If your home drains into a septic tank, it’s crucial to use a septic-friendly drain cleaner whenever you have a clogged drain. Not all drain cleaners are safe. Some have harsh chemicals which may kill the bacteria which keep the septic tank healthy. Below are some precautions to take when dealing with septic drain clogs.
Avoid Using Drain Cleaners With Harsh Chemicals
You need to be careful with the cleaners you use to clear septic drain clogs, and this is for several reasons. One of these reasons is that the septic system contains bacteria that feed on the organic waste flushed into it.
Some drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that may kill septic bacteria. When that happens, there would be nothing to feed on the waste, resulting in its accumulation. This can result in the soak ways failing and drains backing up inside the house.
The other reason is that some of these chemicals are highly corrosive and may damage the septic tank.
Use Boiling Water
Using boiling water is probably the simplest way of unclogging a drain and keeping your septic safe. However, the effectiveness of this method varies. Why is the drain clogged? It’s important to know the answer to this because small clogs, such as those caused by grease, hair clumps, and soap, clear away easily when you use boiling water, while bigger clogs may not.
To use this method, you must ensure the water is boiling. Not just hot. You also have to be cautious since this method is not always suitable. For instance, boiling water makes porcelain crack. If your sink is made of porcelain, avoid using this method. Boiling water also softens joints in PVC pipes, making this method unsuitable for use if you have these pipes.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
A mixture of vinegar and baking soda to unclog a septic drain is safe and does not kill the healthy bacteria in the septic system. When these two are mixed, a chemical reaction takes place, creating carbonic acid, which decomposes into carbon dioxide. This produces bubbles that are strong enough to clear away some clogs.
To use this method, pour a cup of baking soda down the affected drain, followed by half a cup of white vinegar. Then, pour hot water down the drain after 30 minutes.
Unclog the Drains Manually
If the above methods fail to work, it might be time to get your hands dirty by unclogging the drain manually. Just pick a pair of gloves and the necessary tools to handle the work. These may include a plastic drain cleaning tool, a plunger, or a plumber’s snake. Use your tool of choice to dislodge the clog, remove it from the pipes, or loosen it, so it flows through them. If this method fails to work, you have no option but to call a plumber.
While using drain cleaners may seem effective and easy when it comes to clearing clogs in drains, it can cause problems to your septic system. These include interfering with the useful bacteria and damaging the tank. To be on the safe side, it’s advisable not to use these chemicals and instead use water, vinegar, and baking soda or try to clear the clog manually.