A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. The tank is constantly being cleaned by bacteria that breaks down 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 you can do to keep your septic tank clean. The first thing you should do is to use less water than usual. The more water that is in the tank, it is more difficult for waste to be dissolved. You can reduce water use by using water-efficient toilets, showerheads, and washing machines. You can also save water by not running your faucet while you brush or wash 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 bacteria in the septic tanks breaks down some of this waste and distributes it to a leach field. Pumps will be required to remove the sludge once it reaches the bottom.
Depending on the size and needs of your home, you need a tank that can handle the amount water you use. Americans consume between 80 and 100 gallons per day. This translates to approximately 90 gallons of solid waste every year. A septic tank should be capable of reducing solids by 50 percent.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. In fact, they could cause more harm than good. For example sodium hydroxide can add more acidity to the system. This can cause accelerated clogging or sludge accumulation.
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. If you do notice a problem, it’s best to have it checked right away.
Septic companies will inspect your tank after pumping it. These inspections can identify potential problems. A septic tank inspection can be done on a one-time basis or when purchasing a new property. These inspections usually cost $100 to $300 and are rolled into the repair costs.
The size of your tank, as well the number of people who live in your home, will impact how often you need pump your septic tank. The EPA recommends that your tank be pumped every three to five years. Your situation may require you to pump your tank more frequently 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.
Before you start building a house, it is a good idea to install a septic tank. Contractors won’t have to drive over the tank site as they build 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. It is possible that you will need to wait until almost all of the building work is completed before you can have it installed.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. Calling three local companies is the best way of estimating the cost. The companies should be able provide a written breakdown of costs. This way, you won’t have to make a decision on the basis of guesswork. Although they are essential, they can be costly.