Septic systems can be a little intimidating, especially if you've just purchased a home that uses one for the first time. Some homeowners may prefer to switch to city sewer service if available, but septic tanks can be an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient method to manage wastewater. Unfortunately, it can take some work to catch up on maintenance a home's previous owner may have deferred.
If you don't have detailed information on your new septic tank's maintenance status, then it's usually safe to assume that the previous owner wasn't entirely on top of things. These three steps will help you catch up and keep up with septic tank maintenance.
Step 1. Gather Information
Septic tanks typically have two components that you'll need to concern yourself with: the tank itself and the drainfield. Tanks usually have an access cover and risers to allow for pumping and inspection, although they may be underground. You will also find it helpful to locate your drainfield distribution box since the lines can sometimes require cleaning if the system has been neglected.
Blindly locating these items can often be challenging, so try to get this information from the previous owner, if at all possible. If not, you may be able to gather records from your local town hall. If all else fails, consider hiring a septic contractor to help you identify and locate critical system components. Knowing where these items are will make future maintenance significantly more straightforward.
Step 2. Schedule a Cleaning
If you don't know when the previous owners last emptied the tank, then it's a good idea to schedule a cleaning as soon as possible. While pumping too frequently is a waste of money, this initial step can help you get your maintenance schedule started. Once you've performed this initial cleaning, you can plan to pump again in 3–4 years and adjust your cleaning schedule based on the tank levels at that time.
While performing your initial cleaning, you may also want to have your contractor perform an inspection of the tank. Once the tank is drained, most septic contractors can check the tank's interior for cracks or other signs of distress. Addressing these issues now can save you significant trouble in the future.
Step 3. Stick With It
Once you've performed your first cleaning, the only thing left to do is ensure that you stick with a regular schedule. If you don't have good records from the previous owner, then you'll want to schedule your next cleaning just a few years in the future. Your septic contractor can then measure the levels of grease and solids in your tank. With this information, you can adjust your pumping schedule as needed.
Septic systems are generally reliable and long-lasting. By starting your maintenance routine off on the right foot and sticking to a regular schedule, you can keep yours running for decades to come.Share
20 October 2020
Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Heather, and a few years ago, my partner and I got a very cheap property up in the mountains practically in the middle of nowhere. I knew we had to build, but there were many elements that I overlooked. I never even considered the idea that we wouldn't be connected to a town sewer system for example. However, I learned quickly as we built our septic tank. Through the process, I also researched a lot of alternatives to ensure we got the perfect septic system for our needs. If you are building on a new property and you don't have the option of sewer, this blog has everything you need to know about septic systems. I truly love to help others, and I hope these posts help you.