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Keeping Your Septic System Healthy

When I purchased a home on the outskirts of town, I was pretty nervous about using a septic system. I imagined muddy, sewage-filled landscaping and toilets that wouldn't flush. However, after I did a little research, I realized that septic care is easy if you stay on top of it. The purpose of my blog is to help others to understand the intricacies of caring for their septic systems, so that you can tackle problems early. With a little attention and maintenance, your septic tank can plug along problem free for many years to come. Save this blog as a resource so that you aren't left guessing later.

Keeping Your Septic System Healthy

Drain Cleaning Via "Catchers": Do They Work?

by Cathy Lewis

Drain cleaning is probably one of those less-than-fun household jobs you have to do to maintain your home. It is often smelly, gross, and potentially dangerous if you are using chemicals that can eat holes in your skin. There are safer methods, such as hiring a plumber or septic services company (depending on what type of wastewater treatment plumbing you have) and/or using "catchers." Catchers are comprised of either preventive measures or hook-and-pull measures for cleaning a drain. Here is more info on both types, and whether or not they are effective. 

Preventive Catchers

This type of drain catcher has tinier holes in the floppy plastic or rubber device that allow water and suds to go down the drain, but not hair. Since hair is the biggest drain enemy, this is a good way to stop clogs of hair from building up in the drain. However, if you accidentally move these catchers from off the drain or accidentally kick them off the drain while showering, they cannot prevent the clogs you are trying to prevent.

Additionally, since soap suds, dead skin, and body oils can and do go down the drain, you are still going to have to flush the drain of any accumulations of these things. That means that your job is still smelly, and somewhat disgusting, but it will lack the rotting hair clogs. The preventive catchers work only fairly well.

Hook-and-Pull Catchers

These drain cleaning devices are optimum because you can allow everything to go down the drain as-is. When the water starts to stall or back up into the tub while you are showering, you know that it is time to clean the drain. So, you pull out one of these devices.

They are often long; either with a single hook on the end or they have several "thorns" that run backward up the length of the catcher. When you insert it all the way into the drain, twirl it around the inside of the drain, and then pull the catcher back out of the drain, whatever the hook or thorn-like hooks catch on their way back out clears out the drain. With any luck, you will only need to make a singular pass through the drain to pull out a clump of rotting hair, soap scum, and dead skin flakes. The best part is, many of these hook-and-pull catchers are one-time use; you can toss them after use.

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