DIY How to Clean Out Septic Tank Drain Lines

Cleaning septic tank drain lines is a huge hassle. Most people know that there are certain chemicals that cannot be used in septic lines, but don't know what those chemicals are. Others have issues determining whether the problem is beyond chemical repair, calling into question the need for drain pipe replacement. Whatever the case, there are a few things that you can do in order to maintain clean drain lines—and, if they clog, try a couple of unclogging techniques on your own.

Maintaining Lines

Prevention, particularly in the case of septic tank drain lines, is worth a proverbial "pound of cure." Maintaining septic drain pipes is easy. An individual can prevent a septic system from getting out of hand by adding a bacterial cleaner to their toilet once a week. These bacteria work their way into plumbing lines when the toilet is flushed and keep these lines from building up sewage by digesting and breaking down the material. By attacking the debris head-on, before it has a chance to build up, these bacteria are an effective means to keeping septic tanks clean. Sometimes, adding these cleaners to a septic tank that is beginning to clog will even reverse the problem.

Liquid Drain Cleaners

Products such as Drano are meant to clean out clogged plumbing lines. Thicker products can work wonders when used properly and sparingly. Many of these cleaning products use household cleaners such as bleach to burn away any buildup from toilet paper, hair, human waste, or any other accidentally-flushed materials. Tough clogs may be cleaned using extra strength formulas. It is always best to check these formulas to ensure that the product is safe for use on septic lines, as certain cleaners can badly damage pipes, leading to greater issues.

Foaming Cleaners

Many stores these days have specialty drain cleaners that are made specifically for septic lines. These can be more effective than alternative methods, which use thin viscous liquids to flush out residue—such products leave residue behind on the bits of pipes that remain untouched. Foaming products work differently, as they can fill an entire pipe and attack buildup quickly. One tactic that will often ensure success is to flush out any drain lines of residual water and apply the cleaner directly to the tubes, which allows the drain cleaner to contact the residue instead of mixing with water first.