Saturday, February 20, 2010

Septic System Inspections Can Save You Money

Septic System Inspection

Pete's Plumbing Incorporated offers an excellent Septic Inspection service. We find that the best solution to preventing large expenditures for Septic System repairs is to maintain a top performing septic system through regular inspection and early detection of problems.

Call Today and Schedule a System Inspection

What is that Smell???

It smells like rotten eggs but you know all the Easter Eggs were found and accounted for and the dirty gym bag was left at school. So what is that smell??? Its sewer gas (methane gas) and it’s known by its very unpleasant odor. Sewer Gas can naturally occur and is a mixture of gasses that are produced and collected in sewage systems by the decomposition of organic household waste.

Sewer Gas is restricted from entering your home by plumbing traps (that funny looking pipe under the sink) which create a water seal and also by exhaust vents on the roof. If everything is working properly you should not be able to smell anything indoors. If you do, there a few things you should check.

1. Dry Traps: Because of lack of use the water in the trap under the drain has evaporated. This allows sewer gas to come through the drain into your room. To fix this problem pour a pitcher of water down the floor drain or run the tub/shower at least twice a month to prevent the traps from drying out.

2. Air Admittance Valve: A non functional air admittance valve will allow sewer gas smell to seep into your home. The Air Admittance valve also allows airflow to prevent a vacuum so you don’t end up with dry traps. If this is the case a plumber will need to install a new air admittance valve.

3. Cleanout plugs: If a cleanout plug is broken or missing it will leave a space for the sewer gas to bypass the water trap. Sometimes to clean sewer lines the plug is removed and not replaced. A technician will need to come out and install a new plug.

4. Toilets: If a wax ring seal between the toilet flange and the base of the toilet is broken sewer gas will find its way under the toilet. (Have you recently installed new flooring that would have caused the toilets to be reinstalled?)

These are just a few causes of sewer gas smell in your home. If you ever smell the “rotten egg” odor in your home call your plumber immediately to come and trouble shoot the problem and repair.

Rick & Julie Lippitt are the owners of Pete’s Plumbing, Inc. 

Phone: 770-442-3934

 Website: “”

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting At The Root Of Your Plumbing Problem

Pete's Plumbing Incorporated
Alpharetta's Premier Plumbing Contractor

Getting at the root of your plumbing problem.

It cannot get much worse. You are preparing for your guests to arrive and you open the front door to make sure the leaves from those beautiful trees in your yard have been swept from the porch. It is a wonderful Sunday afternoon and things are almost perfect. Then...the stench hits your nose. Your lawn smells like a cesspool. Sound Familiar? Chances are the roots from those beautiful trees you nurtured through the years have taken over your sewer line and damaged it. Dealing with sewer drain issues is never pleasant, but, if they are not flowing freely they backup and give you a poor outlook on life.

Traditionally the use of the trusty plunger and the electric eel were the weapons of choice in the constant fight against tree roots over powering your sewer line, until now. The advent of drain cameras added a new dimension to drain cleaning and have been a godsend to the plumbing professional and homeowner alike. this piece of high-tech equipment is used to take all of the guesswork out of drain cleaning. The camera can inspect every nook and cranny and a complete video diagnosis can be supplied to determine the best course of action.

So the camera found roots in your sewer line and you have been given the bad news. the plumber is recommending replacement of the entire sewer line. That may or may not be necessary, depending on the condition of your line and how many roots are growing into it. there may be alternative treatments that can buy you some time. roots in a sewer are often caused by a leaking joint in the line. These joints typically have a collar that fit over the pipe and is sealed with lead and oakum on cast iron pipes and cement on vitrified clay pipes. Clay is much more susceptible to leakage and root intrusion. these joints leak a small amount of wastewater into the soil, which attracts the roots. The roots then grow fine roots in through the leaking joint. The roots grown larger and with the same force that can raise a sidewalk, they can eventually break the pipe. They also branch off and grow larger into the sewer eventually causing a blockage.

Blocked drains can be on of the most frustrating and inconvenient problem not to mention one of the most costly plumbing problems you can have at your home. In a sewer line that has large roots at every joint or multiple broken joints, it is often best to replace the line, especially if the cleanings are required frequently. The only permanent solution is complete replacement of your old earthenware plumbing pipes with new PVC plumbing pipe, but if you do not want to go to all the trouble and expense of replacing your old sewer pipes, call Pete's Plumbing and ask about several cost effective options to keep your sewer line clear and free flowing.

On sewer lines that have small amounts of root intrusion into the line and drain cleanings are less frequently required there are some alternatives. A yearly application of chemical root killer into the line can kill the roots entering the pipe before they grow large enough to break or damage the pipe. It then will take a year before the growth of new roots can intrude into the pipe sufficiently to cause a concern and require a reapplication of chemical.

As you may know, once tree roots enter your sewer line they become an ongoing problem you can do without. The tree roots grow, cause a blockage and you need to call Pete's Plumbing to water jet or electric eel your sewer line. Regular maintenance using high-pressure water blasters are the latest technology in combating all but the most severe tree root blockage found most commonly in household drains.

This will clear some or all of the roots, depending on the technique used and the quality of the workmanship. However, like pruning a tree, the very action of cleaning the sewer promotes the regeneration of the roots, but this time thicker and more aggressive just like those hedges people work so hard on to thicken up. The cycle of cut, regeneration, cut, and soon you are caught up in a costly sewer trap. The roots you cut last year are the same roots you will cut this year and next year and on and on.

Pete's Plumbing Inc. is a family owned and operated plumbing firm. They have been serving the Alpharetta, Marietta, Roswell and Cumming areas for more than 40 years. If you are looking for an honest plumber that operates with total integrity, Pete's Plumbing Inc, is available to serve you. Contact owner, Julie Lippitt at 770-442-3932. Ask about the water heater specials they are running from January through March of 2010. Specials include 40 - 50 gallon electric and gas models and also cover tankless, on-demand units. There is a Federal Tax credit program going on so be sure to visit the Pete's Plumbing web site to get more information on that Tax credit.

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