If your home uses a septic system instead of a municipal sewer line, then it's crucial to take extra precautions when clearing clogs from your drains. Choosing the wrong approach to clogged drains can potentially impact the operation of your entire system or make the problem worse. These three tips will help you to make the right choices to clear your clogs and keep your septic tank healthy.
1. Take Extra Precautions With Your Drains
While you should always take care with what you put down your drains, you need to take extra precautions when your home uses a septic system. If possible, avoid putting anything down your drain other than water and septic system-safe toilet paper. Even many supposedly septic-safe products, such as wet wipes, may result in clogs or damage to your septic system.
Remember that the best method of keeping your drains clear is prevention, and this is doubly true when dealing with a septic system. Oils, greases, food waste, and so on won't simply vanish into the sewer system to become someone else's problem, and the clogs they create can cause severe damage to your home's septic tank.
2. Favor Simple, DIY Cleaners
If you're going to attempt to clear a clog on your own, then avoid store-bought chemical drain cleaners. These aggressive products are not only bad for your pipes, but they can be like waging chemical warfare on the inhabitants of your septic tank. Your septic tank relies on colonies of friendly bacteria and microfauna to keep waste under control, and drain cleaners can upset this balance.
One of the best home remedies is to pour one part baking soda followed by two parts vinegar down your drain. Follow with a warm water flush. Mechanical options such as plungers or drain snakes are also safe for your septic system. If you must use an over-the-counter option, then be sure that the drain cleaning product you choose is septic safe. The best route is sually to call for drain cleaning services, such as American Minuteman Sewer & Drain.
3. Contact a Professional
If you have a stubborn clog that DIY methods can't clear, then your best option is to call in a professional. Not only will repeated attempts potentially damage your pipes, but pushing a clog into your septic tank may cause even more damage. A professional can evaluate your situation to determine the best approach to removing your drain blockage.
More importantly, a plumber can determine if your back-up may have a more severe underlying cause. Septic tank problems can lead to similar symptoms to simple clogs, so having a plumber check your system can help to avoid wasted effort and potential damage.