A clogged septic tank is synonymous with a hazard!
Not only is it detrimental to the sanitation of your property, but it can also damage the other plumbing lines, resulting in hefty repair costs and a lot of trouble. Although calling professionals may seem like the only option to clean it, there are a few things you can try to solve the problem.
Dive in to learn about them!
What Causes A Clogged Septic Tank?
There can be various reasons behind a clogged septic tank. For example, suppose your household has been producing excessive wastewater frequently. In that case, the system may not get adequate time to break it down, leading to stubborn clogs formed by solid waste accumulation.
Improper waste management can block the septic tank over time, which may even cause the wastewater to back up in the inlet water lines of your home. That’s why you should take special care to ensure that solid waste (like leftover food) and grease are properly treated before the wastewater flows through the outlet pipes to the septic tank.
Another reason behind a blocked septic tank can be the frequent use of chemical drain cleaners. Some of these products may contain strong chemicals that kill the “beneficial bacteria” in the septic tank responsible for breaking down organic waste. And this will make the tank practically useless. So, you must always use natural drain cleaners with a septic tank.
What Can You Use To Clear A Septic Tank Blockage?
If there’s a foul odour near the septic tank lid or you have noticed water pooling around it when the rest of the ground is dry, your septic tank may have become blocked. And you can use the following to clean it.
1. A Wooden Stick Or Metal Pole
It may be too easy to believe, but a simple wooden stick or metal pole can help break down the clog in the septic tank.
Start by carefully removing the lid to have a clear view of the inside of the tank. Now, locate the end of a green or white inlet pipe that’s generally placed on the side closest to your home’s direction.
Some tanks may have multiple lids, and the one closest to the home generally has an inlet pipe that needs to be inspected.
See if the end of this pipe is blocked with debris or scum that may be slowing down or preventing wastewater from entering the tank. A layer of scum (solid waste) usually clogs the inlet pipe.
Take the wooden stick or pole to push the clog downwards or sideways, as convenient gently. Continue this step until you see water flowing out of the pipe, which indicates that the clog has been removed.
If there’s nothing on the outer end of the inlet pipe, but it still isn’t throwing out water, the blockage may be located deeper. Insert the stick or pipe in gentle to-and-fro motions to clear the clog. Try scraping the sides simultaneously, and you should see water flowing from the pipe.
However, you may not always be able to execute this step due to the placement of the pipe. So, don’t try too hard and call the professionals to solve the problem.
2. Mechanical Auger
If you’re into DIY plumbing, have a mechanical auger handy, and know how to use one, then use it to unblock the septic tank.
Slowly insert the cutting blade of the auger into the inlet pipe and push it about 1 to 2 inches inside. Once it’s securely inside, plug the auger into an electrical outlet and switch on the power. You will feel the cutting blade rotating, and you should guide it till there’s some resistance.
An important thing to note here is that you may hit the pipe bend on the first try, which will require you to change the path of the rotating blade slightly. If you feel the same kind of resistance even after changing the blade path, you’ve likely reached the clog.
Push the blade as much as possible while using brisk to-and-fro motions to break the block until it can move freely. If this step is successful, you will see water flowing out of the inlet pipe.
A few words of caution: always wear work glasses while using the auger, as the rotating blade can injure your eyes if it goes out of control. Likewise, put on work gloves to keep your hands from coming in direct contact with the debris and bacteria of the septic tank.
Additionally, switch on the power only when the rotating blade has been inserted into the pipe properly and pull it out only when the power is switched off.
What To Do If The Clog Isn’t Located In The Inlet Pipe?
If the top of the inlet pipe isn’t clogged and the wastewater level stands above it, there may be a block in the leach field. Cleaning will require digging holes in the ground to expose the pipes and using sewer jetters, so hiring professionals for the job is highly recommended.
If the wastewater level is below the pipe, the blockage is probably located in the drain pipe connecting the tank to your home. Here again, you can hire professionals to clear the block. But you may first want to try home remedies like the classic baking soda, vinegar, and hot water solution.
Simply pour 1 cup each of baking soda and vinegar down the nearest sink to the drain. This will form a fizzy chemical reaction that can effectively dissolve many different types of clogs. Finally, flush it with hot to boiling water.
The Best Way to Keep Your Septic Tank Clean
No matter which tool you use to unblock your septic tank, we’d strongly recommend wearing protective gear to limit your exposure to toxic waste materials. Likewise, disinfect the tools by dipping them in a bleach solution (5 parts water with 1 part chlorine bleach) for a couple of minutes. And always ensure to close the tank lid properly after the work is done.
Septic tank issues in Sydney can be resolved by Fixed Fast Plumbing. Our years of experience clearing blockages and maintaining septic tanks allow us to provide you with a fast and affordable solution. Contact us today for 24/7 assistance!
See you next time!