Septic: From A to Z

Septic Tank Cleaning 101

When you fail to clean your septic tank, you will be left to deal with bursting pipes and backups. Many homeowners notice their septic system has a problem when there is a foul smell in or outside their home. Another common sign is seepage near the septic tank. The following are crucial septic tank cleaning pointers for homeowners.

After How Long Should You Clean Your Septic System?

Experts recommend cleaning your septic tank after three to five years. The ideal time to clean your tank is dependent on variables like your family size and septic tank size.

If your household has up to four people, you should clean the septic system every few years. However, for a large family of five people or more, you should evaluate the system more frequently. This is because large families do more laundry, go to the toilet more, and take more showers. Therefore, the septic system will get full faster.

Another consideration when determining when to schedule septic tank cleaning is the size of your septic tank. The smaller the tank, the more frequently you need to clean the system.

When Should You Not Clean Your Septic System?

The winter season isn't recommended for septic cleaning. This is because of heavy snow, slippery ice, and frozen ground. These conditions make it difficult for septic technicians to dig up and cover the septic tank.

The ideal time for septic cleaning is during spring and fall. However, the best season for septic cleaning will depend on the condition of your septic tank. For example, if your tank is about to get full before spring, you should schedule cleaning during fall.

Which Products Are Harmful to Your Septic System?

An important septic tank cleaning tip for homeowners is to use the right cleaning products. There are many cleaners that destroy the good bacteria in your septic tank. A rule of thumb is to avoid chemicals like bleach.

Additionally, you shouldn't use drain cleaners. These not only kill the good bacteria, but will also ruin the tank. If a plunger cannot clear a clog, use a drain snake. Also, avoid toilet bowl cleaners, disinfectants and soaps that have quaternary ammonia. It is advisable to go for plant-based or natural cleaning products.

Septic cleaning is recommended every few years to avoid clogs, bursting pipes, water contamination, and other common drainage problems. You should schedule an inspection of your septic tank to determine the ideal time to clean the tank. Your septic tank technician will also give you septic maintenance tips to ensure your septic system is functioning properly.

For more information on residential septic tank services, contact a septic tank company.