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Serving Santa Cruz, Watsonville
Soquel and Surrounding Areas
Serving Santa Cruz, Watsonville
Soquel and Surrounding Areas

Household Appliances and Septic Systems: Learn How to Avoid Damage

Life is a lot easier these days than it was decades ago. In terms of home functions, much of this added convenience is attributed to technological advancements in the area of home appliances.

From cooking and cleaning to relaxing, household appliances bring convenience and increased efficiency to your daily activities. However, for homes that rely on septic systems, some of these appliances can cause damage. Make sure you know how to enjoy these modern devices without harming your septic system.

Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are an excellent way to get rid of food scraps in the kitchen. For your septic system, a disposal can create real issues if you aren't using it correctly. The most significant mistake homeowners make is placing heavily greasy foods down the disposal, such as fried foods.

When you put these foods in this disposal, the grease is in liquid form. However, by the time the food makes its way to the tank, the grease has solidified. If this is a frequent mistake you make, you will cause the tank to fill up faster because grease in solid form has more mass than in liquid form. However, on the other extreme, the grease can clog the system, cause major damage, and require repairs.

You won't harm your system if you place these types of foods in the disposal on occasion. But don't make it a regular habit and rely on your waste bin more often.

Hot Tubs

Although hot tubs are available in a variety of different sizes, a six-person tub contains just under 400 gallons of water. Filling the tub and relaxing in it is harmless. However, the problem arises when it's time to clean and drain the tub. For any septic system, 400 gallons of water being forced through the system is enough to overload it.

This massive amount of water will agitate the solids settled at the bottom of the tank, cause it to float to the top, and push it through into the drain field. The result of this process is a clog that can back up the entire system.

The safer draining option is to release the water onto a landscaped area that is away from the drain field, such as your lawn. Just ensure there is ample slope for the water to drain away. 

Washing Machines

Washing clothes isn't a task most people enjoy. For this reason, people often hold off washing until they have several loads of dirty clothes. For homes with septic systems, it's never advised to wash all these loads in a single day. No matter how high-quality the fabric or the how delicate the wash cycle, clothes will produce lint during the washing process.

When you are washing several loads in a day, this can translate into an excessive amount of lint collecting in the system in a short period of time - especially when it comes to high-capacity washing machines.

This excessive collection of lint can cause a clog in the septic tank. As mundane of a task washing clothes is, it's best to wash throughout the week instead of washing an excessive amount of clothes on a single day.

If you have an older septic system and are planning to install multiple new appliances, it might be a good idea to have a technician examine your system to ensure it's equipped to handle the demand.

Even if you have a newer septic system, have it inspected at least once every three years to ensure your appliances aren't putting too much pressure on the septic system to avoid damage. At Pete's Outflow Technicians, we can help you with this.‚Äč