Your Routine Septic Tank Problems – What To Watch Out For!

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It can be pretty challenging to decide whether you’re having problems with your septic tank unless you’re skilled at plumbing yourself. Even though sewers serve the most city and suburban localities, many households in small towns and remote areas depend on septic tanks for the on-site treatment of wastewater. After leaving your house, this household wastewater enters a septic tank leach field, or also called a septic drain field, that removes impurities from the waste liquid after running through the septic tank.

Septic tanks need routine maintenance and that’s quite a grimy job. Not only do you need professional septic tank pumping services to get the job done right but you need to make sure that the job is handled properly to avoid chances of serious mess-ups.

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Signs That Point to an Instant Drain Field Repair

The question is how can you tell if you require only repairing of your septic drain field or a complete replacement? Here are a few common signs to look for that indicates an instant replacement of your drain field:

  • Lack of regular septic tank cleaning or pumping schedule: 

Septic tanks need a regular cleaning or pumping to avoid the risk of getting a complete replacement of the septic drain field. Schedule a thorough septic tank pumping and inspection after every three to five years so that you can watch out for any drain field malfunctions. Subject to the total number of residents, the frequency of guests that visit you, your laundry schedule, or in case you have a sewer ejector pump, it’s best to plan more frequent septic tank pumping, regardless of the regular garbage disposal routine you follow.

  • Broken or cracked pipes in the drain field:

During the inspection, if your plumber notices the pipes in your drain field are broken or cracked in place(s), you’ll need an overall drain field repair and replacement. There is absolutely no way to fix a broken septic pipe, even patching is a bad idea. The only solution is to get a new piping system in place.

  • Heavy grease leading to Insufficient oxygen inside the septic tank:

The “scum” that appears due to heavy grease in the septic tank system can point to leach field replacement. If the septic tank fills up with large amounts of grease, all the drain holes and pipes leading to your drain field can get blocked. In this case, the septic tank needs to be replaced with a new one.

  • Tree roots damaging the drain field piping:

Some tree roots can grow nastily underground and around your drainage piping system – in clear words, it spells trouble with a capital “T”. Tree roots grow rapidly and need a water source for growth. This causes them to break their way into the drain repair field, damaging the whole drainage system.

  • Soil compaction due to heavy equipment or vehicles near the septic tank drain field:

If you place heavy equipment or park your vehicles on top or around the drain field, it can cause problems due to soil compaction. Compressed soil lets water accumulate near the septic field.

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Routine Septic Tank Problems and Their Solutions!

Not everyone is as receptive or vigilant towards inspecting where the excess water drains after it leaves the premises until of course, something goes wrong. It’s imperative to ensure regular septic tank repair and maintenance to avoid an agonizing expense. The way a septic system works is quite complex and being underground, any problems that may occur often go unnoticed for a very long time. In addition, if an issue does arise, it becomes grueling to identify exactly what is the main reason behind the problem. If not the septic tank, the odds point in the direction of any one of the five things being the problem source.

  • Clogged Septic System

If you have septic tank issues, the first thing to do is to recall how much time it has been since the septic tank pumping. With time, septic tanks fill with waste. If the tank gets chock-full, the instant warning sign is if your drains moving slowly or the toilet backing up. Since every water source in your household runs through your septic system, the frequency of your tank getting filled up depends on the number of people living in your household and the amount of wastewater being produced on a day-to-day basis.

If you get septic tank pumping performed every year or in two years, the chances are you won’t need to get it done again any time soon. However, even after pumping has been done and the problem continues, there’s likely a blockage somewhere in the middle of your house and the septic tank. If such is the case, you’ll need to figure out the exact location to fix the glitch. If the drains are all moving slowly, there could be a blockage in any pipe that drains away from your household. These pipes frequently get blocked by items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet or are too big to pass through the narrow drain pipes. These pipes, being only 4 – 8 inches in diameter or even narrower in a few areas, make it impossible for waste to pass through some narrow sections and get trapped in, leading to a clog.

If, however, your drains are working properly, but the sewage is backing up into plumbing fittings inside your household or around the adjoining areas of the septic tank, the chances are that the effluent filter has some blockage. If the filter shows no blockage good, then the problem could lie within your septic tank’s inlet. If you get access to this area of the tank, you can easily tell whether there is a blockage or not, which you can remove by pushing it through the access point. Though, if you’re uncertain of how to access these areas, it’s best to immediately get in touch with an expert that deals with septic tank pumping and repairing.

Tree Roots Penetrating Your Pipes

If you see that the sewage is backing up into the drains, mysterious cracks appearing in the driveway or sidewalk, or any continuous puddles and damp spots appearing in the front lawn despite there being no rains, it’s mainly due to tree roots penetrating and damaging the pipes. Roots can crack the drain pipes, and with time as they grow further, these cracks expand and cause even bigger problems damage, clogging the sewer pipes being on the top.

To stop root infiltration, install new plastic pipes that can endure destruction from roots. If you plan to renovate your lawn or plant new trees, better make sure to have your pipes carefully worked out so that you can plan fixings or plant trees away from them. More so, you can also treat your pipes with root growth inhibitors in case of trees growing in the areas around your pipes.

If the trees have already infiltrated the pipes, arrange for a proper septic tank cleaning or flush down a solution in the toilet to get rid of all existing roots. To avoid further infiltration, it’s best to cut the trees down and take out the stumps to stop the roots from growing again.

Improper Septic Tank Installation

A poorly installed septic tank, a wrong-sized tank, or even consuming the wrong type of soil in the drain field – all can lead to a septic tank catastrophe. Regular maintenance prevents backups and keeps the septic system functioning properly for years. 

If you ever notice any of these above signs, take immediate action and get in touch with a septic tank cleaning and repair company that has expertise in septic tank inspection and resolve the issues as soon as possible.



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