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How Often Should a Grease Trap Be Serviced?

Grease Traps

Keep Grease Trap Clean

For restaurant owners and kitchen managers, one thing you shouldn’t be without is experienced grease trap services. If you’re new to the business of managing, owning, or operating a kitchen, you know what a grease trap is, but for the dining customer, chances are you wouldn’t know, and why would you? 

There is a lot that goes on in a commercial or industrial kitchen that the everyday diner wouldn’t know about, and just as well. But for the sake of setting a solid foundation for this article, let’s answer the basic question, “What is a grease trap?”, and then we’ll answer questions pertaining to grease trap services. 

The name ‘grease trap’ says it all really. This device is something like a receptacle, technically referred to as an interceptor, that actually traps fats, oil, and grease, otherwise known in the industry as FOG. Kitchen wastewater flows through this receptacle or interceptor before that wastewater enters the sewer waste system. This receptacle captures the FOG and allows the water to proceed through the drain to the sewer system. This receptacle (or interceptor) is installed by a plumber that provides grease trap services.

What types of businesses typically need grease trap services?

Not every business is required to have a grease trap, such as a retail clothing store. The establishments that are required to have a grease trap include: 

  • Restaurants
  • Food processing facilities
  • Hotels
  • Grocery stores
  • Bakeries 

These facilities are typically required to have grease traps installed and are inspected by local building code inspectors. This inspection is why having professional grease trap services is important. 

What do grease trap services include? 

Every commercial or industrial kitchen is required to have grease trap services performed for health and safety reasons. While an owner may be the DIY kind of owner, having this service performed by an experienced, licensed company is the better choice for several reasons, including following local building ordinances. The process will typically include the following steps: 

  • The FOG sludge layer is removed first using hand equipment and then the remaining waste is emptied.
  • Next, the technician cleans the grease trap with water to remove any hardened grease that is stuck to the bottom and sides of the grease trap and empty it again. 
  • The grease trap services technicians will inspect the receptacle for issues like broken baffles and tee pipes, and broken manhole covers as if the receptacle has an excessive amount of grease and solids. 
  • Every step is recorded and a copy of those records is given to the owner or kitchen manager.

How often should a grease trap be serviced?

The frequency that a kitchen needs grease trap services will depend on three factors: 

  • The size of the grease trap.
  • The volume of grease that is collected by the location.
  • Local ordinance regulation and specifications.

With the three factors in consideration, it is recommended to set up a regular schedule for preventative grease trap maintenance. This will minimize unwanted backups and keeps the facility in line with local ordinances. 

What are the benefits of having a grease trap?

A restaurant owner, manager, or staff knows there is a lot of FOG involved in a commercial or industrial kitchen that will end up going down the kitchen drain, and hopefully into the sewer lines. However, without a grease trap, that FOG would quickly create a clog and problems would abound in the kitchen. If you’re wondering what would happen if you skipped grease trap services, there are three key problems that having professional grease trap services can help a kitchen from having to experience are: 

  • Buildup Prevention

When too much FOG gets built up in the grease trap can cause the plumbing system to clog up. This will result in reduced function of the plumbing system. The regular emptying and cleaning of the grease trap will ensure the kitchen remains clean and safe.

  • Environmentally Friendly

Without proper grease trap services, the fats, oil, and grease will begin seeping into the water lines and proceed into the local water supply. Having grease in the water supply is gross and creates a health hazard.

  • Avoids Shut Down

When FOG backups happen, a problem that is common among commercial and industrial kitchens, and the FOG seeps into the water lines or backs up into the kitchen, this can result in the kitchen being shut down for repairs and cleanup. 

Are there different levels or types of grease trap services? 

A grease trap is not just a grease trap. There are three types of grease traps: 

  • Passive hydromechanical, aka manual
  • Automatic
  • Gravity

Within those three types, they are located inside the kitchen and outside the structure. The interior grease traps are typically found in the kitchen area close to the sink. This grease trap holds small amounts of FOG. The exterior grease trap is located just outside the building and is installed underground. This grease trap can hold up to thousands of gallons of FOG and wastewater that don’t make it to the sewer lines. Both the exterior and interior grease traps are serviced by professional grease trap services. 

How long does a grease trap service take?

As long as the grease trap services technician can complete the cleaning process from the exterior grease trap, your staff, and customers often don’t realize they have come, cleaned, and left. The process can be completed in under 30 minutes in most cases. 

However, if they find any issues or problems with the exterior portion and need to come inside, that could take longer. Hopefully, it is something they can schedule during non-business hours and have your kitchen back up and running. 

A Grease Trap

Down To The Bottom Line: How much does a grease trap service cost?

There isn’t a set rate for grease trap services. Factors such as the size and number of grease traps a kitchen has will determine the cost of the service. As an owner or manager, getting quotes from several companies is recommended, and comparing what is included in their services. Need to set up grease trap services in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl? Schedule a service call at 800-330-7686.

What Is a Video Sewer Inspection?

Video Camera Inspection of Sewer Line

Video Camera Inspections Get to Heart of Problem

Plumbing is a wonderful thing we all take for granted. Water comes out, wastewater and matter drain down, and we go about our lives. All is fine … until it isn’t! When there is a clog in the bathroom or kitchen sink, we get the plunger and try to push the clog on through. But sometimes, the plunger isn’t enough, and the problem isn’t visible from ‘here’. This is when you need a video camera inspection

Yesteryear, to find where your sewer line was clogged, the plumber would have to estimate where your sewer line was and then dig, dig, and dig. This resulted in destroyed landscaping and more damage was to follow as they cleared the clog or replaced the pipe. 

Are there any special tools needed for a video camera sewer inspection?

Yes, today, plumbers have video camera inspection capabilities to find those blockages and clogs, and broken sewer lines. This is a rather new technology that plumbers have latched on to at the appreciation of their customer base. 

What type of equipment is used for a video camera inspection? 

This technology uses a fiber optic video camera that is connected to a flexible pole on one end and to a computer on the other end. As the plumber lowers the camera and cable down the sewer line cleanout, it takes a video of what the inside of the pipe looks like. It sends that video back up to a computer where the plumber can see what the camera sees. 

How much does a video camera sewer inspection typically cost? 

It isn’t possible to put a dollar figure on a video camera inspection job. The complexities and variables of the job can have an impact on the job. The complexities and variables can be anywhere from the difficulty of finding the sewer cleanout where the camera and cable go to how far the equipment has to travel before finding the problem.

How long does a video camera sewer inspection take to complete? 

Like the cost can vary based on complexities and variables, so does the time it takes to complete the video camera inspection. This type of inspection is done from manhole to manhole, which in most cases is around 300 feet. One manhole can take up to 30 minutes and the next one could take up to an hour or longer.

What types of issues can a video camera sewer inspection detect?

A video camera inspection is able to identify most sewer line problems. The most common problems that are found are: 

  • Root Penetration:

This is a common problem in older homes that video camera inspections find where the sewer pipes are cast iron, clay, or some type of porous material. The plant and tree roots spread out underground in search of water. Because these materials are porous, the roots find that moisture and then seek a crack or burst through the sewer pipe so they can soak in the water. As these roots intrude and build up, they create a clog and sometimes break the sewer line. 

  • Broken, Collapsed, Damaged Pipes: 

As we just described, the video camera inspection will find where there are any broken, collapsed, or damaged pipes from the tree roots, or maybe the pipes are old and the shifting ground broke them. The video camera inspection process gives the plumber a clear view of what the problem is and what caused it. 

  • Major Blockage:

While the drainpipes may be in proper working order, over time, if you keep pouring things into the drain that shouldn’t be, it will cause a buildup blockage. These are things like FOG (fat, oil, grease) poured into the kitchen drain. In the bathroom, these blockages are caused by flushing things that shouldn’t be flushed like disposable diapers, wipes, feminine products, or small toys. 

  • Billowed, Sagging Lines: 

As pipes age and the ground shifts, it isn’t uncommon for sewer lines to bow or sag. When that happens, waste gets caught in that area and because it can’t flow through, it builds up and creates a blockage or clogs. 

How often should a video camera inspection be conducted? 

They may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t ever be out of your thought process! Yes, we’re talking about the sewer lines and the many moving parts that are critical to their operation. Sewer lines are responsible for expelling the dirty, waste and wastewater that a home has. Every dish you wash, every shower you take, and every toilet that is flushed heads to the sewer lines. 

Professional plumbers will recommend having a video camera inspection annually, especially in older homes. If you’re purchasing a pre-existing, pre-occupied house, having a video camera inspection is recommended because the unknown could be expensive! 

A Plumber Prepares a Video Camera Inspection.

Are You A DIY Homeowner? 

Today, many homeowners are DIY people. Whether it is because of all the home improvement shows on television today or because we think we can save money, even doing a video camera inspection is something some may want to attempt. And you can, there is equipment available for rent (purchasing it outright is expensive!). But, you won’t have the thorough training that has led to extensive experience. You may not go far enough into the sewer line, you could get the camera stuck, the flexible cable may break, and an assortment of other problems that can quickly become a catastrophe. Hire a pro for video camera inspection in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl and let them get the job done right! Schedule an appointment with KRK Enterprises, Inc. by calling 800-330-7686.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Grease Trap

close up of a grease trap

Learning About Grease Traps

Before we dive in to answer what happens if you don’t have one, let’s review what is a grease trap. A grease trap is a container that kitchen wastewater drains through and catches the FOG before it gets into the drainage system. It traps the FOG and only allows clear water to proceed to the drainage system. 

So, if you’re not in the restaurant business or plumbing industry, you may not be familiar with what FOG is referring to.  FOG = Fats Oil Grease. All of these are common in kitchens where large amounts of food are cooked. This can be a hospital, factory or industry, hospitals, schools, public restaurants, or any structure where large amounts of food are cooked.

Are grease traps required?

A grease trap is recommended, and in most cities and counties, they are required to pass inspection. In Port St. Lucie, Florida, any facility that has the activity of cooking in grease or oil is required to have a grease trap system. This includes cafeterias, restaurants, cafeterias, food-processing plants, etc. 

Are grease traps for houses?

Typically, no, they are not standard, however, it can be beneficial for a home that does a lot of cooking to have a grease trap installed. Think of television reality shows with households that have a large number of kids, or a residential structure with an above-normal number of residents. 

Is a grease trap attached to other kitchen equipment?

Because commercial kitchens flush out large amounts of wastewater every day that contains FOG, the drain lines, and sewage system can get backed up. A grease trap is attached to the drain line, looks like a box on the outer wall. 

Once the wastewater and FOG get to the box, baffle chambers sort the FOG from the wastewater and the wastewater flows on while the FOG from the wastewater. And the grease trap “traps” the FOG that is floating on the surface, while the heavier particles sink to the bottom.

A grease trap cannot be attached or connected anywhere other than the drain line. They cannot be attached to the dishwasher, grinders, or other common kitchen equipment or fixtures.

Why should my restaurant have a grease trap?

FOG, as it is referred to in the kitchen industry, Fat Oil Grease, may seem harmless, but they aren’t. With FOG, if you pour into a drain while in its liquid state, it sticks to the sides of the drainpipe. There, it cools down and solidifies. Then everything else you pour down the drain sticks to that and in a matter of time, you have a blocked drain line. 

Any kitchen that is on a septic system will experience the same thing, and more! Furthermore, when Fats, Oil, and Grease are poured into the kitchen drain, it is released into the septic drain field and into the environment. At this point, it becomes a public health hazard. With a properly installed grease trap, whether your facility is on a sewer system or septic system, the FOG is trapped and keeps the drain lines open.

grease trap set up

Do you have to clean your grease trap?

Kitchen managers and restaurant owners have many responsibilities, and that includes cleaning a grease trap. Like your home air filter can be easily overlooked, so can cleaning the grease trap with all the other tasks at hand. 

This is why it is recommended that a kitchen manager or restaurant owner pair up with a grease trap company and set up a specific schedule. They can assist in determining the frequency by the capacity of the grease trap and the seating capacity of the institution. The standard schedule is monthly, but there is the ‘one-fourth’ rule, meaning when the grease trap is at one-fourth its capacity, it is time for it to be cleaned. 

Do you have to manually empty a grease trap?

You can, but most restaurants have a grease trap service. Manually cleaning one is smelly and messy, but if you’re trying to save money, do this first thing in the morning before you you’re your kitchen and follow these basic steps: 

  1. Gently and slowly remove the lid from the grease trap. 
  2. Measure the level of the grease using a ruler and write that number on the EPA report sheet. You’ll need this information when the health inspector comes by.
  3. Remove any water from the grease trap using a small pump and bucket, then set the bucket to the side. 
  4. Scoop the grease out of the trap and place the FOG in another bucket. 
  5. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides and scrap the lid clean of any excess grease. The more you get out, the longer it will be before you have to do this again. 
  6. Next, scrub all the grease trap parts and flush the screens.
  7. Pour the water you removed earlier back into the grease trap.
  8. Reinstall the parts you have removed and replace the lid. 

What happens if you don’t have a grease trap?

There are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore having your grease trap cleaned on a regular basis: 

1. ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH RISK

A grease trap prevents blockage and eliminates foul odors. The bacteria created by FOG can make employees ill. 

2. PLUMBING ISSUES

A blockage caused by FOG happens when the grease trap isn’t cleaned regularly, resulting in sewage backup and more. 

3. GREASE TRAP MAINTENANCE

Your local government can charge your restaurant with fines. If you allow FOG to be poured into the drains, it can cause severe plumbing issues that will cost money to repair and could shut your kitchen down. 

Closing Question: Do grease traps need to be replaced?

Yes, and that is another benefit to having a professional grease trap cleaning service! They will advise you when your current grease trap is ready to be replaced. Typically, when your grease trap has been cleaned on a regular schedule and is still emitting a foul odor, it is time for a new grease trap.

KRK Enterprises, Inc. is here to help with your grease trap in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl. Call 800-330-7686 today for services. 

What is the biggest problem in residential plumbing?

plumber repairing a kitchen sink

Understanding the World of Plumbing

Most people think that plumbing refers to water flowing in and sewage flowing out. However, there is a lot more to know about plumbing, including the fact that there is a difference between residential and commercial plumbing and the services that install, maintain, and repair both. So, when you have home plumbing problems, call a plumber specializing in residential plumbing services.

While the basics of plumbing are the same, how a residential plumbing system works and how a commercial plumbing system works are different. Residential plumbing requirements are different from those of a commercial structure, mainly because fewer plumbing fixtures aren’t as heavy-duty for industrial-type use.  

What does residential plumbing consist of?       

The laws of nature are what make commercial and residential plumbing basics work, which are the laws of gravity, the laws of pressure, and the laws of water. Each of these looks for its own level.  With this knowledge, the mysteries of how residential plumbing works can be better understood and make DIY repairs possible. 

The first thing to understand is that there are two subsystems in residential plumbing services and each subsystem requires different types of residential plumbing pipes: 

  • The freshwater subsystem: This is the water coming into your home. 
  • The wastewater subsystem: This is where the wastewater exits your home.

The freshwater subsystem is the incoming water that is under pressure, which allows it to travel throughout your home. By being pressurized it can go upstairs and around corners. It flows through a water meter where it registers how much water is being used. 

All residential water services have a main water shut-off valve, typically close to the meter. Every homeowner should know where this is located and how to turn the water off there in case of a plumbing emergency. 

The wastewater subsystem is the various drainage systems with the residential plumbing services. Instead of depending on pressure, the wastewater subsystem depends on gravity. For waste matter to leave your house through the various drainpipes, they must be installed at an angle or pitch in a downward position toward the sewer line. Then gravity pulls the waste matter along through the sewer line toward the sewage treatment facility. 

What are the plumbing fixtures found inside a residential building?

Within residential plumbing services, there are specific plumbing components that require plumbing fixtures.  For example, a sink is a component, and it requires a faucet to function correctly. Plumbing fixtures components each have a purpose. The main plumbing components within residential plumbing services include: 

  • Faucets and taps
  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Showerheads
  • Bathtubs
  • Water heater

A side note on the water heater, while is a part of residential plumbing services in a home, it is not considered a plumbing fixture in the world of plumbing. But, in the world of real estate, it is considered a fixture and because it is connected to the house, it is considered permanent. This means that if you sell your house, you can’t take the water heater with you. 

Every state, and the cities and local governing in each state has specific residential plumbing requirements that must be met for residential plumbing services to be approved and connected to the water system. 

 Because water is a natural resource that every city and state is concerned with minimizing waste, the requirements and restrictions on residential plumbing services are continually being updated. When having any plumbing services performed, verify the plumber is certified, insured, and licensed. These are the plumbers that are going to be updated on current requirements and restrictions on all aspects of residential plumbing services. 

The building codes for the state of Florida consist of requirements that are reasonable that all plumbing has substantial connections that make the incoming water and the outgoing wastewater healthy and safe for the public.  There should be an adequate supply of potable water while observing conservation measures established by the EPA for the current population and for the future population. 

close-up of pipes being repaired

Final Thoughts About Residential Plumbing Services 

While the crux of residential plumbing services is the responsibility of the homeowner, with all financial responsibility included, it is a viable question when asked, are plumbing repairs covered by homeowners’ insurance? And the answer to this is most likely no because residential plumbing systems are considered the homeowners’ responsibility to maintain and upkeep. 

However, most home insurance policies offer coverage for damages caused by accidental, sudden events for the damage caused by busted water pipes. This part of the homeowner’s insurance policy is categorized as an HO-3 and would cover the cleanup and any repairs or replacement for damages, but not the plumbing itself. The deductible must be met by the homeowner as with any other type of homeowner insurance claim. It is to the homeowner’s benefit to get estimates and determine if it is enough over the deductible to file a claim or simply pay out of pocket. 

What is hydro-jet drain cleaning?

krk hydro jet

Does hydro-jet work?

Sometimes, with a clogged drain or sewer line, all natural home remedies, basic household plunger, or even a plumber’s snake isn’t going to unclog them. That is when you call a plumber, and they use a hydro jet drain cleaner. What is hydro-jet cleaning, what is hydro-jet plumbing? This is the ‘big guns’ in plumbing.

Hydro-jet cleaning is using a hydro jet cleaner is a water-jetting process with a specialized cleaning solution used to unclog and open up drain and sewer lines. The process uses a high-pressure hose with a special nozzle that is connected to a machine. That machine directs high pressurized water through the hose and nozzle into clogged drain and sewer pipes. The end result, whatever was causing the clog is blasted out through the sewer line and on to the sewer.

Yes, using a hydro jet cleaner has proven to be a highly effective way to get a clog busted up and moving toward the sewer system. Thousands of pounds of water is blasting through a hydro jet cleaner, quickly clearing clogs. It is rare that a clog can’t be cleared by using this type of system. Businesses and all sizes of municipalities have needed the service of a hydro jet cleaner to get a sewer system clear and working again.

Can I hydro-jet myself?

In the hands of a professional plumber, a  hydro jet cleaner can provide thorough cleaning of drain and sewer pipes. Trained technicians with plumbing experience and licensing have the knowledge and skills to use a hydro jet cleaner correctly and clean the drain and sewer lines effectively and  thoroughly without causing damage.

If this still sounds like it isn’t that difficult to use a hydro jet cleaner, let’s review two strong reasons why a homeowner should never try this on their own:

  • Safety: For the pipes and yourself. The water that will be coming out of the nozzle is 7500 psi (pounds per square inch) or higher. That high of a pressure has the potential of causing injuries for an untrained person. A professional plumber will have extensive protective gear when using a hydro jet cleaner. They also know the exact amount of pressure to set the hydro jet cleaner  so that it doesn’t damage the pipes. One example to know even a fraction of how pressurized that water would be to place your hand in front of the car wash nozzle. This is only a fraction of the pressure that a hydro jet cleaner has.  
  • Cost Effective: To rent or purchase your own hydro jet cleaner is not effective for a homeowner. Chances are you will never use this system again, whereas a professional plumber will utilize this piece of equipment time and again on several jobs similar to yours. This allows them to recoup their expense.

Okay, maybe money isn’t as big of a factor for you as most homeowners. So, how much does a hydro-jet machine cost? You can purchase several different sizes with pricing varying between them, some examples of sizes and their costs are:

  • M20T TrapBlast Jetter hydro jet cleaner for $2,100.00 will come with the ability to clean lines sizes between 1.5″ and 2″ lines with a  50′ of 1/8″ hose and provides 1,500psi.
  • MS80 Jet Pro Skid hydro jet cleaner for $8,500.00 that comes as a skid mounted mainline jetter that is designed to clean line sizes between  3″ and 10″ lines. The 690CC motor and electric start will deliver 3,000 PSI through 250′ of hose on a reel cart.

Okay, so maybe that is a bit extravagant for a homeowner that will use it once, may be twice. So, how much does it cost to rent a hydro-jet? You can expect to pay a minimum of $200/per day and receive basic instructions with some warnings. You break it – you’ll buy it.

How do you use a hydro-jet cleaner?

Maybe you have an old house with a lot of trees around it, and you’ve had to have professional plumber several times over the past 2-3 years. You decide it is worth the cost to buy or rent a hydro jet cleaner and do the job yourself, how do you use a hydro jet cleaner?

First, we want to remind you this may look like a simple process, but that pressure coming from the hose can be dangerous if you’re not careful. You need to be sure you’re working on sewer leads that do not have a dead end, then follow these steps:

  1. Locate the sewer opening on your property and remove the cover with either a crowbar or wrench.
  2. If you aren’t 100% sure where the clog is, start at the drain closest to the outside sewer line.
  3. Now insert a plumber’s snake in the sewer line opening and turn the handle to extend the snake.
  4. Depending on the model of hydro jet cleaner you purchased or rented, the directions for set up will be different. Follow the directions that came with the unit.
  5. Once the hydro jet cleaner has reached the pressure recommended and you have your protective gear on, turn the unit on.
  6. Insert the hydro jet cleaner nozzle into the sewer line opening and carefully spray the hydro jet into the sewer line. There will be back spray, which is why you should never attempt without the protective gear. The back spray will have harmful bacteria that you do not want to get on you, in your eyes or mouth.
  7. Once the back spray quits and you can tell that water is running through the sewer line easily the clog is gone.

Can you hydro-jet a septic system?

Yes, but it must be with a low-pressure hydro jet cleaner that states it is specifically for septic lines. Most septic lines are made of PVC, a light material, and the pressure from a hydro jet cleaner must be safe to use on PVC.

Maybe you have had the exterior of your home or your driveway and walkways washed.  The contractor was using a high pressure washer they referred to as a hydro-jet high-pressure power washer. What is hydro-jet high-pressure power washer and how is different than a hydro jet cleaner?

Basically they are the same with the exception of the PSI used. The hydro jet high-pressure that contractor used is designed for cleaning exteriors of houses, sidewalks, wooden fences, brick walls, and cars. But the PSI isn’t sufficient enough to get a stubborn clog pushed through a sewer line. Call 800-330-7686 today for your hydrojetting needs!

How often should your septic tank be serviced?

workers using a hose to drain a septic tank

The Importance of Septic Tank Services

When you aren’t on city sewer and water services, septic tank systems and water wells replace those conveniences. And while the city maintains its sewer and water line systems, it is up to the homeowner to maintain their water well and septic tank services. Most of the time, these only need occasional routine maintenance and work without any problems. 

The maintenance of septic tank services is essential to keep it healthy and to keep your home healthy. Fortunately, there isn’t that much to do, and it isn’t expensive if you do it as recommended. However, if you fail to keep the maintenance up as scheduled, it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you must replace any part of or all the system. 

To keep your septic tanks services in good maintenance, which can be a challenge because most of it is underground, it will help to have an understanding of how a septic tank works first. If you’re wondering why septic tanks services and maintenance are so important, it is because a septic tank contains bacteria, which can be unhealthy, though bacteria is necessary for septic tank services to work. 

The bacteria break down the waste that leaves your home and makes the water clean before it infiltrates and penetrates the earth. The whole septic tank services system is designed to keep the bacteria inside the tank healthy and busy and to send some of the bacteria out into the earth with the waste. Here are the steps in the septic tank services process: 

  • All the waste from your home flows into the septic tank through plumbing pipes.
  • The liquid waste is referred to as effluent and is what takes up most of the space in the tank. Here is where anaerobic bacteria start breaking down the organic material contained in the effluent.
  • The sludge (or solids) falls to the bottom of the tank. These are inorganic solids and the byproduct of bacterial digestion.
  • A layer of scum, fat, grease and oil, floats to the top of the tank
  • A filter at the top of the tank prevents most solids from going into the outlet pipe and the effluent flows into the drain field via perforated pipes that are buried in gravel.
  • The drain field is a large area and the gravel around perforated pipes allows water to flow into the soil where oxygen reaches the bacteria.
  • Over time, the aerobic bacteria in the gravel and soil will decompose the waste.
  • Last, clean water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer.

Part of the maintenance for septic tank services is using septic tank treatment. This treatment is usually in the form of a power that is poured into each toilet. Asking the contractor that installs your septic tank system which septic tank treatment is best is recommended. 

When you haven’t used the proper septic tank treatment or had your septic tank services pumping, the septic tank will begin backing up, much like a clogged sewer line in the city. If your septic tank smells like rotten eggs, it is time to use an appropriate septic tank treatment or to call a professional in septic tank services to pump the tank. 

Are septic tank fumes dangerous?

Yes, they are! This is methane gas you’re smelling and it will arise when the septic tank is full each time a toilet is flushed or a bathtub, dishwasher, or washing machine drains, with the contents flowing through the drainage and accumulating. This eventually backs up, creating health risks from the natural production of methane gas. 

How do you know if your septic is failing?

The first indication you’ll notice if your septic tank services are failing is that the shower, sink, toilets, and tub will begin draining slower, often with a gurgling noise. You’ll notice the characteristic rotten egg smell at each drain, and often outside around the tank as well.

Other indicators of failing septic tank service are green, lush patches of grass. Pools of water standing around when there hasn’t been any rain are also an indication that the effluent isn’t able to drain in the designated drain field. 

How do you help your septic tank? what can you put in it? These are important questions, just as they are when maintaining city sewer lines. There are some things you shouldn’t put in your septic system. Some of the items you should never allow to get into septic system drains include: 

  • Coffee grounds
  • Disposable diapers
  • Cigarette butts
  • Cat litter
  • Motor oil
  • Pesticides
  • Earplugs
  • Feminine products
  • Paper towels
  • Fats, oil, grease
  • Photographic solvents
  • Insect and weed killers
worker opening a septic tank

Closing Questions 

Will a septic tank work without power? No, when there is a power outage, the effluent will not be pumped into the drain field. The tank will collect all the wastewater. However, once power is restored, the effluent will be released into the drain field. And can a septic tank freeze? With daily use, the water going into the tank will typically have a lot of heat, and this keeps your septic tank services from freezing. However, if you’re not home for a week or longer and the septic system isn’t used frequently, it could freeze in harsh weather. Though it may not seem like much, knowing all these things can be important to keeping your septic tank system in the best shape possible.

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.