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843 Ewen Avenue, #11 New Westminster, BC, V3M0K6

A Homeowner’s Guide to Septic System Care

While many Burnaby, BC, homeowners assume their septic system takes care of itself, the truth is that it requires routine maintenance to keep it operating correctly. Not everyone will have this type of wastewater system, such as those connected to a city sewer system. Below is a helpful care guide for home septic systems. Remember that properly caring for a system can extend the system’s life and save homeowners lots of money.

Pump The System as Needed

Homeowners hooked up to city sewers do not have to worry about having a system pumped, but those with a septic system need to keep an eye on their tank. Experts suggest that homeowners have their systems pumped every three to five years. So, is it time to have the system pumped? Those who are not sure can ask New West Plumbing to inspect the system and find out if the system needs pumping.

What is the cost of septic pumping? The size of the tank determines the price and whether any additional issues need fixing. When you pump the tank, a big hose will suck out all of the solids and liquids, leaving the homeowner with an empty septic storage tank.

Spread Out Household Chores

While it may be tempting to designate one or two days of the week for laundry and dishes, it’s better for the system when homeowners spread chores out throughout the week. For example, limit laundry to one full load a day instead of five loads in a single day. The system needs time to treat the laundry wastewater, and a full day of laundry is much harder on the system than spreading laundry out over several days.

Try to do only a few water-related chores at one time. For instance, do not run the washing machine while running the dishwasher. Instead, tasks that involve water should be completed one at a time. Such tasks include laundry, dishes, baths, bathing pets indoors, or other activities that involve running water down the drains. Put the system first by spreading out these water-related household tasks.

Be Careful With The Toilet

Homeowners who want their septic system to last should treat their drains, toilets, and septic system carefully. Never flush anything but water, waste, or toilet paper. While many items advertise that they are safe to flush down the toilet, the truth is that these items can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in repair costs if they are flushed.

Items that are famous for clogging the toilet and requiring the homeowner to spend money on septic repairs include:

  • Feminine products
  • Facial tissue
  • Paper towels
  • Hair
  • Wipes
  • Diapers
  • Qtips

Only Water Goes In Sinks and Drains

People didn’t realize the damage done when people rinsed food and grease down the drain in the past. Today, septic experts tirelessly educate homeowners on the importance of keeping inappropriate items out of the sink and drains. Never dispose of grease down the sink, as grease is arguably the number-one cause of kitchen plumbing clogs.
It’s okay for plain water to go down the drain. However, homeowners should avoid allowing the following to go down kitchen or bathroom drains:

  • Food
  • Grease
  • Chemicals
  • Paper towels
  • Facial Tissues
  • Trash

These items can cause problems throughout the drain and septic systems. For example, they can clog sink openings, pipes, or septic systems. However, homeowners are helping to avoid costly plumbing and septic system repairs by only allowing water down the drains.

Avoid Allowing Chemicals to Wash Down the Drain

When a septic system is working correctly, the system uses good bacteria to process household waste. If the good bacteria are killed, the system cannot work as it should. A major killer of the good bacteria that a septic system needs is chemicals, including those used by homeowners to clean and unclog drains.

Homeowners wanting to protect and care for their system should go out of their way to avoid using chemicals that could damage their delicate and expensive system. Try to clean the home with gentle cleaners and avoid allowing cleansers or anything containing bleach to enter the drains. This includes laundry detergent and toilet bowl cleaners with bleach listed as an ingredient. In addition, never use anything that has ammonia listed as an ingredient.

Two other products famous for killing the good bacteria in septic systems are antibacterial soaps and anything labeled disinfectant. Unfortunately, these products kill both the good and the harmful bacteria in homes and the essential bacteria in the septic system. So, again, only use gentle products safe for homes with septic systems and be careful not to rinse the products down the sink.

Find Ways to Unclog Drains Safely

Clogged drains are a nightmare as people rely on their drains to remove wastewater from their homes. Nothing is worse than a clogged toilet, bathtub, or kitchen sink. The fastest and easiest way to clear drains safely is to call a plumbing professional when you can’t do it yourself.

People who try to clear a drain on their own need to keep in mind the rule about avoiding chemicals in the drain system. Products marketed to clear clogs can do more harm than good. While these products can eat the items causing the clog, these products are also famous for eating through drains and damaging septic systems. Skip the chemicals and find a safe way to unclog the drain and system. If all else fails, call a plumber in Burnaby to safely remove clogs from drains without damaging the septic system.

New West Plumbing Is There When Needed

At New West Plumbing, we aim to offer hassle-free service for your plumbing issues. Our qualified plumbers will come to your home, check out the issue, diagnose the problem, and describe the recommended repair. Before you have any septic system issues that develop and spiral out of hand, contact the plumbing professionals of New West Plumbing to schedule an appointment for routine maintenance.