3 Reasons To Avoid DIY Drain Cleaning With Septic Systems

Clogged drains are frustrating, but they're usually not show-stoppers. While there are plenty of plumbing tasks that require a professional, homeowners often choose to try to tackle drain clogs on their own. Unfortunately, this approach may have some surprising consequences if your home uses a septic system instead of connecting to the municipal sewer.

Septic systems are an excellent way to deal with household wastewater, but they also require special plumbing considerations. If you're experiencing clogs with the drains in your septic system, here are three reasons you may want to consider calling in drain cleaning professionals for help rather than attempting to fix the clog yourself.

1. You Can Damage Your Septic System's Ecosystem

The typical residential septic system uses nature to deal with the complex (and messy) work of cleaning your wastewater. You may not realize it, but you rely on various tiny bacterial helpers in your septic tank and your leaching field. The ecosystems in both of these areas help break down and manage waste, keeping solid waste under control and helping to filter effluent.

Chemical drain cleaners can wreak havoc on the delicate ecosystem in both locations. While you might clear the clog that's causing your problem right now, you can also cause substantially more damage in the future. By killing off these beneficial microorganisms, chemical cleaners make it more likely that you'll experience a much more severe clog down the line.

2. You Might Make the Problem Worse

Many clogs arise due to flushing inappropriate items down the drain. Anything that can't make its way smoothly down your drain can create a backup. With a sewer system, these items eventually become someone else's problem. Septic systems don't afford the same luxury, and things that you flush down the drain may come back to haunt you in the future.

Professional drain cleaners will often use snakes with an appropriate head to grab and remove items from your drain. This approach clears the clog and prevents the obstruction from going deeper into the system. A do-it-yourself approach can push your blockage further down, making the problem worse or even disrupting your system if you push excess waste into your septic tank.

3. You Don't Know the Cause

Maintaining your septic system is crucial for avoiding problems that may damage your tank or leaching field. When your drains back up, it could be due to a simple clog in a p-trap or another part of your home's plumbing. However, a septic system backup could also be due to an overfilled tank or another problem deeper in the system.

Trying to tackle these issues on your own may temporarily resolve the situation while allowing you to ignore a significant maintenance issue. Professionals will use experience and high-tech equipment such as inspection cameras to get to the bottom of the problem. This approach allows them to solve your clog permanently instead of covering up a more severe issue.