How to Clean And Locate Your Septic Tank Filter
Maintaining your septic system is critical to ensure its efficient performance and prevent costly problems in the future. A key aspect of maintenance often overlooked, which should always be addressed, is cleaning and installing your filter regularly - we will discuss why regular servicing of this component of a trouble-free septic system should be addressed! In this guide, Metro Septic Pumping outlines why regularly inspecting and servicing it should become a part of the septic tank cleaning and maintenance practices.
Understanding Your Septic System
Before cleaning and locating our septic filter, we must understand how your septic system functions. A typical septic tank installation comprises a septic tank and a drain field. Waste from your home enters the tank where solid materials settle at the bottom, with lighter substances like oils and grease rising to form a scum on top; bacteria in the tank then break down organic matter further by decomposing organic substances that form.
Once the septic tank has processed wastewater, it flows to a drain field for further purification by soil and natural processes. The health of this crucial element depends on that of its counterparts: both are key parts of an efficient wastewater system.
Septic Filters Are Important
Now, let's focus on the septic filter as an integral component in maintaining the health of a septic system. A typical location for such filters would be between the septic tank and drain field, acting to capture solid particles like hair or other solid waste from entering into your drain field, helping prevent clogs while prolonging the drain field lifespan.
Why It Is Important To Clean Out Septic Filters
Over time, your septic filter may become clogged up with debris and solids, decreasing its effectiveness and leading to multiple issues, including:
- Reduced Drainage: Clogs in filters restrict wastewater's passage into drain fields, leading to backups and slow drainage in your plumbing fixtures.
- Septic Tank Overload: When filters become clogged, more solids end up entering the septic tank, leading to elevated levels of sludge and scum, which requires frequent pumping outs of your system. This may result in costly septic tank repair bills for pumping services as more waste accumulates within its walls and must be managed.
- Drain Field Damage: Failure to properly maintain and regularly clear out septic filters can allow solids into your drain field, potentially leading to clogs or, worse, damaging it irreparably and jeopardizing its performance in general.
- Odor Issues: Clogged filters can create unpleasant odors in and around your septic system.
Locating Your Septic Filter Unit
Before cleaning your septic filter, the first step should be finding it. Most filters can be found near the outlet baffle in your tank - here's how you can locate one:
- Consult System Blueprints: If you own blueprints or documentation about your septic system, review them as often they include information regarding where the filter resides.
- Check the Tank Lid: Lift the lid to your septic tank and visually examine its outlet baffle; this should reveal whether an attached filter needs servicing.
- Call a Septic Company: If you're having difficulty finding your septic filter, don't hesitate to get professional assistance from a septic company - they have all the skills and tools needed to locate it quickly.
Cleaning Your Septic Filter System
Once you have located and established contact with your septic filter system, cleaning it thoroughly is the next step in its care. Here is an outline to follow in cleaning out your filter:
- Gather Your Tools: For this step, you will require gloves, a screwdriver or wrench (to unbolt and unscrew the filter), a bucket, and a hose.
- Be Sure to Switch Off the Pump Before Beginning: Before any work begins, switch off your septic tank pump to avoid accidents or incidents that might arise from doing otherwise.
- Carefully Dislodge and Store the Filter: Carefully detach and place it in a bucket of the septic filter using either a screwdriver or wrench to disconnect from its outlet baffle and detach it from its connection point on your outlet baffle.
- Rinsing the Filter: Using this step-by-step guide, use a garden hose to flush out your septic filter system thoroughly. Begin at the top and work your way down, clearing away debris and solids along the way - be sure to rinse both sides of the filter thoroughly!
- Examine and Reinstall: Before installing or reinserting any filter, inspect it for damage or signs of wear and tear. If all appears well, securely remount it on the outlet baffle for proper functioning.
- Switch Back On: Once the filter has been securely in place, the pump for your septic tank should be switched back on.
How Often Should You Clean a Septic Filter?
Septic filter cleaning frequency depends on factors like household size and water consumption; as a general guideline, however, we suggest having it cleaned at least annually. If slow drainage, foul smells, or other system dysfunction symptoms arise more quickly, additional filters should be checked more often for cleaning.
Septic System Maintenance Tips and Hints for Extra Support
Cleaning and installing your septic filter are integral aspects of maintaining a septic system; however, other steps should also be taken to guarantee its health:
- Regular Septic Tank Pumping: Plan on having your septic tank professionally pumped every three to five years to clear away accumulated sludge and scum build-up in its entirety.
- Septic Tank Inspection: Be sure to have your septic tank regularly inspected by an accredited technician to identify any potential problems or signs of wear, such as possible leakage issues and wear on parts or cracking of its shell.
- Water Conservation: Conserve Water to reduce stress on your septic system. Fix leaks promptly and consider investing in fixtures designed to save water.
- Proper Waste Disposal: Avoid flushing nonbiodegradable items like wipes, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products down the toilet.
- Avoid Heavy Machinery: Avoid driving large machinery over your drainage field as this could compact the soil and compromise its system, compaction occurring over time and ultimately leading to failure of both components of its drainage.
Metro Septic Pumping
Regular pumping, inspections, and filter cleanings will extend your septic system's life while helping avoid costly repairs or replacements. If any aspect of system maintenance seems unclear to you, feel free to consult Metro Septic Pumping. Our experience and advice could save money and hassle in maintaining it over time. Your investment in an effective septic system should remain functional long into the future!