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Month: May 2020


Products safe for use in a septic system?

Products safe for use in a septic system?

If you have a septic system, you need to be aware of the products that you are placing in your septic system (apofraxeis Kallitheas). Many regular products contain ingredients that are harmful to your septic system. These products may encourage the growth of algae, kill the good bacteria, or have chemicals that can damage the tank and shorten its lifespan. As such, it is highly recommended that you do your research and learn about which products you cannot use in a tank. One key item to remember is to look for the septic-safe label on your products. One of the questions that people frequently asked about septic system safe products is whether scented products are safe for septic systems.

Septic safe labels

The clearest indicator that a product is safe for use with septic systems is a label stating that it is safe to use in such homes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives each potentially dangerous chemical a registration number. This indicates that the product is safe for home and septic use. Many common household products contain these labels. Any biodegradable or environmentally friendly product is also perfectly safe for use in septic systems.

Household bleach

Products containing bleach are safe for use with septic systems in small amounts. Bleach is a chemical that kills bacteria, but when diluted with water, as in most household applications, it is not powerful enough to kill all the bacteria inside the tank. However, it is important not to use bleach excessively, like in all household products, water, and laundry detergent, because a high concentration of bleach will damage the septic system. When possible, use alternatives to bleach to protect the helpful bacteria in the tank. You can use Borax in place of bleach for a safer option.

All-purpose cleaners

Mild detergents, like laundry detergents and any others that can be used without gloves, are generally safe for use in septic systems. Phosphate-free detergents that are low-sudsing are best. You can also use natural detergents. Other all-purpose surface cleaners are also safe. These cleaners do not contain the harsh chemicals that can damage septic lines or the bacteria inside of the tank. Look for cleaners that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and non-chlorine for the safest use.

Ammonia cleaner

Cleaning products containing ammonia, as well as pure ammonia, are also safe for septic system use in small amounts. Ammonia will not kill bacteria inside of a septic system or leach into the groundwater, but, just like bleach, it shouldn’t be used excessively. Take care not to mix chemicals like bleach with ammonia.

Water-based cleaners

Almost any water-based cleaner, such as water-based carpet cleaners, tub, and toilet cleaners, and disinfectants are safe for septic use. Water should be the first ingredient on the label for classification as a water-based cleaner. Water-based cleaners do not contain harsh solvents that can damage the delicate septic system.

Septic-safe drain cleaner

Only liquid drain cleaners are safe for septic systems. Foaming or solid drain cleaners can damage the system and should not be used. However, even liquid drain cleaners may cause septic tank damage if used regularly. Use even a septic-safe drain cleaner sparingly with a septic tank. If you have to use the drain cleaner weekly or monthly, you may be causing damage to the system.

Household items

Even though the list of septic-safe cleaners is fairly long, you may prefer something a little more natural. Items you have around the house can double as cleaners that are also safe for your system. Vinegar is one option. It can be used to clean surfaces, deodorize, whiten, brighten, and soften items. It works well in the laundry and for cleaning surfaces in the home. Baking soda is another household item used for cleaning. Use it to naturally clean your toilet, or use it to scour hard-to-clean items.

Household cleaners safe for septic systems make your life easier without damaging the delicate balance in your tank. Check labels and choose the least harsh options possible for each job to avoid issues.

To keep this from happening to you, here are the 3 worst things to put in your septic system:

  • Grease. Your mom always told you never to pour grease down the drain and she was right! Grease won’t break down the way water and waste will and you will end up clogging up your drain which means nothing will be able to get through. Clogged pipes lead to the septic system backing up and this can cause serious damage to your septic system. Be smart and pour your grease in a can to solidify and throw away. It’s also a good idea to wipe your pans clean with a paper towel to make sure you don’t let any grease get down the drain.
  • Anything other than waste and toilet paper into your toilet. You would be surprised by the types of things people toss down the toilet. A good rule of thumb- a toilet isn’t a garbage can! Never thrown away cat litter, coffee grounds, sanitary napkins, tampons, diapers, baby wipes, cigarette butts, or anything similar down the toilet. It will not properly break down and you will end up with a serious clog and backups. This will cause more damage to your septic system than you can imagine.
  • Hazardous chemicals. Any heavy chemicals such as bleach, motor oil, poisonous chemicals (even those for rats and bugs) are big no-nos for your septic tank. If you toss these down the drain you will be killing off all the good bacteria that help to break down waste and keep your system running the way it should. You’ll also be contaminating your soil and that is a hazard for everyone! Dispose of these chemicals properly and use environmentally safe cleaning products for your sinks and bathrooms.

The septic tank do not flush checklist

Some things were simply not designed to go into your septic tank. To go one step further, some items will downright destroy your septic tank and cost you hundreds of dollars in repairs. Below is our checklist of items that should never be flushed down the toilet. These items will only clog up or hurt your septic tank.

  1. Feminine Products. Regardless of what they’re made of (a combination of cotton and rayon), feminine products should never be flushed into the septic system. It can take them months to decompose.
  2. Cooking Grease. If you’ve seen grease cool down, then you know that it turns into a gel and eventually hardens. This hardening substance can line the walls of your septic tank and even block the openings. It can also prohibit good bacteria from breaking down the substance. Eventually, you’ll need a Septic Safe grease trap additive to stimulate the regrowth of bacteria in the system.
  3. Wipes. They used to be called baby wipes. Now adults use them, and they’re lethal. Although some companies are now making ‘flushable’ wipes, you can fill up and clog a septic tank quickly, and then you’re stuck calling a plumber to clear the septic line back out.
  4. Diapers. Diapers are made from the same material as feminine products. Yet they are bigger and bulkier. They carry unsanitary waste that is hard to break down, because of the diaper itself. Thankfully, aerator pumps can help break down the waste as well as the diaper itself and keep your septic tank running smoothly.
  5. Pills. If you’re looking to clear out your medicine cabinet, then please throw the pills in the garbage can. The medication contains substances that are toxic to plants and animals. Some pills contain chemicals that make it difficult for bacteria to develop and break down the waste. If you’ve poured several pills down the drain over an extended period, then you should apply some septic tank additive to the tank. This will stimulate bacterial development, which is good for the entire system.
  6. Clean Out Your Pockets. Washing machines are often filled with all types of items from dental floss to coins. All of these items will completely block up your lint filter over time. The filter will then have to be professionally removed, cleaned, and placed back into the washing machines.

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Getting to know your home plumbing system

We all know that by turning on faucet water is going to come out, or that when we flush the toilet clean water will fill the tank while the dirty water will be swept away. But how does this happen? Read on to get the scoop on how plumbing systems ΑΠΟΦΡΑΞΕΙΣ ΠΕΡΙΣΤΕΡΙ – work in the typical household so you can make sure yours is installed correctly and be prepared next time a problem comes your way.

Unless your home receives its water from a well, water enters your house through the main water supply line that is connected to the city’s municipal water supply. The average family of four uses around 400 gallons of water a day and the amount used is measured by a water meter before it enters your home. As soon as water enters your home, it is sent directly to the cold water supply system. All houses have four separate piping systems:

Cold Water System

Provides water to all fixtures in the home that require cold water only, such as your outside faucets and toilets. A part of this line splits off and runs directly to the water heater.

Hot Water System

From the water heater, the hot water line runs off and provides hot water to bathtubs, washing machines, dishwashers, showers, and sinks. It runs parallel to the cold water supply line.

Drain System

This system can arguably be the most important in the home because it removes all waste and unused water from your house. The drain system works by gravity, which forces the water to flow downhill through pipes that are connected to other vented pipes. The role of the vented pipes is to bring fresh air inside which allows the water to flow freely. All wastewater flows to the sewer line that is connected to each home. For houses that are not connected to a sewer line, the waste will flow into a septic tank (apofraxeis).

Gas System

This system brings gas into your home directly to all gas-powered appliances and systems, such as stoves, tankless water heaters, and fireplaces.

Home Plumbing Systems

Plumbing in the home is focused around two areas:
  • The kitchen
  • The bathroom
Let’s take a closer look at these two systems:

The Kitchen Plumbing System

The kitchen’s plumbing is largely hidden in the walls. The water supply system brings both hot and cold water to fixtures. Plumbing in the walls is another task best left to the plumbers.

The Bathroom Plumbing System

Bathrooms are heavily reliant on pressure. This system also has separate hot and cold piping systems. If pressure ever reduces to a point of concern, call a plumber.

To reduce pressure by that degree, the leak has to be quite extensive. A DIY approach isn’t the best for such extensive problems. You’ll only make the problem worse.

Basic Plumbing Tips

Now that you’re armed with a few plumbing basics, how do you put them into use?

Let’s look at maintenance. What should you do to prevent expensive plumbing issues? Below are 10 actionable tips:

Unclog Slow Drains

Clogging is a slow process. When you notice water draining slowly, it’s time to take some preventative steps:

  1. Unclog the pipes. A mixture of vinegar, baking powder, and hot water usually does it.
  2. Empty the cleanout plugs where applicable.
  3. Call a professional if the problem persists.

Check the Pipes

Always inspect exposed pipes for signs of wear and tear. Check for leaks where possible and signs of leaking where pipes are hidden. Below are a few signs of leaky pipes:

  • Exceptionally high water bills. The average US family uses 400 gallons daily
  • Mold and damp
  • An ever-running meter
  • Drain the Water Heater
Empty water heaters at least twice every year. Sediment reduces the efficiency of the heater and may cause complications down the road. If the heater already shows signs of damage, call a plumber.

Most plumbers spend about 2000 hours in apprenticeship. Even the greenest plumber is better-equipped than you to handle that heater.

Winter Wisdom

Always insulate your pipes in the winter. Most people know this, but you’d be surprised to realize just how many people fall victim to frozen pipes every year. That’s not even the worst-case scenario. Water expands as it freezes. Therefore, insulation keeps your pipes from exploding.


Strainers will save your pipes from clogging. They keep debris from entering the plumbing, saving you hefty plumbing fees. However, strainers are also susceptible to wear and tear.
Replace them as often as necessary. That simple tool is probably the only thing standing between you and a clogged sink.


Enzyme-Based Pipe Cleaners

There’re many pipe cleaning solutions in the market, but not all are equal. Corrosive pipe cleaners do more harm than good. They quickly remove the clog, but at the expense of the piping’s longevity. This is why you should always go for enzyme-based pipe cleaners. These natural cleaners introduce bacteria into the plumbing. The bacteria break down the clog into a liquid for easy expulsion. Bacteria does all that without harming the plumbing’s structural integrity.

Water Pressure

Reduced water pressure is a precursor to plumbing problems. Always call in a plumber when pressure runs low. The quick reaction may save you from incurring hefty repair fees in the future.
In the showers, reduced pressure may be caused by sediment in the shower head. Be sure to clean out shower heads before calling a plumber.

Pro Tip: When leaks are serious enough to reduce your home’s water pressure, they’re best left to a professional. You’re probably looking at a problem that’ll necessitate pipe replacements.

Sewer Lines

Take time to understand how your sewer line is set up. Avoid planting trees along the line because the roots can cause damage. To keep things smooth, periodically snake the lines. Leave all other sewer problems to the professionals. Damage to shared parts could clog your neighbors’ plumbing which is a sure way to attract civil lawsuits.

Watch What You Flush

Keep debris from the drains and you’ll keep clogs from the plumbing. Teach the kids how to maintain the plumbing. Arming them with a few plumbing basics may just save the plumbing from them. Clogs take time to grow into proportions of concern. Therefore, most people are unaware that the clogs of today are caused by yesterday’s mistakes. Don’t be one of them. Watch what goes down your drains.

Regular Maintenance Run

Calling in the plumbers when there’s a problem is calling in the plumbers too late. Schedule maintenance runs where a plumber inspects the state of your plumbing. Another trick is to ask for suggestions from a professional when buying plumbing equipment. The professionals always know best.

Final Thoughts for Plumbing Basics

Plumbing makes or breaks a house. Maintaining the plumbing keeps a house’s value high. Therefore, professional plumbing services must be part of a house maintenance schedule. Good plumbing efforts also keep the house free of allergenic mold. Most people only find out about their mold problem when they are selling the house. Considering the health risks posed by these molds, that’s a saddening fact. Prioritize your plumbing.

See more about sewer system backups:

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