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What Is the Purpose of a Drain Field?

krk installing a drainfield

When you have a drain field, how long does it last?

If you’ve always lived in the city, you’ve always had city sewer system for your  wastewater. If you live in a rural area, you have a septic system, and a septic system requires a drainfield septic system. What is a drainfield septic system? 

A drainfield, also referred to as a leach field or leach drain, is a critical component for a septic system. It is for eliminating and managing the biodegradable or organic waste and impurities that a septic tank releases.  As any other part of home maintenance, it requires care, maintenance, and upkeep. 

This is a common question for any homeowners having a septic system installed, or anyone purchasing a home with an existing septic system and drainfield. There is not real answer for this question because it will depend on the maintenance routine. The majority of septic system and drainfield failures is lack of maintenance and upkeep. 

Another factor that keeps a technician from quoting a specific lifetime is no two drainfields are the same, no two septic system are used the same. Remember, the drainfield takes whatever a septic tank drains. If the drainfield gets blocked up, the complete septic system can back up onto the ground and into your home. A messy situation that you don’t want to experience.

A septic system that is well-maintained can last 50 years or longer. With poor maintenance or improperly installed pipes a drainfield can fail in weeks, even days. On the average, a drainfield with a conventional septic system has a lifespan of approximately 20 years. Additional ways to keep a drainfield in optimum operation are 

  • Never drive heavy equipment or machinery over a drainfield
  • Never dump unsafe items in the septic system
  • Use appropriate cleaning chemicals for routine maintenance
  • Have septic system inspected and cleaned by a professional once a year minimum

Why is knowing how to find drainfield important?

If you have just purchased a property with a septic system, you may not know where the  drainfield is located. Before you get too comfortable with the layout of your new property, you need to locate the drainfield. It may need work to extend the life and any of the following can permanently damage your drainfield:

  • Drive a car or heavy machinery over the lines will crush them.
  • Building a driveway, house, shed, etc. over a drainfield will make repairs difficult. 
  • Drainfield landscaping doesn’t exist if you want a proper working septic system. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy. These three things can assist in locating your drainfield: 

  1. Look at the yard. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any indication of a drainfield in your yard, but if you don’t know the property, you need to look. Extreme green grass or  dead grass can be indicators of a drainfield, as will depressed areas. 
  2. Check the septic records from the previous owner, the permitting authority, the builder, designer, or  the installer. 
  3. Probe the yard for gravel. Gravel is used to bury a drainfield’s lines. This is where wastewater treatment process is starts, so finding the gravel can be an indication where the drainfield is located. 

 Can a septic drain field be repaired?

When sewage is backing up into your house, or the backyard starts to stink, those are indications that you have either drainfield or septic system problems. Depending on what kind of problem you’re having, there are some big decisions to be made: repair or replace. 

A broken pipe can usually be patched, which can cost $200 to $300, maybe less. However, if the drainfield has damage, it can be repaired, for around $2,000 or up to $10,000.

Is drainfield failure irreparable? 

In most cases, when a drainfield fails, this usually means the lines have been broken or crushed. This means replacement of some of the lines or the entire system. Possibly, the drainfield could bee rejuvenated. What is drainfield rejuvenation? Drain field rejuvenation is a money saver when you compare the cost of replacing the drain field. What is involved in rejuvenation, aka a tune-up? 

  • Proper tank pumping
  • Cleaning the drain field lines by jetting
  • Install a washing machine
  • Insta effluent filters
installing a drainfield

Are there Drain Field Alternatives?

In place of a drain field some options to be considered start with a RSF system (recirculating sand filter) or a peat system. Instead of a septic system, go with an alternative toilet system. A composting toilet uses little to no water and operates on batteries or electric power. They can operate self-contained or can be connected to an individual composting system. 

It is important to realize that one isn’t any less or more important than the drain field vs septic tank. Both need each other and if one is malfunctioning, the other can’t function as intended. Call 800-330-7686 today for your drain field installation in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl.

How do you prevent backflow?

backflow under door

Why is backflow prevention important?

Backflow is when contaminated, polluted, or untreated water unintentionally flows in a reverse direction.  This isn’t dangerous until there is a cross connection with  clean, safe water, which is why a backflow prevention is necessary. Backflow water comes from an end user and flows back into a public water distribution system, a business, or a home’s water supply. There are two different types of backflow: 

  • Back-pressure is when the downstream water pressure closer to an end user, becomes greater than the inflow of water. This can be caused by a malfunctioning water heater, boiler, or elevated storage tank.
  • Back-siphonage happens when the water pressure drops upstream of a cross-connection. This can be caused a water main break, a fire hydrant opened, etc.

 The importance of backflow prevention explained as it is a safety catch that keeps contaminants out of the clean, safe, treated water. Contaminants such as bacteria, gases, heavy metals, microorganisms, noxious chemicals and other pollutants and substance that can be dangerous to humans. A proper working backflow prevention system is key in keeping these dangerous and unwanted things from the public potable water system. 

A backflow prevention certification is required by the federal government of every state, and each state has jurisdiction of the cities, towns, and other water supply entities.  This certification is to prove that the governing entity has tested and passed all minimum requirements in protecting the public potable water supply from contamination or pollution possibilities with proper backflow prevention equipment and methods. They have done this by isolating actual and potential cross-connections from the public potable water supply system caused by back-pressure or back-siphonage backflow. 

Why do I need a backflow device?

The irrigation system on your property is a vital in the health of your lawn, however, things can go wrong with plumbing, like a backflow. That backflow will contaminate the water that is coming into your home unless there is a backflow preventer irrigation system installed. 

Not every city or local governing body has backflow preventers require in their building codes for businesses and homes. However, it is recommended by irrigation and plumbing professionals to have one installed even if it isn’t required. If you aren’t sure your home or business is equipped with a backflow preventer, a professional irrigation contractor cand inspect your plumbing system to locate one or install one if there isn’t a backflow preventer present. 

What are four types of backflow prevention devices?

There are two main types of backflow preventers. The Backflow Prevention Device that stops the reversal of flow of water in a plumbing system, which once installed, testing is not possible. The Backflow Prevention Assemblies that contains all the necessary shutoffs and valves testing. Within the Backflow Prevention Assemblies, there are four different types: 

  • Pressure Vacuum Breakers: The PVB assembly is the most common backflow preventers and is designed in an intuitive and straightforward manner that is economical and easy use, maintain and repair. 
  • Spill-Resistant Vacuum Breakers: The PVB described above does tend to lea water. This model of backflow preventer  is spill proof, ideal for installing indoor. 
  • Double Check Valves: The DCVA is a common backflow prevention choice and is good for indoor and outdoor uses, commonly either installed in-line for underground.  
  • Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assembly: The RP backflow prevention assembly is dependable and the safest on the market, with a higher price than the others. It needs to be installed by a professional that is backflow prevention certified and a routine maintenance inspection is recommended. 

What happens if backflow occurs?

Backflow contaminates clean water, a necessity for today’s lifestyles. With modern plumbing we have today, sanitation is better and waste removal keeps our world healthier and has assisted in the ratification of several diseases. Unfortunately, there are still possible backflow issues, which is why backflow preventers are important. They keep our clean water safe from contaminated water and wastewater. 

backflow under door

Can a backflow preventer cause low water pressure?

Yes, a backflow preventer is one of the most common causes of low water pressure complaints among homeowners, especially in with their sprinklers. This is caused by the valve not being opened fully.  

Backflow preventers have a horizontal and a vertical pipe, each with a handle that that turns. The handles should be even with the line or across it  to open the valve. For the valve to be fully open, the handles need to be parallel to the pipe. Even a partial turned valve can restrict water flow, causing low water pressure for the sprinkler system. 

Will a backflow preventer check valve suffice for backflow prevention? A check valve is designed to safeguard substance in a pipe flows in one direction and automatically closes against unwanted reverse flow. 

A check valve is used in a wide several applications like protecting filters, pumps, and other equipment from backflow damage. They stop a fire sprinkler system from draining with any elevation change, they provide pressure relief in applications with liquid or pneumatic fills, and more. Call 800-330-7686 today for your backflow testing and prevention needs in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl.

How Do You Clean a Commercial Drain?

commercial sink cleaning

Is there a difference between residential and commercial drain and sewer cleaning?

After all, plumbing is plumbing, right? Yes, both residential and commercial plumbing have the same basic functions using the same materials. However, when it comes to commercial drain cleaning, there is a difference. Why? 

When it comes to commercial plumbing versus residential, there are three big differences: 

  • The Size
    The size and scope of commercial drain cleaning and plumbing requires handling more people, more pipes, and more outlets. A business may require separate facilities for customers from their employees, which requires the ability to handle a bigger demand. 
  • Multiple Floors
    Residential plumbing, for the most part, is a maximum of two floors. Commercial plumbing, like an office building, will have facilities on every floor with sinks and toilets. These multiple floors require the pipes and water pressure to be sufficient which needs a strong gravity pull, something a commercial plumber would have a better understanding. 
  • Diversity of Problems
    The problems are basic for both residential and commercial plumbing and drain cleaning. However, commercial plumbing and drain cleaning has more issues that can be approached with more solutions. Commercial plumbing has more codes and standards that would never fit a residential setting. 

How do you clean a commercial drain?

For a plumber that services commercial properties, knowing how to unclog a commercial drain of different varieties is an absolute must.  You never know what kind of commercial drain cleaning you’ll be faced with when you take a service call.  

A restaurant’s kitchen sink is an essential part of its operation. When the sink drain is clogged in a restaurant, business almost comes to a standstill. Not as much because of the inconvenience, but the health codes they have to maintain.

A plumber that is assigned to commercial drain cleaning will approach the job with a commercial grade plumber auger first. The metal cable is placed down the drain and into the line where it breaks apart the clog and scrapes the pipe clean. The electric motors spins the metal cable, pushing it forward, building up torque that breaks the clog. They will then use a video camera and small screen TV to check the drain and pipe, making sure the snake got everything and no damage is done to the pipe. 

Will bleach unclog a drain?

For residential or commercial drain cleaning, bleach is not the product that will do the job. Use up to three-fourth of a cup to deodorize, sanitize, and kill germs in a drain, the run hot water in the drain for 3 to 5 minutes. However, bleach is not a drain cleaner as far as clogs. 

What do plumbers use to unclog drains?

There are three different tools a plumber will use for commercial drain cleaning in the kitchen or bathroom sinks: 

  • DRAIN AUGER: The drain auger is a plumber’s best friend for residential or commercial drain cleaning of clogs. The commercial version is electric and has a long metal coil that is placed in the clogged sink. The motor is activated and the coil, working like a corkscrew, finds the clog and busts it up while scraping the sides of the pipes. 
  • HYDRO-JETTER: Hydro-jetting is the process of forcing hot water into the drain so hard that it busts the clog up and pushes it on through This type commercial drain cleaning will blast through the buildup of food, grease, soap scum, and more. 
  • VIDEO EQUIPMENT: This process is typically used after the above two methods did not clear the clog. The plumber will place a long fiber optic cable into the clogged drain. This will display pictures on a miniature video camera. The camera displays a picture of the drain on a tiny television. The plumber is able to see what is causing the clog or if the plumbing is broken. 

Can snaking a drain damage pipes?

Playing with snakes is dangerous, including using a plumber snake for residential or commercial drain cleaning.  They are available at retail home improvement centers, and you should follow the directions exactly has the manufacturer states. If not used properly, yes, a plumber’s snake can cause severe damage to the pipes. 

For a clog that you can’t clear using a plumber snake, call a plumber. They have professional size snakes they use on residential and commercial drain cleaning jobs. They are typically bigger and stronger, and if not in untrained hands can be extremely dangerous. 

How to unclog commercial toilet

When it comes to commercial drain cleaning service for the toilet, it is done much like unclogging the toilet in a residential setting, often the culprits are the same: overabundance of toilet paper or feminine products. 

In most cases, the basic toilet plunger will clear the clog, but the plumber will also have the same commercial grade plumber auger with the metal cable. The same process is used as it is for the commercial drain cleaning of kitchen sink. 

floor drain

Why do plumbers hate Drano?

If there is a monster in the commercial drain cleaning business, it is products like Drano. This harsh chemical, and others like it, have the potential to be unsafe for humans, pets, and the plumbing too. Yes, it would be the easiest way for plumber to provide commercial drain cleaning service, but it isn’t the safest nor is it widely sued. If you have leftover Drano product, disposing of it is challenging and unsafe for the environment. 

How do you know who to call for commercial drain cleaning service? You can ask your neighbor or realtor. You can also do an internet search for “commercial drain cleaning near me”, making sure the plumber you all does service commercial property. Call 800-330-7686 today for your commercial drain service in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl.

Are grease traps a legal requirement?

cleaning a grease trap

Why grease trap is required?

Commercial and industrial kitchens are required by law to have grease traps. A grease trap is a receptacle where the wastewater that contains FOG (fats, oils, grease) flow through before going into the drain. This keeps the water clear of anything that can clog the sewer system and cause blockages, foul odors, and aid in pest infestation. There are two main types of grease traps. 

  • Interior grease traps: Located inside the kitchen area that holds small amounts of FOG.
  • Exterior grease traps: Located outside the structure near the kitchen that holds large amounts of FOG. 

Grease traps are to be used at any place with a dishwasher, sink, and any plumbing fixture or fixed receptacle that is used for washing dishes and cooking utensils. Grease traps may be found in large residential homes with busy kitchens or multiple kitchen sinks.

Grease traps keeps sewer lines clear of food materials and FOG so that they can’t build up and clog the drain lines and sewer lines.  This not only benefits the kitchen and the structure with the kitchen, but it benefits the municipal sewer system too.

Without grease traps, commercial and industrial kitchens would have strong and unpleasant odors, in addition to being unhygienic from the bacteria and germs that would generate.  Grease traps help the  municipality by eliminating the possibility of massive blockages in the municipal sewer system from FOG and food waste. 

Where is a grease trap usually installed?

As mentioned above, interior grease traps are to be located at each cooking and dishing washing sink. They are also found at any plumbing fixture or fixed receptacle where dishes and cookware or utensils are cleaned. The location for most grease traps in these kitchens is under a three-compartment sink or installed in the kitchen floor.

Exterior grease traps are typically located outside the exterior door of a commercial or industrial kitchen. As most commercial or industrial kitchens are located near loading docks for food and supply deliveries, and trash receptacle, that makes for a logical location. 

For residential use of grease traps, they are typically installed under the kitchen sink, especially if there are multiple sinks used. Some grease traps for homes are installed on the exterior of the home.  

Does a 3 compartment sink need a grease trap?

Grease traps are required  for three compartment sinks only if food matter or FOG will be washed off dishes, cooking utensils, or cookware.   

How do grease traps work?

The basis of how grease traps work is that FOG (animal fats, vegetable oil, and grease) are up to fifteen percent less dense than water and doesn’t mix with water. When wastewater is emptied into a sink with a grease tap, the wastewater flows slowly, cools off, and the FOG to comes to the top and trapped by baffles. Any solids, like food waste, settles at the bottom and the water drains through into the sewer system.  

What happens when a grease trap is full?

Usually, when it appears a grease trap is leaking at the top, it is usually an overflow from being too full.  Grease traps get become full when they haven’t been pumped or cleaned in a while. That overflow is the results of the first compartments waste spilling into the second compartment. This overflowing from one compartment to the next will continue on and start clogging up sewer lines. 

vactor truck and grease trap solutions

Should a grease trap be full of water?

When grease traps are filled with water, it is an indication of an outgoing grease line is clogged. This will lead to drains backing up throughout the structure if not addressed. Of the water is in an interior grease trap, pumping the trap and cleaning the greases trap will usually solve the problem.  If the water is in the exterior grease trap, you’ll need to call for professional grease trap service. 

Many wonder if you can use a grease trap with septic tank, and the answer is yes. For years, grease traps have been used by commercial and industrial kitchens that are on a septic tank system. Like a sewer system, without a grease trap, the FOG would accumulate inside the pipes and tank, causing blockage and creating havoc. Additionally, because septic tanks drain into a drain field, the bacteria that septic tanks depend on are in danger of providing the service as a septic system is designed.

Before installing grease traps in older homes as part of renovation, it is recommended to have a professional plumber with experience in grease traps inspect the plumbing. The older plumbing pipes may not be in condition for a grease trap set up. Call 800-330-7686 today for your grease trap needs in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl.

What Is a Vacuum Truck Used For?

A KRK Enterprises Vacuum Truck

What is a vacuum truck used for?

Whenever sewer or septic systems need major maintenance, plumbing professionals use vacuum trucks to clean out sludge or large amounts of liquid waste. The trucks feature storage tanks, pumps, and hoses. Some are also outfitted with hydro-jetters that can clear clogs in sewer lines or defrost frozen pipes. These vehicles are also used in a variety of industries for other environmental cleanup purposes like suctioning water from drilling jobs or clearing out mud for exposing utility lines. The trucks can also be used to remove bilge water from boats. If you are in need of septic or sewer clean-up or other environmental clean-up and need vacuum truck services in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl, count on the professionals at KRK Enterprises, Inc.. Book a service call by dialing 800-330-7686.

How do you use a vacuum truck?

While septic and sewer clean-up are common reasons people need vacuum truck services, these trucks are versatile and can also be used for a variety of jobs:

  • Sump pump cleaning: If you have an overworked sump pump, a truck can clean it out. Water backed up in your basement can become a serious health and safety issue.
  • Restaurant grease trap clean-up: Overloaded grease traps can cause serious environmental problems, and affect the safety of your operations and the health of your employees. Cleaned grease traps eliminate the risk of clogs and back-ups that can cause serious damage and lead to costly repairs.
  • Emergency water clean-up: After major storms or floods, water is going to need to be removed to protect people and wildlife.
  • Hazardous material removal: Vacuum trucks can safely remove hazardous materials, eliminating the risks you take trying to remove such material by hand. Vacuum trucks are chemical-resistant by design and won’t be affected by the material.

When to use vacuum truck

Because vacuum truck services have a wide variety of applications, you basically want to use one whenever large amounts of material like sludge or waste materials need to be removed. Utility companies, for instance, use them to safely remove materials while digging utility lines. Restaurants will need them when their grease traps have become overloaded and aren’t functioning in a safe manner.

What is a combo vac truck?

When you hire a vacuum truck service, you might need it for more than clearing out material with its vacuum hose. Some trucks combine the vacuum with a water pump that is highly useful for clearing out wet materials like damp sludge. It’s especially useful for cleaning sewer lines and storm drains. Standard vacuum trucks without water pumps work better with dry materials.

Vacuum truck capacity

A vacuum truck’s tank capacity will vary with the size of the truck in use. Large commercial trucks, for instance, can have tanks with the capacity to hold anywhere between 350 to 1,940 cubic feet of material. Smaller, more specialized vehicles, often have smaller tanks. Some of the smallest tanks hold no more than 130 gallons of material.

How far can a vac truck reach?

Depending on what kind of vacuum truck is used and what is being lifted, the length the suction hose can reach will vary, although the maximum length most suction hoses can reach will be 160 feet. The viscosity of the material and its overall density will affect the hose’s reach.

How far away can a septic truck pump?

People often call in a vacuum truck service to clean out their septic systems. One concern they have is whether or not the truck will have to go into the yard to get to the septic system. Typically, the truck will sit in the driveway and the lawn will be left alone, although 100 feet is about the limit for the pump. KRK Enterprises, Inc. makes every effort to ensure no property is damaged with all of our services.

Vacuum truck with jetter

Because vacuum truck services are often required to clean septic and sewer lines, many plumbing professionals have their trucks equipped with both vacuums and hydro-jetters. The hydro-jet system is highly effective at clearing out serious clogs and blockages, tree roots in particular that have broken through the sewer line. The hydro-jetter can also be used to unfreeze pipes or even to clean up the job site once the waste material has been cleared with the vacuum.

KRK Crew Uses Vacuum Truck.

Vacuum truck near me

From cleaning your septic or sewer system to removing a hazardous waste spill, when you need an experienced vacuum truck service in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl, the local team to rely on is KRK Enterprises, Inc.. We provide an extensive range of service solutions with our vacuum trucks including hydro-jetting services as well as cleaning grease traps, bilges, and truck wash pits. All of our services are eco-friendly. You can find out more, get an estimate, or book a service appointment today by calling 800-330-7686.

How Do You Repair a Septic Drain Field?

the top layer of pipework, after the membrane, sand and gravel had been applied, during the construction of a sand and gravel drainage system

Learn More About a Drain Field

A drain field is an important part of your septic system and will require routine maintenance in order to avoid problems down the line. There can be a wide range of issues that emerge over time and depending on the issue at hand repairs will be extensive. It’s important to get into contact with a professional plumbing company if you’re experiencing issues with your septic system. Here is some helpful information regarding your septic tank drain field that may prove of use to you.

What is a septic repair field?

The components that make a septic system are the septic drain field, septic tank, and associated plumbing. Additionally, a septic drain field may also be referred to as leach fields or leach drains. Septic drain fields are subsurface wastewater disposal facilities that are used to remove the impurities and contaminants from the liquid that rises after anaerobic digestion within a septic tank. 

How deep is a drain field buried?

A septic drain field is typically buried 18-30 inches in depth with a maximum soil coverage over the disposal field at 36 inches/2-5 feet in depth.

Can a septic drain field be repaired?

A septic drain field will have different conditions that may be causing problems and won’t have a quick fix. Clogs can be routed out yet usually the bacteria mat will be the center of an issue. It can’t be destroyed and will require the trench to completely dry out for a few months.

How long will a drain field last?

A drain field will last on average anywhere from 15-25 years keeping in mind that it’s taken care of properly. Monitor your drain field’s water use and keep afloat of what’s going on with your septic system. 

Water pollution by blooming blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is world environmental problem.

How do I know if my drain field is bad?

  • Water and sewage from toilets, drains, and sinks are backing up into the home.
  • Bathtubs, showers, and sinks drain very slowly.
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system.
  • Standing water or damp spots near the septic tank or drain field.
  • Bad odors around the septic tank or drain field.
  • Bright green, spongy lush grass over the septic tank or drain field, even during dry weather.
  • Algal blooms in nearby ponds or lakes.
  • High levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in water wells.

Why is my septic drain field wet?

Your septic drain field may be wet depending on the condition of the filter and disperse waste. Any interruption on how these components process may result in septic system failure. For example, when solid waste builds up in the soil at the base of the leach/drain field it’ll prevent proper drainage which can result in wet spots on the field.

What happens when your drain field fails?

When a septic drain field fails or is saturated with water you may have sewage backup into the home. You may see spongy bright green grass over the area of the drain field or wet, soggy areas that develop near or on the drain field. Finally, you may have are odors near the tank or drain field. 

Do leach field cleaners work?

A septic drain field cleaner made of biological or chemical treatments actually won’t open clogged septic system drain fields. In actuality, they can kill your roots or dissolve some grease clogs in pipes. Overuse of chemical cleaners will actually clean the essential bacteria needed for a drain field to function properly.

Can a drain field be cleaned?

A septic drain field can be cleaned instead of replaced when it is clogged by a sewer jetter to clean the perforated PVC septic leach/drain field lines from 2-6 inches ID. Keep in mind that septic field lines can fail to drain when heavy solids build-up and block the lines. This is commonly seen with septic systems that are more than 20 years of age. With systems that are less than 20 years of age and are failing to drain, it can instead point to tree root infiltration of the lines, structural damages to the pipes, issues with the surrounding soil, or a faulty septic system design.

Does homeowners insurance cover septic failure?

Certain homeowners insurance policies will not cover the septic system itself but will cover any damages made to your home due to a malfunctioning septic system or as a result of septic problems that caused an overflow to come into your home. 

Contact a Certified Plumber Concerning Your Septic Drain Field

If you’re needing help with problems regarding your septic drain field reach out to a qualified plumber for drain field repairs. A septic drain field is an integral part of your septic system and when problems emerge it can put a halt on activity. In order to maintain the health and safety of occupants and ensure your property isn’t infiltrated with wastewater make plans to schedule a septic system inspection today. Have a properly operable septic tank system with the help of an expert.

To get assistance with your drain field in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl call KRK Enterprises, Inc. at 800-330-7686 for an improved septic system! 

What is a Grease Trap?

grease traps filled up

What is the purpose of a grease trap?

If you’re not in the restaurant business or never worked in and industrial kitchen, you may not know the answer to the question: What is a grease trap? An important part of a restaurant’s functioning properly are grease trap and drains. A grease trap performs as a receptacle that collects the fats, greases, and oils from wastewater. It is positioned between a restaurant drain line and the sanitary sewer lines. 

When grease is poured down a drain, it enters the main sewer system. Over time, that grease will create blockages, foul odors, and pest infestation. The purpose of the grease trap is to catch those substances, fat, oil, grease to keep that blockage and odor from building or attracting pests and rodents. In the restaurant industry, fat, oil, and grease are referred to as FOG. 

Without a professionally installed and proper working grease trap, the restaurant or industrial kitchen would have ongoing drain and plumbing problems. Anyone that has ever owned, managed, or worked in a restaurant can attest to the amount of problems this can cause. 

Are grease traps necessary?

FOGs (fats, oils, and greases) seem rather harmless, but they can cause a lot of damage to drains, plumbing pipes, and sewer lines. Why? As they cool down, fats, greases, and oils solidify, whether the are poured down the drain or just sit in a container on a counter. 

When poured down the drain, they cling to the sides of the pipes and then any debris, like food scraps stick too. Eventually, enough debris and food, more FOG create a sludge and create blockage. That is where a grease trap comes into the play for a commercial or industrial kitchen. 

Why get a grease trap?

Getting past the immediate drains and pipes of the kitchen. Without a grease trap, FOG can will create more problems for the septic tank or sewer main. The possible problems go past the immediate septic tank and sewer main. When sewage is released into the environment is degrading for the environment and can pose a risk to the public’s health.

It is for this reason that most city ordinances, some counties, require commercial and industrial kitchens to have a grease trap installed. It becomes the restaurant or company’s responsibility to keep FOG out of the sewer system. The person that is responsible for sewer backup that is caused because there isn’t a grease trap will be cited and the company fined. Repeated citations and fines can result in the restaurant or kitchen being closed until a grease trap is installed.

What size grease trap do I need?

The dish machine and grease trap should have matching quantity capacity. For example: 

  • Dish Machine with ten to fifteen gallon capacity – A fifteen pound grease trap
  • Dish Machine with twenty to thirty pound capacity – A twenty pound grease trap
  • Dish Machine with a fifty pound capacity – A twenty five pound grease trap 

How often should grease traps be cleaned? 

Even with it being well established the importance a grease trap be installed in a commercial kitchen; they are still neglected with maintenance and upkeep.  In addition to the issues we’ve mentioned, another factor that makes a grease trap important is grease fire prevention. 

There internationally recognized rule for cleaning a grease trap is called the One-Fourth Rule. The rule states when a grease trap has reached one-fourth of its capacity with FOGS, regardless the size of the grease trap, it should be emptied and cleaned. Many restaurants and commercial kitchens arrange a weekly or bi-weekly collection with a grease trap company. 

grease trap cover

Can you clean your own grease trap?

A large dining establishments or commercial kitchen will have a grease trap with a capacity of 500 gallons up to 2,500 gallons. If there is manpower and time available that isn’t needed for running the restaurant, and you have the source where to dispose of the FOG, then sure, go for it and save that money. 

For a small eating establishment, it may be easier to do their own grease trap cleaning, but why bother with it? Check with the city and county on regulations grease trap maintenance, some require a certificate or license. 

We have reviewed what a grease trap is and the purpose of having one in a commercial or industrial kitchen, grease trap pros and cons. It is an operational thing for the restaurant or industrial kitchen and a grease trap provides environmental benefits by keep the sludge of FOG out of the water system. 

Not having a grease trap can cause a plumbing disaster for a restaurant, and in some municipalities, the person in charge can be cited and fined. Repeated fines can have a location closed down until the jurisdiction has received certification a grease trap has been cleaned or installed. Call 800-330-7686 today for grease trap maintenance in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl!

Why get a plumbing camera inspection done?

open wall inspection and repair

Why have a plumbing camera inspection? 

Now that they are becoming more commonplace, homeowners are requesting plumbers to perform a video inspection service when they have plumbing problems. Why? Utilizing plumbing camera inspections helps the plumber find the exact area of the problem, make a diagnosis, and determine what should be done to correct the problem – without having to tear up the landscaping. 

For years, when there was a plumbing problem, the landscaping and lawn were destroyed as the plumber used a backhoe to dig trenches. If the problem were thought to be a slab leak, they would often have to jackhammer the cement slab to find the problem. Plumbing camera inspections have almost eliminated that process. 

What is a plumbing camera inspection?

Plumbing camera inspections are when a plumber uses a video camera attached to a snake line that is connected to a television type screen and runs it through a sewer line or water line. This new technology allows them the ability to see problems inside sewer lines and a water pipe that they otherwise would have to trench the yard or jackhammer the floors to find. 

Using plumbing camera inspections, they can look for corrosion, cracks, misaligned pipes, root intrusions, and critter nests. Plumbing camera inspections allow plumbers to find leaks, grease build-up, or other debris build-up and obstructions. Once they have identified the exact area and problem, they can determine the best plan of action to repair or replaced the line.  Some plumbers will do a follow-up video inspection after they have completed the service to make sure the repair or replacement is still in place, clean and flowing as intended. 

How do I know if my plumbing is bad?

If you aren’t seeing water leaking or spewing if you aren’t hearing water dripping or running, then how do you know if you have a plumbing problem? We are providing you are list ten signs that you need to contact a plumber, sooner than later. 

Pipes are Discolored 

If you’ve noticed discolored pipes in the basement or under a sink, you may have a slow leak in a pipe somewhere along the way. In this instance, it may be one of the times that a plumber can use plumbing camera inspections to find a slab leak or wall leak. Because these lines are pressurized, we recommend contacting a plumber soon before it burst, and you have a bigger problem.  

Smelly Sewer

The general rule of thumb in plumbing is there needs to be a trap and a vent to every drain to keep sewer gas out of the house. If the drain, trap, or vent becomes clogged or cracked, that sewer gas has no place to go but inside your home.  Sewer gas can be a health hazard and need to be addressed.  It can be difficult for a plumber to track this problem down and will likely use a plumbing camera inspections process in place of tearing into the drywall. 

Weak Water Flow 

A slow or weak water flow and stream indicates a distribution issue, usually at one faucet, which can be fixed by replacing the aerator. If the flow issue is in multiple places around the home and outside, you may leak the water meter and the house or somewhere along the supply line. A plumber that experienced how to do a plumbing camera inspection can find the active leak, and get it repaired.

Slow Draining

A slow drain is one thing that even the least knowledgeable homeowner can realize is a plumbing problem. It could be as simple as a clogged drain or more detailed further into the drain line and sewer line.  This one of the areas that plumbing camera inspections are the ideal tool for plumbers. 

Waterless Winter

In the dead of winter, if you have a sudden drop in the water pressure, your water pipes may be freezing up or have frozen.  Often, a homeowner can resolve this issue, or it is a matter of waiting for the temperature to rise enough the pipes thaw. However, because copper piping contracts and expands with the temperature, you want to thaw them slowly, so they don’t burst. 

Water Bill Spiked

A sudden spike in the water bill is a sure sign of plumbing problems, and it is from the meter to your house, or the water bill wouldn’t have spiked. Unless you’ve had a swimming pool filled, you need to have a plumber inspect your plumbing and find the issue fast. 

Other indicators you have plumbing issues are ceilings and walls with bubbling paint, a green patch in your lawn, a rocking toilet, or discolored water. Should I get a sewer line inspection at this point? Definitely! Any of the things we’ve discussed here need immediate attention by a professional plumber that has experience in performing plumbing camera inspections as well as doing things the old school way. 

How long does a sewer line inspection take?

Most sewer and plumbing camera inspections take one hour to two hours, depending on the size of the house and property, the access to the sewer and water lines, and the configurations of those lines.        

What happens during a sewer inspection?

The plumber will take a snake line and attach a small camera that will send video to a small computer or television screen.  The snake line is pushed through the sewer and water lines while the camera films the trip through the lines and relays it back to the computer or television. Where plumbing camera inspections are not possible, plumbers will use other methods to listen for and look for plumbing leaks and problems. 

Is a sewer line inspection part of a home inspection?

Not unless the possible buyer or the homeowner request one. Within an hour, an experienced plumber can conduct a sewer scope inspection, or plumbing camera inspections and make sure there isn’t any drain line, sewer line, or underground line plumbing problems. 

Plumbing system exposed for service

At The End Of The Day…

What are the plumbing camera inspection advantages? The fear of the unknown is troubling, especially when it concerns your home. Instead of worrying about a possible sewer or water line leak, plumbing camera inspections can find out exactly what’s going on, or not going, and a plan of action put into place. The four main things that you can get from having a plumbing camera inspection done are: 

  • Locate a break or leak in sewer or water lines
  • Eliminate unnecessary digging, trenching, and guessing
  • Determine the sewer and water pipes condition
  • Having a video reference to understand the problem better

Call 800-330-7686 today for your plumbing camera inspection in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl.

How does drain jetting work?

Clogged sink drain

Cleaning your system with hydrojetting

Before we answer how drain jetting works, we should understand what it means, when, and why it is used, which is what we are going to do in this article. So, what is drain jetting, aka, hydro jetting or sewer jetting? Let’s go forward with an explanation of what hydrojet means. 

Drain jetting is a relatively new method to clean drain lines and sewer lines of clogs with the use of high-pressure water streaming, through special jet nozzles, creating a hydrojet part. So, What does Hydro jetting mean? Hydrojetting is the force of the water through those nozzles to clear and dislodge obstructions that are clogging the pipes. Hydro jetting drainage is being used as a part of a regular maintenance plan to prevent sewer backups.

Can Hydro jetting damage pipes?

When hydrojetting is done by a professional, they have been trained on hydro jetting hazards and precautions and know how to perform the task without damaging pipes.  If not done properly, like anything with force and water, yes, it can damage not only the pipes, but the foundation of your home, the landscaping, and more. A hydrojet job should only be done by an experienced professional plumbing contract. 

How often should you hydrojet?

One of the most aggravating things in a home are clogged drains, that is why it is important to do what you can to keep your plumbing lines clear and clog-free. When drains are clogged more than they aren’t and the household remedies or over-the-counter products aren’t working any more, it may be time to call a professional plumber.  

They will do a video inspection of your pipes and look for any obvious signs of broken lines, clogged lines, and what is causing the clog. From basic debris and dirt to tree roots, a professional plumbing contractor will have the experience to remove those clogs with a hydrojet process.  

Hydrojetting the sewer line doesn’t have to be done only when there is a clog though.  Schedule an annual hydrojetting job with your plumber to maintain your drain and sewer lines, keeping them clear of those annoying clogs. The hydrojet process is an expensive process, but the results are long lasting and well worth the extra money when you consider how many times you’ve had to call the plumber out to unclog your sewer lines. 

Is Hydro Jetting worth it?

Definitely, when done by a professional plumber that has the hydro jetting equipment and the experience in hydrojetting.  The process of using pressurized water to blast through a drain or sewer line to unclog and clear the line is one of the best ways to get the clog out safely. The process of hydrojet removes debris, dirt, grease, hair, mineral build-up, tree roots, and more. 

Until the hydrojet process was introduced, homeowners used over-the-counter products that could be harmful to the environment, their health, home, and the pipes. If those products didn’t work, they had to call a plumber each time, and at an hourly rate, plus parts, that can get expensive. A hydrojet job will get all that removed without causing damage to the environment, pipes, or the homeowner’s health or home.

What is the difference between hydro jetting vs snaking? 

Hydrojetting and snaking are both excellent means to remove clogs without the use of store-bought chemicals. Chemical drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are unsafe for humans and can corrode the pipes. With repeated usage, that corrosion can rupture the pipes. 

  • The Process of Snaking: Snaking works great for simple clogs that are not hardened inside the pipes. This method has been used or years to remove emergency clogs and has done well without causing much damage to the pipes. A trained plumbing technician inserts an auger-like cable into the drain, feeding the line until they hit resistance, which is the clog. They then crank that auger-like cable more, using force, to bust that clog into smaller pieces and push through the drain.  when the cable is removed.
  • The Hydrojet Process: As we have discussed earlier, hydrojet is the combination of high-pressure water being blasted through special nozzles that loosens and removes the hardened debris that becomes stuck to the pipe’s interior. Hydrojet process is able to effectively and safely remove those clogs that snaking isn’t able to remove. The hydrojet process also smooths out rough spots inside the pipe to prevent future clogs.

For an older home, hydrojetting may not be the best answer. Overtime, plumbing pipes become weak, and hydrojetting can create more damage. A professional plumber should be the only person to hydrojet your pipes because they know the situations where hydrojet is not the option to utilize.  

Both processes, hydrojet and snaking are excellent processes, when used in the right situation. 

cleared drain flowing smoothly

Closing Words: What are the hydro jetting benefits

Hydrojet process has several benefits that every homeowner should consider, even if they haven’t had any clog issues yet. 

  • Safe: Hydrojetting, when done by an experienced plumber, will not damage pipes. 
  • Chemical Free: Because only clear water is used, hydrojet is eco-friendly in cleaning pipes. 
  • Removes Every Clog: The high-pressure water process of hydrojet can bust any type of stubborn blocks or clogs, including tree roots.
  • Long-lasting: Because hydrojet smooths the insides of the pipe as it busts up clogs, it prevents future clogs from forming.
  • Trenchless: It most cases hydrojet the pipes fixes most clogged pipes which avoids the plumber having to trench your lawn to find the clog, dig up the pipe, repair the pipe, and bury the pipe. 
  • Health: Hydrojet provides a health benefit by removing the bacteria that builds up inside clogged pipes. Bacteria prospers in a moist and wet environments, the perfect breeding ground.

For hydrojetting services when you need them most, call the experts at KRK Enterprises, Inc. today at 800-330-7686.

What are sewer lift stations?

KRK Plumber assessing a KRK lift station

Defining Sewer Lift Stations

What is a sewage lift pump? They build a sewer lift station as a factory-assembled package. The principal elements of a sewer lift station include a receiving well for wastewater treatment and is equipped with lift pumps, junction box, piping with valves, and an equipment control panel that includes an alarm system.

Is there a difference between a pump station vs lift station? Basically, they are the same thing, and may be referred to as a wastewater lift is used to pump sewage or wastewater a lower to a higher elevation. This is particularly when sewage or wastewater source is not adequate for gravity flow. They also use it is also when gravity transportation will result in unnecessary excavation with higher construction expense. 

How does a sewer lift station work?

They typically keep sewage lift stations underground. This contains any potential health risks and poisonous gases of hydrogen sulfide and methane in one area. It is critical that sewage lift station owners depend on professional drain and sewer cleaning service to maintain proper and sufficient the pump works sufficiently. 

There are several elements of a sewer lift station, of those, there are two key elements needed for it to operate: the controls and the wet well. The wet well is where the inflow comes into, referred to as a basin, which is where the pump is located. The control panel that operates the lift station is the brain. 

So, how do sewer lift stations work? Sewage is collected, stored, and then fed into a pit. The electrical instruments recognize when the pit is filled to a certain level and then activates the pump that moves the sewage on to the next destination. 

Do sewage pumping stations smell?

No, and this is by design and by nature. Because sewage, in its raw form, is unsafe environmentally and must be treated before it can be safe for the residents of a city or community. To make environmentally and healthy water and sewage service, sewage pump stations are necessary.  

This is done by transporting sewage to a treatment plant through a network of pipes underground. Those unground mains and parts are archetypally gravity-fed. Yet, there are many occasions where transfer from a sewage pump station to a higher level within the network using a sewer lift station.

A sewage pump station lets sewage to be transferred so it can be fed into the next gravity main. From there, it continues the journey to the sewage pump station.  Because sewage pump stations are located underground, they are quiet and specially designed to keep from emitting a foul odor.  

How sewage decomposes is what determines the odor it emits, along with factors like how many people use the sewer, the weather, and the volume of wastewater. With all this in consideration, nature and time can change odor.

How long does a lift station pump last?

As we have mentioned earlier, a sewer lift station for homes or commercial properties is a major component of a septic system. It isn’t something you see or even think about every day, but when it isn’t working, then you have no choice but to acknowledge it.

A properly maintained sewer lift station can last 15 years on the average. With proper maintenance and regular sewer lift station cleaning, your sewer lift station running as long as twenty years.

a sewer lift station being assessed

What happens when a lift station fails?

If there is a clog or an obstruction in a sewer lift station, an alarm will sound. Sometimes a sewer lift station can experience instances that cause it to malfunction or quick working. This is where cleaning and maintenance can keep it working for 20 years. When a sewer lift station motor stops, it causes backup because the pumps can’t move the wastewater. 

A professional routine inspection can minimize, even eliminate these motor outages. The inspection will cover the items on sewer lift station inspection checklist: 

  • Dry and Submersible Pumps
  • Impeller
  • Check Valves
  • Floats
  • Alarm and Light Systems
  • Documentation and Logs
  • Electrical Motor Control Equipment
  • Emergency Backup Generator

Municipalities that handle and maintain the collection and treatment of wastewater use two types of pumps for their sewer lift station, described here:

Dry Well Pump 

This sewer lift station pump is traditional, and is housed in a different location, typically underground, sometimes in a separate chamber. Because of this physical separation, maintenance is hazardous with an increase in safety risks.

Submersible Pump

The more modern of the two sewer lift station pumps are submerged in the wastewater and mounted inside. It has a motor that pumps the wastewater out and has minimal health and safety concerns.

This is expensive equipment for a city or a residence. Therefore, cleaning, maintenance, and inspections are a must keep the equipment going to get the longest lifespan possible. When you need lift station solutions in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl, call the plumbing experts of KRK Enterprises, Inc. at 800-330-7686!