Watch Out For These Septic System Problems

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3 Clogged Drain Tips For Septic System Owners

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A clogged drain can happen in any plumbing system, including one that uses a septic system for wastewater disposal. Many septic owners will immediately assume a problem with their tank or leaching field, but not every drain clog results from a catastrophic system failure. Clogs can easily form elsewhere in your system, just as they can in plumbing that connects to a municipal sewer.

However, septic systems require a little more care when addressing clogged pipes. Taking the wrong approach to cleaning your drains can worsen the problem or even turn a minor clog into a severe issue for your septic tank. If one of your drains runs slowly or stops, follow these three essential drain cleaning tips for septic system owners.

1. Favor Physical Cleaning Methods

Avoid using chemical cleaners if you're attempting to clean the clog yourself. These cleaners can potentially damage your pipes, but, more importantly, they can upset the balance of bacteria and other living organisms within your septic tank. These microfaunae are critical in managing solid waste levels within your tank.

As long as you've only been placing septic-safe items in your drains, it's safe to use a plunger or snake to attempt to clear a clog. These methods will dislodge the obstruction, either pulling it toward you or allowing it to break free and enter your tank. If you use harsh chemicals to clear a clog, you may need to pump your tank much sooner than expected.

2. Don't Ignore Other Symptoms

Although not every clog in a septic home indicates a failure with the underlying system, some may be symptoms of more significant problems. If you notice unusual smells from your drains or see wet spots on your lawn, these are good indications that there's either a clog further along in your system or a problem with the septic system itself.

Remember that septic systems are extremely durable and long-lasting, but only with proper care and maintenance. If you see indications of something more serious, it's best to contact a plumber for professional help. In these cases, a professional drain cleaning is usually necessary to get your plumbing running again without placing extra strain on your septic system.

3. Rely on Professionals

Just as it's often difficult for do-it-yourselfers to solve obstructions in sewer laterals, it's usually challenging to deal with a clog in the main drain life for your septic system. If you can't seem to clear a clog using straightforward physical methods, it may be too deep in your plumbing to reach with typical homeowner's tools.

Professionals will have a broader array of tools available to clear these clogs, including much longer snakes and augers that can reach deep into your system to remove obstructions. In extreme cases, they may even need to use hydro jetting equipment to blast out clogs. These methods are highly effective while remaining safe enough to avoid damaging your home's septic system.

For more information, contact a drain cleaning service near you.