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

3 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

If you have a home or business with a septic system, the toilet can be the nemesis of maintaining your system. Too often, items that can clog your filters or caused damage to your septic end up getting flushed down. Ask any septic technician that has been called to handle septic emergencies what causes the biggest problems and it is often things that are flushed down the toilet. Here are three things you should never flushed down the toilet if you want to avoid problems down the road.

  1. Plastics. Nothing made from plastic should enter your septic system. Unfortunately, there are many items that get used in the bathroom that are made from plastics and end up in the toilet. Feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, prophylactics, bandages and other items should not be flushed, but thrown away.
  2. “Flushable” wipes. They may say they are flushable, but these wipes should not be disposed of down the toilet in homes with septic systems. Most of these wet wipes are not bio-degradable and can clog up your septic system.
  3. Cat litter. Most cat litter is made from sand and clay, substances that can clog pipes and create excess sludge in your septic tank. Keep cat litter out of the toilet to avoid plumbing and septic problems.

If you own a septic system, you do not want anything that will not breakdown to be flushed down the toilet. Urine, human waste and septic-friendly toilet paper should be the only items that go into the toilet. Keeping other items out can help protect your septic system and avoid emergency calls to your septic service company.

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

Springtime Septic System Maintenance

After the cold months of winter have passed, there are many chores to consider around your home. You have a lawn to maintain, gardens to plant and cleanup from the winter storms. Another item to add to your to-do list for spring is septic system maintenance. You want to ensure your system did not sustain any damage from freezing, excess water or other issues throughout the winter. Here is a checklist of septic maintenance to do this springtime. 

  • Inspect your drain field. Drain fields can be damaged if too much water accumulated or if freezing temperatures cracked drainage pipes. Do an inspection of your drain field. Look for any signs of bio mat or standing water that is not absorbing into the ground; a bad odor is also a sign of issues.
  • Check your maintenance log. When was the last time your septic system was serviced and the tank pumped? After a busy winter of holiday gatherings and much time spent indoors, it may be time to have your system pumped and serviced.
  • Look for signs of trouble. Beyond the drain field, you can look for possible signs of sewer line problems in your yard and home. Soggy areas in your lawn where sewer lines run underneath could be a sign of a broken pipe that is leaking. Slow drains in the home could be alerting you to a clog. If there are any of these signs, schedule a camera inspection of your sewer lines to investigate the problem.

Your septic system should be designed to withstand the cold or wet months of winter, but there still can be problems that occur. Take the time this spring to inspect and service your septic system to avoid having your summer interrupted by a septic failure.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Can You Save Money by DIY Septic Repairs?

Are you it a do-it-yourself homeowner? You mow your own lawn, you fix minor plumbing issues and repair many items around the house, saving a significant amount of money on home maintenance. However, when it comes to your septic system, you may want to leave repairs to the professionals. While you may be able to do some maintenance yourself, when you have a septic problem, it is worth the investment to hire a professional. Here are a few reasons why it is not cost-effective or safe to attempt DIY septic repairs.

Specialized Equipment

Septic tanks and drain fields need specialized equipment. You need may need to dig to remove pipes, or tools to access the tank. Often this equipment is not something a homeowner may own; it could need to be rented. The cost of renting equipment, plus the value of your time, can be more expensive than hiring a professional.

Safety Concerns

No one should open a septic tank without the proper gear and training. The gases in a septic tank are toxic and can be deadly. There is also concerns about injury when working near the septic tank; slips and falls can cause serious injuries.

Causing Harm to Your Septic

The biggest monetary risk with DIY septic repairs is doing more harm than good. A wrong move and you could do irreputable damage to your septic system. A failed septic can cost thousands of dollars to replace, which is why it is best to trust repairs to a professional.

Protect your investment in your home and leave septic repairs to trained professionals. In the long run, you can save money and protect your health by choosing to avoid DIY septic repairs.

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

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

How Can You Tell Your Septic Lift Station Isn’t Working?

For some septic systems, a lift station is needed to pump effluent from the septic tank to the drain field. While conventional systems use gravity, a lift station is needed where topography requires the tank to be at a lower elevation than the drain field. If the lift station doesn’t work properly, waste water will accumulate in the tank and backup your system. Here are ways to tell if your lift station is not working right to prevent a septic system failure.

Your lift station or sewage pump is activated by the water levels in the pit where the sewage pump is located. When the water level reaches a certain point, the pump turns on and pumps the water to the distribution box of the drain field. Most lift stations are equipped with an alarm system to let you know if the pit is too full, indicating the pump is not working correctly. Signs that the lift station is not working right include: 

  • High level alarm goes off. If your alarm is working correctly, it should alert you when the water level is too high in your lift station.
  • Sewage odor. If you smell sewage in your basement, near your sump pump or by the septic system, you should check your lift station for problems.
  • Septic backups. Lift station breakdowns will cause the septic tank to fill quickly, causing a backup of sewage into your home.

Since lift stations require mechanical equipment to work properly, it is vital to have your lift station maintained. Replacing corroded components and maintaining the pump can help prevent emergency issues with your lift station. Make sure to schedule a lift station and septic system inspection and maintenance through your local septic service at least once a year.

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

Sounds, Smells and Sights of Septic Problems

A septic backup or failure can be an expensive and messy problem. However, most septic issues do not happen overnight. Issues begin to accumulate and there are signs when a septic system is not working correctly. Using your senses, you can identify these signs and get service for your septic system before you have a complete failure or messy backup. Here are some sounds, smells and sights to be aware of if you own a septic system.

Sounds

If you hear a gurgling sound when you flush your toilet or use the drains in your home, you could have a septic system issue. This is often accompanied by slow drains.

Smells

Odor is a common sign of septic system issues. If you smell sewer odor inside the house, it may be coming up the drains or through the septic vent. Other places that can have an odor when there is a problem is above your septic tank cover or near your drain field.

Sights

Keep an eye out for changes in your yard and drain field. Wet spots in your yard or by your septic tank can alert you to sewer pipe or tank problems. You should also be watching your drain field. If the grass becomes a vibrant green, the effluent may not be absorbing properly into the soil. A bio-mat or wet areas in your drain field are also signs of a septic issue.

When you hear, smell or see any of these issues, call your septic service company immediately. Catching the problem before it becomes a septic failure can save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in repairs or replacements.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Holiday Septic System Reminders

As the busy holiday season approaches, there are a few things to keep in mind if you own a home with a septic system. If you will be hosting large family dinners, parties or other festivities, your septic system needs to be ready for the extra work. Fatty foods going down the drain, excessive toilet use and other pressures could cause a nasty septic problem if you are not prepared. Here are a few reminders to get your septic system ready for the holidays.

  • Minimize the fat and grease. Be careful when rinsing plates and pans during the holidays. Gravy and other fatty foods that go down the drain can cause issues in your drains, pipes and septic tank. Scrape excess food and fat off plates before rinsing them in the sink.
  • Remind your guests of septic rules. If you have guests visiting your home during the holidays, put a friendly reminder in the guest bathrooms that you have a septic system. Guests that are accustomed to using a city sewer may forget what they can and cannot flush down the toilet with a septic system.
  • Have a pre-holiday septic service performed. Minimize the possibility of a septic problem during the holidays with a pre-holiday service. Make sure to have your tank level checked – if it is even close to needing pumping, have it done before you have extra guests to your home.

No one wants a septic problem to ruin their holiday season. Being prepared for the excess use is the best way to avoid backups or other issues. Call your local septic service for an inspection now before the busy season arrives.

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