The Pipe Surgeon knows that if you live in a rural area, you are likely to have a private septic system. Private septic systems are a must when a municipality does not have a sewage system. For example, many homes in Alaska are located off the grid and rely only on solar electricity and private septic systems.
In short, a septic system is your own sewage management facility. A septic system is usually located in a basement or behind a home, out of sight, and doesn’t emit any odors when property maintained.
Modern septic systems are easy to maintain. A well-constructed septic tank should last a lifetime. This being said, the area where the septic system waste pipes are located will most likely need a treatment or replacement about fifteen years after installation.
To keep your septic system problem-free, you will need to follow several simple rules.
Be careful about what goes into the system. Your septic tank needs to sustain a delicate biological balance, which can be easily upset.
Make sure to not put too much water into the septic tank. A septic tank works because of a natural separation of lighter waste and solid debris. The solids settle on the bottom of the tank while lighter waste, such as oil, eventually moves to the top and forms a scum layer. The liquid between the two layers clarifies and flows out through an outlet pipe. Putting too much water into the tank may cause it to back up.
Also, avoid putting excessive amounts of any chemicals, coffee grounds, cooking oils, paper towels, cigarette butts, or other materials that will not decompose. If you start having issues with your septic tank, call the Pipe Surgeon for help.
The Pipe Surgeon first learned plumbing at a vocational school. He then continued learning about the craft at his first job, later opening his own business. He knows everything there is to know about cleaning drains.
Most commercial drain cleaners have lye as the active ingredient. Lye dissolves hair and soap scums almost instantly. All you have to do is pour a few cups of a commercial cleaner down the drain, follow it with hot water, and you are done. This is an effective technique for keeping your drains clean and unclogging your sinks. However, too much of a strong cleaner can lead to potential problems. Most strong commercial drain cleaners are not safe for your pipes if used in large amounts. Make sure to read the instructions on the label and follow them carefully.
One of the easiest ways to unclog your waste drains is by using clean-outs, or access points on the waste drain line with removable caps. The National Plumbing Code states that clean-outs need to be placed at least every hundred linear feet of horizontal waste lines. The number of clean-outs is even higher when the bends of horizontal sections of pipes exceed 135 degrees.
Clean-outs in your home are located under sinks, sticking out of exterior walls, and randomly under the floor, but not hidden under the soil. If you know where the clean-outs are located in your home, you can use this knowledge to do easy waste line maintenance by yourself by using a pair of pliers or a wrench to remove the cover of a clean-out. Then use an auger to clear clogs.
It is always smart to have a professional such as the Pipe Surgeon to conduct regular inspections of your waste drains.
Like the Pipe Surgeon says, if your shower or tub are not draining, the first thing you want to make sure is that it is an isolated issue. For example, if your sink also has a clog it may be a coincidence, but it also may be that your main drain has an issue. You can be 100% certain that your problem is with the main drain if your sink drains into your tub. This could mean that you need to use a drain cleaning service or that a drum trap needs to be cleaned.
If in addition to a plugged shower and sink drain your toilet also won’t flush, then the problem definitely lies with the drain that leads into the bathroom fixtures. However, if the problem is just with your tub or shower, then you can do certain things yourself that may fix the issue.
Just like the bathroom sinks, tub and shower drain pipes can get soap and hair clogs. This combination guarantees that clogs will happen. The scum from the soap solidifies as it goes down the drain. It can also cause hairs to bind together. This mass grows bigger and bigger with every bath or shower that you take. Regularly pouring boiling clean water down the drain can help dissolve this mass, sending it down the drain.
When working with shower drains, you want to use an auger and feed its head through the drain opening. It is always better to salvage the clog than to push it further down the drain. Sometimes it’s not easy to do, and that’s when you want to use the services of a professional such as The Pipe Surgeon.
The Pipe Surgeon discovered a passion for plumbing when he was studying at vocational school.
Drain pipes use gravity to remove wastewater from fixtures such as sinks, bathtubs, and showers, as well as appliances such as washers and dishwashers. Drain pipes connect to a private septic tank or a municipal sewer system.
Modern drain pipes are mostly made of plastic. If you live in an older home, your pipes may be made of copper, lead, steel, or iron. Drain pipes pose no health hazards because they are not a part of your home’s water supply system. That being said, lead pipes are no longer produced for use in home plumbing systems.
Drain pipes range in diameter from one-and-a-quarter inches to four inches in diameter. The larger the diameter of a pipe, the more efficiently wastewater can pass through it.
Every drain in your home has a trap. Traps play a very important role in the drain system because they prevent waste gasses from entering the air of your home. A trap is a curved section of a drain pipe that has standing water in it.
Traps are usually located right next to drain openings in sinks and other fixtures and appliances. The water in a trap is flushed away and replaced with new wastewater each time you use a drain.
Drain systems need air to function properly. Air lets water flow freely through the pipes. This is why drain pipes are connected to vent pipes. This system is called a drain-waste-vent (DWV) system. The air opening that allows the DWV system to work is usually located on the roof. Should you have any problems with your DWV system, call the Pipe Surgeon and he will fix it for you.
Many of the tried and true methods of cleaning clogged drains have been in use for decades now. The Pipe Surgeon has had great success freeing up blockages with the use of a snake tool, chemicals, or even just good old fashioned hot water. Interesting enough, there is a method for drain cleaning and unclogging that is gaining a lot of popularity in the industry – the use of a waterjet.
It makes sense really, use high pressured water to free up and clean out pipes. After all, your home’s plumbing is designed for water in the first place. A waterjet is much safer than using chemicals that may cause damage to pipes, fittings, and other plumbing components. Here is what waterjet use is specifically and some of my most common uses for the service:
1. What is it? – with pumps and hoses water is pressure fed through your home’s plumbing. Special nozzles and pressure adjustments can be used depending on the complexity of the job.
2. What does it Do? – water jets are used to penetrate grease, break up sludge, cut out hardened scale and even break apart tree roots. It also by proxy flushes out the system.
The Pipe Surgeon is one of few plumbing specialists using the water jet in the surrounding Saugus area. Please give me a call for more information about this amazing service.
The Pipe Surgeon recommends taking as many precautions as possible to avoid frozen pipes. It may sound like a no-brainer, but there’s really no such thing as being too prepared for inclement weather when it comes to your home’s plumbing. Unhooking any outdoor hoses, running the water when the temperature is below freezing, turning water off when you’re out of town, and insulating pipes should all be part of your Winter plumbing routine.
Of course, there are times when either a lack of preparation or ungodly low temps and wind chills result in the unfortunate event of frozen pipes. The obvious solution would be to heat up the pipes to get the water moving again but even this is a very delicate endeavor and one that should be handled with care and caution.
- Be Gradual – you want the water flow of your pipes to slowly come back to operation not all at once where a surge could occur.
- Use Light Heat – part of being gradual involves using light heat from something like a hair dryer. Putting a space heater near the pipes can thaw them too fast.
- Turn off the Water – this is something that should have been done as the cold weather was approaching but still needs to be done now. You don’t want excess pressure in the system.
- Unplug Outdoor Hoses – believe it or not your garden hose could be the source of your frozen pipes as it creates an unsafe pressurization in cold conditions. Unhook it all Winter and especially when thawing.
When all else fails, the first solution is usually the best. Call the Pipe Surgeon to avoid any risk of further damage from the big thaw.
Your kitchen drain has the roughest plumbing-related job anywhere in your home (although the toilet could have an argument.) Quite simply put, the things that go down your kitchen drain and attached garbage disposal are highly unpredictable. While we all intend to practice responsible drain operation, sometimes it’s just easier to dump food, bones, grease, and debris down the drain instead of walk 4 feet to the garbage can!
Kitchen drains put up a good fight, but they can still succumb to issues. Whether it’s an item that takes a long time to build up such as grease or something that creates an instant blockage like bones it’s important to clear the clog as soon as possible. It’s always recommended to call the Pipe Surgeon just to be safe, as here are my steps to clear a kitchen drain backup.
1. Baking Soda / Vinegar Combination – first pour baking soda into your drain or mix up 1/3 of a cup. Now, either dump vinegar into the drains or add 1/3 of a cup to the mix and dump the mixture down the drains. The solution fizzes which works to break up the gunk that has blocked your pipes. After letting the mixture sit in the drains for a while, flush it out with boiling hot water.
2. Use a Wet Vac – there are two ways to clear clogs by either 1) pushing them out or 2) pulling them back. The suction of a wet vac may be enough to bring the clog back to you and it avoids the risk of a buildup further down the route.
3. Bent Coat Hanger – if the blockage is close enough you can create your own ‘snake tool’ with a bent clothes hanger. Try and hook the debris and bring it back to you.
If these methods fail to work The Pipe Surgeon is only a call away.