Category Archives: Septic Tanks

septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA

What To Do In A Septic Tank Emergency

Your septic tank isn’t something you think about on a regular basis. In fact, it might not even cross your mind until you have a problem or, worse yet, an emergency. Replacing a septic tank system is going to cost you a pretty penny and it’s really in your best interest to keep up with maintenance, getting septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA on a regular basis, and to know warning signs in case something was to occur.

Signs Of Septic Emergencies

Since most of the septic system components are underground, it can become a bit of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ situation. But there are signs to watch out for that can show you things are bad and that you need help right away. Here are a few:

-Blackwater Overflow Or A Backup

If your toilets or drains are flowing up instead of down, that’s a huge problem and considered an emergency. It could mean the tank is blocked or that there is a clog somewhere along a pipe. You are going to want to stay away from the blackwater that is coming into your home and get the professionals out to remedy the problem as soon as possible.

-A Flooded Drain field

You might notice the drain field in your yard being wet from time to time, but if the area is completely flooded, that’s an emergency situation. There might be a broken pipe or the drain field might be failing. Either way, you don’t want to wastewater or have the septic tank receive further damage because of the issue. Have professionals check things out.

-Slow, Clogged, Gurgling, or Bubbling Drains

While your drains running in a slow manner isn’t an outright emergency, it can quickly lead to that if you don’t address things. It’s better to stay on top of these problems instead of waiting for them to get worse. They aren’t often going to work themselves out on their own so it’s a waste to wait.

What To Do In Emergency Situations

If you notice any of the above things occurring, you are going to want to call a trusted septic provider for an emergency visit. They can assess the problem, give you an estimate, and get things solved quickly and efficiently. The longer you wait, the worse the issue can become.

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Stop Using Water

It’s best that you stop using water as soon as you notice a problem so you aren’t putting even further stress on your septic system. The more water you use, the worse the problem can become.

If you notice something that is out of order, or if you have an emergency situation with your septic system, septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA may be the answer to your problem. Give the professionals at American Sanitation Inc a call and you can have peace of mind that your system is in good hands. We’re here to help things run well in every circumstance for the duration.

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What To Do When Something Gets Flushed That Shouldn’t

Things happen, right? The kids play with keys and those keys can get put into the toilet. That rubber bouncy ball they got at the store? That can bounce into the toilet opening as well. Things can get flushed when you don’t mean for them to and that can lead you to wonder what’s happening with your septic tank. Do you need septic tank pumping in Sonoma, CA? OR can you resolve things in another way? Here are some tips on what to do when something like this occurs.


Don’t Panic

First of all, you don’t have to panic about the process. Most of the time, things are going to be okay. But you are going to want to look into things and act with extra care as you wait and see what’s going to happen. If there’s a backup due to the item that went down, you’ll know it soon enough. You will want to stop using that toilet and perhaps shut the water off to it as well until you get the professional to come out and help you.


Try Removal

If the item got stuck in the pipes, you might be able to get a tool that you can stick down the toilet and grab the item. That can help you to free the clog and get things moving again. You may not know how far down the item went, however, and it can be a waste of time and efforts to go that route.


High Pressure Jetting

If the item seems to be slowing down the system, it might be sitting in the pipes somewhere and the professionals can come out and use a high pressure jet to push the item through to the septic tank. That can help you to resolve the clog without worrying about backups.


Call Pros For Advice

If you are unsure as to what you should do, call the professionals for some advice. Let them know what got flushed down and what, if any, symptoms your septic system is showcasing. They may tell you that as long as you don’t have any backups or symptoms, the item will simply pass through the system and sit in the septic tank until it is pumped out in the future. Or, depending on what was flushed, they might advise you to have them out to your house to take care of the issue sooner.

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Get Septic Tank Pumping

It’s possible that the item in question is going to harm your septic tank by sitting in it for a long period of time. If that is the case, the experts might recommend that you get septic tank pumping in Sonoma, CA done sooner rather than later. This process is something that you have to get done every few years as it is and it’s better to go through with it than to let the item sit and cause other problems. Contact American Sanitation Inc with any questions you have.

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Tips For Septic Tank Health

You want your septic tank to work well and a part of that means getting septic tank pumping in Novato, CA done on a regular basis. You may not think about your septic system all that often—unless it starts to give you trouble. But you really do need to consider it so that you can maintain septic tank health to its fullest. You can prevent problems from occurring when yo keep that septic tank healthy. Here are a few tips to help you to do just that.

1-Avoid Using Anti-Bacterials

While it might be normal for you to use bleach, soap with anti-bacteria in it, and other such products, you will want to get rid of those things when you have a septic tank. You don’t want those products going down the drain because they will end up in your septic tank. When they do, they will work hard to kill off bacteria. You might think that’s okay, but in a septic tank, it isn’t. The bacteria in the tank is what eats away at the waste coming in. Without it, things will fill up too fast and you will have to have the tank pumped out more often. It is like its own little eco-system in a septic tank and it can take time for things to build up right away and work well after bacteria is killed off.

2-Don’t Rinse Grease Down

In addition to bleach-like items, you also want to avoid putting grease down the drain. If you cook with grease, it seems natural that when you are done, you pour what you don’t need down the drain. But what you don’t think of is what happens as that grease cools. It can harden and that builds up in the pipes. If it does make it to the septic tank, that can be damaging as well. Instead, place the grease in another container, let it cool, and then simply throw it away.

3-Flush Only Toilet Paper

There are a lot of things on the market today that seem okay to flush. Flushable wipes, for example, sound okay, right? Facial tissues can’t be that bad, right? Well, those items can actually damage your septic system. They don’t break down the way toilet paper does and they build up within the tank. That can cause the tank to need pumping more often as well. You are going to have to have pumping done, but you don’t want to have to do it any more often than is necessary.

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4-Regular Pumping

Every septic tank, no matter how well you treat it, is going to need to be pumped out regularly, as in every few years. Talk to the professionals about septic tank pumping in Novato, CA and get a recommendation as to how often you need to go through those motions. The professionals at American Sanitation Inc can also help you to recognize signs that pumping is necessary in case the time frame needs to be sooner than suggested originally.

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Conserve Water And Protect The Septic Tank

Water conservation saves you money, but it’s also a good thing for the environment as a whole. If your house has a septic system, you are going to have to get septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA done on occasion to keep things operating well. But if you tweak some of your daily activities, you can save water and extend the life of your septic system. Here are a few ways to protect the system and conserve water all at once.

Shorten Those Showers

While a long, hot shower feels great, it doesn’t help the septic tank and it doesn’t save water, either. Keep the showers to 5-10 minutes in length and you can keep your water usage to 10-25 gallons of water per shower. Set a timer until you get used to the time length and once you get into the shower, get to soaping instead of just standing around.

Use The Washers Wisely

You are going to want Energy Star certified appliances, if at all possible, but you still want to use them wisely. Run only full loads to save water. Wait until the dishwasher is full or you have a full load of clothing. Also, spread the washings out throughout the week so you don’t have to do it all in one day. If you did laundry today, do the dishes tomorrow. The tank needs to absorb the water and high volume can cause it issues.

Reduce Outdoor Water Usage

It’s nice to have green grass, but that can take a lot of water and it can over-saturate the drain field at the same time. Try to get some native plants that don’t need much water so you don’t have to run the sprinklers as much. Use a sprayer nozzle on the landscaping instead of the direct hose and turn it off between uses. Don’t hose down the driveway after you mow, either, but rather sweep the grass clippings back into the lawn.

Consider Going Low Flow

There are plenty of plumbing fixtures that allow you to have low flow when it comes to the water. You can get a low flow toilet, showerhead, faucet, and other such things. That will help you to save water, lower your water bills, and reduce the water you use with every flush or hand washing session.

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If you are trying to save water, make sure you keep up with your septic system as a whole. You will need septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA every few years, even if you treat the system well. The tank will fill up and that’s going to cause issues in the home. You might have backups, smells, and slow drains. The professionals at American Sanitation Inc are here to help you cut back on water use, use your septic system correctly, and maintain the system overall at the same time. We’re here to help you with any questions you have, too. Give us a call any time and we’ll help give you the answers you need.

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New Home Septic Tank Inspection Advice

When you are thinking about buying a new home, there are lots of things to consider so you can make the right decisions for your family. If the home has a septic tank, you need to know more about that system, like when septic tank pumping in Sonoma, CA was done last. You will also want to consider a septic tank inspection so you know exactly what you are getting into with this purchase. That inspection can save you time, money, and trouble down the road if you end up buying the home. You could have expensive repairs and headaches on your hands later if you don’t find out what the condition is like on that tank. Here are some tips to help you get what you deserve in this sale.

Speak With The Seller

While most of your communication on the home purchase is going to go through the realtors, you will want to talk to the home seller directly about the septic tank. Find out how old the system is and ask to see the permit that was given to the builder when the tank was first installed. The permit will show you how old the tank is. Keep in mind they generally operate and last for 25-30 years so if the tank is older than that, you might have a large expense coming up if you buy the house. You will also want to see maintenance paperwork so you can ensure that things were kept up well over the years.

Look At The Drain Field Yourself

You may not be experienced in the area, but you can certainly see when property is maintained or neglected. Look at the drain field and watch for warning signs that the tank isn’t working well. If the ground is overly wet, smells bad, or there are large green patches, that’s not a good thing. You will want to get a better estimate and look at the septic tank if you see any of those signs.

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Hire A Professional For An Inspection

There are plenty of septic tank professionals that will help you with a full inspection, especially if you are leery based on things you saw or heard about the system. They can point out any repairs that might have to be made soon and they can give you an estimate on those repairs. You want to know what you are facing in the near future if you buy this house. You might be able to get a reduction on the overall home price if there are issues that could arise soon after the purchase. Or, you might request that the seller fixes certain things before you sign the agreement.

If you buy the house, it’s good to understand that you are going to need septic tank pumping in Sonoma, CA every few years, no matter how well you treat the system. Consider calling the professionals at American Sanitation Inc and we can help you navigate home ownership that includes a septic system.

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Septic Tank Health Tips

If you own a home that has a septic system, you are going to want to keep that system as healthy as possible. It’s smart to maintain and take good care of that system so you don’t have problems that might cause issues in the home. It’s a lot better to keep things up to date than to try and fix things later. There are lots of things you can do to keep the system healthy, like septic tank pumping in Novato, CA, among other things. Here are a few things you will want to do to keep that septic system and the tank healthy.

Avoid Putting Anti-Bacterial Down The Drain

There are bacteria in the septic tank and that’s a good thing. Those bacteria help to break down the waste in the tank and keep it operating as it should. You don’t want to kill those bacteria off, or the system won’t work efficiently any longer. Don’t get soap with anti-bacterial properties in it and don’t use anti-bacterial cleaners. Those items are going to end up in the septic tank where they will do a lot more harm than good.

Never Since Grease Down The Sink

When you cook with oil or grease, you don’t want to rinse that down the sink, even if it has cooled. That stuff can harder even more as it cools further and add a coating to the inside of the pipe. That allows less items to get through and can cause clogs to happen rather quickly. Let the grease cool and then, simply put it in a container and throw it away instead of putting it down the drain.

Don’t Flush Anything But Toilet Paper

It’s tempting to flush things other than toilet paper. Flushable wipes, for example, sound safe, but there’s no such thing as a wipe that is flushable. You are going to want to flush only waste and toilet paper and that’s it. That will help you to keep your septic system healthy and in good working order.

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Have Septic Tank Pumping Done Regularly

The septic tank, even if you are really good to it, is going to fill up. You won’t want to go 5 years without having the tank pumped out. Talk to the professionals and see how often you need a tank pumping based on how large your tank is and how much water your family uses. You can schedule those pumping’s to happen every few years, so you don’t have the tank fill up and cause clogs and other issues in the home.

When you want to talk to professionals about other septic tips, or if you need septic tank pumping in Novato, CA, the experts at American Sanitation Inc are here to help. We want your system to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. Give us a call any time you want an inspection done or if you just have questions about septic systems and the types of things you can do or shouldn’t do in order to keep it working well.

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When Something Gets Flushed That Shouldn’t

You might know the things you can and can’t flush down your toilet. It’s always best to flush only waste and toilet paper. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the house or everyone who will visit will adhere to the same rules. There can even be accidents that occur when something gets dropped while the toilet is flushing. What can you do when that happens? The professionals can help with septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA if the need arises, but you might want to try a few other things first. Here are some options.

Try Plunging

If the item that was flushed is clogging the toilet up, your first recourse is to simply plunge the toilet with a regular plunger. Be gentle about it, but try that and it might move the item along down the pipes. Having something that shouldn’t be in the septic tank isn’t going to be a huge deal as long as it isn’t harmful to the overall ecosystem in the tank. The item can come out when it is pumped out later. Your main goal will be to get the item to move along and not clog the pipes.

Snake The Item Out

If you have a snake, you can try sticking that down the drain to possibly fish the item back out. You might have used a snake in the past when the drain gets clogged with hair. Try that and you could either grab onto the item or you might be able to push it through the pipe so there is no longer a clog.

Have A Plumber Pressure Jet

Plumbers can help you with a variety of piping and plumbing issues. If the item gets stuck in the pipes, you can have a plumber come and pressure jet the pipes. They can send streams of water through the pipes and push the item through, so it won’t cause issues in the pipes any longer.

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Have Septic Tank Pumping

If you are concerned about the item being in the septic tank causing problems, or if the wrong things have been put down the toilet on several occasions, you might want to have the professionals come and pump the tank out. This is something that has to be done every few years, even if you are good to your septic tank, so it doesn’t hurt to have it done so you can rid the tank of the items that were flushed.

If you want to know what might happen when a certain item goes down the toilet or down another drain, you can call the professionals to ask questions. They might say that it’s a good idea to get septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA done or, it might not be a big deal. But it can give you peace of mind to know what is going on within your septic system when something like this occurs. Contact the experts at American Sanitation Inc and we can help.

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What Do You Need To Know About Septic Tanks?

It can be stressful to move to a new house. If you are moving into a home that has a septic system and you’ve never had one before, it’s important to know some things about the operation so you don’t make any big mistakes. For example, you will need septic tank pumping in Sonoma, CA every few years, even if you treat the system well. Here are some other things to know.

Strain Things In The Sink

Even if the kitchen sink has a garbage disposal, you don’t want to use it very often if you can help it. Use that item sparingly as it can increase the amount of solids in your tank, which is not what you want. Put a strainer in the sink when you are trying to wash dishes or cut things up and that will help you catch things you don’t want to go down so you can throw them away instead of wash them down the drain.

Know Where The Tank Is Located

You are going to know where your septic tank is and where the drain field is as well so you can tell the technicians that might have to come to help you with issues. You will also want to keep the drain field clear or trees, bushes, and other things or that could damage how the system operates. Don’t drive heavy equipment over that area and have the tank pumped out through the central manhole not the smaller holds. Keep copies of receipts that show when the tank was pumped out.

Avoid Harmful Products

There are lots of things that can cause a lot of damage to the septic tank and the entire system. Don’t put paint or other like solvents down the drains. Don’t put cooking grease or oil down there either. Anything anti-bacterial can also harm the bacteria makeup within the tank. You don’t want to flush anything but toilet paper and waste, either. These harmful products can cost you a lot in the long run.

Watch For Pumping Signs

Know the signs that you need to have your tank pumped out, so you know what to watch for. IF the drains are starting to run slow or you notice a foul smell or a lot of water in the drain field, the tank might be filling up fast. Knowing the signs can help you avoid a major disaster, like a backup into your house.

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Have Pumping More Often Than 5 Years

If you haven’t had the tank pumped out in 5 years, that’s not a good thing. Never go more than 5 years without a tank pumping. It needs to be emptied out regularly to restore the balance of good bacteria and take away the sludge.

If you want more information on septic tank pumping in Sonoma, CA, or if you want to have your system checked out once you move in, the professionals at American Sanitation Inc are here to help.

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Helpful Tips For Septic Tank Owners

Having a septic tank might be old hat for some people, but there are others who have never had one of these units before and may have no idea how to treat it. Septic tank pumping in Novato, CA is part of septic tank ownership and there are other tips you will want to know about if you have a home that has a septic system. Here are some of the things the professionals want you to know.

Never Enter The Septic Tank

You never ever want to go inside your septic tank, even if it is large enough that you feel you could fit with ease. The gas within the tank is toxic and entering the tank could be fatal to you. If you know you need repairs or think there is a blockage, call a professional and let them handle it. It’s not worth risking injury or death.

Have The Tank Pumped Regularly

Septic tanks aren’t meant to be used for decades without any attention. Even if you use the system perfectly, the tank is going to fill up and need to be pumped out. It’s best to get this job done by professionals every few years. There aren’t any chemical additives that can fill in the place of a pumping. Have it done when you notice the signs that things are running slowly or just do it regularly.

Monitor Water Use

The septic system is designed to handle a certain amount of water based on the size of the system, the size of your residence, and a certain number of people. If you have more people coming over to stay, or you get back from vacation and have a bunch of laundry, you will want to make adjustments in the water use area, so you don’t go above the average use at a time. Space things out so the septic system isn’t overwhelmed.

Conserve Water

There are a lot of things you can do to conserve water, so you agitate the tank less and keep the solid waste at the bottom of the tank to help and prolong its lifespan. Showers, for example, take less water than baths, especially if you keep them short. Front loading washers also take less water than top loaders. Look into other things you can do to save.

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Read Product Labels

Any time you are using a new product, make sure it is friendly to septic systems. Some things might be labeled safe for septic tanks, but they aren’t always. There’s no such thing as a flushable wipe, for example. They are not safe and will build up in the system. You don’t want to use anything with anti-bacterial written on it as it will kill off the bacteria in the tank that you need for things to operate well.

If you want more tips or need septic tank pumping in Novato, CA, contact the professionals at American Sanitation Inc who can take care of all of your septic system needs.

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Questions To Ask About Septic Tank Pumping

When you move to a house with a septic system, you are going to want to learn everything you can about how to operate that system. You need to know what you can and cannot put down drains, how much water you can use at a time, and when you need to have septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA done. Once you figure out the rest, you can call a professional company to ask about septic tank pumping. Here are a few questions to ask.

How Often Should It Be Done?

Everyone with a septic system has to have this done periodically. How often you need to have it done will depend on several things. First, it depends on how large your take is. Second, it depends on how many people live in your home. And third, it depends on how much water you generally use. You can give the technicians a general idea of those things and then, they can give you a basic idea of how often you should have the tank pumped out.

What Are Signs That It Needs To Be Done?

It’s really better to have a regular schedule for septic tank pumping over waiting for signs. But if you just moved into the house, you may not know when it was last done. Some of the signs include things like slow drains, funny smells from the drains, an odor around the drain field, and, worst of them all, a back up into the house. If you notice something like slow drains, a smaller thing, it’s best to call professionals for pumping before things get worse.

Do You Have Any Information On This Septic Tank’s Services?

If you didn’t get details from a previous owner, you might want to ask the professionals if they serviced this septic tank before and what they know about its needs. If they haven’t, and you can’t find a company that has, you may want them to come out soon, check things over, pump the tank out, and start fresh with your new ownership. Then, from there, you can set up a schedule for the pumping on your own accord.

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How Much Does It Cost?

Any time you are thinking about having the pumping done, you will want to know how much it’s going to cost. That might depend on the company you choose, the size of your tank, and if there are any other issues to fix or deal with.

If you have just moved into a new home with a septic system, you will need septic tank pumping in Petaluma, CA at some point. Get details on how things are laid out around your septic system and what you should and should not do with it. The professionals at American Sanitation Inc are happy to come out and run an inspection at any time. We can also pump out the tank when you are ready to move forward with that service or if you need advice on other things.