Gurgling Pipes? What can it mean?

pipesIf you are a homeowner with a septic system, you know how to use your senses to stay alert about potential issues that might occur. While preventative maintenance is the best way to stop a backed up septic system before it even starts, it is also important to know how to use your ears, eyes and nose to spot a problem before it gets out of hand.

Some of the most common signs of problems with a septic system include sounds, sights and smells. If you have gurgling septic pipes, it could be indicative of a much bigger problem. Your best bet is to contact a professional service provider who can conduct some septic system troubleshooting tests and help it to work properly.

How to Use Your Senses
We all know the normal sounds of water and waste moving through the drains of our home. That being said, any unusual sounds will generally alert us to the idea that something isn’t right. Gurgling septic pipes are usually a sign of a backed up septic system that is clogged. The pipes that are connected to the system will make a very distinct gurgling sound. If you have ever heard this before, you know exactly what this sounds like.

Once you use your ears to hear that you have gurgling septic pipes, it is important to confirm the extent of the problem. The next thing to check is your drain or leach field. If there is flooding or puddles of water above your septic system, chances are good that you have a backed up septic system. This flooding is also sometimes accompanied by a distinct “sewage” odor in the area surrounding your drain or leach field.

Another thing to check for is the operation of other plumbing within the home. For example, part of septic system troubleshooting is to identify whether or not drains and toilets are operating more slowly than usual. In the case of a severely backed up septic system, some drains will back up completely, causing standing water and possible sewage to come up in shower drains or sinks. If you see, hear or smell any of the symptoms of a backed up septic system above, contact your septic system repair or maintenance service right away.

What Causes Gurgling Pipes?
While gurgling pipes are usually a sign of a backed up septic system, there are different situations that can cause your pipes to gurgle. This is why it is important to contact a professional septic system troubleshooting company right away. While some problems can be small and easy to fix, others could be more complex and might cause more damage if left unchecked for too long.

The gurgling sound in the pipes can be caused by a blockage between the pipes that connect the plumbing in your house to your septic system. Gurgling septic pipes can also be caused by a plugged house sewer vent or blockage within the pipes between the drain or leach field and the septic tank itself. Other more serious issues, such as septic drain field failure, can also cause your plumbing to make those distinctive gurgling noises.

Other Types of Gurgling
Another area of the home to keep any eye on is the toilet, as this is where the most waste will be flushed out of your home. A toilet can make gurgling noises if the water and air inside the pipes isn’t flowing normally. Septic system owners need to be aware that a gurgling toilet, much like gurgling pipes, can be indicative of a potentially backed up septic system. This early warning can give you enough time to contact a professional service to conduct septic system troubleshooting and repair issues before they get out of hand.

A gurgling toilet can also be a sign of a partial clog. In some cases, you can simply use a plunger to apply pressure to the drain line to dislodge the clog. This will allow it to go down into the pipe and will eliminate the gurgling noises. Larger clogs may require the use of a toilet snake tool to dislodge the clog. If the gurgling noises continue in your toilet after using a plunger or toilet snake tool, chances are you have a bigger problem with a backed up septic system.

Prevention is Key
When it comes to problems associated with owning a home that has a septic system, it is important to remember that good septic maintenance and prevention is very important. Signing up for a preventative maintenance program, such as the one offered by All-Clear Septic & Wastewater, is a great way to stay on top of your system with regular check-ups. Never add chemical additives or “septic clean up” products to your system, as many of these can actually hurt your septic system.

Reading all of the tips about septic system ownership can help you to keep your system running clean and healthy.   Contact All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services with any questions at 508-763-4311  or visit www.allclearseptic.com

Do's and Don'ts

Drain Cleaners Can Hurt Your Septic System

drain cleanersDrain cleaners can be an easy choice when your kitchen or bathroom drain becomes clogged, but they are not a great choice for the health of your septic system.  Septic systems rely on natural bacteria  to treat wastewater.   The harsh chemicals found in drain cleaners can kill the beneficial bacteria needed by your septic system to process wastewater.

Chemical drain cleaners are one of the most dangerous of all the cleaning products on the market to human health.  Most contain very corrosive ingredients such as sulfuric acid, lye, and bleach that can burn your eyes and skin.  They can be fatal if ingested and these cleaning products are required by law to carry a warning label listing their harsh ingredients.   Care must be taken to keep these out of the reach of children.

Even very low amounts of a drain cleaner used in a septic system results in significant decreases in concentrations of Coliform bacteria and a decrease in PH when higher concentrations are used.  It could take up to 48 hours for bacteria population to recover to original levels.

What is a solution to your clogged drains?  The best remedy is to prevent drains from being clogged by having good catch basins in all the drains of the home.  Purchasing inexpensive plastic or metal screens for the drains can keep many wastes from going down the drain including hair and food products.   Food scraps as well as oils  and grease should never be allowed down the drain.

Most clogs occur about 6 inches below the drain opening in the trap.   Taking apart and cleaning this area can remove the clog.  Plungers can also be helpful in removing a clogged drain.   If that doesn’t work, a snake or auger can be put down the drain to remove the blockage.   Clean-out ports can be removes to help access the clog.  If no luck, it’s always best to call a professional who has the equipment and expertise to get the job done.

If you feel you must use a chemical drain cleaner, look for an enzyme-based cleaner.  They are less harsh on your system.  You can also try a homemade recipe:  Pour 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda down the clogged drain.  Then pour 6 cups of boiling water after it.   Let it sit overnight and then flush with hot water.

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services can help you with any of your septic system questions.  Call 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services

All Clear Septic Offers Senior Citizen Discount

All Clear Septic7/8/16 All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services offers a discount to any senior citizen or veteran needing a title 5 septic inspection or septic repair. No matter if you live in Rochester, Lakeville, Seekonk, Swansea, Cape Cod, Halifax, Hanson, Norton, Mansfield, Portsmouth RI, Cranston Ri, or any of the surrounding towns we support our veterans and seniors. Call our office for details at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com

Preventing Septic Emergencies

summer-still-life-783347_640Summertime is here and many times means summer guests, especially if you live along the shores of Southcoast Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Whether you a planning on hosting a party, having guests stay over or if you are just having a quiet evening at home, a septic system emergency can ruin your summer plans. The best thing you can do is prepare now and work to prevent septic emergencies before they even happen. If you have a septic system you are already aware of the do’s and don’ts of on-site wastewater responsibilities. This list of eight preventative measures will help you to take your maintenance and care knowledge to the next level, ensuring that you won’t have to pay for expensive septic emergencies in the coming winter months.

#1 – Get an Inspection Before It Gets Cold
One of the most important things you can do is to contact your septic system service and request an annual inspection before the ground freezes and cold weather sets in for the season. Septic repairs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island will be much more expensive if your technician has to dig down under the snow and into solid ground. However, if you do have a septic emergency, All-Clear Septic & Wastewater works all year-round in any type of weather – rain, snow or freezing cold. You can count on All-Clear to keep your septic system working effectively and efficiently all year long.

#2 – Sign Up for Routine Pumping
As part of a good preventative maintenance program, routine pumping should also be scheduled to ensure that your septic system is properly maintained throughout the year. By scheduling your routine pumping just prior to the late fall and winter season, before it gets so cold that the ground freezes, you can ensure that your septic system will be running at its best throughout the holiday and winter seasons. Ask your All-Clear Septic & Wastewater representative about signing up for a preventative maintenance program that includes regular inspections, check-ups and routine pumping.

#3 – Reduce Your Water Usage
When you know you are expecting a lot of guests, make sure to reduce your water usage in advance of their arrival. Take showers the day before and bathe your children before they arrive. Taking shorter showers helps, but make sure to talk with your guests about limiting water use. Do laundry and dishes a few days ahead of time to reduce the amount of water usage that will occur when the guests are at your home. Better planning will reduce the amount of problems you will have with your septic system during the summer months.

#4 – Talk About Flushing
It may be difficult, but it is important to speak with your guests about the things that they flush down your toilets and drains. Routine pumping can make sure that your system is ready to handle accidents or a single-instance flushing, but the more you can educate your guests about the importance of using the trash can instead of the toilet for diapers, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts and other potentially hazardous items. This will help prevent those items from getting into your tank and it will also prevent a blockage and potential backup from occurring.

#5 – Prepare Your Food Ahead of Time
If there is any prep work that you need to do for a big summertime meal or party, try to do it ahead of time as well. Cut veggies up that need to be washed ahead of time and store them in your refrigerator drawers in plastic zip bags. Wash and marinate the chicken and get it ready to go on the grill.   Not only will this space out your water usage before your guests get there, but it will also give you more time to spend with them when they arrive. Believe it or not, it’s the little things you do that add up to making a big difference in preventing costly  septic repairs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

#6 – Don’t Use the Garbage Disposal
Even if your house came with a garbage disposal already installed, you should avoid using it at all costs. All that extra waste into your septic system can wreck havoc, especially during the busy days with your summer guests.  Consider blocking the switch for the garbage disposal so you – and especially your guests – won’t be tempted to use it. Keep a small composting can on your counter – they have some very nice-looking decorative options at home improvement stores. You can put all of your vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and other items that should not go down your drain into the bin. Your guests will see you doing this and will follow suit.

#7 – Consider Using Disposable Dishes and Silverware
If you are having a lot of guests over for a dinner party or even just for cocktails and appetizers, consider using disposable dishes and silverware to reduce the amount of rinsing and washing you’ll have to do later. It’s better to have an over-loaded trash can for one week of garbage collection than to pay a lot of money for septic repairs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

#8 – Sign Up for a Preventative Maintenance Program
The best way to avoid costly septic repairs as a result of failure due to neglect or misuse is to sign up for a preventative maintenance program. Working with a licensed, certified professional septic system repair and inspection company can help you with routine pumping and help you to be prepared for an onslaught of guests during the hot summer months. Aside from being much more cost-effective, a preventative maintenance program gives you the peace of mind that your septic system is being properly taken care of and that a professional is on top of the situation.

Summer is already here.   Contact All-Clear Septic & Wastewater to sign up for a routine pumping and ask about their preventative maintenance program. The better prepared you are during the summer, the less money you’ll have to pay for septic repairs in Massachusetts during the winter months when the ground is frozen and your yard is piled high with snow. All-Clear is available for septic inspection, maintenance and repair during every season and can help you keep your septic system running effectively and efficiently all year long.

You can reach us at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information.

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services

All Clear Septic Title 5 Inspections

All Clear Septic7/6/16 All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services will be performing title 5 septic inspections in Acushnet, Rochester, Fall River, Taunton, Raynham, Mansfield, Franklin, Seekonk, and Dartmouth next week. Please feel free to ask out septic inspectors or septic repair technicians any questions that you may have.  You can reach us at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services

Pump Your Septic System Regularly

All Clear Septic7/5/16 All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services encourages our clients and all homeowners to regularly and faithfully pump their septic systems. Our trained septic technicians can tell you how often your septic tank should be pumped. Don’t make the mistake of not properly pumping your septic tank. You should also visit our website for Septic Do’s and Don’ts to ensure that your septic system is properly maintained.  Call All Clear at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com 

Rhode Island Septic Systems

Tips for Septic System Maintenance in Rhode Island

Rhode IslandSeptic systems are very common throughout Rhode Island. If you are a homeowner and have one of these on-site sewage systems, you are probably very aware of the maintenance and diligence that is required to properly maintain a septic system. If you are new to septic systems, it can be a bit overwhelming to get a handle on all the dos and don’ts.

This article will attempt to give you an overall understanding on how septic systems work in Rhode Island, what you can do to help keep your system running efficiently and when it’s time to call a professional to help you service your system. Whether you have a septic system in Cumberland, Woonsocket, Providence or somewhere in between, these tips will help you to increase the longevity and efficiency for many years to come.

How Septic Systems Work

Most of the septic systems found throughout Rhode Island consist of a specific set of equipment, which includes a septic tank, a leaching field and a distribution box. The wastewater that comes from your home is held temporarily within the septic tank, which is where the waste solids become separated from the water. Bacteria decomposes the solids, which are later pumped out by a professional septic system company.

The partially treated water leaves the tank and then moves on into the distribution box. Once inside the box, the water is distributed evenly into the leaching field. The water drains into trenches that are filled with gravel through holds in the distribution box, which are then used to help further treat the wastewater. The wastewater then seeps slowly into the soil of your leach field for a secondary purifying treatment.

Today there are some alternative systems that use different substrates than soil or gravel. One option is to use sand instead of soil. Another is to use peat. Whichever type of system you are currently using, you need to ensure that you properly maintain a septic system so that it does not pollute the groundwater. Don’t just change from soil to sand, peat or any other type of substrate unless you consult with a septic system professional to make sure that the change will work well with your current system.

How to Properly Maintain a Septic System

The best thing you can do for your septic system is to provide proper care and maintenance. There is a lot of responsibility on the part of the homeowner to ensure that the system is not being abused so that it will run properly. Regular visits from your septic system professional to inspect your equipment, check your levels and pump your system if necessary, will help keep things in proper working order.

Water conservation is the number one way to protect your system. Take some simple steps to ensure that you are limiting your use of water. The more you save, the less will end up in your system. Water-saving devices, such as low-flow toilets and shower heads are extremely helpful. Check for leaks in faucets and toilets on a regular basis and refrain from running a load of dishes and clothing unless you have a full load.

Chemicals can be extremely dangerous to a septic system. Don’t ever put any chemicals or paint thinners down your drains. These chemicals will kill off the microbes that naturally occur within your system and prevent it from functioning properly. Other things, such as food waste, fat and grease are also damaging to your system and should not be put down the drain. Unless your system has been designed to accommodate a garbage disposal, you should not use one with a septic system.

Maintain your leach field as well by ensuring that nothing is planted or growing over the area except for grass. It goes without saying that you should never pour concrete or asphalt over a leach field. Parking or driving vehicles over the leach field can ultimately compact the soil and crush the piping, rendering it useless to the treatment process.

When to Call a Professional

If you notice any problems within your septic system, such as drains that drain slower than usual, gurgling sounds or a foul odor around the house, you need to call a septic system service professional. Another sign is a very lush and green patch of grass within the drainage field, signaling that the grass is receiving more liquid and nutrients than usual. The technician will inspect your equipment, test the drain field and check to ensure that it is all draining properly and will check inside your home to make sure your plumbing is functioning well.

In the State of Rhode Island, some locations  require what are known as Rhode Island Town Inspections. These locations include South Kingstown, North Kingstown, Jamestown and Charlestown. The local town ordinances require both residential and commercial property owners to submit inspections of their septic systems on a regular basis.

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services provides all of these services and more. They are fully licensed to provide Rhode Island Town Inspections and Massachusetts Title 5 Inspections.  All Clear utilizes state-of-the-art tools and fully trained and certified professionals to provide the best possible services to their customers at a very affordable and competitive rate. So whether you are in Rhode Island or Southeastern Massachusetts, call  All Clear Septic for pricing, information or to set up an appointment at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com