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Whether you realize it or not, your septic tank is a crucial element of your Cleveland home’s plumbing and requires regular maintenance to ensure peak efficiency. Key maintenance tasks often include pumping your septic tank, clearing out debris, and professional servicing.
Over time, your septic tank naturally fills up with household waste. A professional plumbing company should be enlisted to undertake a regular septic tank plumbing schedule, including septic tank pumping. Pumping your septic tank prevents the accumulation of solids that can lead to unpleasant smells permeating your home, amongst other things. The frequency at which you’ll require this service varies between homes in Cleveland, but at the very least, most houses benefit from a yearly septic tank service. We, at Metro PHA, recommend annual maintenance, as this enables us to routinely check the sludge and scum levels, as well as make sure that everything remains in top shape. Most septic tanks on the market require pumping every 2-4 years at a minimum, but a well-maintained septic tank can actually go up to a decade without a full pump service if you keep on top of regular maintenance tasks.
Regardless of if you have your septic tank pumped every year, every five years, or every decade, over time, there will be debris that accumulates in the drainage pipes. This is a normal occurrence and, if dealt with accordingly, won’t cause any long-term damage. However, the presence of this built-up debris can clog the plumbing that connects your septic tank to the drainage field. As with any plumbing, if a clog forms, your equipment will start to operate less efficiently. If the clogs aren’t removed, you could face serious issues, so it’s best to have your septic tank plumbing inspected regularly. High-pressure water jetting is the go-to method for clearing out any debris, which is why it’s recommended to use a plumbing company with professional equipment. Similar to septic tank pumping, the frequency at which this task should be performed varies between Cleveland, TN, households. At least once every five years is recommended so that you can be sure any accumulated waste has been completely flushed away.
Another thing you can do to help your septic tank operate at peak efficiency is to add bacteria to your system. Bacteria is naturally very good at breaking down waste, so to help aid this process, you can introduce live organic bacteria to your septic tank. Bacteria can break down even unnatural substances, such as solids and soap scum. Unfortunately, when you flush harsh cleaning chemicals through your septic system, they’re killing off the naturally-occurring bacteria that are helping your septic tank to function correctly. If you don’t top up the bacteria housed in your septic system, you will find that less matter is broken down, and more clogs will occur. Adding more live bacteria will replenish those killed off by the chemicals passed through your home’s septic system and aid in decomposing waste.
Top Tips for Avoiding the Destruction of Useful Bacteria
The collection of living organisms that digest your household waste are integral to the functioning of your septic system. Pouring harsh chemicals down the kitchen sink, utility sink, bathtub, or shower drain is the leading cause of these organisms’ destruction. To avoid killing these bacteria, do the following:
- Try to avoid chemical drain uncloggers. Instead, pour boiling water down the drain or use a drain snake.
- Don’t pour cooking oils or grease through kitchen sink drains.
- Avoid flushing solvents, oil-based paints, and latex paints through household sinks.
- Avoid overusing your garbage disposal as too many solids entering your septic tank can clog the drain field.
Maintaining Your Septic Tank’s Drain Field
The drain field is the component of your septic tank plumbing that removes the contaminants from your septic tank’s liquid waste. It’s an essential part of your septic tank, although it can seem more challenging to maintain. There are, however, some things that you can do to prevent possible issues:
- Don’t park on or drive over your drain field.
- Plant any trees an appropriate distance away so that their roots are unlikely to disturb the system.
- Direct roof drains, sump pumps and alternative rainwater drain systems should be installed away from the drain field.
If you’re unsure about where your drain field is located or the proper distancing required, a septic tank plumbing professional can advise you based on your yard’s landscape and the septic tank you have installed. The correct placing may not always be obtainable, depending on the layout, but it helps if you can keep excess water away from the drain field as much as possible. Excess water slows down the waste treatment process substantially.
What to Expect From a Professional Septic Tank Plumbing Service
Once you’ve booked a septic tank plumbing service and your plumber has arrived on-site, critical tasks will include searching for leaks and examining the scum and sludge levels in your septic tank. The T-shaped outlet on septic tanks prevents sludge and scum from exiting the tank and polluting the drain field area. If the layer of scum is within 6 inches of the bottom of your tank’s outlet, then your plumber will recommend a pumping service, likewise, if the top of the layer of scum falls within 12 inches of the outlet.
Maintenance records should be kept for work that’s been performed, so you and your service provider have an accurate maintenance history. This can help guide future repair, maintenance, and replacement decisions, especially if the sludge and scum levels are tracked. You can then determine how much accumulates in your tank over time and roughly when it’s time for another septic tank plumbing service.
Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air is always on-hand to help you deal with any septic tank plumbing issues in Cleveland, TN. If you can’t recall the last time your septic tank was professionally pumped, or you need a professional plumbing company to replace your existing septic tank that’s no longer cost-effective to repair, turn to Metro PHA. We’re a family-owned and operated company that has served Cleveland and the surrounding areas since 1989. We understand that septic tank plumbing issues can happen at any time, and that’s why we offer 24/7 emergency services. A master plumber is always on-call, and same-day servicing is available. For more details on available maintenance services and pricing, call us to discuss.