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

Protect Your Sewer Line During Utility Work

Your main sewer line may be hidden, but just under the surface of your yard it is performing its duty. Many people may not know exactly where their sewer line is, which can pose problems. If a new phone line or gas pipe needs to be installed to your home, utility workers may need to run a trench through your yard. It is vital to protect your sewer lines from damage to prevent expensive repairs down the road.

Find Your Sewer Lines

If you have a lot schematic of your property, it may show you where your sewer line runs. You may also be able to get an outline of underground utilities on your property from your local utility or building municipal departments if they have one on file. The other option is finding the outlet from your home (usually in the basement or crawlspace) and following the path to the septic tank or city sewer line.

Inform Utility Crews

Most utility crews will investigate to ensure they are not disturbing any existing utility lines before they begin digging. However, do not assume they have done their due diligence. It is not uncommon for damage to be done to sewer lines or a D-Box that is not realized until many years later. When you need to replace a sewer line because it eventually breaks from damage done years prior, you most likely will be left paying for the repair.

Concerned that a utility crew may have damaged your sewer line? Contact a local sewer line service to have your pipes inspected for damage. It is better to find out sooner than later, giving you an opportunity to have the repair done before it causes damage to your home or property.

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

Septic Tank Pumping FAQs

One of the main maintenance requirements of septic systems is ensuring the tank is emptied when needed. The problem is, many homeowners are uninformed about the tank pumping process, not knowing when or why it needs to be completed. Here are some frequently asked questions about septic tank pumping to give you a better understanding.

How Often Does a Septic Tank Needing Pumping?

Most tanks are designed to accommodate about 2-3 years of waste before they need to be pumped. However, this can vary depending on how many people are in the home and the size of the tank.

What Will Happen if the Tank Isn’t Pumped?

Sludge builds up in the tank, a thick layer of solid waste. When the level becomes too high, new waste water cannot settle long enough before exiting the tank into the drain field. Too much unfiltered waste can enter the drain field and could cause a septic backup or failure of your drain field.

How Do I Know When My Tank Needs to be Pumped?

It is difficult to check when a tank is becoming full on your own. This is why annual service by a septic company is important. They can check the level of your tank each year and inspect your system, letting you know when you should schedule your next pumping.

Is Pumping Expensive?

Each region and service are different for pricing; the cost includes emptying the tank and disposal, and larger tanks will cost more to pump. However, for an average-size tank, the cost usually runs around $300-$500.

If it has been more than two years since your last pumping, schedule routine septic service and pumping to ensure you do not wait too long to perform this important maintenance.

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

Keeping Up with Sump Pump Maintenance

Your sump pump is a vital component to keeping your home and basement dry, removing excess water from around the foundation to prevent water and mold damage to your home. You need to know that it is working 24/7 and will turn on when needed to pump water out and away from your home. The best way to ensure your sump pump is working correctly is to performed routine maintenance and inspections through the year, especially before and during the wet months. Here is a quick checklist on what to look for to ensure your sump pump is working properly.

  • Fill basin with water and make sure pump turns on and begins pumping the water out
  • Make sure the pump is upright and level, with the float working correctly
  • Remove the pump from the basin and clean the grate on the bottom of the pump
  • Clean the pump screen or inlet
  • Inspect the cord and connected plumbing for any problems – look for wear and tear, leaks or other issues that may need repair
  • Remove any debris from the basin or outlets

Before you clean screens or do any maintenance on the pump unit, make sure to unplug it first to avoid any risk of electrical shock. You should check your sump pump at least four times a year to ensure it is in the proper position, clear of any debris and is turning on when the water gets to the designated level.

If you inspected your sump pump and there are any problems, contact your local sewer/plumbing service. Most offer sump pump repair or replacement services to keep your sump pump working year-round.

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

Where is My Sewer Line Clean-Out?

The main sewer line that carries waste away from your home is underground, but all sewer lines should have a clean-out port. This access point is designed to give you and sewer professionals a way into the sewer line without needing to dig up the pipe, which can be useful if you have a clog or need a repair. If you do not know where your sewer line clean-out is, here are a few tips to help you find it.

Do You Have the Plot Plans for Your Home?

If you have the plot plans that were used to design and build your home, this is the easiest way to find the clean-out port for your sewer line. It should be identified on the plumbing layout, making it simple to locate the port.

Look Between Point A and Point B

Your main sewer line leaves your home at point A, and empties at point B. The empty point is either a municipal sewer line or your septic tank. The clean-out port for your sewer line will be between the two points. The clean-out is usually a small pipe with a screw on cover that is poking out of the ground. In rare cases, it could be behind a wall or in a crawl space.

Call a Sewer Professional

If you cannot find your clean-out or believe you have a sewer line clog, call your local sewer professional. They can locate your clean-out and perform an inspection on your sewer line with a digital video camera that can be snaked through your sewer line. Once you know where your clean-out is, make sure it is kept accessible for sewer line repairs and maintenance in the future.

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

How Can I Prevent Sewer Line Backups?

No one wants a sewer line backup in their home, but when these occur, they are often not an accident. Most sewer line backups can be prevented if you know the common causes. When more than one drain in your home is slow or sewage is coming up the drains, you have a big problem with your sewer line. It is either clogged or blocked, leaving no where for the waste to go but up your drains. Here are some ways you can prevent a sewer line backup to keep this from happening in your home.

Protect Your Sewer Line

If your sewer breaks under pressure or becomes clogged with tree roots, you are likely to have a sewer line backup. Protect your sewer line from becoming damaged. Keep vehicles off your lawn where your sewer line runs and do not plant trees near your sewer line. This can help prevent pressure damage to the pipe from heavy vehicles and keep tree roots out of your sewer line.

Watch What Goes Down the Drain

Educate the people in your home on what can and cannot go down the drain. Not only can grease, hair, soap, food debris and non-biodegradable items create indoor plumbing clogs, they can become part of the sludge that can create blockages in your main sewer line. Do not flush plastics, cotton or cardboard – use a garbage disposal for food waste and strainers in all drains to collect hair and other items so they do not go down the drains.

If you do have a sewer line backup, call a local sewer professional to perform an inspection. Often all that is needed is a hydro jetting service to clear your sewer line, unless it is damaged. Either way, they can fix the problem and put an end to the sewer backup in your home.

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

Signs You May Need a New Septic Tank

When there is a problem with your septic tank, it is not always obvious. Buried underground, your septic tank is out of sight and out of mind most of the time. However, while these tanks can last for decades, they can also become damaged. If they crack or have other issues, you could have raw sewage leaking into the ground around your home and will need a tank replacement immediately. Here are a few signs that your septic tank may need replacing.

  • Erosion near your tank. If you notice the ground eroding or sinking near your septic tank, you should call a septic professional. You may have a leak in your tank or a sewer line may be broken.
  • Unusual plant growth. Raw sewage can make great fertilizer – if the grass is particularly green around your tank or seems to grow quicker than the rest of your lawn, you may have a leak.
  • Wet ground and bad odors. In some cases, the ground may be wet around the septic tank if there is a leak. Looking for soggy spots or pooling water. If there is this much leakage, you may also notice bad odors near your tank area, which is never a good sign when you have a septic system.

To know whether your septic tank needs repair or complete replacement, you will need a professional inspection. Never try to enter your septic tank on your own; it is dangerous due to the location and the deadly gases that can buildup inside the tank. Call a septic service professional and have your system inspected to find out where the problem is and what can be done to remedy the situation.

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