Septic Myths 

 

A home’s plumbing system and septic tank are so important, and yet so often overlooked until there is a major problem. Here are some common myths about septic systems (and the pipes leading to them) that many homeowners believe:

Myth #1: You don’t have to get your septic tank pumped (or at least not very often)

Truth: You should get your septic tank pumped and inspected every one to three years, depending on its size and how many people live in your home.

Myth #2: Slow draining showers, sinks, tubs, washing machines, and toilets aren’t a big deal. 

Truth: This could be a sign that your tank needs to be pumped, or some other type of major plumbing issue. If you have gotten your tank pumped recently and know that is not the issue, you still shouldn’t wait to have a professional plumber come and look.

 

Myth #3: My well water doesn’t need any maintenance

Truth: If you have a septic system and a well, get the water tested once a year to see if nitrate levels are not too high, which could mean that waste water is overflowing your system and leaching into your water.

Myth #4: I need to use additives in my septic system

Truth: Additives will not prevent backup, properly break down solids, or prevent you from needing to pump and needing to be careful with your system. (In other words, it wouldn’t be a pass to allow you to suddenly start putting everything down the kitchen sink.)

Myth #5: Putting food, chemicals, medicines, etc. down the drain won’t harm the septic system.

Truth: If this is all new to you because you’re coming from a house or apartment without a septic system (especially with a garbage disposal), it may take some getting used to. It’s always best to not put anything except safe liquids such as water or drinks and septic-safe toilet paper and designated septic-safe products down the drain. Not only will this be good for your septic system, but your pipes and plumbing as well.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Types of Water Filtration Systems

We all need water. We all want clean water. So if you want to be sure your family has the cleanest water, what type of water filtration system should you purchase? It depends on how much you want to spend, what contaminants you want to remove, and how much work you’re willing to commit. Here are some of the primary choices:

Carbon/Activated Carbon: There is a wide range of carbon filters. Some only remove chlorine and improve taste and odor. Some remove a wide range of contaminants, including asbestos, lead, mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Keep in mind, though, that activated carbon cannot effectively remove common “inorganic” pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate and perchlorate.

Ceramic: Ceramic filters have small holes throughout the material that block solid contaminants such as cysts and sediments. They do not remove any chemical contaminants.

Deionization: These kinds of filters remove mineral salts and other electrically charged molecules (ions) from water. They cannot remove non-ionic contaminants (including trihalomethanes and other common VOCs) or microorganisms.

Reverse Osmosis: This process pushes water through a membrane that blocks particles larger than water molecules. It can remove many contaminants not removed by activated carbon, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium and nitrates but doesn’t remove chlorine, trihalomethanes or VOCs. Many systems do include an activated carbon component. Reverse osmosis filters use 3-to-20 times more water than they produce, so they are only used for drinking and cooking water.

Water Softeners: These devices typically use an ion exchange process to lower levels of calcium and magnesium. They do not remove most other contaminants.

When shopping, if you’re looking to remove a particular contaminant, verify that it is certified for that contaminant by a reputable, independent agency.

Also, read the fine print. Some filters are labeled “NSF certified.” This is a reputable company, but its certifications are not all the same.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

How To Fix a Leaky Faucet

 

It’s the annoying reality of being a homeowner. You will have issues you need to address, and there isn’t a landlord to take care of it for you. Plumbing is a common area in which homeowners see problems — especially, the trusty leak faucet.

So what steps can you take when you have a leaky faucet? First, turn your water off to all parts of the sink and take off any decorative parts of the handles/knobs.

Next, loosen the screw that connects the handle to the stem of the knob. (You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver.) Once you remove the screw, you can use WD-40 if needed to help take the handle off. After that, unscrew the packing nut with a wrench. Then remove the stem. (Some pop off easily while others need to be twisted.)

If everything so far looks good, take a look at the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat, as they are commonly the cause of leaks. Remove the washer and put in a replacement. Make sure the replacement washers and O-rings fit exactly. Check to see if the sides fit a flat or cone-shaped washer. It’s not a bad idea to take the old O-ring to the store to make sure you get the right size. Another option is to buy a packaged set that includes many different sizes.

You’ll then put everything back together—washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, handle. Then test to see if you have fixed the leak. Turn the water back on and turn the knob slowly.

If the faucet is still dripping then it may be corrosion in your valve seat. If time has passed and it has not been cleaned it can lead to leaks near the spout. Other common issues include loose parts or worn-out seals. If you cannot figure out the issue, or even if you can, but know you cannot fix it, call a professional plumber. It is best to not wait too long as these issues only get worse.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Protect Your Pipes From Freezing

frozen pipes

 

Temperatures are dropping and along with the fun the winter can bring, this season can also bring on some big home headaches. As early as this week, temperatures are forecast to fall low enough for pipes to freeze, so now is the time to prepare.

The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those exposed to severe cold, such as sprinkler lines, outdoor hose bibs, pool supply lines, and water supply pipes in unheated indoor areas like basements, crawl spaces and garages.

Before the temperature drops:

  • Drain any water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses.
  • Close the inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
  • Open the outside hose bibs to let water drain and keep the outside valve open so any water in the pipe can expand.
  • Hot and cold water pipes in unheated areas such as basements, crawl spaces and garages should be insulated.

When the freezing weather is approaching:

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
  • Let the cold water drip — even just a trickle — from the faucet connected to exposed pipes.
  • Don’t lower the thermostat significantly at night or while away from home.

If your pipes do freeze:

  • Keep the faucet open. This will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Use a heating pad, hair dryer, space heater or towels with hot water on the affected pipes. (Make sure to do this safely! Nothing flammable near space heaters, etc.)
  • Call a licensed plumber if you don’t know which pipe is frozen or can’t access it.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Common Plumbing Mistakes

 

drainYour whole plumbing system is a major part of your home and needs to be taken care of properly or you can face some expensive repairs and replacements. Luckily, if your system is already in good shape, it’s easy to keep everything in good shape. Below are some common mistakes and what you can do instead:

Regularly clean out your drain traps. Poor drainage — especially clogging — can be a hassle and is not good for your pipes. Be cautious, though, not to overdo it when it comes to chemicals you pour down the drain, especially if you have a septic system. Drain snakes can also be also helpful.

Grease, paint and any construction materials down the sink are big “no-no’s”. Let the grease cool, then pour it into a jar or can and throw it away. As for paint and construction materials, use the proper disposal protocol in your area. Usually there is a specific place to take these materials so that you’re protecting your plumbing and the environment.

Don’t overload the garbage disposal or put things down it that should not be. This would include items such as old rice, coffee grounds or melon rinds.

Use your faucet handles with care. Twisting and pulling on them because there is a drip you’re trying to shut off is not the way to go. This will strip the washers and make things worse. Furthermore, if you’re doing your own plumbing work, don’t over tighten the parts.

If you need plumbing work done by a professional, get it done sooner rather than later. Not only can problems get worse, but also mold can grow if things are leaky.

Don’t turn on a water heater too soon. If you install a new water heater, let it fill completely before turning it on so you don’t burn it up.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!