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All Ways Drains Blog Posts

Septic Tank Repairs Minneapolis MN


SAFETY TIP: Never enter a septic tank. The tank may hold poisonous gases and insufficient oxygen. Always work on the tank from the outside.


  • Conserve water. The less wastewater your household sends to the septic tank, the longer your septic system will work trouble free.
  • Avoid using a garbage disposal. The solids from the disposal will require more frequent pumping out of the tank.
  • Do not put things in your drains or toilets that decompose slowly: grease, paper, rags, coffee grounds, sanitary napkins and cigarettes.
  • Do not pour chemicals into the toilet or drains which might pollute the earth in the drainfield or damage the bacteria that decompose the solids in the septic system. Harmful chemicals include: solvents, oils, paints, chlorine bleach and poisons like pesticides and herbicides.
  • Keep water from flowing over the septic tank and drainfield. Rain runoff should be diverted to other areas.
  • The best landscaping above the septic tank, drainfield and replacement area is grass. Avoid impermeable materials like cement or plastic. These make inspection and repairs difficult. They also block oxygen from entering the soil, which interferes with the biological activity in the septic system.
  • Prevent heavy traffic over the drainfield and replacement area. Do not allow vehicles, heavy equipment and livestock in the area.
  • Make a diagram of the location of the tank and drainfield. Your local health agency may have this information. This information will be helpful if the system requires maintenance. It will also be useful upon sale of your house.
  • Keep a record of any maintenance on the septic system – for both your use and that of a new owner.
  • Inspect your system once each year.
  • Check scum and sludge levels inside the tank. They should not be within early warning levels.
  • Check the condition of the baffles and tees in the tank.
  • Check the drainfield for odors, wet spots or sewage rising to the surface.
  • Check any inspection pipes in the drainfield. If the liquid level is continuously over 6 inches, the system may not be functioning correctly.
  • If inspection indicates the need for pumping out the solids in the tank, do so before sewage backs up or the drainfield clogs.

Do you need a team of professionals to fix your septic tank? Look no further than All Ways Drains. Contact us today by calling (612) 922-9422 or Contact us Online.

Gas Leaks St. Paul MN

Natural gas, often simply called “gas,” is used in homes to run many appliances. Gas is colorless and, in its natural state, odorless. The special “gas smell” is added to natural gas to let you know of a leak. It smells like rotten eggs or rotten cabbage. Whether the leak is large or small, it’s important for your safety and the health of your family to take action immediately. Natural gas is a fire hazard, it’s explosive, and inhaling it can damage health.

You may want to buy a natural gas detector for your home, particularly if your sense of smell is not good. A carbon monoxide detector will not detect a natural gas leak. The two are different gases.

While this article is about the dangers of leaking gas, natural gas has a good safety record, and natural gas emergencies are unusual events.

Leaks Outside the Home

When digging outside, if a gas line is damaged, follow any applicable steps from the next section of this article, including calling the gas company right away. Indications of damage to a gas pipeline include a gas smell, a hissing sound, dirt blowing, or bubbles rising in sitting water.

Emergency Steps for a Gas Leak

If you suspect a gas leak in your home, take action immediately:

  1. If there are cigarettes burning or any open flames, including pilot lights, put them out immediately and properly.
  2. Avoid any possible sources of electrical sparks. Do not turn on or off any electrical appliances or lights, do not use the phone, and do not plug in or unplug electrical appliances.
  3. If it’s a very small leak, open all the doors and windows. If it’s larger, don’t take the time for this step.
  4. Get everyone out of the house.
  5. If you can, turn off the gas at the meter for your home. It is outside the home. Usually, the valve is on a vertical pipe to the left of the meter. The valve handle should be a straight blade. Use a crescent wrench or pipe wrench to give the handle a quarter turn so that it is perpendicular to the pipe – so that it looks like it’s sitting across the pipe as if it’s “blocking” it. (It is a good idea to hang such a wrench near the meter for emergencies.)
  6. From a safe distance, right away call your gas company and 911.
  7. Do not turn your gas back on and do not re-enter the house. Your gas company will take the next steps.

Fixing Leaks in Gas Pipes

If you’re in need of a licensed professional plumber to help with a gas leak, contact us today by calling (612) 922-9422 or Contact us Online.

How to Save Money, Water and Time in the Twin Cities

  • Fix leaking faucets right away. Leaks can waste gallons of water quickly. If hot water is leaking, it’s wasting energy too.
  • Insulate water heaters and pipes to prevent heat loss. If you’re doing it yourself, be careful not to cover the floor, top, thermostat or burner compartment of the heater. When in doubt, for safety, call us for expert advice or to do the job for you.
  • Install low flow showerheads and aerators in faucets.
  • When buying a new water heater, select one with thick insulation. It may cost more initially, but it will pay off over the years in energy savings.
  • Hot water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 115°F.
  • Each month, drain about a quart of water from your water heater  – until the water runs clear. This removes sediment that lowers the efficiency of your heater. Follow the manufacturer’s advice on the exact steps for draining the heater.
  • Favor showers. Showers use less hot water than baths. A bath takes 15-25 gallons; a five-minute shower takes less than 10 gallons.
  • Pour hot water down a slow drain. This will help remove grease and soap scum build up.

We can provide you with more tips on how to save money, water, and time at your Twin Cities home or business. Contact us today by calling (612) 922-9422 or Contact us Online.

Toilet Problems in Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro

Flush Properly

First determine the cause of the problem.

1. Is no water running into the toilet?
If you try flushing and no water runs into the toilet bowl, check the water level in the tank. It should be within about 1/2 inch of the top of the overflow pipe. The overflow pipe is the big vertical tube in the tank. If the water level isn’t high enough, parts inside the tank may need replaced. You can buy these at a hardware store. If you aren’t sure of how to do this, just give us a call and we can easily do the job for you.

If water doesn’t run into the bowl and the water level in the tank is high enough, try dumping a bucket of water into the bowl. If this clears out your toilet, the water inlet to the toilet is probably blocked (located inside the rim of the toilet).

2. Do you use a blue cleaning disc?
If you use a blue cleaning disc it may be jamming the flow of water. Taking care not to damage the porcelain, break up the jammed disc with a screwdriver or similar tool. Even if you can’t remove all of the disc, your toilet should start working again. The remains of the disc will dissolve over time.

3. Do you have hard water?
Another possibility is that hard water has created mineral deposits which are blocking an inlet inside the rim. Being careful not to scratch the porcelain, use a nail or something similar to clean out the mineral build-up.

If water is running into the toilet and the bowl is filling up without draining, you have a clogged drain. See “What To Do When a Drain is Clogged” for more information.

White Toilet | Toilet ProblemsToilet Runs Continuously

If your toilet just keeps running, open the tank and check the chain that hangs down vertically and attaches to the rubber “flapper” at the bottom. The chain should be taut. If it’s loose and you’re handy, you can shorten it by removing some links with some needle-nose pliers.

Toilet Tank Leaks

Sometimes water leaks from the tank into the bowl. This wastes water and money. At least once a year, check for leaks. Drop a small amount of food coloring into the tank. Check back a half hour later. If the toilet bowl water is colored, the tank is leaking. Some parts in the tank may need replacement.

Toilet Leaks at the Base

If water is leaking around the base of your toilet, check to see if the toilet has shifted. Shifting can break down the wax seal, allowing water to seep out under the toilet. If the toilet has shifted, you can sit on it and try twisting it back into position. If that doesn’t work, you may need to have the wax ring replaced on your toilet.

Remember, if none of these actions fix the problem that you’re having with your toilet, we can easily take care of it for you. Contact us today by calling (612) 922-9422 or Contact us Online.

How to Shut off Your Water in the Twin Cities

Learning how to shut off your water can prove to be very useful in an emergency situation. If you have any water leaks or a burst pipe, the first step is to turn off the water.

If you want to shut off the water to a particular sink or toilet, look for a valve under the sink or behind the toilet.Water Shutoff Valve

It’s desirable to have valves which control the flow of water to each fixture in your house so that it’s not necessary to turn off the water to the entire house to fix or replace a particular fixture.

Shutting Off Water to the Entire House
If you’re not finding a valve to a specific fixture, you can shut off the water to the entire house. Look for a main valve, possibly located in the basement, on an outside wall that faces the street. There should also be a main valve near the street or sidewalk in front of your house, although it may require a special tool to turn off this valve. Often this water shut-off valve is located in a buried box with a cement or metal lid.

Know in advance how to shut off the water. It’s a good idea to know where and how to turn off the water to your house in case of an emergency. Water pipes can break due to an freezing weather, old age, and other causes.

If you need help in locating and working the shut-off valve, a neighbor may be able to help you, or you can always call us at (612) 922-9422 or Contact us Online. We will have a technician there as quickly as possible to help you out with your plumbing emergency needs.

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