A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. The bacteria in the tank is constantly working to eliminate 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 for it to be checked by a professional contractor once a year.
There are many things that you can do to help keep your septic tank clean. The first thing you should do is to use less water than usual. The more water in the tank the more difficult it will be for waste to be broken down. You can reduce water consumption by using water efficient toilets, showerheads and washing machines. You can also save water by not running the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing your dishes.
When wastewater from your home passes into the septic tank, it separates into three layers: solid waste (sludge), liquid waste (scum), and oil and grease. The solids settle at the bottom of the tank while the oils and grease rise up to the top. The bacteria in the septic tanks breaks down some of this waste and distributes it to a leach field. The tank will need to be pumped when the sludge has reached the bottom.
Depending on the size and needs of your home, you need a tank that can handle the amount 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. In fact, they can cause more harm that good. Sodium hydroxide, for example, can add more alkalinity to the system, which can cause accelerated clogging and cause a sludge buildup.
Septic tanks don’t require much maintenance. 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 significant sludge buildup, most septic tank do not need to be pumped. However, it is best that you get it checked as soon as possible if there is a problem.
Septic companies will not only pump your septic tank but also inspect it. These inspections can alert you to any problems. A septic tank inspection can be done on a one-time basis or when purchasing a new property. These inspections cost about $100 to $300 and are usually rolled into the repair costs.
The size of your tank as well as the number of people in your home will determine how often you need to pump your septic tank. The EPA recommends that you pump your tank every three to five year. 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.
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 slow down the building process. If the septic tanks are located in an area where supplies are delivered it will prevent them driving over it. Before you can get it in place, you might have to wait until all the construction is done.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. It is best to contact three local companies to estimate the cost. The companies should be able provide a written breakdown of costs. This will ensure that you don’t make any guesswork and can make an informed decision. Although they are essential, they can be costly.