Every time you flush your toilet or wash your hands, you’re using your septic or sewer system. They are systems that are generally out of sight, out of mind, and are thus rarely thought of until something goes wrong. You likely only have one of the systems, but do you know the difference between the two and why one might be more beneficial for you than the other.
If you live in a city or town, then you probably pay a water and sewer bill every month. A sewer system is a large scale drainage system ran by the municipal government. They maintain and upgrade the system and you make a payment every month. When you build a house, you connect to the sewer system. If anything happens outside of that connection on your property or is the fault of the primary system, then the city pays for the repair. If it happens after the connection or is the fault of the homeowner, then you must pay the cost of repair.
If you live outside of the city, then you likely have a septic tank system. The septic tank is an underground tank that holds the drained water from sinks and toilets. Unlike a sewer system that connects entire communities to a single drain field, a septic system is for a single home. When you flush or use sink water, it drains into the tank where it is filtered into three layers. The top layer is called the scum layer and comprises everything that floats. The middle layer is clear water along with fertilizing chemicals such as nitrogen. The bottom layer is the sludge layer…you can probably guess what that’s mostly made of. The tanks hold about 1,000 gallons, with wastewater leached out to a septic field. If anything goes wrong with the septic tank or if the sludge builds up so much it needs to be removed, then you’re responsible for the cost.
The cost of a septic system is all upfront and can be about $16,000 depending on how big of a tank you need, etc. Once this is paid, you no longer pay anything for your sewer system. This is the biggest advantage of a septic system, but the biggest drawback is you’re responsible for everything if anything goes wrong. There are very few reasons why a septic system should malfunction. You pay monthly for a city sewer line and that cost varies depending on the city. The biggest drawback for sewers is the lines themselves can be decades if not a century old and is generally repaired piecemeal. You’ll never not pay for using city sewers.
If you have questions about sewer and septic systems, feel free to contact us (805) 647-0113.
Plumbers can help with all plumbing repair problems big or small, but it costs money to have us come to your home. Many times, small issues can be taken care of by the homeowner and you can save calling the plumber for major emergencies. When there is a small problem, grab your wrench and plunger and get ready to tackle it all on your own.
Every good plumber has a toolkit, and so should every DIY plumber. It’s important to have a toolkit for plumbing that is separate from your primary toolkit. These tools will get down and dirty, so it’s best to just keep them together. You need two plungers: one for the sink and one for the toilet… don’t use the same one on both… ick. You’ll need an adjustable wrench, screwdriver, pliers, utility knife, plumbing tape and a caulking gun. With these tools, you’re ready to tackle almost any plumbing problem thrown at you.
Whether it’s a toilet, sink or bathtub, clogged drains can be a major pain. Many times, the culprit isn’t a children’s toy lodged in toilet or tree root cutting through the pipe. It’s more mundane such as food and grease in the sinks, hair in the bathtub and…poo…in the toilet. The good news is you can take care of these without call the plumber. Grab your trusty plunger and place it over the drain. It’s important that the plunger has a good seal, so when you press down on the plunger, the air rushes into the drain and not out the sides. Forcefully press down on the plunger repeatedly until the clog is cleared.
A running toilet is most likely caused by a stop valve or plug in the assembly inside the toilet tank. Open the back of the toilet and look to see the plug has a good seal or if the floater is too high and causing the plug to not cover the hole. You might be able to fix temporarily by jiggling the handle, but replacing the assembly is easy and inexpensive. If you have a leaky toilet, then you need to find out where the leak is occurring. If it’s a crack in the porcelain, then you might be able to caulk it. If it’s coming from under the toilet, then you’ll have to unscrew the main seat, empty out the water and lift it up to see the wax ring. The seal is likely broken, and you’ll need a new wax ring.
If you’re having a toilet or other plumbing problem, let us help you.
When the weather changes, it can wreak havoc on your plumbing systems and can lead to serious plumbing service and repair if not handled correctly. Whether it’s extreme heat or extreme cold, preventative maintenance can save you money and hassle.
When the temperatures start to fall, you need to take care of your pipes. You may think because the pipes are in the basement or your crawl space that they’re safe from freezing, but that’s not the case. When the water comes into your home from outside, it can be cold enough to freeze. The permafrost is enough to keep the underground water from freezing, but that’s not the case as it gets closer to the surface. When the pipes freeze, it can cause you to lose water and if the water expands, then it can lead to a pipe rupture. Simply wrapping insulation around the pipe can be enough to keep the pipes from freezing. The solution only takes a few minutes and it can end up saving you thousands in repair costs.
When the temperature drops it impacts not only the pipes into your home but out as well. When temperatures are higher, and you pour grease or other items down the drain, it can go through most of the piping without hardening. Cold pipes will harden the grease faster and lead to clogs. The best thing to do is never pour grease down the drain. Instead, collect it in containers and keep your pipes clear all year round.
People love going on vacation during the summer and in all the excitement you may forget all about your hot water heater. Even when you’re not home, the heater will continue to heat the water, costing you money and causing unnecessary wear and tear. When you’re leaving, turn down the heater, so you’re not taxing it so much. Since it’s the summer, you may want to shut the gas off entirely and eliminate any worries. If something happens while you’re gone, no one will be there to call a plumber if the water heater should leak or stop working. The last thing you want to deal with is a gas leak.
Temperature changes can be devastating, but contact us if you have any questions on how you can be prepared.
Home renovations whether it’s the bathroom or the kitchen can revitalize your home and create the room you’ve you always dreamed about. You’ll spend months researching and going through all the different steps, so you can finally begin. While you might consider everything from appliances to contractors, there are some aspects regarding plumbing service that people don’t consider.
Renovations can be exciting, and people often want to make everything perfect since it will be years before anything new happens. It can be tempting to move a stove or sink from one location to another, but be careful. The installation and adjustment of plumbing and gas lines can add up. Talk to a plumber beforehand and get an estimate. They may have to go through concrete or other materials that can add time or cost to the installation. There may also be pipes that need to be replaced or other unforeseen problems.
Your plumbing fixtures as such as bathroom sinks, bathtubs, showers and kitchen sink will be the ones you’re stuck with for a decade or more. You don’t want to do renovations every few years, so get the plumbing fixtures you want now instead of regretting it later. You may think that fancy fixtures are outside the budget, but would you rather spend a little extra to get the best or regret your decision for a decade? Keeping a tight rein on your budget is important, but so is having a satisfying result. The fixtures will be front and center no matter what room you’re renovating, so get the ones you really want.
When you’re renovating, you’re adding many items to the budget. Everything from the cost of appliances, shipping, contractors, etc. The budget can get high fast, but don’t forget to account for unexpected expenses. There’s a general rule that you need to set aside about 20 percent of the budget for “just in case.” You may find that the contractors need more time, the price of the stove is more than thought or the sink you ordered wasn’t the right size. There are many unexpected costs that add up quickly, so keep that in mind when creating a renovation budget.
If you need helps with quotes for a home renovation or any other plumbing issues, then feel free to contact us today.