Odors That Could Alert You to a Septic Tank Issue

Septic issues can be extremely inconvenient and expensive to fix. Thankfully, there are several signs that your septic system gives off before small problems become big disasters. One of the most obvious symptoms can be unusual smells coming from your home or your yard. Here’s a little bit more on those suspicious smells.

A Rotten Egg Smell Outside

Septic leaks usually smell like sulfur, which has a very similar odor to rotten eggs. You’ll notice the smell getting stronger near the location of your tank outside. Follow your nose and try to locate the site of the most substantial area of the scent, just to rule out any other possible causes. Once you’re sure it is indeed coming from the general area of your septic tank, call your septic system company right away.

A Rotten Egg Smell Inside the Bathroom

Sewage backups can also affect the toilets in your bathroom, as well as the sink and tub drains. If you notice a foul smell in the bathroom that doesn’t go away with cleaning or time, it’s probably not just normal bathroom odors. If the rotten egg smell is accompanied by gurgling sounds coming from your toilets or sinks, your tank is probably overfilled and needs to be emptied immediately.

Normal Septic Odors

It’s entirely normal for there to be a weak smell surrounding the tank itself; however, you shouldn’t be detecting that odor far away from the tank or in your home. You also may smell something directly after your tank is pumped, but if it lasts longer than a day, alert your septic tank company.

Call the Experts at the First Sign of a Problem

If you are noticing foul odors coming from your septic system, or inside your home, don’t risk it. Call Affordable Pumping Services right away. Even if you’re not sure there’s a problem, it’s best to rule out a septic leak. And remember, to avoid an overfilled septic tank, have it pumped regularly.

How Snaking Can Benefit Your Septic System

You’ve probably heard of snaking, especially if you own a septic system on your property, but do you know all the benefits it offers? Read on to learn what snaking is, when it’s used and how it can benefit your septic system.

What is Snaking?

Snaking is the term used when referring to a tool used to clear a clog or blockage in a drain or pipe. A drain snake is a slender piece of flexible plastic or steel that is pushed down your sink or pipe to move a blockage that is causing a clog. It’s very bendable, which means it can easily get around the curves of a pipe or drain. You can purchase a snake at any hardware store, but serious clogs, especially ones associated with a septic system, should be left to the professionals.

What Makes Professional Snaking Different?

A snake that a professional plumber or septic tank technician uses is entirely different than the ones you purchase at a hardware store. They are much larger, motor-powered, and connected to a winder in a maintenance truck. A professional septic tank company usually has a few different snakes available, depending on the issue they’re working with. 

How Can Snaking Benefit Your Septic System?

A septic tank company will use methods like snaking to remove blockages from your septic line. Blockages can be very dangerous since they can lead to toxic sewage backups. Sometimes a blockage can easily be remedied by snaking; however, other times, a blockage can be a symptom of a much larger problem.

The number one cause of septic system blockages is neglect. To keep your septic system running smoothly and efficiently, remember to pump it regularly and have periodic inspections. Always call Affordable Pumping Services at the first sign of any issues.

Most Common Mistakes Septic Owners Make

If you own a septic tank, it’s essential to take care of it. Neglected septic systems can lead to expensive and dangerous problems, including leaks and sewage backups. You may think you’re doing everything you’re supposed to when it comes to caring for your septic system, but are you? Here are the most common mistakes septic owners make.

Flushing Anything Other Than Toilet Paper 

If you have a septic system, the most important rule for anyone inside the home is never to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper. This means absolutely NO baby wipes, sanitary pads, diapers, or even “flushable” wipes. Anything other than toilet paper does not break down properly in your septic tank, which leads to backups and imbalances with the bacteria levels.

Pouring Grease and Oil Down the Drain

When you pour animal fat or oils down the drain, it can eventually solidify and clog pipes and other vital components in your septic system. It could even block pipes leading to your drain field, causing sewage backups or clogs. Instead of pouring grease down your drain, dispose of it in the garbage.

Neglecting Regular Maintenance

The saying “out of sight, out of mind” should not apply to your septic system. It is true that when properly maintained, your septic system is virtually self-sufficient; however, neglect can lead to some serious issues. Besides regular pumping, your septic system should be inspected every few years, depending on the size and condition of your tank. Ask your septic tank company what routine maintenance tasks you should be performing and how often.

For all your septic system needs, Affordable Pumping Services has got you covered. Call us at the first sign of any issues, and be sure to ask about getting on a regular pumping schedule.

Noticeable Symptoms of Septic System Issues in the Home

Part of owning a home with a septic system is paying attention to the signs it may be giving you that something is wrong. Thankfully most of these signs are pretty obvious, so you should have no trouble addressing them accordingly. Here are some noticeable symptoms of septic system issues in the home.

Backups Inside the Home

Water or smelly black liquid backing up in the drains of your sinks or bathtubs is probably the most apparent symptom of a big problem. Backups can be caused by a few different issues, but its most likely an overfilled tank or a blocked septic pipe. Call your septic tank company right away, and don’t try to clean the sewage yourself; it’s incredibly toxic.

Lush Green Grass Around the Drain Field

If you notice that the grass over or around your drain field is looking a little greener or more lush than usual, there may be a leak in your system. Grass loves waste that can seep into the ground from a septic leak, and makes for a very noticeable symptom of a problem.

Gurgling Sounds From Your Plumbing

If you notice gurgling or bubbling sounds coming from your toilets or plumbing, there’s most likely a blockage somewhere in your system. The water trickling through a blockage in a pipe causes the gurgling sound you’re hearing. Contact a septic system company right away.

Puddles in the Yard

Water pooling in certain areas of your yard is a sign that your septic system is not draining correctly. In many cases, these puddles are caused by excessive rainfall and may clear on their own, but it’s best to call a professional right away.

All these symptoms are your septic system crying out for help. Call Affordable Pumping Services right away so they can identify and fix the problem before it leads to more serious issues. Call for an appointment today!

Why Your Septic System Needs to be Pumped Regularly

If you own a septic tank system on your property, there are specific responsibilities that come with it. The most important one is to pump your tank regularly. Is this really necessary? Yes, it is. Read on to find out why.

What happens if you don’t pump your septic tank?

A septic tank that is neglected and not pumped regularly will eventually overflow. An overflowing tank is probably the absolute worst thing that can happen to a homeowner. An overflowing septic tank can damage landscaping, property, the inside of your home, and bathrooms- and cause toxic waste to back up into your home. Septic disasters are costly to clean up and repair – and can possibly cause irreversible damage to your home.

What does pumping do for your septic tank?

When you have your septic tank pumped by a professional septic tank company, they’re not just removing solid waste from your tank. They are also checking your tank and the entire system for leaks, damage and possible upgrades that may be needed. 

How often should I have my septic tank pumped?

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends having your septic tank pumped at least once every three years. This is the minimum recommendation and most tanks should be pumped more often. The proper schedule for your tank may be different depending on the size and type of your system, and the size of your household. A professional septic tank company will be able to evaluate your system and determine the proper pumping schedule for your home.

Should I have the septic tank of my new home pumped?

When purchasing a new home, you should always have the septic system inspected before moving in. Years of neglect can wreak havoc on a septic tank, so you want to be sure your new home will be functioning properly. Your septic tank company may recommend having it pumped before moving in.

Affordable Pumping Services can get you on a regular pumping schedule so your septic system is always functioning how it should be. Call today!

Common Misconceptions of Septic Systems

Septic systems are a vital component of any home that has one. It’s essential to understand how they work, so you can adequately care for them. An ignored septic system can begin to malfunction, causing backups and blockages, all of which can be dangerous and expensive to fix. Here are some common misconceptions of septic systems.

As Long as Your Septic System Seems to be Working Properly, It Doesn’t Need to Be Serviced

It’s easy to go with the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to septic systems, but this can actually be very dangerous. If your septic system seems to be working correctly, it probably is, BUT it still needs to be pumped and inspected regularly. A professional will be able to spot problems before they become significant issues.

Water Usage Does Not Affect Your Septic System

It’s important to remember that all the water you run in your home ends up in your septic system. For that reason, you should always be mindful of your family’s water consumption and try to conserve when possible.

Chemical Cleaners Are Fine to Use With a Septic System

Chemical bathroom and kitchen cleaners can disrupt the bacteria balance in your septic tank. Your tank uses bacteria to break down solid waste material. Without the proper amount of bacteria, waste can build up and clog your septic system, causing backups and damage to your pipes. Make sure you’re looking for septic-safe cleaning products, or just go with gentle soap cleansers. 

The Bigger Your Home, The Bigger Septic Tank Your Need

The size and type of septic system you need is not dependent on the size of your home, but rather the number of people living in your home and the number of bathrooms you have. If you’re unsure if your system is right for your household, ask a septic system expert.

The knowledgeable pros at Affordable Pumping Services can answer all your questions about your septic system. Call for an appointment today!

The Role of a Grease Trap for Your Business

A grease trap is a plumbing device used to catch solids and greases before they enter a wastewater disposal system. They are an essential component in the inner workings of your building, and it’s crucial to know how to care for one. Here’s a closer look at the role of a grease trap for your business. 

What is a Grease Trap?

Grease traps have been used in restaurants and food processing plants for decades. They prevent fatty solids, oils and grease from entering your septic tank and ultimately the drain field or the sewer system. Proper maintenance and service are required, but when taken care of, grease traps are incredibly effective at reducing unwanted substances in the septic system.

What happens when a grease trap isn’t doing its job?

When grease particles get into your septic system, it can cause quite a bit of damage. When fat solids accumulate on the walls of pipes or your septic tank, it can cause blockages and disrupt the bacterial balance. When it’s allowed to accumulate unchecked, you could be in for a world of problems, all of which are extremely dangerous and expensive to fix.

How do you care for a grease trap?

Grease traps will need to be cleaned and pumped by a professional septic system company. Affordable Pumping Services will be able to tell you how often yours will need to be serviced, depending on the size of your business and other individual factors. When taken care of, grease traps will help your septic system to function properly and efficiently.

Call Affordable Pumping Services With all Your Grease Trap Needs

Unsure of how often to clean your grease trap? The experts at Affordable Pumping Services can help get you on a regular pumping schedule, as well as service your grease trap when necessary. Contact us for an appointment today. 

What Should and Shouldn’t Go Down Your Sink Drain

If you have a septic system at your home, it’s important to be aware of what you pour down your drains. Certain substances could damage your system or mess with the bacterial balance in your tank. Here’s a simple rundown of what should and shouldn’t go down your sink drain.

 

Kitchen Sink

It’s important to remember that everything that goes down your drains ends up in your septic tank. So it’s not just bathroom sinks and toilets that you need to worry about, you have to be aware of what goes down your kitchen sink too. When it comes to your kitchen sink, avoid these items from going down your drain:

  • Food Scraps
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Grease or Oil
  • Chemical Drain Cleaners
  • Hazardous Chemicals like Bleach, Paint, and Disinfectants

If any of the above items reach your septic tank, they could either throw off the bacteria balance or kill it entirely, leaving you with a septic system that is functioning poorly or not functioning at all. This could lead to expensive and disastrous problems like backups and leaks.

 

Bathroom Sinks

When it comes to your bathroom sink, you still need to be mindful of what is poured into it. You should be using a gentle handsoap, rather than the antibacterial variety which can mess with the helpful bacteria in your tank. You also should avoid any harsh chemicals or cleaners with bleach. Instead, look for green or natural bathroom cleaners. Products like toothpaste and mouthwash are perfectly fine to rinse down the sink in moderation. And as always, remember to never flush anything down the toilet other than waste and toilet paper.

 

Still have questions about what’s safe to pour down your sinks? Ask the experts at Affordable Pumping. Call today for an appointment or to get on a regular pumping schedule.

The Role of Each Part of the Septic System

A typical septic tank system has four main parts. Each of these parts are essential in the proper function of the entire system. Read on for a better understanding of the role of each part of your septic system.

 

The Pipe From Your Home to the Tank

The first main part of your septic system is the pipe that travels from your home to the tank. All of the wastewater from your home enters this pipe and is carried to your septic tank. This pipe must stay in good shape, so it will be inspected as part of a complete septic system inspection.

 

The Septic Tank

Your septic tank is the main player in your septic system. It is a large container usually made from concrete or fiberglass and is buried underground in your yard. The purpose of the septic tank is to hold all the wastewater that is flushed from your home. Bacteria present in the tank break down the solid waste while compartments in the tank prevent sludge and scum from seeping into the ground.

 

Drainfield

The drain field of your septic system usually consists of perforated pipes located in trenches surrounded by gravel, which is then covered by dirt. At ground level, a drain field just looks like a grassy opening on your property. The remains of the wastewater that enters the drain field is partially absorbed by the soil and also partially evaporated. This area of your yard should not be driven on or covered by pavement or structures of any kind.

 

Soil

It may not seem like it, but the soil surrounding your tank plays a vital role in your septic system. When wastewater from your septic tank flows to the surrounding area and drain field, it is absorbed into the soil, which helps it to remove harmful bacteria. You must have the proper kind of soil on your property to support a septic system.

 

Remember to have your septic system pumped regularly to ensure all the components are working correctly. Call Affordable Pumping Services today for all your septic system needs.

What is Blue Green Algae and How You Can Prevent It

Blue green algae is the most diverse group of algae on the planet, containing over 7,000 species. Although in small amounts, blue green algae is harmless, more significant amounts can cause all kinds of health issues for humans like skin irritation, flu-like symptoms, and even more severe conditions. Green algae is also toxic to pets, and could even be deadly. Scientists have recently discovered that septic systems may be responsible for the increase of green algae blooms in waterways across the country. Here is a closer look at the role of septic tanks in the growth of green algae and how you can prevent it in yours.

 

Leaky Septic Tanks

Although septic tank leaks don’t start blue green algae blooms, they are responsible for contributing to their growth. The waste from a septic tank acts as fuel for algae, making blooms multiply and flourish more robustly.

 

Inspections are Necessary

Putting off a septic tank inspection is the number one way to miss a leak in your system. Septic leaks are not only dangerous and expensive to repair, but they could also be contributing to the danger of blue green algae in your local waterways. Leaks aren’t always noticeable, especially in the beginning stages, but established leaks will give off the following signs:

  • Sewage Backups in the Home
  • Slow Draining Bathtubs, showers and sinks
  • Gurgling Sounds Coming from Plumbing
  • Standing Water Near Septic Tank or Drainfield
  • Strong Foul Odors in Septic Tank Area
  • Bright Green Grass Near Septic Tank

 

Call Affordable Pumping at the First Sign of a Leak

To prevent your septic tank from contributing to the blue green algae problem in your area, you must call a reputable septic tank company at the first sign of a leak. To prevent a leak from happening in the first place, have your tank pumped regularly and schedule an inspection every year. The experts at Affordable Pumping can help you with both. Call for an appointment today!