Save Your Sewer From Halloween Horror: How To Prevent Clogs

A good Halloween scare is usually fun, but it’s not fun to have a Halloween scare in your sewer system. There are a few Halloween activities that can make a mess of your drains, causing severe clogs and back up.  It’s best to keep your plumbing in mind this Halloween in order to prevent clogs and keep away a nasty mess that requires costly repairs.    

Pumpkin Pulp Will Clog Your Drain

Most people carve their pumpkins and throw the pulp down a drain.  They also tend to wash their pulpy hands letting the pulp fall down the sink drain.  The people who do these things will damage their plumbing. Not only is sticky pulp thick enough to cause a clog, but once the pulp hardens, it can cause a multitude of other issues, like ruining garbage disposal blades and giving off a foul odor. Be sure you and your children prevent messy clogs by throwing out all pumpkin guts into the trash. Be especially aware of any pulp that sticks to your hands while hand washing.  

When carving your pumpkin, place a thick bed of newspaper underneath your pumpkin and then wrap any of the guts in the newspaper, throwing it in the trash when it is time for cleanup.  Never, ever put seeds or pulp in the sink drain, garbage disposal, or toilet. By throwing pumpkin guts into the garbage, you will avoid the risk of clogging your drain.  We recommend taking the pumpkin seeds and roasting them with a bit of cinnamon and sugar. It’s delicious!  

Cleaning Up Candy-Wrappers and Make-Up

The next risk is candy wrappers.  Often, candy wrappers accidentally find their way down the drain, causing a clog.  Make a pile of these wrappers in order to track them and throw all of them into the trash.  Additionally, remind your children to throw away their wrappers in the trash when they’re done eating their candy and not down the drain.  

Finally, a lot of costume make-up is made using grease, which is terrible for drains.  Grease, as you know, hardens and turns into a sludge-like material that slows drainage.  When cleaning any costume make-up, use a disposable wipe and throw this wipe into the trash rather than washing the make-up off in the sink. This simple clean-up method will prevent clogs and keep your sewer system healthy. 

Regularly Prevent Clogs With These Tips

You can also prevent clogs and slow drainage by implementing a few strategies on a regular basis.  

  1. Firstly, always throw grease in the trash – make sure to save your cooking grease in a container and then throw the container in the trash.  Again, grease hardens, turning into sludge that clogs drains.
  2. Don’t throw any solids like coffee grounds into the sink or garbage disposal.  This will also stuff up drains, causing a clog.  
  3. Run hot water in your sink after cleaning your dishes.  Hot water keeps oils in the food running down and through the drain instead of building up on the interior surface of your pipes.  
  4. Throw a handful of baking soda into the drain and follow it with hot water – Baking soda is great for cleaning a drain and has the added benefit of eliminating foul odors.  
  5. Pour one cup of vinegar down the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then wash it out with hot water – This is another great way to clean your drain regularly.

The most important thing you can do to avoid clogs is to not allow your pipes to build up with oils, grease, and solids. This will not only cause back up and clogs but also fill up your septic tank or cesspool.  

If you need your cesspool pumped or a pipe inspection, call the experts at All County Sewer & Drain and we will help keep your sewer system in working order!

Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Property Managers

When you manage a property such as an apartment complex, nursing home, hospital, or hotel, you are responsible for the well-being of hundreds of people, including families with children, the elderly, and the sick. The last thing you want is a plumbing issue affecting all those people, especially if the issue is completely preventable. That’s why it is important for every property manager to do some preventative plumbing maintenance.

Get Your Maintenance Staff on Board

Make sure your maintenance staff understands how important it is to stay on top of the plumbing. You don’t have to wait for a resident to inform you of an issue. Have your maintenance staff check faucets, inspect for leaks, and keep an eye on exposed pipes and water heaters. Additionally, emphasize to your residents to report any small plumbing issue to you or your maintenance staff right away so it can be taken care of before the issue grows to catastrophic levels.

Remind Residents How to Care for Their Drains

Residents can be proactive in preventing plumbing issues by being taught or reminded about proper plumbing care. 

 

  • They should not flush anything down the toilet that is not toilet paper – not even “flushable” wipes (they’re not really flushable!). Not women’s sanitary products. Not even tissues. Nothing. Just toilet paper. 

 

  • When they bathe or shower, they should take care not to let loose hair go down the drain, as that hair builds up and causes clogs. 

 

  • When they cook, they should not pour excess grease down the sink – or even flush it down the toilet – as it will build up along the sewer line and cause what is called a “fatberg” – like an iceberg, but made up of fats and oils (we know – gross!). 

Be Strategic About Your Washing Machines

When hundreds of people are using the same laundry machines, you want to make especially sure those machines are not going to cause a leak or a flood. Replace any connection hoses with sturdier steel braided supply hoses. These hoses will be less likely to burst or dry out. Place an overflow tray under your washing machine just in case any water leakage does happen, to prevent that water from spreading everywhere and causing more damage.

Hire a Sewer Company for Plumbing Maintenance

With all this precautionary work on your part, it is still important to have professional sewer maintenance experts come in and perform preventative checks and procedures to keep everything in top working order. At All County Sewer and Drain, Inc., our experts will work with you to make sure you don’t experience any disruptive and expensive sewer and drain issues! Let us help you manage your properties the best way possible by setting up a plumbing preventative maintenance plan.

5 Top Methods for Preventative Maintenance of Commercial Plumbing

When you run a commercial property, the last thing you need is a plumbing emergency. Leaks, backups, and certainly floods can shut your company down for days and cost you money, time, and energy on repairs and lost business. Luckily, this can all be prevented with regular maintenance of your plumbing system, so you can keep your business up and running without plumbing disruptions. Here are a few tips and strategies to keep up preventative maintenance of your commercial plumbing.

1. Look for Leaks

You may not notice small leaks right away, but they’re important to find. Small leaks are an indication that something isn’t right with your plumbing, and they can quickly become bigger problems if ignored. It may be inconvenient and costly to fix a small leak, but trust us, it’s even more expensive and disruptive to fix a devastating flood and damaged plumbing.

Additionally, some leaks are not visible but could be costing your company hundreds of extra dollars per year on your water bill. If you notice your water bill is higher than usual or doesn’t make sense, bring in a professional to inspect your plumbing system and look for silent leaks that could be doing behind-the-scenes damage and wasting water.

2. Fix Leaky Faucets

A leaky faucet is more than annoying. Every drip contributes to a huge waste of water, and it can actually cost you significant extra money in your water bill. Leaky faucets are not that difficult to fix. You can either try to fix it yourself by replacing the gasket or other small faucet part that is part of the sealing process, or you can call in an experienced sewer and drain technician.

3. Watch Out for Slow Drains

Does a sink or tub in your building take a long time to slowly drain water? This is not normal and can indicate a growing problem in your plumbing system. Aside from being an annoyance to your customers and staff members, the problem can grow over time and become much more serious. If you notice slowly draining water, it is probably time to bring in a professional plumber to assess the situation and fix the problem before it becomes worse (and more expensive).

4. Locate Your Cut Off Valve

Your cut off valve is the thing that will keep your building from completely flooding should you notice a leak, backup, or other plumbing issue. The cut off valve essentially turns off the water supply to your pipes so that no more damage can be done until the plumbing issue is fixed. This is a last resort strategy to keep in your back pocket should you encounter a plumbing issue despite regular maintenance (or if you become lax on the maintenance of your plumbing).

5. Schedule Regular Plumbing Inspections

The best kind of preventative maintenance of commercial plumbing is having an experienced technician conduct an inspection at regular intervals. Many plumbing issues are not immediately obvious until they become bigger problems, and you want to make sure your business never gets to that point. 

At All County Sewer and Drain Inc., our experienced sewer and drain technicians are always available to keep your commercial plumbing working its best. Whether you are looking for an inspection or you have a plumbing issue of any size, we will make sure your business is not interrupted – or interrupted as little as possible – as we get everything back in working order. With regularly scheduled inspections, you will be able to have peace of mind about your plumbing.

Top 7 Ways To Prevent Pipe Problems: Summer Edition

 

Summer is here and that means beach visits, cookouts, and quality family time. While summer may mean you’re taking it easy for a few weeks (or perhaps not!), your pipes are definitely not taking it easy. In fact, summertime may bring some extra burdens on your home sewer system. Luckily, with some preventative maintenance, you can keep your sewer system in check and halt any potential summer pipe problems in their tracks.

1. Flush Appropriately

Your kids may be home during the day. You may have family or friends visiting for an extended period of time. You may have more get-togethers in your home. Any of these scenarios mean more people are using your toilet, and that means more is being flushed down it. Kids especially need to be reminded to use an appropriate amount of toilet paper (especially the younger set – they tend to love overdoing it!). Additionally, ONLY toilet paper should be flushed down. No tissues, no wipes (even “flushable” ones), and no sanitary products.

2. Launder With Care

If your family spends a lot of time at the beach or pool or doing outdoor activities this summer, you will likely experience plenty more laundry in the months of July and August. All that laundry puts a strain on your washing machine. Only run small loads and make sure any sandy clothing is properly shaken out (outdoors!) before going in the wash to prevent sand buildup in the plumbing of your washing machine. Keep an eye on your machine while it’s working so you can catch any potential problems as soon as they happen and before they turn into catastrophe (you definitely don’t want to deal with a flood!).

3. Properly Dispose of Used Cooking Oil

Barbecues and cookouts are signature summer activities, but they also come with a lot of used grease that needs to be disposed of when the party’s over. All that grease is actually quite harmful to your sewer system. You may know not to pour grease down the sink, but it’s also harmful to pour it down the toilet (see tip #1) – it will still end up in your sewer system! The best thing to do is to pour it into an empty container or bag you can tightly close/seal and throw it in the garbage.

4. Protect Your In-Sink Garbage Disposal

Corn kernels, fruit pits, and watermelon seeds are part of summer eating, but they can also clog your in-sink disposal. Make sure to scrape these items into the trash or into your compost bin to protect your in-sink disposal and prevent a clog or damage.

5. Keep Your Shower Drain Clear

Has your shower suddenly become a bath? If the water is building upon the floor of your shower, it means something is blocking the drain. This is a common summer problem due to the sand and pebbles people bring home from the beach and time outside. Make sure to rinse off at the beach when you are finished so you don’t bring unwanted sand back home. Additionally, keep your drain clear of any stray hairs while you are showering.

6. Watch Your Sprinkler Heads

There’s no question that your yard is used most heavily during the summer, which means your sprinkler heads are vulnerable to damage from lawnmowers and kids playing roughly. Inspect your sprinkler heads before the season starts and periodically throughout the summer to make sure they are in good working order.

7. Get Your Sewer Thunderstorm-Ready

Sure, it rains throughout the year, but summer thunderstorms can bring with them rain so torrential that they actually overload your sewer system. Backed up sewers due to thunderstorms are a common summer plumbing issue. Have a professional inspect your sewer system before the season starts, and make sure each drain has a plug to block water from backing up into your home.

Prompt Care of Summer Pipe Problems

By following these tips, you will keep your sewer system safe and working optimally all summer long! If you should run into any plumbing issues, make sure to call a professional right away. Plumbing issues tend to escalate quickly if not properly dealt with. At All County Sewer and Drain, Inc., our expert plumbers will help you make sure your sewer system is ready for the summer!

How To Keep Sand Out of Your Sewer this Summer

Beach season has arrived! Time to get out your flip flops and sunscreen and head to the water! Isn’t it the best feeling to dig your toes into the warm sand? Be careful, though! Even if you “rinse” at the beach when it’s time to go home, it’s hard to truly get all the sand off. No worries, you think. It’ll come off in the shower! True, but the sand, as well as other beach debris and thick sunscreen lotions, can cause drain backups or even actual pipe damage, especially if your pipes are older and made out of galvanized steel or cast iron. Luckily, we have some tips for you on how to keep sand out of your sewer!

1. Thoroughly Rinse Beach Toys in the Ocean

A shovel and pail are fun for your kids, but you don’t want to rinse them in your tub at home. Make it someone’s job to thoroughly rinse all beach toys in the ocean before you leave, and the put the clean toys right into a clean bag.

2. Baby Powder Your Feet

It’s hard to keep your feet clean because there’s often sand on the ground everywhere, pretty much until you get to your car. Plus, sand can be sticky and doesn’t rinse off super well. Luckily, we have a useful hack to help you sluff off the sand on your feet and legs. The hack? Baby powder. That stuff works magic on sand as you rub it in. It absorbs the moisture adhering the sand to your skin and makes it much easier to brush off. Anything that’s left you can rinse off with a hose when you get home. Don’t forget to rinse in between your toes!

3. Rinse Shoes and Bathing Suits Outside

Beach shoes and bathing suits will be a lot easier to successfully clean when they are dry. Leave your shoes on your porch or patio and drape your bathing suit on a porch railing, patio chair, or somewhere else convenient in your backyard until dry. Once they’re dry, you can shake them out and rinse them off with a hose to get rid of whatever sand is left.

4. Fitted Sheet Trick

Shower and bath drains are not the only places you need to keep sand from. Your washing machine contains a pipe that can also become clogged or damaged from sand. That means you definitely don’t want to throw sandy towels into your washing machine. 

You can clean the sand off your towels by implementing the same strategy as number three (above), but there’s an even better approach – don’t let them get sandy in the first place! There’s a neat trick where you lay down a fitted sheet, place your bags in the corners to keep it flat and extended, and then you can place your towels on the sheet. Voila! They will stay free of sand (mostly, considering you will probably track in some sand when you hang out on the towels after walking on the beach) and you can run them through the washing machine without worrying.

Keep Sand Out Of Your Sewer For A Happy Summer

Using these precautionary measures, you will keep your pipes healthy and working smoothly this summer. That said, if you DO experience a blockage in your sewer system due to sand buildup or any other reason, the expert plumbers at All County Sewer and Drain Inc. will come right away and clear up the problem for you. Don’t wait until a backup becomes a flood–call for help as soon as you notice a problem!