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Thread: What's the best way to "start up" a newly pumped septic tank?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Bobrobert's Avatar
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    Default What's the best way to "start up" a newly pumped septic tank?

    Just had my septic tank pumped and now I need to start it back working. What would you recommend to get this tank up to speed? I have bought a box of Rid-X and will use that. But they recommend one box every month from now on.

    The cost is about 70 dollars a year and won't make or break me, but is that really necessary? Rid-X wants a box a month dumped into the system, but then again they’re the ones selling it. Sounds extreme, based on the fact that my septic tank has never had anything put in it along the Rid-X line for the18 years that I have lived here and the tank was in pretty good shape as per the folks that pumped it. They said the bottom sludge was a bit thick, and recommended that I pump the tank every 5 to 7 years, which I will do in the future for sure.

    My Dad of 83 years of age, and definitely from the old school, told me to get a bag of bulk dry yeast and dump it in there a little bit over time.

    Just curious what you folks recommend?

    Thanks……..Bob T.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Phil H2's Avatar
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    I agree with Bob. Here are some more sources for information on additives.
    http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/pubs/625r00008/fs1.pdf
    http://waterquality.cce.cornell.edu/....htm#chemicals

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Use it! The bacteria starts up all on its own!

    http://www.inspect-ny.com/septic/septadds.htm

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    DIY Junior Member oldanbo's Avatar
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    Default what i was told

    by the septic tank guy. My wife and I are approaching 60.

    He said let the grandkids poo in it, we do, he said that their bacteria was stronger than ours and would "seed" it better than any commercial product.

    FWIW

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    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    Sounds like crappy advice.

    Everything I have read on the subject says don't add any products; just use it. Pumping the tank does not sterilize it. Just removes the stuff that won't decay effectively. You have a nice starter colony in there already.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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    North Carolina State University has conducted extensive testing and development of various septic systems for many, many years.
    Their results, in a nutshell:
    (A) you need to have the tank pumped out (average usage) at least every five years,
    (B) all of those additives are a total waste of money. Normal usage provides all of the bacteria necessary for a septic system to function properly, as already advised.
    We've been on a septic system for 31 years. I have the tank pumped out in every year ending in a 0 or a 5 (works for me). The only "additive" that I ever use is copper sulphate crystals to keep rootballs out of the drainfield lines because there are large bushes and trees landscaped over much of it. I flush a cup or two of that down about three times a year, but never any of that rip-off Rid-X type stuff.
    No problems. Ever.
    Mike

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobrobert View Post
    ... told me to get a bag of bulk dry yeast and dump it in there a little bit over time ...
    Yeast belongs in the kitchen, not in the septic tank. Like everyone else has said, your tank will do quite well all by itself! The only additive I have ever heard actually does anything useful is copper sulfate in relation to roots in a drain field.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    clients who added yeast to their septic tank regularly discovered that the yeast caused so much frothing in their septic tank that solids were forced into the leach field rather than settling to the tank bottom.
    http://www.inspect-ny.com/septic/septadds.htm

  9. #9
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    When your septic tank is pumped it is not sanitized in any way. There are still lots of the bacteria that are necessary for decomposition of the waste.

    The tank is (should be) designed so that solids that sink and solids that float will not exit the tank to the leaching field. The purpose of pumping is to remove the solids that won't decompose to liquid.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Bobrobert's Avatar
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    Default I love this site!!!!

    Man do I love this site.... THANKS FOLKS for all the replies. AND on the grandkids statement, I have two grandsons who live 30 miles up the road, when they stay over I'll use them for all they're worth. LOL!!!!

    GREAT INFORMATION and I appreciate all posters.

    ALSO: I got a little "misty" when I saw Bob's reply and the NH State Seal. I have lived in KY for over 33 years but was born and raised in NH. Mt. Washington Valley was my home for 26 years and the older I get the more I miss the Valley. From one Bob to another....please take good care of my home state. AND I also hear that the White Mountains are really "white" this winter.

    Bob T.

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Grandkids work even better when you take them to the all you can eat buffet at the local mexican rest.

  12. #12
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    And with careful collection and management they can help heat the project site.

  13. #13
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobrobert View Post
    I got a little "misty" when I saw Bob's reply and the NH State Seal. I have lived in KY for over 33 years but was born and raised in NH. Mt. Washington Valley was my home for 26 years and the older I get the more I miss the Valley. From one Bob to another....please take good care of my home state. AND I also hear that the White Mountains are really "white" this winter.

    Bob T.
    New Hampshire is white from the southern border on up. We have about a foot of snow on the ground in Salem and more coming on New Years Day.

    I do a bit of hiking in the mountains (less now that I am near 70). I climbed Washington with my daughter in the late 70s via the Caps Ridge Trail from Jefferson Notch Road.

    Am working to take care of the state but it's such a great state that it's tough to keep the liberals from Massachusetts on their side of the border.

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