What Do You Need To Do Differently When You Move Into A Home With A Septic Tank?
If you're moving into a home with a septic tank rather than a sewer connection for the first time, it's important to know what you need to do differently. Once you get used to it, day-to-day life with a septic tank won't feel any different than day-to-day life in a home connected to the sewer. But you will have to make some small changes to prevent plumbing issues down the road.
Stop flushing anything other than toilet paper.
Feminine products, personal wipes, and other products along those lines often say "flushable" on the wrapper. But if you live in a home with a septic tank, this does not really apply. The more of these products you flush, the faster your tank will fill up and the sooner you'll need it pumped. These items break down so slowly that they add volume to the tank pretty fast. Stick to flushing just toilet paper and human waste for best results.
Minimize use of the garbage disposal.
If your home happens to have a garbage disposal, be sure to use it sparingly. The food particles that get rinsed down the sink after you use the garbage disposal also take a while to break down, and they take up space at the bottom of your tank. Try to scrape your plates off into a garbage can before rinsing them in the sink, and consider only using the garbage disposal on holidays and when you're really in a rush. If you do use the disposal, it's not the end of the world – but do make sure you increase your tank pumping frequency. Experts recommend that homes that use garbage disposals have their tanks pumped every year, whereas you should be able to wait 3 years if you don't use the disposal or only use it on occasion.
Don't use too much bleach.
Bleach is an effective cleaner, but it also kills off the bacteria in your septic tank that are supposed to be breaking down waste. Try switching to milder cleaning products, like baking soda and vinegar, for most tasks around the home.
Stagger your water use when company comes to stay.
Homes are typically fitted with septic tanks that accommodate the amount of water a family who would live in that home could be expected to release. For instance, if you live in a four-bedroom home, then the tank is probably large enough to accommodate the four of you showering back-to-back. When you have additional people staying in your home, however, the tank may have trouble keeping up with the increased water use. Try staggering everyone's showers and your other water-use endeavors, like doing laundry, to prevent tank overflows.
If you have any questions about your septic tank or problems with it, contact a plumber from a company like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating to help you out.