View Full Version : Vinegar in the septic system

Feb 27, 2008, 11:26 AM
A friend of mine uses vinegar as a natural way to deordorize and clean. She is concerned that too much vinegar in her septic systen will affact it's ability to breakdown waste material. Will vinegar adversely affect her septic system?

Feb 27, 2008, 02:46 PM
I've actually heard vinegar is much better for the septic system than harse cleaners such as toilet bowl cleaner. So no, it should not adversely affect her system.

Feb 27, 2008, 07:01 PM
Well how much is she using? A gallon or two perweek would be unnoticed by the little guys in the tank, they'd think it was salad dressing. Vinegar is a very mild acid, I tell people to put salt and baking soda intheir drains followed by vinegar all of the time. Tell her not to worry, disinfectants do more damage than vinegar.

Feb 27, 2008, 08:32 PM
I wanted to mention this product that cleans septic systems Bio Clean

Bio-Clean The Natural Drain cleaner (http://www.masterplumber.net/bio-clean.htm)

They have a product specially for septic systems -- also have a drain cleaner

YouTube - Bio-Clean the Environmentally Friendly Drain Cleaner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3-AyjgZlOQ)

Feb 27, 2008, 08:42 PM
Grandpa always said to throw mice from traps into the septic. We thought it was to add bacteria. Once grandma died he told us it was to keep her from seeing the mice.

Feb 28, 2008, 12:18 PM
Hello Biggsie I am reading you answers and they are really great, my question is that for the slow drains should I use a mixture of Salt/Baking soda followed by Vinegar ,what Kind of Vinegar and how much of each is needed or shall I use Bio-Clean where can I get this, Thanks. In advance. John

Feb 28, 2008, 09:30 PM
Afaroo, that concoction is actually my post. 1/2 cup any table salt mixed with1/2 cup of plain baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar, allow to soak over night. Next day a big bucket of very hot water and the drain should smell good and flow well.

Feb 29, 2008, 05:23 AM
ballengerB1, using 1/2 X 1/2 and 1 cup vineger don't you think it will remian in trap how would go to the drian, Thanks.

Feb 29, 2008, 08:48 AM
Most clogs are in the trap but when you add the vinegar the chemical reaction will cause everything to expand and push further into the drain.

Feb 29, 2008, 09:18 AM
Can I use the same procdure for the wash machine drain and bath tubs, Thanks.

Feb 29, 2008, 09:21 AM
Bath tubs yes but your washer has a strainer and a pump not found on sinks or tubs. Clean the screen on the washer. Washing machines do get lint but not hair and body oil like sinks. Vinegar doesn't do much with lint.

Feb 29, 2008, 09:33 AM
Sorry I meant the land ray machine drain not the dish washer, Thanks.

Feb 29, 2008, 09:52 AM
Yes, I understood a clothes washer but I'm not familiar with "land ray machine " What is it?

Feb 29, 2008, 12:07 PM
Sorry I maen cloth washer too, I can use it, Thanks.

Feb 29, 2008, 12:19 PM
Can I use the same procdure for the wash machine drain and bath tubs, Thanks.
Yes you may. Let me give you some pointers about your septic tank.
Since the septic tank is such an essential part of a sewage system, here are some points to remember about the "care and feeding" of that part of the onsite sewage treatment system.
A "starter" is not needed for bacterial action to begin in a septic tank. Many bacteria are present in the materials deposited into the tank and will thrive under the growth conditions present.
If you feel that an additive is needed, be aware that some may do great harm. Additives that advertise to "eliminate" tank cleaning may cause the sludge layer to fluff up and be washed out into the drainfield, plugging soil pores. Some additives, particularly degreasers, may contain carcinogens (cancer-causing) or suspected carcinogens that will flow into the ground water along with the water from the soil treatment unit.
Send all sewage into the septic tank. Don't run laundry wastes directly into the drainfield, since soap or detergent scum will plug the soil pores, causing failure.
Normal amounts of household detergents, bleaches, drain cleaners, and other household chemicals can be used and won't stop the bacterial action in the septic tank. But don't use excessive amounts of any household chemicals. Do not dump cleaning water for latex paint brushes and cans into the house sewer.
Don't deposit coffee grounds, cooking fats, wet-strength towels, disposable diapers, facial tissues, cigarette butts, and other non-decomposable materials into the house sewer. These materials won't decompose and will fill the septic tank and plug the system. To use a 5-gallon toilet flush to get rid of a cigarette butt is also very wasteful of water. Keep an ash tray in the bathroom, if necessary.
Avoid dumping grease down the drain. It may plug sewer pipes or build up in the septic tank and plug the inlet. Keep a separate container for waste grease and throw it out with the garbage.
If you must use a garbage disposal, you will likely need to remove septic tank solids every year or more often. Ground garbage will likely find its way out of the septic tank and plug up the drainfield. It is better to compost, incinerate, or deposit the materials in the garbage that will be hauled away. As one ad says, "You can pay me now, or pay me later."
Clean your septic tank every 1 to 3 years. How often depends on the size of the tank and how many solids go into it. A rule of thumb is once every 3 years for a 1,000 gallon tank serving a 3-bedroom home with 4 occupants (and with no garbage disposal).
Using too much soap or detergent can cause problems with the septic system. It is difficult to estimate how dirty a load of laundry is, and most people use far more cleaning power than is needed. If there are lots of suds in your laundry tub when the washer discharges, cut back on the amount of detergent for the next similar load. It's generally best not to use inexpensive detergents which may contain excessive amounts of filler or carrier. Some of these fillers are montmorillonite clay, which- is used to seal soils! The best solution may be to use a liquid laundry detergent, since they are less likely to have carriers or fillers that may harm the septic system.
Each septic system has a certain capacity. When this capacity is reached or exceeded, there will likely be problems because the system won't take as much sewage as you want to discharge into it. When the onsite sewage treatment system reaches its daily capacity, be conservative with your use of water. Each gallon of water that flows into the drain must go through the septic tank and into the soil absorption unit. Following are some ways to conserve water that should cause little hardship in anyone's standard of living:
Be sure that there are no leaking faucets or other plumbing fixtures. Routinely check the float valve on all toilets to be sure it isn't sticking and the water isn't running continuously. It doesn't take long for the water from a leaking toilet or a faucet to add up. A cup of water leaking out of a toilet every minute doesn't seem like much but that's 90 gallons a day! So be sure that there is no water flowing into the sewer when all water-using appliances are supposed to be off.
The most effective way to reduce the sewage flow from a house is to reduce the toilet wastes, which usually account for about 40 percent of the sewage flow. Many toilets use 5 to 6 gallons per flush. Some of the so-called low water use toilets are advertised to use only 3.5 gallons per flush. Usually the design of the bowl hasn't been changed, however, and often two flushes are needed to remove all solids. That's 7 gallons! Toilets are available which have been redesigned and will do a good job with one gallon or less per flush. Using a 1-gallon toilet rather than a 5 gallon toilet will reduce sewage flows from a home by about a third. This reduction may be more than enough to make the sewage system function again. While prices may vary, 1.6 gallon toilets can usually be purchased in the $200 range, far less than the cost of a new sewer system. Baths and showers can use lots of water. "Setting up camp" in the shower with a shower head flow of 5 gallons per minute will require 100 gallons in 20 minutes. Shower heads that limit the flow to 1.5 or 2 gallons per minute are available and should be used. Filling the tub not quite so full and limiting the length of showers will result in appreciable water savings.
Is the water from the faucet cold enough to drink? How long do you let it run to cool down? Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Then it won't be necessary to run water from your faucets in order to get a cool drink.
There may be other ways to conserve water that you can think of in your home. The main idea is to consider water as a valuable resource and not to waste it.
Following a few simple rules like not using too much water and not depositing materials in the septic tank that bacteria can't decompose should help to make a septic system trouble-free for m, too! Any years. But don't forget the septic tank does need to be cleaned out when too many solids builtreatment system.
With a water meter you can determine how much water your automatic washer uses per cycle. Many washers now have settings to reduce the amount of water used for small loads. Front loading washers and suds savers use less water than top loading machines. If your sewage treatment system is reaching its maximum capacity, try to spread the washing out during the week to avoid overloading the sewage system on a single day. Septic tanks need tender, loving care too.
Regards, Tom

Feb 29, 2008, 12:36 PM
Thanks Speedball1 for the good detailed instructions Sorry I think I have made every body confused we don't have the septic tank we are on the city drain system my question was just to know if we can use the mixture of Salt/Baking Soda and Vinegar and ballengerb1 responded me that we can use it, the only my question is if I can use the same mixture for the Cloth wash machine, you guys are great thanks in advance for you help.
Regards, John

Feb 29, 2008, 04:43 PM
Maintaining a healthy septic system is important as speedball1 pointed out

Rideau Canal Waterway - Septic Systems (http://www.rideau-info.com/local/local_septic.html)

Feb 29, 2008, 06:55 PM
Biggsie thanks for your respond, I think we don't have the septic system, all our sewage is going to the street unless I don't know if there is any.

Mar 1, 2008, 06:34 AM
the only my question is if I can use the same mixture for the Cloth wash machine, Sure you can!

Mar 1, 2008, 07:20 AM
Thanks to all

Sep 28, 2012, 05:24 AM
Wow, I have a septic system and have discovered "Vinegar" works to clean the hard water deposits in my toilet. I was concerned for my septic system. This information was very helpful and I am glad to know vinegar is better than the expensive chemicals I was using. With three teenagers I have found it also works as a great deoderizer for my laundry.

Sep 28, 2012, 06:17 AM
Hi twinsistwo and welcome to The Plumbing Page at AskMeHelpDesk.com
If you're asking if the vinegar you use will harm the septic system the answer is no. Thanks for your input . Tom