Monthly Archives: July 2016

Any Problem with Your Septic Tank Alarms

A sounding septic tank alarms isn’t a sure sign of sewage entering your home. But, it could be the sign of a real problem. Here’s how to identify the cause of your alarm and find an appropriate solution.

What causes an alarm?

Several problems can trigger an alarm — not all of which are threatening. The four most common causes include:

  • High water events. High water events like excessive rainfall or snowmelt can overwhelm your septic system and limit it’s processing ability.
  • Excess water. If your septic system has a timer — a device that flushes wastewater according to a preset cycle — it may be reacting to too much water in your system and it needs more time to catch up.
  • Septic tank leaks allow groundwater into your tank, making it difficult to process the additional volume of water.
  • Items like paper towels, hand wipes and cotton swabs are difficult for the tank to process and can clog your septic tank.

What to do when you hear an alarm.

Turn off any running water, including laundry, showers, sinks and toilets. Then, wait several hours. If your alarm hasn’t stopped, call a septic maintenance pro. A septic technician will help you identify your problem and offer advice to help you avoid the same problem in the future. Also, in the event of an in-home backup, a septic technician will clean up any dangerous or harmful material.

How to prevent septic problems.

Keep these materials out of your septic system to reduce the risk of future clogs:

  • Baby wipes
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Cotton swaps
  • Matches
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Paper towels

Specially designed treatments can help keep your septic system clean and blockage- free. Septic treatments introduce waste-consuming bacteria into your septic system, lowering your in-tank levels and removing blockage-causing matter. Have your septic tank pumped regularly to reduce your risk for clogs or backup.

If your septic alarms ring constantly, or if you notice standing sewage in your yard, call a septic pro immediately. Visible sewage and frequent septic backup is a sign of a cracked tank, severe blockage or line damage.

 

Green Plumbing

Green Plumbing to Reduce Home Energy Use

So, just what can you do to start saving money, and the environment, when it comes to the plumbing in your home? Here’s a list of ideas to get your gears turning, starting with these suggestions for how to save some green by going green in the plumbing department.

  • Insulate Pipes—Uninsulated pipes, especially in exterior walls, are responsible for a significant amount of heat loss as water travels from your hot water heater to the faucet. Insulating your pipes helps to eliminate this problem, and can cut standby energy loss at your hot water heater as well, saving you even more on your utility bills.

  • Remove Plumbing from Exterior Walls—If you can, avoid running your home’s plumbing through outside walls. By running pipes through conditioned spaces instead, you’ll reduce unnecessary heat loss caused by close proximity to cold outdoor temperatures.

  • Install an On-Demand Hot Water Circulation Pump—These pumps send hot water to your fixtures in a matter of seconds, saving you money on two fronts. For starters, you won’t lose heat as hot water unnecessarily sits unused in the pipes, and since you won’t have to run water at the faucet while you wait for hot water to arrive, you’ll reduce your water usage, as well.

  • Install a New Hot Water Heater—Hot water heating can account for as much as 15 percent of your total home energy use. Replacing an older unit with a new, high-efficiency one can have a big impact when it comes to reducing your home heating costs.

Green Plumbing for a Healthier Home

Green remodeling places just as much emphasis on creating healthier homes as it does on improving energy efficiency— and home plumbing is no exception. Here’s a list of suggestions of things you can do to make sure the water in your home is as clean and healthy as possible.

  • Investigate Your Water Supply—For starters, get a copy of your municipal water quality report, or have your water independently tested to identify if there are any problems you need to focus on. Since different water filtration and purification systems target different water quality issues, it’s vital that you know what you’re dealing with before you move forward.

  • Install Chlorine Filters on Showerheads—Seeing as how chlorine is absorbed six times faster through the skin than through the digestive system, it’s not surprising to hear chlorine sensitivity is a serious problem for many people. Special chlorine filters installed in your showerhead can reduce chlorine levels significantly.

  • Install a Whole House Water Filtration System—Whole house filtration systems can eliminate the presence of chemicals, particulates, and micro organisms in your water. That makes for healthier water for you and yours, and helps to extend the life of hot water heaters and plumbing fixtures in areas that have high sediment levels in the water supply.

  • Install Activated Carbon Filters or Reverse Osmosis Systems—If you’re particularly concerned with poor water quality and drinking water, consider introducing one of these water purification strategies into your home. Activated carbon filters are installed on faucets and shower heads to absorb pollutants, while reverse osmosis filtration systems are generally installed at individual sinks to provide purified water for drinking, cooking, or brushing teeth.

Why Pex Pipes is Solution of Effective Plumbing

One of the most widely used and cost effective new plumbing solutions to hit the market in decades is pex plumbing. Pex tubing is plastic plumbing pipe that is perfect for residential use. It’s easy to install, cheaper than traditional copper plumbing, and has a great track record when it comes to performance. It is presently one of the most commonly used plumbing materials in new home building, making it the perfect choice if you’re looking for a functional, cost effective, solution to replacing or installing plumbing in your home.

Pex Tubing is the Best Buy on the Market

Perhaps the greatest draw to using pex pipe for your plumbing needs is cost. From materials right on down to installation, it is hands down the most cost effective plumbing a homeowner can buy. It’s cheaper from the get go from a materials standpoint, and because it can be installed in longer, flexible, lines, using less fittings, you’ll also save on the extra fixtures and fittings that copper plumbing requires. And when it comes to installation, there is no comparison. The flexibility, light weight, and easy fitting of pex tubing drastically cuts down on the time it takes to re-plumb a house, or install it in a new home build, translating into big savings on labor costs. Top to bottom, pex plumbing is one of the best buys on the market.

Pex Tubing and Performance

From a performance standpoint, pex pipe also seems to beat out traditional materials. You don’t need to worry about using it as a potable water delivery system, since it’s proven to be even more resistant to common chemicals found in water systems than traditional plumbing materials. Its smooth interior resists the buildup of corrosive materials and minerals that can accumulate and clog copper pipe over time, and because it’s flexible plastic tubing, it resists freeze damage better than metal pipe.

Don’t Use Pex Outdoors

Unfortunately, pex tubing is not suitable for outdoor applications. While it resists freeze damage indoors, it won’t hold up under hard freezing and thawing conditions. And it should never be exposed to UV light, which can break down the material and cause it to fail. As such, pex plumbing should only be used for indoor plumbing applications.

Save on Maintenance, Too

Another reason to choose pex pipe for your plumbing is directly related to how easy it is to work with and install. That convenience translates into the maintenance side of things, too. If you do suffer a plumbing problem, pex is much easier for your plumber to fix and replace than traditional materials, speeding up repairs and saving you on the most costly part of calling in a plumber: the labor.

Debunking the Rumors

If you’re interested in pex pipe for your home, and begin to look into having it installed, you might encounter doubters who cite problems with plastic plumbing that was commonly installed back in the eighties. It’s true, plastic plumbing got a bad name for a while, largely due to a tendency to spring pin prick leaks in the pipe over time. That is a thing of the past, however. The new generation of pex tubing is made of an entirely different material, and one that has proven itself reliable and nearly maintenance free for years now. You only need to look at its widespread use by plumbers across the country to know that the old problems with plastic plumbing have been overcome by this new, innovative pex tubing.

If you’re interested in pex tubing, talk to a plumber about what it will take to replace the old plumbing in your home with pex or to use it in a new home build. You’ll be amazed by the cost difference over copper, and can rest easy knowing you’re getting an excellent product to boot.