Can I Put in Hot Tub If I Have a Septic Tank?
A septic tank is used to treat domestic sewage by breaking down the solids with anaerobic bacteria and releasing liquids into the soil through a leach field.
You can mainly use them in rural areas where an onsite sewer system isn’t available or economically feasible.
Yes! But, Ensure your septic system can handle the extra water the hot tub will generate. The average hot tub can hold between 400-600 gallons of water, which can strain your septic system if you don’t design it to handle such a load.
There are some things to consider to avoid potential problems.
- You need to be careful about what chemicals you use to treat your hot tub water. Harsh chemicals like chlorine and bromine can kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic system, leading to potential problems.
- Instead, consider using natural alternatives like mineral purifiers or enzyme-based septic-safe cleaners.
- You must be careful about adding other water-intense appliances or activities to your property. Adding a swimming pool or another hot tub could cause problems with your septic tank if it can’t handle the extra workload.
- Finally, you need to pay attention to how you design your septic system and take steps to protect it from damage caused by things like heavy foot traffic around the tank, which can lead to breakage.
The Problems Hot Tubs Pose for Your Septic System
|Overloading||Hot tubs can overload septic systems, which are not designed to handle the high-volume water flow of a hot tub.|
|Foul Odor||The “chemical cocktail” with which you treat hot tubs to keep them free of bacteria, mold, and algae releases an unpleasant odor damaging septic systems.|
|Degrading your Sewer Pipes||All the water in your system goes through your sewer pipes, which can result in clogging and “backups.”|
|High water usage||Hot tubs can use 3 to 5 gallons of water per minute, so even if your hot tub is small, it can cause a problem.|
|Maintenance||Regular maintenance on your hot tub can be expensive and time-consuming, so you must decide whether it’s worth the price.|
|Oil and grease||Hot tub water can carry traces of oil and grease which clog the system.|
|Pop-up Filters||Pop-up filters do a great job of filtering the water, but they are usually not designed to be used with hot tubs and can wear out quickly.|
How Different Appliances Can Hurt Your Septic System
|Garbage disposal||-Plastic shredding will corrode the sink’s drain pipe and cause leaks.|
-Grease will accumulate in the disposal and clog up the drain.
-The disposer needs 1/2 to 3/4 gallons of water to operate.
-A dishwasher drains about 1.5 gallons of water per cycle, whereas a washing machine only uses about 20 gallons per load.
-If you’re considering installing a garbage disposal, you shouldn’t have it plumbed into your septic system in the first place.
|Washing Machine||-If you have a washing machine, ensure it has a continuous drain hose.|
The weight of the clothes can cause suction and pull from the septic system, which can cause leaks.
-If you’re considering installing a washing machine, you should wait to plumb it into your septic system in the first place.
|Dishwasher||-The dishwasher uses about twice as much water as the washer does.|
Fill only what you need for one load at a time.
-If you’re considering installing a dishwasher, you should wait to plumb it into your septic system in the first place.
|Exhaust Fans||-With an exhaust fan on a small crawlspace, we noticed the house froze during winter. This is because the fan pulls air from inside the crawlspace and out of the house.|
-This air is cold and is going right through the crawlspace vents. It’s not heating your house much or drying out your crawlspace.
|Metal Roofing||-If you’re considering installing metal roofing, you shouldn’t have it plumbed into your septic system in the first place.|
|Many Outdoor Appliances||-Screen doors and windows, Fire pits and chimineas, Hot tubs and Spas.|
How Do You Drain a Hot Tub with A Septic Tank?
|Turn off the power supply to the hot tub||-If there is a control switch, this will be in the circuit breaker box,|
If not, you’ll have to unplug the hot tub from the wall.
|Locate the drain valve on the hot tub||-May be at the bottom of the tub or might be hidden under a plastic panel.|
-There should be an overflow pipe. Follow this to the drain valve. Another way to find it, is from the pump side of the tub.
-Follow the pipe from the pump, and you’ll find it where it exits the hot tub.
|Attach a garden hose to one end of a drain hose||-The garden hose needs to have a male end on it – i.e., a female end on the other end of the drain hose.|
-A 3/8-inch hose is what most hot tubs use. You can check inside the drain hose for a small number.
|Attach the garden hose to the hot tub drain valve||-The discharge from a hot tub is about 35 to 40 degrees Celsius, so ensure you have some cold water running through your garden hose to prevent it from freezing. |
-Running warm water through it might be a better option than cold water.
|Attach the other end of the drain hose to a clean septic tank.||The good news is that hot tubs don’t usually make enough of a mess for it (even if there is an overflow pipe) to require a pump to drain the hot tub through the septic tank. |
It would be easier to use the garden hose alone.
|Open the drain valve in the hot tub||-You can open this slowly so that the water will drain out. You should check for any debris that might be in the line.|
-Once it’s all drained out, close the drain valve.
What Not To Use If You Have A Septic?
|Cooking Oil And Grease||Even if you drain these down the disposal, they will clog the plumbing|
Instead, use a bucket to collect grease and pour it into your garden or yard.
|Pencil Shavings||They can get stuck in rough spots or cause crusts on scales and valves.|
Put used pencils in a plastic bag and throw away with your trash or recycle them with everyone.
|Crayons And Markers||Crayons can get stuck to your tub’s surface, so wipe them up when you see them spill.|
|Waterlogged Books||Keep a bucket handy for soaking waterlogged books until you can get them to someone to recycle them.|
|Waterlogged Magazines And Catalogs||Ditto for these items. Keep a plastic bag in the tub for collecting waterlogged items.|
|Waterlogged Clothes||Use these items up until they are practically falling apart. Then, put them into the plastic bag and throw it away with the other recyclables.|
|Plastic Grocery Bags||They can get stuck in hot tubs, so wipe them up when you see them spill.|
|Used Paper Towels Or Napkins||You cannot flush these down your toilet because they will clog your pipes or tub’s drain line.|
|Chemical Wipes||Even if you mean to use them as cleaners, these are abrasive and can damage your tubs and plumbing.|
|Rags||They will pick up any buildup or residue from your hot tub.|
|Rubbish Bags||Be sure to put the rubbish out for collection at least one day before your next pickup date so you won’t have to pay a second bag fee on garbage fees.|
How Do I Know If My Septic Tank Needs Cleaning?
|Slow-draining sinks, toilets, and showers||-Suds up around the bottom of the plumbing.|
-Sinks and toilets are sometimes slow to fill up.
-Dirty water stains on the floor or walls of your unit.
|Foul odors emanating from the drains or septic tank||-Detergent or chemicals-Disinfectants|
|Housing problems cause the septic tank to back up or overflow||-Defective septic systems.|
-Drainage system problems (low water pressure, a clogged line, etc.)
-Leaks in the plumbing system throughout your house.
|Gurgling sounds coming from the drains or toilets||-Leaking drains or toilets.|
-Mechanical problems (a clogged drain, a stuck pipe, etc.)
|Ground water entering your unit or basement through cracks or the foundation walls||-Use a floor drain grate to let out any water that is not absorbed by the ground surrounding it.|
-Check for nearby septic systems and their pipes to determine if they are causing a problem. If they are, you may need to dig up your yard.
|Standing water or damp areas around the drain field||-Check for standing water around the drain field or in the basement.|
-Check for leaks in the drainage system that may be causing a problem.
|Water on the floor or ceiling of your unit||-Water seeping into the foundation or walls of your house, be sure to check all cracks, corners, and joints. Seal a leak with caulk or tape if you find a leak.|
Does The Bathtub Drain To Septic?
No! The bathtub drain does not directly connect to the septic system. Instead, you typically connect it to the same plumbing system as the sink and toilet, leading to the septic tank or municipal sewer system.
Bathtubs typically do not connect to the septic because the drain contains very little water and does not require any extra filtration before it connects to the municipal sewer system.
The water in a bathtub is often cleaner than in a sink or toilet bowl.
Most problems with bathtub drains are due to plumbing fixtures in bathrooms that you attach directly to septic tanks.
These pipes rarely have enough pressure behind them and are easily clogged by hair, soap scum, etc.
In addition to being directly connected to the septic system, the bathtub drain tends to become clogged. This is because there are no valves on the drain.
Friction can cause clogs, and there is little water in the plumbing system for any clogs to wash away.
Bathtubs also allow for larger clogs because there are no distance limitations, as with sinks or toilets. Inspection is often easier due to the size of the drain, but you must also be watchful for large debris and objects.
Although it is not common, a bathtub drain can become clogged so much that sewage backs up into the walls or floor of your home.
This can be devastating, smelly, and dangerous. If this happens to you, call a professional plumber right away.
How Do I Clean My Septic Tank Naturally?
Here’s a table outlining several natural ways to clean a septic tank:
|Using Baking Soda||Put baking soda down the drain, then plug the drain up for about 30 minutes.|
Pour hot water down the drain to help clean the tank.
|Using Yeast||It’s a fungus you can purchase at health food stores.|
Mix the Yeast in warm water with salt to preserve freshness, and pour the solution down the drain.
|Use Vinegar for Soft Water||It will clean the wastewater, add oxygen, and kill bacteria without harming the septic tank.|
Make sure you’ve diluted vinegar to about a 1:11 ratio of water before using it!
|Avoid Using Bleach||It will eat away at your septic tank and reduce its effectiveness.|
It is also a toxic chemical that can contaminate nearby water sources.
Can I Drain My Hot Tub Into The Sewer Cleanout?
No, The sewer cleanout is designed to allow access to the sewer line for maintenance purposes and is not meant to handle large amounts of water.
Usually, you can locate the cleanout in a basement or garage, which is typically not easily accessible when servicing the hot tub.
Additionally, we have had numerous reports of clogged cleanouts due to the use of hot tubs, which left homeowners with one or more flooded basements.
If you drain your hot tub into the sewer cleanout, use a large hose to prevent overflow of your sewer line or cleanout during a normal draining cycle.
Furthermore, due to the small cleanout size, turning your water off entirely and pumping it into a bucket directly after draining will allow you to ensure that you drain all stagnant water from the tub.
If you choose not to use the cleanout for your hot tub, another option is to drain it by partially filling it with water from a garden hose.
If you have a spa cover, you’ll want to remove this first. Another option would be to install an above-grade drain kit in your existing skimmer.
How Do You Drain A Hot Water Tank Without A Drain?
|Turn Off The Power Supply To The Hot Water Tank||Switch off the circuit breaker that controls the power to the tank.|
|Turn Off The Water Supply To The Hot Water Tank||Turn the lever to shut off the cold-water line.|
|Drain Residual Water From The Tank||Open a faucet near to lower point of the tank on the hot side; this will allow air into the tank and force water up as far as it can go without disconnecting any hoses.|
|Disconnect Piping And Remove Heating Devices Or Coolers||Extend the hose upwards, use a rubber band or clamp to cut off the flow of coolant, then detach the hose using a screwdriver or alligator clip (or detach the connection point).|
|Remove The Overflow Pipe||Remove any attached hoses to the overflow pipe, and disconnect the water line if connected.|
|Cover Any Holes With Tape Or A Plastic Cap||Plastic caps will not shut out air or tape, so place extra tape around the hole to ensure air cannot get in. Tape over all openings of pipework to ensure no air can enter.|
|Locate The Drain And Turn Off The Water Supply||Drain the tank with a hose connected to the overflow line; turn off the water supply.|
|Disconnect The Tank, If Possible, And Open The Faucet To Drain||Disconnect any hoses that are attached, such as a shut-off valve or thermostat valve, from the cold-water side of the tank or connection points.|
|Lift The Tank Out Of Its Enclosure||If your tank is not removable, empty as much water as possible by removing any hoses attached to the hot water side and opening a faucet on the hot water side of the tank.|
|Clean Up And Repair||Make sure you clean up all tools and parts. Repair any leaking pipes or hoses with tape or a plumber’s putty.|
What Chemicals Do I Need To Add To A Freshly Filled Hot Tub?
|Chlorine||Use one teaspoon of 8.35% chlorine, The limit for safe use is 1-5 ppm.|
|Sulphur||Add 3/4 of a teaspoon of either calcium or lithium sulfate, The limit for safe use is 2 ppm.|
|Bromine||Add 1 tablespoon of bromine to every 20 gallons of water or 8 tablespoons per 100 gallons; the limit for safe use is 10 ppm, but not recommended because it has a ‘chemical’ taste and smell.|
Safe levels should be kept below 4 ppm to protect bathers from respiratory irritation. Bromine-treated water may also cause ‘bruising.
|Iodine||Add 1/2 of a teaspoon per 20 gallons of water; the limit for safe use is 4 ppm unless the bathers have sensitivities to iodine, in which case they should not be exposed to iodine.|
|PH||Most Spas have to be adjusted to a pH of 7.2.|
I recommend that calcium carbonate or bicarbonate be added to adjust pH and total alkalinity (TA) levels.
|Magnesium||You only need it if there is low magnesium in the water or you have drained and refilled the Spa.|
|Manganese||You only need it if there are low copper levels in the water or the Spa is drained and refilled.|
|Copper||Only needed if low magnesium levels are in the water or the Spa is drained and refilled.|
Does Shower Water Go To The Same Place As Toilet Water?
No! Shower water and toilet water go to different places. Shower water typically goes down the drain and is directed to a wastewater treatment plant or septic system for processing and filtration before it is released back into the environment.
On the other hand, toilet water goes into a sewer line or septic system. It is also directed to a wastewater treatment plant for processing and filtration before being released into the environment.
If the water softener system is the type that uses a brine tank, you need to check to ensure you refill your brine tank properly.
If it has not and you add the Clorox remedy, you could wind up with a pool full of bleach and will have to drain and refill your hot tub.
“Soak” the tub in water without chemicals once every week. Using a non-scratching brush, scrub all surfaces and refill with clean chemicals again. This helps remove any buildup on the surfaces and prevents further buildup.
Also, check whether you have high hard water levels – like calcium and magnesium. You can soften this by adding a chlorinator to your hot tub.
If this is not possible, consult your hot tub dealer for ways around the problem or if you would like to buy a pre-softener.
Why Sewage Is Coming Up Through Your Bathtub
|Clogged Drain||An obstruction, such as a clog, plugging the drain causes water to back up and overflow.|
|Main Sewer Line Blockage||A blockage in the main sewer line can cause sewage to back up and overflow.|
|Waste Pipe Failure||Water can back up into a waste pipe not appropriately connected to the main sewer line causing sewage to overflow.|
This can happen because a sewer line needs to be better designed or because of construction or repair work .
Be sure you have a licensed plumber to do any repairs, additions, or replacements, and if you notice anything wrong, have them check it out as soon as possible.
|Faulty Plumbing||Fluid can back into a pipe, overflow the toilet tank and drain or leak through the toilet bowl.|
|Leaking Or Sprung Water Meter||A burst or leaking water meter can cause sewer gas to back up and overflow through the toilet tank. |
Released sewer gas can also cause sewage to back up into your bathtub and shower pipes.
|Flooded Or Broken Sewage Pipe||If a broken, collapsed, or flooded sewer pipe is the direct cause of a backup, sewage will overflow into your bathtub, shower, and kitchen|
Do Septic Tank Additives Help?
Septic tank additives are products designed to be added to septic systems to improve performance, flush out sludge, and keep the system in working order.
Several septic additives are available, including chemical additives that clean out organic matter like grease and fats.
All chemical drain cleaners create hydrogen bubbles that lift away any organic matter that has settled into your pipes.
This is important because these sludges will hinder water flow down your pipes and make your system stop working altogether if they accumulate high enough.
These chemical additives are fairly inexpensive and safe to use but have a short lifespan.
After the initial run-through of your septic tank, they will eventually break down and decompose, meaning you’ll need to purchase a new batch every few years.
This can be quite costly, depending on how much you use them.
Toilet bowl cleaners are another popular product homeowners use periodically to clean their septic tanks.
However, these products work the same way as chemical additives, so you’ll have the same problem with their breakdown and the eventual need for replacement.
They’re also quite hazardous to your pipes and septic system due to their highly potent chemicals.
Foaming products are another way to choose a septic tank cleaner or additive. These products usually come in liquid or gel form, and they’re designed to be added directly to your septic system.
When they’re in their liquid form, these septic tank cleaners can increase the amount of waste that will end up in your septic system.
Hot tubs are great places to relax and enjoy the summertime, but they are dangerous if you don’t take the time to care for them properly.
Proper maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring that your hot tub is safe and enjoyable year after year.