Septic Tank System Maintenance & Repair in Maple Valley, WA

We use the bathroom several times each day, yet most of us don’t give a thought to our septic tank system until something goes wrong. By following a few simple rules, you won’t have to think about septic tank maintenance or septic tank repairs on a day-to-day basis in Maple Valley. With proper use, conventional onsite systems can operate for years without much management or septic tank maintenance. Septic tank maintenance and avoiding septic tank repairs begins with good water use and waste disposal habits. Since your family will determine which materials enter the system, we encourage you to set some simple rules and stick to them. This will help prevent needing costly and unnecessary septic system maintenance in the future for your Maple Valley home.

How to Maintain Your Maple Valley Septic Tank System

Here is a partial list of the items to keep OUT of your system to avoid paying for excessive septic tank maintenance within the Maple Valley area. Do not introduce any of the following when performing septic system maintenance:

  • Grease or cooking oils
  • Disposable diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Any latex products
  • Paper towels
  • Plastics
  • Cat litter
  • Latex paint, pesticides, or any hazardous chemicals

Ask us for a complete list of prohibited items for your custom system in Maple Valley as well as a comprehensive list of septic repairs that we offer.

How Garbage Disposals Affect Your Septic Tank Maintenance

Many Maple Valley homes have garbage disposals, a convenient way to help manage vegetable and other food waste. But excessive use of your garbage disposal may introduce a high level of unwanted solids into your system. Use disposals moderately and consider composting as an environmentally-friendly alternative to handle vegetable waste. If you regularly use a garbage disposal in your Maple Valley home then your septic tank will need to be pumped every three years. This ensures that solids to not reach the baffle level and potentially damage the drain field.

Water Use and Septic Maintenance Best Practices

Do not put too much water into your Maple Valley septic system, as this could cause issues and the need for septic repair. Excess water puts too much strain on the decomposition process and can cause problems leading to septic repair. Try not to do all loads of laundry in one day. Instead, stagger laundry over the week to avoid septic tank repairs. Maximum water use should be about 50 gallons per day for each person to minimize septic tank repairs for your Maple Valley home. Additionally, it is wise to estimate your total water usage by referencing the below guidelines. These estimates are given per person in your home to help you keep track and avoid those pesky septic tank repairs in Maple Valley. These are general guidelines and may be different depending on your appliances.

  • Shower: 2.5 gallons per minute – 10-minute shower = 25 gallons
  • Toilet: 2 gallons per flush (for toilets bought in the last 20 years)
  • Washing machine: 40 gallons per load
  • Dishwasher cycle: 10 gallons

The Size of Your Septic System Matters

With large families in Maple Valley, keeping track of water use can be hard. However, it still pays to lay down guidelines to help everyone do their part and avoid septic system maintenance issues. Also consider getting energy and water-wise appliances when you need to replace your current models. Visit www.energystar.gov for suggestions. It is important to know that your new system is appropriately sized to handle the number of people anticipated to be using it when it is installed. If that number increases, realize you may need a larger system. We suggest not using harsh drain opening products for a clogged drain to avoid unnecessary septic system maintenance. The best alternative to conventional, caustic drain openers is to use boiling water or a drain snake to clear clogs. Though this approach may be a little messier, the chemicals in drain cleaners can cause havoc with your septic system, costing a lot more in the long-run.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Septic Drainage

Use mild or natural cleaners for your bathroom and kitchen. These should either be approved for use in septic systems or marked as biodegradable. Note that bleaches and antibacterial soaps can inhibit the enzymatic action necessary to help bacteria break down the solids in the tank.  Again, harsh chemicals can cause expensive and unpleasant problems for your septic system. If you use or intend to use a water softener in the home, let your installer or maintenance contractor know. Under certain soil conditions, the salt recharge solution must be handled carefully, and the size of your absorption field may need to be increased.

Regular Septic Maintenance Saves You Money and Hassle

It is best to have the solids pumped out of the Maple Valley septic tank on a regular basis when performing septic system maintenance. Your Maple Valley septic system installer, septic tank pumping contractor, or your local health department can give you guidelines for how to perform this septic system maintenance. Lilly’s Septic recommends cleaning and pumping the septic tank every 3 to 5 years. (see pumping page for pumping frequency) If you use a garbage disposal you should seriously consider pumping your Septic tank every three years at a minimum. Remember that more sophisticated systems may require additional maintenance. Always ask your installer for details on the recommended pumping frequency for your specific septic system.

Contact Lilly’s Septic Tank Service in Maple Valley for More Information

For additional maintenance information, visit our blog, contact page or give us a call for your Maple Valley septic tank maintenance or repair today!

Lilly’s Septic Tank Service provides quality, environmentally-conscious, and expert Septic Tank Services to the King's County area of Washington.