3 Reasons Septic Owners Must Be Careful When Cleaning Drains

There's no such thing as a clog-proof plumbing system. Even if you're careful about what you flush down your drains, clogs can still slowly develop over time. These problems typically arise due to small issues building up over the long term. For example, even tiny amounts of grease can coat drain pipes and slowly form blockages. 

Unfortunately, clogs can be particularly troublesome if you own a home with a septic system. Septic systems require special consideration when dealing with any plumbing problem, and taking the wrong approach to drain cleaning can be potentially harmful. If you've been treating your septic system like a city sewer, here are three reasons to take more care with your drain cleaning approach.

1. The Buck Stops With You

Municipal sewers are an amazing innovation. When you flush something into the sewer, it vanishes forever! Of course, it doesn't really vanish forever, but it quickly becomes someone else's problem. With a septic system, the buck stops with you. Anything you flush down your drains will end up in your septic tank or, in a worst-case scenario, your drainfield pipes.

Because blockages in these locations can cause serious harm to your system, it's crucial to take care when dealing with clogged drains. Using chemical cleaners or other harsh methods can destroy the microfauna in your septic tank, causing far more severe problems down the line. You can even cause expensive damage to your home's drainfield.

2. Clogs Aren't Always Straightforward

Clogs can typically only occur in a few areas for homes with sewer hookups. If the clog isn't inside the house, it must be in the sewer lateral. For septic systems, there are a few more possibilities. When multiple drains clog, that's a good indication of an issue with your septic system. But where is the clog, and how can you find it?

If the problem is in your septic tank or drainfield, you may waste time, money, and effort trying to plunge or snake drains in your home. Unless you're sure you're dealing with a simple clogged drain, it's usually better to let an expert investigate the problem. A professional drain cleaner can locate the issue and suggest a safe and effective option for getting your system moving again.

3. You Might Make the Problem Worse

Without knowing the reason for the blockage, you can potentially create a much bigger problem. For example, attempting to clear a large grease blockage by pushing it into your septic tank can potentially cause serious issues. Allowing anything non-biodegradable into your septic tank is often harmful and may require scheduling a septic cleaning immediately.

Professional cleaners will approach the problem carefully and methodically and may use equipment, such as drain cameras, to locate the underlying problem. This systematic approach allows them to clean your drains in a way that will cause the least harm, minimizing the likelihood that your clogged drain will turn into a more expensive repair.

Contact a local drain cleaning service to learn more.