When people think about scheduling plumbing maintenance, they usually think about their drains and pipes. However, the septic tank is just as important. The unit manages waste in homes and businesses that are not connected to the city’s main sewer lines. If left untreated, your septic tank can overflow, causing serious damage to both your property and your senses. To find out where your septic system stands, schedule a septic inspection with the professionals at Mr. Rooter® Plumbing. We find cost-effective solutions that deliver quality results.
Common Septic Tank Issues
In a septic system, wastewater enters through a chamber into the septic tank. There, the solid sludge settles to the bottom, while the scum floats to the top. Liquid moves through the chamber, carrying the scum into another chamber, while solid waste further moves to the bottom. Finally, the excess liquid moves out into a drain field. Throughout the process, the waste is anaerobically decomposed.
When it works the way it should, a septic tank keeps a property functioning efficiently. The average tank should be pumped every three to five years. However, if left untreated, the tank can become too full and overflow, prompting the need for a septic tank inspection and possible repair.
Common septic tank issues include:
- Detached dividing wall – If the septic tank splits into two compartments, one chamber could trap the sludge, causing a system failure.
- Full tank – An overflowing septic tank can reveal an issue with the drain field and its ability to absorb the wastewater.
- Wall corrosion – Corroding walls occur when hydrogen sulfide gas becomes trapped in one or more of the compartment tanks.
- Roots – Because the septic tank emits wastewater, if underground, plants will start to grow towards the septic unit. The roots of large plants such as trees can cause extensive damage.
Does Your Septic Tank Need Repair?
It can be difficult to notice how a septic tank is functioning, primarily because you likely don’t visually see it when you use it like you do a faucet, drain, or sink. However, there are some telltale signs that you can keep an eye out for that may indicate your septic tank isn’t working the way it should.
Common warning signs to look for include:
- Pooling water – When water starts to pool on your lawn or field without an obvious explanation, is may be because your septic tank is too full. A professional can pump your tank to fix it.
- Foul odors – A full septic tank will cause the sludge to rise, emitting foul odors around the household or property.
- Health of your lawn – Not all waste is created equally. Unlike fertilizer, septic waste can kill your grass. Look for inexplicable brown and yellow patches in your lawn.
- Slow draining toilet – If your septic tank becomes too full, it can interfere with the way your toilet functions. Pay attention to how quickly your toilet drains after a flush.