How to manage your septic system

how-to-manage-your-septic-system

A septic tank is part of your on-site waste water system facility. It is common in rural areas, where access to a municipal sewer system (apofraxeis Kallitheas) is not obtainable and also not practical economically. The septic system is hidden from sight and if properly maintained, is odourless and could last you for many years. Also, you need to observe a few simple rules, to make your septic system provide you a trouble-free service. For example, you should not throw solids into the toilet, because it will clog the drain.

Avoid Overloading the Septic System

There are a few things homeowners can do regularly to keep their septic systems efficient and running smoothly. Maintaining a septic system is as simple as checking toilets and faucets regularly for leaks and any necessary repairs. Look in the basement or crawl under your house often to check for any signs of leaks. Fit showers with a flow reducer nozzle and use aerators on faucets to lower the consumption of water and reduce the amount of water used for laundry. Another way to reduce water consumption is to invest in energy-efficient appliances. Try dishwashers that use less water or wait until it is full and then run it. Use a displacer to reduce liters of water used for flushing the toilet. Alternatively, replace an old toilet with a modern model that saves on water consumption.

Professional Installation

Have a professional plumber install the septic system to avoid leaks and other plumbing issues down the road. Health officials from the local authority will perform a percolation or soil test after you apply for a building permit to assess whether the ground can support a septic system or not.

Minimize Heavy Duty Cleaners

Solid objects in a septic tank won’t break down when someone overuses heavy-duty cleaners that can kill any beneficial bacteria present in a septic tank. Use them as less often as you can or avoid them at all. Other chemicals that can ruin a septic system include gasoline, motor oils, paint thinners, and varnish. Some of these chemicals can be hazardous to the groundwater. Instead, store them in tightly secured bins and dispose of them per the waste law.

Proper Disposal of Garbage

Never flush things such as cigarette butts, tampons, disposable diapers, paper towels, facial tissues, sanitary napkins, or any other litter down the toilet. Such objects can clog a septic tank faster than it took to flush a disposable diaper down the drain. Grease can also block a drainage system and make it impossible for soil to absorb wastewater. Pouring too much oil down the drain may cause the need for a new drainage system, which can be costly. Improper disposal of garbage can add to the volumes of solids that go down the drain. Instead of using a garbage disposal, consider putting any waste in a plastic bag and drop it in the trash.

How to manage your septic system

Protect the Septic System

Instead of driving over a septic tank, construct a structure on top of the drain field and cover it with either asphalt or concrete. Also, don’t allow pets to walk over the drain field. Planting grass on a drain field can help minimize soil erosion. Consider planting trees far away from the drain area to discourage damages caused by roots. Trees with aggressive roots should even be planted further from the septic tank. A soggy drain field can’t neutralize or absorb wastewater either. As such, plan foundation drains, roof gutters, and landscaping to allow the diversion of excess water from the drain field.

Regular Inspection

The adage that prevention is worth a cure applies to septic systems maintenance. Always remember to pump solids away from the tank. Experts Αποφράξεις Καλλιθέας recommend pumping a septic tank with a 1,000 gallons after every five years. However, you can extend or shorten the period between pumping; thus, don’t follow the calendar. The best time to start pumping a septic tank is when the sludge top is within 12 inches or when the bottom of the drainage system starts collecting within three inches.

How do conventional septic systems work?

Homes and buildings in rural areas often manage to source nearby municipalities’ public water infrastructure, though they sometimes use wells. Well-connected systems need to be treated differently than those that are attached to public water supply networks.

A large septic tank is buried near a home or a building. All toilets, sinks, washing machines are drained directly to this septic tank. After the waste breaks down, it makes its way downhill to a distribution box.

Several long pipes are connected to the distribution box. These pipes contain holes that allow the treated sewage to evenly find its way across a large area known as a drain field.

With well-based septic systems, drain fields must be positioned so that they release sewage downhill from the flow of groundwater that the well uses.

Now that you know the basic infrastructure that most modern septic systems employ, here are six tell-tale signs of septic system failure.

1. Are patches of ground near the septic system damp?

If you notice that one or more patches of the ground roughly above any part of the septic system are significantly wetter than the rest of your property’s lawn, your septic system is likely in need of repair or replacement.

Are these patches located directly above or near the septic tank itself? If so, your tank is likely leaking, as opposed to the remainder of the septic system.

On the other hand, if these patches are found throughout the drain field, you need to develop better drainage conditions for your septic system. Fixing problems in the drain field is generally significantly cheaper than repairing or replacing the septic tank.

2. Notice any patches of grass that are outstandingly tall and green?

If these patches are located above or near your septic tank, its effluent has likely seeped out of the tank and into your yard. The reason why effluent leakage causes such effects is that the elements in effluents often act as solid fertilizers.

These patches mean you’ll probably need to seal up the leaks in your septic tank.

how-to-manage-your-septic-system

3. Are your home’s or building’s sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines draining more slowly than usual?

First, return to all of the drains, fill them full with water, and see how quickly they drain. If all of a structure’s drains are letting out water more slowly than usual, though all at roughly the same pace as one another, your septic system is likely in trouble.

If – and only if – the above is true, either there’s a blockage between the septic tank and the drain field lines or the septic tank’s exit drain is blocked.

However, if only one of your drains is emptying slowly, that particular drain is most likely clogged (apofraxeis). Administering a drain cleaner or using a drain snake to take out any potential blockages are the two best options for this situation.

4. Has the soil above your septic system’s drain field been compacted since its installation?

One of the best conditions for septic system drain fields is that of soft, loamy, uncompacted soil, which helps treated sewage readily escape from the system.

If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, strong sewage-like odours, or sluggish toilets, your septic system’s drain field might not be draining as well as it’s supposed to. Further, if the soil above the drain field has been compacted by things like a lot of vehicular traffic or the use of heavy equipment, your drain field might need replacement.

5. Does your plumbing gurgle when water exits via drains such as toilets and sinks?

This symptom could mean that debris is stuck in your home’s plumbing. However, in most cases, it means that your septic tank is getting full. Seeking a professional’s help in removing excess waste from your septic tank is often the most appropriate course of action.

6. Notice any new blooms of algae in close-by lakes and ponds?

Algae tend to grow in the presence of animal waste, among a variety of other substances. If your property hosts a body of water or is close to one and you see more algae blooms than usual, your system’s output might be leaking into the ground without fully breaking down.

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A guide to understand your home plumbing system

A guide to understand your home plumbing system

Even in the smallest house, home plumbing appears to be an often complex and confusing system of pipes – ΑΠΟΦΡΑΞΕΙΣ ΠΕΡΙΣΤΕΡΙ. However, if you take the time to learn the logistics of residential plumbing, you will see how it works, and it’s actually quite straightforward.

There are only two significant parts to the system: (1) the water supply system for incoming clean water, and (2) the drain-waste system for removing water that’s no longer needed. This article will help you navigate through the natural, initial confusion with your home’s plumbing system and help you address future issues, whether on a DIY or professional plumber (apofraxeis) basis. At least, you will know which system is the source of your problems.

We will examine these two functions in more detail. You should become more comfortable with how your home plumbing system works.

a-guide-to-understand-your-home-plumbing-system

Plumbing basics

Home plumbing is pretty straightforward. A casual look at the interwoven mesh of pipes and valves may seem overwhelming but bear with me. Understanding a few plumbing basics will see you navigate the mesh-like a pro.

House plumbing consists of two systems:

  • Water supply system
  • Drain-water vent system (DWV)

Water supply system

Water supply is a system of pipes that brings fresh water into the home. The system is highly dependent on pressure. Water in these pipes come from one of two sources:

  • City water
  • Wells

City water enters your house from a humongous pipe ‘the main pipe’ that’s usually parallel to your street. If your connection to the main has a problem, call a professional. Damage to the main can result in civil lawsuits and hefty fines.

People who don’t have access to city water usually get their fresh water supply from wells. Water must then be pumped into the home at high pressures. Reduced pressure keeps water from reaching the furthest and highest parts of your house.

Running showers and faucets are usually the first victims of low pressure. Factors affecting pressure range from leaks to blockages. If the leak is caused by a loose connection, it’s easily handled in-house.

If, on the other hand, the leak necessitates re-piping, you best call for a professional plumber. There are other common issues you should leave for a plumber.

The main pipe is connected to your water meter. There’s a shutoff valve before or after your meter. The valve cuts off the water supply system making it useful when doing repairs.

Maintaining the water supply system

Correctly installed piping is leak-proof. The system, however, disintegrates with time. In some cases, a plumber may find it necessary to do a complete overhaul of the plumbing.

The water supply system performs optimally when pressure is high. This makes the system rather sensitive to damage.

To illustrate, a leak in the drainage system will only cause damp-related problems. By contrast, leaks in the water supply system take things a step further: They affect water pressure. Low pressure makes it impossible to run showers and flush toilets.

Evidently, leaks are most harmful in the water supply system. Due to the sensitivity of the system, its problems are best handled by professionals.

Drain water vent system

The two home plumbing systems don’t overlap and for good reason. However, there are bridges all over the home where the two systems meet. Plumbers call these bridges fixtures.

You, on the other hand, know them by their household names: Sinks, faucets, washing machines, and the like.

A fixture is, therefore, defined as any point of water use. Clean water enters a fixture, wastewater leaves. The drainage system relies heavily on gravity to rid the home of wastewater.

The drain water vent system has three main components:

  • Drain pipes
  • Drain traps
  • Drain vents

Drain pipes

These are downward angled pipes that rely on gravity to move water from the fixture and into the sewer line. By observation, you’ll tell this system is more complex than the water supply system: Reliance on gravity has its downsides.

Drain pipes have to be engineered and placed in a manner that lets them play gravity to their advantage. To illustrate, consider the angle of the pipes. These pipes are also bigger than water supply system pipes.

Their size allows them to carry waste without blocking.

a-guide-to-understand-your-home-plumbing-system

Drain traps

Drain traps, also called P traps, are U-shaped pipes that prevent backflow in a plumbing system. These pipes also hold water consistently, thanks to their curvature.

Why should a drain pipe hold water?

The drain water vent system connects your house to the sewer line. Without the drain trap, sewer gases would turn your house into a stink-fest. Drain traps also allow grease, hair, and other debris to sediment.

Drain vent

If you turn a bottle of water upside down, water flow is rather hectic. That’s what happens when water flows through a closed system; it’s just not smooth. That’s where drain vents come in.

The drain vent system runs from your roof and into your drain pipe. It releases air into the plumbing to ensure smooth drainage.

Damage to any of these three systems will be reflected in the overall efficiency of the drain water vent system. Sub-standard products also affect your drainage’s efficacy. Only buy certified quality plumbing products.

Maintaining the drain water system

Clogging is the biggest problem associated with drain water vent system. Hair is the most common cause of clogging in the bathroom, but grease takes it in the kitchen. To mitigate the risks of clogging, frequently empty clean out plugs.

You must also be on the lookout for leaks. Tell-tale signs of leaks include mold infestations, damp ceilings, and stinky rooms.

Leaks also cause structural damage. It doesn’t hurt to call a professional plumber to look through your piping system for leaks. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there: 10% of US homes lose 90 gallons to leaks every day.

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