Maintaining Your Septic System Properly

Home septic system being maintained by plumber/septician

While you may not think about your home as a living structure, there are certain ecosystems within it that require a bit of maintenance. Your septic tank is such a living system. While the septic tank may not be the most pleasant of conversations, you do need to understand how to maintain it properly. In fact, this is an area where most plumbers agree that it can get quite costly should something go awry. Don’t worry, though, septic systems rarely have problems if properly maintained. Understanding what not to do is your best line of defense when keeping the guts of your home happy and functioning properly.

First, don’t overuse water. Make sure that you conserve as much as possible. Skip days between laundry and running your dishwasher. Too much water disturbs the natural bacteria from breaking down the yucky stuff.

When cleaning, use biodegradable cleaners. Stay away from pine-oil and ammonia based cleaners. Bleach is fine, but make sure you dilute it. Also, use dryer sheets instead of fabric softeners.

When chucking dinner leftovers down the garbage disposal, make sure that you do so sparingly. Too much food can prevent it from breaking down completely. If no one cares for your cooking for a particular meal [insert sad face], chuck it in the garbage instead.

To avoid a plumbing nightmare, never put grease down the drain. Not only will this harm your septic tank, you could risk clogging your pipes. You should also consider your plumbing when disposing of certain paper too. Never put paper towels or tissues down the toilet.

Finally, stay away from the store bought septic enzymes. Plumbers don’t recommend them, and you will unnecessarily be spending money. Most experts agree on this. The natural bacteria found in your septic will break down everything without the use of special additives.

Septic maintenance isn’t that hard. If you built your home and have the plumbing layout, you are one step ahead of everyone else. Make sure that you maintain copies of everything—including the septic tank placement. You many need it down the road.  If you purchased an existing home, chances are that you were given this information at some point. Should you ever need to call a plumber for services, they will most likely need to have this information depending on the situation. If your system is twenty years or older, you should have a professional do a checkup just in case.

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Heating Your Home Efficiently During Winter in San Diego.”

North County Plumbing is located in Vista, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!


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