Why Does My Septic Tank Output Filter Get Clogged? (Question)

A properly working septic tank outlet filter will become clogged as effluent is filtered and leaves the septic tank. As the solid materials accumulate over time, they progressively clog more and more of the filter, requiring maintenance. They should also be cleaned when you get the tank pumped and cleaned.

How often should a septic tank filter be cleaned?

As a rule of thumb, you should always clean the septic tank filter when doing your routine pumping. But since this will typically be after a couple of years, you should inspect the filter twice a year – just before winter and right after winter. It is best to use a filter that has an alarm.

Why does my septic tank keep clogging?

A clogged septic tank or drain is caused by a number of things: An obstruction in the line caused by a buildup of pressure between the object and the inner circumference of the pipe. An example is a diaper stuck in the sewer drain line. There is simply too much diaper to fit through the line at once!

How do I know if my septic filter is clogged?

Signs of a Clogged Septic Tank Filter or Graywater Filter

  1. Sluggish drainage.
  2. Gurgling noises at building sinks or tubs.
  3. High effluent levels in the septic tank.
  4. Dirty septic filter.
  5. Drainfield abnormally dry.
  6. Septic filter monitors.

How do you keep a septic tank filter from clogging?

One of the easiest ways that you can avoid clogging the effluent filters and having to call a plumber is to minimize the amount of solids that go into the septic tank. This means that you should really opt for tossing your food scraps into a compost bin rather than down the garbage disposal.

Why is my septic tank filling up so fast?

If your tank seems to be filling up much more quickly, it could indicate a problem with one of its components, or it could be a sign that your tank is taking on more liquids than it can handle. Call a local professional if your tank is needing more septic pumping than usual.

How do I know if my leach field is failing?

The following are a few common signs of leach field failure: Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard. The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water. Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.

How do you know if your main line is clogged?

Signs Your Sewer Line May Be Clogged

  1. Dark Water. One of the signature symptoms of a main-drain clog is water backing up in your tubs or showers.
  2. Slow-Moving Drains. Take a minute to think about the drains in your home.
  3. Gurgling Sounds.
  4. Clogged Plumbing Fixtures.
  5. Turn Off the Water.
  6. Call a Plumber.

How often should you pump your septic tank?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

Why does my effluent filter keep clogging?

A properly working septic tank outlet filter will become clogged as effluent is filtered and leaves the septic tank. As the solid materials accumulate over time, they progressively clog more and more of the filter, requiring maintenance. They should also be cleaned when you get the tank pumped and cleaned.

What is an effluent filter?

Effluent filters are devices that can be affixed to outlets of septic tank and grease trap as pictured at right (Figure 1). The filter is a primary screening barrier designed to reduce the volume of solids passing out of the tank and through to the soil absorption system (SAS).

Do all septic tanks have filters?

First, not all septic tanks have a filter, especially the older septic tanks. Now many government agencies require or recommend a filter when a septic tank is installed. Cleaning a septic tank filter is different than pumping out a septic tank and cleaning it.

A Plumber Guide To Effluent Filters And Why They Get Clogged

If you have a septic tank, you are well aware of how critical it is to pay attention to the details when it comes to keeping the tank in proper working order. Effluent filters, also known as outlet filters, are installed in every septic tank. In addition to protecting the whole septic system, these filters also safeguard the tank by filtering out effluent as it exits. It is in charge of ensuring that the pipes in the drainfield do not become clogged. If the effluent filter becomes blocked, sewage can easily back up into your home and cause flooding.

These are not the kinds of problems that you want to put off since they will only become worse the longer you leave them unattended.

Our contractors are capable of completing the project quickly!

How Often Should the Effluent Filter Be Cleaned?

A regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for the effluent filter is just as important as for the rest of the septic system. In general, most effluent filters will continue to function flawlessly for at least several years after the septic tank has been put on the property. In order to guarantee that there are no serious obstructions that might cause problems for your septic tank system or your property down the line, you should have a professional clean the filter every a few years. Every time the tank is pumped, most plumbers recommend that the effluent filters be thoroughly cleaned as well.

Some families, however, may not be able to do so on a consistent basis.

What’s Involved in an Effluent Filter Cleaning?

Cleaning the effluent filter is not something that is done after the fact. The plumbers will have to go out of their way to find the filter and remove it from the septic tank on purpose. Once the filter has been removed, the plumbers will thoroughly clean the filter and remove any particulates that may have clung to it during the removal process. Because these filters may provide a health danger, the expert will be required to wear suitable protective clothing and equipment. This is not something that the majority of homeowners are capable of doing on their own.

Once the effluent filters have been cleaned and appear to be in good condition, they must be re-installed in the proper location on the system.

They may choose to perform a short inspection of the septic system.

Top 8 Reasons Why Effluent Filters Get Clogged

It’s not unusual for effluent filters to become clogged or blocked, which is surprising given their importance. When this occurs, you’ll need to contact a plumber to assist you in resolving the issue. This isn’t one of those situations for which you’ll be able to discover a simple DIY answer on the internet or in a book. Not only will you lack the experience necessary to diagnose and analyze the condition, but you will also be unable to solve the problem since you will lack the necessary equipment and instruments.

You will have far better results if you delegate any septic tank repairs or maintenance to one of our plumbers in Mansfield, TX.

Clogged effluent filters can be caused by a variety of distinct factors, each of which deserves consideration. We’ll take a look at eight of the most prevalent causes behind this below.

1. Too Much Wastewater Is Being Generated In Too Short of a Time Period

Generally speaking, the most typical reason for blocked effluent filters is that there is an excessive amount of wastewater created in a short period of time. As a result of the large amount of wastewater produced, the septic tank will experience some level of turbulence in operation. This will shorten the total retention period, which will lessen the likelihood of certain particles clogging the effluent filters. In most cases, this only occurs when there is a leak somewhere in the system or when you are throwing a large party and a large number of people are using the washroom in a short amount of time.

Take this into account before you have a party that is too large for your space.

2. It’s the Natural Discharge from the Water in Your Home

Your drinking water is likely to include a variety of minerals and compounds of varying concentrations. You should make certain that any form of filtration or water treatment equipment you employ, such as water softeners or iron filters, is redirected away from septic systems when it has finished filtering or treating water. Minerals and additional solids are commonly found in the water that comes from these devices, making it a poor source of drinking water. This has the potential to have a significant impact on how wastewater settles in the septic tank.

The minerals are frequently difficult to distinguish with the naked eye, and the solids will cling to the filter.

If you have any questions about how to redirect the water from the treatment devices, please contact one of our plumbers right once.

They have the ability to divert the water such that it has the least amount of impact on the septic system as feasible.

3. Keep Solids Out of the Plumbing System

What do you believe happens to the vast majority of the solid waste generated by garbage disposals and dishwashers? Yes, you are correct! These sediments frequently wind up in the septic tank, where they can cause the effluent filters to get blocked very quickly. One of the most straightforward strategies to avoid clogging the effluent filters and needing to hire a plumber is to reduce the quantity of sediments that enter the septic tank during the disposal process. As a result, you should consider composting your food scraps rather than disposing of them down the garbage disposal instead.

First, remove all of the solids from the water.

In fact, if you keep solids out of your plumbing system, you’ll often discover that you’ll need to contact a plumber less frequently and that your septic system will function much more smoothly, even if you don’t have routine maintenance performed as frequently as you used to do.

4. It’s Laundry Day

Although it may come as a surprise to some, heavy laundry days are one of the most common causes of blocked effluent filters in commercial buildings. Large laundry days result in a significant amount of wastewater being discharged into the septic tank. It is possible that the volume of water that is entering the septic system may exceed the current biome, resulting in a major problem. To avoid clogging the effluent filters on laundry days, attempt to spread the wash loads across the whole week rather than doing all of the washing on the same day.

Aside from that, it is necessary to wash laundry on days when there is not a great deal of water use in the home.

5. It’s the Lint from Washing Machines

Although it may come as a surprise to some, huge laundry days are also among the most common causes of blocked effluent filters in commercial buildings. Large laundry days imply that a large amount of wastewater is being discharged into the septic tank, which is undesirable. It’s possible that the volume of water entering the septic system may exceed the current ecosystem, resulting in a major problem. In order to prevent clogging the effluent filters on laundry days, attempt to spread out the wash loads over the week rather than doing all of the laundry on one day.

On days when there is little water use in the home, it is also vital to do laundry.

6. It’s the Type of Cleaning Chemicals and Soaps That You Use

If you discover that the effluent filters are becoming clogged on a regular basis, you may want to consider changing the sort of cleaning detergents and soaps that you are using in your facility. Using bleach and other antibacterial agents and soaps might actually destroy some of the beneficial bacteria that’s already present in your septic system. If a sufficient number of bacteria are destroyed, your septic tank will no longer be effective at digesting solid waste. A significant amount of solids will make their way to the effluent filters, where they will cause significant damage.

7. You Flush Medications Down the Toilet

Another surprising, yet extremely prevalent, cause for effluent filters to become clogged is due to a buildup of debris. If you flush pharmaceuticals and other chemicals down the toilet on a frequent basis, the chemicals may end up destroying the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank system as a result of the chemicals. As previously stated, this can reduce the pace at which the bacteria degrade solid things, resulting in the solids making their way to the effluent filters rather than being decomposed.

This might be an extremely expensive repair operation to do.

8. You Flush Other Things Down the Toilet

A reason why plumbers advise you not to flush anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper is because it is harmful to the plumbing system. The effluent filters are far more likely to clog if you have a bad habit of flushing tissues, hygiene products, or even cigarette butts down the toilet.

This is because these materials will not disintegrate in the septic tank. Instead, they’ll congregate and clog the filters and other components of the septic tank system.

Call Our Plumbers in Mansfield, TX to Perform an Inspection

You shouldn’t flush anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper for a variety of reasons, as plumbers will tell you. Toilet paper, hygiene products, and even cigarette butts should not be flushed down the toilet since these things will not disintegrate in the septic tank, and hence will cause the effluent filters to clog. Instead, they will congregate and clog the filters and other components of the septic system.

Top 10 Reasons the Effluent Filter Is Plugged

Receive articles, stories, and videos about septic tanks delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Septic Tanks+ Receive Notifications If an effluent screen appears to require extensive cleaning, it is possible that the homeowner is flushing too much particles or chemicals down the drains, or that there is too much water flowing down the pipes. Here are some of the most prevalent reasons of early blockage that homeowners should be aware of. When a large amount of wastewater is created in a short period of time, turbulence in the septic tank and a reduction in retention time occur, which might result in particles clogging the effluent screen.

  • 2.
  • Inform homeowners that they should not do all of their laundry in a single day.
  • Never use more than one water-using equipment at the same time, such as taking a shower and running the dishwasher simultaneously while washing laundry.
  • In the case of iron filters, the discharge water from these devices may include additional sediments, while in the case of softeners, the discharge water may have an effect on settling.
  • Garbage disposal consumption can be reduced or eliminated entirely by putting food leftovers in a compost bin or trash can instead of the garbage disposal.
  • Scrape all dishes well before placing them in the dishwasher to ensure that solids do not enter your system.
  • In addition to adding a substantial amount of lint to the septic tank, washing machines also have the potential to block effluent filters.
See also:  What Temperature Does A Septic Tank Reach? (TOP 5 Tips)


Nothing else should be flushed down the toilet, including human waste and toilet paper.

Increase the quantity of mild cleaning agents and antibacterial soaps that are used in the house.


These items have the potential to destroy the beneficial microorganisms in a septic tank.

Do not use items that are marketed as septic additives or septic cleansers in your septic system.

It is a good idea to urge consumers to begin removing certain goods from their homes and substituting them with more natural alternatives to see how the effluent filter responds.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental science.

Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation’s International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation. Heger will respond as soon as possible.

Effluent Filter Maintenance & Signs of a Failing Filter

Maintenance of the sewage filter at home Signs that your filter is failing

Effluent Filter MaintenanceSigns of a Failing Filter

It is made up of numerous critical components, one of which is the effluent filter in your septic system. The effluent filter (also known as the output filter) is a critical component of the health and durability of your complete septic system, despite the fact that it is often overlooked. Effluent filter maintenance, like the rest of your septic system’s upkeep, is essential to keeping your system healthy and functioning properly. Effluent filter maintenance is quite affordable, and it has the added benefit of extending the life of your septic tank and drainfield.

What is an Effluent Filter?

Simply explained, effluent filters are devices that filter the wastewater produced by your septic system (aka: effluent). The wastewater generated by your residence is sent to your septic tank. Solid waste, such as fecal matter, decomposes in this tank, resulting in a sludge that is later pumped out or destroyed by bacteria in your septic tank. However, this water must be discharged from the septic tank in order to make place for further trash. Effluent filters come into play in this situation.

The pores in the filter allow water to pass through while the solid material is effectively caught by the filter.

Neglecting a blocked effluent filter might result in significant and costly consequences.

But, how can you know when your effluent filter needs to be cleaned or whether it should be replaced?

4 Major Signs of a Blocked Effluent Filter Prevented by Effluent Filter Maintenance

While you should always have a professional conduct maintenance on your septic system, there are a few telltale indicators that you may be experiencing problems with a blocked sewage filter that you should be aware of.

There is a large amount of solid waste in your septic tank.

When an effluent filter is clogged for an extended period of time, solid waste accumulates within the septic tank. There is no way for the wastewater contained within the tank to reach the drainfield. Septic tank waste that is higher than typical indicates that it is time to arrange an examination with a professional. Neglecting this problem might result in more significant problems, such as the one we’ll see in our following warning sign. Fortunately, the remedy is straightforward: regular effluent filter maintenance.

You have wastewater backing up into your house.

If your septic tank is properly functioning, you should never have to deal with wastewater in your home. If your effluent filter is not functioning properly, wastewater will not be able to exit the septic tank and enter your drainfield.

The wastewater has nowhere to go but back into your home, which is a yucky situation. Drains making gurgling noises, drainage that is slower than usual, and standing water in your bathtubs or sinks are all indications that it is time to call a professional.

You’re experiencing septic drainfield failure.

Having a drainfield ensures that wastewater is properly evaporated and disposed of. The presence of soggy and stinking ground near your septic tank, on the other hand, indicates that your septic system is failing. It is very possible that a faulty or clogged effluent filter may trigger this tragedy. The expense of restoring a drainfield is substantial – far more than the cost of installing a new filter. However, this is readily preventable by doing routine maintenance on your effluent filter and septic tank system.

Your septic tank monitor is alerting you.

This is a straightforward warning indication. When it comes to effluent filters, some are equipped with an alarm that will notify you when it is time to clean them. It is more than probable that the alarm is located above ground if you have a more recent system. On the other hand, if you have an older system, you may receive a warning from within the tank. The sound emanating from the monitor, if this is the case, will be loud enough for you to hear while passing by the tank. The good news is that your filter should continue to function for several years after installation.

This should be done 3-5 times a year at the very least.

Are Effluent Filters Mandatoryfor Septic Tanks in Florida?

The answer to this question is without a doubt a resounding YES. Effluent filters are mandated by the state of Florida and should only be installed by a qualified specialist in this field. The Florida State Health Department has made it simple for you to get your vaccinations. Visit their website to see a list of filter models that are compliant with Florida State Code requirements. Keep in mind that effluent filters can help you get more life out of your septic tank. They help to keep expenses down while also ensuring that your tank operates properly, and effluent filter maintenance is a simple approach to extend the life of your septic tank and drainfield system.

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Signs of a Clogged Septic Tank Filter or Clogged Graywater Filter

  • Send in your question or comment regarding how to identify and repair blockage in your septic or graywater filter: diagnostic, repair, or both.

InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Septic system filters or septic media filters that have become clogged: There are several types of septic effluent filter systems and graywater filter systems, and this article describes how to diagnose and fix blockage in these systems in order to prevent damage to the septic drainfield or drywell system. Septic effluent absorption fields and leach fields are protected by basic septic filters such as greywater filters, washing machine filters, and filters installed at the effluent outflow of a traditional septic tank.

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Signs of a Clogged Septic Tank Filter or Graywater Filter

Conflicts of interest are not tolerated at InspectAPedia.com. No affiliation exists between us and any sponsors, products, or services mentioned on this website. Filters in sewage systems or septic media filters that have become clogged include the following: It is discussed in this article how to diagnose and repair blockage in various types of septic effluent filter systems and graywater filter systems, which are necessary to prevent damage to the septic drainfield or drywell system. Simple septic filters, such as greywater filters, washing machine filters, and filters installed at the effluent outflow of a standard septic tank, are all intended to protect the septic effluent absorption field or leach field from contamination.

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  • Drainage in the building is sluggish
  • If there is an access port to check the sewage line between the building and the septic tank, open it and flush a toilet to see whether this is the problem. Whether or whether the wastewater flows regularly (i.e., not in a trickle) via the pipe to the wastewater treatment plant
  • The presence of gurgling sounds at the sink or tub of a structure, particularly when the sink or tub is not in use and a neighboring toilet is flushed Thank you to reader Will for bringing this to our attention in January 2017. See DRAINS THAT GURGLING
  • Septic tanks with high effluent levels must be opened at an inspection or servicing port in order to function properly. The effluent level is excessively high, either at or above the level of the baffles, and this should be investigated. See the website for further information. THE LEVELS OF SEWAGE IN SEPTIC TANKS
  • Septic filter that is clogged In order to access the septic tank’s outlet end, which is where the filter is most likely to be located
  • (Some systems may install an add-on filter in a tiny chamber directly downstream from the septic tank, or upstream from a drywell that collects graywater.) Before returning the septic filter to the tank, check it for blockage and clean it if necessary before replacing it. In the event that you notice an unexpected outflow of effluent from the septic tank after you remove the septic filter, it is most likely that the problem was caused by a partially blocked sewage filter. Drainage field is unusually dry. The effluent emitted via the septic filter at the septic tank is abnormally sluggish if the septic filter at the septic tank is clogged
  • This provides respite to the drainfield but is not typical. Look for damp spots surrounding the septic tank if the septic filter is severely blocked. If the septic filter is severely clogged, effluent may be exiting the septic tank underground through one of its service ports or covers. After cleaning the septic filter, if the drainfield gets saturated and looks to be failing (because you’ve suddenly released a big amount of wastewater into the drainfield), additional evaluation of the drainfield condition and its pipes is required. The use of a septic filter monitor, which is available from various effluent filter manufacturers, can assist in determining when it is essential to clean the filter.

. READ ON FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SEPTIC FILTER MAINTENANCE Alternatively, choose a topic from the closely related articles listed below, or browse the entireARTICLE INDEX. Alternatives include Sewage FILTER CLOGGING FAQs, which were previously provided at the bottom of this page and answer questions concerning clogged septic filters. Alternatively, consider the following:

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Signs of Septic System Failure

  • Flooding is occurring in the home as a result of backed up water and sewage from toilets, drains, and sinks Bathtubs, showers, and sinks all drain at a snail’s pace
  • The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. The presence of standing water or moist patches near the septic tank or drainfield
  • Noxious smells emanating from the septic tank or drainfield
  • Even in the midst of a drought, bright green, spongy luxuriant grass should cover the septic tank or drainfield. Algal blooms in the vicinity of ponds or lakes In certain water wells, there are high quantities of nitrates or coliform bacteria.

Septic systems, like the majority of other components of your house, require regular maintenance. As long as it is properly maintained, the septic system should give years of dependable service. If the septic system is not properly maintained, owners face the risk of having a dangerous and expensive failure on their hands. Septic systems, on the other hand, have a limited operating lifespan and will ultimately need to be replaced. Septic systems that have failed or are not working properly pose a threat to human and animal health and can damage the environment.

It is possible that a prompt response will save the property owner money in repair costs, as well as disease and bad influence on the environment in the future.

What happens when a septic system fails?

When a septic system fails, untreated sewage is dumped into the environment and carried to places where it shouldn’t be. This may cause sewage to rise to the surface of the ground around the tank or drainfield, or it may cause sewage to back up in the pipes of the structure. It is also possible that sewage will make its way into groundwater, surface water, or marine water without our knowledge. Pathogens and other potentially harmful substances are carried by the sewage. People and animals can become ill as a result of exposure to certain diseases and pollutants.

See also:  Is My Septic Tank Full When I Can'T Flush Toilet Tissue? (Solution)

What are some common reasons a septic system doesn’t work properly?

The pipe between the home to the tank is obstructed. When this occurs, drains drain very slowly (perhaps much more slowly on lower floors of the structure) or cease draining entirely, depending on the situation. This is frequently a straightforward issue to resolve. The majority of the time, a service provider can “snake the line” and unclog the problem. Keeping your drains clear by flushing only human waste and toilet paper down the drain and having your system examined on an annual basis will help prevent clogs.

  • Plant roots might occasionally obstruct the pipe (particularly on older systems).
  • The inlet baffle to the tank is obstructed.
  • In case you have access to your intake baffle aperture, you may see if there is a blockage by inspecting it.
  • It is essential that you avoid damaging any of the septic system’s components.
  • Avoid clogging your inlet baffle by just flushing human waste and toilet paper, and get your system examined once a year to ensure that it is in good working order.
  • This may result in sewage backing up into the residence or surfacing near the septic tank as a result of the situation.
  • If there is an effluent filter, it has to be cleaned or changed as necessary.

Preventing this sort of problem from occurring is as simple as cleaning your effluent filter (if you have one) and getting your system examined once per year.

It is possible for sewage to back up into the residence when the drainfield collapses or becomes saturated with water.

Additionally, smells may be present around the tank or drainfield.

It is possible that the system was run incorrectly, resulting in an excessive amount of solid material making its way to the drainfield and causing it to fail prematurely.

While it is conceivable that a drainfield will get saturated due to excessive quantities of water (either from enormous volumes of water flowing down the drain or flooding the drainfield), it is not always viable to dry out and restore a drainfield.

A connection to the public sewer system should be explored if the drainfield has failed and it is possible to make the connection.

It will be necessary to replace the existing drainfield if this does not take place. It is possible for a septic system to fail or malfunction for various reasons. Septic professionals should be contacted if your system isn’t functioning correctly.

How can I prevent a failure?

The proper operation of your septic system, together with routine maintenance, can help it last a long and trouble-free life. Assuming that your septic system has been correctly planned, located, and installed, the rest is up to you to take care of. Inspect your system once a year and pump as necessary (usually every 3-5 years). Avoid overusing water, and be mindful of what you flush down the toilet and what you flush down the drain. Learn more about how to properly maintain your septic system.

Can my failing septic system contaminate the water?

Yes, a failed septic system has the potential to pollute well water as well as adjacent water sources. Untreated wastewater is a health problem that has the potential to cause a variety of human ailments. Once this untreated wastewater enters the groundwater, it has the potential to poison your well and the wells of your neighbors. It is possible that oyster beds and recreational swimming sites will be affected if the sewage reaches local streams or water bodies.

Is there financial help for failing systems or repairs?

Yes, there are instances where this is true. Here are a few such alternatives.

  • In addition, Craft3 is a local nonprofit financial organization that provides loans in many counties. Municipal Health Departments- Some local health departments provide low-interest loan and grant programs to qualified applicants. A federal home repair program for people who qualify is offered by the USDA.

More Resources

  • Septic System 101: The Fundamentals of Septic Systems
  • Taking Good Care of Your Septic System
  • A video on how to inspect your septic system yourself
  • Using the Services of a Septic System Professional
  • Safety of the Septic Tank Lid


By Admin on November 12, 2020 Your efforts to live as environmentally conscious as possible, as a responsible homeowner, are likely already underway, with practices such as recycling, composting, and purchasing energy-efficient equipment among your list of accomplishments. As a septic tank owner, you want to be sure that anything you put into your tank and septic field is causing the least amount of ground contamination as is reasonably practicable. Fortunately, there are a number of modest improvements you can do immediately to make your septic system even more ecologically friendly than it already is.

  • Have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.
  • A bigger septic tank with only a couple of people living in your house, for example, will not require pumping as frequently as a smaller septic tank or as a septic tank that must manage the waste products of multiple family members will require.
  • When in doubt about how often to pump your septic tank, consult with a professional for advice.
  • In addition to locating and repairing any damage, a professional can ensure that the septic field is in good working order and that your septic tank is functional, large enough to handle your family’s waste, and not causing any unwanted pollution in nearby ground water.
  • Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet or down the toilet.
  • Items that are not biodegradable are unable to properly decompose in the septic tank and might cause the system to get clogged.
  • In addition to causing issues in your house, septic system backups can damage ground water in the area surrounding your septic field.

Towels made of paper Products for feminine hygiene Grease or fats are used in cooking.

grinds from a cup of coffee Even if you have a trash disposal, the food scraps that you flush down the drain and bring into your septic system may cause unanticipated harm to your plumbing system.

Food scraps can enhance the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, which can disturb the natural bacterial balance of the septic tank, among other things.

Water conservation should be practiced.

Exceedingly large amounts of water use will interfere with the normal flow of wastewater from your home into your septic tank.

Limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, as well as purchasing a smaller dishwasher and washing machine that use less water, are all simple strategies to reduce water use in your home.

The following are some basic steps you can take to make your septic system more ecologically friendly: save water, maintain your septic system and tank, and recycle wastewater. To get answers to any of your septic tank-related issues, get in touch with the experts at Upstate Septic Tank, LLC.

Septic Problem – Effluent filter clogging regularly?

Wow, let’s start with the basics. Consult with a septic contractor to evaluate the tank, particularly the baffles, which may necessitate pumping. If the outlet baffle is fractured or damaged, scum may be able to escape through it. Because you’re already at three years, you won’t be out any money because three years is a suitable interval for a first pumping to ensure that the system is running well. His inspection will reveal whether your scum and sludge levels are out of balance, as well as whether or not anything noticeable is being flushed into the system.

For my part, I’d get this pump and inspection done as soon as possible because you’re running the danger of spilling garbage into the absorption field until you figure out what’s going on.

If the septic contractor does a thorough check and finds nothing, you may begin to suspect things such as poor pitch of the entrance pipe (too much velocity entering the tank) or what is being laundered in the washing machine, among other things (think of suspended clothes lint).

How to Unclog Your Septic Tank

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation In the event that you have slow drains, pooling water in your yard, or foul aromas near your septic system, it is possible that one of the pipes has become clogged. Fortunately, there are several methods for removing blockages from your sewage system that do not require the services of a septic service specialist. To begin, search for any apparent obstructions inside your septic tank and try if you can drive them out with a little force.

Following the removal of the blockage, be sure to properly maintain the septic system in order to keep it clean!

  1. 1 Check the inflow pipe by lifting the access cover of the tank that is nearest to your residence. The plastic or concrete cover in your yard that is closest to your house should be the first place you look. Carefully raise the cover of the tank up and away from the tank so that you can see what’s within. If you notice a white or green pipe at the end of the tank closest to your home, look for anything that could be blocking the pipe’s outlet. If there is, it is possible that the blockage is the source of the problem.
  • Assuming the water level is below the level of the entrance pipe, the blockage might be located in the drain pipe that runs between the septic tank and your residence. If the water level is higher than the inlet but there is nothing blocking the end of the pipe, the clog is most likely in the leach field
  • However, this is not always the case. It may be necessary to dig up the access lid with a shovel or raise it with a pry bar in order to get access.

If you are unable to locate the access lid for your septic system, consult your house’s as-built plans, which are blueprints prepared after your home is constructed, or a septic service if you are unable to locate the access lid for your septic system. 2 If the scum is trapped at the end of the input pipe, use a pole or a stick to push it out of the way. The scum layer is composed of solid waste that accumulates on the surface of the septic tank. Make use of a long, strong piece of wood or metal to slide the scum down or to the side of the entrance pipe as needed.

  • If you are working in your septic tank, you should always wear gloves to prevent bacteria and waste from getting on your hands. If water starts to flow out of the pipe after you’ve pushed the scum out of the way, you’ve successfully eliminated the clog.

Advertisement number three If the blockage is deeper inside the pipe, use the pole or stick to probe the end of the pipe. Insert the end of the stick or pole you’re using as far as it will go into the end of the pipe you’re working with. Make use of the end of your probe to scrape the edges of the pipe and draw any waste from the pipe into the tank.

Even if the clog is at the very end of the pipe, you should be able to dislodge it and get the water flowing once again. If water does not flow out of the pipe, the blockage is likely to be deeper within the pipe itself.

  • Depending on where the pipe is located, you may or may not be able to insert your probe into the pipe.

4 Disinfect any instruments you used by mixing a 5:1 solution of water and bleach together. Stir up 1 part chlorine bleach and 5 parts clean water in a big bucket until the chlorine bleach is completely dissolved. Immerse your tools in the solution and allow them to soak for around 5 minutes to destroy any germs that may have remained on the surface. When you’re finished, drain the liquid back into your septic tank.

  • If at all possible, take a shower or bath as soon as possible after working on your septic tank
  • When you wash your garments, use bleach or laundry sanitizer to ensure that no bacteria is left on them after washing.

5 If you were able to resolve the issue, replace the access lid on the septic tank. Lift the lid and place it over the opening that leads into the septic tank to prevent it from closing. Slowly drop the lid down until it fully covers the hole and does not move around any more. In order to insert a mechanical auger into the clogged pipe if you haven’t already, leave the lid off.

  • Never leave the septic tank door open while you aren’t working on it to prevent anything from falling into the tank.

6 Make use of a reputable service. If your tank was completely filled, you should pump it within 5 days. It is conceivable that your tank will back up again even after you have removed the clog. This is especially true if your main tank is completely full to the entrance line. Inform septic service personnel that the scum level has reached the pipe by contacting them through telephone or email. It is best to schedule them within the following 5 days, otherwise you will increase the likelihood of septic fluid returning up the drainpipes.

  • Having a septic tank pumped typically costs between $75 and $200 USD, depending on the size of the tank and the amount of waste that has to be removed. Every 3–5 years, or whenever the tank becomes full, have your septic tank cleaned and emptied.
  1. In order to get to the inflow line, you must first remove the septic tank access lid that is closest to your residence. Because the intake pipe is more likely to be located on the access lid nearest to your home, if your septic tank has multiple access lids, select the one that is closest to your home. Using your hands, lift or pull the tank’s cover off and set it aside while you continue to work. Locate a white or green pipe that protrudes from the side of the tank that is closest to your house on the interior of the tank.
  • If you are unsure about the location of your tank’s access lids, consult your home’s as-built plans or consult a professional service.
See also:  What If My Septic Tank Smells Even After Treating It?

2 Using a mechanical auger, feed the cutting blade into the end of the obstructed pipe until it is fully engaged. A mechanical auger is comprised of a long metal cable that is inserted into your pipes and equipped with a revolving bit that cuts through the obstruction. Begin at the end of the blocked pipe or at an access point for the pipe, such as a cleanout port, to unclog the blockage. Placing the cutting blade of the auger inside the obstructed pipe and pushing the line in around 1–2 feet (30–61 cm) can clear the obstruction.

  • It is possible to purchase a mechanical auger either online or from a local hardware shop. Investigate whether your local hardware shop provides equipment rentals to see if you can borrow an auger for the day without having to pay the whole price

3 Before you turn on the auger, make sure you have on your safety glasses and work gloves. Because mechanical augers feature spinning and moving elements, it is important to wear eye protection to avoid injuring yourself if you lose control of the machine while working. Wearing heavy-duty work gloves can help you prevent spreading germs and being harmed when handling the line. Ensure that the auger is plugged into an electrical outlet and that the switch is in either the On or Forward position.

  • It’s possible that you’ll require an extension cord to connect the mechanical auger. You should never use the auger without wearing gloves or wearing safety eyewear since you might suffer a serious injury. Because the auger would spin violently if you start it with the cutting end outside of the pipe, you should never do so.

4 Continue to feed the auger farther into the pipe, allowing it to break apart the blockage as it goes. Holding the auger’s line with both hands, guide it into the pipe until you encounter resistance if necessary. Try rotating the line in your hands to see how far it will travel within the pipe if the resistance feels substantial.

It is possible that it has encountered a curve in the pipe. To drive the obstruction apart if this is not possible, use short, back and forth strokes to push and pull the auger. Continue to force the auger into the obstructed portion of pipe until it is able to pass smoothly through it.

  • If you successfully clear the clog, water will begin to flow through the pipe again while you are still inside it with the auger. Mechanical augers are available in a variety of lengths, so if the one you’re currently using isn’t long enough to reach the blockage, consider renting the next largest size.

Tip: Always keep at least one hand on the auger’s line while it’s operating to ensure that it doesn’t spin or twist while you’re trying to feed it. 5 Before removing the auger from the pipe, be sure it is turned off. Make sure that the auger’s power switch is in the Off or Reverse position so that you can easily remove it from the ground. With both hands, gently guide the auger’s line back into the container, then slowly bring it back through the pipe to the other end. Using a hose or paper towel, carefully remove the auger’s end from the pipe and clear off any dirt or trash that has become lodged on the end of the auger’s end.

  • It is not advisable to remove the auger from the pipe while it is still operating since it might cause injury. Remember not to touch the auger’s line with your bare hands because it has just passed through a pipe that contains garbage and potentially deadly bacteria.

6 The tools should be cleaned with a solution made up of 5 parts water and 1 part bleach. Stir the solution together by pouring 1 part chlorine bleach and 5 parts clean water into a bucket and mixing thoroughly. Clean the end of the auger with a cleaning rag to eliminate any germs that may have remained on the surface and avoid contaminating other parts of the machine. When you’re finished, drain the solution into your septic tank.

  • Don’t flush the cleaning solution down the toilet since it contains bacteria from your septic tank that are dangerous.

7Remove the septic tank’s cover and replace it. Lift the lid off the ground by grabbing it by the handles or the sides of the container. Lift and carefully drop the lid back onto the opening going into your sewage treatment system until it is completely enclosed. Make sure the lid does not slip or shift in any way, or otherwise it may break loose and fall off the septic tank. Advertisement

  1. 7Remove the septic tank’s cover and close it. Lid should be lifted off the ground by the handles or sides of its rim. Lift and carefully drop the lid back onto the hole going into your sewage treatment system until it is completely covered. (See Figure 1). Take care to ensure that the septic tank lid does not slip or shift, since this might cause it to fall off easily. Advertisement
  • Using strong chemical cleansers down your drain is not recommended due to the possibility that they can destroy the natural bacteria in your septic tank that is responsible for decomposition of solid waste. You should never pour cooking oil down the drain because it might harden in the pipes and cause blockages that are difficult to clear.

Use caution when flushing any strong chemical cleansers down your drains since they may destroy the natural bacteria in your septic tank that is responsible for decomposition of solid wastes. You should never pour cooking oil down the drain because it might harden in the pipes and cause blockages that are difficult to remove; and

  • Use caution when flushing any strong chemical cleansers down your drains since they may destroy the natural bacteria in your septic tank that is responsible for decomposition of solid waste. Never flush oil down the drain because it might congeal in the pipes and cause blockages that are difficult to remove

3 Avoid driving or planting over the area where your septic tank is located. Heavy weight can cause pipes going from your septic tank to collapse or break, so if at all possible, avoid driving over the region in a vehicle as much as possible. Plant roots can also grow into the pipes or septic tank, causing them to clog more quickly than they otherwise would. In order to prevent roots from growing within your septic system, you should put trees or plants at least 20–30 feet (6.1–9.1 meters) away from your sewage system.

  • Even if you use a mechanical auger to remove the roots out of your pipes, the roots will come back if the problem is not addressed. Root barriers purchased from gardening supply stores destroy roots on touch and can help to prevent overgrowth in your septic system. To protect your septic system from pipes, dig a trench around it that is 2 feet (61 cm) deep and 3 feet (91 cm) away from them. Make sure that you place the root barrier in the trench vertically before you fill the trench back up with earth.

4 Improve drainage by cleaning the effluent filter located on the outflow pipe. The effluent filter is a plastic cylinder that is installed in the exit line of your septic tank to prevent solid waste from escaping. Make sure the tank closest to your home has an access cover that can be opened. Look for a vertical white or green pipe that holds the filter and protrudes through the top layer of scum on the interior of the filter. Remove the filter from the vertical pipe by pulling it straight out and rinsing the waste back into the tank using a hose.

  • Not every septic system will be equipped with an effluent filter
  • However, most will. Check your filter every time you have your tank pumped or examined to ensure that it does not become clogged.

5. Have a professional inspection of your septic tank performed once every three years. Septic tanks typically take 3–5 years to fill, however this might vary based on the size of the tank and the quantity of water it receives.

Consult with a professional provider to have the water levels and pipes for your system checked to determine if any adjustments are necessary. If the provider has any issues, you should solve them as quickly as possible to avoid having a malfunctioning septic system later on. Advertisement

Create a new question

  • Question What is the location of your septic tank? David Balkan is a writer who lives in New York City. A professional plumber and the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main David Balkan is a licensed professional plumber who also serves as the CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service and the President of Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning, among other positions. With over 40 years of experience as an active owner of these businesses, David is well-versed in the challenges that arise with water service lines, sewers, and drain lines. David has served on the Executive Committee of the Sub Surface Plumbers Association of New York for more than 30 years and is now the Chairman of the Master Plumbers Council’s Committee on Plumbing. As a result of his expertise and solution-oriented approach, Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service has grown to become the biggest and most trusted sewer and water main service in New York City, and the recipient of the 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award. Answer from a Professional PlumberCEO of Balkan SewerWater MainExpert Because they have to be pumped out on a regular basis, they usually have clean outs that are visible to the public. The quickest and most straightforward method is to discover your major house trap or clean out. Typically, the first tank would be 15 feet or somewhat more away from the outer wall of your home because it is frequently the very minimum distance that is needed by building codes. Once you’ve identified your primary cleaner or trap, you may utilize the instruments that experts employ. Their electronic pipe tracing equipment may be inserted into your main sewer line, allowing them to find and locate where the tanks are located. Question Is it harmful to my septic tank to use too much Rid X at one time? Using excessive amounts of Rid X will have no negative consequences. Question Is it possible that heavy rains or storms might cause difficulties for my septic system? Daniel and Robin KirbyAnswer from the Community Identifying a concave indention over your field lines or over your septic tank is important if you’re experiencing troubles every time it pours rain. Because of this, water can accumulate directly on top of your field lines, resulting in an overflowing sewer system. To correct it, just fill up the sunken sections with concrete. A short hill in the middle, sloping down to normal grade on both sides of the field line for approximately two feet, may correct this
  • Nevertheless, Question Is there a natural enzyme, such as dry yeast, that may be utilized instead of paying for expensive enzyme treatments or having a septic system that has only been used by one person pumped out? The man that came to service our septic system had a lot of expertise. He informed me that we could save money by simply adding a package of standard yeast to the mix once or twice a month, rather of buying special yeast. I buy the store brand (which costs 79 cents a packet) and flush a couple of packets every month down the bathroom sink. That is all there is to it. Question What is the best product to use in the toilet to protect my septic system from damage? Daniel as well as Robin Kirby Community Answer Although there is enough of food for your bacteria in a septic tank, it dies due to a lack of oxygen, therefore if you add additional bacteria, they will die practically as soon as they are flushed out with the wastewater. A treatment plant, where oxygen is fed into the tank, may increase the number of bacteria from the millions that exist in a septic tank to billions when both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria can grow! Having said that, treatment plants should be drained out more frequently than septic tanks, according to industry standards. Question In the case of a septic system, what can I use to unclog a clogged sink drain? For myself, I prefer to use a plastic drain snake. It is a plastic ribbon with little barbs that grip anything is obstructing your drain and pulls it out of the way (usually hair). While they are inexpensive and quite effective, they are also a bit dirty
  • Question When my septic tank becomes clogged with oil and hair bleaching chemicals, what should I do to clear it out? No oil or grease should be flushed down the toilet or into the septic system. Put it in a grease can and toss it out of the window. As far as bleach is concerned, it destroys the microorganisms that your septic system requires in order to function properly. You might wish to look into septic-safe items
  • They are available.

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  • Unless you are skilled in septic tank unclogging or there is significant damage to the pipes, you should hire a septic specialist to conduct the necessary repairs for you to guarantee that everything is in compliance with the law. When working on your septic tank, always use protective eyewear and disposable gloves to prevent contamination.


Things You’ll Need

  • Hose
  • Paper towel
  • Mechanical auger
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves

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