How To Unclog a Septic Tank Yourself (2 Easy Steps)

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Unclogging your septic tank can be too much work, but when you’re well inclined with the right tips and tricks, you’re good to go. There are several ways you should be able to tell if your septic tank is clogged or not.

For example, when you perceive a foul smell from your sewer, it signifies a clog in your septic tank that needs to be worked on. 

You can unclog your septic tank in many ways, and some of the mixtures that can do the trick for you are a baking soda and vinegar mix, plunger, snake, and water jetting issues.

This article discusses how to unclog a septic tank yourself!

Let’s get started!

How To Unclog a Septic Tank Yourself

There are several ways you can unclog a septic tank. There are two significant ways you can unclog a septic tank, and Some of these methods include:

1. Breaking Apart the Clogs 

To be able to do this successfully, there are several methods you would need to follow. It would help if you first lifted the tank’s access lid close to your home to check the pipe inlet. After lifting it, you can now look into the tank, so all you have to do is locate a white or green pipe inside. 

Look out for any dirt or debris blocking the end of the pipe that may cause the problem. An easy way to know the debris’s location is by checking the water level.

See Also: Toilet Leaking From Tank Bolts

Suppose your water level is below your inlet pipe. In that case, the clog is between the drain pipe between your septic tank and your home, if it is above the inlet pipe, then the clog might be in the leach field, and you may need to use a shovel to dig the debris out because it is usually profound. 

The scum is a layer that builds at the top of your inlet pipe, and you can be able to push it away with a pole stick. You can either keep pushing the scum down till it eventually sinks, or you push it out of the pipe to the side. 

You should always wear gloves when working on your septic tank to prevent bacteria from getting onto your hands. If, after pushing the scum away or inside, you start seeing the water flow, you have successfully fixed the problem. 

Ensure that you disinfect every tool you used to work with a solution of chlorine bleach and water in a ratio of 1:5. You can now place the lid back on the septic tank and have a suitable bath to get rid of any bacteria that must’ve stuck on your body. 

2. Making Use of a Mechanical Auger 

Just like always, you would need to remove the septic tank lid for you to be able to make use of the mechanical auger. There are several access lids to your septic tank, but it would be much better if you look out for the one closest to your home because it is most likely to have the inlet pipe. 

A mechanical auger is a long and metallic cable with a cutting blade end that can cut through your pipes, distracting from the clogged end down into the pipe. After connecting the auger’s cutting blade to the other end of the pipe, you should now tank the pipe down, about 1-2 feet into the ground. 

The mechanical drill can cut through the clog until it’s no longer clogged. It would help if you always worked with your gloves and glasses when using the mechanical drill. 

If the clog refuses to budge, you can keep taking your auger deeper into the pipe until you hit resistance; that is where the clog is. Then, you can stroke the pipe back and forth for more accessible paving, and once you feel the water rushing through, you have successfully unclogged the pipe. 

When you’re done with the auger, ensure that you switch it off before pulling it out to prevent hazards. Then, depending on which you find more convenient, you can get your mechanical auger from your local hardware store or even online.

After working with your auger, ensure that you clean it up with a solution of bleach and water in a ratio of 1:5. After you finish, you can place the lid back onto the tank slowly and correctly.

See Also: How to Dissolve Toilet Paper in Septic Tank

How To Prevent Your Septic Tank from Clogging

There are several methods you can take to reduce the risks of a clogged septic tank, some of these include:

  1. Avoid putting anything other than natural waste and water into your drains. Septic tanks were made to handle only human waste, paper, watery substances, and the like. You can throw your food waste and scraps away into the dustbin
  2. Ensure that you do not unnecessarily use water in your home so the septic tank can adequately drain. For example, if you have old or leaking water fixtures, ensure that you fix them, and meanwhile, try to minimize the amount of water you use in bathing and washing so your tank can drain adequately
  3. Do not drive or plant over the area where you placed your septic tank. You should ensure that you do not drive over your septic tank with a vehicle to reduce the risks of breakage. Also, ensure that you do not plant plants or trees around that area because this can lead to an easy clog
  4. You should clean your effluent filter or drainage outlet pipe periodically to reduce the risks of a clog
  5. Have a professional inspect your septic tank every three to four years; that is how long it takes for an average septic tank to fill up

Reasons For a Clogged Drain 

  • Dumping solid foods into the drain
  • Dumping paints and chemicals into the drain
  • Clogged main line
  • A clogged septic tank
  • Dumping greasy food or sticky stuff into the main drain
  • Dumping hair into the main drain

See Also: How to Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Sewer Line


Following the above step can fix your clog and have your water rushing in no time. However, you also have to prevent this from happening again by not letting anything other than natural waste or water go down the drain. We hope this article proves helpful to you.