In the age of DIY knowledge, it is not uncommon to come across “hacks” that other people have used to alleviate their daily hassles. One such hack that has been discussed is using Rid X to unclog a toilet or clean pipelines. But does it really work that way?
Rid X is not recommended for use in non-septic plumbing systems. Not only will it do next to nothing to solve the problem, but in some cities, it is actually forbidden.
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What is Rid X?
In order to understand the mechanisms behind Rid X, you need to understand what a septic system is and how it works. It is most common in older houses, mobile homes & RVs, and homes placed on land that don’t have access to a city sewer system.
Septic System Crash Course
A septic system is a form of natural water recycling composed of many parts, usually a septic tank & multiple drainage pipes called a leach field. It is buried underground and directly connected to the drainage pipes of a house.
The septic tank is where all the water from your home drains into. Everything you flush, wash, or throw down the drain will go into your septic tank. Inside the septic tank, the bacteria naturally present in human waste will start to break down all of the materials inside the tank and it will separate into 3 layers.
Septic Tank Layers
The bottom layer is called sludge and is made of semi-solid organic materials. This is the layer bacteria will start to break down.
The middle layer is mostly water (called effluent) that gets filtered further in the second part of the tank and filtered even more in the drainage pipes which contain other filtering compounds such as gravel and sand. This will eventually leach back into the ground and get even further filtered by natural processes.
The top layer is called scum and is composed of inorganic materials that cannot be broken down through microbial processes. This includes items like grease from cooking, wipes, feminine hygiene products, and your toddlers’ favorite action figure.
A septic tank needs to be pumped regularly by septic pumping companies. This is because, over time, the sludge and scum layers of the tank will increase, leaving less room for the affluent water and diminishing its performance overall.
A burst in a septic tank line or a septic tank that is not properly cared for will result in unfiltered sewage leaking into the surrounding soil. You can tell pretty easily because if you step outside, it smells heavily of human waste.
The Role of Rid X
Keeping in mind how a septic system works overall, Rid X is a septic system treatment that helps to reduce the scum and sludge layers of a septic tank. It is usually flushed down the toilet monthly to be delivered into the septic tank.
It has an enzyme called cellulase which helps to break down more paper products than natural processes alone and another enzyme called lipase which helps to break down certain fats.
Whether or not it makes much of a difference is up for debate, but the overall question about using it in a regular non-septic system is very much settled.
Rid X in a Regular Toilet
If you have access to a city sewer line and are using city water, then using Rid X with city plumbing will do next to nothing.
This is because many city sewer systems have their own filtration processes in place that make the need for added enzymes unnecessary. In fact, many cities strongly advise against using sewer and septic additives because they do nothing but add more chemicals to be filtered out at their plants.
Also, Rid X needs a settled and semi-closed system to work because it is not immediate. Flushing Rid X down your apartment pipes is just as effective as flushing five dollars down the drain.
Rid X is a potentially useful product if you have a septic system you want to maintain between pumping times. Using it in city water lines is essentially a waste of money and will likely not solve problems such as clogging and low pressure.
You are much better off calling a licensed plumber to solve your issue.