It is possible to reduce the cost of costly repairs by keeping your septic tank clean. The bacteria in the tank is constantly working to eliminate solid waste. It is a good idea for it to be cleaned at least once every three years to ensure it is working properly. It is best to get it checked by a professional contractor at least once a year.
There are many things that you can do to help keep your septic tank clean. First, you should not use more water than you usually do. The more water in the tank the more difficult it will be for waste to be broken down. You can reduce water usage by using water-efficient toilets. You can also save water by not running the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing your dishes.
The septic tank separates wastewater from your home into three layers: solid waste, liquid waste (scum), oil and grease. The solids settle to bottom of the tank and the oils, grease, and other substances rise to the top. Bacteria in the septic tank break down some of the waste and distribute it to the leach field. A pump is required to remove the sludge from the tank’s bottom.
Depending on the size of your home, you should have a septic tank that will handle the amount of water you use. American adults consume between 80 to 100 gallons of drinking water each day. This translates to approximately 90 gallons of solid waste every year. The standard performance of a toilet is 50 percent of solids.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. They can actually do more harm than good. For example, sodium hydroxide can increase the alkalinity of the system, which can accelerate clogging and lead to sludge buildup.
Most septic tanks require very little maintenance. They must be pumped on a regular basis to remove any solid waste that is not allowed to flow into the leach field. Fortunately, most septic tanks don’t need pumping unless there is a significant sludge buildup. However, it is best that you get it checked as soon as possible if there is a problem.
In addition to pumping your septic tank, septic companies will also do a brief inspection of your tank. These inspections can identify potential problems. A septic inspection can be done once or several times during a property purchase. These inspections cost about $100 to $300 and are usually rolled into the repair costs.
How often you should pump your septic tank depends on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your home. The EPA recommends pumping your tank once every three to five years. Your specific situation may require more frequent pumping. For example, a single person with a 1,000-gallon tank may need it every nine to 12 years, while a family with five people may require pumping every two to three years.
Before you start building a house, it is a good idea to install a septic tank. Contractors won’t be able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could slow down the building process. If the septic tank is in an area where supplies are delivered, it will prevent them from driving over it. You may need to wait until the construction is complete before you can install it.
It can be difficult to calculate the cost of septic tank cleaning. Calling three local companies is the best way of estimating the cost. Three companies should be able give you a written breakdown of the cost. This way, you won’t have to make a decision based on guesswork. Although they are necessary, they are also very expensive.