What Is Going Down Your Drains?

When it comes to septic problems, the trouble may start in your home. Septic systems can perform without much assistance when they have the right elements in place. The most common problems occur from what goes down the drains in the home, creating clogs and other issues. Here are how some of the items that go down drains can interfere with your septic system.

Grease, Fats and Oils

Fatty substances are bad for your plumbing and even worse for your septic system. Too many fats, grease or oil can impact the balance of your septic tank. Grease and oily substances float to the top of the tank and can interfere with the breakdown and elimination process.

Plastic, Cotton and Paper Products

Plastic, rubber or cotton should never go down the drain. Most of this occurs in the toilets of your home. Paper and cardboard are also a bad idea. The only paper that should be flushed is toilet paper, and the less the better. This includes those “flushable” wipes that do not breakdown in a septic tank. All these items can create clogs and will fill up your tank faster.

Kitchen Culprits

On top of fats and grease, other kitchen culprits include:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Vegetable/fruit peels
  • Fibrous vegetables

Throw these items away or put them in a compost to keep them out of your septic system.

Chemicals and Medications

Chemicals can change the balance of bacteria and microbes in your septic tanks that are needed for proper waste breakdown. Medications like antibiotics can also impact this balance, and pills can get stuck in drain field pipe perforations.

Watching what goes down the drain can reduce how often you need your septic tank pumped and how frequently you have problems. Preventive measures and regular service from your local septic service can minimize issues and keep your septic system running smoothly.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Should You Replace Your Main Sewer Line?

The main sewer pipe or line that whisks your home’s waste away to a septic system or city sewer can last for decades. Many old sewer lines still exist that were made from clay, lead, concrete or metal, first installed forty, fifty or more years ago. While these pipes have done their duty, they are more likely to have problems in the future. If you have one of these older types of sewer lines, is it time for replacement?

You may think if there is not a problem, why fix it? True – you can wait for a problem to arise and then replace the pipe if needed. That day may come sooner than you think. If a sewer line is over thirty years old and made from a material that deteriorates like metal, concrete or clay, the day may come when there is a large sewage pool in your yard, or a sewage backup into your home. Or, you could proactively replace your old sewer line now before you have a sewage emergency stinking up your home.

Replacement Options

Most sewer lines now are made from PVC or plastic. These will not corrode from moisture or age, and they tend to withstand tree roots invasion better than the older types of pipe. Once in place, it is unlikely that you will need to repair or replace your sewer line again in your lifetime, so it is a wise investment.

If you are not sure what type of sewer line you have, you can get yours inspected by your local sewer service company. They can do a camera inspection to check the inside of your sewer line to determine the type and condition and give you options for replacement, if needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Learn the Basics About Your Septic System

There are many people who own houses with septic systems yet do not know the basics about how this system works. While there is little you need to do to maintain a septic system, you should know the basics on how it functions. This can help you prevent problems and identify issues when they first occur. Here is a basic overview of how septic systems with drain fields work.

From Drains to the Tank

Everything that goes down your household drains goes through your indoor plumbing and out to your main sewer line. This brings all the solid and water waste from your home to the septic tank. This journey is the first area problems can occur, such as clogs or issues with the sewer pipe.

Septic Tank Decomposition

The septic tank is where the solids from your waste are broken down. Enzymes and bacteria decompose solids, creating a layer of sludge and effluent, a liquid waste substance. As the tank fills, the effluent overflows out of the tank and a pump or gravity bring it to the distribution box for the drain field.

Filtering Waste Through a Drain Field

The last step in the septic system process is the drain field. The distribution box feeds several perforated pipes that let the effluent seep into the soil. The waste water is filtered as it goes through the soil and clean water joins the ground water below.

Knowing the path and parts of your septic system can help you identify problems. Keep up with routine maintenance which your local septic service company can do for you, including pumping your tank every few years and having annual inspections and service.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

 

Should I Repair or Replace My Drain Field?

Are you having problems with your drain field? Without your drain field, your septic system is useless and will contaminate the ground around your home and backup sewage. Signs of problems with your drain field include:

  • Foul odors near drain field
  • Heavy, green growth over drain field
  • The formation of a bio-mat
  • Pooling above drain field
  • Sewage backups

If any of these issues are occurring, you have most likely a problem with your drain field. The question is, should you repair or replace your drain field?

Possible Repairs

Drain fields are simple, without much equipment. There is a distribution box and pipes that distribute the waste water throughout the drain field. If there is a problem in either of these places, it may be possible that you just need a repair. A clogged or broken pipe in your drain field can be a quick repair, or a clogged distribution box can be fixed. But if the issue is in the ground, you may be looking at larger repairs or replacement.

When a Drain Field Needs Replacement

A functional drain field is one that “percs”, meaning that the waste water efficiently filters down through the soil. If this is no longer the case, it often means the drain field needs replacement. Most drain fields last about twenty years before they are no longer viable and a new one needs to be built.

To determine whether you need a repair or replacement for your drain field problem, call in a local septic professional. They can find the problem and give you options for repair or replacement to restore your drain field’s functionality.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Protect Your Septic System with Water Conservation

There are many reasons to conserve water use, from saving money on your utility bills to protecting the environment. Another reason to reduce water waste is less wear and tear on your septic system. The more water that flows down your drains, the more work that your septic system must perform.

To reduce the stress on your septic system and to conserve water for many other excellent reasons, there are some simple changes you can make in your home. Here are a few tips on how to minimize the water waste in your home to protect your septic system:

  • Switch to low-flow water fixtures. Wherever possible, upgrade to low-flow water fixtures to save gallons of water waste a day. Switch to water-conservation fixtures for your shower head, faucets, toilet and other fixtures/appliances.
  • Shut off the water. Do not let water flow down the drain for no reason. Shut off the water when brushing your teeth, fill the sink to rinse dishes instead of keeping the water on, and dump gray water outside instead of putting it down the drain.
  • Shorten showers. One of the biggest uses of water is daily showers. Good hygiene for your family is important, but you can put a limit on shower time to reduce the waste. Try shutting off the water while you lather up and then rinse; this can save gallons of water a day.

Reducing water use is one way to make your septic system last longer. Protecting it from excessive wear and tear and keeping up with regular maintenance from your local septic service company can help add years to the life of your system.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Do You Know Where to Find Your Septic Tank Lid?

It is not uncommon for a homeowner to not know where to find their septic tank lid, especially on a recently purchased home. In many cases, the lid is covered in dirt and grass, not easy to locate without knowing where it is positioned. You should know where your septic tank lid is to facilitate easy access for your septic service crews when they need to pump your tank or perform routine maintenance. Here are some tips to find your septic tank lid before your next schedule service.

  • Find the septic diagram. Did you receive any paperwork, diagrams or blueprints from the previous owners when you bought your home? When a septic system is installed, there is usually a diagram given to the homeowners that outlines the septic system, including the tank and lid location. Look through your paperwork and see if they gave you a septic diagram.
  • Look for conspicuous areas in the yard. If you do not have a diagram, or still are not quite sure where the lid is located, look for the lid where you think could be positioned. There may be a 2-3-foot wide rise or indentation in the yard that could be hiding your tank lid.
  • Follow the pipes. Where does your main sewer line leave the house and in what direction? This can help you find the area and look for an indicator of a buried tank lid.

If you cannot find your septic tank lid, do not worry. Your local septic service professionals will help you locate the septic tank and its lid, but it can save time and ensure they have the right access to find it before they arrive.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Spring Planting and Your Septic System

Spring is a great time to update your landscaping. Adding new trees, shrubs and flower gardens can add beauty and value to your home. However, before you grab your shovel and rake to begin your spring planting, consider where you plan to add new foliage and how it could impact your septic system.

Roots and Septic Pipes

One of the biggest hazards to sewer pipes in your yard is the roots of trees searching for moisture. Tree roots can grow tens of feet out from a base of a tree trunk to collect water. If sewer pipes are nearby, tree roots will try to infiltrate them to get to the tempting moisture inside.

To protect your sewer pipes from expensive damage and root clogs, plan carefully when planting new trees. You will want to keep trees far way from your septic pipes to prevent problems down the road as they get larger.

Plants and Drain Fields

Another area to avoid when planting this spring is your drain field. The smaller pipes for your drain field are close to the surface and can easily be impacted plant roots, even smaller shrubs and bushes. Your drain field should only be covered with grass, no other plants, to prevent damage to this crucial component of your septic system.

Keep in mind how your landscaping can impact your septic system. If you have issues with your septic pipes or drain field, it can be caused by the plants and trees in your yard. Your local septic service can investigate the problem and fix any issue your beautiful trees and plants cause with your pipes and drain field.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Questions to Ask When You Schedule Your First Septic Pumping

Is it time to schedule your first septic tank pumping? Before you call the first septic professional you come across on Google or in a business listing, there are some things to consider. First, you want to make sure you hire a licensed, trusted professional with a excellent reputation in your area. Secondly, there are some questions you should ask when scheduling your pumping service. Here are answers you need to ensure your pumping service goes smoothly.

What is the cost and what does it include?

There are some septic companies that have a flat fee that includes everything – the pumping, inspection and disposal. Others may use separate fees for each service. One way is not necessarily better than the other, but you want to know exactly what to expect and what is covered in the quoted price.

What type of access do you need?

It can save time and trouble to make sure there is room for the septic tank truck to park at your home. Ask how close they need to be to your tank and how much room they need.

How long will the service take?

Make sure you know how long to expect your septic contractor to spend cleaning your septic tank. A decision maker for the home should be present in case there are any repairs or issues that need to be resolved.

Septic pumping service is usually needed every 2-3 years for most homes, depending on the size of the tank and the amount of waste created in the home. If you know what to expect by asking a few questions, this service can go smoothly and quickly.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Warning Signs Your Main Sewer Line is Clogged

Under your yard, large sewer pipes sweep away waste from your home. Whether you have a septic system or are connected to a municipal sewer system, these sewer lines are critical to keep your plumbing working correctly. Many homeowners can go years, even decades, without any problems with their sewer lines, especially if they keep up with maintenance. However, clogs and do form and when they do, they can cause a sewer backup into your home. Here are some of the warning signs that you may have a clog forming in your main sewer line.

  • Slow drains. If you notice more than one drain in your home is slow, it could be a clog in your sewer line. It usually begins with the drains closest to the sewer line outlet in the lower levels of the home. If only one drain is slow, it is more likely a localized clog in your plumbing.
  • Bad odors. When you smell sewage near your drains or in your yard, you may have a sewer line clog. Sewage may be trapped in the pipes and the fumes can come up through your sink and shower drains.
  • Wet spot in the yard. If a tree root has clogged your sewer line, it could also cause a leak in the pipe, letting sewage out into the soil. This can cause a wet area in the yard or a green spot in your lawn.

If you have any signs of a sewer line clog, don’t hesitate to call your sewer professional. Clearing it before it gets worse can prevent a sewer backup in your home and the damage that it can create. Many sewer line clogs can be swiftly removed with hydro-jetting by your local sewer service company.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Top 3 Common Septic Tank Issues

If you have a septic system, you know keeping the components in good working order is important. One of the main parts of your septic is your tank. This giant underground holding tank is where your solid waste is broken down, with some waste water being directed to your drain field and the solid waste accumulating as sludge. When a problem occurs with the tank, the entire system is at risk of failure.

Here are the top three tank issues that can affect your septic system.

  1. Leaks. If the tank walls crack or erode, the tank can begin leaking. When this happens, the waste water does not get distributed properly and can contaminate the soil. Most leaks cannot be repaired; the tank usually needs to be replaced.
  2. Not enough bacteria. If the bacteria needed to break down waste are not present, the tank will quickly fill up with solids. Chemicals can kill these bacteria; keeping chemicals out of the tank can help avoid this issue and there are additives that can help improve bacteria growth.
  3. Needs pumping. The most common problem with a septic tank is that it overflows. It is vital to have your septic tank serviced and the levels checked every year to avoid a full tank that will back up your septic system.

Scheduling an annual inspection for your complete septic system, including the tank, can help you avoid common septic tank problems. Regular pumping and checking the efficiency by septic professionals can help you proactively fix issues and keep your septic system working like it should. If it has been more than a year since your last septic service, call your local septic professional to schedule your maintenance.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728