Signs of a Clogged Sewer Vent

Most people are aware that drains can be clogged. Food, hair or other debris can plug a pipe and cause a drain backup. What not everyone realizes is that there are other pipes that can impact your plumbing and sewer lines. Sewer vents allow to air to escape the sewer lines and are integral to creating the pressurized system needed for proper drainage. The vent pipes run from your drain pipes and come out on your roof. When a sewer vent is clogged, it could cause drainage issue in your home. Here are some signs that you may have a clogged sewer vent.

Gurgling Drains

If you hear gurgling after your flush your toilet or drain the tub, you could have a sewer vent clog. The gurgling can be air escaping up through the drain, instead of up the sewer vent pipe. You may see bubbles coming up through the water in a draining sink, tub or toilet.

Sewer Odors

If air is coming up your drains instead of using the sewer vent, you could notice sewer odors coming from your drains. This means they are not working correctly.

Slow Drains and Ongoing Clogs

Sewer vents can be clogged for months and causing ongoing problems. If your toilet or other drains seem to backup more often than normal, or several drains are slow, it could be a sewer vent clog. Leaves, pests and other debris can get inside the vent and block the airway. You could also have a clog where the vent pipe intersects with the drain pipe, causing backups and slow drains.

If you have any of these signs of a clogged sewer vent, contact your local plumber or sewer service company. They can inspect your sewer vent and drain pipes to find and fix the problem.

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

How Does a Septic Tank Work?

If you are new to owning a septic system, you may only know the basics. You know you have a septic tank and a drain field, and you have been told you need to have your septic tank pumped. But what you may not know is why you need to have it pumped and how the tank works. Here is some basic information on how a septic tank works and why it needs routine pumping.

The science behind a septic tank is based on biology. The biodegradable waste that enters the tank from your sewer pipes will attract and breed bacteria. These bacteria feed on solid wastes, slowly breaking them down into liquid form. As water and more solid waste is added, the solids sink to the bottom, water is in the middle and anything that will float moves to the top of the tank.

When the tank becomes full, the overflow of water exits the tanks from a pipe at the top area of the tank and transports it to the drain field. This should be a watery fluid called effluent that is filtered by the drain field before it enters the ground water supply. The solids stay at the bottom of the tank, breaking down with help of bacteria in the water.

Not all solids do breakdown and the solids portion in the tank grows over time. If it gets too high, it will backflow into the home and solids could go into the drain field. Pumping is needed to remove the solids that do not breakdown and have filled the tank, leaving little room for water.

Septic tank pumping needs to be done once the tank is becoming too full of solids and not leaving enough room for waste water. This is usually every 1-2 years, but varies from home to home. The best way to stay on top of your septic tank pumping is to have annual inspections to check the level of you tank, pumping as needed.

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

First Signs of a Broken Sewer Line

Most sewer lines that transport your waste from your home to your septic tank or main city sewer line are located a few feet underground. When these pipes corrode at the joints, crack or sustain damage, you may not know right away that there is a problem. However, there will be signs that are bound to appear to alert you that you have an issue with your plumbing waste system. Here are some of the first signs that you may have a broken sewer line at your home.

Several Drains are Slow or Backed Up

If the sewer line break is causing a blockage for your waste, you may notice that several drains in your home are backing up or slower to drain. This does not always occur with sewer line breaks; it depends on whether there is a blockage or not. Drains closest to the main sewer line are the most likely to be slow or back up.

Wet Spots or Odor in Your Yard

If there are areas in your yard that are wetter than the rest of the lawn near where your sewer line runs, you may have a leak. There also could be a sewage odor that alerts you to a definite problem with your sewer pipe.

Soil Erosion

In many cases, a sewer line break starts with a small crack and becomes worse. A slow leak could have occurred for weeks, even months. Soil above the pipe can begin to erode, letting you know there is a problem below.

If you see signs of a broken sewer line, call your local sewer or septic company right away. They can inspect your sewer line and locate the point of the problem. Fixing the pipe can prevent further backups and damage to your property.

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

How to Avoid a Thick Biomat on Your Drain Field

Drain fields can work efficiently for years with a well-maintained septic system. Waste water or effluent from the septic tank is slowly delivered to the drain field, filtering down through the soil to the ground water below. As long as the septic tank is performing correctly and the soil is the right consistency, the only organic material growing on top of a drain field should be grass. When a thick biomat appears, it is a sign of trouble with your septic system.

What is a Biomat?

Bacteria are needed to help breakdown waste, both in the septic tank and in the drain field. A biomat is a formation of anaerobic bacteria, the type of bacteria that do not need oxygen to survive. This slimy layer can build up in the trenches of a drain field. The bacteria in the biomat can feed off debris in the water, helping break it down further as it filters into the soil. Aerobic bacteria also are in the drain field, which feed on the biomat and keep it from getting too thick.

If a biomat gets too thick, it can cause problems. Waste water can get trapped above ground and the filtering system suffers. This can occur if there is too much water in the drain field for the aerobic bacteria to survive. It can also happen when the waste water coming from the septic tank has too much solid waste. To avoid a thick biomat, proper maintenance is needed, including:

  • Avoiding putting too much water through the septic system
  • Keeping grease and fat out of the drains
  • Keep food out of your drains – do not use a garbage disposal
  • Get your septic tank pumped when needed

If you have a thick biomat on your drain field, you need to address it before it causes a septic backup. Contact your local septic service for an inspection to determine the best option to restore balance to your drain field.

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

5 Ways to Make Your Septic System Last

If you have a septic system, it is likely the most expensive “system” in your home. The cost of replacing a septic system is usually much more than a HVAC, gutters or even some roof replacements. Given the high price tag, you want to ensure your septic system lasts as long as possible. The good news is many homeowners will never need to replace their septic system in their lifetime if they protect it. Here are five ways to protect your septic system and make it last for decades.

Limit What You Put Down the Drain

First and foremost, protecting your septic system starts with disposal in your home. Limiting water use with water-efficient fixtures and practices is important. You should also keep damaging substances out of your drains such as: chemicals, antibacterial cleansers, non-organic materials, feminine hygiene products and grease/fats.

Protect Your Sewer Lines

Do not let vehicles or heavy machinery drive over where your sewer lines and underground pipes are located to protect them from damage.

Pump Tank as Needed

Do not let your septic tank get too full. You should have it pumped as needed, usually every three to five years.

Routine Inspections

You should have a professional inspect your septic system once a year to check tank levels and all the equipment. Replace parts and components as needed to prevent emergency breakdown issues.

Use a Professional for Repairs

Do not try to fix septic problems on your own. Considering the value of your system, spend the money to have a professional complete all repairs.

If you keep up with maintenance on your septic system and protect it from harm, you can postpone replacement for years. It is worth the investment of time and money to make your septic system last.

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

Who Should I Call for a Sewer Line Problem?

If you are on a city sewer system, you pay for your waste treatment service and expect them to handle any issues that occur. Waste from your home is whisked away through the municipal sewer system and brought to a treatment plant, a much easier process for a homeowner than a septic system. However, first it must get from your home to the main city sewer line. When you have sewer backup or a broken sewer pipe, you may wonder who to call, a sewer professional or your sewer utility provider.

Home Sewer Line Repairs

In most situations, the city sewer service only covers the main sewer line, not the connecting pipes that go into your home. This means any sewer pipes between the connection to the main line and your home are your responsibility. If your sewer line breaks and is leaking into your yard, you will need to have it repaired. The same is true if a clog in your private sewer line is backing up sewage into your home. These pipes, like the ones in your home, are owned by you and are not considered part of the city sewer service.

Call a Sewer Service Pro

If you are having a sewer line problem, call a sewer service professional. While a plumber can fix pipes in your home, you want a company that handles sewer or septic repairs. A quick inspection can determine where the problem is and what needs to be done to fix the problem. A professional can also determine if a problem is coming from the main city sewer line and help you alert the utility company to have it fixed.

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

How Does a Mound Septic System Work?

A traditional septic system uses a drain or leach field that filters the effluent that comes from the septic tank before it enters the ground water. However, not all areas can facilitate a drain field, either due to the type of soil or environmental concerns. An alternative to a drain field is a mound system, a filtering element that is created above ground. If you are considering adding a septic system or need to replace a drain field, here is what you need to know about mound septic systems.

Mound System Basics

Mound septic systems work similar to a traditional system but are a bit more complicated. As wastewater or effluent exits the tank, it is sent to a dosing chamber instead of a gravity distribution box. The dosing or pumping chamber regulates how much effluent is allowed to the enter the mound filter to ensure it is not overloaded. The mound is built with a network of pipes that transport wastewater from the dosing chamber. Wastewater filters down through the mound sand, removing contaminants before it reaches the ground surface underneath.

Mound systems offer a way to install a septic system in almost any area, even when a leach or drain field is not possible. They are more expensive to install, but if maintained correctly, they can last for decades. Although they do require a large mound to be in your yard, it can and should be planted with grass or small plants.

If you need to use a mound septic system, it is vital to stay on top of maintenance and use preventive septic care habits. Routine inspections and pumping the tank can help prevent issues that can damage your mound system and protect your investment.

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

Importance of Bacteria in a Septic System

Bacteria get a bad rap. Go down any cleaning product isle in a grocery store and you will see hundreds of products touting their ability to kill bacteria. While many types of bacteria can pose a health threat, they can be beneficial in the right circumstances. Those same tiny organisms that can make you ill are important to your septic system. Here’s why bacteria are vital to your septic system and how you can protect them.

Septic Systems Depend on Bacteria

When the waste from your home or business leaves the building and enters the holding tank, it needs to deteriorate. The septic tank is designed to allow solid wastes to breakdown into liquid. For this to occur, bacteria are required. Bacteria feed on organic solid waste, such as food, fecal matter and even paper products. As they attack the solids, they are dissolved into liquid. This liquid wastewater, called effluent, can then overflow to your mound or drain field to be further filtered before entering the ground water below.

Protecting Bacteria

Unfortunately, all those cleaners and other chemicals that kill bacteria can be detrimental to your septic system. If anti-bacterial cleansers, paint thinners and other harsh chemicals are put down the drain, they can kill the bacteria in your septic tank. Even antibiotic medications can kill septic bacteria. To protect the bacteria needed in your septic tank, avoid allowing these chemicals to go down your drains.

If your bacteria balance is not correct, your septic tank will fill quicker and require more frequent pumping. To maintain a healthy septic system, make sure to schedule routine inspections with a septic professional – they can check your bacteria balance and help you protect your septic system.

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

Add a Basement Bathroom with an Ejector Pump

The basement in many homes is an under-utilized area. It may be used for a laundry room or storage, maybe a rec room for the kids. What if your basement could add more bedrooms and useable space to your home? Often the reason this area is not used more is the lack of a bathroom on this level of the home.

The reason many homes do not have a bathroom in the basement is a simple plumbing problem. Most plumbing is gravity driven; water and waste travels downward to the main sewer line with the use of gravity. In basements, waste needs to go up, so simple plumbing methods are not functional. The solution is an ejector pump that can propel water and waste up pipes to the main sewer line.

How an Ejector Pump Works

Ejector pumps are similar to sump pumps. They are automatically activated to pump waste water up and away from the home. With the installation of an ejector pump, you can add a half, three-quarter or full bath to your basement. The ejector pump will replace gravity to move the waste water from your bathroom fixtures. Most ejector pumps are electric require little maintenance to continue performing for many years.

Adding a bathroom to your basement can give you more living space for your family and inflate the value of your home. To learn more about how and where an ejector pump can be installed, contact your local plumbing company that offers ejector pump service. Your plumbing professionals can help you plan and install your ejector pump and bathroom fixtures to give your basement a new bathroom.

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

Septic Maintenance Basics for New Homeowners

If you are a new homeowner, you have a long list of maintenance items that come with your property purchase. Owning a home is a wise investment, but it also requires preventive care to help maintain the value and minimize unexpected repair costs. One system that may be new to you is a septic system. While it may seem daunting to be in charge of your own waste disposal system, if you keep up with maintenance, you may be able to avoid many costly repairs. Understanding the basic of septic maintenance is key to avoiding expensive septic repairs and replacements.

Avoiding Unnecessary Disposal

One of the main aspects of maintaining your septic system is reducing the waste that goes down your drains. Make water efficiency a priority, using water conservation fixtures and techniques. Also, the items that go down your drain impact your septic system. Practice keeping chemicals, grease, non-biodegradable items and solid food products out of your drains to reduce stress on your septic system.

Protect Your Underground Plumbing

The majority of your septic system is underground. You need to protect the tank, pipes, drain field and distribution box from damage. Keep vehicles and heavy machinery off your lawn or property where septic equipment resides underground. Also avoid planting trees too closely to septic pipes; root invasion can cause serious sewer pipe damage.

Routine Inspections, Pumping and Repairs

You do not need to do much of your septic maintenance on your own. Hire a septic professional to come out at least once a year to inspect your system, perform pumping when needed, and repair/replace components. This can prevent expensive septic emergencies and keep your system working reliably throughout the rest of the year. It is a wise investment and one that will help protect the value of your home.

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