Oh dear, it’s happened again. Your family’s in town for the holidays and as Cousin Eddie said: “The shitter’s full!” But unfortunately, so are your guts after that incredible feast. You want to stop this before it happens.
Even if it’s an emergency, your regular plumber might not be around to help unclog that big white telephone. Here’s some things that you can keep in mind to try preventing a septic tank or toilet tragedy before it happens, or preventing the situation from getting worse before getting a plumber over.
Pump your septic tank before your guests arrive.
If you’ve got a septic system that normally works fine, remember that it was designed for a family of three in a starter home. It’s not happy having to accommodate several guests using the toilets, showers, and sinks so much and it will rebel from the additional stress. Pumping will give it more capacity to handle this.
Avoid unnecessary water use after pumping.
Now that you’ve pumped the septic tank, be mindful of water waste. Turn off dripping faucets, fix running toilets, and don’t run the dishwasher more than you have to.
Tell your guests to flush nothing but toilet paper.
Keep trash cans handy in all bathrooms and remind everyone staying with you to use them. Paper towels and wet wipes (even if the package says they’re flushable) should never go down the toilet. This also goes for feminine hygiene products: you can wind up with a whole string of red mice stuck in the toilet tank strung together like Christmas lights, but it’s really not that festive.
Don’t flush oil or grease, or pour it down any of your sinks.
Any cooled fats and oils left over from excessive cooking should never be flushed or poured down the drain. Put the grease into a sealable container or plastic bag, because even just a little grease can cause your throne to uncontrollably back up.
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