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IronGate

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Who here is on a septic system? How much do you need to worry about the use of cleaning products? Do you explain to your guests that the property is not on a public sewer system, and needs to be treated carefully?
 

seashanty

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septic here -- and i hate it --- because i'm a lazy old city girl here --- didn't think about what was being flushed when on city water. i know that is irresponsible now.
yes --- i made up little postcards thanks to a saying posted here by someone else. she will likely chime in
i bought them from vistaprint -- muted picture in the background -- i taped one up in each bathroom near the bathroom tissue dispenser and it said 'country plumbing not like town, only paper will go down' in cute letters. then underneath a bit smaller it said 'please dispose of tampons, tissues, condoms, paper towels, etc in the trash. flushing them is bad for our septic system'
not one guest objected, not one said to me that the signs were crass or anything like that. if they thought so they didn't say. when you have to be visited by the septic service to unclog these things from your septic system, you start to feel better about letting your guests know. as a city girl with a flush everything attitude, i honestly never gave it a thought that flushing anything was bad. i also put a similar explanation in the guest handbooks. i put paper sanibags in all the bathrooms so they could put things in those. i know they'd rather flush certain things, but i had to learn this the hard way
 

IronGate

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septic here -- and i hate it --- because i'm a lazy old city girl here --- didn't think about what was being flushed when on city water. i know that is irresponsible now.
yes --- i made up little postcards thanks to a saying posted here by someone else. she will likely chime in
i bought them from vistaprint -- muted picture in the background -- i taped one up in each bathroom near the bathroom tissue dispenser and it said 'country plumbing not like town, only paper will go down' in cute letters. then underneath a bit smaller it said 'please dispose of tampons, tissues, condoms, paper towels, etc in the trash. flushing them is bad for our septic system'
not one guest objected, not one said to me that the signs were crass or anything like that. if they thought so they didn't say. when you have to be visited by the septic service to unclog these things from your septic system, you start to feel better about letting your guests know. as a city girl with a flush everything attitude, i honestly never gave it a thought that flushing anything was bad. i also put a similar explanation in the guest handbooks. i put paper sanibags in all the bathrooms so they could put things in those. i know they'd rather flush certain things, but i had to learn this the hard way.
What about using cleaning products like bleach? Doesn't that destroy the organic balance in the tank? Can you get away with a little, but be careful? I've never been on a septic system before.
 
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septic here -- and i hate it --- because i'm a lazy old city girl here --- didn't think about what was being flushed when on city water. i know that is irresponsible now.
yes --- i made up little postcards thanks to a saying posted here by someone else. she will likely chime in
i bought them from vistaprint -- muted picture in the background -- i taped one up in each bathroom near the bathroom tissue dispenser and it said 'country plumbing not like town, only paper will go down' in cute letters. then underneath a bit smaller it said 'please dispose of tampons, tissues, condoms, paper towels, etc in the trash. flushing them is bad for our septic system'
not one guest objected, not one said to me that the signs were crass or anything like that. if they thought so they didn't say. when you have to be visited by the septic service to unclog these things from your septic system, you start to feel better about letting your guests know. as a city girl with a flush everything attitude, i honestly never gave it a thought that flushing anything was bad. i also put a similar explanation in the guest handbooks. i put paper sanibags in all the bathrooms so they could put things in those. i know they'd rather flush certain things, but i had to learn this the hard way.
What about using cleaning products like bleach? Doesn't that destroy the organic balance in the tank? Can you get away with a little, but be careful? I've never been on a septic system before.
.
You do have to be careful about using things like bleach. However, you can also rebuild the beneficial bacteria by flushing various septic friendly products down the toilet. Here, in Canada, we have one called SeptoBac and my neighbour puts something in her toilet tank that releases bacteria with each flush.
 

swirt

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We're on a septic system and we use a little bleach without foul consequences (knock on wood). You do have to be careful about using too much, but that is true of the environment in general. ;)
Biggest concern of the system like Seashanty mentioned are the non-degradable things that will plug it up. Whether you are putting in a new system or have an older one, it is well worth the effort to have a Zabel Filter installed to pre-screen the stuff before it can make its way to your leach field/sand filter. Sure it is a little (ok a lot) gross to clean the thing if there is a problem, but it is much better and tons cheaper than digging up the drain tile to find the plug.
 

Sanctuary

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This is my one pet peeves, and I really don't care how I come across when explaining what you can and cannot flush. Yes, my system is different than the rest of yours, but I've had to take a macerator apart and untangle/unwind the "mouse" (named that because you pull them out by their tails) from the "blender blades", not once, but TWICE. And it ain't pretty or fun. And each time, I've been very specific to the person who flushed the forbidden object beforehand about what NOT to flush.
Now, I tell them, the ladies in particular, that if you flush a mouse, you're going in after it. I'll stand by and hand you the tools and explain to you how it's done. And then, I show them the 2-foot long macerator/pump, to prove I'm not kidding either, and thell them that when they pull the big end off, what didn't flush will come gushing out....that seems to drive the message home. Since I started explaining it this way, I've never had another incident. Not that it won't happen again, but by explaining it in those terms, it seems to work. I took photos of the process in anticipation of making a "If you flush it..." pamphlet during my moment of rage, but I never published it.
All that said...I just got new toilets - vacuum toilets that with the push of a button, it instantly suck the bowl dry in the blink of an eye. I can't wait to get those installed. Still, you can't flush a mouse down those either, but if it happens, it's much easier to get out - remove the cover on the pump and pull it out of the duck bill. No real mess to speak off and no gushing of stuff that didn't flush. It's a much drier system.
 

IronGate

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This is my one pet peeves, and I really don't care how I come across when explaining what you can and cannot flush. Yes, my system is different than the rest of yours, but I've had to take a macerator apart and untangle/unwind the "mouse" (named that because you pull them out by their tails) from the "blender blades", not once, but TWICE. And it ain't pretty or fun. And each time, I've been very specific to the person who flushed the forbidden object beforehand about what NOT to flush.
Now, I tell them, the ladies in particular, that if you flush a mouse, you're going in after it. I'll stand by and hand you the tools and explain to you how it's done. And then, I show them the 2-foot long macerator/pump, to prove I'm not kidding either, and thell them that when they pull the big end off, what didn't flush will come gushing out....that seems to drive the message home. Since I started explaining it this way, I've never had another incident. Not that it won't happen again, but by explaining it in those terms, it seems to work. I took photos of the process in anticipation of making a "If you flush it..." pamphlet during my moment of rage, but I never published it.
All that said...I just got new toilets - vacuum toilets that with the push of a button, it instantly suck the bowl dry in the blink of an eye. I can't wait to get those installed. Still, you can't flush a mouse down those either, but if it happens, it's much easier to get out - remove the cover on the pump and pull it out of the duck bill. No real mess to speak off and no gushing of stuff that didn't flush. It's a much drier system..
Sanctuary in Miami said:
. . . All that said...I just got new toilets - vacuum toilets that with the push of a button, it instantly suck the bowl dry in the blink of an eye. I can't wait to get those installed. Still, you can't flush a mouse down those either, but if it happens, it's much easier to get out - remove the cover on the pump and pull it out of the duck bill. No real mess to speak off and no gushing of stuff that didn't flush. It's a much drier system.
Will those work on a land-based system? Do they not hold water in the bowl? What mechanism prevents odors?
 

seashanty

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forgot to mention the bleach issue -- yes, stay away from bleach if you can. i had to reintroduce bacteria into the septic system ... imagine, buying bacteria! i thought 'cleaner is better' and all that and we went overboard when we first started cleaning to get ready to open.
 

Sanctuary

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This is my one pet peeves, and I really don't care how I come across when explaining what you can and cannot flush. Yes, my system is different than the rest of yours, but I've had to take a macerator apart and untangle/unwind the "mouse" (named that because you pull them out by their tails) from the "blender blades", not once, but TWICE. And it ain't pretty or fun. And each time, I've been very specific to the person who flushed the forbidden object beforehand about what NOT to flush.
Now, I tell them, the ladies in particular, that if you flush a mouse, you're going in after it. I'll stand by and hand you the tools and explain to you how it's done. And then, I show them the 2-foot long macerator/pump, to prove I'm not kidding either, and thell them that when they pull the big end off, what didn't flush will come gushing out....that seems to drive the message home. Since I started explaining it this way, I've never had another incident. Not that it won't happen again, but by explaining it in those terms, it seems to work. I took photos of the process in anticipation of making a "If you flush it..." pamphlet during my moment of rage, but I never published it.
All that said...I just got new toilets - vacuum toilets that with the push of a button, it instantly suck the bowl dry in the blink of an eye. I can't wait to get those installed. Still, you can't flush a mouse down those either, but if it happens, it's much easier to get out - remove the cover on the pump and pull it out of the duck bill. No real mess to speak off and no gushing of stuff that didn't flush. It's a much drier system..
Sanctuary in Miami said:
. . . All that said...I just got new toilets - vacuum toilets that with the push of a button, it instantly suck the bowl dry in the blink of an eye. I can't wait to get those installed. Still, you can't flush a mouse down those either, but if it happens, it's much easier to get out - remove the cover on the pump and pull it out of the duck bill. No real mess to speak off and no gushing of stuff that didn't flush. It's a much drier system.
Will those work on a land-based system? Do they not hold water in the bowl? What mechanism prevents odors?
.
IronGate said:
Will those work on a land-based system? Do they not hold water in the bowl? What mechanism prevents odors?
It does hold water in the bowl and uses about a pint of water to flush. You can add more water to the bowl by pulling on a lever. The vacuum generator creates a vacuum under the toilet in a small tank and holds that vacuum until the toilet is flushed. These are the same concept as airline toilets, except these are much nicer, prettier. While I guess you could rig one up to work in a house, I’ve never known anyone to do that. They are $1,500+ each for the basic model and the run off of DC power. Mine came as a 12-volt unit. I'm going to have the pump motors rewound to 32v since I am a 32v vessel instead of 12v. 32v stuff is HARD to find! It's mostly used on airliners. We usually have to re-engineer stuff to make it 32v.
There is no odor with these since they use fresh water instead of sea water to flush. After the waste is vacuumed out of the bowl, it goes through a valve and is pushed to the holding tank which has a vent to the side of the hull. Rarely is there an odor via the vent and if there is, you can put a charcoal filter in the vent hose and totally eliminate it. There is never an odor from the tank - it’s fiberglass and well sealed.
 

EmptyNest

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We have a septic system and never posted any thing for our guests..of course we only had 3 rooms. Husband corrected a flow issue when we first bought it and we had it pumped yearly and have never had a problem with it. We don't do anything special with it.Though on occasion I have poured that Rid ex down it..but didn't have to.
Knock on wood:)
 

egoodell

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We are on one but don't remember to tell them. We make sure we have sanitary bags in full view. When we build our other wing we'll have to build a new one for that side, and I plan to put in one of the new traps that they have. They catch whatever people flush down so it does not go in the septic. I guess when you get it pumped they clean it out.
RIki
 

YellowSocks

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I was at a B&B recently whose sign said something like "flushing these items will incur a very expensive service call."
=)
Kk.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Since this subject was broached - I saw a sign yesterday above a toilet. It read something like:
Our Aim is to keep this toilet clean. Make sure your aim does as well
then below that it read:
and ladies, please remain seated for the eintire performance
 

EmptyNest

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Since this subject was broached - I saw a sign yesterday above a toilet. It read something like:
Our Aim is to keep this toilet clean. Make sure your aim does as well
then below that it read:
and ladies, please remain seated for the eintire performance.
Too TACKY!

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Since this subject was broached - I saw a sign yesterday above a toilet. It read something like:
Our Aim is to keep this toilet clean. Make sure your aim does as well
then below that it read:
and ladies, please remain seated for the eintire performance.
Too TACKY!

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catlady said:
Too TACKY!
Yes it was tacky and the sink was made of a real tin bucket, it was really cool! I actually thought the restroom was something to see. Oddball stuff all over it. In fact next to the toilet was an antique potty chair that had spare toilet rolls in the potty.
 

Morticia

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Since this subject was broached - I saw a sign yesterday above a toilet. It read something like:
Our Aim is to keep this toilet clean. Make sure your aim does as well
then below that it read:
and ladies, please remain seated for the eintire performance.
I've seen the 'Our aim is to please, so please aim' signs before but never the 'please remain seated' Ha, ha. That was funny.
 

Proud Texan

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Flushing a "mouse" or other items is not an issue concerning the septic tank, but rather one of getting your pipes clogged. As far as your septic tank goes it is recommended that the thing be pumped out every 2-3 years depending on the capacity and usage. So, I wouldn't worry too much about the bacteria unless you are using a composting privy.
The tank on our cottages is small compared to the one we have on our home, so it will probably get pumped out at the same time we have ours done.
On signs, hanging near the toilet, we have printed something we stole from this forum(I think),"Country plumbing not like it town, only toilet paper will go down". We go on to explain that we are on a septic system and not to be flushing feminine products etc. We provide bags for disposal of such items.
 

Samster

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Flushing a "mouse" or other items is not an issue concerning the septic tank, but rather one of getting your pipes clogged. As far as your septic tank goes it is recommended that the thing be pumped out every 2-3 years depending on the capacity and usage. So, I wouldn't worry too much about the bacteria unless you are using a composting privy.
The tank on our cottages is small compared to the one we have on our home, so it will probably get pumped out at the same time we have ours done.
On signs, hanging near the toilet, we have printed something we stole from this forum(I think),"Country plumbing not like it town, only toilet paper will go down". We go on to explain that we are on a septic system and not to be flushing feminine products etc. We provide bags for disposal of such items..
That was my saying that I posted...from a place that I stayed at years ago...in TEXAS

 
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So, you got all moved into your new apartment, house, or even condo and everything is going great. You have everything arranged the way you want it and you have gotten comfortable with your surroundings, but then you go to use the restroom and the toilet leaks or the faucet drips or that new bathtub or toilet is clogged and you are not sure what to do. It is time for a plumbing repair and some tips to help you out.
Tom Plumb
 
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