The average cost to repair a septic tank is more than $1,530, and if you need to replace your entire system, you’ll likely spend between $10,000 and $15,000. The good news is, how you care for your septic tank can help you avoid paying these costly fees. From the toilet paper you use to how frequently you have your tank pumped, your daily choices can strongly affect the lifespan of your septic system. Here’s a guide to help you make the best decisions for your system to avoid the steep repair costs.
Septic Safe Toilet Paper
An overflowing septic tank is not the type of mess you want in your yard. Choosing a toilet paper that is compatible with your system can help reduce the likelihood of an overflow. There are no agitators or compactors in your septic tank to help the paper break down efficiently, so you should use a paper that dissolves quickly in water. Avoid the triple ply, ultra-thick, heavy duty toilet paper. Paper that is labeled “septic system safe” or “biodegradable” usually offers better results in your system, as they’re specifically crafted to break down quickly and not create clogs in your tank.
Septic Tank Inspection
Pumping your septic tank shouldn’t be the only time you hire a professional company to survey the system. Schedule a routine septic tank inspection every two to three years, depending on your level of usage. The plumber will survey the system’s parts inside and outside your home. The company will check waste levels, the structural integrity of the tank and the attached plumbing. Preventative maintenance is the easiest and most effective way to catch small issues before they turn into emergency plumbing situations. Your plumber should also tell you how often your tank should be pumped based in the inspection findings.
Septic Tank Pumping
On average, a septic tank should be pumped every three to five years. However, a professional plumber can tell you your specific timeline based on how many people live in your home, water usage and size of your tank. For larger families, it may be necessary to have the tank pumped every two years. Septic tank pumping allows you to avoid sewage seeping from the tank and pooling in your yard and stops waste from seeping through the drains in your home. Maintain a consistent pumping schedule, otherwise, your entire septic system could be damaged by too much waste.
Septic Safe Laundry Detergent
As with the toilet paper you use, laundry detergent can affect your septic tank. It’s best to use a liquid detergent or a single dose detergent pod without fillers. Powdered detergents are more likely to create clogs within the system, especially inexpensive brands that may contain greater amounts of filler. Look for labels that indicate the detergent is biodegradable, which is the safest option for your system.
A septic tank is an intricate system that should be maintained regularly. By using the proper cleaning supplies, toilet paper and following your plumber’s advice with pumping, your tank could last for decades.