If you have any type of septic tank pumping, it's unavoidable that you'll require drain cleaning at some point in time. Caring for your septic system and tank efficiently by having it cleaned and pumped regularly can go a long way to preventing problems, but sometimes the unthinkable happens and the drain lines clog. The good news is, our expert partners know just how to handle this. Understanding How Your Septic System Works There are many components of a septic system and they all work together to deal with wastewater. However, when any one part of the system goes wrong, the whole system may fail to work. All the drain systems inside your home or business connect together at a single point where they leave the structure and the wastewater is led to the tank. At the tank, a baffle helps force the water down, so that it splits adequately. Buoyant things, like oil, fat, grease, and toilet paper rise back up to the top, in a layer the industry refers to as scum. Heavier waste sinks to the bottom and develops a layer called sludge. The water that remains between the two is effluent, and it can securely leave the tank through a specially-designed outlet. Most homes have a leach field where the water drains to, but there are various systems that assure the water gushes freely into the earth where the soil's natural bacteria takes any remaining organic material. Common Reasons Drain Cleaning is Needed Occasionally, someone will throw something that has no business being in a septic system installation, such as a tampon or diaper. These kinds of things can stuff lines quickly. Other times, buildup from a garbage disposal, grease, or other organic waste can make the pipes too narrow for something as simple as toilet paper to pass on. One of the biggest concerns is when septic pumping isn't done often sufficient. Most homes need it done every 3-5 years, but a home with a garbage disposal may need to get it done annually. When the layer of sludge isn't removed from the bottom of the tank, it grows. Eventually, it overwhelms the outlet and fills the lines of the leach field. In any of these cases, toilets basically start to run less quickly or a gurgling noise can be heard from the drains. If left untreated, the wastewater can back up through all the drains in the house, including sinks and showers.