What is Backflow Prevention & Testing

Backflow is a condition that enables contaminated water to enter or re-enter your drinking water supply.

More importantly, it’s a condition that needs to be prevented to protect your family’s health.  Here at Eagle Service Company, we install, repair, test, and monitor backflow prevention valves, which every Birmingham area home should have.

Contaminated water can enter your home through cross connections.  A cross connection occurs when drinking water pipes are connected to various plumbing fixtures or water-using equipment, such as a lawn sprinkler system.

What can cause a backflow event? Let’s have a look:

  • Sudden drops in municipal water pressure, like the kind that occurs when a water main breaks
  • When an existing backflow preventer breaks
  • A crack or break in an underground sewer line

When any of these conditions occur, backflow is the likely result. Worse, the contaminated water that re-enters your drinking water supply can include raw sewage, pesticides, fertilizer chemicals, soapy water from a garden hose, and so on.

One or more backflow prevention valves can prevent these potentially hazardous conditions. And yet, like any other mechanical device to ensure its reliable operation or to prompt the necessary repair measure should circumstances warrant.

For more information or to request a backflow test to determine your family’s needs, contact Eagle Service Company today.

How to Prevent Pipes from Leaking

When water flows to the wrong place at the wrong time – as it would from a cracked or leaking pipe – it can cause extensive damage to your home and personal belongings.  Even a slow drip behind a bathroom or kitchen cabinet can cause sheetrock and wood floors to rot, thus leading to large and pricey repairs.

And since damaged water pipes come in all shapes and sizes, it’s important to understand what can cause a pipe to crack or burst and what you can do to prevent that from happening.

  1. Frozen Pipes

An un-insulated pipe exposed to below freezing temperatures can freeze, burst, and instantly start gushing water.  That can happen in your garage, a crawl space, or in any other unheated space. To prevent pipes from freezing, disconnect outdoor hoses and drain the faucets. Shut off and drain your irrigation system for the winter. And make sure all pipes located in unheated spaces are insulated.

  1. Leaky Pipes

Minor pinholes in your water pipes can’t fix themselves, but they can grow and become even more problematic.  It’s okay to tape over a leak in the short term, but don’t wait too long before implementing a more permanent solution.

  1. Unattended Drain Clogs

If a clogged drain is left to sit, it can cause water pressure to increase in that pipe.  Over time, the added pressure can cause the pipe to crack and spill its contents.

  1. Corroded Pipes

The older a home and its plumbing, the more prone metal pipes become to internal corrosion.  Constant exposure to soil, water, and temperature fluctuations can do a number on them, so you’ll want to baby them as much as possible for added years of service.  Start by switching from chemical to green drain cleaning liquids.

At Eagle Service Company we offer high-quality pipe repair and replacement services.  Same goes for water pipe insulation, sewer and drain cleaning, and any other home plumbing needs you might have. Contact us today for more information or a free quote on the home plumbing solution of your choice.

Toilet Problems You Can Fix Yourself

How far do you have to travel to find the nearest toilet? Probably no more than 20 – 30 feet from where you’re currently sitting. That’s because pretty much wherever you might be, there’s ALWAYS one close by. And for obvious reasons.

Well, it should be equally obvious that the more your bathroom gets used, the more likely it is that problems will occur, especially with your toilet. If, for example, yours is a family of four, your household toilets get flushed an average of 20 times per day. Multiply that over six months to year, and what you come up with is a whole lot flushing going on. It’s no wonder things go wrong from time to time.

Well, for the sake of helping you conserve some plumbing repair dollars, here are two common toilet repairs most people can and often do fix on their own.

Changing or adjusting the seat and lid

Replacing or adjusting a lid or seat is a relatively simple process. First, locate the two hinges where the seat screws into the fixture. If they’re covered by a plastic cap, simply pry it open and save it for later. Next, unscrew the nuts and plastic washers. To replace the seat, remove the nuts, washers, and bolts, then follow the process in reverse to attach a new lid or seat. To repair a loose toilet seat, adjust it the spot you’d like it to be and then re-tighten the nuts.

Fixing a running toilet

Another easy toilet repair is replacing the flapper valve: the flexible rubber valve attached to the flush lever. It’s made of rubber which means, over time, it can degrade and become incapable of still forming a tight seal as it attempts to shut off the flow of water. The flapper also can close tightly over the chain, which also prevents it from sealing. Adjusting the chain can fix that problem while replacing the flapper itself is also a simple affair. First, turn off the water supply valve to your toilet. Then flush the toilet to remove the remaining water in the tank. Remove the flapper and bring it to a hardware store where you can find the closest possible match. Later, follow the instructions on the package to install the flapper. Yes, it should be just that simple.

What happens when encountering a toilet problem beyond your ability to repair it? That’s easy, too: simply contact the professional plumbers at Eagle Service Company and we’ll get the job done to your complete satisfaction. And that includes a guaranteed upfront price quote.  Eagle Service Company – for all your home plumbing needs.

Conserve More Water with a Dual-Flush Toilet

As technology evolves, you continue to have a greater number of green living options made available to you.  And we’re all better off for it.

Here’s a very good example: not exactly the newest kid on the block, but one not yet widely known. It’s called a dual-flush toilet, and it has two built-in flushing options.: half flush for liquid waste which consumes only 1.3 gallons of water, and the full flush mode for solid waste disposal consuming 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

If the toilet you’re replacing is an older model, it currently uses 3-5 gallons per flush. How much water can you save by switching from your older toilet to a dual-flush model? According to the Sierra Club, a family of four will save an average of 7,000 gallons per year.

One more thing about dual-flush toilets to keep in mind: less water does not mean more toilet blockages.  Quite the opposite, in fact, since dual-flush toilets have greater flushing power and in-bowl traps about twice the size of older style toilets, thus virtually eliminating the potential for clogged toilets.

Have questions before you buy?  At Eagle Service Company, we’ll be happy to answer them so you can be sure you’re making the right decision for your home and budget. And that goes for any of our residential or commercial plumbing services. So, for new toilet installation or whatever your current plumbing need might be, contact Eagle Service Company today.

Toilet Tank Problems & How to Fix Them

When it comes to toilet troubles, the dreaded clogged and overflowing toilet bowl is one that can send most homeowners into a temporary state of panic. And yet things can go wrong with your tank, too, but usually they’re a lot easier and less stressful to resolve.

Let’s have a look.

Toilet won’t stop running.

A continuously running toilet is more than annoying – it can be quite wasteful and costly as it constantly sends clean water down the drain.

  • First, check the handle to see if it’s loose or broken.
  • If the handle seems intact, remove the tank lid and check to see if the chain that connects the flushing handle to the ball valve is loose, tangled, or broken, as it could be preventing the ball valve from closing completely.
  • Also check the ball valve for damage. Does it close on its own, or is it stuck?

Toilet doesn’t fill with enough water.

When this happens, too little water is being sent into the bowl following a flush, and that could result in your toilet clogging.

  • Is the toilet water supply valve in the open position? Turn it to the right, then to the left, and see if the tank starts filling up with water.
  • If the water supply valve is fully open, you could have a problem with the float level. In an older toilet, you can adjust the float level by bending the metal arm upward. Newer toilets either have a small clip that you can pinch and slide the float up along the rod, or a screw that you turn, one that’s located on top of the float.
  • The fill valve could be clogged. The fill valve is what moves water into the tank over time, it can become clogged with mineral deposits or debris. Shut off the water to the toilet, remove the fill valve cap, and let the water run for a few seconds to flush out the debris. If this doesn’t work, you may need to replace the fill valve.

Cracks in your toilet tank are pretty easy to locate and repair, especially those above the water line.  Whatever the specific problem might be, you can count on Eagle Service Company to repair or replace your toilet if you don’t have the time, tools, or inclination to go it alone. Think of us as your personal plumbers for every reason and every season, and always with a guaranteed upfront price quote and your satisfaction guaranteed.

How to Detect Home Plumbing Problems

Plumbing problems usually happen without warning, and often at the worst possible time. Not that there’s ever a good time for a problem to occur, but some are definitely worse than others.

What can you do to cut back on plumbing problems and catch others at the earliest possible stages of development? Here are several useful home DIY tips:

Clean behind your fridge

What does cleaning behind your fridge have to do with your plumbing? Plenty, assuming you have one that makes ice by itself and produces cold water on demand. And that’s reason to at least look behind your refrigerator once a month or so to inspect for signs of water on the floor or baseboard. If you do spot water, chances are there’s a leak where the water line from your kitchen faucet connects with your water and ice maker. The sooner you get that fixed, the better. 

Don’t ignore low water pressure

If water pressure is low at just one faucet, chances are you have an isolated problem. But if you’re experiencing low water pressure at multiple water sources, you should investigate the cause. It could be something as simple as the water department doing routine repair or maintenance work…one phone call can solve that little mystery. Low water pressure also can be caused by internal pipe corrosion. If that’s the case, it’s better to incur a repair bill than wait until your pipes have to be replaced.    

Remove hair from sink and tub drains

If anyone in your family has long hair, you have clogged drain problems waiting to happen.  To prevent them, clear out the stoppers in your shower, tub, or wherever else hair is washed at least once a week. In addition, use an organic drain cleaning compound like Bio-Clean to help keep your drain lines open while and hair-free. Bio-Clean is not available in retail stores, but you can obtain a supply by calling Eagle Service Company.    

Keep an eye on your hot water

The older your water heater, the more important it is to keep a close watch on your hot water supply. If, for example, it appears to be brown or rust-colored, that’s a clear indication of internal storage tank corrosion and means your water heater most likely must be replaced.

Here’s another great way to prevent plumbing problems in the first place or, at the very least, spot them in the early stages of development: start scheduling annual whole-house plumbing inspections. That’s a signature service of ours here at Eagle Service Company precisely because our inspections lead to lower repair costs and longer-lasting plumbing. If it’s been a year or longer since your last whole-house plumbing inspection, why not contact us to schedule service today.

Common Water Heater Problems

Not that water heaters have a great deal to do with your daily mood – except, that is, when something goes wrong with it and you’re staring at two to three loads of dirty clothes that aren’t going to clean themselves.

Has something suddenly gone wrong with yours?  Here are the most likely causes in and around Birmingham:

Common Water Heater Problems

  • Leaking water. If you find water around the base of your water heater storage tank, check that the drain valve at the bottom of the tank is completely closed. If it’s even slightly open, it could be dripping water out of your tank. The leak also could be coming from the unit’s pressure relief valve if the temperature is set too high.  It’s best to keep that setting right around 120 degrees.
  • Water isn’t hot enough. If your water isn’t as hot as you would like it, there’s likely a build of sediment inside the tank. Try draining and refilling your tank. If the water still isn’t hot enough, there could be a crack in your water heater’s dip tube. This tube sends water to the bottom of the tank where it’s heated.  Even a small crack could be allowing cold and hot water to mix, thus reducing water temperature.
  • Water is too hot. A couple of possible causes, here. If it’s only a momentary spike in hot water temperature, chances are someone else at home is using a cold-water fixture while you’re in the shower.  But if the water stays too hot for an extended amount of time, the problem is likely with the temperature and pressure relief valve which will take a licensed plumber to correct.
  • Water heater is noisy. If your water heater is making popping or banging noises, the likely cause, once again, is sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank. Or perhaps you’re hearing a hissing sound, which indicates your system is overheating.

If the simple fixes mentioned above don’t solve the problem, Eagle Service Company can and will. Contact us today for water heater service or any other plumbing, heating, or cooling need you might have.

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

There’s nothing like a beautiful spring day. Bishop’s Caps, Harper’s Ginger, and Jacks-in-the-pulpit in full bloom, the smell of freshly cut grass, and the warmth of the sun on your face.

But besides all that visual and aromatic beauty, spring is prime time for something else:  an abundance of rain.  And where there’s rain, there are flooded basements.  As the song says, “you can’t have one without the other.”


Not that you’re helpless to defend against the onslaught of rain trying to invade your living spaces, mind you.  Far from it, in fact.  Here are just a few steps you can take to help keep your basement nice and dry.

  • First and foremost, make sure your gutters are securely attached to your home and are not clogged with leaves or other debris. Position downspouts at least 3 feet away from the foundation of your home to direct rain water away from your property. Just make sure they don’t direct water toward your neighbor’s home!
  • If your lot slopes toward your home, it could be directing water toward the weeping tiles and putting pressure on your foundation drainage system. Consider having the system filled in and graded so it slopes at least 6 feet away from the perimeter of your foundation walls.
  • If your home or neighborhood is flood-prone, consider installing a sump pump drainage system. And if you already have one, make sure the well is free of debris. Test the pump each season by pouring water into the pit to trigger operation.
  • Cover below-grade basement windows with well covers. Clear acrylic covers can be fastened to the foundation to keep rainwater out while letting light in.
  • Check your foundation for cracks and gaps, and have them filled in or sealed properly to prevent water penetration.
  • If you have a septic system, have it inspected and cleaned annually. Long periods of heavy rainfall can clog sewers and septic systems and send sewage back into your home.

Even if you do have a sump pump, it’s important to keep in mind that it runs on electricity.  Hence, if you lose power, you lose sump pump operation until power is restored. To protect against that possibility, consider supporting your sump pump with either a battery- or water-powered back-up sump pump, one that will engage as soon as your main pump stops working.  For more information or a free quote on how to better protect your basement from flooding, contact Eagle Service Company today.

What You Can Do with an Instant Hot Water Faucet

You know how it is when you think there’s no easier way to do something, so you just go about doing it the best way you know how?  And in the process, you may or may not feel inconvenienced, but you don’t complain about it because, again, there’s simply no other way.

Instant Hot Water Faucet

Want an example?  Okay, how about when you want a cup (not a pot) of coffee, and there’s just you at home.  So, you boil some water because that’s just how it’s done, and too bad if the process takes longer than you might like it to.  Except for one thing:  there is a better, faster way, to start enjoying that piping hot cup of Java.  And if there’s a better, faster means to do that, might there be other minor inconveniences you can solve at the same time, and through the same means?

The answer is “absolutely!” and that better, faster means is an instant hot water faucet. By having one installed in your kitchen, there will be no more waiting for water to boil – at least not for a cup of tea.  That’s because your tap will deliver 200-degree F water simply by turning it on.  It comes with its own under-sink water tank and dedicated, countertop faucet.

What else can an instant hot water faucet do for you?  Let’s imagine the possibilities together:

  • Instant preparation of all hot drinks, including coffee
  • Speeds up cooking pasta and rice, blanching vegetables, thawing frozen food, warming ice cream scoops, and more
  • Makes warming your baby’s bottles a breeze
  • Aids in removing stubborn jar lids and food stains on dishes and cutlery
  • Helps clear clogged sink drains
  • Simplifies kitchen clean up
  • Helps remove bottle labels
  • Great for blanching vegetables

You also can use your instant hot water faucet to help clean jewelry and silver, keep food hot, make the air smell better by mixing some hot water with potpourri, and for countless other uses.

Best of all, an instant hot water faucet is easy to install, highly affordable, and uses less energy than a 40 Watt light bulb.

To learn more or request installation, contact Eagle Service Company today.