What are the Signs that Your Septic Tank is Full?

Plumber Opens Septic Tank for Cleaning.

Living in a rural area, some of the basic things in life are different. Many homes in rural areas that aren’t all electric have propane gas because there aren’t natural gas lines in the area. And their water comes from a well instead of a water system, and instead of being on a sewer system, they have a septic tank. Cleaning that tank is a must to keep it functioning properly.

How often is septic tank cleaning needed?

There are a few factors that can determine this, but for most households, septic tank cleaning is recommended between three and five years, and this should be done by a professional. The scum and sludge levels are two of the biggest factors in determining the septic tank cleaning frequency. 

There are three parts to the wastewater from every home: 

  • solids aka sludge
  • grease aka scum
  • watery mix aka effluent

When a septic system is working properly, the scum and sludge stay inside the septic tank and the effluent flows out through pipes and into the drain field. The septic tank cleaning process is removing the scum and sludge is needed periodically to keep the effluent flowing.

How long does it take for a septic tank to get full?

Different factors can determine this too, such as the size of the tank and the number of occupants in the house. Estimates that professionals use as a rule of thumb is 1 adult creates 300 gallons of scum and sludge. So, it will take up to 5 years to fill a 1,000-gallon septic tank. 

How long does it take for a septic tank to drain?

A 1,000 to 1,250-gallon-size septic tank that is in proper working order should empty within twenty to thirty minutes. A larger septic tank will empty within one hour. Again, different factors can determine this, like the condition and quality of this equipment.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Just as when you toss things in the air, they will come down somewhere, when you flush or rinse things into the septic tank, it has to go somewhere. And this is why septic tank cleaning is necessary because scum and sludge matters can’t go anywhere, especially if you’re flushing or rinsing certain materials that can’t break down and disintegrate. If you’re on a septic system and experiencing any of the following, it is time to schedule a professional septic tank cleaning and inspection: 

  • The smell of sewage: When this odor is coming from the drains and toilets is constant, it is coming from the buildup of three types of gasses that are building up inside the tank:
  • Methane
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • It is essential to schedule a professional septic tank cleaning service as soon as possible.  
  • Slow Flushing, Constant Back Up: If all the drains in the bathrooms are slow draining or slow flushing, it is usually an indication that it is time for septic tank cleaning. 
  • Gurgling Sound, Slow Drains: If you’re hearing a gurgling sound as water drains, this is usually from air trapped in the lines going to the septic system. The air is probably trapped because the septic tank is full, or the drain lines are blocked or clogged. A septic tank cleaning and inspection is needed sooner rather than later. 
  • Green, Lush Grass: If the grassy area around the septic tank and along the drain lines is green and lush, it is time for a septic tank cleaning. 
  • Pooling Water: If you have standing water around the septic tank and there is a strong sewer odor, it is time for a septic tank cleaning. 

Are there ways to clean the septic tank from inside the house? 

Yes, in between professional septic tank cleaning appointments, there are products you can use that are natural and safe: 

  • Pour a combination of a quarter cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of vinegar into each toilet once a month and flush it. This will clean the lines going to the septic tank naturally and safely. 
  • Pour a half cup of yeast into each toilet once a month. This will speed up the degeneration process of the solids as well as multiply the bacteria count inside the septic tank. Bacteria are important inside a septic tank! 
  • Feed the septic tank tomatoes!  Yes, instead of tossing those tomatoes that are going bad in the fridge, every 3 to 4 months, grind them in the garbage disposal or smash them up and flush them down the toilet. 

What happens if you don’t clean the septic tank?

Like anything else in your home, when you skip basic maintenance and follow up by a professional, septic tank cleaning is a must because the drain field can hold only so much for so long. 

Without the routine, every 3 to 5 years of septic tank cleaning, you’ll start experiencing constant backups, the drain field becomes full of backup, and organic debris starts filling the leach field. This will create an unhealthy environment for your family, contaminate the plumbing in your home, and a variety of diseases will develop, form, and spread.

Is there specific toilet paper better for septic tanks?

Yes, choose a single-ply toilet paper that is labeled as either biodegradable, recycled, or states it is safe for septic systems.

In Closing 

Before you flush or rinse anything down the drain or toilets, when you’re on a septic system, be mindful of how it will process through the system. FOG (fats, oil, grease) are harmful to a home a city sewer system, and the same with a septic system. Avoid flushing diapers, wipes, cotton balls, and solid foods too. Septic tank cleaning every 3 to 5 years is much less expensive than having septic system repairs or replacement! 

5 Common Plumbing Problems Every Homeowner Should Know How to Fix

person with wrench clearing clog from beneath sink

Common Solutions to Common Problems

As a homeowner, it’s essential to be familiar with common plumbing problems and how to address them. Here are five common plumbing issues and basic steps to fix them:

  1. Clogged Drains:
    • Problem: Slow or blocked drains in sinks, showers, or tubs are often caused by the buildup of hair, soap scum, food particles, or other debris.
    • Fix: Try using a plunger or a drain snake to remove the clog manually. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar followed by hot water to break up minor clogs. If the clog persists, consider using a chemical drain cleaner or contacting a plumber for professional assistance.
  2. Leaky Faucets:
    • Problem: Dripping faucets are usually caused by worn-out washers, O-rings, or seals inside the faucet assembly.
    • Fix: Turn off the water supply to the faucet and disassemble the faucet handle to access the internal components. Replace the worn-out parts with new ones, such as washers or O-rings, and reassemble the faucet. If the leak persists, consider replacing the entire faucet assembly.
  3. Running Toilet:
    • Problem: A toilet that continues to run after flushing can waste a significant amount of water and may be caused by a faulty flapper valve, float mechanism, or fill valve.
    • Fix: Remove the toilet tank lid and inspect the flapper valve and float mechanism for any damage or misalignment. Adjust or replace the flapper valve and adjust the float mechanism to the correct water level. If the problem persists, consider replacing the fill valve or contacting a plumber for assistance.
  4. Low Water Pressure:
    • Problem: Low water pressure can be caused by various factors, including mineral deposits, pipe corrosion, or a partially closed shut-off valve.
    • Fix: Check all faucets and fixtures throughout the house to determine if the low water pressure is isolated to a specific area or affecting the entire house. Clean or replace aerators and showerheads to remove mineral deposits. Ensure that all shut-off valves are fully open. If the problem persists, consider contacting a plumber to inspect the plumbing system for underlying issues.
  5. Water Heater Issues:
    • Problem: Water heater problems can range from insufficient hot water to strange noises, leaks, or no hot water at all. These issues may be caused by sediment buildup, faulty heating elements, or a malfunctioning thermostat.
    • Fix: Check the temperature setting on the water heater and adjust if necessary. Flush the water heater to remove sediment buildup and improve efficiency. Inspect the heating elements and thermostat for any signs of damage or malfunction and replace as needed. If you’re unsure about performing maintenance on your water heater, contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Your Local Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC Plumber

While these steps can help address common plumbing problems, it’s essential to know your limits and when to contact a licensed plumber for professional assistance, especially for complex issues or if you’re unsure about performing repairs yourself. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to plumbing issues can help prevent more significant problems and costly repairs in the long run, so call 828-778-2425 today.

How Should a Water Softener Be Installed?

Glass of water with fresh water

How Can You Improve the Quality of Your Drinking Water?

The water in North Carolina is deemed to be safe for human consumption, yet there are areas of this beautiful state where the water is considered to be hard.  And for homeowners with hard water, a water-softer installation may be just the answer. What is hard water? 

Hard water is water that has a high level of dissolved calcium and magnesium. And while it isn’t any danger for consumption, there are some annoying results of hard water that a water softener installation can overcome, such as: 

  • Mineral buildup on plumbing fixtures
  • Detergents, shampoos, and soaps do not rinse 

Why does this happen? Because water is a good solvent that easily collects impurities.

What are the cons of hard water? 

Maybe you’re experiencing some of these things we’ve listed (probably all of them if you have one), but you can’t afford a water softener installation. What are the cons of long-term exposure to hard water? There are 6 negative effects when hard water is for a long period: 

1. Scale Buildup 

Your plumbing fixtures and appliances will have scale buildup from the hard water mineral deposits. Not just the bath, shower, sinks, and tub fixtures, but your coffeemaker and dishwasher will accumulate a buildup. 

2. Dry Hair and Skin

Hard water has an excessive amount of calcium and magnesium, so when you bathe, shower, or wash your hair, the shampoo or soap does not rinse off completely.  This leaves your hair feeling slimy and your skin dry, and neither the shampoo nor soap has nourished your hair or skin, which can lead to brittle hair and chapped skin. 

3. Clothes Faded

Hard water will strip the color from your clothes, and even make your bedding, clothing, and towels feel rough and scratchy. A water softener installation can help you save on replacing bedding, clothing, and towels.

4. Bathtub, Shower, and Sinks Get Stained 

Hard water leaves a mineral residue that will stain the bathtub, shower, and sinks.

5. Plumbing Repairs

Not only are the minerals where you can see them on appliances, dishes, and fading your clothes, but they are also damaging the pipes by corroding them on the inside, which will lead to broken pipes. 

6. Water Bill Increases

As the buildup of calcium and magnesium keeps accumulating inside the pipes, the water flow is decreased, and this makes the plumbing work harder. As the water is forced through, it can cause the pipes to crack and start leaking. 

Is a water softener installation a whole house system?

A water softener installation can be a whole-house filtration system, ideal where the hard water results in damage and scaling throughout the home. However, if your entire home isn’t being affected by the hard water, you can have a smaller water softener installation in specific point areas of your home, like under the sink, at the washing machine, or at a shower/tub combination.

Can I do my own water softener installation? 

You can do your own water softener installation, which will save you some money. Start by doing extensive research, asking for the opinions of people who have a water softener installed already. The installation is fairly straightforward and there are multitudes of videos online to walk you through the process. 

However, having your water softener installation done by a professional will give you a guarantee on the work.  In addition, water softener manufacturers may not honor their warranty if you do you own installation. 

How much does a water softener installation cost?

To have a water softener installation done professionally, you can expect to pay an additional $500 or more on top of the cost of the water softener device.  Again, this comes with a guarantee and the warranty will be honored by the water softener manufacturer. 

Can you drink softened water?

Softened water is safe to consume, but when you have a salt-based water softener installed, you will have an increase in sodium. Higher sodium has been related to several health issues like diabetes, heart disease,  and stroke. Any person with these health issues should consider a water softener installation that isn’t a salt-based system. 

How long do water softeners last?

With proper installation and maintenance, a water softener installation can have a lifespan of up to 15 years. If your water softener unit requires frequent repairs or becomes worn out, you may need to revisit your maintenance practices. 

Before Adding Water: Ask If A Water Softener Installation Is Worthwhile? 

This is a personal decision but consider your home’s water hardness as a starting point. If it at 7 GPG or higher, than you could definitely benefit from a water softener installation.  If you’re having concerns about dry hair, scratchy skin, or appliance and plumbing problems, consider a water softener installation, either a whole-home setup or a direct point system. You can give us a phone call at 828-778-2425 now for a water softener installation in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC.

What Is Refrigerant Recharging?

unit with air conditioning systems

What Is Refrigerant Recharging?

When Old Man Winter sneaks into the Mills River, North Carolina area, and you may not have been using the air conditioning for a while, experts still recommend getting your air conditioning system inspected and cleaned and the refrigerant recharged. That way, come next summer, when the heat returns, your home will be ready to get and stay cool. But what is refrigerant recharging, and what makes it so important?

What is a refrigerant recharge? 

Refrigerant recharging refers to charging or refilling the refrigerant in your home’s air conditioning system. Refrigerant is the gas that becomes liquid as it cools warm air that passes through the HVAC system. 

Refrigerant is necessary for an air conditioning system to provide the cool air we love during the hot summer months. When the refrigerant is low, typically from leaking, your air conditioner can’t cool as it should. Keeping the system running with little or no refrigerant could burn it out, leading to significant costs if repairs are needed. 

How do I know if I need to repair my AC?

You may hear a hissing sound if you have a sizeable refrigerant leak. If the leak is small, you may not hear anything, but the following signs are indicators that your HVAC system may need a refrigerant recharge service: 

  1. Takes a Long Time to Cool: As summer ends, if your HVAC system has been taking a long time to cool your home down, it may need a refrigerant recharge. 
  2. Not Blowing Cool Air

If the air blowing through your vents isn’t as cool as it should be, you may need a refrigerant recharge. However, this can also be a sign of other problems, so calling for professional HVAC service is the best way to determine the issue. 

  1. Frost or Ice on Inside: When the refrigerant is low, what is in the system can get too cold, restricting the airflow and causing a strain on the system. If you notice the copper lines inside the system are frosted over or have what appears to be ice, call a professional HVAC service company. It may be nothing more than a refrigerant recharge that is needed, but they will also inspect the entire system for other possible issues. 
  2. Water Pooling: When the air conditioner freezes, it will eventually thaw out, creating residual condensation that drips and pools around the system’s base. If you notice a puddle of water, call for a professional service to inspect the system. A refrigerant recharge may be the fix, but other issues may be causing this, too. 
  3. Short Cycling: If the air conditioning system has been short-cycling or cutting off/on repeatedly, it could be because it is low on refrigerant. Schedule a service call, and the technician will inspect the system, perform a refrigerant recharge if needed, and see what other issues could be causing this problem.
  4. Higher Electric Bills: Yes, the electric bill is always higher in the summer, but it will get to where it’s a steady amount after the first month. If it keeps climbing every month, it is to your advantage to get a professional HVAC inspection. If they find the refrigerant is low, they can perform a die check to see if there is a leak and recharge the refrigerant if needed. 

Sometimes, the technician won’t find the problem on the first visit, which may require another visit, which is usually included as part of the initial service call charge. They can perform a service that includes adding a dye to the refrigerant, and on their return visit, they can identify any refrigerant pinhole leaks along the pipes. 

Can I recharge my home AC myself?

No – this service must be done by a certified, licensed professional. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations control refrigerant for HVAC systems, and you won’t be able to purchase refrigerant as a homeowner. 

How much does it cost to add refrigerant to a home air conditioner?

The cost can fluctuate, and each HVAC service company has different rates. Some companies charge by the hour, and others have a flat rate for the service. In both cases, the refrigerant is an additional cost. The amount of refrigerant typically changes by the pound. 

What causes a refrigerant leak? 

There are a few standard things that can cause a refrigerant leak:

  • Rubber seals around the service valve leak.
  • Assembly joints on the exterior component leak
  • Service caps loose or missing. 
  • Copper lines become corroded due to formaldehyde exposure.
  • HVAC system vibrating.

Is a refrigerant recharge needed during the winter? 

Whether you’re using the air conditioner or the heater, a professional must recharge the HVAC system with refrigerant for proper operation. Refrigerant is a liquid that converts into gas and then back to liquid when cooling or heating your home. So yes, even during the winter, your system will need the correct refrigerant level to operate efficiently. Low refrigerant can burn the entire system out if you use your system.

Keep Cool, Keep Warm, Stay Comfortable

If you have any concerns that your HVAC system may need a refrigerant recharge, schedule it as soon as possible unless you want to replace it, an expense that most homeowners want to avoid. If you need a refrigerant recharge in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville or NC, our team can help. Call us at 828-778-2425 to schedule your service.

What are the Signs that Your Septic Tank is Full?

Septic tank being pumped

What is the Current Condition of Your Septic Tank?

There are many homes on the outskirts of Mills River, North Carolina, that are not on the city sewer system. Instead, they have septic tanks, and while they may have the same quality of life in these rural areas, some things are different. Such as they need regular septic tank cleaning services. 

How septic tanks are cleaned?

Septic tank cleaning isn’t like cleaning your bathtub. It takes specialized equipment with vacuum trucks that are operated by a septic tank specialist. The technician will remove the lid on the septic tank and insert a heavy-duty hose that is attached to a truck-mounted tank. 

They then insert that hose into the septic tank where it vacuums the sludge that is at the bottom of the various septic compartments. Once they have emptied all the compartments, they will use those specialized tools that act like a spoon and scrap the walls of the tank clean. 

After the removal of the effluent, the septic tank cleaning hasn’t been completed yet. The technician will use a water jetting process to rinse the interior of the tank thoroughly.  With this step completed, the technician will then perform an inspection, looking for any physical damage. This includes checking the: 

  • Baffles
  • Filters
  • Outlets

…. as well as checking for any cracks in the tanks.

The last step of the septic tank cleaning process is the technician inspecting the drainfield. This is where the liquid coming from the septic tank should escape in a properly working septic system. If there is water draining back into the septic tank, this indicates a problem within the septic system. 

At this point, the technician will check the pump and outlets, and then check for any broken lines between the drainfield and the septic tank. If they find any issues, they will advise the homeowner and offer a quote to make repairs or replacements needed. 

What if those repairs or replacements aren’t done? 

If the homeowner chooses not to proceed with the technician’s recommendations, they are at risk of their septic system not working properly. It may result in the wastewater backing up into the home because it can’t escape into the drainfield as intended. This can be a health issue for the occupants of the house. No matter how often septic tank cleaning is performed, if any of the parts of the septic system aren’t working properly, it will never work properly.

How often should I pump my septic tank?

Commonly, the recommendation for septic tank cleaning frequency is between three and five years, or if there have been any problems with the septic system. With each septic tank cleaning, after the specialist’s inspection, they will advise of any issues they found and make any recommendations if septic tank cleaning should be more frequent. 

Following a routine of regular septic tank cleaning will prolong the lifespan and service life of the septic tank system. Following through with any recommended repairs or replacements will lessen the need for future costly repairs, and it helps keep the home healthy with a proper working septic system. 

How much is a septic tank cleaning? 

When you own a home, some details must be budgeted and completed to keep your home in proper working order. And when you’re on a septic system, that includes following a schedule of septic tank cleaning. 

A septic tank cleaning can cost between $300 and $700, more if any repairs are needed or any components need to be replaced. There are a few factors that affect this cost: 

  • The septic tank size
  • The usage of the septic system
  • Any repairs or replacements

Does a septic tank cleaning require be done by a specialist?  

Absolutely!  A homeowner will not have access to the powerful vacuum system that a septic tank cleaning specialist has on their truck. Nor will they know what should be inspected and making any repairs or replacements needed. 

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

The indications that you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning are similar to when a home on a city sewer system has a broken sewer line, which is: 

  • Backed Up Drains.
  • Gurgling Sounds In Drains.
  • Water Slow to Drain.
  • Bad Odors In and Around the Home.
  • Pools and Puddles of Water in the Yard.
  • Increase of Flies Along The Drainfield.
  • Green, Lush Grass Along Septic Lines.

Keep Things Flowing

As a homeowner with a septic system, cleaning the system should be considered a necessity to keep your home healthy and safe.  Ask the septic tank specialist for advice that will keep the septic system in proper working order, such as what should not be poured or flushed into the system. 

These are the same things that are recommended with any home on city sewer system such avoid pouring FOG into the kitchen drain and flushing diapers or wipes down the toilet. For septic tank cleaning in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, call us now at 828-778-2425!

Are Industrial Clogged Drain Cleaners Dangerous for Your Home?

view from above of a clogged drain

How do you take care of clogged drains?

There are a lot of things you need to prepare for, and one of the things you need to do is prepare for how to handle clogged drains. Clogged drains are always something you have to deal with in the Asheville, North Carolina area, just as it is all across the country. But it doesn’t have to be too stressful if you know the best way to clear those clogged drains. 

Should you stock up on commercial drain cleaners now? 

No, that should be the last thing you try to clear a clogged drain! Those chemical cleaners can cause more damage to your home’s plumbing system and even cause more problems. You’ll spend more money on professional plumbing repairs after using commercial chemicals to open a clogged drain than if you’d call the plumber to start with! 

Those commercial chemical cleaners will deteriorate the toilet bowl, dissolve the metal pipes, and melt plastic pipes. No, probably not if you use on just once to clear a clogged drain, but with repeated use, yes, you’re looking a destroying your plumbing. 

How should you clear a heavily clogged drain?

Believe it or not, you have products in your kitchen pantry that will clear a clogged drain safely. If you’ve tried plunging the drain and didn’t have any luck, one of the best and easiest methods is with baking soda and white vinegar. These two products mixed will dissolve any type of clog and help it move on down the drain and into the sewer line. 

What is that magic mixture and process?

The following recipe should be in your holiday cookbook: 

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the clogged drain
  • Pour half a cup of white vinegar into the clogged drain
  • Poor several cups of hot water into the clogged drain
  • Wait one hour and then run hot water from the faucet into the drain
  • Repeat the process if needed

If that didn’t work, what is the best thing to put down a clogged drain?

This is a great cleaner for clogged drains, but there are times when plunging or this recipe may not do the job. So, you still don’t need to resort to those commercial drain cleaners!  Use a plumber’s snake or auger next. 

By using an auger or plumber’s snake, you can get to what’s causing that clogged drain, and dislodge it. You’ll either pull some of it back up when you pull the auger out, or you’ll push it on through the sewer line. 

Make a small investment and purchase an auger or plumber’s snake at your local hardware or big box home improvement store. The process can get a little messy and will take some physical effort, but this device with our drill could be the magic combination to clearing a clogged drain. Work slow, take your time, and have somebody on standby to call a plumber just in case something goes wrong, or the clogged drain is bad, the auger or plumber’s snake can’t get to the clogged area because it is past the P trap.

What do plumbers use to clear clogged drains?

Professional plumbers have a wide assortment of tools and tricks they use to clear the toughest clogged drains. One is a plumber’s snake, but the ones they have are longer and more powerful than what you can purchase from a hardware store. 

If the auger or snake doesn’t clear the clogged drain, they will remove the P-trap and see if there is something there that has caused the clog. If that doesn’t prove to be the problem, then will use the hydro-jetting method. What is hydro-jetting? 

The hydro-jetting method can clear a clogged drain with a powerful force of water from a machine that blasts water at an extremely high pressure, as high as 4000 psi. Think of the pressure the water at your local car wash, perhaps higher! 

How much will a plumber cost to clear a clogged drain? 

It’s the holidays! Nobody wants to spend money on something you can’t eat, drink, or give as a gift! Well, before you damage your plumbing, which will cost you way more than a plumber, consider this to be a gift to you and your home.  While every plumbing service will have its rates, they typically have a flat rate for clearing clogged drains. That rate can be as little as $150 and could go upward to $300 or more. If they find that this is more than a basic clogged drain, they may have to change to an hour rate plus any parts needed like replacing broken sewer lines. 

It’s All Washed Out! 

Okay, so maybe that $150 (or more) wasn’t an expected expense. That’s a bummer, but you now have a clear, flowing drain, and can go forth with your baking, cooking, and merriment!  Going forward, prevent this from happening by being careful of what is washed down the drain, like avoiding pouring fats, oils, and greasy substances down the drain.

Instead, let it cool and gel, then scoop it out with paper towels and toss it into the trash (not the recycling) Going forward, use the recipe of baking soda and white vinegar every month, even if you don’t have a clogged drain. Let the mixture keep your drains clear of the FOG, hair, soap and toothpaste scum. And remember that if you need clogged drain cleaning in Asheville, NC, our team can be there to help. Give us a call at 828-778-2425 today to schedule your service.

What is the Most Efficient Water Filtration Method?

Clean Water Out of a Tap

The Mills River, North Carolina area is a beautiful part of the country. Many will trek here for a quiet vacation and enjoy the beauty as they rest and reset.  But for businesses that serve these visitors and the residents in this area, water filtration is essential to ensure the water is clean and healthy.

What does water filtration do?

Water filtration is a process that reduces or removes a concentrated amount of particulate matter. This matter includes suspended algae, bacteria, fungi, parasites, particles, and viruses, including undesirable biological and chemical contaminants that contaminate water. Water filtration cleans the water and makes it safe to consume. 

How does water filtration work?

Water filtration is a physical barrier that blocks or traps unwanted debris, like bacteria, sand, etc. from passing through. Generally, the water flow speed is dependent on the size of the filter or membrane gaps. The smaller the gaps, the slower the water flow. There are different types of water filtration systems. 

What are the different types of water filtration systems? 

Water filtration removes those unwanted impurities from water like sediment, a natural substance that comes with water. This can affect the hardness, smell, and taste, leaving behind bacteria that can affect the water quality.

Every area can have different types of water problems that water filtration can address. Things like the formation of limescale deposits that block the water lines and pipes and damage water-using appliances. The are five different types of water filtration which include:

  • Mechanical Water Filtration

This type of water filtration physically removes dirt, sediment, and other particles by creating a barrier. The filters in a mechanical water filtration system can be made from basic mesh to ceramic. 

  • Absorption Water Filtration

This water filtration method is carried out by carbon, a highly effective process that captures water-borne contaminants. This method is excellent for water systems where there are multiple nooks and crannies for trapping chlorine and other chemical impurities.

  • Sequestration Water Filtration

This method of water filtration works by chemically isolating a substance like calcium and magnesium minerals that cause corrosion and limescale buildup. The polyphosphate used in this method is introduced in small amounts and inhibits the scale instead of eradicating it. 

  • Ion Exchange Water Filtration

This process of water filtration softens hard water by exchanging calcium, hydrogen, magnesium, and sodium. Ion exchange physically removes those hard minerals which reduces the limescale and makes the water suitable for commercial applications where the water is kept at a high temperature like in coffee machines. 

  • Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration

Referred to as RO, this water filtration process removes dissolved inorganic solids like calcium and magnesium ions. It does that by forcing the water with pressure through a semipermeable membrane that keeps most of the contaminants out of the water. 

What is the most effective water filtration method?

Reverse osmosis water filtration is the best for removing a large amount of contaminants. These are contaminants that can include dangerous bacteria that are linked to waterborne diseases. They do this by pushing water with force through the reverse osmosis membrane.

Which filter is best for drinking water?

Which type of water filtration system is needed can depend on what problems are in the existing water.  This can be determined by having a sample of the water tested by a professional water service. They will either come to your home or you can bring samples of your water in for testing. Because tap water can vary by region, the source of the water can be different. This can result in various contaminants that need to be removed to provide clean, healthy water.  

Is whole house filtration worth it?

Yes, but it is an investment.  However, there are immediate benefits of clean, healthy water that gives you back a return on that investment. In addition to having your water tested, you should research the different types of water filtration systems and consider your desired end goal and the purpose of this investment. 

A water filtration system can cost between $25 to $50 and up to $4,000 or more. The type of water filtration system you choose will have the biggest impact on the cost and if you choose a point-of-use style or a whole-house water filtration system.

Keeping It Watered Down 

There are less expensive ways for water filtration, like a water filtration pitcher that you keep in the refrigerator or on the counter. They are inexpensive and come in various sizes that you can choose based on your budget and needs. Simply fill the pitcher with the tap water, and pouring the water will sift through the filter, making the water clean and healthy. 

Our bodies are mostly water, and water is essential for a healthy life. By having a water filtration system, your water will taste better without any unpleasant odor. The water becomes safe for consumption, and with this all in mind, your family will be prone to drink more water, a healthier option. 

What are the Signs of a Water Heater Going Bad?

repair of boiler

Learn About Water Heaters

The water heater. Every house has one. Every house needs one. This appliance is one of the most underappreciated every house has, yet it is an important appliance. So, when you have a cold shower waiting for you one cold winter North Carolina morning, your first thought is probably, “Guess  I need a new water heater!”. But maybe not, water heater repairs are possible.

What are the signs that a water heater repair or replacement may be needed? 

When it comes to a water heater that isn’t working some possible issues with an electric-powered unit that water heater repairs are possible include: 

  • Blown fuse 
  • Cold and hot water connections are crossed
  • The heating element is malfunctioning
  • Thermostat quits

The common problems that gas water heater repair is possible are: 

  • The gas supply is disconnected
  • The gas valve is broken
  • The thermocouple has quit
  • The pilot light isn’t staying lit

Some of these things you can do your own water heater repair like checking the fuses or breaker box, checking the water connections are correct, and relighting the pilot light. However, if you aren’t able to successfully, call a plumber for a professional water heater repair service.  

How do you troubleshoot a water heater problem?

How to determine the problems with a water heater depends on if it is electric-powered or gas-powered. However, the following are 4 common issues for either type: 

  • Thermostat Check

Electric or gas water heaters thermostat should be set between 120- and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water isn’t hot enough or is too hot, check the thermostat setting. After 30-45 minutes, test the water again. If that doesn’t help, you should call a plumber for water heater repair service. 

  • Pilot Light Check 

If you have a gas-powered water heater, check the pilot light. If it isn’t on, re-light it if the smell of gas isn’t overpowering.  If the pilot light flickers or goes back out, you need to shut the gas off to the unit and call a professional plumber for water heater repair service. 

  • Restart the Water Heater

For an electric water heater that isn’t heating the water, turn the unit off and wait 5 minutes. Then turn it back on and after thirty minutes, see if you’re getting hot water. If not, call your plumber for a water heater repair service. 

  • Check the Breaker Box

If you have an electric water heater that isn’t heating water, check the breaker box. If the specified water heater breaker is flipped, flip it back to on and wait 30 minutes to let the water heat up inside the tank. If you still don’t have hot water, call your plumber for a water heater repair service.

repairing parts of an HVAC unit

What is the average cost of water heater repair? 

This can vary based on the type of problem and between plumbers. Some may have a flat rate for electric water heater repair and a different flat rate for gas water heater repair. Some charge by the house plus parts.  And with the parts, the cost of parts can vary between a thermostat and a gas valve, as well as other parts that may be needed for the repair.

How can I tell if my water heater needs to be replaced? 

If you’re experiencing any of the following 6 issues, you should start shopping for a new water heater. Repairing the current unit is either not possible, or the cost would exceed the value: 

1. The age of the current hot water unit
Most hot water systems have a lifespan between eight and ten years. There should be a manufacturer’s sticker found on the upper part of the unit. 

2. Discolored, rusty, or smelly water
Discolored or smelly water coming from the bathroom or kitchen faucet may be because bacteria or rust has built up inside the water system tank. This can also be caused by a broken anode rod. This internal part has the sole job of killing bacteria and removing any microorganisms from the water. 

3. Rumbling and weird sounds
A hot water heater will make some sounds, but it shouldn’t be noticeable like banging, bubbling, cracking, gurgling, or popping.  These are sounds when sediment has built up inside the tank and the water can’t circulate as intended. If you don’t flush the system as recommended, this is one of the results and it shortens the lifespan of the water heater. 

4. Leaking or puddles

If you notice water on the side of the tank, make sure the water connections are firmly connected. If you see water pooling up on the floor, this indicates the tank is leaking. This is not a water heater repair issue – it needs to be replaced. 

5. Temperature varies while running water
When you can’t find that ‘just right’ temperature, it inconsistently goes from cold to warm to hot and back again, it could be a water heater repair by replacing the thermostat. But depending on the age, it probably needs to be replaced. 

6. A reduced water flow 

If the water flow is low coming from the water heater, try a water repair step of flushing the unit and see if that helps. If not, then you’ll need to replace the unit.

How often should I have my water heater inspected? 

If you aren’t sure of the water heater’s age or if it has had water heater repairs every year for the past 5 years, you should have it inspected once a year. Once you have replaced the water heater, you should schedule an inspection every 3 to 5 years until the plumbing technician advises you it is time to replace the unit. 

Saving Energy – Saving Money! 

Can you save energy at the water heater? Yes, these 7 steps can help you save energy which will save you money: 

  • Turn the thermostat at 120 degrees. If you’re out of town for a week or longer, you can set it even lower.
  • When you purchase a new water heater, get the proper size for your household. 
  • Flush the water heater once a year to keep the sediment low.
  • Insulate the water pipes going to the water heater and if the water heater is exposed to an outer wall, invest in a thermal blanket for the tank. 

All About Plumbing & Septic assists with water heater repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC. Call 828-778-2425 to talk to a certified professional.

What Is The Most Energy-Efficient HVAC System?

HVAC repairman completing a repair on an HVAC system

The Benefits of Upgrading to an Energy-Efficient System

North Carolina is deep enough into the south to have that certain accent, and humidity in the summer! Homeowners across the Ashville, North Carolina area are like homeowners everywhere: They want comfort but with the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible. 

Why? Because an energy-efficient HVAC system today consists of the most advanced technology available. This reduces energy usage while increasing efficiency and not scrimping on comfort. Energy-efficient HVAC systems use improved insulation materials and have better airflow management, along with automated temperature control. All of this together is what makes them energy efficient. 

What Are the Benefits of Using an Energy-Efficient HVAC System? 

In addition to the cost savings by using less energy, other benefits an energy-efficient HVAC system will provide are: 

  • Improved Comfort

An energy-efficient HVAC system will have variable speed compressors. This sets the system up to cycle off/on less. This is a money saver that controls the humidity and keeps your home comfortable with improved airflow that cools and heats every room in the house evenly.

  • Quieter 

The energy-efficient HVAC systems today are built with new technology that absorbs the clanking, rattling, and rumbling sounds of the older HVAC systems. 

  • Environment 

The energy-efficient HVAC systems today use less electricity, resulting in reducing the need for carbon-intensive power plants and producing less carbon dioxide emissions. They are more conservative today, abusing less of our natural resources.

How Much Energy is Saved with an Energy-Efficient HVAC System?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, based on your location, replacing your current cooling and heating system with an energy-efficient HVAC system can save you as much as 50% with an electric-powered system and 10% with a gas-powered system. 

Are There Different Kinds of Energy-Efficient HVAC systems? 

The HVAC system in your home is an essential component for keeping your family comfortable. It is also the most expensive component and uses a high level of energy to operate. With an energy-efficient HVAC system, this standard energy-utilizing appliance eases the strain on the bank account and eases the impact on the environment. 

What Types of HVAC Systems are Best Suited for Different Climates?

Depending on where you live, the age of your home, and the climate, the best energy-efficient HVAC system can vary. Calling a professional HVAC company will be better able to provide you with the best choice.

Currently, the best energy-efficient HVAC system for heating is with a heat pump system, either an air force or geothermal. A surprise to many, a heat pump system is also the most energy-efficient HVAC system for cooling too. 

What are the Differences Between Energy-Efficient and Conventional HVAC Systems?

If you’re not sure about making the move to upgrade your current HVAC system to an energy-efficient HVAC system, here are some points to consider: 

  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is an industry tool to rate the efficiency of the system. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the energy efficiency. All units manufactured today are required by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to be SEER rated at 14 or higher, whether it is energy efficient HVAC system or not. 

  • Innovativeness

Most new energy-efficient HVAC models on the market today come with a variety of features in addition to being energy efficient.  Some energy-efficient HVAC systems have variable speed adjusters that help you improve the efficiency while it runs. High energy efficient models are better at regulating the humidity level in homes, and with the on/off cycling, it makes for a money saver! 

What Maintenance is Required for an Energy-Efficient HVAC System?

The basic knowledge you need to keep your energy-efficient HVAC system operating a full capacity is to replace the air filter every 30 days. When the filter is clogged, the system can’t circulate the air and becomes bogged down. 

Additionally, you need to keep the condenser coil and evaporator coil cleaned. Both will accumulate dirt and dust over time, which will slow the system down. Keep them clean and clear of any debris. Last but not least, have a professional inspection of your energy-efficient HVAC system every year. With this professional inspection, they will keep the system clean and all moving parts oiled as needed.

Dollar For Dollar

In addition to the benefits that we’ve reviewed here, in many cases, you can get government incentives to install an energy-efficient HVAC system. There are often tax credits to be taken on your end-of-the-year tax filing too. 

And keep in mind, while this is a sizeable investment to your home, your biggest investment, it is one that will give you the most ROI. Should you be considering placing your home on the market, anything you can have added to your home that is energy efficient is an attraction for potential home buyers. 

What are the benefits of a geothermal heating system?

red truck drilling for a geothermal system outside a home

Choosing a Geothermal Heating System

Like homeowners everywhere, here in Mills River, North Carolina area, we look for ways to cool and heat our homes efficiently. The summers are beautiful and fun in this coastal area, but the winters can be brutally cold too. And geothermal heating systems have become a more popular way to keep comfortable at an affordable price. 

But what is geothermal heating exactly?  A geothermal heating system also works as a cooling system too. It is an energy-efficient system that utilizes the natural stable ground temperature to warm your home in the winter and cool your home in the summer. A geothermal heating system is an energy-efficient solution with the system itself in the ground with a heat pump in your basement or garage.

The pipes of the geothermal heat system are buried approximately 300 feet, where they will absorb the ground’s temperature that the sun has heated up. A liquid in the pipes then takes that heat and distributes it throughout your home through vents as a standard HVAC system would.

Can you cool your house with geothermal systems? 

Yes, during the summer, that liquid is cooled below the surface and then sends the cooled air through your home. So, how much land do you need for geothermal? This is always a concern for any homeowner, nobody wants their entire lawn dedicated to cooling and heating their home!  

And it doesn’t take much space either! So, how deep do you dig for geothermal heating? A geothermal heating system installation requires a four to six-inch diameter wide area where a three to 500-foot loop will be installed down below the surface. Like other means for power development, geothermal does need to produce and develop too. The plants for geothermal heating systems don’t use as much land as coal and nuclear power plants and what land they do use, the environmental impact is minimal.

What are the benefits of geothermal heating?

Like any new technology, the upfront cost is usually the worse part, and a geothermal heating system isn’t any different. But once you get past that initial cost, you can expect the following benefits: 

  • Eco-Friendly: A geothermal heating system is an environmentally friendly way to heat your home because it doesn’t produce carbon monoxide or any greenhouse gasses, minimizing your contribution to air pollution and your carbon footprint.
  • Affordable Operation: Once your geothermal heating system is installed, you’ll start saving money with the operation of the system thanks to the technology used. A geothermal heating system offers a 400% efficiency rating and creates four units of energy for every unit of energy that is electrically produced. Because it doesn’t burn fuel to create heat, it transfers heat from the earth. Homeowners have seen savings of up to seventy percent on utilities!
  • Cash Flow: With a geothermal heating system, it will be paying for itself over a 3 to 5-year period. When you consider the government tax credits, you could see a positive cash flow sooner than that! 
  • Lifespan Cost: Is geothermal better than the standard HVAC system? Yes, starting with a longer lifespan. The standard HVAC system typically needs replacing within 15 years or sooner, depending on the quality of the equipment and the maintenance schedule. In comparison, how long does a geothermal system last? With a geothermal heating system, because they aren’t exposed to the climate and environment outside, like ice, rain, and snow, they will last longer. The indoor components consist of a compressor, fan, and pump that have a lifespan of 10 years or more and the underground portion can last for generations. 
  • Quiet Operation: A geothermal heating system doesn’t have any outdoor condensing unit, and the indoor components operate quietly.
  • Safety: Geothermal heating systems are safe, are clean to operate because there isn’t any combustion involved in the operation. No fear of carbon monoxide poisoning with this renewable energy way of heating your home. 
  • Increased Comfort: A geothermal heating system offers air purification and dehumidification, improving the air quality of your home. Because it isn’t recycling the air, there are fewer concerns or threats to your home’s indoor air quality.

Will a geothermal heating system raise my heating bill?

Because of the electric usage with a geothermal heating system, there is a concern the electrical bill will increase. The electric bill will be less in the summer months for cooling, which will balance out the electrical cost during the winter. 

At what temperature does geothermal keep your house?

It will keep your home toasty warm in the winter because it is not pulling in the cold air and heating it like a heat pump system. It is pulling the heat from the core of the earth where it stays hot constantly!  Set your winter thermostat to a warm 72 degrees and you’ll have a warm 72-degree home! 

close-up of a truck drilling for a geothermal heating system

So – At the End Of The Day 

Is a geothermal system worth it? Well, that will be your decision to make when it comes down to it, but we can tell you that you can save money on your energy bills with a geothermal heating system. You’ll have an upfront out-of-pocket expense, but the payback of lower bills will offset that quickly!