Causes of Sewer and Drain Problems
The most common causes of sewer and drain problems include:
• Build up of Grease and Soap Residue (also called sludge). Grease stoppages are due to a gradual build up of small amounts of grease over the years.
• Various foreign objects: Hair & Lint, Feminine Products, Paper Towels & Baby Wipes.
• Roots (from nearby trees and bushes)
• Poor installation or ground settling causing low spots, inadequate slope or breaks in the line.
Preventive measures can often be taken to reduce or eliminate stoppages. Listed here by problem area or fixture affected are the typical problems and specific measures you can take to avoid, prevent, or solve them. All drawings are used as examples only and are not intended to represent the uniform plumbing codes.
Grease in a Line
Most grease stoppages are due to a gradual build up of small amounts of grease over the years. A one-time overload stoppage is possible, but is rare.
Stoppages due to grease build up are more complex than they appear. The blockage may be at one or several points and there may be other points where the grease may soon cause a blockage.
A quick pass with a sewer cable may only make a small hole in the grease and the line may clog again soon. This along with 3 in1 Total-C® Drain Line Conditioner keeps your pipes clean and smelling fresh
can enter lines through microscopic holes at joints and fittings or at fractures. Within the line they tend to grow first on the top and sides of a line.
Settling and Slope Problems
Low spots, poor connections, or inadequate slope to a line are usually caused by improper installation. Typically, the conditions caused by these defects do not cause problems for many years. Once they do arise they require ever more frequent attention. Because the flow of water is slowed by these restrictions, heavy materials or grease settle and build up to cause sludge. This sludge traps foreign objects where they might otherwise have passed. Short of replacing the sections, only a few preventive measures may be effective-Hydro Jetting and the use of our 3in1 Total-C® Drain Line Conditioner as directed to prevent sludge build up.
Broken or Collapsed Lines
Damage can be caused by nearby construction or as a result of excessive root growth, improper connections, or other installation defects. When this condition is verified it is normally advisable to replace the damaged portion of the line. Ask your Plumber or Drain/Rooter Service Representative about the types of sewer replacement we offer, without destroying your yard, driveway or landscapping.
Solutions to Sewer and Drain Problems
Causes: grease, soap residue, certain food particles.
• Reduce to a minimum the cooking grease, fats, etc. going down the drain by wiping pans with a paper towel before washing.
• When using a disposal, do not put down certain fibrous materials like celery, artichoke, corn silk, or coffee grounds. Run generous quantities of cold water while disposal is on and after it is turned off.
• Use our 3 in1 Total-C® Drain Line Conditioner as directed
Laundry Sinks or Standpipe
Causes: Soap residue, lint. Solutions
• Keep your washer’s lint trap clean and functioning properly.
• Use our 3in1 Total-C® Drain Line Conditioner as directed.
• Replace or use additional lint and hair traps, available from us.
Causes: Soap residue, body oil, hair and foreign objects.
• Replace stopper mechanism if missing to prevent foreign objects from entering drain.
• Strain out hair with special fine mesh strainer which fit in or over the drain, available from us.
• Use our 3 in1 Total-C® Drain Line Conditioner as directed.
Tubs and Showers
Causes: Soap residue, hair, bath and body oils and foreign objects.
• Strain out hair with special fine mesh strainers which fit in or over drain opening, available from us.
• Use our 3in1 Total-C® Drain Line Conditioner as directed.
Causes: Foreign objects such as toys, combs, diapers, paper towels, feminine products, and inadequate water flow.
• Avoid storing or placing small objects on the toilet tank lid or around the toilet. Keep the seat cover closed
for additional safety.
In many areas it’s now law that an easily accessible house clean out be installed when a house is constructed. A house clean out is a fitting giving direct access into the building sewer (which may often be called a “main line”).
• Insure the tank fills with water to the designated point and flows freely when flushed. Holes may become blocked by mineral deposit build up, commercial de-mineralizer can be applied by us.
Many older homes do not have these clean outs, preventing proper cleaning of the building sewer. However, they can be installed into existing systems. Often this is necessary to assure proper cleaning of the line.
Many homes (especially mass produced houses) have been designed to minimize plumbing costs. A major efficiency is the use of branch venting for fixtures in close proximity. Although less expensive initially, it makes drain cleaning far more difficult.
Homes with second story and/or basements have several arrangements not usually found in single story and slab homes. Clean outs may be located overhead in the basement for branch drains, the house clean out is inside, and a floor drain is in the basement.” Making this a possible last resort.
How your septic system works.
All drain and sewage waste from your house flows into the septic tank. This tank is a watertight container buried in the ground outside the house. Waste material undergoes a decomposition process in the tank through the action of natural microscopic organisms. Solid waste material is converted into liquids and inorganic sludge. Impure material is rendered harmless during the process, which is a continuing one unless the balance of the microscopic organisms is changed by introducing certain commonly used household chemicals and pharmaceuticals into the system. (Discuss with us the types of chemicals which may be harmful to your system.) Processed wastewater flows from the tank into the drain field where it’s distributed over a large area to disperse harmlessly into the soil. Problems within a septic system commonly develop in three areas:
1. Sewer line to the tank clogs: This problem may be caused by roots, grease, or structural damage. Solutions to these problems will be found in the first pages of this booklet.
2. Sludge or scum builds up in the septic tank preventing drainage: Sludge, building from the bottom of the tank, can eventually clog the outlet and must be pumped out periodically. Pumping frequency depends upon the size of the tank and usage. Greasy scum, floating on the water in the tank, accumulates and may turn into a thick crust, clogging the outlet. This condition indicates the tank’s natural process is failing. Pumping and chemical treatment may be required. Call us for a diagnosis.
3. Soil pores in the drain field become clogged: Sludge and scum can also overflow into the drain field clogging the soil pores, preventing normal disbursement of waste water. We can advise you on specific chemical treatment to help restore the natural porosity of the drain field. Pumping of the septic tank will usually be required and, in some serious cases, replacement of the drain field may be needed.
Your Plumbing can help by explaining what should and shouldn’t go down the drain. We carry a full line of chemical products to help minimize septic tank problems and maximize the effectiveness of your septic system.
Food Service Problems & Solutions
Commercial or food service buildings present special drain problems because of heavy and/or unusual usage and a greater presence of grease. The oils and shortenings used in the preparation and processing of food will enter the drain system. Some regulating agencies require a grease interceptor (trap) be installed to prevent grease from entering the public sewer system. This device requires periodic cleaning and maintenance. We can provide these services and provide customized maintenance programs using specialized equipment and a proven injection system. This system injects our 3 in1 Total-C® Drain Line Conditioner on a nightly basis to control odors and keep drains free flowing.
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Keeps drains smelling Citrus Fresh Total-C® is a water soluble formulation, containing ingredients that produce a pleasant, fresh citrus scent, which eliminates the source of the odors and keeps your drains smelling fresh. A small amount goes a long way toward maintaining an odor free atmosphere that all will appreciate! Total-C® Combines all natural citrus based liquefiers and active enzymes with natural oil eating bacteria to instantly emulsify grease, oils and fats without the use of harsh acids, alkaline or solvents. Total-C® is a professional drain maintaining product. For household drains, septic systems & commercial applications. It is an exclusive formula specifically designed to keep your drains flowing free and smelling fresh. It’s the best way to keep clogs from reoccurring.
• Fresh natural citrus odor
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• No harsh, toxic chemicals