Tracking Down Septic Problems

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Top Tips For Septic System Care

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Are you tired of drains that start to run sluggishly or that stop entirely? Are you trying to figure out how to avoid needing to call the plumber out yet again to fix an issue with your septic tank? Septic systems aren't especially complex, but there are still some things to keep in mind and rules that should be followed to keep your septic tank in good working order. Some things that you should know include:

Only flush toilet paper: There are many things that claim to be flushable but that are bad for septic systems. This can include flushable wipes and flushable cat litter. While you may be able to flush a newspaper-based cat litter, depending on what your plumber says, other types are likely to cause issues. Clay litters will settle to the bottom of your tank, creating a cement-like sludge that can be difficult and expensive to remove. Pine and other wood-based litters may float at the top of the tank, eventually clogging the exit pipe. To be safe, the only thing that should go into a toilet besides human waste is a toilet paper that says that it's safe to use with septic tanks.

Stagger your loads of laundry: Many people like to have a set day to do certain chores. If you grew up in the city, connected to the sewer system, you may have been taught to do all your laundry on Saturday or Sunday. Unfortunately, too much water at once can overwhelm septic systems. The good bacteria in the tank will get flushed out, leaving behind the slightly more sterile water from the washing machine. There will not be enough bacteria to digest wastewater and sludge properly, and solids will start to build up as the bacteria attempts to recolonize the tank. This can result in needing to pump out your septic tank before it should be due. Staggering loads of laundry throughout the week will help give the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank more time to recover and regrow.

Inspect your sewer line: When your drains are clogging almost every week, you may be getting frustrated at having to call the plumber to snake out your septic system. But instead of simply removing the clog, ask your plumber if he or she has a fiber optic camera to use to look in the drain. A fiber optic camera will show you if your system has any settling that causes pooling and that will gather bits of solid waste. It can also spot clogs caused by tree roots that are starting to grow into your sewage pipes. Remedying these issues will help prevent needing to call the plumber out again to unclog your system once again.

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