Own a septic tank or are thinking of having one installed? You might be surprised to know that there are many things you should know about septic tanks. It seems that many homeowners nowadays are unfamiliar with how their septic system works or how to maintain them. A septic tank is a complex system, and being uninformed about its inner workings can lead to big problems.

From what they do, to how they work, to… whether they can explode, below is a list of important facts about septic tanks that every homeowner should know.

1. What is a Septic Tank and How Does it Work?

Septic tanks may seem foreign to some people. If you’ve only ever lived in a home that’s connected to the main sewage line, then chances are you’ve never had to know what a septic tank is. However, to those whose houses use one, they are necessary. Septic systems are typically used to treat and dispose the wastewater of households without access to public sewers. They are costly investments, but a well-built, properly installed, and properly maintained system can provide dependable, low-cost service for many years to come.

In a nutshell, septic tanks are underground tanks used to store and treat waste, allowing homeowners to safely dispose of wastewater from bathrooms, showers, etc.

A septic system treats the wastewater from your home by running it through a series of natural and mechanical processes. These processes involve the removal of unwanted solids and organic matter from the water before it is returned to the ground. So, septic systems are used to treat wastewater from homes in areas where city sewer systems are not available.

If your septic system fails to function properly, you will need to have it replaced, which can cost thousands of dollars. In addition, your septic system must be in good working order when you sell your house. Thus, it makes sense to understand and maintain your septic system.

2. Pump Your Septic Tank Every Three to Five Years

Septic tanks require pumping to keep them from overflowing. If your septic tank overflows, it can cause damage to the surrounding land and property.

It is typically recommended that homeowners pump their septic tank every three to five years. Nevertheless, there are several factors that will influence this, including the size of your home, the number of toilets you have, and the size of your septic tank.

3. Yes, a Septic Tank Can Explode

Exploding septic tanks are extremely rare — they’re so rare that you might as well scratch the possibility off of your list of anxieties — but it can happen. Septic tanks produce methane gas as a by-product of anaerobic digestion of organic waste, and methane is highly flammable. In most cases, methane buildup doesn’t occur in septic systems because they are vented to allow gases to escape. But if the gas does build up and gets into contact with an open flame, it can explode.

4. Even The Most Well-Maintained Septic System Won’t Last Forever

They don’t last forever. Even septic tanks that are designed, installed, and maintained properly will last 30 to 40 years. That is why it is important for septic tank owners to have a regular maintenance program in place. It is also why you should be vigilant about your septic system’s health.

Still, you will have to replace your septic tank eventually. Indeed, knowing the age of the septic tank is crucial when purchasing a property. By knowing the age of the septic tank, you can get an idea of when you need to replace it.

5. Chemicals Cleaners Can Hurt Your Septic System

A clogged drain or backed up pipe might cause you to immediately reach for a chemical cleaner, but know that these can negatively affect your septic system. The chemicals in drain cleaners can harm your tank’s good bacteria, which help to break down solids and waste. When solids cannot be broken down, they can leak into your yard or into your home. You can imagine how nasty things can end up if this happens.

If you really need to use a drain cleaner, make sure it’s the mild and biodegradable type.

6. It’s Harder to Pump Your Tank in The Winter

Extreme cold can cause the ground to freeze, making it difficult to dig out the manhole cover to access your septic tank. Not only that, snow can complicate things as well, making it harder to find your tank components or clean out. Since digging and locating your manhole cover or clean out can be time-consuming in cold weather, plan ahead and have your septic tank serviced during warmer months.

7. No, Animal Corpses Won’t Help Your System

It is believed (by quite a few, apparently) that shoving raw meat or dead animals into a septic tank will help the bacteria in them to decompose the solids in your wastewater better. This is simply not true. The kind of bacteria that your septic system needs can’t be had from animal corpses, anyway.

No matter what you’ve been told, a dead animal will not help your septic system. Furthermore, the skeleton or carcass could get sucked up in the vacuum line, complicating the work of pumping out the septic system even more.

8. Your Septic System Is More Than The Septic Tank

When people think of a septic system they think of a septic tank. But your septic system consists of so much more than just your tank. The drains in every sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub are part of your septic system. Additionally, your septic system includes the pipes that transport waste into the septic tank. The two final pieces of the system is, of course, your tank and your drainfield. These components all work together to take care of, transport, dispose of, and treat your household waste.

Want To Know More?

Want to know more interesting things about your septic system? Give us a call! Advance Septic Solutions offers septic tank services in Georgia. When it comes to septic tanks, we are second to none, and we can help you to get your septic tank pumped out and cleaned.

We also offer a full range of septic tank services, including septic system installation, septic tank cleaning, and septic system inspection. You can trust us to perform all your septic tank work professionally, on time, and within your budget.