and available, no matter what time of day.

Not only will these resolutions ensure your plumbing will perform better, it will also lead to long-term savings. A well-run and maintained plumbing system will break less frequently and be more energy and water efficient. This means monthly savings on your utility bill with less risk for expensive repair services.

If you find yourself in need of a professional plumber to help you handle a plumbing disaster in the upcoming year, you know who to call! We wish you a happy and healthy new year, from all of us at Eastern Plumbing.