Recognizing When Your Septic System Is Having Problems

Every homeowner has maintenance and repair work to deal with on a fairly regular basis. One thing that most homeowners would like to avoid having to repair as much as possible is the sewer septic system. As with most things around the home noticing early warning signs that it might be having difficulties can prevent you from having a major problem or breakdown to deal with and can ultimately save you a bundle in both time and money.

A septic tank along with the sewer system that it is connected to is not a cheap nor particularly easy system to have to fix or replace. Your septic system handles all of the wastewater disposal for the entire house so as much as possible you need to be able to identify signs that something may be going wrong before the problem gets out of hand.

One of the first signs that something is not quite right with your septic system is your toilet flushing insufficiently. Maybe the flush is slower than normal or is not completing the job and emptying the bowl properly. Slow water drainage can signify a blockage somewhere down the pipe. It can also be a sign of an overloaded or backed up septic system.  Call a sewer septic professional immediately and have the problem checked out.

A clogged drain can usually be fixed quite easily but if it is left for too long it can cause more serious problems. A backed up septic system may only need septic tank pumping, but it needs to be done as soon as possible.  If the tank if too full, too much solid material will make its way into the leach lines and clog the leach field.

Another sign of problems with the septic system is foul odours coming from the tank or the leach field. Bad smells indicate a leak or crack in the tank, or a failing leach field and a professional should address this issue immediately.

Septic System Myths

Septic systems seem to generate a lot of misinformation and myths.  It’s easy to understand why this is so.  Most of the system is buried out of sight and does its magic without any input from the homeowner.  Once we flush the toilet or drained the sink it’s “out of sight and out of mind” until something goes wrong.  In addition, most homeowners don’t understand how a septic system works so it’s easy to take any information at face value.

One such myth is that septic systems are maintenance free.  Your septic system, like any other mechanical system, needs regular maintenance to stay in top operating condition.  Fortunately, a good septic system only needs to be inspected annually or every other year and usually needs to be pumped out every three or four years.

Septic tank pumping is another source of misinformation.  Many homeowners mistakenly believe that septic tank pumping is only necessary if the system starts to backup or have other problems.  The reality is that you should have your septic tank pumped before a problem occurs, usually every three to four years.  Waiting until the system fails will damage the system, leading to expensive repairs and a shorters useful life.

Healthy septic systems also don’t need any additives to work properly.  A septic system is designed to use naturally present bacteria in the septic tank and septic field to treat the wastewater.  Using additives will harm the helpful natural bacteria and reduce the effectiveness of the septic system.

Septic Tank Cleaning

Septic Tank Cleaning
When your septic tank needs cleaning, call a professional septic tank pumping service to do the job.  Never attempt to clean a septic tank yourself, or allow a non-professional to attempt to clean your system.  Septic system cleaning can be a dangerous business as it may expose the cleaner to unhealthy pathogens that thrive in a septic system.  Never stick your head in the void space of your septic system to check it; decomposition of septic waste materials generate methane and gases that cause oxygen to be pushed out of the system.  Consequently, breathing in these fumes can cause you to pass out or even die from exposure to them.  Our licensed, professional septic tank contractors are trained and equipped to safely clean your septic tank system.

Periodic septic tank cleaning is important for the proper working of your septic tank system.  Your septic tank needs to have a significant amount of liquid space in its tank so the waste that gets dumped into it can break down unencumbered.  Unfortunately, if your tank begins to fill with sand, silt, gravel, or any other solid objects, the water is displaced, causing disruption of the breaking-down process.  If your tank is allowed to remain too full for long, you could risk permanently damaging your leach field, a very expensive septic tank system replacement.

To extend and protect the life of your septic system, make sure you have it professionally cleaned on a regular basis.  Also, watch what you put into the tank in between cleanings (obviously human waste and anything you would eat or drink is okay) as well.  Avoid putting chlorine bleach in your tank as it will kill the beneficial bacteria that must exist in your septic system for it to work properly.

Blog Post provided by:  Atlanta GA Septic Tank Cleaning Specialist