How Do I Know When I Need a New Septic Tank?

You rarely consider the septic tank for your home if everything is working fine. However, when things start to go south and the sewer starts to back up or pool in your yard, you quickly realize that it may be time to get your septic tank checked out. Having your septic tank maintenance done regularly can help prolong the life of it, ensure it doesn’t get too full of sewage, and that it properly outflows water and intakes sewage without backing up. Sometimes, though, damage is done, and it may be time for a new septic tank, so how do you do when that time comes?

Septic System Age

A lot of septic systems can last decades with proper septic tank maintenance, possibly even generations. However, everything breaks down eventually, and if you are having issues with your septic tank more and more often, and if you are needing to replace components far more often than recommended, it may be time for you to consider installing a whole new, more modern system. If you don’t know how old your system is, you can have a septic tank cleaning company inspect it, and they may be able to tell you an approximate age based on its design or model.

No Longer Large Enough For Your Needs

The size of a septic tank when installed is generally based on the size of a house, and how many household members it’s expected to deal with. Since septic tank cleaning is often done only every couple years, should the number of household members increases beyond its capacity, issues can arise with overflow. Anytime a home is enlarged, or the capacity of people within it increases, there should be some consideration made in the septic tank maintenance schedule, and in an investment in a larger septic tank to deal with the increased water usage.

Slow Household Drains

Sinks and bathtubs should all be draining at their normal rate at all times. If you are starting to have drains empty more slowly, and if you have checked your indoor pipes for clogs, then it is time to get your septic tank maintenance done to see if a component needs replacing, or if possibly the whole septic tank needs replacing.

Water Pooling In Your Yard

If there is water pooling in your backyard, it could be a sign of an issue with your septic tank. Septic tanks pump out excess clear water into what is called a drain field—that is generally an area of your backyard that can reabsorb the water into the ground. If too much water is being pumped into that drain field, that could be a sign of a malfunction in your septic tank. If that area of your lawn starts to grow more rapidly and becomes greener, it can also be a sign that sewage is being pumped into the drain field as well. No matter the cause, if you see water pooling, then you should call a company to do some septic tank maintenance to see if a component needs replacing, or in the worst case, the whole system.

Contaminated Water Nearby

The worst part of a failing septic tank system, other than sewage backing up into your system, is the fact that, if contaminated water is leaking into the drainage field or elsewhere from your septic tank, it can contaminate nearby water sources, including wells, and cause a lot of medical issues if that water is consumed. If you have a septic tank, you should consider getting local water sources tested for nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacteria yearly to ensure your septic tank isn’t contaminating the area. Consider that aspect part of your yearly septic tank maintenance.

If you are in need of septic tank maintenance or cleaning in the Houston, Texas region, then contact Drane Ranger today to book an appointment.

What is a Grease Trap? How Does it Function?

If you are running any sort of professional business that deals with grease, such as a restaurant, you must know that you are required by law to have a grease trap—and to maintain it with regular grease trap cleaning. Without a grease trap, all the fats, oils, and greases (FOG), can get into the municipal water systems and cause serious and costly damage to the system as they build up. FOGs are able to cling to pipe walls easily, and as more of it gets into drainage pipes, and ultimately the sewer pipes, clogs can start, backing up sewage and causing damage to buildings through pipe back-ups and possibly even burst pipes.

Every year, millions of dollars are spent in municipalities around the country trying to unclog their sewer pipes due to inconsiderate people that are flushing FOGs down their drains without realizing the consequences. If you are a restaurant or another business with a grease trap, you aren’t immune to consequence; without regular grease trap cleaning, your grease traps may not be functioning fully, and that means they could be allowing FOGs through the system.

What is a Grease Trap?

Grease traps have been around for well over a century; they are devices that are capable of capturing FOGs before they can make it into the municipal sewage systems, all while still allowing clear water through to the sewer system. Once captured, FOGs have to be removed from grease traps every so often in order to maintain the function of the grease trap. Grease trap cleaning is important, and it should be done professionally—especially if you have a very large underground tank.

How Does a Grease Trap Function?

Grease traps allow clear water to pass through them while capturing FOGs to ensure the continued safe function of sewer systems. FOGs, by their very nature, being made up of animal fats and vegetable oils, mostly are less dense than normal water; therefore, they will naturally float to the top of any body of water. Many grease traps will first strain solids using a removable strainer, then will allow any remaining FOGS into a basin of water. However, if they do allow solids through, those will eventually settle at the bottom of the trap. In the main trap, the FOGS will naturally float up to the top so that they can be removed later by a professional grease trap cleaning company for disposal. Only clear water is allowed to exit the grease trap because the outlet pipe is positioned so that it is only within clear water. The FOGs will be floating at the top, and solids will settle at the bottom.

There are three main types of grease traps. Manual grease traps require you to skin the FOGs and remove solids manually every few weeks to ensure the system remains fully functional. Automatic grease traps have systems within them that skim the top of the surface regularly and deposit the FOGs in an easy to empty container externally. Finally, graphic grease traps are used for large-volume businesses; they work similar to manual grease traps, except that they are placed in the ground, externally to the business, due to their size. Grease trap cleaning professionals will know how to clean your trap properly.

All types of grease traps will require regular maintenance; however, automatic systems will require less cleaning due to their skimming functions. Grease trap cleaning is an important step in maintenance because it gets rid of built-up FOGs and allows professionals to check on the system to ensure it is still working properly.

If you have a grease trap and need to set up regularly scheduled grease trap cleaning, then contact Drane Ranger today to set up an appointment.

How Do Restaurants Get Rid of Grease?

How do restaurants get rid of grease? A lot of business owners wonder this when they’re starting out. The simple answer is that they hire professional grease trap cleaning services, but why is this the best option, and what are the benefits? Let’s take a dive into the reasons why grease trap cleaning services are the only legitimate option for restaurants who need to get rid of their grease.

Professional Service is Effective

One of the key reasons that restaurants hire grease trap cleaning services to get rid of their grease is professionalism. Grease trap cleaning companies know exactly what they are doing and will ensure that the job is done right so you don’t encounter problems down the road. Grease trap cleaning must be done properly, and only those that have the necessary experience can do that.

No Legal Hassles

Did you know that grease disposal has to abide by certain local regulations and laws or you could face legal trouble? Restaurants hire grease trap cleaning services because they have an intricate knowledge of all the legal requirements surrounding waste disposal for their area, and this allows business owners to guarantee they won’t be in trouble should anything go wrong. This includes fines for breaking environmental conversation rules, polluting public spaces or water, and more, so you really can’t wing it with this kind of job.

Keep Your Restaurant in Shape

Some restaurant owners might try to skimp on grease trap cleaning rather than hire a service, which can be a severe detriment to their business. If your grease trap isn’t cleaned properly, your restaurant will likely begin to take on an unpleasant odor that drives away customers, and you may not be able to pass health inspections. Hiring a grease trap cleaning service regularly is the best way to assure your business can continue to operate.

Avoid Serious Leaks, Clogs, and Damages

Restaurants also hire professional grease trap cleaning services to avoid serious issues that can cost them a lot of money. Grease trap cleaning services know how to deal appropriately with leaks and clogs, and they know how to do so without risking damage to your equipment. Trying to handle these things yourself often just worsens the situation, and you’ll end up paying more for a repair service.

Time is Money

Not to mention, restaurant owners are also incredibly busy. Many restaurant owners have a variety of businesses to take care of, and they don’t have time to also become experts at grease trap cleaning. Hiring a grease trap cleaning service allows restaurant owners to focus on the parts of their business that matter, which means they can concentrate on profits rather than kitchen maintenance. Time is money, and restaurant owners shouldn’t overwork themselves trying to learn a whole new occupation–the investment in a grease trap cleaning service will save you money in the long run.

Overall, restaurants get rid of their grease through professional grease trap cleaning services, which provide a variety of benefits. Grease trap cleaning companies deliver effective, efficient services that help you avoid legal, equipment, and customer issues. Hiring a grease trap cleaning service regularly is essential for any restaurant owner that wants to stay in business. Click the link above to learn more!

How to Increase the Life of Your Septic Tank System

In need of septic tank maintenance? If your residential or commercial property is not connected to the main city sewer system, your property probably operates with a septic system. Septic systems work by separating the solid and liquid waste and breaking it down in a safe manner. While it sounds kind of gross to have that operating under your property, the alternative is that it has nowhere to properly drain and ends up on your lawn. It’s probably in your best interest to keep this system functioning properly for as long as possible. Here are some small things you can do that will help your septic system last as long as possible.

Your Toilet Isn’t A Trash Can

Remember that your pipes, storage, and drainage systems have to handle anything that you throw down there. The only things that should go down your toilet drains are human waste, liquids, and toilet paper. Flushing things like diapers, hair clogs from a drain, cat litter, paper towels, or other personal hygiene items is a great way to fast-track your need to call someone in for septic tank maintenance. Remember as well that your septic system is not involved with the municipal sewer systems, so even if an abnormal product advertises itself as “flushable,” that may be defined by local municipal testing standards, not on your own property’s system.

Know Where Your System Is

Even in the city, tree roots can cause blockages in drainage and sewer piping. Keep in mind where your septic system is and where the piping runs and do your best to keep trees away from your pipes. It will be cheaper to dig out and kill a tree in your yard than dig up and repair your entire system later. Regular septic tank maintenance can include a service that checks your pipes and removes roots (through either blades or a chemical solution) so if this is a concern, contact a professional once a year or as required.

Don’t Dump Chemicals

Chemical cleaners and bleaches can kill bacteria in your home, but when you dump them down the drain, they also continue to kill bacteria in your septic system. This might sound like a good thing, but there are good bacteria in your septic system that is breaking down solid waste safely. Killing that good bacteria is a very easy way for that solid waste to build up. Things like gasoline, oils, antifreeze, and paint thinners are other common items that are really not good for your septic system; exposure to these often requires septic tank maintenance to get your system functioning properly again.

Keep an Eye Out

Pay attention to any strange smells from your drains in your home. Smells like sulphur or a rotten egg can indicate problems. Watch out for puddles of standing water near your septic tank. Water backups in your sewer drains or washing machines or a gurgling sound in your drains after a toilet flush can all be indicators of a problem. It’s best to call a septic tank maintenance company sooner rather than later because responsible maintenance is always cheaper than replacing a full system. Click here for more details.

How Much Does it Cost To Clean A Grease Trap?

Grease Is the Word

Running a restaurant can be very lucrative, but it can also be quite a challenge. Food handling has a great swath of regulations and standards that must be maintained for safety and cleanliness. FDA standards for food inspection are very strict to keep patrons safe and for the business to avoid liability—and in food prep, it doesn’t take very much for something to go wrong. That’s why maintenance is key. Constant cleaning of all components ensures quality food without risks of potentially life-threatening sicknesses and infections, like salmonella and E. Coli, and without threatening the environment with the neglected buildup of greases and oils. This is one of the major reasons it’s important to keep up on grease trap cleaning.

How Does a Grease Trap Work?

A grease trap is a basic mechanism that acts as a filter that catches oil and grease runoff as it runs toward a drain. The grease trap catches the semi-solid fats, which are heavier than the water carried with it, in a basin between the grill and the drain. This keeps the grease from seeping into sewer pipes. Regular grease trap cleaning is therefore needed to avoid many environmental catastrophes and the fines that follow.

Grease trap cleaning is also essential for many other reasons. Oils are heavily viscous, and they can easily lock up a drainage system with buildup. This can damage components, cause downtime, or in the worst cases, lead to a fire. A grease trap looks like a large, square basin that is about the size of a large, two-handled storage box, but it is made of metal with a sealed lid. To clean the trap, the lid must be carefully pried off without chipping or cutting the rubber gasket. Inside, the receptacle holds the grease, which must be stored in an approved environmental waste container.

The Costs of Grease Trap Cleaning, and the Cost of Avoiding Grease Trap Cleaning

While a grease trap cleaning is, in theory, a fairly simple task, it can also be risky to undertake it yourself without the proper training. Because grease traps are made up of several sensitive components that are assembled to specifications, grease trap cleaning that is done by untrained persons is unrecommended. It can be easy for a botched grease trap cleaning to damage the gaskets or lose parts, costing you the replacement of the parts or the entire unit, both of which can potentially cost you thousands, plus downtime.

Professional cleaning companies will charge a nominal price for a grease trap cleaning. In the United States, this typically ranges between approximately $115 and $1050, depending on the size, type, and buildup of your trap. If you are unsure, ask for a quote before getting a grease trap cleaning. One thing that is certain, though, is that a professional grease trap cleaning is much more economical than dealing with the costs involved in botched cleanings, or no cleanings at all.

Professional Grease Trap Cleaning

Restaurants in the Houston area need to keep up on regular grease trap cleaning. If you are in the Houston area and need professional grease trap cleaning, contact Drane Ranger.

What Happens if a Septic Tank is Never Pumped Out?

Septic tanks perform a necessary service for many homes and businesses. Just like other im-portant parts of a building or home, they need regular maintenance and care. But if they don’t get that proper care, what can happen? And what happens if a septic tank is left too long with-out getting drained? We answer that question today and tell you why a septic tank pump out service might be the solution to your septic tank maintenance needs.

The Problems of Septic Overflow

The quick and easy answer to the question, “what happens if a septic tank is never pumped out?” is simply, “it overflows.” When left to their own devices, septic tanks slowly rise while “digesting” the materials that flow into it. Usually, there is a release that triggers when the di-gested material reaches a certain level, taking it to a “leaching field” (more on leaching fields below). While this process can sometimes be in equilibrium, where the material coming in and being digested is less than or equal to the material being moved to the leaching field, some-times the material will be too much, leading to an overflow that could have been solved by call-ing a septic tank pump out service.

Once your septic tank overflows, you will know. Mostly because the ground around your septic tank may become unusually lush and, more importantly, because a distinctive smell will arise. The combination of the material coming in and the “digesting” process can be overwhelming, and this will be pushed forward if the tank overflows because it was never pumped. By that point, you will need more than a septic tank pump out service.

Considerations with Leaching Fields

Leaching fields are where digested material from septic tanks are moved once the tank reaches a certain level. These fields are often made of sand and rock to absorb the liquid and any po-tential smell. Of course, depending on the leaching field, too much material from the septic tank can cause problems itself. This is why many people use a septic tank pump out service from trained professionals. They can regularly drain a septic tank while also ensuring that the leaching field is right for the tank and amount of material.

How to Prevent Septic Tank Overflow

The easiest, most convenient, and most reliable way to ensure that your septic tank never over-flows is to hire a septic tank pump out service. With trained professionals offering regular sep-tic pump out service, you can rest easy knowing that none of the above situations will happen. Plus, having an experienced professional regularly pump out your septic offers a chance to give it a quick inspection, meaning they can help spot potential problems early, before they become major and expensive repairs.

Drane Ranger is dedicated to making septic tank maintenance easy, simple, and affordable. Our team of dedicated professionals understands septic tanks, they know how to drain them properly, and they understand when maintenance needs to be done. If you are in need of a sep-tic tank pump out service, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about this and other services we offer to people in the area.

How Commercial Grease Traps Prevent Costly Plumbing Emergencies?

There was an old myth that, if you poured your grease down the sink and then chased it with hot water, this was the best way to get rid of fat and grease from your kitchen. We have since learned that this is not a good way at all to dispose of grease and fats. It is a good thing that commercial businesses don’t use this method and instead use commercial grease trap cleaning to dispose of their grease and fats.

Risk of fire

There are laws on how often you need to complete a commercial grease trap cleaning. These laws may vary from city to city or state to state, but they are in place for reasons. As a commercial business, you want to ensure that these timelines are followed, not just for legal reasons, but also to prevent damage and costly plumbing emergencies. One of the major concerns with regard to commercial grease traps that are not cleaned properly is the risk of fire. Fats and oils that are stored or that stay in the grease traps can be flammable, and oil and fat fires tend to burn hotter and longer than a basic fire. This can cause damage to your building, your business, and potentially even injury or death to your employees.

Risk of Health hazards

A business owner continues to monitor operation costs to ensure that the profit margins are as high as possible. One of the biggest worries for business owners is emergencies—and the corresponding unexpected costs of repairs. Doing regular commercial grease trap cleaning can help eliminate some of these costly repairs. When grease traps are not cleaned regularly there can be a buildup of grease and fats. This can then begin to back up the pipes and overflow back into the kitchen, or into another facility where it is being used. When this occurs, there will often be a foul smell, but in addition to that unpleasant odor can also be severe health risks that result from the bacteria that are coming back into the business along with the overflowing grease and fats. This health emergency can shut down your business until the traps are cleaned and the facility is restored to health standards.

Risk of costly repairs or replacement

Commercial grease trap cleaning can assist in preventing damage to the pipes and the trap system. When the traps and pipes are not professionally cleaned on a regular and scheduled basis, the pipes can begin to wear down. The acid and bacteria left in the pipes can corrode the pipes and reduce the integrity of the system. When this happens the pipes and trap system can begin to leak and eventually burst. There would be a huge clean up, but there would also be a costly emergency to replace the entire grease trap system.

Commercial grease trap cleaning is not something that can or should be ignored. By having your grease traps cleaned and maintained on a regular basis, you can prevent costly emergencies. For more information about grease trap cleaning in your area click here.

Signs Your Wastewater Lift Station Need Professional Assistance

Do you own a wastewater lift station in Houston? Then you may need to get an inspection. Here are a few common signs that suggest your lift station needs some professional attention, and what to do if you notice a problem.

1. The High-Level Alarm Goes Off

Some entries in this list will point to signs that could point to your wastewater system or something else. When it comes to your high-level alarm going off, however, that is a sure sign that your wastewater lift station in Houston needs professional assistance. This alarm is specifically designed to give you a warning that your wastewater station is close to overflowing. If you get this alarm, do not wait around. Contact a professional wastewater lift station right here at Drane Ranger. We can send someone along for an inspection right away to assess the issue and prevent further problems.

2. You Notice Slow Drainage

Has your drainage noticeably slowed down? That could be linked to your wastewater lift station. In fact, many homes that experience a drop in drainage speeds can trace the problem directly back to their wastewater lift station. If you have drainage issues and your pipes are clear, then the problem may be your lift station. Be sure to contact a professional to come and take a look.

3. Increased Sewer and Water Backups

Have you noticed that your sewage and plumbing systems have been backing up a lot recently? If so, then you may need to call the professionals to check out your wastewater lift station in Houston. A noticeable increase in things backing up, or back-ups that happens with any amount of regular frequency, may be a sign that your lift station needs some professional attention. In these cases, you may also need to call in a plumber, but a wastewater professional can help advise you on next steps after they inspect your lift station.

4. There’s a Strong Odor

Easily, one of the most noticeable signs that your wastewater lift station in Houston is in need of professional attention is a smell. We unfortunately all know the smell of sewage, and, if you catch a whiff of it, then you will likely need to get a professional to check out your lift station and anything else that is related. The good news is that a bad smell doesn’t necessarily mean that your station is broken. It may just need some quick maintenance to help it get working again.

Drane Ranger is dedicated to helping the people of Houston and surrounding areas with all of their wastewater lift station needs. Whether your lift station has been causing problems or you just need a regular inspection, our team of professionals are here to help. When it comes to lift stations, it never pays to wait or leave it without regular inspections. In fact, getting your wastewater lift station in Houston checked regularly can help you save money in the long run. And our team of professionals can help.

The Dos and Don’ts of Restaurant Grease Trap Cleaning

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment is crucial for any restaurant. When it comes to the kitchen, regular cleaning and thorough deep cleans are the key to a safe environment. Any restaurant with a grill will have an idea of just how much grime and grease is made after rush hour, but what happens to that grease once it’s scraped away? While it may not be at the top of your to-do list, restaurant grease trap cleaning is essential, and every restaurant should make it part of their regular cleaning routine.

Don’t Clean it Yourself

Who doesn’t love a DIY solution? While it may seem like a good way to save a few bucks, cleaning a grease trap on your own is prone to numerous problems and can even make the grease trap worse. Many commercial chemicals and enzymes advertised for restaurant grease trap cleaning don’t actually break down the grease, but instead simply separate it from water. When this happens, grease can flow down the wastewater system and clog it. To avoid more complications, the best option is always to hire a restaurant grease trap cleaning service for regular cleaning.

Don’t Ignore the Trap

Thinking grease trap issues aren’t too big of a deal? A grease trap is never going to fix itself. Ignoring problems with a grease trap will only heighten the problem and potentially result in serious health and safety risks. Restaurants should always keep a close eye on grease traps and take a proactive approach to resolving issues before they get out of hand. Regular cleaning is the best way to keep grease traps in good condition. Bringing in professionals to take care of your restaurant grease trap cleaning is the most effective option.

Do Check the Trap is Installed Properly

You may be thinking this is obvious, but improper installation of a grease trap is unfortunately all too common in restaurants. A sign the trap has not been installed properly is a lack of grease, fats, or oils. If your grease trap has been installed for over a week and you aren’t noticing anything accumulating during your restaurant grease trap cleaning, there is a good chance the trap wasn’t installed properly.

Do Hire Professional Restaurant Grease Trap Cleaning Services

Incorporating regular grease trap cleaning into the regular maintenance schedule is a must. As previously mentioned, cleaning grease traps yourself can lead to even more problems, and you will always want to bring in professional restaurant grease trap cleaning services. Professionals will come with the experience, knowledge, and tools needed to properly clean a grease trap.

Restaurant Grease Trap Cleaning Experts

With regular cleaning, restaurants can get the most life out of grease traps and prevent health risks for staff and customers. At Drane Ranger, we provide a number of services for all your trap needs. With our restaurant grease trap cleaning services, you get a comprehensive cleaning and maintenance, which includes grease trap odor control, to keep your business running safely.

How Can Septic Tank Pumping Save You Money?

Maybe you have a septic tank, but you would prefer not to think too much about it? That’s not a good idea. Keep your septic tank in your mind, and keep it working properly. You will be glad you did. Being mindful about septic tank pumping can save you money.

Septic tank pumping prevents backups

Perhaps the reason that you don’t want to think about the job the septic tank is doing is because it is messy. And yes, that is true, but it is a lot less messy when everything is working smoothly. The last thing anyone needs is for the septic tank to get too full and break down. It will definitely save a lot of money to have it pumped out regularly in the proper way than it would to have it pumped after a backup has happened. Emergency pumping can be expensive, so have the septic tank pumping done on a regular schedule to avoid the mess.

As well, the community you live in probably has regulations against preventable sewage backups, so regular maintenance and septic tank pumping will help you avoid fines.

Septic tank pumping keeps things working

The septic system is important, and so proper maintenance is important, too. If it is neglected, or if the septic tank pumping is not done on schedule, the system will not work properly. A major breakdown is not wanted, and regular pumping is the only want to keep it all working properly. It will be very costly to have to replace or repair the system.

Septic tank pumping keeps everybody healthy

The septic tank’s job is to store raw sewage and break it down so that it can be disposed of safely. If it is not pumped regularly, it can’t be taken away safely. The way that the tank breaks down the materials stored inside is with a balance of raw sewage and healthy bacteria within. If it is not maintained regularly, the balance is disrupted and the bad bacteria and solids will build up. Maintenance involves more than regular septic tank pumping. The maintenance crews keep the system running smoothly, and at the same time they can check for damage, ensure everything is working, and see to its repair if it is not.

Septic tank pumping can serve as early warning

Don’t take your septic system for granted. It performs a very important function, and not keeping it working properly may result in health risks, higher costs, or a public disaster. Septic systems, whether it is a tank or a drainage field, do need to be inspected and pumped regularly. If there are unforeseen problems, the crews performing your septic tank pumping can spot and fix them before a more expensive emergency can occur.

If you are not sure how often the septic tank pumping should occur, then calling the professionals in your community can advise you regarding local codes and regulations. They will also explain details you need to know about your system and the preventative maintenance it needs. Keeping it in good working order will cost much less than repairing it when it backs up or breaks down. Contact us for more information.