If the drains in your home are draining slowly or even starting to clog up, you might reach for a chemical drain opener or a natural combination such as baking soda and vinegar. If your home is on a septic system, though, you need to be more careful about what you use. Your remedies could harm the bacteria in the tank or make the clog worse. It's a lot better if you just call a drain cleaning service or a plumber to clean things out.
You Risk Killing the Bacteria in the Tank
If your instinct is to reach for a chemical drain opener/cleaner, you could harm your entire septic system. Some of these products are septic-safe, but many aren't, and they can kill the bacteria in the tank. Those bacteria help break down the matter that ends up in your septic tank, so you don't want to destroy them.
If the Clog Cause Is Unknown, You Risk Making Things Worse
If whatever is clogging or slowing down the pipe is unknown, your efforts could make things worse. For all you know, your kids tried to flush a toy or sent marbles down the sink drain. Chemical cleaners and even natural drain openers aren't going to help. If you aren't relatively sure of what's causing the clog, it's better to let a drain cleaning service or plumber make the call as to how to open up the drain and clean it out.
You Could End up With a Pool of Chemicals and No Clear Drains
Some chemical drain cleaners/openers are septic-safe, but that doesn't mean they're not caustic. When your drains are very slow, a chemical drain cleaner often sounds like the fastest solution. But if it doesn't work, then you're left with a lot of caustic chemicals coating the drain and the clog, and a drain that still won't work. Even if most of the chemical drain opener has drained away, there is still this layer of caustic solution that you now have to deal with.
It really is much easier to have a drain cleaning company or a plumber unclog and clean out the drains from the start. When you have a septic system, you're not dealing with a system that carries waste, and whatever else goes down the drain, away from your property, never to be seen again. It's all going to sit in that tank until it's either pumped out or until it drains into the drain field. If there is a clog, or if you know that there is a lot of gunk built up on the sides of the drain pipes, you'll save a lot of time and effort if you call a plumber or drain cleaning service.
It isn't always easy to know where to start when it comes to household maintenance, but a few years ago I realized I needed a new septic system. We were having a problem with our drains draining properly, so we turned to some experts for some help. They walked us through every aspect of the plumbing process, and within a few days, we were having a brand new septic tank installed. It was great to see just how much better things ran when the septic was working, and this blog is evidence of how much something like that can help.