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Decide if a traditional water heater is right for you, and how to find the right one.
Hard water can cause scaly buildup on your bathroom and kitchen fixtures; increase water bills; and clog pipes. Learn what you can…
Water heaters differ in terms of the fuel they require. Each type of water heater has its strengths and drawbacks, including fuel type, and it can be helpful to know what these a…
Overall pleased with project. It was a major redo with full kitchen remodel and new tile floors throughout house. Zach and the crew did a great job managing time and going the extra effort to make sure details are done like you want. The office staff is great and always there to help as well. Budget is set upfront so no surprises and they will work out a payment schedule.
The Drain was clogged and we called Roto-Rooter for help. They sent Eric (#4538) who made an amazing job unclogging it plus he discovered another main cleaning line for the house. This way he made sure everything will work great. He was super nice, attentive and polite. We will be happy to come back to Roto-Rooter if we need to.
I am ecstatic to have found Tell Projects and had a chance to work with them for a full home remodel after damage from the hurricane. They are responsive, timely and detail oriented. If they Tell you that they are going to do it, they do what they say-- no excuses. Management followed up with me to ensure that we were happy many times during the project.I highly recommend them to anyone needing an honest, trustworthy, efficient and affordable contractor. Their crews show up every day and these guys work hard to make you happy. Their prices were reasonable, their work is exceptional and their leadership was available to me before, during and after the project was completed. I cannot say enough good things about this company. This was the first time that I used a company that provided their own crews, without subbing them out. I have to say that in the future, I will not settle for anything less. There was no stress (other than living amidst the renovation), they arrange to pick up any products that you purchase and I find myself recommending them to everyone that needs anything done. Yes, they are that wonderful to work with........I am already thinking of jobs I want them to do for me in the future!
Bruce was extremely professional and kind. He took the time to listen and explain the job. I would highly recommend him!
Marty, tech#1927 I would highly recommend. He was on time and explained what was needed to be done in layman’s terms. Very professional and does high quality work with attention to detail.
Helped deal with a clogged kitchen sink. Anthony was amazing. Really nice and personable and helped explain what was going on. If I need to have work done again by Roto-Rooter, will specifically ask for Anthony! He was great!
Excellent service was received during replacement of an old water heater with a rather large new one. There were several physical constraints and a tight space to work in. The installer used his experience and ingenuity to overcome these obstacles. I am very pleased with the outcome.
Andrew w #1523 was very nice. We had quarter size wholes in our galvanized pipe (old House) in the kitchen and bathroom also had water damage they sent someone out the next day to check on water damage. Andrew did a great job in a timely matter would definitely use them again
Our kitchen drain was backing up so I called and had the nicest dispatcher set up an appointment for that afternoon. Then they called right before the service technician came, and they were able to come to our house earlier than planned. We were so excited to get help right away! Our service technician was wonderful, analyzed our problem and explained the problem to us. The lines was cleared and the lines inside were checked and cleaned out as well. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that was trapped in the pipes inside. As well, we were given the liquid to use once a month in the drains to help clean out the pipes and coat them to help with the movement of water and waste from the diposal. Everything was cleaned up and our tech made sure we were happy with the work which is under warranty for six months. I rate this company and our wonderful tech with an A+. A great experience when things were looking pretty bad. Thank you RR!
Had sewer back up in master bathroom toilet. Called Roto-Rooter and they were able to have a technician out as quickly as we needed with no upcharge for the weekend. The technician, Joseph Lazard, arrived timely and was very professional and great to work with. Joseph is obviously an expert at what he does and was able to get things flowing again. We will definitely be calling Joseph at Roto-Rooter anytime we need any sort of plumbing work.
If you're like most people, you don't give another thought to the water that goes down the drain after washing dishes, taking a shower, or flushing the toilet. But, if you are one of the many homeowners who rely on a septic tank to dispose of your wastewater, it would be smart to give your septic system some attention every so often.
There are four main parts to your septic system:
It's the homeowner's responsibility to make sure all four parts of your septic system are in working order. A failed septic system is costly to repair or replace, can lead to health hazards in your home and community, and may even lower property values in your neighborhood.
Every homeowner who uses a septic system needs to ensure it stays functional. There are three elements to maintaining the system:
Inspecting a Septic System
Inspections should be at least an annual task. Some systems may require more frequent inspections. A homeowner can perform these inspections on his or her own, but hiring a professional is recommended. Contractors who regularly work with these systems generally have a better idea of what to look for and can better identify problems.
To begin, locate your septic tank. If the entry point is buried and there is no map, start by looking at the direction of the outbound pipes in your basement. Follow the pipes' direction into your backyard to locate the tank. When you think you're close, insert a probe into the soil until you find the piping. Your inspector should come ready with an insulated probe to use.
You should only have to go through this process one time. Once you find the piping and the tank, sketch a map for future use. Doing so will not only benefit you and future contractors you hire, but also the next owner of the home.
When the tank is located, you or the contractor will have to dig to uncover the manhole cover to access the tank's interior. Next, test your household water systems to make sure the septic system is working properly. Flush the toilets, turn on the faucets, and run any appliances that use water, like the dishwasher or washing machine. If water drains noticeably slowly, there could be an issue in your septic system that needs immediate attention.
Once you've determined that the system is in good order, it's time to measure the sludge and scum levels. Sludge collects at the bottom of the tank and is comprised of solid wastes. Scum floats to the top of the tank and is comprised of fats and oils. Both enter the tank through the inlet tee baffle, or the pipe that directs outbound water from the home to the tank. On the opposite side of the tank is the outlet tee baffle, which directs treated water to a second compartment in the tank for further treatment, or to the drain field. This baffle is the marker to measure scum and sludge against.
Scum levels should be at least 3 inches above the bottom of the outlet tee baffle. Sludge levels should be no more than 1 foot below the bottom of the baffle. If either of these are closer to the bottom of the baffle than they should be, it's time to have the tank pumped.
Next, take a look at the drain field, tank walls, and pipes. Any cracks in the walls or pipes need to be addressed right away to prevent septic system failure. The drain field should not have any odd or foul smells, and the grass shouldn't be soggy or full of puddles. Uncommonly green grass is also a sign that the drain field isn't functioning properly.
Pumping is usually necessary every three to five years, but it ultimately depends on the size of the tank, the number of people in the household, and the types of appliances that are used. For example, a family of six with a 1,000-gallon tank might pump every 1.5 years, but a family of three with the same size tank might pump closer to every four years. Additionally, garbage disposals fill up the septic tank more quickly and result in the need to pump more often.
A professional should always pump the tank. They will have the right equipment and expertise to know how to safely and effectively remove the sludge and scum from the tank. Additionally, the fumes that are emitted from the tank are noxious and can be dangerous if inhaled.
Always be present for the pumping process. Though the contractor will have the right education and experience to do this task properly, it's important that you oversee the project. The maintenance of your septic system is ultimately your responsibility, not the contractor's. When observing the contractor's work, make sure:
Septic System Failure Prevention
While inspections are usually an annual task and pumping occurs two or three times per decade, prevention is something that must always be kept in mind.
Never flush or pour chemicals down the drain. This includes, but is not limited to:
Introducing these substances to your septic system can cause damage to the tank or piping and contaminate the groundwater in your area.
Don't flush garbage down the toilet, including:
Practice water conservation to prevent flooding your system. Though your tank can handle many gallons of water, too much water at one time can overwork the system and cause solid waste to enter the drain field. Some tips for water conservation include:
Preventing septic system failure also involves keeping the drain field clear. Never drive or park over the drain field, and don't allow livestock to walk over it. Heavy equipment should also be kept away from this area.
In general, a septic system is safe and easy to maintain, especially if you regularly inspect and pump it. However, there may come a time when you run into a problem that needs to be addressed quickly and correctly.
Clogs or backups are usually caused by improper or too-infrequent pumping. Your tank is completely full, and solid waste is being forced through the outlet tee baffle and clogging it. Some signs that you have a clog include:
To address this problem, call a professional to clean out your tank right away.
Broken Lines or Pipes
Broken elements of your septic system need to be addressed as soon as they are spotted. A number of factors can cause baffles, lines, and pipes to break or crack, including:
Using a special camera, a contractor should be able to locate the crack or leak and replace the part.
To prevent pipe damage, call 811 before you begin any project that would require you to dig. A professional can detect which areas you need to stay away from. Remember, there could be more than just your septic system beneath your land - wires and cables may also run through your property.
Prevent damage due to tree roots by periodically having a professional take a look at the trees nearby and assess their risk. Don't attempt to remedy the issue yourself using chemicals like copper sulfate or by cutting down the tree. A professional will know how to solve the problem for the long term and should be knowledgeable of any local environmental regulations regarding chemicals.
When a septic system is working properly and is adequately maintained, harmful bacteria will be removed and won't affect the groundwater, people living in the home, or neighbors. However, a septic system failure comes with health risks that are best to avoid as much as possible.
Illnesses Caused by Failed Septic Systems
Nitrates normally get filtered out before wastewater reaches the drain field. However, if they are still mixed in with the water exiting the septic tank and make their way into drinking water, they can lead to an illness that affects infants. Methemoglobinemia, more commonly referred to as "blue baby syndrome," reduces infants' ability to move oxygen through their blood.
Other diseases that are associated with failed septic systems include:
Water Pollution Caused by Failed Septic Systems
If your septic system is near a body of water, there is a chance that harmful bacteria and viruses from a failed septic system could spread farther than your property using the local waterways. Nutrients in the wastewater can cause algae to grow much faster than normal, blocking necessary sunlight from shining into the water to support other plant and animal life. Additionally, these plants will reduce oxygen levels in the water, leaving the environment less habitable for some animal life.
Too much algae and other plant life can also reduce the ability for people to use a body of water for recreational purposes. What's more, the bacteria and viruses included in the wastewater can also cause disease in the people swimming, boating, or fishing in the water. Fish and shellfish can also become contaminated, making them harmful to eat.
Your septic system is highly important to your home, and as such, it's vital to find a good company to help you with maintenance. Before hiring anyone, do some research into the company. Look online for reviews and testimonials. Also, ask your friends, family, or colleagues who have septic systems who they work with and why.
Program Benefits and Costs
Every contractor will offer different products and programs, even though they'll generally be able to accomplish the same tasks. Be sure to read the fine print and determine what services the company includes in their different programs.
These programs will also vary in cost between different contractors. In 2016, septic tank pumping and cleaning cost anywhere from $200 to $900, with most people spending about $375. Compare and contrast pricing as well as services covered by the program you choose.