Why You Should Avoid Septic Additives

You can find septic additives in almost every store. They all claim to do great things for your septic system. However, how do you know if they’re safe for your septic system? Are they even necessary? Here are just a few reasons why most septic system owners don’t use them.

What are septic additives?

Septic additives are organic and inorganic compounds marketed to septic tank owners for the purpose of helping to break down waste. Most additive companies claim to help keep your septic system working efficiently and cut down on the risk of costly septic problems. Some even claim to unclog septic pipes. While this may be somewhat true, they are usually more trouble than they’re worth.

Unclear Regulations

Unfortunately, septic additives are severely lacking in federal regulations and standardized testing. This basically means that an additive company can make any claim they want without any solid evidence to back it up. Independent studies and testing don’t show many advantages of using septic additives. In fact, most professional septic companies will tell you that additives cause problems rather than solve them. Backing that consensus, the United States Environmental Protection Agency concluded that biological septic additives do not appear to improve overall septic performance.

Damage to the Bacteria Balance

There is a world of bacteria living in your septic tank, working 24/7 to break down the waste that enters it. Your septic system wouldn’t work without this collection of bacteria. When you put septic additives into your tank, you may upset the balance of bacteria and make it more difficult for waste to be broken down. If the septic additives kill off bacteria, you could end up with costly problems and even backups.

For all your septic-related needs, ask the experts at Affordable Pumping Services. Give us a call today!

The Features of Different Kinds of Septic Systems

It may surprise you to learn that several different kinds of septic systems exist. Each system is similar, but shares different features.

 

The Septic Tank

One feature that almost all septic systems share is the septic tank. A septic tank is a watertight tank that is buried underground. It is designed and constructed to receive and treat wastewater. The heavy solids settle to the bottom in a septic tank while the lighter solids and substances float to the top. The wastewater travels to the drain field while the solids remain in the tank until pumped out.

Conventional Septic System With Gravel Drain Fields

A conventional septic system consists of a septic tank and a drain field. These types of septic systems are typically found at single-family homes and small businesses. Usually, a gravel or stone drain field is implemented, which is a design that has been used for decades. In this type of system, effluent travels from the septic tank to a shallow underground trench made of stones or gravel. Material is placed on top, so sand or dirt can’t penetrate it.

Chamber System

A chamber septic system is a conventional system that uses a gravel-less drain field. This type of system is typically used in homes that may have long periods of minimal use, like vacation homes or seasonal inns. It has a series of connected chambers with an area above them that is filled with soil. Pipes carry the wastewater from the septic tank to each of the chambers. Microbes in the soil then treat the effluent.

Drip Distribution System

This type of septic system can be used with many different types of drain fields. No large amounts of soil are needed for this system. Instead, drip laterals are inserted into the top layer of soil. However, a drip distribution system requires a large dose tank and a septic tank. This kind of system also requires electricity and more maintenance than the other types of systems.

 

Affordable Pumping Services is here for all your septic needs, no matter what system you have. Give us a call today!

How to Keep Your Septic System in Working Order

Owning a septic system on your property comes with a certain amount of responsibility. While septic systems are a safe, efficient way to deal with your household’s wastewater – there are some things to keep in mind.

Get it Pumped Regularly

A delicate bacteria balance is located in your septic tank that works 24/7 to break down solid waste. However, this bacteria does not eliminate everything in your tank. Because of that, your septic tank slowly fills up. To keep your septic tank at a safe capacity, it’s essential to get it pumped regularly. A professional septic company will use a large truck and hose to pump out your tank during a pumping session. This should be done every 1-3 years, depending on your tank and household size.

Be Mindful of Your Water Usage

Most American households use around 70 gallons of water per person, per day. In comparison, one leaky faucet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. Keep in mind that every drop of water your household sends down the pipes ends up in your septic system. Therefore, the more water you intentionally conserve, the less water enters your septic tank. Using your water efficiently reduces the risk of septic tank problems.

Have Toilet Flushing Rules

Again, everything you flush down your toilet ends up in your septic tank. Anything other than human waste and toilet paper could cause major problems to your septic system. Never flush the following:

  • Baby Wipes
  • “Flushable” Wipes
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Paper towels
  • Diapers

Flushing these products could lead to significant septic problems and backups.

The best way to ensure your septic system is always running the way it should is to have a professional septic company on standby. Affordable Pumping Services is here for all your septic needs! Give us a call today.

Most Important Safety Tips for Septic Systems

Millions of households across America use septic systems to deal with their household wastewater safely and efficiently. However, you must understand how your septic system works and prioritize septic maintenance and care.

Make Sure Your Septic Tank Has a Safe Lid and is Closed at All Times

Your septic tank lid provides an essential layer of security and protection. Not only is your septic lid there to prevent animals or people from accidentally falling in your septic tank, but it also prevents debris that could disrupt your system from entering the tank. If your septic lid is damaged or ill-fitting, get it replaced right away.

Get Your Septic Tank Pumped Regularly

Pumping is an essential part of septic system maintenance. Depending on the size of your tank, it should be pumped every 1-3 years. If you neglect septic pumping, your tank could become overfilled. A full septic tank can lead to dangerous septic backups and many other problems.

Call a Septic Company at the First Sign of a Problem

If you suspect there may be a problem in your septic system, it’s critical to call a professional septic company right away. Some common signs of a septic problem are:

  • Sulfur or rotten egg smell coming from inside or around the outside of your home
  • Odd sounds coming from your pipes
  • Slow draining sinks and tubs
  • Slow flushing toilets

Don’t Forget the Yearly Inspections

Since your septic tank is buried underground, it’s almost impossible to know if problems are beginning to develop. This is where septic inspections come in. A professional septic inspector uses specialty equipment to identify issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. Fixing minor problems now can prevent significant, costly issues in the future.

For all your septic system needs, give Affordable Pumping Services a call!

What You Need to Know About Your Septic System’s Drain Field

If you have a septic system on your property, then you probably know that the drain field is an important component of that system. And just like any component of your septic system, you’ll need to know how to care for it properly. Here’s what you need to know about your septic system’s drain field.

 

What is a drain field?

 

A drain field, sometimes called a leach field, is a necessary part of your septic system. It usually just looks like a grassy area of your yard on the surface. But underneath, there’s quite a bit going on. Under the ground of your drain field, there are a series of trenches, pipes, and septic components all connecting to your septic tank. As your tank breaks down waste, the wastewater is released into pipes. These pipes run the length of your drain field, and effluent eventually spills out evenly through the field.

 

Can you landscape over your drain field?

 

While you should generally keep your drain field clear, growing grass and certain plants around its surface are safe. However, invasive bushes and trees should always be avoided. Tree roots can be disastrous for septic pipes and have completely infiltrated underground pipes.

 

What else do you need to know about your drain field?

 

Here are some important things to remember about your drain field:

 

  • Never Park vehicles or equipment on your drain field
  • Never allow children to play on your drain field or near your tank
  • Keep the tank cover on at all times
  • Call a septic company if you see standing water or lush green areas on your drain field

 

For all your drain field questions or anything involving your septic system, give Affordable Pumping Services a call. We’re here for all your septic tank needs!

The Role of a Septic Float Switch in Your Septic Tank

If you own a septic tank, it’s important to be familiar with some of the essential parts that make it work. One of these parts is the float switch. Below is everything you should know about their roles.

 

A Float Switch Helps Detect the Level of Wastewater in Your Septic Tank

As the name suggests, a float switch is a mechanical septic tank switch that floats on top of the septic tank’s liquid surface. This liquid is the wastewater your septic tank holds. When the water or liquid level goes up and down, the switch changes vertically and in line with the liquid level to let you know your tank is filling up.

Depending on your tank’s counterweight and pre-set trigger functions, the switch opens or closes to allow an electrical current to any device connected to the tank. The connected device stops or starts the wastewater inflow from the septic tank by doing this. 

Your connected device can be pumps (pumps acting as water inlets or outlets) or valves (open or close inlet or outlet valves). Sometimes, the device can contain an alarm that notifies you when the switch is on or off.

The Switch Helps You Perform Wastewater Treatments on Time

Generally, your septic tank performs essential wastewater treatment functions for keeping your home clean and healthy. As wastewater drains, the tank separates it into distinct layers – the scum layer at the top, the effluent in the middle, and the scum at the bottom.

Wastewater in the middle of the tank (the effluent) needs to be pumped or removed to a draining field. This ensures your tank maintains the proper levels to avoid wastewater overflow. As such, the float switch comes in handy again.

 

Once installed, the switch helps keep your wastewater treatment correctly maintained by regulating the levels of scum at the bottom, middle, and top of the septic tank. Therefore, you’ll always know when your septic tank fills up with a properly working float switch.

 

If your float switch has notified you that your tank is full or you’re not sure if it is working, then give Affordable Pumping a call!

Washing Machine Effects on Septic Tanks

Appliances around your home are a convenient part of your everyday life. Over the last few decades, home appliances have become more efficient. However, they aren’t harmless. While most people associate their septic tanks with their toilets, any drop of water from your home goes through the septic. So, your dishwasher, washing machine, and other appliances that use water will drain wastewater in the septic. Here are the effects of a washing machine on the septic system.

 

  1. Septic System Overload

A septic tank limits how much water it can handle per day. Therefore, on the days when you have extra loads of laundry, you might not give the septic system enough time to drain out excess water before washing the next load. The effect will be an overloaded septic system.

You should limit laundry, preferably to only one or two loads every day, to prevent this. If you must clean multiple loads, spread them. For example, do some in the morning and the others at night.

  1. Foul Smell from The Septic Tank

Do you use the recommended amount of detergent according to the manufacturers? Overusing detergent during laundry could alter the pH balance in the septic tank. In order for the system to break down waste, they rely on bacteria.

When extra detergent from the washing machine gets into the tank, it kills the bacteria. Thus, the waste isn’t properly broken down, causing a foul smell. Always use the recommended amount of detergent to avoid interfering with the septic tank pH.

  1. Frequent Clogs

Most powdered laundry detergents have filler elements that clog septic tanks and escalate problems. Fillers are added to detergents to maintain the texture and size of the powdered detergent. However, some aren’t biodegradable and could build up inside the septic tank.

The more you use additional detergent, the more filler layers build up in the tank. The result will be clogs and an ineffective septic tank. You might notice lawn flooding due to improper septic tank draining. Although clogs are common with powdered detergents, liquid detergents also have the same effect. Therefore, always choose 100% biodegradable ingredients since they break down in the septic tank.

 

Get Expert Help for Your Septic Tank Problems

Do you suspect there is a problem with your septic tank? Contact Affordable Pumping today. Our professionals will evaluate the situation, identify the root of the problem, and help unclog your septic tank.

What You Need to Know About Toilet Paper and Septic Tanks

When you own a septic system, there are certain things you should know. For example, the only things you should ever be flushing down your toilets are waste and toilet paper. But is all toilet paper septic-friendly? Here’s what you need to know about toilet paper and septic tanks.

Bleached vs. Unbleached Toilet Paper

Although it would seem that unbleached toilet paper would always be the best choice, the opposite is actually true. You may see unbleached toilet paper marketed as “environmentally friendly” on the packaging. However, the unbleached paper takes longer to break down in your septic tank. While bleached toilet paper is the best choice for septic tanks, avoid any other chemically treated paper.

One-Ply, Biodegradable, Quick-Dissolving – Oh my!

Sure, one-ply toilet paper is a bit flimsier than its fluffier counterparts, but it’s the best for your septic tank. The less “ply” or layers”, the quicker the toilet paper will break down in your septic system. Toilet papers labeled “biodegradable”, “quick-dissolving”, or “septic-friendly” are all great choices when it comes to your septic tank.

Avoid “Flushable” Wipes

Over the last several years, “flushable” wipes have taken over the toilet paper aisle. Although these products seem more hygienic and convenient, they are NOT safe for your septic tank. Even wipes that claim to be “flushable” will not dissolve in your septic tank. Instead, they will build up in your tank and could lead to all sorts of septic disasters.

Is recycled toilet paper safe for septic tanks?

There’s no evidence to show that recycled toilet paper is harmful to septic tanks. Therefore, as long as the recycled toilet paper you’re buying is one-ply, it’s safe to use.

For all your septic system needs, give Affordable Pumping a call to get on a regular pumping schedule!

The Importance of Septic Tank Checks When Buying a New House

Utilizing a septic system for your household’s wastewater is an affordable, environmentally friendly way to go. However, if you purchase a property with a damaged septic tank, an outdated system, or any other kind of septic issues – you could be in for quite a bit of frustration and bills. Don’t take anyone’s word for it when buying a property with a septic system. Instead, be sure to have a thorough septic inspection done by a professional company.

 

Septic System Inspection vs. Home Inspection

While a home inspection is separate from a septic inspection, it’s helpful to time the two back-to-back. If there are any issues with the home itself, it could potentially affect your septic system and vice versa. Besides these two inspections, also consider getting a thorough plumbing inspection. Your home’s plumbing system and septic system are intertwined, and problems with either can affect the other. While knowledgeable on several home-related subjects, most home inspectors are not specifically trained for septic systems. They could potentially miss a significant issue with your septic tank.

Consider Upgrading Your Septic Tank

During your septic tank check, your inspector may recommend upgrading your tank. Septic tanks are built to last over a decade. However, if your household size is bigger than the last occupants, it may not be big enough. Using a tank that is too small for the number of people living in the home can lead to all sorts of issues, the main one being an overfilled tank. If your tank is too small, but you can’t afford to replace it right away, you’ll need to get it pumped more often until you do.

 

Need a septic tank inspection? The experts at Affordable Pumping Services are here for all your septic system needs. Give us a call today.

Why It’s Important to Call a Pro When Your Septic Tank is Clogged

While you may think you have a clogged pipe in the bathroom, it may be a clog in your septic system. Call a pro first before you try to unclog the pipe with a plunger or chemicals! When you have a septic tank clog or any septic system issue, you should always leave it to the professionals. A septic backup can quickly become an emergency, and you never should attempt to handle it yourself. Here’s why it’s important to call a pro when your septic tank is clogged.

A Clogged Septic Tank is a Hazard

When you have a clog in your septic tank, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes overfilled. When your septic tank is overfilled, the waste will have nowhere else to go but back where it came from – your toilets and drains. A septic backup is not only smelly and gross; it can actually be dangerous to your health. When you have a septic backup inside your home, not only will you need to call a pro to fix your tank, you’ll have to call professionals to clean the septic waste from your home. Call your septic company at the first sign of an issue to avoid a septic nightmare like a backup. Septic tank clogs need to be addressed immediately.

You Won’t Be Able to Tell Where the Clog is Coming From

Septic tanks are underground, and the inner workings aren’t visible. A professional septic company has all the necessary tools and equipment to inspect your septic tank to find the problem accurately. Once they’ve found the problem, they’ll be able to fix it properly.

For septic clogs and any other septic issues, it’s crucial to have a professional company in mind. Affordable Pumping Services is here for all your septic needs. Give us a call today!