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Keep Your Septic Tank System Running Smoothly

Today I’m talking to you about something that most people don’t like to talk about, and that’s their septic tank system. 

Did you know over 20% of the U.S. homes have septic tank systems? It’s out there, in the yard somewhere, and most of the time you don’t even think about it. But if you don’t maintain it, it could be a really unpleasant situation, so I have 4 tips for you. 

Tip #1: Do not put anything down your sink or through the dishwasher or the washing machine that will not dissolve. For example, disposable wipes. The packaging says you can use them, but don’t! There are so many videos out there showing plumbers fixing septic tanks to figure out what’s causing the blockage, and it’s the disposable wipes, so DO NOT USE THEM!

Another example is when you’re doing a lot of cooking and you have a lot of grease. That grease will congeal and end up in your septic tank or clog up your pipes, so it’s better if you wipe off those pans and plates before washing them or putting them in the dishwasher. 

Tip #2: Avoid using antibacterial soap and bleach. The reason why is because they kill off the good bacteria, and your tank won’t be able to break down waste effectively. The chlorine component in bleach is what harms your septic system, so try to find cleaners and other chemicals that are chlorine-free. 

Tip #3: Avoid powdered soaps. Powdered soaps in the dishwasher & washing machine can cause problems with the septic. It can cake on the sides of the pipes and in the tank and cause it not to work as well. Use the liquid pods or liquid soap instead! 

Tip #4: Fix any leaky faucets or drain issues. When there’s a leak, you’re possibly getting excess water into your septic and then into your drain field. According to Robert Rubin, emeritus professor of biological and agricultural engineering at North Carolina State University, “Fix drippy faucets and leaking toilets, which can add more than 50 gallons of water a day to your system. Too much water can degrade its effectiveness.” 

Always get a home inspection when buying a home, but you also need to get a separate septic tank inspection. 

Bonus Tip! If you’re buying a home that looks like it has had additional bedrooms added, then check with your local authority to see if that septic system is rated for that number of BEDROOMS. The number of bedrooms, NOT bathrooms, indicates how many people may be living there. You want to make sure the septic system installed can support that much activity. 

How often should you pump your septic system? That depends on usage and activity. Heavy use means pumping every 2 years. Less activity and normal usage is every 3-7 years. 

I hope these tips have been helpful! If you have any questions or you’re ready to sell or buy a home, give us a call! My team and I are on standby 7 days a week, ready to help you take the smoother road to sold.

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