As a septic system owner, you may want to try your best to stay septic safe. This is more important if you are around the opening of the septic tank. As a matter of fact, you should know all of the important safety precautions that should be taken prior to working on the septic system.
Follow the safety tips given below:
1. Septic tank lid
Make sure that the access port of your tank is covered with a solid lid. Make sure that the lid is strong enough. Kids should not be able to open it. If you have no idea as to how to install the system, you can call a professional for help. The company will be more than happy to help with the inspection.
2. The tank opening
You should never lean over the septic tank opening. The reason is that the gasses that come out of the tank may knock you out. You may also fall in the tank, which may prove fatal.
3. Driving Over The septic system
Driving heavy machine on the ground where the tank system is buried is not a good idea. Actually, you may have to bear heavy costs in order to get the broken pipes repaired. So, make sure you don’t drive heavy equipment or machinery on the ground where you buried the tank system.
Name: Billy Fowler
Organization: ASAP Advanced Septic & Drainage, Inc.
Address: 5011 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 986-6070
Septic Sytem Maintenance
If you wait until something has already gone wrong with your Septic System, you are probably too late to have any hope at fixing it yourself. But, if you can develop a plan of action on How to Detect and see Early Signs of "Septic Tank trouble," you may just prolong the life of your system and save yourself a ton of money!
Septic System's by State
¼ of all homes (approx. 28+ million) in the Nation are using a septic system. What percentage of homes in these state's use Septic System's:
- 55% Vermont
- 48% North Carolina
- 40% South Carolina
- 40% Kentucky
- 10% California
How do I Know if I Have a Septic System?
The easiest way to determine if you actually do have a Septic System is to take a look at your water bill. You should find a line that reads something like "Sewer Amount Charged." If this line reads a $0.00 amount (and you are not operating an agriculture account) you most likely DO have a septic Tank.
How can I find out if I have a septic system:
- Ask your landlord
- Call your city or county water officials
- Ask your home owner insurance Agent
- Check with the title company that manages your property
- Ask a Realtor friend to check for you
- Contact previous owner
- Ask neighbor's (if they have them you probably do too)
- If your home water is from a well, you likely have a septic
- After a frost you see a bare patch (septics generate heat as they decompose material which causes this patch) in the yard
How Does a Properly Maintained Septic System Work?
A properly maintained Septic System feeds waste water from your home into pipes that fan out into the drainage field (also known as a leach field because the fluids "leach" out of the pipes and into the soil). The remaining (heavy) waste material will settle to the bottom of the tank. It is this solid waste that can bring significant problems. You have to have it pumped out every year or so, for safe and proper disposal by a professional.
My Plumbing is Draining Slowly
If your drains are working slowly, or not at all, the main house drain may have a clog, or the septic system may be backed up. Check for clogs first, by clearing the main drain with a power auger (some power auger's attach to a drill, while others are self standing machines). You should never use chemical drain cleaners on a septic system as the enzyme's required for proper function will be destroyed. Fewer experts today say you should treat your system with an enzyme replacement agent, even if they do get advertised as a needed tool to keep the tank healthy and functioning in top condition. A very popular septic maintenance product is "RID-X." However, when the research is thoroughly inspected, the best advice remains to avoid the use of any septic additives. These products can actually cause the bacteria to become overly active, which can become more hazardous than helpful to your system. When agitated the overactive bacteria pushes undissolved heavy material into the drainage field before it has been broken down sufficiently, which is asking for a big septic repair bill and a health hazard right in your back yard!
How Do I Know if I Have a Serious Problem with My Septic System
First things first; when dealing with serious problems surrounding a Septic Tank, you must act quickly and very cautiously. Human sewage is very HAZARDOUS WASTE—primarily to humans. There are strict government regulations that apply to its handling and removal. Septic Tanks manufacture explosive methane gas and may contain DEADLY viruses.
If faced with the problems brought on by a damaged or non-functioning septic system at your home, you must contact a licensed sewer cleaning service. Click here for The EPA's (pdf.) guide on Septic Systems Rules.
What if the House Drain isn't Clogged?
If the house drain is not clogged, the problem could be a clogged drain field, absence of bacteria in the system, or your Septic System is full. Two important signs to be on the look-out for concerning these symptoms are as follows:
- Dark-colored water is standing on the surface of the drain field
- A yucky sewage odor can be smelled in or around your home
If you are encountering either of these conditions, you most likely have a serious problem with your septic system and must contact a licensed or certified sewage cleaning service.
Buying a home in Texas? This might mean that you're buying one that has a septic system. As part of the home inspection process, I always recommend that the buyers order a septic inspection from a licensed septic servicing company early in the option period of the contract.
A septic system inspection isn't inexpensive, but it can prevent future headaches. The price may be anywhere from $400 to $750 depending on the type and the size of the system. The more expensive inspection is for aerobic septic systems.
There are several types of inspections that a septic company can do. A walk-over is a very simple inspection and really doesn't tell you much. For about $250, an inspector will open many faucets in the house to flood the septic system. When the inspector is certain that the system has water flowing from through the septic tank to the drain field, he walks over the drain field to see if there is any visual evidence of sewage at the surface.
If the septic system is close enough to a body of water, an authority determined by the state may require an inspection so that the new owner can obtain a license to operate the system. A Buyer's Agent should be able to assist buyers with this in addition to the regular inspection.
Repair or replacement of a septic system can be very costly. This is exactly why I recommend that buyers order a full inspection. I would rather see them spend $500+ during the option period even if the pull the plug on the contract than $15,000+ later for repairs.
Class 4 septic systems are divided into two components, the septic tank and the septic field or leaching bed. Waste is piped out of the house into the septic tank, which is essentially a water clarification tank, in which anaerobic bacteria break the waste down into solids (sludge), liquid effluent, and scum.
The solids settle to the bottom, the scum floats to the top and the liquid effluent flows through an outlet pipe into a distribution chamber, where it is directed to the septic field. The septic field is an effluent water disposal system, where the liquid is channeled through perforated pipes to different parts of a field of loose gravel.
Septic tank materials that initially float in the scum layer are kept out of the drainage system by an outflow tee or baffle. If the tank is not pumped regularly, the level of solids can rise, and if it approaches the level of the outflow tee, scum and solids can proceed out into the drainage system, clogging the pipes and gravel - and eventually preventing the absorption of the water by the surrounding earth.
A Class 5 septic system is a holding tank for the storage of sewage at the site where it is produced. A typical holding tank system is comprised of a single compartment tank with a pump-out stack and an audible or visual warning device to alert the homeowner when the tank requires emptying. A holding tank is costly to operate, places restrictions of the owner, and is dependent on Class 7 (hauled) sewage system for waste collection and disposal.
General Guidelines for Purchasers
The only way to make an accurate determination of the system is to have a licensed septic contractor perform a tank, distribution chamber and field inspection.
- If the system is 5-7 years old and has never been pumped it is unlikely that there are serious problems.
- If there is no record of the system having been pumped but the owner has a vague recollection of pumping the system at some time in the distant past, figure that it has never been pumped.
- If the system is over 10 years old and has never been pumped, it is possible that there has been some damage to the septic field, and if it's not been pumped for over 15 years it is quite likely.
- Flushing dye through the system looks good but will only indicate systems that are already seriously clogged, in which case there should already be more obvious signs.
- Flushing dye may not indicate serious defects or indicate systems that are close to failure but still functional.
- If you are on a septic system, adding a bedroom, even without adding a bathroom, may mean having to increase the size of the tank and drainage field.
Installing septic tank pump system becomes necessary for all those homeowners who live in the area having no municipal sewage system. These tanks are quite effective in treating and disposing off your discarded products. You should take special care in maintaining this tank pump system. Sometime homeowners also involve themselves in installation process.
Sometimes installing a septic tank pump becomes necessary especially in higher elevation areas. This pump works exceptionally well in pumping sewage to a distribution tank from septic chamber. Thus it ensures functionality of overall septic system. Though majority of septic systems is based on gravity but this assistance becomes impractical and sometimes impossible in some cases due to distance or terrain.
You should consider installing a pump in the septic tank in this situation just to ensure smooth supply of water to the filed lines directly from the tank. Well, this is a common technique that gives considerable difference from typical setup process of a septic tank system. Consider following step by step guideline to install your septic tank pump:
4 - Use direct burial wiring to connect pump motor with electricity. It is recommended having separate breaker for the pump motor. An added protection to pump could be placing Ground Fault Circuit Interruption breaker because such devices reduces electrical shocks or short circuit issues. Considering expert help is recommended especially if you don't know much about electrical wiring.
5 - Now add some water to your tank just to test the pump. The pump should activate itself once the tank reaches its predefined depth level. Shut off the pump once it moves out water. In the end, septic tank should be covered once you get confirmation that your septic tank pump is functioning properly.
So, these are a few precautions that you may want to take if you are going to work on a septic tank system. This is important should you want to keep you and your family safe around the system. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to call a local septic service in Lakeland . Hopefully, these tips will help.
I hate plunging! I always feel icky and dirty after doing so.
The water from the toilet splashes all over, no matter how careful I may be. I always feel that I get at least some water on my pants making me feel as if I have to throw them immediately into the washer.
Even washing up immediately afterwards does not always make me feel clean and I feel as if I have to change all my clothes and take a full shower!
Then there's the plunger that must be rinsed off in the tub, then allowed to dry out and put back away. After doing so, I feel as if I have to once again wash my hands.
Then when you consider that you may wish to use the same plunger on different drains, such as the one in the bathroom or even in the kitchen sink, it becomes a pretty unsanitary condition.
What's worse, plunging all too often doesn't work! Or at least it doesn't work very well. True, it works to relieve mild stoppages. But it is pretty ineffective against major clogs.
Plungers Don't Always Work That Well
Take the act of trying to use a plunger in the toilet. Even a heavy duty, plumber style plunger doesn't always work all that well.
We have the type of plunger with the extra cup that pulls out from the bottom for a better fit. But it still doesn't fit the toilet well enough to create a very good suction.
The reason for this is plain to see: the plunger is perfectly round, or circular, while the opening in the toilet is oval-shaped. This means that it is not possible to form a very good seal where the plunger meets the opening.
We had a problem with our upstairs bathroom a couple weeks ago. The toilet after flushing did not always clear all of its contents. It was annoying to see this and wonder "did we flush or not?" We certainly had but it just hadn't all gone down.
So we tried plunging it, with all the mess and hassle described above. But still, it didn't seem to work very well. This was one clog that plunging just didn't seem to want to fix!
We tried going to the hardware store to see what else was available in the way of plungers. In addition to the standard plungers, we saw one plastic plunger that was shaped like a bellows and looked like it might be a bit better. But it was round and made of hard plastic and we knew that it wouldn't conform any better to the shape of the toilet drain than any other plunger.
We Noticed Problems With Our Drains
There were other problems with our drain. In fact, it was getting worse. When we ran the sink in the upstairs bathroom, we would sometimes hear a "bloop, bloop, bloop!" sound coming from the toilet. This indicated that there were air bubbles in the system that were not able to go through right away because of some kind of blockage.
When I was taking a shower, the water was starting to collect around my ankles because it was not draining properly. This despite the fact that the drain was open and there were no hairs blocking the outlet. Finally, whatever air bubble was blocking the system cleared itself and the water began to drain, but this took about ten minutes. Perhaps the warm water softened the blockage somewhere and allowed it to go down.
Obviously, some blockage was affecting all three drains in the upstairs bathroom-the sink, the toilet and the tub. This is because all three drains empty into the same sewer line.
(I am not saying the toilet water could back up into the tub or could even come out through the faucet in the sink! It's just that the blockage was lower down, where all three drains empty into the sewer line. This would explain why all three drains were exhibiting similar problems.)
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This is not the first time we’ve had a problem with our drains. In one instance, the blockage in the toilet had been nearly complete. This was so severe it called for running a steel snake down into the toilet to try to clear it.
Alas! This caused more problems than it solved. The action of the snake damaged a presumably plastic drain pipe inside the system. The result? The next time someone took a shower, water dripped from the ceiling down onto the living room floor!
We had to call a plumber in to correct this mess. This meant an expensive plumber's bill as well as money needed to repair the damaged ceiling in the living room. The ceiling was never quite as good as new, and you can still see signs of the episode to this day.
What was the culprit in this mess? The plumber found a wad of dental floss in the sewer line. Someone had been disposing of dental floss in the toilet, something we later read should never be done and which we stopped doing immediately.
Unfortunately, it was too late! The damage was already done. The dental floss, instead of going down, had accumulated in the system, forming a permanent blockage.
The moral of the story? Never, ever dispose of dental floss in the toilet! Always dispose of it in the trash instead.
Back to our current problem, the drains were obviously running slow and plunging didn’t work! We could try using chemical drain cleaner, but we were very wary of doing this, since we know how fragile the pipes are and we certainly did not want a repeat of our earlier episode! So what to do?
Fortunately, the plumber we had called about the dental floss problem recommended a great product called Bio-Clean.
What is Bio-Clean? It's a bacteria culture in a can, what is called “friendly bacteria,” that is harmless to people and plumbing but that actually eats biodegradable wastes, the cause of most stoppages.
You may be saying to yourself, what the heck is "friendly bacteria?" I know it sounds kind of weird, sort of like a science experiment that you carry out in your own home. The fact is that bacteria, or at least certain forms of it, has a very friendly relationship with what our bodies consider "waste."
Bacteria is used in municipal sanitation plants to break down sewer waste into harmless components so that the water can be returned to the ecosystem. Living creatures like humans have trillions of bacteria in their guts that help with the digestive process. So, bacteria and biodegradable materials have a very close relationship, and this has been so for millions of years.
How does this help you with your drains? Well, as time goes on and you use your drains, waste begins to accumulate on the inside surfaces of the pipes in your sewer system.
How Bio-Clean Works
It’s something like a blockage of the arteries. As a waste accumulates, it forms a thicker and thicker layer that eventually reduces the size of your sewer openings to a very small diameter. This causes slower and slower drains until, eventually, you must start plunging or use a caustic drain cleaner.
The problem is these methods don’t always work very well, as previously discussed.
The plunger attempts to use the force of suction to physically clear the blockage, but it’s impossible to totally clear months or years of accumulation. The drain opener gets more to the source of the problem, but it can be seriously bad for your bathroom pipes.
That’s where Bio-Clean comes in. The "friendly bacteria" in Bio-Clean love the substances that we consider waste and blockages and they literally eat it up! Yet they are 100% harmless to living or nonbiological substances such as the pipes themselves.
Look at a cross-section of a clogged pipe, and you will see years of accumulated slime piled up around the inner surfaces. This is what the bacteria in Bio-Clean consumes.
They feed, multiply and eat their way through all waste matter until it is all eaten up. They chemically change it into water, carbon and other harmless elements that are used by plant life and run right out of the waste system.
Where does Bio-Clean work?
Where does Bio-Clean work? In all the following areas:
Septic Tanks and Fields
Rv and Boat Holding Tanks
You can even add it to cat litter
What Are the Alternatives to Bio-Clean?
Compare Bio-Clean to mechanical equipment. As we discovered, cables can poke holes through the pipe. At best, they only leave a small opening through the mess which only leaves a base for new waste to adhere to.
Hot, caustic drain openers actually become diluted and weaker as they travel down through the pipes. They cannot defy gravity. They can only settle in a concentrated area or become weaker as they go down.
But the Bio-Clean family of friendly bacteria can digest vegetation and animal waste. They can defy gravity. They can work their way up as well as down!
It is important to note that Bio-Clean cannot repair broken pipes or mechanical defects or digest inorganic material such as baby toys or dental floss, as we discovered in our own drain. However, Bio-Clean will work for most normal blockages.
How do you use Bio-Clean?
How do you use Bio-Clean? Bio-Clean comes to you as an inert powder containing the bacteria culture, amylase, protease, cellulase and lipase enzymes.
The bacteria are in a state of "suspended animation," I guess you could say, (sort of like the old Sea Monkeys) but they "come to life" when they are added to water. You merely add a tablespoon full to your drains when they will be undisturbed for 6 to 8 hours, such as at nighttime. To give it the fullest time to work, repeat the treatment for five consecutive days.
In the instance of our clogged bathroom drain, we added it to both the toilet and the shower drain for one week.
What was the result? The sink drain no longer goes "bloop, bloop, bloop!"when we are running the water. The toilet flushes perfectly every time with no need for repeated flushings. The shower drains like when it was new. All this with no messy plunging or caustic chemicals!
Advantages of Bio-Clean
Bio-Clean may be a slight inconvenience for large families or households with only one bathroom since, for best results, it should be applied for five consecutive days. However, you can avoid even this slight inconvenience, once you get your drains cleared, simply by applying it once a month to all drains as a maintenance schedule. This will keep clogs from building up in the first place with minimal inconvenience.
Bio-Clean is also economical. A single can contains up to 100 drain treatments or will treat a 1000 US gallon septic tank.
I highly recommend Bio-Clean. It can replace plungers, caustic drain cleaners and even expensive plumber's bills. If it saves you one trip from the plumber, it will have paid for a lifetime of Bio-Clean!
Make friends with the friendly bacteria of Bio-Clean and you may never have to suffer from slow or clogged drains again!
Tips for Bio-Clean - Here are some handy tips to aid you in your use of Bio-Clean.
- In the Bio-Clean instructions, it says, "On multi-story buildings start initial treatment on the lowest level (e.g. basement) and progress to the top. Complete the five-day treatment on one floor before going on to the next higher floor." Tip: If the drains on the lower floors are running and have good flow you do not have to start on the lowest floor.
- In the Bio-Clean instructions, it says that "mouthwash should be disposed of into toilet." Tip: This refers not only to the 6 to 8 hours at bedtime when the drain is being treated but for the entire 5 to 6 consecutive days of drain treatment. You need to dispose of mouthwash this way during the entire 5 day treatment because Bio-Clean can continue working even after the sinks are being used again. Mouthwash, however, contains antibacterial agents that can destroy the residual action of Bio-Clean.
- Tip: Even though Bio-Clean can serve as an alternative to plunging, you can get better, faster results by doing an occasional plunging while using bio clean. This is because plunging can help break up the built-up wastes lining the pipes that Bio-Clean has loosened. This can give you faster and more complete results in clearing your drain blockages.
Polk Septic System Pump Out