Do You Have a Septic Tank? Then Please Do Not Flush these Things down the Toilet

Septic tanks present some special challenges for those who use them.

If you are among the 25 percent of the population that still relies on septic tanks for waste disposal you have to be very careful about what you flush down your toilet. The wrong items can cause drain inlet and outlet clogging, sewage back-up, septic pump damage and environmental contamination. Too much abuse and neglect could ultimately lead to septic system failure, leaving you with repair and replacement bills running into the thousands.

Septic Tank Flushing No-No’s

Obviously the number of items you can safely flush down a toilet is limited in the best of circumstances. But if you have a septic tank it is critically important you avoid flushing any of these items in particular …

  • Baby wipes and disposable diapers
  • Latex gloves or condoms
  • Cat litter
  • Coffee grounds
  • Used cooking oil
  • Toxic or caustic chemicals (paint, paint thinner, oil-based
  • lubricants, pesticides, etc.)
  • Cigarette or cigar butts
  • Dental floss
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Tampons
  • Plastic bags of any size
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hand wipes or other disposable wipes
  • Fabric softener sheets or cling-free
  • Dirt or potting soil
  • Prescription drugs
  • Paper towels
  • Polluted or contaminated waste water

Do not be fooled by any product labeled as flushable, especially if it’s a flushable version of the products listed above. Precious little testing has been done to see how something like flushable cat litter, for example, will react if released into a septic tank. Will it actually break down or will it muck up the whole works? Honestly, no one knows for sure.

Better Safe than Sorry

Common sense should tell you that if it wasn’t made to be sent down a toilet it’s probably not a good idea to flush it. Septic tanks are designed to process a limited range of items, and if you push them beyond their “comfort zone” catastrophic malfunction could be the result.

Of course no matter how cautious you are problems with your septic tank may still crop up from time to time. If you live in the Wilmington area and your septic system does need repair or maintenance work, don’t hesitate to contact us here at the William G. Day Company. We will dispatch a trained professional to your home at lightning speed to assess the situation and offer a workable and affordable solution.

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What Is FVIR (Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant)?

Your water heater is a source of heated water for cooking, washing clothes and dish washing, as well as taking relaxing showers or comforting, luxurious baths. The last thing you expect it to do is to kill you. Yet the Consumer Products and Safety Commission was extremely concerned to discover that water heaters were involved in thousands of burn injuries, fires and even fatalities. They also learned that most of these incidents involved the improper handling, storage and/or spillage of gasoline around a water heater.

In 2003 steps were taken to ensure that such accidents, injuries and deaths would no longer occur. New standards for the design and construction of water heaters were developed that year. The new standards have since been successfully phased in to production on all Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant (FVIR) water heaters. The Commission thus ensured that your water heater could no longer ignite any flammable vapors occurring outside the water heater due to the spilling of gasoline on the floor surrounding it.

There are three key components to every FVIR water heater. The first is a device installed to prevent any ignited vapors inside its combustion chamber from passing out of it. The second is the heater’s one way intake system. This controls the movement of the air into the combustion chamber so it does not back flow. The third is a sealed junction with the combustion chamber. This is created by installing a burner assembly/inner door. This apparatus prevents flammable vapors and combustible air from getting in the chamber through the water heater’s front.

When shopping for a new FVIR water heater, it’s important to know that all FVIR tanks have three things in common:

• The thermal cutoff switch:
is designed to shut down the water heater tank if the switch senses excessive temperatures inside the chamber. Such temperatures are caused by having an inadequate amount of combustion air in the chamber due to poor venting, inadequate makeup air or the accumulation of dust, oil and lint on the screen.

• The flame arrestor plate:
is made of metal and located under the heater’s burner. It lets air into the combustion chamber but contains the flames so they don’t ignite flammable vapors below the chamber.

• The dust, lint and oil screen:
keeps these contaminants out of the combustion process. When the tank is located in a utility room or basement, it is common for these screens to get clogged and need cleaning.
If your water heater predates 2006, it’s time to have it serviced and consider replacing it with a FVIR water heater. This is particularly important for your family’s safety if your unit is located in your garage. Call for your maintenance check today.

The Benefits Of Purchasing A Service Agreement

A service agreement may make the difference between having a working HVAC system year round and a HVAC system which you are unsure will work at all when you need it most. You can only have confidence in your HVAC when you know you’ve maintained it. Having an HVAC professional keep it in good working order can insure that it is ready to heat or cool your home when it’s needed.

Having a service agreement can give you that confidence. What to consider when purchasing a service agreement? How often will the system be serviced? The good thing is, you the consumer get to determine how often you would like your HVAC unit serviced. Most plans involve two visits per year. If you have an older system, you might request more visits if you anticipate problems. How much will it cost? Again, you the consumer get some say so in how much you will pay based on the number of annual visits you select. All the visits run a complete check of the system. This is to insure that any problems are identified so your HVAC system continues to perform at its optimum.

The first of several benefits of a service agreement is that the whole HVAC system is evaluated so that you do not lose any function when you run your HVAC. The most common reasons for HVAC malfunctions are performed first: coils are cleaned (indoor and outdoor), change air filters, check the fan and remove blockages from the pipes. Additional regular maintenance is also done afterwards: all moving parts are lubricated; the system is checked for leaks and if any are found, they are repaired; the refrigerant is recharged; test the thermostat; replace worn belts; check amp draws; and tighten loosened wires.

All these steps are a part of the semi-annual tune-ups that are included in a service agreement. The technicians touch and examine every area that performs a task related to heating or cooling. When finished they can report of the proper or improper functioning of a HVAC system. Any needed repairs can be caught early before they have had a chance to affect other working parts causing additional damage and expense. With regular maintenance your HVAC can work with precision each time you initiate its operation. Call us to insure you have a reliable service agreement for your HVAC system.

Understanding Energy Factor Rating On Water Heaters

Energy efficiency and consumption of different devices has been under close scrutiny recently. With the emphasis being on devices that are energy efficient and homes that complies with the set energy efficiency levels. So what does energy factor imply? The energy factor is a rating that shows how efficient energy conversion is for a specific appliance like a heater. The most common appliances that have this metric on them are heaters, dish washers, washing machines and clothes dryers.

The energy factor is used mainly for comparison purposes to determine which device is more efficient when it comes to energy conversion. The determination of this factor for different appliances differs. For the water heaters this factor is determined by three major factors.

Recover efficiency is the first factor. This entails the efficiency of transfer of heat to the water being heated. Therefore for those heaters which can transfer the energy efficiently from the source of energy like a socket to the water, the factor is higher than those that re less efficient.

The second factor is the amount of cycling losses. This is the level of heat lost as the water that is being heated is circulating in the heating system. The heating system may include a large tank where the water is stored during the heating process. It is in this tank that the water will circulate during heating. The circulation will require some energy and this is what causes the cycling losses.

The third factor is the standby losses. These are common for heating systems that involve storage tanks. The amount of heat that the water in storage losses per period of time in comparison to the water’s total heat content.

The three factors are used simultaneously to determine the factor for a heater. Therefore, a heater with a high factor means that if it minimizes on the losses whether standby or cycling and has a higher efficiency when it comes to transfer of energy from source to the water. You may therefore use this factor to make a purchase of the best heater available as you can easily compare the factor for different heaters.

The energy factor will therefore provide an insight into the energy utilization of the heater and ultimately the cost of using it. Therefore, it is an important factor to consider whether you are installing heating systems for your house, office, hotel or any other place.