March 2015

Building Sewer and Cleanout inspection and Repair at Time of Sale

Have you heard about the new time of sale requirements for testing property sewer lines?  In Norcal many municipalities are requiring that sewer lines pass a water test at the time of sale.  The concern is infiltration and exfiltration.  For infriltration, this occurs during heavy rains.  For example, root intrusion into sewer lines results in sewer pipe pentetration, or holes in the line.  When it rains, water enters the city sewer system via the holes left by root intrustion.  This causes undue over capacity at municiple treatment plants.  Simply, the plant is unneccesarily treating rainwater.  For exfiltration, this occurs when a property sewer line allows wastewater to vacate the line into the soil through the same holes left by root intrustion.  Exfiltration and infiltration can occur anytime there is disruption in the line.  This can be from roots, separation or age.  The basic test requires that the sewer line be able to hold water for approximately 30 minutes, then measured for verification.  For this test the house line to the street will need to be isolated via 2 cleanouts.  That is, a cleanout at the house, and one at the sidewalk or street using sewer test baloons.  Then, the isolated portion will be filled with water at the house cleanout until in reaches the top of the same cleanout.  Wait 30 minutes, then measure and verify.  If the test fails, then there is infiltration, and a repair will likely be required.  Stay tuned.  We'll post a video of the process in the near future.  See the March 2015 plumbing tip blog for information on how to locate your property's cleanout. 

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March 2015 plumbing tip

Here's our plumbing tip for March 2015.

Locate your home's sewer clean out.

Do you know where your sewer clean-out is?  Do you know what a sewer clean out is?  Very simply, it is what it says it is.  It's the access to your home's sewer system that allows a plumber to CLEAN OUT your sewer line.  When your main drain backs up, you'll likely need to call a plumbing company that offers sewer drain cleaning.  The first thing he/she will ask is "do you know where your exterior clean out is?"  If you have a clean out, its most often located on the street side exterior.  If not, you may want to have one installed, making it easier for cleaning out.  Absent an exterior clean out the plumber will need to gain access by removing a toilet on the inside.  This is less preferrable, as it requires bringing the sewer machine indoors.  And no one wants that. 

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What is good water pressure

Do you have a device like the one pictured?  If yes, then the water pressure on your home or property is being regulated, or reduced.  Residential water pressure should not exceed 80 pounds per square inch, or PSI.  Sometimes water is supplied to houses at 100 or even 150 PSI.  A water pressure gauge allows property owners to test thier water pressure.  A water pressure regulator can be installed at the service point of entry to the home. The regulator will protect the properties water distribution system.  When water pressure in a residence is too high, it can result in pipe damage, wasted water and leaks.  Leaks caused by high water pressure sometimes appear intermittently, as when toilets run when not being used.

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