Fixing a Clogged Septic Tank and Toilet
It’s 6am… your flushed toilet gurgles when you flush. Then it starts to back up looking like a clog. If you have a septic tank, that usually is an indicator you have a clogged septic tank ready for cleaning and pumping. However, your septic tank company can’t come over for 24 hours so what do you do? Doc shows you a simple trick to give you 24 – 48 hours of relief until they arrive.
Clogged Septic Tank Video
Find the clean-out trap which should be inline with your main septic tank system. Remove the cap and insert a FIRM garden hose. Wiggle the hose around until you feel it pass the 90 degree pipe and then goes to your primary septic tank. Turn on water full blast and more the hose up and down until you see the water flow freely.
Turn off the hose, replace the cap and schedule a cleaning.
Septic Tank Myths
Myth 1: I need to “seed” my septic tank with bacteria
As long as you are using the commode, you are adding natural bacteria to the tank with each flush. In most cases there is no need to use additives in your septic tank.
Myth 2: Using additives will prevent backups
Using additives will not prevent, or remedy, a backup. Backups in the house are usually caused by a plumbing issue or a problem with the drainfield — here’s some things to check if your septic system is backing up.
Myth 3: If I use additives, I won’t need to pump my tank
The paper and waste that enter the septic tank break down naturally (as long as you aren’t putting things down the drain that should go in the trash can). Those solids accumulate over time and need to be removed from the tank so they don’t enter your drainfield.
Using additives does not break down the solids, nor does it make them disappear. They are still in the tank and still need to be removed periodically (every 3-5 years).
Myth 4: I shouldn’t pump my septic tank unless I’m having a problem
If you wait until you have a problem to pump your septic tank, pumping won’t solve your problem.
Septic system problems are usually due to the drainfield failing, which can be caused by not pumping your tank. Once solids are past the tank into the drainfield, pumping the inside of the tank doesn’t do a bit of good.
Waiting too long to pump your septic tank is a bad idea.
Myth 5: Putting Dairy Products help with sewage digestion.
Wrong. They contain fats and oils and can HURT the bacterial digestive process. Do not put dairy down your sink.
Myth 6: Putting food down the disposal is good for the tank.
Wrong. Food such as meats and veggies should be thrown away in trash. Disposals are a BAD idea on septic systems even though most homes have the.
The Message About Septic Additives
From the EPA.GOV website… LINK
“The use of additives containing yeast, bacteria, enzymes, and solvents has not been proven to improve the performance of septic systems, and may interfere with their normal operation. Bacterial “starters” are not necessary because a wide range of bacteria are normally present in sewage entering the tank. Additives containing solvents or petrochemicals can cause ground water contamination.”
NC State University – FULL ARTICLE HERE
Are Septic-Tank Additives Necessary?
No. These products include biologically based materials (bacteria, enzymes, and yeast), inorganic chemicals (acids and bases), or organic chemicals (including solvents). Research conducted to date on three of these types of bacterial additives has not shown any reduction in the rate of solids buildup nor increases in bacterial activity in the septic tank. Therefore, they do not seem to reduce the need for regular pumping of the septic tank. Some additive products contain organic chemicals and may even damage the drainfield or contaminate the groundwater and nearby wells.
The county and city of Peoria, Illinois
“Do not use septic tank additives (these do not help and sometimes can be harmful to your system”
University of Rhode Island Fact Sheet
“Additives are not necessarily beneficial to onsite wastewater treatment systems. In fact, they may even be harmful.”
Kansas University AG research
“Research has found no benefit in septic tank function to using any type of septic system additives. In fact, some additives potentially could be detrimental to the function or components of the septic system or to groundwater quality…… One research study, for example, found that the use of a biological additive caused the solid sludge layer at the bottom of the septic tank to decompose too rapidly. This led to rapid gas production”
There are roughly 2200 more related research posts and GOV local posts with the same information.