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

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