Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
How do you clean a septic tank?
- It is safe for septic systems and is one of the best cleaners to use for those who are concerned about septic tank care. Just sprinkle baking soda onto counter tops, in sinks, onto the toilet bowl or anywhere else that needs cleaning. Scrub with a sponge or brush and wipe or rinse away with water.
What is the best thing to put in your septic tank?
Biological Additives. Biological additives, like bacteria and extracellular enzymes, are the only acceptable septic tank treatment for promoting a healthy, natural bacterial ecosystem, maintaining an effective drain field, and protecting the health of the local groundwater.
How do you prevent septic tank problems?
6 Easy Ways to Prevent Septic Tank Problems
- Stop using anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners.
- Don’t use septic tank chemicals or additives.
- Take two to four minute showers instead of baths.
- Have your septic tank pumped regularly every two to three years.
- Stop using a garbage disposal.
What are 3 specific things you can do to protect your septic system?
Maintain Your Drainfield
- Parking: Never park or drive on your drainfield.
- Planting: Plant trees the appropriate distance from your drainfield to keep roots from growing into your septic system.
- Placing: Keep roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainwater drainage systems away from your drainfield area.
Should you cover your septic tank?
You should cover your tank up with something that can be easily moved when you need to move it. Animals Need to Stay Away from Your Septic Tank System: Keep animals away from your septic system. It is not a good idea to grow a vegetable garden to cover up your septic tank pumping system though.
What can break down poop in septic tank?
Yeast helps actively breaks down waste solids when added to your septic system. Flush ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet, the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, after the initial addition.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
Can heavy rain cause septic problems?
It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
Can septic tanks crack?
Septic tanks are usually well-constructed from reinforced concrete or fiberglass, but over years of exposure to shifting ground conditions throughout seasons of freezing and thawing, or even settling in the sandy soil in the warmer climates, cracks can occur.
Can I use bleach if I have a septic tank?
You might consider bleach to be a great cleaner to use for your septic system. Unfortunately, that mindset is a dangerous one to have because it’s usually recommended to avoid using bleach in your septic system. The chemicals within bleach can kill the bacteria that your septic tank relies on.
How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?
For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.
How do I increase bacteria in my septic tank?
Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.
How can I cover my septic tank lid?
Some septic tanks or lids are exposed at ground surface, which can be an eyesore. You can use almost any temporary, movable objects to cover your lids, like:
- Mulch (but not landscaping)
- Pea gravel.
- Removable bricks.
- Removable pavers.
- Removable stepping stones.
- Removable flagstone.
- River rock.
Can you put mulch over septic tank?
Gardens. Landscape fabric, plastic, bark, or mulch should not be used over your septic system. These materials reduce air exchange while bark and mulch also retain excess moisture. Adding more than a few inches of soil over the drainfield, such as for raised beds, limits air exchange and can lead to compaction.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Make frequent inspections and pumps; save water; dispose of waste in a proper manner; and keep your drainfield in good condition.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Cooking grease or oil; nonflushable wipes, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes; photographic solutions; feminine hygiene products; and other substances. Condoms; Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners;
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
7 Tips to Take Care of Your Septic System
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Maintaining a home’s septic system may seem like a daunting and stinky task, but it’s really not. Being mindful of what you’re doing inside the home will keep the system healthy.
Preventing and treating problems with your septic system is not difficult and does not have to be expensive. Failure to maintain your septic system, on the other hand, might result in significant financial loss, since digging up and rebuilding a septic system can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What Is a Septic System?
Because it handles all of the wastewater that comes from your home, including the water from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, if your home is not connected to a municipal water and sewer system, your septic system is essential. Septic systems are generally comprised of a tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and the particles are separated from the liquid. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be recycled. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field, which collects the effluent.
Get Familiar With Your Septic System
Understanding how your septic tank works, what sort of system it is, and where it is placed are all important first steps in proper maintenance. The county or town should keep a record of the permit, as well as a chart showing the tank’s layout and placement, because state rules demand a permit for septic system installation. Visual clues, such as sewage covers, or the direction in which the sewer pipe, which is located in the basement, runs out of the home, may be able to assist you in your search.
Have It Pumped Routinely
Every three to five years, the ordinary residential septic system should be pumped (that is, the sediments should be removed). According on the size of the tank, the typical price of pumping a residential septic tank is between $300 and $600. When you contact a septic service company, they will also inspect your septic tank for leaks and evaluate the sludge layers in your tank for any problems.
Remember to save a copy of any maintenance paperwork pertaining to work performed on your septic tank. They will come in helpful if there are any difficulties with the house or if you decide to sell it.
Spread Your Washing Machine/Dishwasher Usage Throughout the Week
You may believe that scheduling a “laundry day,” during which you wash all of your clothing and possibly even run your dishwasher, would save you time. However, it puts a great deal of strain on your septic system. If you don’t allow your septic system enough time to process the wastewater, you risk overloading the system and flooding your drainfield with wastewater. Replace this with doing a full load of laundry (to ensure that you are not wasting water) a couple of times a week.
Don’t Treat Your Toilet Like a Trash Can
The only item that should be flushed down the toilet that does not come out of your body is toilet paper. Everything else should be discarded. This implies that there will be no tissues, diapers, feminine items, hair, dental floss, or anything else. Toilet paper is supposed to decompose in the septic tank after it has been used. Any additional materials are not permitted; they will clog and cause harm to your septic tank. Make sure you use toilet paper that is safe for use with your septic system.
Think About What You Dump Down the Kitchen Sink Drain
Aside from toilet paper, the only item that should be flushed down the toilet that does not come out of your body is human waste. Tissues, diapers, feminine products, hair, dental floss, and other personal items are prohibited. In order to break down in the septic tank, toilet paper is intended to do so. Otherwise, they will block your septic system, causing it to overflow and overflow again. Make sure you use toilet paper that is suitable for use with your septic system. It is possible that some of the luxurious, pricey products with lotions and additional plys could clog your system or introduce harmful substances.
Be Careful With Cleaning Chemicals
Cleaning agents that homeowners use can be harmful to the beneficial microorganisms in their septic systems. When washing textiles, avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach. If you absolutely must, use only a little quantity of the product. Use of drain cleaners is discouraged since, in addition to destroying beneficial bacteria, they can cause harm to the tank itself. Alternatively, if a plunger does not work, a toilet drain snake, which is also effective on clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks, may be used.
Quaternary ammonia is also present in antibacterial soaps and disinfectants, which should be avoided.
Protect Your Drainfield
As previously said, proper management of your drainfield begins with careful monitoring of water consumption and the materials that enter your septic system. Never drive or park a vehicle on top of your drainage system.
Make certain that gutters and sump pumps discharge water far enough away from the drainfield to prevent flooding. Avoid growing trees and bushes in close proximity to the drainfield since the roots of these plants might interfere with the pipes.
SEPTIC-TANK DRAIN FIELDS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PROTECTING THEM FROM HARM
As previously said, proper management of your drainfield begins with careful monitoring of your water consumption and the materials that enter your septic tank. Drive or park cars over your drainfield at all times! Make certain that gutters and sump pumps discharge water far enough away from the drainfield to avoid flooding the area. Trees and bushes should not be planted too close to drainfields since the roots of these plants might clog the pipes.
Don’t let your septic system freeze
As winter approaches, it’s possible that Jack Frost may be nibbling at the bottom of your septic system. “Freezing temperatures may cause difficulties for septic systems,” says Dan Olson, a communications expert with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “Frozen temperatures can cause problems for septic systems.” Every season, it’s vital to think about your septic system and to follow particular guidelines, but maintenance is especially critical during the winter months.” The following suggestions will assist you in keeping your septic system warm and happy this winter, as well as avoiding the expenditures and hassles associated with septic system components that freeze.
- To offer additional insulation, spread a layer of mulch 8 to 12 inches deep over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment system. This might be straw, leaves, hay, or any other loose material that will remain in place and not compact. When installing new systems late in the year, it is especially vital to ensure there is sufficient vegetative cover to prevent weeds from growing in. However, if the system is currently frozen, do not add mulch at this time
- Doing so will cause the thawing to be delayed until the following spring. If you’re concerned that your system is starting to freeze, fill a container with water—the warmer the better. Spread up your laundry routine so that you only have to do one warm/hot load each day if possible. Take hot showers and put the dishes in the dishwasher. It is not recommended to leave water flowing all of the time since this will overburden the septic system. Are you going to be away for a lengthy amount of time? Have someone use warm water in the house on a regular basis, or have your tank pumped out before you leave. If you have any leaking plumbing fixtures or appliances in your house, you should fix them right away. This will aid in the prevention of freezing problems and the overall performance of your system throughout the year. Keep all car, animal, and human traffic off the highways and bridges. This is a regulation that should be followed throughout the year since compacted snow and soils cause frost to penetrate deeper and more quickly. Pay particular attention to the space between the home and the tank, and keep a watch on your system’s performance. Immediately call an onsite specialist to assist in determining the source and treatment for any seeping or ponding that may develop. Increase the amount of insulation in your system. There are several options for doing so, including replacing pipes with insulated pipes, installing expanded foam panels over septic tanks, and increasing soil cover.
If your system freezes
If your septic system freezes, you should contact a septic system specialist. The MPCA website contains a search engine that may be used to locate certified professionals in your region. For thawing pipelines, professionals use machines such as steamers and high-pressure jetters, which are referred to as jetters. Other ways used to address a freezing problem include installing heat tape and tank heaters. It is possible to send cameras down pipes to discover where the freezing is occurring. Attempting to defrost the pipes leading to the soil treatment area should be avoided if the soil treatment system is full of ice or there is evidence of leakage.
As soon as it becomes impossible to remedy a problem, the only choice is to use the septic tank as a holding tank until the system is able to defrost naturally.
Water use should be reduced in this case by minimizing the number of toilet flushes, having brief showers, and running the dishwasher at its maximum capacity.
For more information
For information on maintaining your system healthy all year, see ourinformation for homeowners page. The date is Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
How to prevent septic tank problems?
Fabian Belin published an article on April 7th, 2015.
Things to know
- In the United Kingdom, the homeowner is responsible for the upkeep of septic systems. By keeping your septic system in good working order, you are immediately protecting your home’s investment. Inspections of septic tanks: You should have your septic system examined and flushed at least once every two to three years
- Otherwise, it might cause problems. Septic systems cannot offer long-term and efficient treatment of home wastewater even when properly designed, installed, and maintained
- If you don’t keep up with the maintenance on your septic tank, you’ll have to replace it. A faulty septic system has the potential to pollute groundwater. This groundwater might potentially serve as a supply of drinking water. Even if your septic system is in good functioning order, it is not adequate when it comes to selling your property. It is possible that you may need to replace it with a sewage treatment facility.
Protect your septic system!
- Maintain your septic tank by having it examined every 2 to 3 years and pumping it as needed
- Make effective use of water by filling the bathtub only with the amount of water you require, not more. While shaving or brushing your teeth, turn off the faucets. Make certain that the dishwasher and clothes washer are only used when they are completely loaded. Only sewage should be flushed down the toilet. When not in use, turn off all of the faucets. Repair and maintain your plumbing, and replace outdated toilets, dishwashers, and laundry washers with high-efficiency contemporary versions to prevent leaks from occurring. Make sure that you do not flush any dangerous garbage down the toilet. Maintaining a septic tank involves avoiding driving on your septic tank and parking vehicles on top of septic tanks, among other things. This can cause soil compaction and damage to below-ground pipelines, tanks, and other septic system components
- However, it is not recommended. Plant only grass over them and around your septic system to keep them out of the way. In the event that you have a drain field, grow only grass over and around your septic system to keep it protected. It is possible for tree roots to obstruct and harm drain fields. Roof drains, as well as any other rainwater and surface water drainage systems, should always be kept away from the septic tank. It is possible that flooding the drain field with excessive water can cause treatment operations to be slowed or stopped, resulting in plumbing fittings being clogged. Keep the following objects from going into the toilet: cat litter, cigarette filters, diapers, coffee grounds, grease (use a grease trap), feminine hygiene products, and any other sanitary materials.
- Killers of septic tank microorganisms include household chemicals, but also gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, paint, and other substances that can have an impact on septic tank function.
How to Protect Your Septic System and Plumbing
The state of your septic system has an impact on the value of your property as well as the value of nearby homes. If the system isn’t functioning correctly, it has the potential to pollute groundwater, with the pollution spreading for kilometers around. If your septic system isn’t working properly, it might even prohibit you from selling your house. Continue to maintain your system up and running by paying attention to what you put into the pipes, saving water, and keeping vegetation away from the storage tank, pipes, and leach field.
Septic System Operation
A septic system is comprised of four components: the plumbing waste pipes, the tank, the drain pipes, and the soil surrounding the system. Solids settle out of effluents entering the tank and sink to the bottom, while polluted water overflows into the leach field when everything is operating properly. As the water percolates through the soil, hazardous organisms are removed by the soil, and by the time the water mixes with the groundwater, it has been thoroughly cleaned.
If the pipes are clogged, the tank is overflowing, or the leach field is flooded or contains the incorrect type of soil, the system will not function.
Keep the System Clean
Those particles that do not degrade in your waste pipes wind up to the bottom of your tank, where they might overflow and cause the leach field to flood, causing the system to cease operating. Coffee grounds, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, and cat litter are examples of goods that should be disposed of in the garbage rather than down the drain. Furthermore, many common home chemicals, such as gasoline, paint and paint thinner, bleach, and pesticides, can kill the organisms in the tank that breakdown waste matter, resulting in a septic tank overflow.
In order for a septic system to function properly, it must have adequate drainage. Pouring too much water through the system might cause flooding in the leach field. Low-flush toilets, which have become standard practice in most communities, are especially useful if your home is equipped with a septic system, as they conserve water. Toilet leaks should be repaired as soon as possible since a typical leak pumps hundreds of gallons of water through the system each month. Many homeowners with septic systems install gray-water irrigation systems for their lawns or gardens so that water from showers, sinks, and clothes washing doesn’t have to pass through the septic tank as it would otherwise.
Other Protective Measures
Your septic tank is full when the amount of solid matter in the tank comes within 12 inches of the outlet tee; however, you should pump the tank before it reaches that point to avoid backups in the future. The Environmental Protection Agency recommended that a septic tank be pumped every three to five years, depending on its size. It is critical that trees are not planted in the leach field or in the area surrounding the tank. Their roots have the potential to grow into tanks and pipelines, causing clogs that are difficult and expensive to remove.
This has the potential to compress the soil and impair drainage.
Protecting Your Septic System From Flooding
Septic waste can back up into your home during floods, and there are precautions you can do to minimize the risk of this happening. Photograph courtesy of George Hurd of Penn State Extension A buildup of water in your septic system’s drainfield might lead it to overload, which can cause the treatment of your wastewater to slow down or stop completely. If this occurs, you face the risk of septic waste backing up into your home, which is particularly dangerous if your drainfield becomes plugged.
- There are measures that you may take now to assist secure your system before this occurs, if you choose.
- Rainwater collected on rooftops and driveways should be channeled away from the septic tank and drainfield for disposal.
- To encourage rainwater to flow off of your system rather than onto it, the soil above your system should be somewhat mounding up.
- Have your septic system inspected at least once a year.
- The sludge and scum levels in the tank should be examined on a regular basis, and the drainfield should be monitored for smells, damp areas, and surface sewage on a regular basis.
- This is an extremely crucial stage in the ongoing maintenance process.
It is recommended that you have a licensed plumber install a backflow preventer on the building sewer if you live in an area that is susceptible to flooding, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency factsheet, “What To Do With Your Septic System During A Flood.” If you live in a flood-prone area, you should have a backflow preventer installed on the building sewer so that sewage does not backup into your home during a flood.
Because there is some worry that a basic check valve may fail to close correctly, sewage may back up into the residence, it is advised that a backflow preventer be installed.
Additional information on managing your septic system during a flood can be found in the U.S.
- The National Environmental Services Center may be reached at 800-624-8301, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection can be found by searching for “Onlot Disposal System.”
How to Prevent a Septic System from Freezing
When water freezes on ponds, rivers, and puddles, as well as in the ground, it is called “freezing.” The frost line is determined by the location of your home, and it indicates how deep the water will freeze in the ground. It has been reported that the frost line can vary from 100 inches deep in northern Minnesota (or permafrost in Alaska) to none at all in sunny southern Florida, according to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The bulk of the country’s frost line is between 20 and 50 inches deep, depending on the region.
Data is used to assess the depth of water and sewer lines in order to keep them from freezing during the winter months.
Septic lines that are situated too near to the surface are at danger of freezing; the absence of snow, which works as an insulator, can reduce the temperature of the soil; and occasional usage and a lack of water running through the pipes can lead them to freeze more quickly than they should.
How to Know if Your Septic System is Frozen
Having a frozen septic system is not something that happens all of the time, but there are signs and symptoms that should raise the alert. The first sign of a problem is that the drains cease to function. Toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines will not flush, and they will not drain. Occasionally, sewage can back up into your home, which is really unpleasant.
What to Do When Your Septic System is Frozen
Having a frozen septic system is not something that happens all of the time, but there are signs and symptoms that should cause concern. The first sign of a problem is that the drains cease to function properly. Sinks, baths, and washing machines are not draining properly, and neither are the toilets. Septic tank waste may back up into your home in severe circumstances.
Thaw via the drain
You may even try to thaw them out on your own if you’re feeling adventurous. In some cases, pouring hot water down drains can assist in melting a partially ice-bound drain. There are commercial items on the market that promise to unfreeze frozen drains and pipes. Nonetheless, they frequently include caustic compounds such as sulfuric acid, which can cause damage to the piping system as well as penetrate and potentially contaminate groundwater sources. As a result, it’s probably a good idea to avoid being around them.
When frozen lines are accessible, such as in the basement, you can try pouring hot water over the frozen parts of pipe to defrost them.
A space heater powered by electricity may also be used to raise the temperature in the room.
A heat gun can also be used to defrost cast iron sewage lines; however, this procedure is not suggested for PVC pipes.
Using heat tape is another alternative that is practical, however it is not recommended in situations where there is standing water in the basement due to the potential electrical threat that it offers.
Use a hot water bib
To clear ice from the feeder or outlet pipe (whichever is blocked), connect a hose to your home’s hot water faucet and insert it until it hits ice. If you don’t have access to an outdoor hot water faucet, a garden hose fitted with a spray nozzle will suffice; otherwise, dig up the septic tank and remove the cover. Then turn on the hot water, which will begin to melt the ice immediately.
Use a steam machine
There are additional steam devices available, which are occasionally used by specialists to melt frozen pipes. One of them, named the Arctic Blaster, is made up of a steel water tank that is connected to a heavy-duty hose via a heavy-duty hose. Using a propane torch, heat the tank until the water begins to boil, then thread the hose into the frozen pipe, gently melting the ice with steam as it passes through the pipe. It is true that they are not inexpensive, but the good news is that your local rental center may have one available that you can borrow for the day.
How to Prevent a Septic System from Freezing
In order to maintain your septic system running well, you may take certain preventative actions.
Inspect the septic lines
If you are building a new house or installing a new septic tank, be sure that the tank, as well as the septic lines leading from the house to the tank and from the tank to the leach field, are buried deep below the frost line. Pipes and tanks should be coated with some sort of insulation before being buried; stiff foam insulation, typically two to four inches thick, is recommended. Avoid compacting the earth above the lines and the tank, since compacted soil freezes more quickly.
If your system is already in place, you may insulate the soil above it by adding a layer of soil insulation. Stop mowing in the tank area in September and allow the grass to grow longer, which will assist to insulate the soil and keep it cooler. It will help keep the soil warmer throughout the winter if you put up layers of mulch, hay, or leaves over the septic area that are at least 8 inches deep. A tarp placed over the insulating plants will help to keep it dry and less likely to freeze in the winter.
Check for plumbing leaks
An active system adds warm water to the tank on a continuous basis, lowering the likelihood that it would freeze. Small quantities of water that trickle into the pipes, on the other hand, are more prone to freeze, therefore inspect all plumbing fittings and get anyleaky faucets repaired asap. Remember to cut off the water and empty any toilets, faucets, and other fixtures if the system is part of a seasonal residence or cabin. It’s also a good idea to get your septic tank drained out to remove any liquid that might freeze while you’re away from home.
Preventing Septic Issues During the Winter
While you are huddled inside your house, trying to remain warm during the severe winter months, your septic system may be struggling to keep up with the extreme cold. Septic systems are built to withstand extreme temperatures, but if they are not properly maintained and protected, they may be damaged by freezing temperatures. Septic problems can be avoided throughout the cold months if your system is properly protected.
Here are some precautions you can take to keep your system protected throughout the winter months, as well as what to do if you experience problems as a result of cold temperatures or freezing temperatures.
How to Protect Your Septic System During the Winter
There is always the potential that your septic system will freeze if the temps drop below the freezing point. The pipes that run from your home to your septic tank, in particular, are particularly vulnerable to freezing. It is also possible for the tank, drainfield, and pipelines leading to the drainfield to freeze.
Winterize Your Plumbing Pipes
If you do not intend to remain in your home during the winter, it is advisable to winterize your pipes in order to prevent them from freezing and break throughout the season. Emptying the water heater and draining all of the water from the pipes constitutes this procedure. It is common practice for some homeowners to add antifreeze to their systems; however, doing so is not suggested for those who have a septic system since it will harm the microorganisms in the tank.
Avoid Compacted Snow
If you do not intend to remain in your home during the winter, it is advisable to winterize your pipes in order to prevent them from freezing and break. Emptying the water heater and draining all of the water from the pipes constitutes this step. It is common practice for some homeowners to add antifreeze to their systems; however, doing so is not suggested when using a septic system since it would adversely effect the microorganisms in the tank.
In the event that there isn’t enough snow to offer adequate insulation for your system, you may have to add additional insulation yourself. Straw, leaves, mulch, or hay can be used to add additional insulation to your home. The addition of insulation materials to external pipes is possible; nevertheless, it is recommended that a skilled expert perform this task. You might end up with loosened pipes or damage to your plumbing system if you do this yourself. Expert plumbers, such asour team at Peak Sewer, are devoted to establishing preventative steps to avert complications in the future.
Contact us for more information.
Fix Leaky Faucetsand Toilets
However, while it is generally advised that you let a trickle stream of water to run from your taps to prevent freezing, allowing leaks to continue in your house can result in problems with your septic system as well. As a result of these leaks, water will be able to enter the septic system, making it difficult for bacteria to replenish themselves in the septic tank. If there aren’t enough bacteria in the tank to break down waste, heat output will reduce, which might result in the tank being frozen.
How to Solve Septic System Problems in the Winter
We’d love to tell you that you can cure septic problems on your own throughout the winter, but the fact is that you should hire a professional to handle these difficulties for you instead. Make sure to avoid making the following blunders if you decide to take care of the situation yourself:
- Antifreeze and salt should not be used in the cooling system. As previously stated, this has the potential to severely impact the natural microorganisms in your septic tank. Fire should never be used to defrost the system
- This is just something we want to point out since someone somewhere has attempted it. It is not necessary to run water continuously to defrost the system. The fact is that, while this may be an effective preventative approach in certain circumstances, it will not solve the problem. Please do not flush hot water down the drain. A total blockage may result in the rupture of your pipes
- However, this is not always the case.
Do not flush your system with antifreeze or salt. The natural bacteria in your septic tank, as previously stated, might be adversely affected by this practice. Never attempt to defrost the system with fire – we only mention this because someone, somewhere has attempted it; The system should not be thawed by running water continuously. In certain circumstances, this may be an excellent preventative approach; nonetheless, it will not solve the problem. Pouring hot water down the drain is not recommended.
It is possible that your pipes will explode if there is a total blockage.
Call the Experts!
Technicians that are well-trained and educated have the equipment and abilities necessary to thaw frozen septic pipes and re-open your system. Professionals are the most qualified to assess the symptoms of your septic system and determine the root cause of the problem. They can discover the source of the freezing with the help of specific gear such as cameras, and they can assess what sort of repairs are necessary. Using heat tape and tank heaters, plumbers can assist your system maintain a consistent temperature even if it is not completely frozen.
Whatever the problem, the root cause of the freezing must be identified and corrected in order to avoid refreezing in the future.
Most importantly, you should not leave the health of your septic system to chance during the winter months.
If you’re ready to prepare your septic system for winter, or if you need assistance with a septic system problem, please contact us right now!
Best Practices for Taking Care of Your Drain Field
Do you handle your septic system as if it were one of the most valuable items in your household? For the simple reason that it is! Making the choice to better safeguard your septic system is a crucial first step in ensuring that your system is properly maintained. The next critical step is determining the exact location of your septic tank and drain field. Many people believe that the tank and drain field are placed in a large open area in their backyard, but this is not always true. In fact, if you make educated guesses about the position of your tank and drain field, you may end up overwatering the wrong parts of your grass.
It is possible that septic waste will begin to flow up through your moist soil.
The most effective method of locating your septic system is to contact your local health department office.
You’ll be able to determine the precise placement of your tank from there, and you’ll be more aware of its location when it comes to keeping your grass.
Protect Your Drain Field
The placement of heavy things on drain fields is a common occurrence even among persons who are aware of the exact position of their drain field. This is frequently due to the fact that they are unaware of the need of maintaining an unobstructed drain field.
Your system has perforated pipes that are important to the proper operation of your septic system, and putting anything on top of your drain field will limit air flow and cause your system to malfunction. In a similar vein, large things can induce cracks in the pipes.
You should avoid placing any of the following objects on your drain field, foranyperiod of time:
- Vehicles, buildings (of any size), ponds, pools, hay piles, and pavers/cement are all examples of construction projects.
Véhicules, buildings (of any size), ponds, swimming pools, hay stacks, pavement/cement, and other structures
Take good care of your septic system and it will take care of you!
Drain fields aren’t particularly attractive. but they can be. In fact, it’s a fantastic idea to grow grass or even flowers on top of your drain field area to make it more visually appealing. Grass is an excellent soil conditioner, absorbing water and minerals from the soil and preventing erosion! It is possible to use landscaping rock instead of grass or flowers if you do not want to plant anything at all. Placing anything over your drain field can assist to reduce the amount of moisture in the drain field.
Roots may quickly crawl deep into your septic system and clog the pipes!
Add a Second Drain Field
It may be necessary to consider the installation of a second drain field if your septic system and drain field are often used. As a result, you will be able to raise your water and septic consumption when things become congested, whether it is due to family members arriving for the holidays or close friends living in your home for an extended length of time. If your drain field has not yet failed but your sink, toilet, and bathtub are beginning to drain slowly, this might be a clue that you need to install a second drain field.
Drain Your Pool or Hot Tub Away From Drain Field
Do you have a swimming pool or a hot tub? If that’s the case, where do you plan on dumping all of that water? It is critical that you stay away from your drain field at all times. There is a limit to how much water your drain field pipes can take before they become overburdened and cause the earth to become oversaturated. It is not true that the additional water will result in a lush, green grass. It may appear to be greener for a short period of time, but eventually effluent will begin to surface.
Direct Your Drain Spouts Away from Your Drain Field
Whenever and whenever feasible, you want to avoid filling your drain field with water. Remember that when it rains, you are already receiving more water in that region; thus, it is a good idea to make certain that no additional water is flowing into your drain field. Your drain spouts, on the other hand, may occasionally be pointed in that precise direction. Drain spouts that are directed away from your drain field during the rainy months will save you a lot of headaches during the wet months.
It is our goal that this information is useful as you strive to keep your septic system happy and healthy!
Protecting Your Septic Tank
The subject of septic tanks is not one that is frequently discussed at the dinner table, and for good reason. However, knowing how your septic tank works, how different types of severe weather influence it, and what to do if you have difficulties with it are all important aspects of protecting your property. So, what exactly is a septic tank, and how does it function? When using an aseptic system, wastewater is treated by the earth before it is returned to the groundwater cycle. Septic tanks and drain fields are used in this method.
- During the natural treatment of wastewater, the soil removes bacteria, viruses, and nutrients before the wastewater is released into the groundwater system.
- One of these issues is an excessive amount of water in the drain field.
- When it rains, the field can get too saturated to adequately treat wastewater, which can result in a variety of issues.
- One of these is to make certain that your storm water runoff is directed as far away from your septic system as is reasonably practical.
- Having your septic tank emptied out on a regular basis and having it inspected annually are both recommended.
- There are a variety of options for accomplishing this, including having a plumber place a back flow preventer on the home to ensure that sewage does not backup during a flooding incident.
You may also reduce your water use during a storm by reducing the quantity of water that enters your septic tank during the storm. The following are some extra measures you may take to minimize flooding in your septic tank.
- Make sure to flush only biodegradable materials that are suitable for your septic system. When the septic tank is inundated, do not dig or do any other work in the surrounding area. Keeping trees away from the septic tank will help to ensure that the roots do not cause harm to the system. Maintain a regular inspection and pumping schedule for the tank.
A recurring theme is the need to reduce wasteful water use when there is a risk of floods in the area. The most important step in recovering from a flooded septic tank is to ensure that your family’s health and hygiene are not jeopardized. If you know a storm is approaching, try turning off your sprinklers and beginning to minimize wastewater before it arrives.Recovery from a Flooded Septic Tank Keep everyone away from the area, both inside and outside, and thoroughly disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with the contaminated water.
If you have a well and suspect the water may be polluted, get it tested before using the water again.
After a flood, your septic system will require some attention.
You might also consider adding a water backup endorsement to your homes insurance policy even if you are not in a flood zone.