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Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Nothing is needed to be added to septic tank. The biological activity occurs inside of the tank naturally. Pump the tank every 5 years is normally enough. Baking soda won't hurt or help, and no homemade solutions are needed. Every time tank is pumped, they usually check the inlet and outlet T's, look for cracks around the pipes, and make sure lids are in good shape on conventional systems. On alternative systems, they need annual inspections and do maintenance on any pumps, baffles, etc as needed. I've seen many tanks that were installed back in the 50s and 60s, and they still work as good as new today. Occasionally a distribution box needs to be adjusted or replaced. There are many types of septic systems, best for owners to learn what type they have, and maintain as needed.

Apr 30, 2021 12:20 PM
Jerrill Ewing
N & J Lake Properties, LLC - Eatonton, GA

Have had one all my life.  Never used anything, but it also depends on a few things.... like don't overuse bleach, don't have a garbage disposal, don't use charmin.  If you do any of those things don't pump any less than every 5 years or you could have major problems.  Also don't plant anything more than grass over the drain field.

Apr 30, 2021 11:45 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

IMHO, a septic system is no place to "try" homemade solutions.  35 years in my house, never needed any additives.

Apr 30, 2021 02:39 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

You have some well-informed answers here from people who have first-hand experience.  Jeff Pearl provided a resource link. 

Apr 30, 2021 01:59 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Clueless, never had septic...but you have good answers. A

Apr 30, 2021 01:51 PM
Ken Jones, Commercial Real Estate
Kenneth J. Jones, Inc. - Toms River, NJ

Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate I lived in a house with a septic tank and found RID-X to be beneficial.

However, since I've never used the homemade solutions you've mentioned (nor any others) and don't know anyone who has, I really can't comment on them.

Apr 30, 2021 11:24 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate Agent Retired

Who the heck knows. I've only sold 2 homes with them.

Apr 30, 2021 11:28 AM
Cathy Starkweather
La Rosa Realty, LLC. - Celebration, FL

I've had a septic system for 22+ years. Septic additives are unnecessary and what we've always been told by septic specialists. Biological additives don't help or harm the system. The system gets all the bacteria it needs from the incoming waste. Chemical additives - degreasers and drain cleaners can harm the system, upsetting the pH balance, killing the bacteria the tank needs to run properly.

If the system is overworked, use less water or have the tank pumped more often. The time between having it pumped will vary from family to family based on usage; size of the tank and number of people living in the home. It's best to monitor the system and become familiar with how often it should be pumped based on usage. Ours for example use to be every two years, now with less people in the home it's every 3.5 to 4 years.


May 01, 2021 05:54 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I know nothing about septic tanks, except that they need to be inspected before I let a buyer purchase a home with a septic system.

Apr 30, 2021 04:30 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I have a inspection that tells people with them about Rid-x all the time.


Apr 30, 2021 12:52 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

You have some good answers. 

Apr 30, 2021 12:48 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Parents built a house in the 50’s and it is still there. Never added anything and it is still working fine. Probably been pumped,three times

May 01, 2021 04:12 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

I've never lived in a house with a septic tank. I've sold many homes with septic tanks. I've heard my septic inspectors say do use those things as it shouldn't be needed. The company I use provides thorough information for homeowners who purchase homes with septic tanks. I don't advise my clients in these matters other than use a professional and knowledgeable inspector.

May 01, 2021 03:33 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

We never use anything in the septic, but in our area pumping is recommended every two years, at most three, depending on number of people living in the home. 

Apr 30, 2021 07:24 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

YES, ROOT KILLER is important IF your tank is anywhere near trees with roots that can 'travel' . . . otherwise I agree with Jeff P that the magic in a septic IS natural . . .

Apr 30, 2021 05:39 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

new used it, never had a problem.

Apr 30, 2021 04:25 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Fascinating as it implies benefit but as to results? Your question stands

Apr 30, 2021 11:34 AM
Caroline Gerardo
Sun West Mortgage Corporation - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

To keep it healthy use the right toilet paper and very little of it. Start a compost bin for vegetables cuttings rather than disposal. Don't put bleach and drano down there.  I do not think you need to add a product or yeast. Baking soda is base or alkaline so that really depends on how acidic your water source and stuff you put down the disposal are. Cottage cheese -no idea why that would help. Yeast is one of the ingredients in Rid-x.  Jeff Pearl  has the answer

May 03, 2021 07:42 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

It doesnt matter, just dont put anything down there that will hamper decomposition like bleach.

May 01, 2021 12:40 PM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Septics are quite common in our area and depending on the number of people in the household, the main reason for failure is adding unneeded chemicals or homemade solutions OR pumping too often!!   It used to be said that pumping should be every 2 years but now it is more common to be pumped every 10 years.  There is nothing worse than an empty tank at the beginning  of the cold winter deep ground frost!

May 01, 2021 07:19 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

Septic systems are quite common in my market and my trusted septic pros discourage additives like Rid-X.  

May 03, 2021 04:37 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Here in the urban area where I live and work, septic tanks are rare. I can't offer any advice.

I know there others here who are well versed in that area.

May 01, 2021 05:13 PM