Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning we may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post if you purchase a product through one of our links. An example would be Amazon.
One of the most common questions people ask about septic tank maintenance involves the usage of septic treatment products like Rid-X. In this article, we will take a look at these products and end the debate once and for all as to how they work and are they worth it.
What does Rid-X Do? Rid-X is a product that is marketed to replace or add bacteria to your septic tank system in order to help it break down household waste. According to the Rid-X website, each package of Rid-X contains the following:
- Cellulase breaks down toilet paper, vegetable matter, and some foods
- Lipase breaks down fats, oils, and grease
- Protease breaks down proteins
- Amylase breaks down starches
In the rest of this article, we will take a closer look at exactly why your septic system needs bacteria, what it’s used for, and how Rid-X can help.
How do Septic Tanks Work?
Before we get into to some of the common septic system problems and the DIY solutions you can do save money on your system’s maintenance; we think it would be helpful to at least explain exactly how septic tanks work.
Let’s take a quick peek at how a septic systems work.
A septic system is comprised of two main components: 1) a Septic Tank and 2) a Drainage field. This design allows the wastewater from your home to flow into a holding tank, where it is processed by bacteria before the effluent or wastewater leaves the tank and flows into the drainage field.
When water leaves your home it flows into the Septic tank. The septic tank can also be considered a holding tank. In the septic tank, the solid waste falls to the bottom of the tank, (this is called the sludge layer). Oil, Soap, and Grease float to the top of the tank creating the Scum Layer. The remaining wastewater or effluent sits in the middle layer and as water fills the tank it exits the tank into the drainage area or leach field.
Here are two great videos to help explain exactly how septic systems work and the role of the solids tank.
Learn more about Septic Systems on Wikipedia
What Role Does Bacteria Play in a Septic Tank?
Now that you have a better understanding of how your septic tank and the system works, let’s dive a little deeper into the role that bacteria has to play in your septic system. When the household waste enters the septic tank a few things are going on. The Solid waste sinks to the bottom of the tank, this is called the Sludge Layer.
The grease, Soap residue, and oil float to the top of the tank, it’s called the scum layer. The bacteria in the tank are what break down the solid waste in the tank. The important thing in a properly sized tank is that the usage and size of the tank allow for the bacteria to do its job before the water flows out of the tank.
If the bacteria don’t break down the waste before the water flows to the drainage field it could clog the drainage field and cause your system to back up.
Why Would I Add More Bacteria to The Septic Tank with a Product Like Rid-X?
Rid-X is marketed to essentially supplement the natural bacteria in the septic tank with additional bacteria in the product. Think of it as a way to supplement the bacteria that is already in the tank. It is worth noting that most government sites say the use of products like Rid-X aren’t necessary as there are enough naturally occurring bacteria in your septic tank.
Rid-X markets the following on its site in terms of product expectations:
The enzymes in RID-X® begin working as soon as they come in contact with water. The bacteria take 2-4 hours to germinate and then begin to break down solid waste. If the temperature and conditions are favorable, then the bacteria will multiply to the maximum level that the environment will allow in about 2-4 days. Since septic systems vary, the speed at which the bacteria and enzymes break down waste varies.
Why is Septic System Maintenance Important?
Septic systems should be properly maintained with regular service to ensure you avoid shortening the life of your Septic System. Properly maintained systems can last up to 50 years, which is great since they are can be very expensive to replace. Routine septic system pumping should be performed every 2-4 years depending on the size of your tank and the level of usage. Go Here To find Local Septic Tank Pumping Services.
If you think your septic tank may be full and needs to be pumped- read our article on the 8 warning signs your septic tank needs to be emptied.
How Can Rid-X Help Maintain Your Septic Tank?
Septic backups are often caused by a build-up of solid waste in the system. This can be caused by systems bacteria levels falling too low, which would keep the waste from breaking down correctly, this would cause a build of the septic system and possible damage to the leach field. One of the best things you can do to help maintain your septic system is using a septic tank treatment like Rid-X.
Using a Product like Rid X is a sound investment for a few dollars a month you can help maintain the health of your septic system and avoid getting stuck with a huge bill, new septic systems can cost of to 30,000 dollars depending on where you live, the size of the system, and engineering challenges. It is much easier to try and avoid these issues by simply adding a product like Ridx, consider it a little extra insurance on one of the most costly systems in your house.
Our recommendation is to be proactive about maintaining your system by using a product that costs a few bucks a month and avoid flushing thousands down the toilet in the future.
Related Questions to The Use of Rid-X from Their Site
Here are some Frequently asked questions about Rid-X from the manufactures Website. Please check their site out for the most up to date information on these questions and more about using Rid-X
Watch what you put down your drains. Taking long showers and doing extra loads of laundry can flush beneficial bacteria out of your septic system. Use RID-X® to add beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help maintain your system.
All three products are formulated to have the same amount of active ingredients and are equally effective.
No, however, when used regularly, RID-X® liquid can help break down organic build-up in your pipes, to help prevent clogs before they happen.
The conclusion of Our Rid-X Article
In the end, Rid-X can be thought of as a product that supplements the natural bacteria in your septic system. You now know how important bacteria and the breaking down of household waste in your septic tank is to the overall function of the septic system and to avoid costly repairs and problems down the road.
While government agencies don’t suggest the use of products like Rid-X and consider them as unnecessary. The manufacture of Rid-X is clear about how Rid-X works and how it can be used as a tool to maintain the balance of bacteria in your septic tank.
In the end, whether you decide to use a product like Rid-X or not, proper septic tank maintenance is non-negotiable if you want to ensure you get the most out of your septic system and avoid costly repairs.
If you need to get your septic system serviced find a local professional in our state by state directory. Simply click your state below.