7 Helpful Septic Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
If you have a septic tank, keeping it cleaned and maintained is the key to a safe, healthy home.
Tasks like regular septic cleaning and other septic maintenance services will ensure that it lasts a long time, saving you a lot of money and headaches in the process.
Read on for a list of seven helpful septic tank cleaning and maintenance tips so that your system runs smoothly.
1. Learn How Your Septic System Works
One of the best ways to take good care of your septic system is to understand how it works and all of the different components that are included. Find out exactly what type of septic system you have, and where it's located on your property.
Most localities require a permit before the system can be installed, so find out if you can obtain a map that shows the layout and location of the system. Once you understand more about your septic system, you'll be able to recognize red flags if something is wrong in the future. Research the best septic maintenance practices for your particular system so that you're already ahead of the game.
2. Practice Regular Septic Cleaning
Ideally, you should have your septic tank pumped or cleaned every three to five years. The cost for a septic cleaning can vary depending on the size of the system, but it typically ranges between $300 and $600, on average.
Contact a local septic cleaning company and ask them to perform a septic tank pumping. They should also inspect it for any signs of trouble like leaks or excess layers of sludge that might be sitting in the tank. Once the tank has been pumped, keep the receipt as a record of maintenance so you'll remember when you last had it cleaned.
3. Wash Clothes and Dishes on Separate Days
Washing all of your clothes and doing all of your laundry on the same day can actually put excess stress on your septic system. In order to treat the wastewater in the tank and allow it to replenish, you should try to give the system a break.
The best way to help prolong the life of your septic system is to space out your dishwasher and washing machine usage. Using too many appliances at once could overload the system and potentially cause the drain field to flood. Run a full load of dishes on one day, then wait a day or two before you run the washing machine to give the system a break.
4. Flush with Caution
When using the toilet, the only thing you should ever flush is toilet paper. Items like facial tissues, feminine products, hair, or diapers can wreak havoc on your septic tank and cause a myriad of serious problems.
Only use toilet paper labeled as "septic safe," which means it will break down in the tank once it's flushed. Anything else that you flush other than toilet paper can cause clogs and damage to the septic system. Avoid flushing toilet paper or tissues with lotion since it could add harmful chemicals to the system.
5. Be Aware of What You Dump Down the Drain
You probably dump all kinds of things down your kitchen sink drain without thinking twice about it. However, items like coffee grounds, medication, flour, or eggshells should never be sent down the drain. These items can clog your pipes or block the screens in your septic system.
Other items that should never be tossed down the drain include paint, grease, cooking oil, and fats since they can also cause serious clogs. Even items like cheese, cream, milk, or butter should be avoided whenever possible. Any of these items will have difficulty breaking down in the tank, which can cause them to build up and sit in the bottom of the tank.
6. Pay Attention to Cleaning Products and Chemicals
Your septic tank relies on good bacteria to break things down, but certain chemicals can kill these good bacteria which will lead to buildup and clogs. Try not to use bleach when you clean, but if you do, use just a small amount to avoid overloading the system.
Drain cleaners can also cause your septic tank to become damaged over time. Steer clear of cleaning products and soaps that have antibacterial on the label, as they will also harm the good bacteria in your tank. Try to use cleaning products that contain plant-based ingredients instead in order to promote healthy septic maintenance.
7. Take Care of the Drainfield
Closely monitor your drain field to look for any signs of distress. Monitor water usage and pay attention to what goes into your septic system.
Never park vehicles on top of the drain field, and don't drive over it. Check to ensure that sump pumps and gutters are moving water away from the drain field so it doesn't flood. Never plant trees or other plants near the drain field since their roots can cause damage to the underground pipes.
Septic System TLC
With regular septic cleaning and some common sense, you can extend the length of your system and keep it in excellent working condition. Contact local septic services if you need help and ask them to do an inspection to ensure that everything is in proper working order.
These seven simple tips will help you prolong the life of your system so that everything runs smoothly without any issues.
Whether you need a septic cleaning, pumping, or inspection, contact us today and we'll be happy to help.