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How To Unclog A Septic Tank Drain Pipe?

By January 17, 2023Septic
Locate your septic tank to begin working to unclog your septic tank drain pipe.

When it comes to having a septic system there are maintenance needs. Completing your septic maintenance will ensure that you don’t have clogs or drain issues. If you begin to notice a foul odor or water backing up into your yard, you likely have a clogged drain pipe. How to unclog a septic tank drain pipe? There are a variety of ways to unclog a septic tank drain pipe. Troubleshoot the easiest ones first.

Let’s take a look below at how to find a clogged drain pipe and how to unclog it.

How Would I Know If The Drain Pipe Is Clogged?

There are a few ways that tell you whether or not the drain pipe is clogged in your septic tank. Let’s take a look below at those warning signs.

  • Bad odor – As the waste and water get backed up, the odors return to your home through the various pipes. You will notice a foul stench coming from your basement, showers, toilets, bathtubs, or kitchen sink pipes.
  • Slow drain – A clear indication that pipes are not free from clogging is slow draining. If your sinks or other pipes drain slowly, this is a clear indicator of a clog. If water is pooling up in the sink before rinsing down the sink, this is a result of a clogged pipe.
  • Gurgling noises – Gurgling or trickling noises will occur when there is a disruption in your plumbing involving your sinks, toilets, or washing machine. The noises will continue even after you drain your septic tank, due to the clogged line.
Hire a professional to help ensure your septic system is working properly.

What Are The Steps For Unclogging The Septic Drain Pipe?

Unclogging a drain pipe can happen by following a few recommended steps. Just like with any other project, you will want to troubleshoot each possible solution. Let’s take a look at below at some do-it-yourself options as well as master plumber options.

  1. Baking soda and vinegar – Many clogs or blockages in a septic tank drain pipe are the result of grease, oil, fat, or other solid food build-ups in the pipe. Luckily, you can use a safe product like baking soda to dissolve the food that is stuck in the pipes. Additionally, vinegar will eliminate all grease and create a better smell in the pipes. Consider a half cup of baking soda and a third cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for an hour in the pipes before rinsing with hot water.
  2. Use Hot Water – Pouring hot water into a drain will loosen any blockage. Continuing pouring hot water into the drain to allow the water to work against the clog. This is successful when the pipes are not completely blocked.
  3. Consider using a drain snake or plumbing auger – Either of these tools can be successful at clearing a clog or blockage from your pipes. These tools can travel up to 80 meters and are more effective at loosening clogs than chemicals. Once you feed the tool into the pipe and reach the blockage, you will then begin to rotate the auger or snake like a rotating drill to push through the blockage.
  4. Use a bent hanger – If you do not have access to a plumbing auger or a drain snake you can attempt to loosen the clog with a clothes hanger. Simply straighten the hanger out as much as you can so that the hook is on one end and the rest of the hanger extends out. Use the hook to grasp any debris that is causing the blockage and pull it out. Once you have gotten a substantial amount out of the pipes, you can use hot water to rinse and push through the rest of the pipes.
  5. Call a Master plumber – When all else fails, reach out to your local master plumber. They could conduct a scope of your pipes to determine what is causing the issue. Also, they will be able to add environmentally safe heavy-duty cleaners to clear up your septic tank.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you have figured out the best ways to clear a clogged drain pipe you can research how to tell if your septic tank is full. In some cases, those two areas go hand-in-hand. When the septic tank is full it can often clog your drain pipe as there is nowhere for the waste to go.

Next, figuring out a way to increase the bacteria in your septic tank is a great idea. The bacteria will help to eat away the waste and break down the solids in your septic tank. Having the right amount of bacteria in your septic tank will keep your tank from filling up too quickly and becoming an issue.

Lastly, if you aren’t sure if your home has a septic tank, there are a few ways to find out. Be sure to read up on the best ways to locate the septic tank in your yard.

Know where your septic tanks are so that you can maintain them easier.

When Do I Call A Professional?

Foul smells, pooling of water in your yard or sinks, and slow water flow are direct results of a clog in your septic tank drain pipe. Call a master plumber to come out and help you troubleshoot the issue. If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can inspect your septic system as well as recommend a reputable master plumber in your local area.


When you have issues in your home, you can always start with a do-it-yourself approach. However, if fixing your septic system clogged drain pipe is not for you, call a master plumber. They can drain your septic tank and flush out your clogged drain pipe. Also, call on your local home inspection team. They can inspect your septic system during a full home inspection. Reach out to Alpha Building Inspections and they can inspect your septic system in Merrimack, NH, and surrounding areas.