If your home relies on a septic tank to dispose of sewage, you need to do your best to maintain this system. One can imagine some of the various things that can go wrong should you ignore the needs of your septic tank, from environmentally hazardous flooding in your yard to sewage backup into your toilets and other fixtures.
A septic tank is complex, and therefore needs regular care from a local plumber. These are some of the maintenance tasks that your septic system needs if you hope to rely on it for several more years without incident.
Your septic tank is a large tank buried underground for holding sewage. It is installed with a drain pipe inlet through which sewage exits your home and enters the tank. Anaerobic bacteria in the tank will begin breaking down the sewage, condensing it to make room for more wastewater. Meanwhile, liquid will be separated and exit the tank.
Pumping the Tank
One of the basic septic tank maintenance tasks is pumping your septic tank. This clears solid waste deposits from the system before it overflows or becomes severely restricted in volume. If you never pump your septic tank, it can overflow, or sewage may back up into your home.
Your septic tank should be pumped once every 3 to 5 years. If you're unsure when this is necessary, refer to your indoor plumbing. If your bathtubs, showers, or sinks appear to drain very slowly, or if backup occurs even once, then you need to pump the tank. Only a professional plumber should perform this work, as it can be hazardous to your health without taking the proper precautions and using the right equipment for the job.
There are several other maintenance tasks that your septic tank may need from time to time. A plumber should inspect the tank once a year to ensure proper operation, protect the pipe inlet, and diagnose any slow flushing or other problems related to the system. This can prolong the lifespan of your system.
Protecting the Tank
You should try to conserve water and use biodegradable toilet paper in order to protect your septic tank from reaching maximum capacity. Avoid pouring grease, oils, or any food waste into your drains. Never flush floss, feminine hygiene products, or any other solid products besides toilet paper. You should hire a plumber in the event that foreign objects are flushed into the system.
There are also solvents that can damage the interior of your septic tank. Never pour drain cleaners, gasoline, pesticides, or other harsh chemicals down the drain.
Septic tanks can be very expensive to repair or replace, so you should always hire a professional plumber to work on it. Their expertise is needed to identify and fix issues related to your plumbing, prevent leakage into your yard, and prevent cracks or breaks in the walls of the tank. Regular care prolongs the life of your tank and also prevents you from needing to clean up sewage backup in your kitchen or bathrooms. Contact a plumber today to determine how to best protect your septic tank and extend its life.