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Sewer Systems 101

sewer-systems-101
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When it comes to the sewer system in your home I’m going to venture a guess you don’t give it much thought. You flush the toilet, you turn the water on and it goes down the drain is about as far as the typical homeowner gets when it comes to thinking sewers. As usual out of sight out of mind. In this post, I want to spend a little time on good practices when it comes to your home’s plumbing, and point out a few things you should never do.

Let’s begin with your garbage disposal. The garbage disposal is not a catch all to just scrape plates of food down, it is designed for small scraps of food to be ground up so they do not clog the piping in the kitchen. You never want to put things like pasta, rice, onion skins, lobster shells, corn husks or any type of grease down the disposal. All of the aforementioned items will absolutely screw up the plumbing in your kitchen and you’ll need to call us to get the water flowing again. Best practice here is to get us much food off the dishes as possible before rinsing them off. Quick tip for disposals; lemons or limes in small pieces ran through the disposal do a great job keeping it clean and will make the kitchen smell great as well.

Next up, the john, the throne, the loo, whatever you call it the toilet is a part of daily life that would be very difficult and messy to try and live without. When it comes to things flushable human waste is about the only category that is acceptable along with biodegradable tissue products. The list of things that will screw up your sewer system is much longer. First of all stop with the so called flushable wipes, they do not break down quickly and are screwing up not only home sewer systems but consistently causing huge problems for waste treatment plants. If you want to see how awful it can really get click here for the latest story about a waste water treatment plant crippled by flushable wipes. Other things to avoid are prescription drugs (they end up back in our water supply), feminine hygiene products, little Johnny’s action figures and toothbrushes. (Those were my son’s favorite thing to flush when he was 2).

What about maintenance on the sewer system? I’m glad you asked. In homes built pre-1972 you likely have a cast iron sewer system that will require more maintenance than today’s PVC systems. All sewer systems require cleaning every few years due to waste build up in the lines. When it comes to cast iron I recommend getting it inspected via video camera to determine the condition so you won’t be surprised if your home suddenly stops draining. I also recommend some sort of enzyme product be used on the sewer system on a regular basis. Bioclean and RidX are both great examples of products that will break down waste that builds up in the system. The great thing about those products is they are all natural and do no harm to the water supply.

Okay, that concludes today’s thoughts about your sewer system, I hope you didn’t find it too draining!

House Whisperer out!!

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