Essential Tips on How to Maintain Your Septic Tanks

Homeowners mainly neglect septic tank cleaning until they see or smell the signs. Failing to maintain and inspect your septic tanks regularly could worsen the damage and problems. You might end up replacing them entirely or will be needing a costly major repair. Also, septic tanks need maintenance to keep their durability, longevity and avoid damages. 

Reasons Why You Need to Maintain Your Septic Tanks Regularly:

  1. Consistent inspection and pumping will prevent costly repair and replacement. 
  2. It will provide you with peace of mind knowing your septic tank is functioning well until the following scheduled pumping procedure. 
  3. You will be given a heads-up if it is time to replace your septic tank. 
  4. You will know who to ask for help from when an unexpected issue comes up. This is because you have already sought after the best and reliable company to come to your aid.
  5. They will also educate you with the necessary information on when your septic tank needs inspections, thus you can seek professional help immediately.

What are the signs you need to clean your septic tank?

A. Strong Foul Odor

The most common indication that there is something wrong with your sewer is the solid foul odor that emanates from your septic tank, toilets, or drain field. The septic tank may already be complete, or it can indicate cracks that lead to nasty leakage. 

B. Pooling fluid

Pooling fluid around the surface of your septic tank, sink, pipes, or toilets is a red flag you cannot ignore. When a septic tank is complete, you will see water pooling around the surface of the septic tank area or drain field. A significant crack hence the leakage, may cause it, or it could be full. Either way, you will need to have it pumped out and inspected immediately. 

C. Clogging

Furthermore, clogging results when the septic tank is nearly full. The drains become weaker and slower in pushing the contents into the septic tanks. Alternatively, the pipes could be clogged. Worst case scenario, it could cause flooding inside your house. This is why you need to alert an expert to fix the problem before it gets any worse.

D. Bright green, spongy grass on your drain field.

Another indication is when the surface vegetation shows an uneven growth. If there are healthier shrubs, plants, or grasses around the septic tank surface, you need to ask an expert to inspect the area. This may be a sign of a leakage from which the plants are taking nutrients from.

E. Sewage backup

This is one of the unpleasant indications that you need to call for an expert. Fecal waste and fluid that resurfaces from your toilet are bad experiences and a clear red flag that your septic tank is full or clogged. 

How often does a septic tank be cleaned?

According to professionals, septic tanks should be pumped every 3 to 5 years. However, this also depends on what type and design you have. Consider the number of households or people living in the building or house.

Methods of cleaning a septic tank:

1. Preventive Pumping

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This method is meant to prevent clogging in the pipes or septic tanks. Preferably, this should be done every 2 to 3 years. However, depending on the number of people living in the house or building, the schedule may vary. The septic system design used is another critical factor to consider before scheduling for pumping. Make sure to confide with an expert about this.

Make sure you schedule a regular pumping to avoid clogging in the future. This procedure involves the use of big hoses and pipelines. Using an intense pulling pressure, it draws and collects the wastes and into the truck tank. Then, it is brought to a sewer, where it gets dumped for processing. 

2. Power Rodding

Power rodding is an instrument and a method used to clear clogs in pipes. It is a bigger and more efficient drain snake version (a drain snake is an instrument used to clear clogs in pipes). It is equipped with extremely sharp cutting teeth that can spin at high speed. It is electrically operated. This is used by inserting the equipment into the pipe until it cuts and breaks the buildup that clogs the passage. Once the pipe is cleared, it can easily be washed and flushed with water.  

3. Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is another method of cleaning, clearing, and maintaining septic tanks. This is the most used and preferred method, given its efficacy and safe procedure. This method uses hot, high-pressured water to remove obstructions and clear the pipes using an external pump. It clears out the accumulated clogging materials, sludge, and vegetation inside the pipe.  

How to Maintain Your Septic Tank:

1. Proper Waste Disposal

What you drain down your sink and toilets can either contribute to your septic tank’s durability and longevity, or it can cause damage. If you want to preserve your septic tanks in good condition, then you need to stop flushing the following items according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency: 

  • Cooking oil, fats, and grease
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper
  • Cigarette butts
  • Coffee grounds, eggshells, nutshells
  • Paper towels etc.

Not everyone realizes this, but your septic tanks are filled with bacteria that naturally decomposes the fecal wastes that accumulate in them. Pouring chemicals or using chemical-laden substances will kill them. With this, it would be best to use sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning substances. Some home remedies can be used to clean your toilets and sinks without harming the microbiome in your septic tank.

Below are some of the examples that you can do when you can clean your pipes, toilets, and sinks without killing off the bacteria:

A. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that is effective to clear clog when poured into the toilet bowl, sink, or pipes. This is because baking soda is basic in nature, and vinegar is acidic. 

B. Hydrogen Peroxide

Similar to the combination of baking soda and vinegar, hydrogen peroxide also reacts when with baking soda. You need to mix and pour the substances into the toilet bowl, sink, or pipe and watch it foam. After a minute or two, run-down water into the pipe to flush it down clean.  

C. Eco-Friendly Dish Soap and Water

This procedure may not clear out clogs, but it sure can be an alternative in cleaning your sinks, pipelines, and toilet bowls to chemical-laden substances that you buy from the grocery stores. 

However, if the clogs keep reoccurring, make sure to call your contractor immediately. 

2. Frequent Inspection and Pumping

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Frequent inspection will help you determine whether you will need pumping services or when there is a need to replace the septic tank. It will also notify you with the possible problems such as pipeline cracks, septic tank cracks, leaks, clogging, and others so you can seek quick service. Be present during the inspection and take note of the necessary details your inspector will tell you. If pumping or cleaning is not yet needed, make sure to write down the information of when to call them again depending on the volume and size of accumulated scum and sludge layers. Your notes will also serve as a future reference. 

Regular pumping will help prevent the accumulation of sludge and vegetation inside the pipes that eventually causes clogging. This will also clear up the clogged pipelines. According to experts, pumping should be done every 2 to 3 years, although it is better to do it once a year. The frequency of this process will depend on the following factors:

  • Size of the building or house.
  • Number of households or people living in them.
  • Size of the septic tank.
  • Design or type of septic system used. 
  • Amount of wastewater used.
  • Waste disposal methodology

3. Drain-Field Area Maintenance

Another important way to maintain your septic tank is to care for the drain-field area. A drain field is responsible for removing contaminants from any water that gets through the septic tank. In order to maintain this area, you will need to:

  • Make sure trees don’t grow in the area. Also, do not plant trees. The roots can reach the septic tank and will cause significant damage. You will either need to reconstruct or replace them altogether, which are both very costly. 
  • Do not park or drive on your drain field.
  • Direct water away from the drain field. 

4. Control Your Water Usage

Draining an excessive amount of water could weaken, damage, or block your septic tank. To prevent this problem, you will need to conserve water. The top activities that consume water inside your homes are washing laundry, washing dishes, showering, bathe, and flushing. Also, you will need to check on leaks for this one. 

The good news is you can buy equipment that can help conserve water in the shower. Consider purchasing a high-efficiency shower head that is equipped with a flow restrictor. This device will help prevent consuming too much water in the shower. For laundry, you can opt to distribute the session on different days instead of just one to avoid overloading the septic. For toilet bowls, you can opt for high-efficiency modern toilets. They may be costly but can help conserve water with each flush.  

See, how important it is to keep a regular watch on your septic system? Not only does it help maintain its longevity but its durability as well. A lot of people live by the aphorism, “Out of sight, out of mind.” That can be detrimental for your septic tank, given the unfortunate consequences mentioned above. With this being said, better mark your calendar for regular monitoring so you will not have something to regret later on. 

So, you need to make sure that you are regularly seeking out professional septic tank cleaning solutions from your leading local team of specialists. That is why, if you need septic tank cleaning Oklahoma City, you need to contact OKC Septic Tank Cleaning. At OKC Septic Tank Cleaning, they can provide you with comprehensive cleaning and pumping services, guaranteed to help you preserve your tank for the long term.

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