When it comes to your home's plumbing, it is often out of sight, out of mind. As long as your septic tank is maintained and used properly, you likely won't have any issues. However, if you don't, you will run into problems. Here are a few things you can do to minimize the chance of failure and costly repairs.
Watch What You Flush
When solids enter your septic tank, bacteria decompose them so that they can enter the leach field. However, there are certain solids that this bacteria cannot decompose. For example, race cars, rubber ducks, cigarette butts, baby wipes and diapers are resistant to this bacteria. While some of these "solids" may decompose eventually, they will take space up in your septic tank until they do, which will result in you needing to have it pumped prematurely.
Be Careful When You Use Your Water
Septic tanks are designed to hold only so much water. Therefore, it is important that you don't allow too much water to go into the tank than what can go out of it and into the drain field. The best thing that you can do is to avoid using water throughout your home at the same time. In other words, you won't want to be doing laundry, taking a shower and washing dishes simultaneously. Try to time it so that only one water appliance is running at a time. You also want to avoid washing all of your laundry on the same day, such as Sunday, as this can also overload your septic tank; instead, try to do small loads throughout the week.
Use Your Trash Can
While it is true that your garbage disposal has the word "garbage" in it, it is not designed to be your garbage can; that is why you have a trash can. There are certain things that you can put down your garbage disposal, but there are also certain organic materials that can ruin your disposal as well as your septic tank if you put them down the drain. Items that you should not place down the drain include bones, potato peelings, and corn cobs. The best way to avoid anything going down the drain that shouldn't is to insert strainers in the drains to catch any "scraps" and prevent them from entering the drains.
Get an Annual Inspection
Your septic tank and drain field should be inspected on a yearly basis by a professional to ensure that the tank levels are appropriate and determine if there is any damage that needs to be repaired. The plumbing assistance professional will look for clogged pipes and also determine whether a tank pumping is necessary.