A Back-up Sump Pump Can Help Keep Your Basement Dry.

blogSpring being the rainy season makes winter the perfect time to prepare your home to withstand all that extra moisture.

If you live in a home or neighborhood prone to basement flooding and already have a sump pump, good start.  But that may not be enough to protect your home from encroaching water.

Your sump pump, after all, is a mechanical object and won’t last forever. Next, what happens if you lose power during a rain storm?  Your sump pump becomes disabled until power is restored.

Now there’s a simple way to guard against a failed sump pump or one without electrical power:  add a back-up sump pump that doesn’t depend on electrical power to operate.

Here at Eagle Service Company, we install, maintain, and repair two different kinds:  battery-powered and water-powered.  While they both have their advantages, we recommend water-powered.

Water-Powered vs. Battery-Powered Back-up Sump Pumps.

No matter how heavy the rainfall or how bad the overall storm conditions, a water-powered sump pump is a solid defense against flood damage in your home.  The best available units can remove up to 1,324 gallons of water per hour and are the only pumps that are compatible with ¾” municipal water supply pipes.

A water-powered sump pump requires no battery, no power, and has no moving parts. All it needs is water from your well or city water supply.  With that, a water-powered sump pump can operate indefinitely.  Battery-powered sump pumps, by comparison, eventually will require a battery charge, thus potentially limiting their effectiveness.

Remember, it’s never the wrong time to fortify your basement defenses against an excess of rain water.  That’s why we invite you to contact Eagle Service Company today to learn more about your sump pump options and now best to keep your basement dry and damage free.

 

Hot Water in an Instant – What a Concept!

blogThink of all the ways you use hot water in your kitchen on a daily basis: making hot coffee or tea, boiling pasta, or cooking up some vegetables, just to name a few. Now think about the time and energy it takes to boil that pot of water or tea kettle on your stove.

Now there’s a faster way to get the job done while reducing energy consumption at the same time.  All it takes is the installation of an instant hot water dispenser in your kitchen. This remarkable kitchen convenience provides near-boiling, 200-degree water as soon as you turn on the faucet.

This dedicated faucet doesn’t replace your hot and cold water kitchen faucets – think of it as adding to the collection.  The system consists of a dedicated sink-mounted faucet/hot water dispenser plus an under-sink hot water storage tank and heater.  Tank size range in size from 2/3 to 60 gallons, meaning there’s one that fits your family’s needs and budget.  You also can choose from a wide rank for faucet styles, colors, and finishes to match your existing kitchen décor.

What can you use it for? Well, in addition to making hot drinks or getting a jump start on dinner, your instant hot water dispenser will prove just as handy for cleaning jewelry or silver, peeling tomato skins, melting chocolate, softening butter, removing baked-on food, warming serving dishes, loosening jar lids, and much more.

To learn more or request a free quote, contact Eagle Service Company today.

How to Prepare Your Home & Plumbing for Winter.

blogWinter takes it out on everyone.

“You think THIS is cold?  Wait ‘til you see what I have in store for you tomorrow,” winter is fond of saying.  Or would be if it could talk.

Well, at Eagle Service Company, it’s our job and pleasure to help you escape winter’s wrath by helping you better protect your plumbing this fall:    

Disconnect garden hoses

Unhook your hoses, then drain and store them in an above-freezing location like your garage.  At the same time, shut off the water valves to your outdoor hose bibbs to prevent freezing and cracking.

Insulate open, unheated spaces and the water pipes inside them

By insulating open spaces – such as a crawl space or garage – you can reduce drafts.  That helps lower your heating bills and reduces the risk of freezing pipes.  For even greater protection, insulate the pipes inside those open spaces.

Inspect your water heater and have it serviced

The last thing you want is to run out of hot water in the winter, which only increases the likelihood of pipes freezing and bursting.  So check for signs of water leaks around the base of your storage tank or in the pan.  Also, have your tank flushed to remove built-up sediment that can corrode your tank’s inner lining or rob it of a good deal of its efficiency.

Clean out your gutters and downspouts

Poor attic insulation causes snow to melt on your roof, and clogged gutters cause melting snow or ice to overflow.  Then, when water freezes, it expands and can tear apart your eaves, roof, and rip whole sections of your gutters right off the house.

Check for hidden water leaks

Any water leak should be repaired as quickly as possible, and yet some are more difficult to locate than others.  So start by pulling your refrigerator away from the wall once a month.  If you see any water on the floor, something’s leaking, and water could be seeping into your floorboards.  Also check inside your attic, under your cabinets, and look for water stains and black mold throughout your home.

Fall is also a great time of year for plumbing and heating system preventative maintenance, two specialties of the house here at Eagle Service Company.  To learn more or request service, contact is today so you’ll have a lot less to worry about this fall and winter.

What to Do Before You Call a Plumber!

Murphy’s law tends to tell us that if something can break, it will, and usually at the worst possible time. Plumbing issues included.

And while your natural inclination might be to call a plumber as soon as signs of trouble rear their ugly heads, not so fast! There are a few things you can first to help prevent matters from becoming worse, and the repair solution costlier. Let’s have a look:

blog1. Locate the problem

If no one in your home is using any water, but you hear the sound of running water anyway, you very well could have a problem on your hands.  If you discover, for example, that a toilet is overflowing, turn off the toilet’s water valve.  If that proves to be too difficult for any reason, your next best move is to shut off your home’s water main valve.

2. Determine the extent of the problem

Is the problem one leaky faucet or has the issue – whatever it might be – spread to multiple areas?  Also, just how extensive is the damage?  Information is knowledge, and knowing what you’re facing will help you determine what to do next, and when.  If, for example, you have a leaky faucet that wakes you up in the middle of the night and you definitely want a plumber to to fix it for you, at least you’ll know you can defer that phone call to the following morning.

3. Talk to your water company

Is your plumbing problem the result of working in progress by your local water company?  If so, you should have been notified in advance.  Just to play it safe, give them a call or visit their website for information about what they’re working on and where.

4. Do your research

Unless you have a plumber you know and trust, take some time under calmer circumstances to locate and secure the services of a local plumber in advance.  That way, you’ll know exactly who to call if and when the need arises, and which local plumbers offer 24/7 emergency repairs.

Here at Eagle Service Company, we offer everything you could want and need from a professional plumbing resource, including round-the-clock emergency repair service.  Having a problem right now?  We’re ready to take your call and do whatever is necessary to make that problem disappear.

“Why is My Toilet Gurgling?”

blogIs your toilet attempting to communicate with you?  In its own way, it’s very capable of that, especially when it starts making gurgling or burping noises.  And in those moments, what exactly is it trying to tell you?  That something is CAUSING it to make that sound, “So could you please check it out and make it stop?!”

Toilet Gurgling has Two Main Causes.

All plumbing and drain lines need the right amount of air to create the suction necessary to fully drain water.  Suction comes from vents that are installed throughout your house – most of them hidden in walls or under floors – that eventually lead to one or two main vents you can see either on your roof or the side of your house.

Should your toilet start to gurgle, it’s either because there’s a clog inside a sewer or drain line or your outdoor vents are clogged with leaves or other accumulated debris.

The Cure for Gurgling Toilets.

Hear a gurgle?  Then grab a plunger and/or a snake and see if you can “get to the bottom” of the problem on your own.  If that doesn’t work, and you’re the handy and adventurous type, then climb up on your roof and attempt the following:

  • Use a flashlight to see if there’s a clog, and how far down it goes.
  • If it’s not too far down, use a stick or garden stake and try to move it to the side so air can escape.
  • You also can snake the vent pipe if you suspect the clog is further down than your stick or rake handle will reach.
  • If you’re still having no luck, grab your garden hose and, using the high pressure setting, blast water into the vent to break up the clog. If you’re successful, you’ll hear a whooshing sound that indicates the clog has been broken up and air is once again mixing with water.

Above all, please don’t try doing any of this on your roof without taking all safety precautions, including having someone reliable on the ground to assist you.

 

Self-Help Measures Not Working?  Just Call Eagle!

At Eagle Service Company, there’s no blocked toilet or vent problem too difficult for us to handle.  In the process, we’ll turn that gurgle into the sound of smooth flushing water – the sound of “all’s well” with your drains again.  For prompt scheduling and your 100% satisfaction guaranteed, contact us today.

Is Your Toilet Leaking Water from the Tank? Let’s Find Out.

blogBesides being a nuisance, a leaking toilet represents a disastrous waste of water – up to 200 gallons of water per day.  And means more than 6,000 gallons of wasted water per month if the leak goes undetected or unrepaired.

If you have a toilet tank that’s leaking water, it’s clearly in everyone’s best interest to find out and get it repaired or replaced just as quickly as possible.

How do you go about spotting a crack in your toilet tank?  Eagle Service Company has the answers:

Outside the Tank

The easiest cracks to spot are those on the outside of the tank, of which there are three basic types:

  • Hairline cracks at or near the top, and probably not causing a leak.
  • Hairline cracks along the side of the tank – those can usually be repaired.

Inside the Tank

If you suspect your tank is leaking water but see no such evidence on the exterior, it’s to go looking inside.  But before you can do an effective job of that, you first need to drain the tank.  First, turn off the valve behind the toilet and then flush until the water in the tank is completely or nearly gone.  Then look inside for the following:

  • Hairline cracks on the top edge – more cosmetic than problematic.
  • Hairline cracks below the water line – these can usually be repaired with an epoxy.
  • Larger cracks below the water line – there’s no effective way to repair these.

Let’s say you don’t want to go to all the trouble of draining your tank, but still want to know if, in fact, your tank is leaking water.  Here’s an easy way to find out.  Grab a little food coloring and place a drop or two in the tank.  Then, about a half hour later, check the bowl and don’t let anyone flush in the meantime! If the water has a trace of the same food coloring, you definitely have a leak.

For toilet or plumbing problems of any kind, contact Eagle Service Company today.  We provide service throughout the Birmingham area, and we guarantee your complete satisfaction with our work on your behalf.

 

The Latest in Home Bathroom Accessories

We all can use – and totally appreciate – a little luxury in our lives, even if it’s only once in a while. For you, maybe luxury means a snazzy car with all the bells and whistles, an all-inclusive island resort vacation, or a $500 bottle of wine at your favorite restaurant.  Or perhaps you prefer simpler luxuries – those you can more readily afford and enjoy every day in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re leaning toward simpler, then lean in a little closer and check out these five very cool bathroom accessories for your home.

  1. blogDesigner shower drain cover – Style doesn’t have to go down the shower drain. From artsy patterns to sleek, linear drains, and even discreet tile-ready options, today’s drainage solutions are anything but boring.
  1. Radiant heat flooring – Starting off your day by stepping on a cold tile floor is anything but luxurious. So change all that by warming up your floor with a built-in radiant heating system. And because warm air rises, a warm floor also means a warm room, saving you money on heating costs.
  1. Programmable shower – Imagine getting just the right water temperature, water pressure, and even shower head height at the touch of a button. Better yet, why bother imagining when you can get all that with a programmable shower for a totally personalized shower experience: from customized water stream to your own personal music selections.
  1. Walk-in bathtub – You don’t have to be a senior citizen or otherwise need assistance in the bathroom to enjoy the luxury of a walk-in tub. First, it’s a safer alternative than standard bathtubs because of the very low threshold you simply step over with no worries of losing your balance.  Plus, walk-in tubs come with a built-in bench seat enabling you to sit up higher and still immerse yourself in the soothing warmth of a bath.
  1. Hand Dryer Faucet – Say goodbye to dingy hand towels with a sleek hand dryer faucet. It will wash your hands, and then dry them with a blast of air, reducing waste, laundry, and the spread of bacteria.

Hmm, now let’s see:  what do all these bathroom accessories have in common?  Of course:  they can all be purchased from and installed by Eagle Service Company.  Call now, and discover even more ways we can turn your bathroom from the ordinary into the extraordinary.

“Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater?”

Before we talk about whether or not you should or shouldn’t replace your water heater, how about a blast of the blindingly obvious:  we have no idea what kind of condition your water heater’s in.  Ultimately, you’ll want a professional plumber to examine your system and give you a recommendation one way or the other – repair or replace.  And be able to explain why he or she feels that qwqway.

What we can do right now, however, is point out a handful of the most frequent repair problems, especially those associated with an aging system where replacement should at least be part of the conversation.

  • Water leaking from the storage tank. If your water heater is at least 8 years old, you should inspect it periodically to see if there’s any water build-up around the base.  If so, that’s a sign of internal corrosion.  Just how bad might that corrosion be?  That’s what we need to find out before properly advising you on what to do next.
  • Rusty looking water. Voila, another sign of internal corrosion.  As in, once rust builds up inside your water heater storage tank, it can begin to flake and taint the color of your hot water supply.  If that’s what you’re seeing, call us right away, because it’s not going to get any better.
  • Increasingly reduced supply. If two or three people can no longer shower in a row when once your water heater permitted such bustling activity, a number of things could account for the combination of reduced supply and increased recovery time.  If, for example, you have an electric water heater, it might just mean that an element has burned out.  Or it could mean that the thermocouple inside your water heart needs to be replaced.
  • The water is hot, but not hot enough. This “sounds like” it might be a problem with your thermostat, although perhaps a family member lowered the thermostat setting without letting anyone else know about it.

There are countless things that can go wrong with a water heater; plus, repair problems can and frequently do vary by by make, model, and type.  So rather than drive yourself crazy and hope that the problem might just fix it itself (trust us, it won’t), why not contact Eagle Service Company so we can inspect for you.  If it’s repairable, we’ll give you a guaranteed upfront price to fix it.  Or, if it needs to be replaced, we’ll give you several options to choose from, answer all your questions, and ultimately recommend the one option we believe best meets your needs and budget.  We look forward to your call.

6 Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips

The trouble with home plumbing problems is that they have a way of sneaking up on you, and often at the worst possible time. Of course, is there ever a good time for experience a problem with your plumbing? ‘Nuff said.

So to help prepare you for what might lie ahead and how best to handle each such situation, Eagle Service Company is pleased to present you with the following plumbing- and customer-friendly advice:

  1. blogKeep an eye out for water leaks. Small water leaks can and often do lead to big problems, including structural damage and massive mold build-up. Be alert to signs that more trouble is on the way. Leaking faucets, for example, along with damp cabinets, rocking toilets or dripping refrigerators are all symptoms that require fast and decisive action.
  1. Repair problems early. A leaking faucet isn’t just annoying; the moisture it releases puts wear on sink fixtures and can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Of course, not all plumbing leaks are readily noticeable, like those from your refrigerator ice maker. That’s why you should pull your refrigerator away from the wall once a month. Also, be advised that small puddles could be worse than larger ones as that might indicate water is seeping into your floor boards.
  1. Know how to respond to plumbing overflows. Before water has a chance to gush and overflow from your sink, toilet, or anywhere else, first take the time to locate your main water shut-off valve and practice turning it on and off. If it’s in a dark, hidden, or hard-to-reach place, gather any tools you’ll need for a quick shut-off, and store them nearby. There’s nothing like the frustration of a missing flashlight or a misplaced shut-off key when water’s pouring down the stairs from a broken pipe.
  1. Shutting off appliances. Similarly, know how to shut off water to sinks, toilets, washing machines and water-using appliances. .
  1. Locate your sewer shut-off valve. Your sewer shutoff valve exists, once again, to help you minimize damage from an overflowing toilet. Find it, learn how to use it, and you’ll save yourself a lot of grief should the need arise.
  1. Learn how to tackle small problems. With a few tools and a little knowledge, most of us can handle small plumbing emergencies on our own. With a plunger, a pipe wrench and a sewer snake in your tool kit, you can a long way toward minimizing plumbing expense and preventing smaller problems from becoming any worse.

Sooner or later, however, you’re bound to need the services of a professional, full-time and licensed plumber. If that time is now – or anytime at all – we invite you to contact Eagle Service Company for service throughout the Birmingham area. Our main objective is to take away worries, not add to them. And we back that up with our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

Why is My Toilet Leaking?

A leaking toilet is certainly no day at the beach – pardon the pun, which was at least somewhat intended.

But rather than stress over it, wouldn’t you simply like to know what might be causing it so you can take the appropriate action? Of course you would because, in this and almost every case, knowledge gives you the power to worry less and act more to achieve the desired end result in a timelier and less stressful way.

PlumberSo here’s a look at the most common causes of a leaking toilet:

  • If you find water pooling up around the base of your toilet, first try tightening the bolts that anchor it to the floor. If the leak persists, then it’s probably time to replace the wax gasket beneath your toilet. While you’re at either or both of these tasks, keep an eye out for any rusty parts. Because while they might not be causing the current problem, they could lead to future water leaks.
  • If the lid of your tank is sweaty, that indicates a leak inside the tank. The surest way to determine if your tank is leaking to place a spoonful of water in the tank and then wait about 30 minutes without flushing the toilet at any point in between. If, when you return, you find that the water in the bowl is tinted with the same color as the food dye, you definitely have a crack in your tank.
  • Are you sure the leak is coming from your toilet? It’s quite a common in a small bathroom for water to form around the base of a toilet caused by a leak in your tub or sink. To find out for sure, test all bathroom water valves for possible leaks. Also, pay attention the next time you use your tub or sink to see you can spot a water leak.

Finally – for now, that is, because there are other leaking toilet causes – the water you may be finding on the floor and near your toilet could be coming from a “sweaty” tank. That’s right: it’s called condensation, and it occurs when the water inside the tank is considerably colder than the air inside your bathroom, like in the summer or when you’re taking a hot shower with the door closed.

The moral of the story: if you have water on your bathroom floor and can’t figure out where it’s coming from, contact Eagle Service Company today. We’ll assess the problem, give you a guaranteed upfront price to fix it, and answer any and all questions you might have along the way.