Author Topic: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?  (Read 1924 times)

J_S_Taylor

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Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« on: October 23, 2005, 10:58:21 AM »
Hello,
We are trying to find a safe place for a lye bath so the Kids or animals do not get into it. (Cat's, dog, Racoons and a family of skunks which stop in to say hello once in a while.) So far the basement near the drain seems to be the best choice but we are concerned when we empty it, if it will hurt the septic system.  We do have a top to cover it if we put it outside but it gets pretty cold here and the tops have been bungied cord, rocks on top and bar bell weights have not prevented animals from getting into other containers we keep in the horse barn. Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Sharon

Offline Greg Stahl

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Re: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2005, 12:37:21 PM »
Lye is safe for your septic.  In fact that is want lye is used for, unplugging drains and pipes.



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Offline Will Person

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Re: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2005, 01:48:24 PM »
Greg is right,  Draino is lye.  Safe.

Will

miniwoodworker

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Re: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2005, 04:49:39 PM »
One note of caution, though. Don't put large amounts of lye solution into your septic tank at one time. Part of the working system of a septic tank are the bacteria that break down solid waste into the sludge that has to be pumped out once in a while. If you put too much of any chemical into your drain, it can disrupt that bateria colony.

I mentioned this because I don't know how much solution you're planning to dump when needed. A few gallons shouldn't be a problem. If you're dumping a large amount, do it over a period of time or neutralize the solution first. If memory serves, you'll need an acid for that.

Just a thought.
Lee

loebster

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Re: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2005, 06:14:01 PM »
What he is saying is mix it with a little vinegar and it will neutralize it. Lye is probably actually quite good for your septic system. According to the experts the oils and soaps that enter your system don't get broken down by bacteria, they float on the top of your system and form a layer of scum that is normal in most systems. I would guess if this were the case lye would break down some of the scum and actually prolong the life of your system.

Although the information comes from the same source that says septics should be pumped every three years. I have known people to never pump theirs and not have a problem. The leading causes for septic system failure are tree roots growing into the system. And non dislovibles being flushed down the drain. Profo's, Q-tips, dental floss, diapers.

Steve_Stephens

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Re: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2005, 09:01:02 PM »
While I don't know the answer, the only part of your septic system that I would find out more about is if lye will hurt the little microbes or whatever it is that breaks down the crap going into the system.  A google search under "septic system care" or something like that might turn up what you want to know.  Lye is good for drains as it will help clean out crud stuck to the lines.  But you don't want to kill off the good things that help decompose what is in your septic tank.

Steve

Offline Greg Stahl

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Re: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2005, 09:27:03 PM »
unles you are dumping full strength lye in the amounts of one hundred gallons or 10 cans or more, you won't kill the microbes in the sewer system.  Lye is only sodium hydroxide and will be neutralized by the acidic nature of most household water and water/sewer 'parts'.  

Even if you did kill off the microbes, you can buy cakes of microbes to 'restock' your microbes and this should be done on a yearly basis anyway.
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J_S_Taylor

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Re: Lye bath safe to drain in septic system?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2005, 01:01:28 PM »
Thanks everyone for all of your help.  
Jeff and Sharon