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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSPECTION
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in buildings
SEWAGE CONTAMINANTS in FRUIT / VEGETABLES
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE LEVELS in SEPTIC TANKS
SEWAGE NITROGEN CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TOILETS, DON'T FLUSH LIST
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
What typical household chemicals and substances are safe to flush down the toilet and into a private septic system? Is it ok to flush common household chemicals & household cleaners cleaners into the septic tank? Which household chemicals may damage the septic tank or leach fields and at what levels of usage are they harmful? This document explains how to extend the life of the septic system by being careful about what goes into it.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Technical review, content suggestions, critique are welcomed and are listed at "References." This article is part of our series: Inspecting, Testing, & Maintaining Residential Septic Systems an online book on septic systems.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the effects of household chemicals, soaps, etc. on the function of a septic tank and drainfield
Question: what causes drain clogging or septic pump clogging by a white waxy substance?
What causes the large amount of white waxy clumpy substance that i found recently in my septic pump container? The substance was stuck to the sides of the tank(severeal inches thick), stuck all over the pump, and stuck all over the float switch which of course was the problem and the reason for opening the septic tank. This goopy accumulation happened over 2 years and 5 months.
I can't be certain what the white stuff was without seeing a sample in our forensic lab. But I can warn that using more powdered detergent in a dishwasher or clothes washer can lead to accumulation of a gooey mess that clogs drains or even septic drainfields. You've added another important example: excessive detergent use OR using a budget detergent that contains large amounts of clay fillers can clog the pump float control switch or the pump intake in a sewage ejector pump or sewer pump as well.
We discuss detergent choices & recommendations to minimize drain and septic problems in two locations. Please see
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS and also see Dishwasher & Laundry Detergents Containing Phosphates & Surfactants for a discussion of the effects of phosphates & detergents on the environment.
Question: is it better to use powdered laundry soap or liquid dishwasher soap?
Do you use powdered laundry and dishwasher soap instead of liquid? I've heard that stuff will not dissolve and cause problems in pipes and septics. - Anon 11/19/2012
Anon, please see my answer to Rani just above.
In response to your query, in the article above I've added links to more information about recommended dishwasher & laundry detergents. In general, powdered detertents, used in the amounts recommended, should not clog the drain piping but used in excess amount (which is common) or if you use bargain brands of detergents that have clay fillers, the risk of clogged drain piping and perhaps drainfields is real as is the risk of clogging a sewage pump discussed just above. There are also other concerns about environmental contamination from ingredients in some products
Questions & answers or comments about the effects of household chemicals, soaps, etc. on the function of a septic tank and drainfield
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
Onsite Wastewater Disposal Books