We know that it can be difficult to maintain your plumbing in Hesperia, CA, and the surrounding regions. The desert environment is tough on plumbing, and there are additional complications that come from having a septic system – which is quite common in this area. Homeowners need reliable information on how to maintain their Hesperia plumbing and reduce the number of times they have to call in plumbers.
Roto-Rooter is on-call 24/7 and always ready to come help when you need us – but we also firmly believe in preventing problems before they happen. So, we’ve put together this guide full of helpful tips on maintaining your plumbing and your septic system… as well as information of what not to do if you want to avoid problems.
Let’s get started!
- Three Helpful Tips for Maintaining Your Indoor Plumbing
- Keep your water bills and track usage from month to month
Most of the time, it’s easy to see when you have a leak in your plumbing… unless that leak is in your walls, below the foundation, or otherwise hidden from view. Such hidden leaks can severely damage your home, but how do you know they’re there? Often, your water bill will be the tipoff.
Track your bills from month to month. If you see an unexpected spike in usage, without a clear cause, there’s a very good chance you have a leak somewhere.
- Periodically check your fittings
Most plumbing leaks don’t come from broken pipes, they come from the fittings connecting pipes together. Fortunately, this is something that anyone can keep an eye on, as long as they have a wrench. Every month or so, check the pipes which are in view and check for leaks.
If you do find a loose fitting, they are simple to take care of. Keep in mind, you don’t have to tighten them with all your strength! In fact, that’s a good way to strip their groove and make them leak. Just give them a good tug on the wrench past the point they stop moving, and that’s will be more than enough to keep the pipes sealed.
- Got a clogged pipe? Here’s a good DIY solution.
We do not recommend using off-the-shelf chemical drain cleaners, because they are often ineffective, and they’re made of harsh toxic chemicals which can potentially harm both pipes and people. However, there is a much gentler way of clearing smaller clogs which won’t harm your pipes. All you need is hot water, baking soda, and plain/white vinegar!
Here’s what you do:
- Heat up a saucepan of water to near boiling on the stove.
- Pour much of the water down the drain. (But hold some back.)
- Pour in a half cup of baking soda.
- Mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of the hot water, and pour that in.
- This will cause a frothy bubbling reaction that should hopefully clear the clog after a few minutes.
- If the clog clears, pour the rest of the hot water down the drain to rinse it, or just run your tap’s hot water for a minute.
This won’t clear heavier clogs, but for those, you’ll need professional help either way. It’s a cheap and easy DIY fix which is totally safe for your pipes and will often avoid the need to call in Hesperia plumbing experts.
- How to Maintain Your Septic System
For a lot of people in this region, plumbing in Hesperia means having a septic system – and that brings new challenges. You need to treat your plumbing more carefully than those on municipal sewer lines because anything you send down your pipes will end up in the septic tank.
Remember, your septic tank runs on a careful biochemical balance that involves a living, active ecosystem. If that ecosystem is disrupted, your septic system may cease to function properly.
Here are a few important tips:
- Remember your septic system must be cleaned every 3-5 years
Septic systems are not forever, and they will need to be periodically opened up and cleaned. In most cases, this will need to be done every 3-5 years. Consider five years to be the outside maximum. You do not want your septic tank to become totally full, so we strongly recommend having it cleaned every three years or so, to be safe.
- ONLY flush toilet paper and bodily waste
When a product says that it’s “toilet safe,” that doesn’t apply to septic tanks! The only things which are safe to flush into a septic system are toilet paper and various things that come out of the human body. Anything else could potentially clog the system, disrupt the tank’s ecosystem, or both.
- Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals
Along with not using chemical drain cleaners, try to avoid harsh cleaning chemicals in general. Products such as bleach are deadly to the micro-organisms in your tank. Small amounts, from time to time, won’t hurt your septic system – but overuse of such products absolutely can.
Remember: if it goes down the drain, it goes into your tank.
- Don’t use products that claim to balance or otherwise affect your tank’s ecosystem
Sometimes in stores, we see products that claim they will improve the efficiency of a septic system, just by sending them down the drain. There is very little evidence that these ever work, and there’s a fair chance they will just harm your septic tank instead.
If you have some reason to believe that your septic system isn’t functioning properly, you really want to leave that to Hesperia plumbers who specialize in septic work.
- Know the signs of a full, leaky, or overflowing septic tank.
If you see any of the following, you should call in a septic system expert ASAP:
- All the drains in your home draining slowly
- Gray water backing up into drains, such as the shower
- Running water heavy appliances (like washers) causes a backup in other places
- Wet spots above the tank on your lawn
- Sewage scents above your lawn
Remember, if your septic tank is leaking or overflowing, that water is potentially toxic!
Finally, please keep yourself safe and never attempt to work on a septic tank by yourself. Tank maintenance is dangerous, as are the substances within the tank. Septic tanks are not suitable for DIY maintenance. Always call in Hesperia plumbing experts if you need septic system work done.
Roto-Rooter hopes you have many great years with properly functioning plumbing and septic systems. However, if you ever have a plumbing emergency, big or small, please don’t hesitate to call us at any time.