Becoming a homeowner, you accept the added responsibilities that normally a landlord would take care of. Things such as repairs, regular maintenance and yard work are all items you now have to do yourself. Keeping up on home maintenance could help you avoid costly repairs in the future by catching issues early on. More often than not, taking care of something keeps it in tip top shape helping you avoid issues altogether. If you move into a home with a septic tank, that is one important responsibility to care for. Having your septic tank damaged or get backed up can lead to hazardous and expensive situations. Hiring a professional plumber like AAA City Plumbing in Rock Hill, South Carolina to pump out, clean and check your septic tank on a regular basis will give you peace of mind.
All About Your Septic Tank
A standard septic system includes the tank itself, the plumbing pipes and a drainage field. The septic tank is buried in the ground near your home. If you don’t know where it’s located, ask your plumber to help you become aware of it. When waste is flushed within your home, it will travel through one main drainage pipe directly into the septic tank. When the waste enters the septic tank, the bacteria within helps separate the waste. The solids will settle to the bottom creating what is called sludge. A layer called scum, mostly consisting of oil and grease, rises to the top of the sludge. A series of compartments and a T-shaped outlet with a filter help prevent solids from leaving the septic tank. Once the waste has been separated and the scum rises to the top, the overflow, called effluent, travels into a distribution box. From the distribution box it travels into perforated pipes in the drainage field. The drainage field is a shallow excavated area that is filled with porous materials, such as sand and gravel, to help the effluent filter through and drain into the soil safely. The drainage field is then covered with soil and grass is usually planted.
Caring for Your Septic Tank
To maintain your septic tank, you’ll need to have it pumped. Depending on the size of your tank and how many people live within your home will determine how often you need to have it pumped. On average, it’s recommended to have your tank pumped every three to five years. However, if you have a larger family you may have to have it pumped every other year and possibly even yearly. Ask your professional plumber what they recommend for you. AAA City Plumbing provides septic tank services such as pumping and repairs in York County, South Carolina and the surrounding areas. The reason you need your tank pumped is because the sludge will build up over time. This creates less room for the liquids, causing them to be dumped more frequently. Which then could potentially flood your drainage field. In some cases, the sludge will also begin to be dumped into the drainage field which causes a biohazard and is a costly thing to have taken care of. It’s crucial you remain aware of your septic tank and the drainage field. Signs to watch for that could mean you have a problem are:
- Wet spots in the area
- Bad odor
- Too much vegetation
- Really lush grass
- Waste materials
Another possible sign of your septic tank having an issue is if the drains within your home are draining slowly. Also, if there is backflow present this could represent a septic tank issue.
How to Avoid Damaging Your Septic System
A main cause of septic tank damages are roots. Be sure to check with a professional before planting any trees or shrubs to ensure you won’t be running into any plumbing or electrical within the planting area. You should never plant directly over your septic system. By doing so you’re almost guaranteeing your system will eventually be damaged by the roots. If roots infiltrate the system this could cause hazardous and toxic materials to be exposed to the surface. Another thing to keep in mind is avoiding driving and parking vehicles or heavy machinery over the drainage field. This would compact the draining material making it hard for the effluent to properly be filtered into the soil and potentially causing a flood. Another main cause of septic system damages is putting things down your drains that shouldn’t be there. Family Handyman provides us with a few ways to not abuse your septic system.
- Don’t flush items such as diapers, paper towels and feminine hygiene products. These items are very hard to decompose and can clog your system. The only things that should be flushed is waste and toilet paper. When in doubt, don’t flush it.
- Don’t put excessive amounts of household chemicals, such as disinfectants, or antibacterial soaps. These can kill the bacteria in the tank causing the waste to not separate properly. Your system is made to handle light use of these products, just don’t overdo it.
- Do your best to not overuse your garbage disposal. Sending too much waste too quickly can also clog the system.
The very best thing you can do is maintain regular maintenance of your septic tank system. Be conscientious of what you are putting into the system and how often. Minimizing your waste and avoiding physical damage to your system is important.
Hire A Professional!
Handling septic issues and maintenance yourself is not a good idea. Without the proper equipment and training you could potentially cause a lot of damages. In the end you would end up spending more money, not saving. If properly cared for, your septic system should last anywhere from 25-40 years. Replacement of a septic system is an expensive and extensive process where a professional is an absolute must. AAA City Plumbing servicing York County, South Carolina is your best choice. All plumbers are licensed and trained with frequent training to stay up to date on all processes and equipment. With over 30 years of experience, our knowledgeable plumbers are able to quickly assess your issue, find a solution and repair it efficiently.
No matter the issue, AAA City Plumbing can help you six days a week. However, we also have emergency servicing 24/7 for those sudden, and inconvenient, plumbing emergencies. Things that need immediate attention from a plumber constitute as an emergency. A few examples of an emergency are pipe leaks, drain backups, clogged and overflowing toilets, flooding, or water heater problems. Anything that can cause further damage to your home by not being immediately addressed.
If you can’t remember the last time your septic tank was serviced, don’t hesitate to contact AAA City Plumbing today.