Correctly maintaining your septic system is important for several reasons. If your tank backs up or otherwise begins to malfunction, it can lead to costly repairs and can even endanger your health. If you notice any changes in your septic tank’s functionality, you’ll want to contact septic tank services as soon as possible to have the tank examined. By scheduling regular maintenance, however, you’ll be able to avoid some of these costly septic system repairs. Here is some basic information on how to properly maintain your septic system.
Make Sure it’s Installed Correctly
If you purchased the home from someone else, you likely had no control over the installation of the septic system. If you’re building the house, though, you can make certain that the septic tank and piping is installed by an experienced professional. There are a number of issues that homeowners may face if their septic tank was incorrectly installed years ago, and the only way to fix some of them is to dig up the entire system and replace it.
Understand Your Tank’s Limits
Understanding your septic tank’s limits may not sound like maintenance per se, but it is important. If you overload the tank, it can easily back up and flood your home. If you reduce the amount of water you use, you’ll reduce the amount of work your septic tank does. Some of this is easy. For example, only do laundry or run your dishwasher when you have a full load. You can also put a brick or other displacer in your toilet’s tank to reduce the amount of water used when you flush. If your toilets are fairly old, you may want to upgrade them to newer models that use less water.
You also want to check your home for leaks. Dripping faucets may not seem like they would put that much of a strain on the system, but every drop adds up. Outdoor faucets are often forgotten, but you want to make sure they’re not leaking, either. You may also want to install a low-flow shower head that is designed to provide as much water pressure as normal but with less overall water use. As a bonus, you’ll use less water, which is good for the environment.
Don’t Flush Non-Flushable Items
It’s tempting to think of the toilet as an easy way of disposing of garbage but doing so is a quick way to clog up your pipes and septic tank. Never flush paper towels, tissues, cat litter, cigarette butts, or anything other than toilet paper, even if the product says it’s flushable. While these items may do fine being flushed into a sewer system, they don’t do well in septic tanks. They can clog up the tank and the pipes leading to the drain field. Since the drain field sends water into the soil, flushing things such as paint thinner can get into the groundwater.
If at all possible, don’t use a garbage disposal, either. The solid waste that goes down these disposals will quickly fill up your septic tank. That means you’ll need to have it pumped more often or risk it becoming so full that waste backs up into your home.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Finally, you do want to make certain that you have your septic tank pumped regularly. The more people who live in the home, the more often you need to have it pumped. If you look into the septic tank and can see that there’s less than five inches between the main pipe and the top of the water, it’s time to have it pumped.