Your home’s septic system was built to last. It’s probably one of the most rugged and durable systems you’ll ever own, but like all equipment, it needs regular maintenance in order to do its job efficiently and effectively.
Our recommendation is that you have your septic tank pumped out and have your system inspected every three to five years in order to ensure that it will provide you years of hassle- and headache-free service.
As the area’s top-rated septic service company, those are our two most in-demand services, and while we’re doing that work, we invariably spend time talking to our customers, and get a variety of questions. One of the most common ones we get is: ‘how much bleach is too much for a Warrenton VA septic system?’
We love questions like that, because savvy homeowners ask great questions, which helps us help them. At first glance, you might think the answer to the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Warrenton VA septic system?’ would be little to none at all. After all, bleach and bacteria just don’t mix well.
The reality though is that while bleach in quantity is dangerous to the health of your septic tank, you’d have to pour a gallon or two straight down the drain before it would cause significant harm. That’s good news, because many home cleaning products contain bleach, but the trace amounts that will wind up in your tank when you use them isn’t nearly enough to cause any damage.
Unfortunately, asking the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Warrenton VA septic system?’ may distract you from other potential dangers to your septic tank that are much more likely to be problematic. Here are a few examples:
- Excess Water – You might not think that water would be an issue. After all, your septic tank is tied to your home’s plumbing system, and it’s got water running to it all the time; literally every time you turn on the water faucet or flush a toilet.
The real issue here is that the water flows into your tank and then straight into your drain field. Having too much water in the drain field will supersaturate the soil, which makes it impossible for it to process wastes effectively. Not good.
The two most common ways that excess water makes its way into your drain field are:
- The downspouts connected to the rain gutters on the outside of your home. Make sure these are angled well away from the drain field and you won’t have a problem on this front.
- Leaky faucets or continually running toilets. You’d be amazed at how much water can enter your system via even a slow drip. Any time you see or hear either of these, call a plumber and have them fixed right away to minimize the potential impact to your system.
- Chemical Drain Cleaners – While the answer to the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Warrenton VA septic system?’ is measured in gallons, as little as a teaspoon of chemical drain cleaner can devastate the bacteria in your tank. These should be avoided at all costs.
- Miscellaneous Solids – You’d be amazed at the variety of stuff that gets flushed down the toilet or sent down the drain of your kitchen sink. This is a broad catch-all category that includes everything from solid food waste to feminine hygiene products to anything your small children might flush down the toilet. All of it winds up in your tank and most of it isn’t biodegradable, which means it will build up over time. The only way to be rid of it is periodic tank pumping.
- Grease – Most people know that pouring grease down the drain of your kitchen sink isn’t a good idea, but few people fully appreciate how big of a problem it can be. As with the miscellaneous solids we described above, some of the grease will stay in your tank where it will build up over time. Another portion of it will leech into the drain field, float to the surface and harden, causing a problem called grease capping. Both are major problems that can only be solved by having your tank pumped out periodically.
You may have seen commercials on TV advertising products that promise to break up the grease and flush it from the system without having to resort to tank pumping. Don’t believe the hype. Not only do these products not work as advertised, some of them will cause serious harm to the bacterial colonies your tank needs to do its job. In other words, many of these types of products can make a bad situation even worse.
Again, it’s not that the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Warrenton VA septic system?’ is a bad one, it’s just that asking it can distract you from other potential septic tank hazards that can do more damage, more quickly, which brings us back to the subject of maintenance.
How long has it been since you last had your septic tank pumped and your system inspected? If you’re not sure, it’s probably been too long. The good news is that there’s a simple solution. Just give our office a call today and schedule your appointment. We’d love to add you to our growing family of satisfied customers.