Summertime. Many Americans experience nostalgia as they think of their childhood summers, from playing in the sprinklers to swimming to exploring the nearby woods. Between kids coming home in clothes that need an immediate washing to visitors in your home, this season of relaxation and fun has your septic system working overtime. And, here in Boise, Idaho, summer is when we experience the most rain! Your residential or commercial septic system is under a lot of excess stress from all of these factors. Some simple maintenance tips can help prevent a septic disaster that could lead to needing a septic system repair, and we'd like to share our best tips and tricks with you today.
- Conserve water. This may be a no-brainer, especially during a year when we all expected a drought, but a conserving water is extremely important. A septic tank can only hold so much water at one time, and can overflow or backup into your home if it's not given time to drain. Repairing or replacing leaky faucets and toilets are a good place to start, as well as teaching your kids to turn the water off while brushing their teeth. It's also beneficial to avoid washing all of your laundry on the same day; that way, your septic system can drain after each load, allowing it to catch up and keep up with the demands of a fun summer.
- Schedule Septic Tank Care, Inspection, and Maintenance. As sewer and septic experts, we recommend getting your septic system cleaned and pumped by a professional every 2-5 years. This eliminates the risk of build up and reduces the chances of a waterlogged drain field or other unpleasant mishaps.
- Use a No-Flush List. Friends, family, and house guests may need to be educated about what items cannot be flushed down the toilet or kitchen sink. Your list should include grease, cat litter, facial tissue, feminine products, coffee grounds, and plastic. All of these materials can clog your grease trap and lead to backup and overflow; simply tossing these items in the trash is a much, much easier way to go.
- Watch Out For Trees. Most people don't think about it, but trees should be a minimum of 30 feet from your septic tank and drain field. Roots can grow much more rapidly than you think, and can ruin your drain field or even crack the septic tank itself.
The real estate market here in the Boise, ID area has been HOT for the majority of the year. If you are looking to sell, how is a great time to do so, especially as the market has begun to slow down and experts are predicting prices to slowly settle back down. If your home has a septic tank and you're planning to sell, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you to get your septic system inspected to prevent surprise costs and repairs.
If you are a homeowner looking to sell a property with a septic system, here are a few things you should know:
- Septic tanks should be inspected and pumped out ever 2-5 years; doing so will prevent problems such as showers, sinks, and bathtubs not draining, or toilets backing up into the shower or tub, or septic leakage in the yard. None of these are pleasant scenarios to deal with, and regular septic inspections can prevent all of these problems.
- Finding a problem during inspection can prevent problems from becoming more complex or difficult to deal with; problems left unchecked may require an entire septic tank, system, and drain field replacement, which is far more costly than regular inspections and minor repairs.
- It is EXTREMELY important to keep your system in good condition as you prepare to sell. An inspection will be performed during closing, and buyers may back out of the contract if a problem is found; alternatively, you may be required to fix it, so getting ahead of the problem can save you time and stress.
- A general home inspector may not have the knowledge and training to properly inspect your septic leach field, so hiring a professional septic contractor like ASAP Septic for your real estate septic inspection will give you a much more accurate idea of potential issues you may encounter.
- The cost of inspection depends on the size of your septic tank. Contact us for a free estimate.
- The seller is typically required to pay for septic system repairs, but this can be negotiated in the contract. The buyer does have a legal right to back out of a contract if an agreement on repairs cannot be reached, so keep that in mind.
- In Idaho, home sellers MUST disclose any known issues to potential buyers; if your septic system has an issue after closing that you were aware of, you WILL be required to pay for the entire cost of the repairs.
Hydrojetting is one of those terms that's often thrown around sewer and septic professionals, and as experts who have been in the industry for three decades, we understand the value of helping our clients know exactly what we're talking about, and breaking down specific terminology so our clients can make informed decisions to benefit their home. Today, we'll be discussing hydro jetting: what exactly the term means, and how to know when it should be used.
What is hydro jetting?
Hydro jet services are performed by running up to 200 feet of a hydro jet line through septic and sewer pipes and plumbing. As the name implies, a special nozzle is at the end of the line that can be threaded through the pipes, once the nozzle reaches the clog, water is sprayed out of it at a pressure of up to 4,000 pounds per square inch. This extremely high-pressure spray effectively blasts everything off of the inner surface of the pipe, effectively cleaning it of clogs, any built up grease or mineral deposits, and sludge that could be reducing the flow of your drain.
When should you use hydro jetting services?
When you notice that drains aren't clearing as quickly, or sewage or sinks begin to back up, your first step should be to use a plunger to see if you can dislodge the clog. Most clogs are caused by food or toilet paper that has become stuck somewhere along the sewer line. If the plunger doesn't work, snaking is a logical next step. If your clog remains unresolved, it's a good time to use professional hydrojetting services.
If you can't seem to figure out the cause of the blockage, we recommend a drain or sewer line camera inspection. This can be very telling and help you nail down the root cause of the clog very quickly, and your team of professionals will be able to determine whether hydro jetting can solve the issue.
While hydrojetting is a good option when you experience clogs, preventative maintenance can prevent the headache and stress of major issues. Especially in kitchen lines where a garbage disposal is used, or in households where greasy pans are frequently rinsed out in sinks, or in commercial restaurant kitchen that have a high volume of drain usage, getting your sewer pipes regularly hydro jetted--perhaps once per year--will prevent clogged drains from forming, and can proactively keep these issues from arising.
At ASAP Septic, we serve clients in Boise, Mountain Home, Payette, ID, and all surrounding areas. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (208) 991-7184 for more information today!
- affordability--even considering the cost of septic system design, installation, and maintenance, having a septic system is actually cheaper than being on the public sewage line!
- durability--septic tanks are built to last, and, if properly maintained, can last up to 50 years!
Additionally, because of the way a septic system works, it's an eco-friendly option. Here are a few reasons septic systems better serve our ecosystems:
The elimination of waste. Septic tanks are a bacterial playground, where anaerobic metabolic processes are happening like crazy! The microbial ecosystem inside of a septic tank breaks wastes down, compacting them to create more space for other wastes. This is the primary reason you only need to pump your tank every 2-5 years, depending on usage: those bacteria are working for you, 24/7, and that breakdown eliminates a significant amount of waste!
Naturally filtered wastewater. The leach or drain field of a septic system allows water to seep back into the ground. As this wastewater trickles through the layers of soil and rock, it is naturally filtered and purified. By the time it reaches the water table, the water has been naturally cleaned! This is an amazing process, and allows water to re-enter the water cycle without the use of harsh chemicals. It also aids to naturally replenish the water table.
Good for surrounding vegetation and wildlife. Especially in rural areas where public sewage systems don't reach, installing miles of pipes can add up to disturb a significant amount of land. In contrast, installing a septic system disturbs a much smaller area, and allows indigenous plants and wildlife to flourish undisturbed.
At the end of the day, when it comes to ecological impact, a septic system is definitely the better option. However, dealing with biological waste is always an area in which a team of experts will serve you well. A poorly installed or constructed septic system can lead to far greater issues within a few years, and where biological waste is concerned, that can quickly cause health and safety hazards. At ASAP Septic, we utilize our years of expertise to best serve our clients and keep things running smoothly. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (208) 991-7184 with any questions or for more information today!