Septic Maintenance Basics for New Homeowners

If you are a new homeowner, you have a long list of maintenance items that come with your property purchase. Owning a home is a wise investment, but it also requires preventive care to help maintain the value and minimize unexpected repair costs. One system that may be new to you is a septic system. While it may seem daunting to be in charge of your own waste disposal system, if you keep up with maintenance, you may be able to avoid many costly repairs. Understanding the basic of septic maintenance is key to avoiding expensive septic repairs and replacements.

Avoiding Unnecessary Disposal

One of the main aspects of maintaining your septic system is reducing the waste that goes down your drains. Make water efficiency a priority, using water conservation fixtures and techniques. Also, the items that go down your drain impact your septic system. Practice keeping chemicals, grease, non-biodegradable items and solid food products out of your drains to reduce stress on your septic system.

Protect Your Underground Plumbing

The majority of your septic system is underground. You need to protect the tank, pipes, drain field and distribution box from damage. Keep vehicles and heavy machinery off your lawn or property where septic equipment resides underground. Also avoid planting trees too closely to septic pipes; root invasion can cause serious sewer pipe damage.

Routine Inspections, Pumping and Repairs

You do not need to do much of your septic maintenance on your own. Hire a septic professional to come out at least once a year to inspect your system, perform pumping when needed, and repair/replace components. This can prevent expensive septic emergencies and keep your system working reliably throughout the rest of the year. It is a wise investment and one that will help protect the value of your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Preventive Maintenance for Your Septic System

Septic systems are one of the more expensive components of a home to replace. The good news is that most septic systems can last for up to several decades when they are properly maintained. Preventive maintenance is the key to ensuring your septic system does not fail prematurely, which can cost a small fortune if a complete replacement is needed. Here are some preventive maintenance tips to proactively keep your septic system in tip-top condition.

Limited Strain on the System

Everything that goes down your drains impacts your septic system. Keeping items and substances out of the septic that can clog or causes harm is essential for preventive maintenance. Using water conservation methods can help reduce strain, and you should keep grease/fats, chemicals, hygiene items (cotton balls, cotton swabs, tampons, diapers, wet wipe, etc.), medications and non-biodegradable items out of your septic system.

Regular Pumping

Your septic tank needs pumping to remove solids that do not breakdown. Most tanks need pumping about every 2-3 years, depending on the size of the tank and the amount of waste that goes into the tank.

Protect Your Pipes and Drain Field

Keep heavy vehicles and machinery off the ground where your drain field and other septic pipes are located to prevent damage. Also, make sure the utility companies and other entities do not dig or drill near your sewer lines or other septic components.

Routine Inspections and Repairs

One of the best ways to keep your septic system maintained is with routine inspections, service and repairs. Schedule annual service with your local septic professional to stay on top of septic maintenance.

If you spend a little time and money on septic preventive maintenance, it can save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Contact your septic professional to schedule your next inspection or pumping.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

What Is Going Down Your Drains?

When it comes to septic problems, the trouble may start in your home. Septic systems can perform without much assistance when they have the right elements in place. The most common problems occur from what goes down the drains in the home, creating clogs and other issues. Here are how some of the items that go down drains can interfere with your septic system.

Grease, Fats and Oils

Fatty substances are bad for your plumbing and even worse for your septic system. Too many fats, grease or oil can impact the balance of your septic tank. Grease and oily substances float to the top of the tank and can interfere with the breakdown and elimination process.

Plastic, Cotton and Paper Products

Plastic, rubber or cotton should never go down the drain. Most of this occurs in the toilets of your home. Paper and cardboard are also a bad idea. The only paper that should be flushed is toilet paper, and the less the better. This includes those “flushable” wipes that do not breakdown in a septic tank. All these items can create clogs and will fill up your tank faster.

Kitchen Culprits

On top of fats and grease, other kitchen culprits include:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Vegetable/fruit peels
  • Fibrous vegetables

Throw these items away or put them in a compost to keep them out of your septic system.

Chemicals and Medications

Chemicals can change the balance of bacteria and microbes in your septic tanks that are needed for proper waste breakdown. Medications like antibiotics can also impact this balance, and pills can get stuck in drain field pipe perforations.

Watching what goes down the drain can reduce how often you need your septic tank pumped and how frequently you have problems. Preventive measures and regular service from your local septic service can minimize issues and keep your septic system running smoothly.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Is Adding Yeast to Your Septic Tank a Good Idea?

If you own a septic system, you may be looking for ways to help keep it in good working condition. This is a good idea – septic failure and replacement can be very expensive. There are many tips you can read online on how to maintain your septic system – some good, some not so good. One you may come across is using baking yeast to help the bacteria in your tank breakdown solids.

The theory behind using yeast in your septic tank is simple. Baker’s yeast contains bacteria that does not need oxygen to thrive. When added to a septic tank, it can help breakdown starches, one of the many components in waste that is added to your tank. If solids are broken down more effectively, you may need to have your tank pumped less frequently.

So, can adding yeast be beneficial? In some cases, yes. But it needs to be done correctly and not too often. Like all good things, a little is good, too much can be a problem. To add yeast to your septic tank, follow these steps:

  • Put about 4-5 teaspoons of yeast in about 3 cups of warm, not hot, water.
  • Add 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of cornmeal
  • Stir until yeast is dissolved. Cover and let the mixture become “frothy”
  • Flush down the toilet – flush twice to make sure everything goes down

You can do this about every 6 months. However, this does not replace regular maintenance and pumping on your septic system. Schedule regular service with your septic service company to maintain the equipment in your septic system and to perform regular pumping for the best care and maintenance of your system.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Tips to Keep your Septic System in Shape

To keep your body in shape, you need to eat right and exercise on a consistent basis. For septic systems, keeping them in good shape takes a similar type of commitment. What you put into your septic tank will affect what comes out and how efficient it performs its job. Unlike your body, making it work harder will not get you better results. Here are some to tips to maintain your septic system for optimum performance.

Monitor What Goes Down the Drain

There are some items that should be kept out of your septic system. In the bathroom, items like feminine hygiene products, “flushable” wipes, cotton balls/swabs and other non-biodegradable products should not be flushed down. In the kitchen, avoid coffee grounds, peelings, egg shells and fats/oils going down the drain. Also, do not pour paints or other chemicals into your garage sink.

Limit Water Use

Be efficient with how much water you use in your home. Add water efficient fixtures to your home to help reduce water waste. Teach your kids and other family members to conserve water by not running it down the drain when brushing teeth, rinsing dishes or doing other household chores.

Schedule Regular Service

Keep your septic system in tip-top shape with annual service from your local septic service company. This ensures your tank gets pumped when needed; plus, it ensure all the equipment and components are in good condition to perform the needed work in the year ahead.

Just watching what you put into your septic and a little scheduled maintenance can make a big difference on the health of your septic system. It will help prevent failure or backups while extending the life span of your system.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Tips on How to Maintain Your Septic System

Caring for your septic system is crucial, especially if you want to avoid expensive repairs or replacement. While your septic will run fine on its own, if regular maintenance and preventive care are not completed, you can be caught off guard with a major issue. If you are new to owning a septic system, there are a few things you should know to keep it running like clockwork. Here are some simple tips to maintain your septic system.

Reduce Waste

Everything you put down the drain must be handled by your septic system. Reduce wear on your system and minimize the frequency of pumping by limiting what you put down the drain. Keep items that won’t dissolve or breakdown out of your tank, such as: coffee grounds, cotton products, latex products, “flushable” wipes, fibrous produce, fats/oils and chemicals. Also reduce water waste by using water efficient fixtures and good water reduction habits.

Protect Your Drain Field

Keep vehicles and heavy equipment off your drain field. Occasionally inspect your drain field for odd plant growth, bad odors and pooling. If you notice anything strange, call your local septic service company.

Maintain Your Equipment

Your septic system has pumps, pipes and other equipment that will need repair or parts replaced. If you are not familiar with septic systems, leave inspecting and repairing your system to the professionals. Schedule a septic tank inspection and service at least once a year to catch issues before they become big, expensive problems.

Pumping

Make sure you are on a regular pumping schedule. A full septic tank can lead to a sewer backup or septic failure. Your maintenance crew can let you know when you should have your tank pumped and get you on a regular schedule.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334

(678) 292-8728

What is a Distribution Box?

If you have a septic system with a drain field, a crucial element of your system is your distribution box, also call a D-box. This component is between your septic tank and your drain field, functioning as a directional tool to ensure the waste water is distributed evenly in your drain field. It is important to know where it is and what can go wrong if this element of your septic system is no longer working correctly.

Understanding Your D-Box

In most cases, the d-box for a septic system is located several feet away from the septic tank toward the drainfield. It can be made from cement or plastic and is usually 1-3’ in width and length and 2-3’ deep, but it can depend on when it was made and the size of the septic system. Not all distribution ‘boxes’ are square – many of the plastic ones available are round. The d-box will have on inlet hole where the main drain line comes from the septic tank and several outlet holes to pipes leading to the drain field.

When effluent is released from the septic tank, it travels by force of gravity or pump to the distribution box. The effluent goes in and the waste water is released through the several holes to the drain field. This ensures that the water is distributed to several different pipes so one area of the drain field does not get overloaded.

It is important to know where your distribution box is and to ensure it is not disturb. Digging, trenching or driving over the d-box can damage it and cause a leak or disruption in the levels of distribution pipes to the drain field. It should be routinely inspected to ensure it is working correctly by your local septic service when they perform maintenance on your septic system.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Sights and Smells of a Septic Problem

Your septic system can seem to work without any problems for years and even when there is an issue, you may not be aware of it right away. Since your sewer lines, septic tank, d-box and drain field are all underground, it can be difficult to know if something is wrong. However, if something is not right, it will eventually come to the surface. In most cases, it will be something you see or smell that alerts you to a problem.

Visible Septic Issues

The most common issues that you can see when you have a septic problem are changes in the ground above the septic components. If there is a leak in your tank, pipes or d-box, you may notice an area that is eroding. Sinking dirt in one area near any septic component should be a cause for alarm. If it is a big leak, the ground may be wet.

Another visible sign of issues is in your drain field. Keep an eye on the grass and vegetation in this area. If it begins to become more vibrant than other areas of your lawn or there appears to be a layer of water or algae, your drain field may be failing. This can create a biomat that blocks absorption of the waste water into the ground.

Bad Septic Odors

If your septic system is working correctly, you should never smell sewage. If you notice bad odors in your yard or by the drain field, you may have an overflowing tank or other septic issue. The same is true in your home – bad odors coming up from your drains can be a sign of a sewer line clog or other issues.

If you see or smell anything amiss near your septic system, call your local professional right away for a septic tank inspection. The sooner you catch the problem, the better chance you have at a repair versus a complete replacement.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Is Your Toilet Trying to Tell You Something?

One of the first signs of septic problems may be right under your nose. Your toilet can be one of the first indicators that there is trouble brewing in your sewer lines, septic tank or even drain field. The pressured water that spins down the toilet can alert you when there are problems down the line.

What a Slow Flushing Toilet Can Mean for Your Septic System

If you notice that your toilet is slow to flush, check your other toilets. If only one is flushing slow in the house, it may more likely be a clogged drain for just that toilet. However, if all or a few of the toilets in the home are slow to flush, it is most likely be a septic system issue. Some of the possible problems could be:

  • A clogged sewer line, causing slow drainage of the major drains in the house
  • Your septic tank is getting full and needs to be pumped
  • Your drain field is not working correctly, causing a sewage backup

A slow flushing toilet is one sign of septic issues, but it is not the only one. Other signs of septic issues include odors. Sewage odors coming from your drains or lingering outside can be a sign there is a septic problem. Bright green grass or pooling above your drain field is also are warning signs of septic issues, as is wet or eroding ground above your sewer lines.

If you notice any of these issues, call your septic repair company right away. You may be on the verge of a septic failure or have other serious problems in your septic system that need immediate repair.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

5 Common Reasons for Septic Failure

Septic failure is not an occurrence that any homeowner wants to have happen, but eventually most septic systems do fail. They can last for decades when properly maintained, but there are circumstances that can make a septic failure occur quicker than expected. If you know the main causes of septic failure, you can often prevent premature failure with your system. Here are five common reasons septic systems fail.

  1. Non-biodegradable items. Flushing items that are non-biodegradable is one of the top reasons for failure. Avoid putting plastic, cotton, rubber and other items down your drains, i.e. feminine hygiene products, cotton balls/swabs, “flushable” wipes, birth control items.
  2. Chemicals like paint, oil, solvents and strong cleaners can ruin the bacterial balance in your septic tanks, causing a septic back up.
  3. Drain field damage. If vehicles or other machinery are driven over drain fields, it can damage the pipes and cause a septic backup.
  4. Excessive water use. Putting more water into your septic system than it is designed to handle can cause failure. Using water conservation techniques and water-efficiency fixtures can help reduce water waste.
  5. Foregoing maintenance. The biggest impact on your septic system that can cause failure is not maintaining the tank, drain field and equipment. Regular inspections, pumping and replacement of components as needed can help extend the life of your septic system by many years.

What you put down your drains has a big impact on the health of your septic system. Keeping grease, oil, chemicals and non-biodegradable items out of your drains is important, and lowering water use can also have an impact. Make sure you also schedule regular maintenance with your local septic service company can catch issues early and help prevent failure.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934