Signs to Replace a Grease Trap

How to Tell if a Grease Trap Needs Replacement

Throughout human history, public health developments have allowed for great leaps forward in terms of civilization. In today’s world, it can be easy to forget how integral certain systems are to society’s continued success. One such advancement is a reliable sewer system to deal with human waste. Without sewer systems, the disease would run rampant, and city streets would be deep with all manner of waste. 

Sewer systems in modern society have much more demanded of them than ever before in history. One of the newer expectations placed on sewers is dealing with fats, oils, and grease resulting from cooking or commercial activity. When these substances find their way into waste streams, they can cause sewer lines to seriously clog. To stop grease from entering the wastewater, grease traps were invented. 

Grease traps are special devices fitted to sewer lines in a business and some homes. They are specially designed to separate grease from water so the water can flow to the sewer and the grease can be periodically pumped out. Over time, dealing with such a nasty mess can cause grease traps to wear out. Here are some signs that the grease trap needs to be replaced to continue to protect sewer systems. 

Overflows or Clogged Pipes

Grease has a nasty habit of coagulating when it mixes with cool water in drain lines. The resulting buildup can cake to the inside of pipes and slowly choke off the flow of water, causing difficult clogs. When grease traps clog and overflow, an owner should first call a grease trap cleaning service. 

Depending on how much grease the trap has to deal with, the frequency of cleaning will be different. If the grease trap continues to clog after a good cleaning, replacement of the grease trap will be necessary. 


corrosionGrease traps are relatively simple designs. They usually consist of a metal tank inside the home or business or buried outside along the sewer line. Their internal workings may also be made of metal. When grease starts to break down, it can become acidic. This acidic environment results in the corrosion of all exposed metal parts. This corrosion can be evident on the outside of the tank and the lid. When corrosion is bad enough, the integrity of the metal tank is compromised, and the grease trap will need to be replaced. 

Frequent Pumping is Needed

pumpingGrease traps come in various sizes to cater to a range of needs. For example, a restaurant’s grease trap will fill up much faster than a grease trap serving a small home. However, the best rule of thumb to follow about pumping frequency is once the trap is one-quarter full, it needs to be pumped. Usually, this averages out to every few months. When frequent pumping is needed, it can be an indication that the trap isn’t working effectively. If this is the case, replacing the grease trap is the best option to save on grease trap pumping fees. 

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services is the local expert on grease trap pumping. This family-owned business offers fast service and personalized solutions for grease trap cleaning. Call today for competitively priced service in Tallahassee, FL. 

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Signs It’s Time to Clean or Pump the Septic Tank

Keep the Septic Tank Working Properly

Septic tanks are part of a special system that makes civilized life possible off the grid. Homeowners who want to live outside of a city’s utilities will almost certainly need a septic system to deal with their sewage. 

There are several options for septic systems, but the principles are the same. Sewage is treated by natural bacterial action inside a tank, and the effluent is drained or pumped into a leach field where the nutrients become part of the environment. These systems are very effective at what they do, and they are generally very reliable. However, due to their importance in the health and safety of the family in the home, they need to be monitored closely to ensure they stay reliable. 

When septic systems start to have trouble, time is of the essence. Here are three common signs that the septic system is having trouble. Reacting quickly and enlisting the help of local septic tank services can mean the difference between a minor hiccup and a major disaster. 

Foul Odors


Given what the septic system does, it’s probably no surprise that odors are present when things go bad. Septic systems deal with human waste, greywater, and drainage on a property. Under normal circumstances, the odors that these waste streams generate are sealed off. When odors become apparent, it is a sign that something is wrong. 

Most often, the foul odors will be perceived in one of two places. Indoors, sewer gasses may be allowed to leak backward into the home when the septic tank backs up. Conversely, if sewer gasses smell outdoors, the tank is clogged and overflowing, or the lateral lines are overwhelmed. 

Slow Draining


Another sign that the septic tank is in trouble is slow draining, especially from toilets. As septic tanks faithfully do their dirty jobs, some sediment gets formed that sinks to the bottom of the tank. This sediment restricts flow through the tank for several years and can cause sewage to back up inside the sewer pipes. This gives wastewater nowhere to go. 

Experts recommend that septic tank pumping be done every five years on average. This is often enough to prevent problems but not so often that the service is done needlessly. Additionally, this also will take care of any slow drainage problems. 

Sewage Backup

A full-blown sewage backup is likely when slow draining reaches the worst-case scenario. When sewage backs up into the home, it starts with toilets and floor drains. Because the tank is chock full of sewage, wastewater can flow out sewer pipes and plumbing fixtures, leaving a nasty mess on the home’s floors. When this happens, emergency septic cleaning is the only choice. 

To prevent this nasty situation, always pay attention to the signs that the septic tank is struggling. At the first sign of trouble, enlist the help of a professional to pump the septic tank or troubleshoot for other problems. 

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services is the local septic tank service expert. They offer competitive prices and don’t charge overtime fees for weekend work. Call today for polite and professional septic pumping and service in Tallahassee, FL. 

Installing a New Septic System? Don’t Neglect Soil Testing and Perc Testing!

Everything a Homeowner Needs to Know About Soil and Perc Testing

Because clean water is so important to people’s health and hygiene, it is no wonder that there are regulations regarding groundwater and septic systems, even in the remotest of rural areas. If human waste and contaminants get into the groundwater, it can affect the safety of animals and people for miles. Because a septic system is made to process waste and allow it to be reabsorbed into the soil through a series of perforated pipes called leach lines, there must be tests of the surrounding soil to verify its makeup and perc tests or percolation tests that measure how quickly the water is absorbed. 

The Soil Test and The Perc Test: What Are They and What Do They Mean?

testingWhen doing the groundwork for septic systems, it is essential to understand a few of the surrounding soil characteristics. Though both tests are concerned with water absorption, they measure two different things.

The soil test measures:

The perc test is done by digging holes between 6 and 12 inches in diameter and filling them with water. The time it takes for the water to absorb is then divided by the number of inches deep the hole is. This measurement is called the percolation rate in minutes/inch. 

Why Are These Tests Necessary?

testingAgain, there can be consequences for an entire region if the groundwater is contaminated, but other problems can also come up. Soil that absorbs water either too quickly (faster than 15 minutes per inch) or too slowly (more than 105 minutes per inch) can cause the following issues for homes and homeowners. 

  • Flooding: A septic system on poorly draining soil (dense soil or high clay content, for example) may flood an area.
  • Endangering Wildlife: If the leach lines are near runoff areas or the septic system is near environmentally sensitive or fragile areas, there can be contamination issues.
  • Sewage Backups: There is nothing grosser than waste coming back up the drain instead of going down it. 

What Does a Failed Perc Test or Soil Test Mean?

A failed perc test usually means that building must be halted for the time being. There may need to be discussions with the county health department about certain levels and what can be done. There may be alternatives that can allow for construction on the site. If a person is looking into buying land, they should verify that there is either availability of municipal sewer or the land has recently passed a perc test. This will ensure a person can build a home with a septic system on the land they have just purchased.

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services in Tallahassee, FL is a family-owned and operated business that works hard for its customers. They are available for septic tank repairs and installation. Call today for straightforward prices and personalized solutions.

The Importance of Hiring Professionals for Septic Tank Installation

Benefits of a Professionally Designed Septic System

A septic system is an alternative method of disposing wastewater from the home’s plumbing. Traditionally the home’s drains are all connected to the main sewer line. Septic tank systems are popular in rural areas where city sewer is not an option. The city or ordinance is responsible for maintaining the sewer, but homeowners are responsible for maintaining their septic system. 

In this blog post, septic tank experts share insight into how professional contractors design and install efficient septic systems. Homeowners may be tempted to try DIY septic tank installation or hire an amateur to save money. They will spend more in the long run if the septic tank system is not up to local building codes, is not the right capacity for the property, or the drain field cannot pass a perc test. 

Make Sure Septic Is Up to Code

One of the struggles of installing a new septic system is ensuring that the project is up to code. If the city finds that the septic system does not follow local building codes, the homeowners may be required to remove or replace the septic system. Trusting a professional to design the septic system will help homeowners avoid making costly mistakes by ignoring local codes. 

Making changes after the work is complete can add weeks or months to the septic installation time and bring the project over budget. The best way to get the job done quickly and under budget is by leaving the work up to professionals. Professional contractors must stay current on the latest changes in local building codes and requirements. 

Professional Soil Testing and Perc Testtesting

One of the important steps towards installing a new septic tank system is to complete professional soil testing and perc test. Homeowners will need to contact a local plumbing company or septic tank specialist to test their home’s soil to ensure it can handle a septic tank. A specialized septic company can provide personalized advice on what type of system would be best for the home. 

The septic term “perc” test is short for a percolation test. Percolation tests measure how fast the soil can absorb water released from the septic system. The soil around the septic system, called the drain field or leach field, needs to be able to percolate water from the septic tank at an appropriate rate for the volume of water. Without proper drainage on the property, a septic system may not be functional. 

Install the Right Type of Septic System

septic systemInstalling the wrong type of septic system for their home can be a costly mistake for homeowners to make. Hiring an experienced professional to design the septic tank system ensures that homeowners will not make a terrible mistake when choosing which type to install. Professional septic contractors are trained to design septic systems that meet the property’s needs. 

They need to consider many factors, including how much space is available on the homeowners’ property for the septic tank and how much volume the system can handle. Installing a septic tank that cannot efficiently handle household demands will leave homeowners stuck with future repairs and installations. Homeowners can protect their investment by trusting an expert to calculate the necessary system capacity. 

About Capital City Septic Services 

Capital City Septic Services is a local company that provides septic system services for residential properties in the Tallahassee area. Homeowners can depend on this local septic company to provide excellent service from friendly and experienced professionals. Give Capital Septic Services a call today for septic tank service in Tallahassee, FL!

Septic Tanks: How They Work and What They Do For a Home

What Is a Septic Tank?

For about one-quarter of US homes, their homeowners know exactly what a septic system is. For the rest of the population, septic tanks can be a mystery. Estimates are that 60 million people in the US are hooked up to a septic tank instead of a sewer and most of these homes are in rural and suburban areas, so it makes sense that most city-dwellers don’t know the facts. 

Septic tanks are an alternative to being hooked up to municipal sewer lines, and they are primarily used in locations where running sewer lines isn’t possible or cost-efficient. A septic tank collects all of the sewage and waste from a home and processes it so that it isn’t harmful. The processed effluent is then released safely into the environment. 

How Do Septic Tanks Work?

Septic tanks use natural processes to dispose of greywater and human waste. First, waste is collected in a large tank with several baffles that prevent solids from flowing through. Bacterial action breaks down waste in the tank and renders it safe from infectious diseases. As more water and waste flow through, the processed waste is carried away to soak into the ground away from structures and water sources. 

A septic system consists of a tank and long lateral lines that allow water to absorb into a leach field. These lines are buried pipes with perforations that allow water to leach into the surrounding soil. They attach to the septic tank’s outlet and allow gravity to do the rest of the work carrying away the processed wastewater. 

Septic Tank Maintenancemaintenance

Septic tank owners love septic systems because they are reliable and low maintenance. However, low maintenance doesn’t mean that no maintenance is required. Maintenance is recommended every two to five years to keep septic systems reliable and prevent the loss of plumbing and sewer services to a home. 

Septic tank maintenance should include a septic system inspected every three years. At this time, the septic tank maintenance technician can recommend when to have the tank pumped out. Over time, solids can build up in the tank to the point that volume is reduced. Pumping the septic tank removes these solids and gives the tank a fresh start. Often this service is only required every five years or so. 


Septic Tank Benefits

The biggest reason septic tank owners love their septic systems is because it allows them the freedom to live outside the city limits. Septic tanks are a great option when sewer service is too far away, but people want to live away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

In addition to living almost anywhere with safe sewer service, septic tanks are cheap and environmentally friendly. Using naturally-occurring bacteria to handle waste, nutrient-rich water is constantly returned safely to the environment with no energy inputs. What better way to celebrate living in the country than by keeping it green!

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services is the local septic tank expert. Their experts always offer personalized solutions to fit every home and family’s needs. Call today for competitive pricing or emergency septic service in Tallahassee, FL.

The Benefits of Grease Trap Cleaning

How do Professionals Clean Grease Traps?

Most people are probably unaware of what a grease trap does or how it is expected to be maintained. Grease traps are special devices located in the plumbing of restaurants and food service locations that remove grease from water to protect public health and municipal sewer lines that keep society safe from waste. Since grease traps are so important to public health, stringent guidelines are in place that dictates how they should be installed and when one should clean them. 

Health and safety guidelines dictate that professionals should clean grease traps periodically depending on the amount of grease accumulated. Grease trap cleaning services use special equipment to pump grease and effluent out of the grease trap. In addition to removing fats, oils, and grease that have separated from wastewater, they also usually power wash the inside of the trap to remove stubborn deposits. The result is a clean trap ready to continue protecting public sewer systems. 

Prevents Clogging

clogsGrease is particularly bad for sewer systems because it clings to piping. In homes, plumbers recommend discarding grease in the garbage, but the food service industry can’t. Too much grease clings to pots and pans and eventually goes down the drain. Professional grease trap cleaning is necessary because the grease that restaurants accumulate in grease traps can interrupt the flow and cause massive clogs in their sewer lines. 

Grease traps only serve sinks and cleaning areas in food service structures. They don’t treat human waste. Because of this, when a grease trap clogs, it can shut a restaurant down because it can no longer clean dishes or process food. In addition to clogging up the plumbing that the grease trap serves, a clogged grease trap can also allow grease to flow into regular drain lines, where it can cause all kinds of problems in the sewer. 

Cleanings Cost Less Than Repairs

saveRegardless of the problem, routine service is always cheaper than emergency repairs. The same is true when considering grease traps. Grease traps may need to be cleaned as often as twice per month in busy establishments, but the cost of routine cleanings exceeds the lost revenue from service when grease traps clog. In addition to lost revenue, nearly every company charges more for emergency service, and they certainly charge more to make repairs necessary to restore service. Following the recommendations of the health department and grease trap service professionals and scheduling routine cleaning is always the cheaper choice for continued service. 

Helps the Environment

Grease isn’t just a hazard for sewer lines and drain lines. It is also a huge environmental hazard. The grease that escapes water treatment facilities goes out into the environment, where it can deplete oxygen as it rots in waterways. The result is a reduction in waterways’ viability, leading to local wildlife die-offs. Grease trap service is a small price to pay for continued service and a safe environment. 

About Capital City Septic Services

Need professional grease trap services that are polite and professional with competitive pricing? Capital City Septic Services is the local choice for grease trap expertise. Call today for fast responses and no overtime rates on grease trap service in Tallahassee, FL. 

Whose Home Benefits From Grinder Pumps?

What are Grinder Pumps?

Homeowners that don’t know what a grinder pump is are probably not alone. Grinder pumps are not standard equipment for most homes but for homes that need them, they are completely necessary. Losing a grinder pump can cause the sewage in a home to backup, causing nasty messes and a total loss of plumbing functionality until service is restored. 

Grinder pumps are a type of submersible sewage pump with a few extra features. A typical sewage pump is intended to move solids up to two inches in diameter over short distances to sewer mains. Grinder pumps, on the other hand, grind sewage into a slurry that can be pumped long distances to reach sewage treatment facilities or equipment. They are often found in homes with basements or built on a grade below the municipal city sewer main. 

How Do Grinder Pumps Work?pumps

Sewage and grinder pumps are sump pumps intended only for sewage removal. Like a sump pump, grinder pumps have float switches telling the pump when the holding tank is full. Once the float switch is triggered, the powerful motor kicks on to pump sewage from a holding tank into the city’s sewer lines or to a septic system. 

The key difference between sewage pumps and grinder pumps is a powerful grinder located in the pump’s intake. With blades similar to a kitchen garbage disposal, this device can reduce nearly everything flushed down a toilet into a liquid slurry that can be pumped. When grinder pumps have more functionality than sewage pumps, care should be taken to not flush anything down the toilet deemed unflushable. 

Reasons to Install a Grinder Pump

Not every home will need a grinder pump, but for the ones that do, grinder pumps are not optional. Here are the main reasons that one will install grinder pumps and their accompanying hardware: 

  • Low Property Elevation: Most sewer mains are buried deep enough that most customers’ homes can use gravity to deal with their sewage as it flows towards the main. In cases where the home is built lower than the sewer, grinder pumps will be necessary to move the sewage uphill towards the sewer main. 
  • Sewage Traveling Long Distances: Homes far away from city sewer lines or septic tanks will need a grinder pump to move sewage long distances. Grinder pumps will probably be necessary if homes are more than 100 feet from sewer mains. 
  • Pressurized City Sewer Mains: Some cities opt to have pressurized sewer mains to overcome differences in sewer pipe elevation. One will need a grinder pump to push sewage into the system for homes hooking onto this grid. 

Benefits of Grinder Pumps alarm

Grinder pumps are helpful devices that carry several benefits. Among these are: 
  • Integrated alarms that alert homeowners of potential problems
  • Allows people to build homes in places that are unserved by city sewers
  • Helps deal with sewage on properties without septic tanks
  • Longer lasting than sewage pumps
  • Tough and reliable 

For homes with grinder pump systems, don’t forget to schedule maintenance to avoid problems down the road. 

About Capital City Septic Services

Homeowners not hooked up to the city sewer system need a plumber specializing in sewage solutions for homes and businesses. Capital City Septic Services has competitive pricing on personalized solutions for plumbing problems on any property. A live person always answers phones, day or night, so call today for grinder pump service in Tallahassee, FL.

Understanding Septic Systems

Septic Systems 101

Septic systems are typically used in rural areas that may not have a centralized sewer system. They can treat wastewater through a soil-based system that makes household plumbing possible. Septic systems use a soil absorption field and one primary drainage pipe to remove harmful bacteria.

Although the process may seem complex, the basics will help homeowners identify potential issues. Regular maintenance and inspection will help prevent drainage problems and property damage.

What Exactly Is a Home Septic System?

A septic system is a type of underground wastewater treatment. It is used to remove water from the home and separate organic materials. It sorts out solids, grease, and oil from wastewater before getting discharged into the ground.

There are multiple components to a septic system. The top three parts include the drainage pipe, drain field, and septic tank. Once water exits a home through the drainage pipe, it is then deposited into the septic tank. Septic tank maintenance is critical for a functional plumbing system.

The septic tank distinguishes what is solid waste and what is liquid. The liquid wastewater will eventually seep into the ground while the drain field helps treat impurities. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends annual maintenance to maintain a septic system properly.

How To Tell If There Is a Problem

yard floodSeptic problems do not need to be catastrophic to cause damage. Sometimes it may be difficult to even know when an issue has occurred. Without routine maintenance, the chances of septic system failure are extremely high.

Slow drainage is one symptom of a faulty septic system. This can happen in multiple areas, including the kitchen sink and bathtub. This can be a warning sign even if water is still technically able to drain.

Standing water near the drain field is another indication. If it hasn’t rained in several days, this can result from pipe damage. Damp spots or foul odors are common red flags.

One should not ignore certain sounds. Gurgling noises coming from the plumbing system are not normal. If they persist for more than a day, the septic system is malfunctioning, especially if it is accompanied by standing water.

If any of these signs occur, it is important to call a professional. Those who are not trained to fix septic systems risk worsening the issue.

Septic Maintenance Advice

septic maintenanceMaintenance is crucial for any plumbing system. Routinely keeping an eye on the septic tank and water bills can help spot potential problems in the future.

Surveying the property is an effective way to spot plumbing issues. If the grass is significantly greener in one area of the yard, this may be due to the nutrients from wastewater. A leaking tank will typically smell around the area where vegetation has grown.

Limiting the amount of water used daily can prevent the need for septic tank repair. Energy-efficient shower heads are known for saving water as well as low-flow toilets. To prevent clogs, an effluent filter is also recommended.

Maintaining a septic system requires regularly pumping the septic tank. This typically needs to happen yearly, depending on the tank size. Homes with garbage disposals are particularly susceptible to an increase in solid waste and may need to have their septic tank pumped more often. Professional plumbers are necessary for pumping and cleaning the septic tank.

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services specializes in septic system repair services. They can fix leaking pipes, faulty septic tanks, and wastewater issues. Call in Tallahassee, FL for more information on septic system maintenance.

Septic Drain Field Warning Signs and Problem Indicators

How the Drain Field Can Affect the Whole Septic System

The septic drain field is one of the most important parts of the entire septic system. It is a system of perforated pipes that allows the septic system to drain into the surrounding ground. At the right time, the wastewater from the septic tank flows into the drain field pipes and is released.

It is the last step in the septic system, and its proper function is vital to keeping the whole disposal process running smoothly. Problems with the drain field will show up not only in the area of the drain field but also throughout the system.

Drains Throughout the House are Slower

One key indicator of a problem with the drain field is that all the drains are slower, but slow draining doesn’t necessarily mean a home needs drain field repair. An average clog can cause similar problems, but a professional can determine the reason for the slow drain. When there is a problem in the drain field, there is no place for the wastewater to go, and this is what can happen:

  • Water will stay in the septic tank.
  • The rising water will fill the pipes when the septic tank is full.
  • Attempts to flush or drain may cause a sewer backup.
  • If not a backup, there can be a breakage in the pipes or the septic tank.

If the drains are slow, there is still time to correct the problem before major damage occurs.

Puddles With No Rain and Lush Grass

puddlesIf a clog is not the problem, but a cracked drain field pipe is, then the indicators will be different. Leaks in the drain field pipe can produce a few signs like:

  • Puddles: When standing water is in the yard, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has been raining. It may be seeping up from the cracked drain field pipes.
  • Spongy Ground: If the ground feels swampy or squishy, there may be a leak in the drain field.
  • Increased Plant Growth: If the grass or plant life in the drain field area seems greener or faster growing than the surrounding grass or plants, they’re likely getting an extra rich water supply from a leak.

Sewage Smell

foul odorOne of the most unpleasant results of a drain field problem is the occurrence of foul odors. The smell of the sewage outside or inside can indicate an issue. A septic system professional should be consulted in this case, whether the scent is very strong or only mild.

Foul odors can be an indicator that the septic tank is flowing too much into the drain field too freely. This can result from several different problems, not just the drain field. If a homeowner calls their septic service professional early, the issue can be more easily corrected, and repair may not have to be as extensive.

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services is a family-owned and operated company serving the residents of Tallahassee, FL, and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. They provide weekend services, personalized solutions, and fast responses. Call them today for drain field repair and maintenance services in Tallahassee, FL.