How Does a Sump Pit Work?

Too much water around your home’s foundation can cause settling, foundation damage and leaks into basements. The most common way to direct water away from a foundation is with the use of a sump pit that is connected to a drainage system. In most cases, a sump pump is used to reduce sump pit water levels when they become to high. Here is a basic description on how a sump pit works and why it is so important to maintain.

Sump pits are enclosures located below the area that needs protection from water accumulation. This can be under a crawl space in your home or located in the basement floor. Often, the sump pit is made from a 12-18” wide PVC pipe that is placed vertically in the ground with a concrete bottom. The PVC can be perforated or not – perforated pipe allows water to come in through drain rock around the pit.

To collect water, a drainage system can be used around the areas to be protected. Drain tile is often used to direct water to the sump pit, located around the foundation edges. Gravity brings the water to the lowest area to collect, which is the sump pit.

Importance of Sump Pumps

Sump pits work great to collect water and protect foundations. However, when water levels are high, they fill quickly. A sump pump is a submergible pump that goes inside the sump pit and activates by a float device when the pit is almost full, pumping the excess water out and away from the house to a storm drain or other drainage area.

Sump pits can effectively keep foundations protected from high water levels. However, the sump pump must be maintained to keep it working correctly. If you have a sump pit and pump, make sure to schedule routine service to ensure your sump pump is ready to work when needed.

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

Treatment Options for a Drain Field Biomat

When a thick, dark growth covers your drain field, this substance is called a biomat and it is not a good sign. Biomats occur when the drain field is not filtering effluent from the septic tank properly, resulting in an organic growth above ground. If your drain field is forming a biomat, this is a warning that your septic system needs service. Treating and servicing your septic system quickly can eliminate a biomat and may prevent a septic failure.

Schedule an Inspection and Service

First, call your local septic professional and schedule an inspection and service. If left unchecked, a biomat can destroy your septic system, requiring a new tank and drain field be installed. A maintenance service of tank pumping and inspecting your system may identify issues that can help treat your biomat.

Change Your Habits

It may not be a problem with your septic system that is causing your biomat; it may be how you are using your septic. Using excessive water, putting chemicals down the drain, using anti-bacterial soaps/cleansers and anti-biotic medications can all impact your septic system’s ability to breakdown solid waste. This can cause solid particles to flow out to your drain field, feeding the biomat that is growing and suffocating your system. Cut down on water use and be careful not to put items down the drain that can kill the good bacteria in your septic tank.

At the first signs of a biomat formation on your drain field, call your local septic service company and begin evaluating your septic use. Quick action on your part could save your septic system and save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

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

5 Ways to Prevent Sewer Backups

No one wants to open the shower door and find a sewage backing up the drain. Sewer backups can occur for several reasons, but usually they are preventable. The main cause of a sewer backup is a clog in your sewer line – other causes can include septic system failure and sewer line breaks. The best ways to prevent sewage backup issues include keeping your sewer lines clear and maintained – try these five tips.

  1. Keep grease and fats out of your drains. Fat and grease are responsible for many clogs in plumbing, including large clogs in your sewer lines. Grease also can cause problems with septic systems. Wipe out greasy pans before rinsing or cleaning to keep grease out of your drains.
  2. Be careful what you flush. Cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, cotton balls and other solid items can cause clogs in your pipes and in septic systems. Keep non-biodegradable items out of the toilet.
  3. Compost hard foods. Even if you have a garbage disposal, some hard or solid foods should not be put down the drain. Start a compost for hard food items like egg shells, tough produce peels and coffee grounds to prevent clogs.
  4. Schedule preventive hydro-jetting. Debris and sludge can accumulate in your sewer lines. Hydro-jetting performed by a sewer professional can clear your sewer lines to prevent clogs.
  5. Inspect your sewer lines and maintain your septic system. Every few years, have a camera inspection performed on your sewer lines – this can identify any pipe deterioration or problems for preventive repairs. Also, if you have a septic system, make sure to schedule annual service to prevent backups.

A few preventive steps can eliminate many problems that cause sewer backups. It is worth the investment to keep your sewer lines and septic system maintained to help prevent inconvenient and expensive sewer backups.

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

Preventive Maintenance for Your Septic System

Septic systems are one of the more expensive components of a home to replace. The good news is that most septic systems can last for up to several decades when they are properly maintained. Preventive maintenance is the key to ensuring your septic system does not fail prematurely, which can cost a small fortune if a complete replacement is needed. Here are some preventive maintenance tips to proactively keep your septic system in tip-top condition.

Limited Strain on the System

Everything that goes down your drains impacts your septic system. Keeping items and substances out of the septic that can clog or causes harm is essential for preventive maintenance. Using water conservation methods can help reduce strain, and you should keep grease/fats, chemicals, hygiene items (cotton balls, cotton swabs, tampons, diapers, wet wipe, etc.), medications and non-biodegradable items out of your septic system.

Regular Pumping

Your septic tank needs pumping to remove solids that do not breakdown. Most tanks need pumping about every 2-3 years, depending on the size of the tank and the amount of waste that goes into the tank.

Protect Your Pipes and Drain Field

Keep heavy vehicles and machinery off the ground where your drain field and other septic pipes are located to prevent damage. Also, make sure the utility companies and other entities do not dig or drill near your sewer lines or other septic components.

Routine Inspections and Repairs

One of the best ways to keep your septic system maintained is with routine inspections, service and repairs. Schedule annual service with your local septic professional to stay on top of septic maintenance.

If you spend a little time and money on septic preventive maintenance, it can save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Contact your septic professional to schedule your next inspection or pumping.

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

When Is it Necessary to Replace Your Septic Tank?

One of the main components of a septic system is the tank. These large containers are buried under ground and hold the waste and water from your drains, breaking down solids and releasing effluent to enter a drain field. Installing the septic tank is one of the most labor-intensive projects of building a septic system – it requires digging a large trench, hauling a giant tank onto your property, placing it in the ground and connecting it to all necessary pipes. Replacing a tank is not cheap – which is why most homeowners want to make their tanks last as long as possible.

Longevity of Septic Tanks

Most septic tanks can last for decades – many last 50-70 years or more before they need replacement if they are properly maintained. Many of the older septic tanks were made from concrete, which will eventually deteriorate and crack, but can last for 50 years or more. Most modern septic tanks are made from plastic or fiberglass, which are less prone to leaks and corrosion.

Signs a Septic Tank Needs Replacement

When effluent is able to leak out of the tank, it usually needs to be replaced. It is difficult to patch or repair a septic tank, so complete replacement is the best option. Routine inspections by a septic pro can alert you to leaking issues. Other signs to look for are soil erosion, wet areas, greener grass or sewage odors near your septic tank area.

While replacing a septic tank is a large expenditure, most homeowners will only need it done at the same home once in their lifetime, if at all. Keeping up with scheduled maintenance can help reduce corrosion and extend the life of a septic tank, making it a wise investment.

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

Is a Sewer Line Replacement Covered Under Homeowner Insurance?

No homeowner wants to find out they need a sewer line replaced. Not only can it mean digging up your yard and the inconvenience of no plumbing in your home until it is fixed, it is an expensive project. If you come home to a sewage backup into your home or a sink hole in your yard due to a broken sewer pipe, you need to know your options, especially when it comes to managing the cost. In some cases, you may be able to make a claim to your homeowner insurance to help pay for the repair or replacement of your sewer line.

Replacing Old Sewer Lines

If your sewer line is a few decades old and finally cracked from general wear and tear, it is unlikely that this will be covered by homeowner insurance. Pipes wear out and it is expected that they will need replacement eventually.

Check Your Policy

Whether or not you can use your homeowner insurance to help offset the cost of replacing your sewer line depends on a few different factors. What caused the damage to the sewer line is important – was it an earthquake, flood, crushed under a vehicle, or tree root invasion? Next, it depends on your policy and insurance carrier. Some situations may be covered under a general policy, but damage from natural disasters like earthquakes may require a special type of coverage. The best way to find out if you are covered is to carefully read through your policy or talk to your insurance agent.

While sewer line replacements are not cheap, it is a project that usually only needs to be done once every few decades. Talk to your local sewer line installation contractor to discuss your options to find the best way to cope with the cost.

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

Sump Pump Basics: What You Need to Know

High water levels, whether from an actual flood or just heavy, seasonal precipitation, can seep into basements, causing extensive water damage. Not only can the water damage walls, floors, furniture and other items in your basement, your also at risk for foundation damage and dangerous mold growth. Sump pumps are the protective gear to keep water away from your home and pump away water when levels become too high. Here are the basics on sump pumps and how they can protect your home.

How Sump Pumps Work

A sump pump is a powered pump that empties the sump in your basement. When water collects around your home, it is directed to the sump, a pit in the subfloor. When the water in the pit rises to a predetermined level, the sum pump is activated, pumping the water up and away from the home.

Sump pumps use floats like a toilet tank, except instead of closing the water inlet when it is full, the float activates the pump and draining system. This is an automated system that works only when it is needed. The water is pumped out, either to a drainage area or a city storm drain. This keeps the sump from overflowing, and leaves room for water to flow into the sump pit when it collects around your basement walls or foundation.

Sump pumps can protect your home from extensive damage and are well worth the investment. However, they do need periodical maintenance to ensure they continue to work correctly when needed. Your local septic or sewer service is the place to call to have a sump pump installed or for routine maintenance and repairs.

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

Is It Time to Convert Your Septic to Sewer?

Many homes that once only had the option of installing a septic system now have access to municipal sewer service. As city limits and neighborhoods expand, so do the sewer lines for providing sewage disposal and treatment for residential homes. If your home has a septic system, but sewer service is now available where you live, you may have considered converting. Here is what you need to know and some factors that could help you decide if it is time to convert from septic to sewer.

Cost, Convenience and Value

The top reason that homeowners want to make the switch to sewer service is convenience. No worrying about septic tanks, drain fields and maintenance – sewer service is much easier for homeowners than septic systems. However, that convenience comes at a cost. Not only does it cost a substantial amount of money to convert to sewer, you will also have a monthly sewer bill that you do not have with a septic system. However, even though it is a significant investment, converting to sewer can add value to your home.

Is the Time Right?

If your septic system is less than 20 years old and is working great, you may want to hold off on conversion, unless you are selling your home. You may want to discuss home value differences with a realtor between sewer and septic homes in your neighborhood if you are planning to sell in the next few years. It may be worth the investment if it will the cost will be covered with a higher sale price of your home.

If your septic system is 20 or more years old, or you have been having problems, it may be a great time to convert. Take the money you are spending on repairs and put it toward converting to a low-maintenance sewer service – talk to your local sewer/septic professional to learn more about the cost.

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

Will My City Sewer Service Fix My Sewer Line?

When you find out you have a problem with your sewer line, you may think your first call should be to your city sewer service. After all, you pay for sewer service every month, so issues with your sewer line should be covered. However, that is rarely the case when it comes to sewer line repairs. Here’s the scoop on sewer line repairs and who is responsible for fixing pipes on your property.

Most municipal sewer services provide drainage of sewage to a local treatment plant. Homes and businesses in the city connect to a main sewer line from their buildings. However, the sewer line that runs from a home out to the main sewer line is not part of the municipal sewer system. In most cases, if a sewer pipe breaks or is clogged, it is the property owner’s responsibility to fix. Exceptions may include if the issue occurs at the connection to the city sewer line or if a backup is caused by the city sewer line.

Repairing Your Sewer Line

The first step to fixing your sewer line issue is to call in a sewer service to inspect your pipes. Your sewer professional can tell you where the problem is; if it is a city sewer line issue, they can let you know and you can contact your city utility department to report the problem. If the problem is with your side sewer pipe, you may be able to cover the cost of repair or replacement through your home insurance, depending on your coverage and what caused the damage.

When repairing a sewer line connected to a city sewer, make sure to use a qualified sewer service. Some cities require certification for sewer services that work on side sewers that are connected to the city system, so check the requirements in your area.

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

5 Warning Signs of a Failing Septic System

Septic systems can last for decades when properly maintained. Even when something goes wrong, it can usually be repaired. However, there can be a point of no return if you do not recognize the signs of trouble, requiring you to build a new drain field. Here are five signs your septic system is having issues to give you time to have it repaired before it fails.

  1. The grass is greener. If the vegetation over your drain field is very different than the surrounding area, you may have trouble starting. This can mean the waste water is not filtering down quick enough or too much solid waste is escaping the septic tank.
  2. Slow drains in your home. One slow drain in your home is a plumbing problem. When all your drains are slow, it is likely a sewer line or septic issue.
  3. Sewage odors. When a septic system is working properly, you should never smell sewage. If you have bad odors coming from your drains or you smell sewage outside, there is a problem.
  4. Wet spots or pooling water near your septic system or drain field. Wet areas, dirt erosion or pooling water anywhere near septic system pipes, tank or drain field can mean trouble.
  5. Bio-mat formation. One of the biggest alerts of a problem is a bio-mat forming over your drain field. This is a scum layer of biological material that is caused by too many solids entering your drain field.

If you notice any of these warning signs, do not hesitate to call your local septic service company to schedule a septic tank inspection. Often, the problem can be fixed, and you can avoid the expense of installing a new system.

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