If you've recently moved away from a home that had standard plumbing leading out to a sewer and into one that has a septic tank, there's a lot for you to learn. Septic tanks, when treated properly, do their job very well and without much muss or fuss. However, this can be difficult to accomplish when you've never had a septic tank before and don't know what to do. Here are three things you should definitely know about your septic tank.
Septic Pumping vs Septic Cleaning
Septic pumping and septic cleaning sound very similar to one another, so it's understandable if you think that they're the same thing. However, the reality is that they're two separate services.
Septic pumping is something that's performed on a fairly regular basis in order to clear out the majority of what's in your septic tank. It removes all fluids and the 'scum' layer that floats to the top of the tank.
Septic cleaning, on the other hand, completely empties out the tank of all its contents. This service needs to be performed far less often. Your septic tank technician will let you know after the tank has been pumped if it needs to be cleaned as well.
Skipping Septic Pumping Appointments
One thing you should never do is to skip appointments to have your septic tank pumped. Septic tanks need to be pumped regularly in order to avoid overflows into your yard, but bigger problems can occur as well. For example, if a septic tank overfills to the point where the solid layer on the bottom rises significantly, it can cause clogs in the pipes that drain off excess fluid from the tank. In some cases, getting this resolved can mean replacing the entire septic tank, which is a big expense that you will want to avoid. Thankfully, it's simple to maintain a regular schedule of septic pumping as often as your technician recommends.
Watch Out for Damage
If damage occurs to the sewer pipe that leads away from your house to the septic tank, problems can occur. When a crack or hole develops in a pipe, any water draining down through the ground from rain can potentially end up filling the septic tank by leaching into the pipe. This can lead to your septic tank filling up far quicker than it should and may cause damage if it overfills as a result. For this reason, avoid planting anything like trees or plants with large roots near or over the pipe leading away from your home. If in doubt about where the pipe is, try to avoid the area between your home and the septic tank for safety's sake.
To learn more, contact a septic pumping company.