ALLIANCE WATER CONDITIONING &  PLUMBING INC.

"Serving with distinction since 1973"

 

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FAQ's: (Frequently Asked Questions)

How long will my septic system last?

            First, lets explain a little bit about septic systems. There are several types of systems commonly used in residences. The most common utilizes one or two septic tanks, a distribution box and leach lines. Waste flows from the plumbing in the residence, usually through a 4” sewer pipe, to the first tank. That’s where the action is- bacterial action that is. This tank allows the solids to separate, and anaerobic bacteria go to work to break down and consume the waste. The remaining liquid (sometimes referred to as “gray water” or “effluent”) flows to a second tank through another 4” pipe. The second tank insures that, even under periods of heavy usage, no solids will pass through into the leach lines. From the second tank the effluent is piped to a distribution box where it flows out into the leech lines. The leech lines distribute the effluent over a large area of your lawn so it can be disposed of, mostly through evaporation to the atmosphere.

            The question of “How long will a septic system last?” is best answered in two words- it depends. Many factors can effect the longevity of a septic system. Was it sized large enough? Do you have a garbage disposer? How old is the system? How heavy of usage is it getting? What are the soil conditions? Is the system overloaded?

'Head' those problems off at the pass…

More importantly, what do you do if you have problems? And what can you do to keep the system working well and avoid problems? Well, the first thing you can do is have the tanks pumped regularly- usually every few years is enough. Secondly, take measures to limit water usage (in other words, reduce the load on the system). This can be achieved by installing flow controls in faucets and shower heads, installing the new generation of 1.6 gallon per flush toilets (more on this later), and developing sensible habits about water usage (example- do you let the water run while you brush your teeth? Do your teenagers stay in the shower till the water runs cold? Or wash their hair three times a day?). Thirdly, seed your septic system with bacteria. There are several products on the market designed specifically for this purpose. We handle the Damon Liquid Bacogen bacteria culture plus deodorant. All you have to do is flush some down the toilet. It’s almost against our nature to buy a product and flush it, but keep in mind, these additives are a relatively minor expense compared to the cost of replacing your leech lines.

Now the government regulates our flushes!?

And now we come to a source of major controversy- 1.6 gallon per flush toilets. Several years ago, the E.P.A. (through their water conservation efforts) decided to reduce water consumption by forcing all toilet manufacturers to produce only 1.6 gallon flush toilets. Someone in Washington calculated that if all the toilets in the good old U.S.A. could be changed to 1.6 GPF, it would go a long way toward conserving our precious water resources. A good idea in theory, but a nightmare in reality. The problem- they didn’t flush worth a crap (pun intended). More specifically most gravity flush 1.6 gallon per flush toilets didn’t flush worth a crap. As with any new technology there were some bugs to work out. So what’s the ‘bottom line’? That’s something you get when you sit on the toilet for a long time har har (forgive me, there I go again). The bottom line is that if you stay away from the cheep model toilets and stick with the better quality name brand fixtures (like American Standard), there’s a pretty good chance you’ll ‘end up’ (just can’t help myself) with a decent flushing toilet.

Which leads us to the king of flushers, the pressure assisted toilet. Specifically the American Standard Aquameter P.A. utilizing the Sloan Flushmate pressure assisted flushing system. This toilet flushes well (having less instances of double flushing) has less bowl soiling (due to a larger ‘water spot’ in the bowl) and has better line clearing because the water follows the waste, flushing out the sewer line as it goes.

Only a true plumber would enjoy watching videos of toilets flushing. But if you watch the video of the two types of toilets flushing test balls into a glass pipe, you would quickly discover two things. No, it’s not that crap runs downhill and payday is on Friday. It’s that #1. When the gravity toilet flushes, the water comes first, then the test balls. And #2. When the pressure assisted toilet flushes, the test balls come first, then the water. Think about it, with the pressure assisted, first the waste is discharged into the line, then the water follows and clears out the pipe

Extolling the virtues of the pressure assisted toilet.

Pressure assisted 1.6 GPF toilets demonstrate less occurrences of double flushing, have better line clearing, have a larger water spot (so the toilet bowl won’t soil as readily), and since the water is contained inside the Sloan Flushmate mechanism, the toilet tank doesn’t sweat. What about parts availability if the unit should need serviced in the future? Sloan is a well-established company (just look for the name on the those big chrome Sloan Royal flush valves next time you’re in a commercial restroom). Sloan has been around for years and they’ll be here in the future, so you don’t have to worry do you?

www.flushmate.com 

 

ALLIANCE WATER CONDITIONING AND PLUMBING INC.

State of Ohio Plumbing License #38188

1097 WEST MAIN STREET, ALLIANCE, OHIO 44601

(330)823-2084, (330)823-2522, (800)233-2084

Last modified: September 12, 2011