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Flushing Common Myths About Septic Tank Care And Maintenance

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When you have a septic system in your home that involves an on-site tank, it can be a little disconcerting when you see all of the conflicting information about how it should be maintained. From online information sites to handy do-it-yourself homeowner guides, you may find your mind in a tailspin with all of the information. Unfortunately, not knowing how to rightly care for your septic tank can easily lead to a plumbing disaster. Here are a few of the most common myths and the facts to flush them right out with the rest of the waste.

Myth: Dropping in enzyme additives is a necessity for a healthy system.

Fact: If you ever take to the Internet to find information about septic tank problems, such as overflowing and clogs, it is likely you will find several recommendations about enzyme-based additives that are meant to magically resolve all of your hassles. However, the human waste inside of a septic tank already contains enzymes that naturally eat away at the solid waste inside, so what is it you really need these products to achieve? Unless you enjoy pouring money down the hatch, enzyme additives typically do little for a septic system.

Myth: The tank is not affected by leaking faucets and other plumbing issues.

Fact:  You may think that that leak in the kitchen or problem with your hot water heater has no effect on your septic tank, but in all actuality, the entire plumbing system relates to the septic setup at some point. Leaking faucets can leave to an overrun of waste water in your tank. A faulty garbage disposal can send way too many solids down to the tank. Even the outdated hot water heater can add way too much calcium and lime to waste water. If you have plumbing issues at all, they should be addressed to save your septic tank and system.

Myth: Septic tanks should be pumped about every year.

Fact: There is no set schedule for septic tank pumping and further, pumping the tank is not a fix-all solution. Septic tanks are designed to eliminate their own capacity through a natural breakdown process. If you are not flushing solid materials, like kitty litter, food, and paper, you could easily go for years without having to pump the tank at all. It is a much better idea to learn to recognize signs that your tank needs to be pumped than automatically having a pumping scheduled every year when it may not be needed. Some of the most common signs of a full tank include:

  • Inability to flush waste down the toilet
  • Slow drainage from sinks and tubs
  • Sewage overflowing outdoors

When you know how to care for your septic system, you will be much less likely to see problems in the long run. For more information, contact Sullivan Septic or a similar company.