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New To Septic System Care? Tips To Avoid Damaging Your Home's Plumbing System

by April Rivera

When you move into your first place with a septic system, you might be unfamiliar with the unique care requirements of this type of plumbing system. It's important to remember that anything you put down the drain in your house can affect the septic system. In fact, you may be making some drain-damaging mistakes that you don't realize. Here are a few mistakes that many homeowners make when it comes to septic system management and some tips to avoid them.

Excessive Use of Drain Cleaner

Drain cleaners are an ideal way to clear out small buildup issues and restore your water flow to its normal state. Unfortunately, they can also damage your pipes if you use too much of them. Harsh drain cleaners can actually corrode the inside of your plumbing, which will worsen the clog with metal flakes and other debris.

The chemical makeup of the drain cleaner can also disrupt the enzyme balance in the septic tank. Since the tank requires certain bacteria and enzymes to properly break down waste, too much drain cleaner may prove disruptive. The best way to avoid this is to limit the use of chemical cleaners. Instead, consider natural drain cleaners like baking soda with vinegar.

Rinsing Grease and Other Solids

When almost everything in the kitchen goes down your sink drains, it's a recipe for plumbing disasters. Grease, in particular, is a serious issue for plumbing system integrity. Grease products will start to solidify in your drains, clinging to the inside surfaces of the pipes and inhibiting proper flow. Along with grease, another hazard for your plumbing drains is the food you're putting down the garbage disposal.

The garbage disposal doesn't disintegrate food – it just breaks it down smaller. This means that things like rice, vegetable peels and flour can build up in the pipes and lead to significant clogs. While most residual food particles that do flush through a traditional plumbing system will be handled appropriately at the water treatment facility, a septic system doesn't have that same luxury. Grease and some particles won't break down as easily in the tank, which can interfere with the tank's natural waste processing.

Using Anti-Bacterial Soap and Bleach Cleaners

Chances are, you probably don't think much of using anti-bacterial soaps and chlorine bleach when you're cleaning or doing your laundry. Although these are traditional staples of household cleaning, they're actually disruptive to your septic system. The bleach and anti-bacterial components of the soap can kill the bacteria necessary to maintain the balance in your septic tank. This can lead to tank overflows and other backups.

Flushing Non-Flushable Household Items

If you've been treating the toilet as a backup disposal for stuff you don't otherwise want to put down the drain, it's possible that you're contributing to plumbing problems by doing so. The things you flush down the toilet end up in the same primary drain pipes as the things going down your sink drains. If you're flushing anything that isn't biodegradable and made to be flushed, those things can not only back up in the drain pipes, but they can also accumulate inside your septic tank. This will lead to more frequent tank pumping if you want to avoid an overflow in your yard.

Many homeowners overlook the fact that they can be their plumbing system's worst enemy. If you're new to septic system care, you need to understand these tips and other important considerations. Work with a plumber who can help you evaluate your new septic system and decide how best to care for it. With the support of a plumber and routine pipe inspections, you can keep your plumbing system flowing at its best when you need it most. Visit http://calldoctorfixit.com to learn more. 

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