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.
When you’ve been plumbing experts as long as us, you start hearing the same questions from customers. There are many common problems and issues that affect people every day and they naturally give rise to plumbing questions. Here is a list of some of the most common questions we receive.
In an ideal world, the only thing to go down your drain is water, but all too often food particles, grease, and hair go down as well. These can get stuck in the pipe and eventually cause a clog. Alternatively, if your drainage pipe breaks, dirt can fall into it and create a clog. One of the most common causes of this kind of outside-the-home clog is a tree root that has grown through the pipe.
The first line of defense is vigilance. Routinely inspect your pipes and look for areas where rust or lime is forming. Leaks most often start where two pipes connect, so keep an extra close eye on these areas. If you see these deposits, then contact a plumber to take care of it. Leaky pipes can damage floors, walls, and anything else around them if they go unchecked.
A running toilet is a common problem that many people just ignore. Even if it’s not causing you any outward problems, it’s still costing you money. A running toilet can cost you up to an extra hundred dollars a year in water costs! Fortunately, the fix is usually pretty simple and can be done by you at home for as little as $10. Why spend an extra $100 a year when a $10 fix can stop it?
When you routinely put food into the garbage disposal, some of that food can get stuck in the disposal area and begin to rot. If you smell a rotten smell coming from your sink, then cut up a lemon, lime, or other citrus fruit, and put the pieces into the disposal. They’ll help clean the disposal and leave a lemon fresh scent. The last thing you want is a disposal repair because of rotten food. Alternatively, just the peels are still helpful if you’d rather eat the meat of the fruit.
Is there anything worse than getting shot with cold water in the middle of a shower? Many people ask us why they run out of how water so quickly. It could be you’re simply using more hot water than your current water heater tank can supply. In that case, consider a larger tank or a tankless water heater. If nothing about your daily routine has changed, and there are no additional people in the house, however, it could also be a problem with the water heater or a leak in the hot water lines in your home. In that case, you should definitely call a plumber.
If you have any more questions about plumbing, let us know and we’ll provide our best answer.
People are natural procrastinators. If we can do something tomorrow rather than today, we likely will. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, but many times it can get us into unnecessary trouble. Horrific plumbing problems rarely start out all that bad; they begin as something small and annoying, but over time grow and grow until one day you have a major issue. When you take the time to take care of a small problem, you may end up saving yourself from a major problem down the line.
Unless a child places something directly into the toilet such as a toy, clogs don’t usually just happen. You’ll probably notice the water draining a little slower and it gets worse and worse until you flush the toilet and suddenly you’re ankle deep in dirty water. That’s a problem no one wants to have and could have been avoided with a little short-term care. If you had the soon-to-be clog taken care of before it became fully blocked, you could have avoided ankle deep dirty water. Clear the clogged bathtub drain now and not later.
Updating your pipes is a major project, but it will save you tons of money and headaches in the future. There is nothing more precarious than going through a winter with old piping. The rust and limestone that have steadily formed over the years may have made your pipes more prone breakage and leaks. When a pipe breaks, it can cause thousands of dollars in damage and you’ll still have to have the pipes repaired. Instead, get the pipes updated before the break. You’ll decrease the rinks of anything happening for many years and avoid having to fix a plumbing leak.
You may not know that a problem is forming because you don’t have the knowledge and tools to see it. We suggest getting plumbing checkups that allow us to look at everything and find any problems before they become major. It can be as simple as saving money by stopping a running toilet to discovering a basement plumbing leak before the rots out your entire floor area. Don’t underestimate the importance of your plumbing.
Don’t wait until the problem becomes a nightmare and let us get your plumbing up to shape.
Do you feel like you’re drowning in house repairs? If so, it’s time to put Hansen’s Plumbing services to the test! You don’t know what you don’t know, right? You constantly hear about plumbing services, but do you really know what services are being offered? We recognize that things fall apart, but we are here to put them back together and flush away any problems. Is your garbage disposal acting up? Are you experiencing a toilet issue or a leaking faucet?
Our skilled team has solved a multitude of services big and small 24/7:
Failed piping or supply lines might not be covered under your homeowners insurance if your pressure regulator is not functioning correctly and you have a pipe failure. We install or repair any issues to prevent any future negative effects on the operation of your water supply.
Whether you are in the midst of the heat or caught in the snow, it is important to keep your water heater serviced. We will flush out the mineral buildup and replace the anode rod that protects your tank. Hansen’s will provide you with expertise on the correct size and type of water heater to fit your every need.
We also offer backflow test and repair.
Better safe than sorry! We perform smoke testing to identify any failures in your waste and vent system to prevent any sewer gas or waste from going into your home.
With video line inspections, we educate you on what’s inside your lines and where to prevent future damage. We can identify any failures in your sewer and have also found toys and jewelry among other things.
When cable machine cleaning is not enough, we rely on our hydro jet drain cleaning, which uses high pressure water into a drain to eliminate debris, clear tree roots and clean drain walls.
We know it can be draining to deal with recurring plumbing inconveniences, but Hansen’s is licensed, insured and bonded and ensure best practices in all that we do for our clients.
Listen friends, your home is perfect just the way it is. Hansen’s Plumbing is here to help keep it that way. Unless you want a change… then we remodel too. ☺
Click here for a full list of services!