In most respects, living on a septic system isn’t so different from living on the city sewer. Most days, you won’t need to think much about the distinction, and you’re free to use the facilities at your leisure.
With that said, there are a few things that make septic life a little different from city sewer life. With a city sewer service, you can trust that all maintenance issues will be handled by the city. With a septic system, however, you’re on your own to care for the system and make repairs as needed.
Thankfully, septic maintenance is fairly straightforward; you don’t need to be a master plumber to get it right. So long as you remember a few very basic points, you should be just fine.
And what exactly should homeowners know about caring for their septic system? Read on for a few tips and best practices.
(Also remember: When it comes to selling your house with a septic system, you can always claim your free report from SOLD.com. Grab yours today!)
How to Care for Your Septic System
With that out of the way, here are our guidelines for caring for your septic system:
- Have your septic tank pumped once every three to five years. This is a ballpark sum and can vary depending on how much your septic system is used. That is to say, the larger your family, the more regularly you’ll need to have the system pumped. When you buy a new home with a septic system, it’s a good idea to have it inspected and pumped, and to ask the septic professional about how often they’d recommend you service it.
- Keep accurate records. You should have a clear diagram of where your septic system is in relation to your home, including both the drain field and the access point for your septic tank. These records should come with the house. Also keep records of any maintenance/service you have done.
- Practice water conservation. The more water you use, the more it strains your system; the less water you use, the longer your system will work at peak level. Any small lifestyle changes you can make to conserve water will pay off big time in terms of the health of your septic system.
- Don’t flush the wrong things! Generally speaking, when you have a septic system, you should only be flushing human waste and toilet paper… nothing else. Feminine hygiene products, diapers, paper towels, wet wipes: These things should be thrown in the garbage, not put down the drain, where they may cause serious clogging or septic failure. This is maybe the most important item on our list!
- Remember, it’s not just about your bathroom. It’s not just the water you flush down the toilet that goes down into the septic, but the water that goes down your kitchen drain, too. It’s critically important not to dispose of grease, fat, and oil in this way. These things can harden and congeal inside your septic tank, leading to a potential back-up.
- Keep traffic off your drain field. Make sure you know where your septic drain field is, and ensure nobody drives over it with their car, ATV, or tractor. Doing so can crush your pipes.
- Divert runoff away from your drain field. Too much moisture heading down into the drain field can overwhelm it and cause a septic backup. It’s essential to ensure that gutters and downspouts carry water away from the drain field, not toward it.
With these basics, you should be ready to keep your septic tank and drain field in proper working order.
What About Selling Your House?
And remember: Septic or no septic, you’ll one day want to get your house sold. And when that day comes, we hope you’ll keep us in mind and request your FREE seller’s report.
In this free report, you’ll learn everything you need to know about selling your own property. We’ll even offer a specific recommendation about whether it’s wisest for you to work with an agent or go the FSBO route. Our recommendations come from independent, unbiased experts. Find out more about getting your place sold by requesting your report today.