Sink disposal on septic system?

Closing on a house in a couple weeks, and it has the usual list of stuff that needs to be seen to. Pretty high up on the list is replacing or fixing a basically dead (non-draining) dishwasher, and a rotted trap assembly under kitchen sink. I noticed sink has no disposal, which isn't uncommon in septic-system houses of the vintage. But I was wondering, since I'll have it all apart anyway, and this would be a convenient opportunity to add a disposal, what is current thinking on the subject? I don't use disposals to grind bones or leftovers or anything. Anything big enough to scrape goes in trash can. Is trivial food waste like post-scraping plate residue really a problem for septic systems? Or does pre-cleaning the plates make a disposal a moot point?
Open to hints on the dishwasher, too, by the way. Seller claims soap cup latch being busted was only problem, but when inspector ran it empty after sitting for several months, it didn't drain. Any chance it something trivial like a clogged screen, or dried crud in corrugated drain line which goes in a big loop (to act like a P-trap, I assume) under kitchen sink before it goes into adapter right under strainer? Brand is Hotpoint, or one of the corporate twins. (At least the inside looks just like the 1992 Hotpoint here in the apartment. I was considering snatching a parts machine out of dumpster first week of June, when the idiot repair guys fix the busted appliances in the newly-emptied units, by replacing them. I won't spend repair money on a 13 year old dishwasher, but if I can get parts free and fix it myself before I move mid-June...)
I'm sure I'll be asking a lot of dumb questions on here next few months- I may have grown up in the business, but that was a lotta years ago, and the details grow foggy...
aem sends....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are special disposals made for septic systems. I don't know how well they are long term. IMO, why add to the system and have the potential problem for an expensive repair in a year or five or ten?

Disposals are nice for getting rid of stuff that thas the potential to stink up the kitchen if not removed quickly. I have one, but I'm on city sewer.

Possible it is easy. Hotpoint is not one of the better brands, but if it can be fixed cheap, why not. .

New machines are $500 and up. Worth spending a little time to save some money. New houses always need things so you can be more selective.

Good luck with the new house.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You pump your septic tank every couple of years at most. They are designed to be pumped. If you don't, THEN you're looking at an expensive repair down the road....
So, put anything you want in there. Regular disposers are fine. If you grind a lot of stuff up, you may have to pump more often - that's all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You don't have to pump it out that often if you take care of your septic system. I know people who have gone 25 years without pumping it out. You should go easy with a garbage disposal. Typical use of a disposal doubles the rate of solid buildup in the tank, requiring that it be pumped out twice as often. Where we live, it costs $400 to pump out a typical 1,250 gallon septic tank. And that's using the cheapest company. You really don't want to do that very often. We use our disposal only for what rinses off the dishes after we put most of the garbage in the trash compactor.
If you are serious about taking care of your septic system, there are two primary rules. Space out heavy water-using activities, and don't put anything into the septic that didn't go through the human body first. Obviously you can't follow that completely, but the closer you can come to those rules, the longer it will be between pump-outs. If you are pumping more often than every five years, you have a poorly designed system, or you aren't taking care of it.
Dick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

YMMV, but we've been running a garbage disposer into a septic tank for almost 40 years without any problems. We don't put anything in, intentionally, other than food waste: all kinds, including leftovers and even small chicken bones which help clean out stuff that hangs up on the hammers. The tank has been pumped out every 2-3 years and there has never been anything more than the usual fine sediment on the bottom.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Most people don't do anything with their septic systems until it is already too late. You are one of the smart ones.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Somewhere I read that adding a disposal is like adding one or two more people to the household. There is nothing inherently wrong with it (as long as you don't add large quantities of grease); just a bigger load on the system. I expect if you do a search on "septic system" "garbage disposal" you will come up with better information than you will get here.
I can barely keep my own dishwasher running, sorry I can't help with yours.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Incinerator makes one that's pricy about ($180 at home depot) and has a replaceable dispenser that injects enzymes that break down vegetable matter .I had one in the house I bought recently. I had problems with mine the aluminum portion of the unit rotted through after only 6 years and I got a second one to replace it . Can't comment on how good it works but as a person that replaced a septic system I don't plan on doing it again. Another cool product you might want to look at is a Septic protector which filters grey water from your washing machine . Amazing how much lint you dump into the system. Bob

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is Turtle.
Bob You would be amazed at what $.25 cent pack of baker yeast will do to help a septic tank in clearing it up.
TURTLE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Turtle is right.
Just don't do what my great uncle did. He thought if one pak was good a dozen would work 12 times as fast. He connected to the sewer right after that. I wasn't there but they say it was something to see. Fermented real good and quick it did.
Colbyt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
TURTLE wrote:

Actually, a septic system doesn't rely on any sort of bacteria or yeast. It's much simpler than that. All the waste goes into the 1000 gal septic tank where much of it liquifies on its own. Solids sink to the bottom and it just piles up there. The liquid pours out to the leach field where it evaporates.
The worst thing that can happen is grease and fat get put into the system. These float. Therefore, they will get transferred to the leach field and will clog it. That's your basic $6,000 mistake.
Depending on the number of people in your household, the tank will need pumped occasionally. That's simply because all the bones, paper goods, rubber things, and cellulose ("fiber" in nutritional terms) build up in the tank.
We compost nearly all the vegetable matter. And we put all the fat and meat leftovers out on the back of the property near the woods. They're gone in the morning! So we don't use the disposal very much.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In a septic tank, anything that floats rises to the top and forms a layer known as the scum layer. Anything heavier than water sinks to form the sludge layer. In the middle is a fairly clear water layer. This body of water contains bacteria and chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorous, the bacteria breaks down the organic material in the wastewater. As new water enters the tank, it displaces the water that's already there. This water flows out of the septic tank and into a drain field. Inside the tank on the discharge side is usually a pipe that goes down into the tank a little so the scum floating on top does not enter the drain field.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't know where you're getting your information, but that's wrong. Septic tanks require bacteria just as municipal sewage disposal plants do. And the liquid going to the leaching field should be percolating down through the ground with very little evaporating. If it isn't, and you haven't got bacteria in your tank, I wouldn't want to get too close to your location :>)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is Turtle.
He may live out there where the tested that A-Bomb in New mexico where all the people glow in the dark like a Colored Trojan.
TURTLE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is Turtle.
You need to talk to the fellow who design these tanks and let them in on this new way you say they work. No Bacteria in the tank and it will work fine. They need to see this.
TURTLE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 30 May 2005 19:03:00 -0400, Stubby

Why do you think it is called a Septic Tank? Webster's defines a septic tank as, "A tank into which sewage is conveyed and where organic solids remain until decomposed by the action of anaerobic bacteria." If this didn't occur, you would be pumping the tank every few weeks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 30 May 2005 15:34:00 -0500, "TURTLE"
[snip]

I would be very amazed if it did anything at all.
--
Luke
___________________________________________________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.