All You Need to Know About Septic Tanks Clogs
Apart from the electricity, gas, and plumbing system, every house also has its drainage system that allows the wastewater to drain to its right destination. This drainage system is fundamental to keep up with the sanitation and cleanliness of the area. Many urban areas have their sewage system through which the waste of its site and surrounding areas are collected from the cities and towns and transported through the developed system. This system is mostly maintained and operated by the water company in your local area.
For areas where this system is not much developed or considered rural, have another source through which waste materials are collected and transported to its designated locations. Most commonly, a septic tank is used. A septic tank is a tank that is installed underwater. It is a sedimentation tank that is used for wastewater treatment. The process followed in this tank with the wastewater is composed of a biological decomposition and drainage system.
Because of their quality and feature of safe disposal of wastewater, these tanks are one of the most popular and most sought out options in areas or localities where the drainage system is low or are off the leading sewage network. What a septic tank does is that it collects all sorts of wastewater and excreta in its underground tank and then works on its decomposition process, which is why it is predominantly used in rural areas.
Design and working of a septic tank installed and used in a home.
A septic tank has a simple design which is mostly rectangular or round. It is a watertight container installed underground and comprises any of the three materials; plastic, fiberglass, or concrete. For the inlet and outlet of water, two pipes are connected with this tank that allows water flow. The line leading towards the septic tank from the whole house, the inlet pipe, collects all the wastewater and directs it towards the tank. While the water is being led to the tank, it is long enough to give reliable and liquid waste time to get separated from each other.
The outlet pipe has its function as it leads the pre-processed wastewater from the tank outside and spreads it evenly in the watercourses and the soils where it is needed. This pipe that leads the water out from the tank is also called a drain field.
Separation of wastewater in a septic tank
The wastewater collected inside the septic tank with the inlet pipe’s help is separated into three layers after it stays in the tank for a while.
The top layer that formed is usually oils and grease, which is lighter in weight and therefore floats above all the waste that has been collected. This layer is called scum. The next layer, the middle layer, consists of all the wastewater and all the waste particles. Lastly, the third layer that is formed at the bottom of the tank is the one that consists of more massive particles that are heavier than all waste materials and water and hence form a layer of sludge.
Apart from the formation of layers, another process inside the tank includes the breaking down of the solid waste. All this waste is broken down and decomposed rapidly with the help of bacteria present in the wastewater and allows the liquids to separate and drain away more quickly.
Possible causes of slow drainage to the septic tank
There are many reasons why a drainage pipe of the drainage system leading to the septic tank can get clogged. Some of the most common reasons are highlighted below:
- Any part of the two main lines, the inlet pipe, and the outlet pipe, of the septic tank that connects it to the house and the area outside, are partially or fully clogged.
- There is a chance that any part of the percolation pipes has clogged.
- The vent attached to the septic tank used as air duct purposes has blocked due to some reason.
- Because of low temperatures, the septic tank or septic vents or some areas have frozen, causing a blockage in wastewater flow.
- There might be some blockage in the distribution box.
- There is a possibility that a small or significant part of the main drain line clogged because of the wrong items that have flowed the drain.
To deal with these issues appropriately so that they do not lead to any further harm can be prevented using a drain clog remover safe for septic tanks.
Ways to avoid clogged drains and full septic tanks clogs
To prevent you from getting into the trouble of clogged drains that creates a mishap for the entire house and the plumbing system, you need to look after the gutters and maintain them regularly. Other vital points that you should keep in mind that will help you to avoid any significant or minor clogging in drains that lead to the septic tank are mentioned here:
– Avoid clogs by not dumping any hard or solid material into the sink drain weather of the kitchen, bathroom, or any place else. Also, avoid putting any greasy substance in the drain that can solidify inside and cause some severe clog inside. To overcome this issue, you can use some drain clog remover safe for septic tanks to solve this problem.
– Do not leave your drains open and make sure that you use filters over them. There are drains almost everywhere in your house and near places where water usage is like bathrooms and kitchen. Filters can be adjusted and placed on gutters in the kitchen or toilet to keep away hair or any other large items and objects away from the drain so that they do not get stuck inside and lead towards clogging.
Another important aspect and an item that plays a vital part in a plumbing system’s proper functioning is air vents. Ensure that these vents are available in adequate number and that their size is sufficient as per the house’s need. In case of any issue, a drain clog remover safe for septic tanks can be used in homes with a septic tank installed underneath for decomposition purposes.
Ways to unclog the main drain or full septic tank
– One of the most common tools used to unclog the drain that leads to the septic tank is to use a drain snake or water jetting that leads to the main drain pipe. You can try on your own if you have some knowledge about it or hire an expert for these services. The expert would know, through his expertise, how to snake a slow drain, and will also be able to identify if the clog is due to solid waste or greasy substances or roots. They also have the necessary tools to deal with this issue and apply a suitable technique to unclog the drain and the septic tank.
With the plumbing tools’ help, check the inlet pipe and the outlet pipe of the septic tank. You might find blockage due to solid wastes, scum, and so on. With the tools’ help, remove the block, and then check if the water is now able to flow
You can also unclog the main drain by looking for any possible blockage in the distribution box. This distribution box is what is located between the septic tank and the percolators. There are chances that a backup of any sort has formed in between. If so, then make sure you remove it and check for the easy flow of water.
– You might also want to check the percolators and the area around it. See whether it is moist, swampy, and stinky. It means that the percolation is not proper. In other words, the soil is not absorbing the drain water at the rate of discharge. This bottleneck over here can cause the water to only reach the ground near it, and once the capacity for the soil to absorb water has reached its maximum, it would start to create a blockage. This blockage either happens because water usage increased due to more guests, or the soil has become saturated due to moisture from other sources such as rainfall (more than usual). To handle this issue so that the water is distributed evenly from now onwards, immediately call for an expert as this is a problem that requires instant care.
– Another reason why the septic tank or its drain or the drain leading towards the septic tank might have blocked is that the septic tank has frozen due to bad weather. In such a case, you can use a drain clog remover safe for septic tanks or seek an expert’s help immediately. If an expert and the tools needed are hard to find, use the septic tank as a storage tank until the tank thaws by itself. Judicious use of water will help you hold on for some time. To avoid freezing of the septic tank in the future, winterize before the next winter.
Preventive measures to avoid a blocked main or slow drain
It would help if you respected your septic tank that it needs for the work that it does. A septic tank is a unit that has been designed specially to dispose of and decompose wastes that is organic. Never make the mistake of dumping inorganic and non-bio-degradable wastes in a septic tank. It will cause the septic tank to get full and lead to the blockage of the septic tank’s normal functioning. It will also result in the clogging of drains and pipes leading to and from the septic tank, which will affect a septic tank’s working life.
– To avoid any waste or unnecessary item from flowing towards the septic tank, make sure you use filters over the drains in your toilet and kitchen to trap hair and solid objects.
– When the winters are near, it is recommendable by many professionals and experts in the field of plumbing that you winterize the septic tank. In this way, you would prevent it from freezing in winter and extreme weather conditions.
– In case you and your family are planning for an extended vacation or are moving to some other house or place for the next couple of months, you should empty the septic tank.
In the end, if nothing seems to work on your own and matters seem to get out of your hands, then always get some expert help on an immediate basis. A small investment here will save you from all hardships during the winter.