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.

The Truth About Economy Settings on Appliances

If you’ve purchased a washing machine or dishwasher in the last few years, your model probably includes economy settings. Now’s a good time to ask, have you ever used the appliance in conservation mode? Why or why not? There can be good reasons to use, or not use, the eco-settings on your plumbing installations. Read on to learn more about when economy settings are a good idea, and when they could actually end up costing you more in utility bills.

Save Energy, Water and the Environment

Take a look at a list of Energy Star-certified dishwashers, washing machines and hot water heaters. Just about every model has a setting allowing you to conserve more. At their ideal eco-settings, you can save money twice – once for a reduction in water consumption, and once again by using less electricity or gas to heat the water. You get that, plus the satisfaction of reducing your contribution to lessening municipal reservoirs and climate-changing carbon emissions.

However, there’s another side to the economy setting story – in some cases, the option can decrease the performance of the appliance to a point where it doesn’t meet your standards. If the eco-setting can’t accomplish the job it was designed for, it won’t do you much good for saving water, energy or money. For example, if the dishwasher or washing machine doesn’t get things clean the first time, you’ll have to run it again, using more energy than you would have if you operated it in the normal mode.

Let the Buyer Beware

Where you can really run into trouble with economy settings is if you purchase an appliance based on its conservation claims, only to find that the reduced power mode doesn’t perform satisfactorily. In many cases, you may be better off buying a different unit. This is why it’s important to look beyond the Energy Star rating. Check out consumer reviews so you’ll get a sense of how the products have worked for other people.

Finally, don’t forget your own behavior plays a role in an appliance’s performance. If you overload a washer or dishwasher, or use inappropriate settings for the task, they might not work properly whether in economy mode or not. Make sure you follow all the manufacturer’s instructions before deciding that the eco-setting is what is causing the problem.

Choosing Wisely from a Wealth of Plumbing Installations

Finding a model that works for you can be tricky with so many appliance options. If you need help picking out economical appliances or plumbing installations, get in touch with an expert plumber today.

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.

Help Your Overworked Summer Plumbing

You might be having a relaxing summer, but your plumbing isn’t. Whether you know it or not, your plumbing gets more of a workout during the summer than any other time of year. This is due to the number of outdoor activities that we enjoy. By following these tips, you can keep your plumbing running smoothly during its summer workout while saving money at the same time!

Check your washing machine regularly.

With more time spent outdoors, that also means more dirty laundry. Since your washing machine will be used more often in the summer, inspect it regularly for leaks or cracks. A leaking washing machine can waste large amounts of water while causing expensive damage to your home. An increase in washing also means an increase in drying. Be sure to dispose of dryer lint regularly to avoid fires and save energy!

Use your dishwasher instead of hand washing.

Most dishwashers today are energy efficient and save gallons of water compared to washing dishes by hand.

Know what can and can’t go in the garbage disposal.

The food at the backyard cookout was great, but now it’s time to clean up. Stringy and fibrous foods like cornhusks, lettuce, and onion peels will cause clogs and should be disposed of in a trash can. Grease and oil are also bad for your drains and should be avoided. If you are cleaning greasy or oily foods, run cold water at full blast for 15 seconds before and after to help your disposal flush everything down.

Be wary of sewer line backups.

This is a common problem during the summer months because rainfall can enter your sewer line through cracks in the pipe. This added pressure may cause the sewer line to back up. Tree roots may also end up causing problems as they search for water during the hot days. Contact Eastern Plumbing today to have one of our trained technicians inspect your sewer line and ensure there are no problemsYou might be taking it easy this summer, but your plumbing is hard at work. By following these tips, you can help your plumbing handle any challenges that come its way and keep your summer worry-free.

6 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Summer is a time for vacation. School is out, the weather is nice, and that trip you’ve been planning for months is finally here. You might be ready for vacation, but that doesn’t mean your home is.  Without proper planning, a plumbing emergency could instantly ruin your trip once you return home. Take a look at these tips to ensure that your home is as ready for vacation as you are.

Check your laundry machine hose.

Your laundry machine hose only lasts about three years. Before you leave make sure your hose doesn’t have any cracks or calcium deposit build up.

Visually inspect your appliances for leaks.

Make sure there is no water on the floor, which could indicate a leak in your appliance. If this is the case, give Eastern Plumbing a call immediately. Inspecting your appliances will help prevent mold and damage that could occur while you’re away.

Avoid foul odors.

You never want to come home from a nice vacation only to have your house smelling bad. Before you leave, run ice cubes and cold water down your garbage disposal to push any food particles down the drain. This will ensure they wash away properly and don’t cause an odor.

Turn off the main shut off valve if you will be gone for multiple weeks.

If you’re going to be gone for a few weeks, consider turning off your main shut off valve. This will not let any water enter your home and will help prevent flooding emergencies. Just be sure to run the remaining water out of your drains after your shut the valve off.

Shut down you water heaters

There is no point in heating water that you aren’t using, so shut off your water heater or put it in vacation mode before you leave. This will help save money on your electric or gas bill depending on what type of water heater you have.

Provide a list of emergency contact numbers.

If you have someone looking after your home while you’re away, leave them a list of contacts in case of emergency and be sure to include Eastern Plumbing!

Summer vacations should be worry free and by following these simple tips they can be. However, if you happen to return home to a plumbing emergency, give Eastern Plumbing a call. Our 24/7 emergency service and highly trained staff can help you with any problem that occurs, hoping to help keep your vacation a great memory.

4 Reasons to Hire a Professional Drain Cleaner

With summer quickly approaching, your home’s plumbing drains are more susceptible to being clogged. Kids are home from school and will most likely get into some mischief around the house. Beach trips have become the norm and washing off sand in the shower can build up over time. Bathroom drains seem like an easy thing to fix yourself, but there are many benefits to leaving the task to a professional drain cleaner like Eastern Plumbing.

  1. Safety.
    Chemical cleansers are dangerous and can lead to serious injury if not handled with care. Even store-bought tools won’t perform an adequate job and can also be hazardous without proper training. An experienced plumber like Eastern Plumbing handles hundreds of clogged drains every year and knows how to treat the issue safely.
  2. Efficiency.
    Store-bought solutions don’t always treat the clog the way it should. In many cases, the clog can lead to more plumbing issues down the line. Professionals have access to speciality equipment and can treat the clog right the first time.
  3. Saves money.
    When you use chemical cleansers, you could potentially damage plumbing pipes or other components of your system. This can lead to costly repairs. Eastern Plumbing is licensed and bonded and offers quality work, ensuring that your pipes aren’t inadvertently damaged while repairing a drain.
  4. Experience.
    Having a properly working drain is an important part of our daily lives. When your drain gets backed up, it makes simple household tasks more difficult. When choosing a drain cleaning service, it’s wise to choose a well reviewed, experienced, established and insured service. If you choose not to hire a professional, you could end up spending a lot more money in the long run.
If you have a clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom, give the experts at Eastern Plumbing a call. We have the experience and skills to fix the problem right the first time, every time.

Keep Your Water Heating Bill Low This Winter

Winter has arrived, which means harsh temperatures and pricey utility bills. Water heating is the second largest energy expense, accounting for about 18% of your household’s utility bills. The good news is that you can make small, easy tweaks to lower those costs and conserve energy at the same time. Read on for ideas on how to cut down on hot water use this winter.

Reduce your time in the shower.

With the temperature dropping outside, it’s tempting to take long, hot showers. But did you know that water comes through your home’s plumbing at an average of two gallons per minute? Think of all the water you’re paying to heat up! Keep your showers short and bundle up with a big towel and fluffy robe afterward.

Lower the temperature.

Water heaters sometimes come from the manufacturer with the temperature set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The Federal Department of Energy recommends keeping the thermostat on your water heater set to 120 degrees. For every 10-degree reduction in temperature, you can save 3-5% on your water heating costs.

Insulate your tank.

Help your water heater preserve its warmth by insulating the storage tank. This will prevent the water from cooling down and forcing the unit to work overtime. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when installing insulation so you don’t accidentally cover up the thermostat or burner compartment.

Install a timer.

If you have an electric heater, install a timer that turns off at night or times when you don’t use it. You can also use the timer to turn off the water heater during your utility’s peak demand times. A timer is relatively inexpensive and it saves money on your water heating bill over time. For gas heaters, you can keep the temperature turned down most of the time and manually turn the temperature up about a half hour before you need it.

Flush your water heater annually.

There are several benefits to flushing the sediment from your hot water heater at least once a year. By flushing your water heater, you’ll have more room in your tank to store hot water. You’ll also keep bacteria from growing in your tank. Most importantly, you’ll save money on your utility bill because your tank will operate more efficiently.

Try out these tips for saving energy and see how much you can save. If your water heater is old, it might be a good idea to look into getting a new one. Today, new water heaters are more energy efficient. If you need service for your water heater or plumbing, give Eastern Plumbing a call.

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.

Water Heater Tips & Tricks

Did you know that 12% of your home’s total energy costs can be attributed to your hot water heater? There are several different types of water heaters. Here is a bit of information about each of them and tips to save money and conserve water.

Gas and Oil Heaters

Older water heaters are typically powered by fuel oil or natural gas. In order to work properly, they need a pilot light. There is a significant danger of fire if flammable materials are placed too close to the unit. Make sure to properly vent these heaters to prevent build-up of deadly fumes like carbon monoxide. Gas and oil heaters do a good job of keeping your home supplied with hot water, but they can be expensive to operate because of the rising cost of fuel.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are safer than gas or oil powered heaters since they don’t use flame and a combustible fuel. These units are energy efficient and easy to install. Electric water heaters also require less maintenance than other heaters, saving you money on servicing your unit over its lifetime.

There are many different kinds of electric water heaters. They come in a variety of sizes depending on what your household needs. Most residential storage water heaters vary in size from 40 to 100 gallons.

Heat Pump Heaters

Heat pump water heaters pull heat from the air and transfer it to the water store in the tank. This allows your heating costs to be dramatically reduced by as much as 50%! These units are more expensive to install, but the energy savings covers the difference in just a few years.

Solar Heaters

Solar water heaters use renewable energy and produce no greenhouse gases, making them a much better choice for the environment. Installation costs are high because you will need solar panels as well as a new heater system, but the energy savings are significant.

How to Save on Hot Water

We recommend setting your hot water heaters at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows for comfortable showering and bathing, laundry and dish washing and cleaning. Setting your hot water heater at this temperature saves energy and prevents scalding.

Make sure you insulate your hot water pipes to prevent heat loss, and to help you save even more on your energy bills. Repair hot water faucet leaks as soon as you can. A single drop per second waste as much as 200 gallons of water a year.

Another tip to save money on your electric bill is to turn the hot water off when shaving or doing dishes. In addition, set your washing machine to the cold cycle.

Contact Eastern Plumbing

Setting the standard in quality service for over 15 years, we help thousands of homeowners in eastern North Carolina with plumbing needs. The best defense to making sure your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late. Our team of professionals consists of some of the most experienced and qualified plumbers working today. We’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency.

5 Home Plumbing Myths That Cost You Money

Are you a new homeowner or someone learning how to maintain your home plumbing system? There are many myths surrounding home plumbing, all of which can lead to costly repair to systems and pipes. Before you take your mother’s advice and go the “DIY” route, read below for some of the top myths of home plumbing you’ll want to avoid.

Myth #1: Lemons Clean Your Garbage Disposal.

Many people believe that if your drains smell clean, they are clean. However, this is not the case. While running a lemon rind through your disposal may make your drain smell better, it won’t actually get clean. If you want to clean your drains, you will need to use a disinfectant. Spray the cleaning solution into the disposal, wait a few minutes for it to work its magic, and then use a cleaning brush to scrub the disposal. As an added tip, always remember to disconnect the garbage disposal from its power source before you clean.

Myth #2: Running Water While Using the Garbage Disposal Helps the Waste Travel Smoothly.

While using a garbage disposal, many homeowners believe they can put just about anything through the system as long as the faucet is running water. This is not the case, as hard or thick food items such as eggshells, banana peels and even sticky spaghetti can cause a blockage and damage the disposal blades. Before you put thick foods down your disposal, break the food into small pieces and mix them with water to ensure the waste will be disposed of properly.

Myth #3: As Long As Water Keeps Running Down My Drain, It Isn’t Getting Clogged.

This is another common misconception. Blockages are caused from a long term build up on the inside of the pipes that occurs over time. You can prevent and maintain blockages by making sure you routinely use an anti-blockage chemical as well as a drain filter to ensure that hair and non-perishable items do not go down the drain.

Myth #4: It’s OK To Clean Plumbing Fixtures With Hand Soap.

When cleaning the kitchen or bathroom, it is common to see people cleaning their sinks and faucets with hand soap. The truth is, this method is actually causing damage to the surface of material. Sinks, faucets and toilet bowls should always be cleaned with a strong disinfectant to keep them free of germs. Gently clean your faucets with a solution made from cut lemons and baking soda.

Myth #5: Plumbing Fixtures Require Little to No Maintenance.

Out of all the common plumbing myths, this is a dangerous one that will likely cause you the most problems in the future. Pipes are often obstructed by clogs, trees roots, or shifting home foundations, which can result in expensive plumbing repair such as sewer line replacement or a pipe replacement. Homeowners should routinely inspect and maintain sinks, faucets, toilets and pipes to make sure any sign of damage is addressed immediately. Remember, prevention is better than the cure.

Choosing the right plumbing service will be so much more beneficial to you and your family in the future. Having a trustworthy and professional plumbing service such as Eastern Plumbing, on call any time, will provide you with a peace of mind. You can be assured that all of our plumbers are continuously trained on all of the latest plumbing techniques and technological advances to stay ahead of the rest. Eastern Plumbing is always here to assist you with all of your plumbing needs and resolve any plumbing issues quickly, efficiently and at an affordable price.

Protect Your Property From Serious Summer Plumbing Problems

When we think of potential problems for homeowners in the summer, plumbing issues may not readily come to mind. However, the warmer months are a prime time for plumbing problems that may not occur at other times of the year. How can homeowners protect their property from serious summer plumbing problems and what particular issues should they be careful to avoid? Here are five of the most common plumbing problems that arise during the summer.

  1. Clogged Disposal: Are you having plenty of cookouts this summer? If so, you will need be careful of how you dispose of waste food. While produce may be organic, it is generally not good for your in-sink garbage disposal, particularly if you are getting rid of hard fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon or corn. These types of produce can damage the blades in your disposal unit or lead to stubborn clogs. Used cooking oils are also damaging to garbage disposal systems. Avoid pouring the dirty grease down the drain after grilling out. It is also 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.
  1. Sewer Line Backups: Certain areas of the country may be prone to summer rain showers or thunderstorms, especially as the air heats up in the afternoon. Excessive rain can get into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up. You might also experience trouble if tree roots spread underground and crack the pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a qualified plumber right away. He or she may recommend a sewer line replacement if the damage is extensive.
  1. Washing Machine Maintenance: Your washing machine may get more of a workout during the summer, especially if you have children who are out of school. Spending days at the pool or the beach results in more laundry to wash. This can put additional stress on your washing machine. It is best to stay at home while the machine is running, so that if a problem arises you can stop the cycle immediately and call a professional if needed. You should also move the machine out from the wall a little to prevent the hose from kinking.
  1. Clogged Toilets: Household toilets are also used more regularly in the summer, thanks to children using the bathroom during the day. Teach your kids to use a modest amount of toilet paper and to flush only after they actually use the bathroom. Common clogs are fairly simple to clear with a plunger, but if you need additional help, call in a professional.
  1. Sprinkler Issues: If you have sprinklers embedded in your lawn, be sure to inspect and clean the heads before the season begins. When you are mowing the lawn, be careful to do so when the sprinkler heads are lowered. This helps with avoiding damaging them.