What is a Distribution Box?

If you have a septic system with a drain field, a crucial element of your system is your distribution box, also call a D-box. This component is between your septic tank and your drain field, functioning as a directional tool to ensure the waste water is distributed evenly in your drain field. It is important to know where it is and what can go wrong if this element of your septic system is no longer working correctly.

Understanding Your D-Box

In most cases, the d-box for a septic system is located several feet away from the septic tank toward the drainfield. It can be made from cement or plastic and is usually 1-3’ in width and length and 2-3’ deep, but it can depend on when it was made and the size of the septic system. Not all distribution ‘boxes’ are square – many of the plastic ones available are round. The d-box will have on inlet hole where the main drain line comes from the septic tank and several outlet holes to pipes leading to the drain field.

When effluent is released from the septic tank, it travels by force of gravity or pump to the distribution box. The effluent goes in and the waste water is released through the several holes to the drain field. This ensures that the water is distributed to several different pipes so one area of the drain field does not get overloaded.

It is important to know where your distribution box is and to ensure it is not disturb. Digging, trenching or driving over the d-box can damage it and cause a leak or disruption in the levels of distribution pipes to the drain field. It should be routinely inspected to ensure it is working correctly by your local septic service when they perform maintenance on your septic system.

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

Dangers of Sewer Line Damage

You may not think about your main sewer line but if it is damaged, you will be forced to spend more time and money on this component of your plumbing than you ever wanted. Whether you have a septic system or use municipal waste removal, you have a main sewer line that travels out of your home. It either connects to the city sewer line or your septic tank and it needs to be protected to reduce risks of damage.

Find Your Sewer Line

If you do not know where your sewer line runs, it is important to find out. You may be able to get a good idea by locating where it leaves from the house. You can find this in your basement or crawl space under your home. It is most likely located on the side nearest the city sewer line or your septic tank. From there, you can assume it runs straight to the connection with the city sewer or tank. If you have the plot plans for your home, the sewer line path should be outlined on these plans.

Protect Your Sewer Line

Although the sewer line may be located a few feet underground, it is still susceptible to damage from above. It is crucial to make sure that this area is not disturbed as it can lead to a broken sewer line in your yard. Some common causes of sewer line damage include:

  • Driving a vehicle over a sewer line
  • Post hole digging for fences
  • Trenching to add utility lines
  • Construction, landscaping or digging above the sewer line

To protect your sewer line, keep the area above it a work-free zone and make sure no one drives near this area. If you notice any erosion or depressions in the ground above the sewer line, you may have a broken pipe, or a leak, and you should call your local sewer/septic professional immediately.

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

Sights and Smells of a Septic Problem

Your septic system can seem to work without any problems for years and even when there is an issue, you may not be aware of it right away. Since your sewer lines, septic tank, d-box and drain field are all underground, it can be difficult to know if something is wrong. However, if something is not right, it will eventually come to the surface. In most cases, it will be something you see or smell that alerts you to a problem.

Visible Septic Issues

The most common issues that you can see when you have a septic problem are changes in the ground above the septic components. If there is a leak in your tank, pipes or d-box, you may notice an area that is eroding. Sinking dirt in one area near any septic component should be a cause for alarm. If it is a big leak, the ground may be wet.

Another visible sign of issues is in your drain field. Keep an eye on the grass and vegetation in this area. If it begins to become more vibrant than other areas of your lawn or there appears to be a layer of water or algae, your drain field may be failing. This can create a biomat that blocks absorption of the waste water into the ground.

Bad Septic Odors

If your septic system is working correctly, you should never smell sewage. If you notice bad odors in your yard or by the drain field, you may have an overflowing tank or other septic issue. The same is true in your home – bad odors coming up from your drains can be a sign of a sewer line clog or other issues.

If you see or smell anything amiss near your septic system, call your local professional right away for a septic tank inspection. The sooner you catch the problem, the better chance you have at a repair versus a complete replacement.

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

What Are ‘Septic Safe’ Products?

If you have a septic system, there is a good chance you have heard that certain items should not be put down your drains. Keeping plastic, cotton and other non-biodegradable items out of your septic tank is important to reduce the possibility of clogging your septic filter and to reduce the frequency of septic tank pumping. However, even the items you use every day in your showers, sinks and toilets should be tailored to your septic system. Here is what ‘septic safe’ products are and why you should use them.

Toilet Paper

One of the main products you use every day that ends up in your septic system is toilet paper. Not all toilet paper is made the same and some brands do not breakdown as easily. Choose toilet paper that specifically says it is ‘septic safe’ or designed for septic systems.

Household Cleaners

You may not want bacteria in your home, but you do want them to thrive in your septic tank. Bacteria are what breakdown your solid waste and allow it to become effluent that is filtered back into the ground. Certain cleaners can kill bacteria, harming the bacterial balance in your septic tank.

However, you can still have a clean home and protect your septic system. There are many septic-safe products for cleaning, from soaps and detergents to toilet cleaners and dish soaps. Many use natural ingredients that are effective for cleaning but won’t harm the bacteria in your septic tank.

Drain Cleaners

Too much bleach or even small amounts of drain cleaners can be harmful to your septic system. There are drain cleaners or clog removers that do not use chemicals and are considered septic-safe, which are a better choice if you must use a liquid clog remover.

Using septic-safe products can help protect your septic system. When combined with regular service and pumping from your septic professional, these products can help extend the life of your septic system for many years.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Peek at the Roots in Your Sewer Line

If your sewer line shares a yard with large trees, it is likely those trees are searching for a way to access your sewer line. The roots of trees can spread out from the trunk for 10, 20 or more feet, looking for water and nutrients. If you have jointed sewer line pipes, tree roots can find small holes to squeeze through at the joints and enter your sewer lines. If you want to know if there are tree roots in your sewer lines, there is a way to peek inside.

Digital Camera Inspections

One of the best tools the digital age brought to the sewer/septic industry is digital video cameras for sewer line inspections. There was a time when pipes would need to be dug up to find the exact spot when they were broken or cracked. Now, a small digital video camera can be fed into the pipe, giving a view from inside to inspect the line for issues, including tree root invasion.

Clearing Out Tree Roots

If you have a digital sewer line camera inspection performed by your local septic/sewer professional, they can identify tree root invasion. This can cause clogs and sewer backups, but the problem can be temporarily remedied. Hydro jetting and other tools can be used to clear out tree roots. However, this only clears them from the inside of the sewer line, not the small holes where they entered.

While uses hydro jetting regularly can keep your sewer lines free from tree roots, they can still have a foothold in the holes at the joints. Each year the tree and roots can grow, making these holes larger. It can eventually lead to a break in your sewer line and a need for replacement.

If you are concerned about tree root invasion into your sewer line, schedule a camera inspection of your pipe by a septic/sewer pro. They can show you the inside of your sewer line and discuss preventive options to protect your sewer line from tree root damage.

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

Prevent Sewer Line Problems

No one wants to wake up to a sewer backup into their home. However, if sewer line problems are left unchecked, that could be your reality one morning in the future. The problem is that most homeowners do not know they have a potential sewer line issue until it is too late. Stop waiting for the sewer backup to occur and invest in some preventive maintenance.

You maintain your car, HVAC and other systems to prevent failure. The same should be true of your sewer and plumbing system. Clogs don’t happen overnight, nor do rust or corrosion. These are issues that can be caught in the early stages and fixed before they cause a nasty and expensive sewer backup. But it is not something you can do on your own. You need to be able to see what is happening in your sewer lines to mitigate issues – you need a sewer professional.

Camera Inspections and Hydrojetting

The best way to maintain your sewer lines is to schedule a camera inspection through your local sewer service professional. Using a small digital camera, your sewer technician can investigate your sewer lines from the inside. They can view whether there are any clogs forming, tree roots that have invaded your pipes or breaks in the pipe that need repair.

After the inspection, if there is any sludge, tree roots or clog formations in your sewer lines, your sewer tech can clear your lines with hydrojetting. This gives your pipes a thorough cleaning, keeping them clear and free from debris that can cause a sewer backup.

Don’t wait for a mess in your bathroom or a soggy sewer spot in your yard to tell you there is a sewer line issue. Call your local sewer service to schedule preventive maintenance today.

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

Springtime Septic System Maintenance

After the cold months of winter have passed, there are many chores to consider around your home. You have a lawn to maintain, gardens to plant and cleanup from the winter storms. Another item to add to your to-do list for spring is septic system maintenance. You want to ensure your system did not sustain any damage from freezing, excess water or other issues throughout the winter. Here is a checklist of septic maintenance to do this springtime. 

  • Inspect your drain field. Drain fields can be damaged if too much water accumulated or if freezing temperatures cracked drainage pipes. Do an inspection of your drain field. Look for any signs of bio mat or standing water that is not absorbing into the ground; a bad odor is also a sign of issues.
  • Check your maintenance log. When was the last time your septic system was serviced and the tank pumped? After a busy winter of holiday gatherings and much time spent indoors, it may be time to have your system pumped and serviced.
  • Look for signs of trouble. Beyond the drain field, you can look for possible signs of sewer line problems in your yard and home. Soggy areas in your lawn where sewer lines run underneath could be a sign of a broken pipe that is leaking. Slow drains in the home could be alerting you to a clog. If there are any of these signs, schedule a camera inspection of your sewer lines to investigate the problem.

Your septic system should be designed to withstand the cold or wet months of winter, but there still can be problems that occur. Take the time this spring to inspect and service your septic system to avoid having your summer interrupted by a septic failure.

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

5 Things You Need to Know About Installing a New Septic System

If you are building a new home that will need a septic system, you want to make sure you start with everything you need for success. A septic system is a large investment and you want to ensure the one you install will last for decades to come. Planning and preparation are the most important aspects of building a new septic system that will last. Here are five things to consider when building a new septic system. 

  1. The type of system. There are several different systems available – gravity, mound, aerobic and others. The type of system you have will help determine the steps you need to take next.
  2. Tank placement. All septic systems need a tank that will hold the waste while it is treated. If you are building a home, this should be considered before you start the structure if possible.
  3. Drain field or mound. All septic systems need a place for the treated waste water from the tank to disperse. Whether you need a mound system or can use a drain field, you will need a place that will filter the water before it does into the ground. Drain fields will need to have the soil perc’d to ensure proper filtration will occur.
  4. Size of tank. The size of home and the amount of people in the home will help determine the size of septic tank you need. It is better to go larger than not big enough to avoid over-stressing the system.
  5. Find the right contractor. You need an experienced septic pro that can perform the inspections, install your system and ensure you have all the permits needed to meet local regulations.

Building a new septic system should be carefully planned to avoid problems in the future. Make sure you have a quality septic professional on your side to ensure your system is installed correctly and made to last.

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

Do You Know Where Your Sewer Lines Are?

It happens every spring and summer. A homeowner will decide on a great DIY project to do around their home without considering their sewer lines. Maybe they are building a new fence and rent a post hole digger to make the project easier or decide to build a koi pond in their back yard. The problem is, if you dig in the wrong spots and hit a sewer line, you could be in for a nasty and expensive surprise. Before you begin your next outdoor project that requires soil removal, make sure you know where your sewer lines are.

When sewer lines are installed, a schematic is made and often sent to the local municipality. However, if they have been changed since the original installation, the plans may not be up-to-date. If you can get the plans, that is a good first step, but you may not want to trust that alone. Here are some tips to ensure you know where the sewer lines and if they match what is on the plans if you can obtain them.

  • Where does your sewer line leave your home? Look under your crawlspace or in your basement and find the main sewer line. Knowing where it comes out gives you a starting point.
  • Where does the sewer line end? Your sewer line either goes to the city sewer line or your septic system. Unless there is a tree or other obstacle, they tend to run in a straight line from the home to the destination.
  • Check the physical components to your plans. If the plans and your physical inspection match, you should have a good indication of where the sewer lines are and where not to dig during your project.

If you are having problems locating your sewer lines, calling your local sewer/septic company can help. They can perform an inspection and give you exact dimensions on where your sewer lines are before you start your project.

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

Septic Tank Pumping 101

If you are new to owning a septic system, you may not know what to expect as far as pumping your tank. The problem is, every septic tank needs pumping at different intervals, depending on the amount of use and the size of the tank. Here are a few things you should know about septic tank pumping so you can plan for maintenance and avoid damage to your septic system and home.

What Size Tank Do You Have?

You should find out the size of the tank you own. When you bought your home, there should have been an inspection and details about your septic system and the size of the tank. Tanks are usually built based on the number of bathrooms/bedrooms in your home.

When Was Your Tank Last Pumped?

Most septic tanks need to be pumped every 2-3 years, but some can wait longer. If your tank is too small for the number of people living in the home, you may find yourself pumping every year. Find out when the last time the tank was pumped. If it has been more than a year, you may want to schedule an inspection and possible pumping to ensure you don’t overflow your system.

What Goes Down, Must Come Out

If you have always been on a city sewer system, you are used to unlimited amount of waste that can be allowed down your drains. With a septic tank, too much use will mean more frequent pumping. Limit the amount of food, waste and even water that goes down your drains to keep maintenance and pumping frequency low.

Once you get an idea of how big your tank is and how quickly your family will fill it, you can get on a regular pumping schedule with your local septic company. They can help you determine the right frequency to avoid waiting too long between pumping intervals.

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