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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Septic Drainer work directly on the leaching bed?
Yes. Septic Drainer contains calcium polysulphide, a soil amendment which helps relieve "hardpan" conditions in the drain field, or leaching bed resulting from high levels of sodium in wastewater. It also contains penetrants which disperse solid clogging greases and scums allowing waste water to seep through soil pores.

2. How can I tell if I have clay soil?
Clay soils are made up of tiny particles that cling together and subsequently cling well to water. To help determine how much of your soil is clay you can simply take a handful of your soil and try to squeeze it together. Once squeezed, release your fingers and see if the soil is still in a ball. The more clay it has, the more solid and less-brittle it will appear.

3. How does Septic Drainer go into a clogged drain field?
The formulation is designed to be used in clogged or sodium bound soils. Sodium causes clays to bind into a waterproof barrier due to cationic reaction between particles. In simple terms, this results in surcharge of the flow which rises in the soil drowning the huge population of air dependent cleanup organisms present in the soil. As these organisms die off they form a second barrier to drainage called ferrous sulphide. This tar like layer is like crude oil and smells of sulphur. To compound the problem, many systems are so neglected that greases, scums and other materials flow from the tank and into the soil matrix, filling up air pores in the soil. The custom formula contains a special non-ionic surfactant designed specifically to penetrate these wastes allowing the active ingredient, calcium polysulfide, to release the cationic bond, thus reopening soil passages to flow and restoring vital air to the drainfield soils.

4. What is the percentage of calcium polysulphides in Septic Drainer?
The percentage of calcium polysulfide is 26%, as shown on the label. It is the same precise formulation originated by Chevron Ortho previous to Septic Drainer.

5. How does one use Septic Drainer to maintain a field?
For normal working septic systems: Use 2 litres every 6 months applied through the toilet, sink drain or convenient drain near the septic tank. For sluggish septic systems: Use 2 litres for the first treatment, then use 500 ml per week for the next 4 weeks, then use 250 ml per week.

6. If your product restores the soil conditions for septic systems would it work in this situation?
Probably, cesspools and seepage pits: Use 2 litres for the first treatment, then 250 ml every 2 weeks per pit.

7. Do you guarantee the product will work?
The Septic Drainer formula has been successfully used to treat drain fields for over fifty years. Because of the wide range of factors that can contribute to septic system failure, we cannot guarantee that Septic Drainer will work for your situation.

8. How can we order Septic Drainer without a credit card?
Use the secure order form on our web site. Select "Check or Money Order" from the payment options menu. You can print an order form and mail it with your check or money order.

9. Can I run the product through a dosing tank pump?
Yes. Immediately after pump has cycled add Septic Drainer to the dosing tank. Add enough fresh water to cause the pump to recycle. This will deliver a large amount of product to the field as a shock treatment.

10. When using the product on a failing drain field, should the system use be modified for a period of time?
In order to give Septic Drainer an opportunity to work, we recommend pumping out the septic tank prior to treatment, therefore, giving the system a week or so of relief and an opportunity for the Septic Drainer to work before water starts going back into the drainfield.

11. Can Septic Drainer be applied above ground?
Septic Drainer can be applied above ground, but we have found it to be most effective if it can be introduced somewhere in the septic system. If you're using it as a maintenance product, it can be installed as easily as flushing down the toilet. However, it is a sulphur based product and whenever possible, we recommend installing it through the openings of the septic tank or through a clean-out in either the main waste line or a clean-out in the effluent line or even more idealy, directly into a distribution box in the drainfield itself.

12. Are there types or brands of soaps that are better for use with the septic system?
We find that bio-degradable soaps are best to use in septic systems. As I'm sure you are aware, soap is nothing more than lard and lye. Some of the more effective soaps are only this way because of higher contents of these two products, neither one of which is conducive to keeping your drainfield working well. Many detergents contain sodium or sodium based ingredients. Low sodium content detergent is preferred by your septic system's drain field.

13. We recently had several days of very wet weather. My drain field now has standing water on it. Will Septic Drainer help the soil absorb the water?
During periods of very wet weather the soil may become saturated. Septic Drainer cannot make the soil absorb more water under these circumstances. If you live in an area with a high water table, you may have problems that are beyond the scope of soil failure.

14. How much Septic Drainer should I order?
  • Normal working systems - 4 litres. If your septic system is working normally, 2 litres every 6 months will help maintain your drain field.
  • Sluggish systems - 8 litres. If your septic system is sluggish, the will require 4 litres for the first 5 weeks, the 4 litres will last 2 months.
  • Failing drain fields - 16 litres. If your septic system's drain field or leach field has stopped accepting water, Septic Drainer may be able to rejuvenate the soil. Good results have been obtained by having the septic tank pumped before treating the drain field with Septic Drainer. Then apply up to eight litres directly to the drain field through the distribution box or through a cleanout. This method should be tried before replacing any drain field that has failed due to soil failure.

15. How do I know soil is failing in my drain field?
Pumpers often observe water falling back into the tank from the field as the level is pumped down. This is an important sign of soil failure. It is obvious that the problem does not originate in the tank, but in the drainfield.

It is possible to restore soil structure and drainage by chemically treating the soil to release the cationic bond which locks clays and fines together. This is called "reflocculating" the soils, and the process is commonly used in agriculture to provide better absorption of plant foods and water in field application.

It is not always easy to diagnose the cause of backups. A recent issue of the EPA newsletter Pipeline lists signs as "slowly draining sinks and toilets, gurgling sounds in the plumbing, plumbing backups, sewage odours in the house, or tests showing the presence of bacteria in well water."

16. How long will it take for me to see results?
It takes about 2 weeks for the full effect of an application of Septic Drainer to take place. If you have not seen results in this amount of time either you did not apply a sufficient amount of the product, or your soil condition is beyond the scope of what the product can remedy.

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