A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. The tank’s bacteria is constantly working to remove solid waste. It is a good idea to have it cleaned at least every three years to make sure it is functioning 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. One of the first things you should do is use less water than you typically would. The more water in a tank, the more difficult it becomes for wastes to be reduced. You can reduce water use by using water-efficient toilets, showerheads, and washing machines. You can also save water if you don’t run the faucet while you brush your teeth or wash your dishes.
The septic tank separates wastewater from your home into three layers: solid waste, liquid waste (scum), oil and grease. The solids settle down to the bottom, while the oils & grease rise to its top. The septic tank is populated with bacteria that breaks down some waste and distributes it in the leach field. The tank will need to be pumped when the sludge has reached the bottom.
Depending on how big your home is, you will need a septic system that can handle the amount you use. The average American adult uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day. This is equivalent to 90 gallons worth of solid waste per year. The standard performance of a toilet is 50 percent of solids.
The use of chemical additives in your septic system will not improve its performance. They could actually cause more harm than good. Sodium hydroxide, for example, can add more alkalinity to the system, which can cause accelerated clogging and cause a sludge buildup.
Septic tanks are very easy to maintain. They must be pumped on a regular basis to remove any solid waste that is not allowed to flow into the leach field. Unless there is a significant amount of sludge buildup in the tank, most septic tanks don’t require pumping. If you do notice a problem, it’s best to have it checked right away.
In addition to pumping your septic tank, septic companies will also do a brief inspection of your tank. These inspections will alert you to any potential problems. A septic inspection can be done once or several times during a property purchase. These inspections can cost anywhere from $100 to $300, and are often included in the repair cost.
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 you pump your tank once every three-five years. However, your specific situation may require a more frequent pumping than this. A person with a 1,000-gallon tank might need it every nine to 12, whereas a family of five might need it every two or three years.
When building a new home, you should install a tank before you lay the foundation. Contractors won’t be able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could cause delays in the construction 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 hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. The best way to estimate the cost is to call three local companies. The companies should be able to give you a detailed cost breakdown in writing. This way you won’t have make guesswork about the cost of your project. Septic tanks are necessary but expensive.