When you move into a home with a septic tank and drainfield, you're probably not used to being careful about what goes down the drains. When your drains empty into the city's sewer line, there isn't as much worry about clogs or disrupting bacteria. Learning how to care for your septic system is important, or you can cause problems that are costly to repair. Here are some important things to know.
The Tank Should Be Cleaned On Schedule
The tank should be pumped out by a professional septic service company before it gets so full that sewage backs up into the drains. If you just moved into the home and don't know how full the tank is, call the service to check it. A professional can tell by the size of the tank and the number of people living in the home how often it should be pumped.
Then, you'll want to have the tank serviced on schedule. However, sometimes a tank can fill up faster than anticipated, so you also need to be alert to the signs of a full tank. When drains are slow to empty, you smell sewer odors, or wet spots appear in the lawn, you should call for septic service.
The Filters May Need To Be Cleaned
There may be multiple filters in your septic system. It's also possible there won't be filters at all because they are not necessary for the functioning of a tank and drainfield. However, they control solids and protect the drainfield, so they are beneficial to have. One filter might be on your washing machine drain to keep soap clumps and lint out of the tank. Another might be for filtering gray water, and another might filter for solids leaving the tank.
These filters may need to be cleaned more often than the tank needs pumped. Your family's habits play a role in how often the filters need to be cleaned. If you use the washer daily, the filter will clog up quicker than if you just use it weekly. Signs of a clogged filter include slow drains, so the filters should be checked when you suspect a clog is forming. When you have your septic system checked or pumped for the first time, ask if there are filters present and if you should clean them before the next visit from the pumping service.
The Bacterial Balance Should Be Protected
Be careful about what goes down your toilet and the drains. Harsh chemicals and antibacterial soaps and detergents might disrupt the balance of bacteria that break down solid waste. Avoid flushing old medication, particularly antibiotics, and don't pour harsh chemicals down the drains. In addition, avoid flushing items that won't decompose quickly. Things like cigarette butts and plastic take a long time to break down, and they just accumulate in the tank.
Learn about how a septic system works so you can maintain it properly once you move into your new home. You don't have to do much to keep it in good working order, but doing the wrong things can cause problems that end up being expensive to repair. For more information, contact a company like LP Murray.