- Now let’s check out the pump chamber of your septic tank. Locate your pump chamber and remove the lid. The pump chamber is usually located downstream from the filter chamber. 5. Once the lid is removed, complete a quick general, visual inspection to make sure there are no leaks around the chamber joints, and that water levels look correct.
How long does a chamber septic system last?
Leaching chambers are reliable, do not have moving parts, and need little maintenance to function properly. They are usually made of plastic materials, with a useful life of 20 years or more in contrast to the average useful life of a drainfield of 15 years, with a maximum of 20 to 25 years.
How do you test a septic drain field?
Walk over the drain field and make a note of any place you detect sewer odors or feel squishy ground. Both are signs of a leak and reasons to call a septic pro. You should see one or more pipes sticking vertically out of the ground; these are risers that were installed so you can check the drain system.
How do you know your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
Why do septic pumps fail?
Why Sump Pumps Fail Even when the power stays on, the pump itself can fail. Often, an inexpensive unit is just too small to handle the flow from rapidly melting snow or from a major downpour. Float switches get trapped inside the pump and can’t switch on the pump. Inexpensive switches can cause motor burnout.
How often do septic pumps need to be replaced?
Inspect and Pump Frequently Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.
How long should a septic pump last?
These pumps move solid waste from your toilets and sinks to a point in your plumbing system where gravity can take over. This is achieved using powerful water jets that break up the waste and then force it up and into your septic tank or sewage system. A good sewage ejector pump should last at least 7-10 years.
How do you tell if the leach field is clogged?
Stay vigilant for five signs your drainfield does not drain correctly anymore.
- Slowing Drainage. Homeowners first notice slower than usual drainage from all the sinks, tubs, and toilets in a home when they have a compromised drainfield.
- Rising Water.
- Increasing Plant Growth.
- Returning Flow.
- Developing Odors.
How many infiltrators do I need?
As a general rule, trenches ‘fingers’ should be no longer than fifty feet ( 12 or 13 Infiltrators long ) for best function and most even effluent distribution. Unless you are installing as a “bed” system (where the chambers are right next to each other), leave at least six feet of undisturbed soil between fingers.
How long should a drain field last?
It’s important to consider the life expectancy of a drain-field, too. Under normal conditions and good care, a leach-field will last for 50 years or more. Concrete septic tanks are sturdy and reliable but not indestructible.
How do you fix a saturated leach field?
Additional ways to help keep the soil in your drain field from becoming over-saturated include:
- Avoid using too many water fixtures in the home at once.
- Ensure all home gutter downspouts are directed away from the drain field.
- Don’t point lawn sprinklers toward drain field.
How long does it take for a saturated drain field to dry out?
The groundwater will take time to recede to the level of the bottom of the drainfield. This could happen within a week or two or require a couple of months.
How to Check Your Septic Panel and Pump Chamber
It is recommended that you inspect your pump chamber once a year to ensure that everything is in proper working order. Follow the 11-step procedure outlined below to complete this task on your own! (Do you require further assistance? Alternatively, you may watch our instructional video below.)
1. Let’s start by inspecting the panel. Make sure the power is on by verifying the power switch to the panel is on.
The following items should be included in this general overview: The electrical box may be seen in the lower left corner of the image below, starting at the bottom of the image. Check to verify that all of the cables are firmly connected before using it. Next, take a look at the lower right corner of the shot, where you can see the discharge pipe for the pump. Check to see if it is operational (valve should be lined up with pipe). It’s now time to have some fun!
FIRST.PUT ON GLOVES!That is one step you DO NOT want to miss. Remove the float tree (the pipe with a pvc handle located upright left in our picture) and pull up the alarms.
*Please keep in mind that these instructions are for a 4-float system. Some systems contain only two or three floats.
If you don’t hear an alarm, this is cause for concern. Starting at the top, I will explain the floats and how to ensure each one is working.
NOTE: If your water supply is depleted, you may need to replenish it. Fill it up a little with water from a yard hose.
7. Continue testing.
Check that the pump is operating properly by flipping the second float from the bottom upside down and then turning it back around. With your other hand, turn the next float up (which would be the second from the top) upside down while still holding the first float. You should be able to hear the pump start up. As soon as you have confirmed that the pump is operational, just release these two floats. There’s one more float to go. The top float serves as an alert in case of high water. Turn it over down to see whether this is the case.
8. Now is the time to inspect the power cords.
Check to see that everything is securely tied to the float tree and not just hanging free. Zip ties can be used to reattach any stray cables.
9. Securely return the float tree to its holder and coil any dangling cords so that they are out of the water.
Buying or selling a home and discovering that your septic system is experiencing difficulties pumping trash to the septic tank? Is it necessary for your new system to have a pumping system? What is the operation of a septic pumping system? In order to address your inquiries, All-Clear SepticWastewater Services has compiled some basic information for your convenience. It is necessary to install a septic pumping system when a typical gravity feed system will not function properly owing to the condition of the soil surrounding the property or because the accessible space is located uphill from the septic tank.
- It is essential that the suitable pump is used in each case and that it is sturdy enough to handle the projected volume of material to be transported.
- It might be that raw sewage must be pushed directly to the septic tank, that processed wastewater must be piped directly to the leaching region, or that a pressured system must be installed in which the effluent is pumped substantially above the tank’s level.
- To do this, any raw sewage particles should be kept from blocking the pump or moving into the leaching zones.
- After the pumping system has been appropriately placed in the tank, the issue of pipe heights and slopes, as well as the length between the pump and the “drop box,” must be addressed.
- There are various approaches that may be used to accomplish this.
- The soil composition must be known by the engineer in order to eliminate any possibility of erosion, pollution, or flow back onto the land.
- The engineer, in consultation with local inspectors and regulators, will make the final decision on whether or not to incorporate a pump system in the design.
If you have any concerns or would like additional information about your septic system, or if you would like to read the whole white paper on this subject, please contact All Clear SepticWastewater Services at 508-763-4433 or [email protected]. This blog was first published on July 22, 2015.
Sewage Ejector Pump Inspection & maintenance or repair
- POSTING a QUESTION OR COMMENTabout how to examine and repair septic pumps, sewage grinder pumps, sewage ejector pumps, and pump alarm systems will be considered.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Septic grinder pumps or septic pump systems should be inspected for correct installation, operation, and testing, as well as for proper operation and testing. Sump pumps, sewage ejector pumps, septic grinder pumps, sewage pumping stations, and septic pump alarms are all covered in this article, as well as their inspection and maintenance.
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Guide to Sewage Ejector Pump Inspection
When it comes to wastewater pumps, the most common names aresewage grinder pumps, which are designed to grind and move black water or sewage (including solid wastes), and wastewater effluent pumps, which are designed to only move clarified effluent, such as from a septic tank to an underground drainage system. ABS pumps, Crane (centrifugal grinders) pumps, Environment One or E/One sewage pumps, Goulds pumps, Hydromatic pumps, Liberty sewage pumps, Little Giant pumps, Myers pumps, Tsurumi pumps, Webtrol sewage pumps, and Zoeller sewage grinder pumps are some of the more popular sewage grinder or septic pump brands.
Models depicted in this catalog are from the Environment One Low Pressure Sewer Systems Grinder Pump.
The following factors influence the performance of septic pump systems: Is the right pump put in the system?
On occasion, we’ve observed sewage treatment systems in which the incorrect type or size of pump was installed, often in an attempt to “save money.”
Are modifications to the septic pump system visible? What do they mean?
It has been necessary to drill a hole at the floor level of the septic grinder pump seen at left in order for more basement leaks to reach the pumping chamber and be pumped away. Of course, any sewage backup will run back out of this hole and into the room, and this may prevent the pump alarm from operating – but is there even a pump alarm placed in the first place? According to the quantity of cables entering the tank, this is most likely not the case.
In addition, there is no check valve (see photo at right, brass valve on the left hand vertical outlet pipe). Even the wire connections leading into the tank are secured with gray masking tape that has been painted over, which is not especially trustworthy.
Guide to Sewage Ejector Pump Maintenance: inspection checklist
- Accessibility to the tank and pump for purposes of inspection, pump replacement, or other maintenance. If an alarm system is implemented, be sure that it activates when the pump pit level climbs over the typical level. See ALARM SYSTEMS FOR SEPTIC PUMPS
- Backups or spills that may indicate recent failures include: sewage or toilet paper scraps outside the pumping chamber, stains, water lines, scents, and an occupant’s report are all examples of what to look for. It is necessary to install a check valve on the discharge line at the discharge line (as we show in the photo above). The absence of a check valve will result in a large volume of water flowing backwards into the pumping chamber from the discharge line, causing the pump to cycle too quickly or even continuously
- The check valve also ensures that a sewer main does not back up into a building and flood it through the sewage ejector pump system. Check valves are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Installation of a septic system
- Clogged grinder pump impeller: Clogging in the impeller of a grinder pump (reduced discharge or in severe cases loss of pump output, motor trips on overload) Septic effluent pump clogging is common when the incorrect pump type has been selected and the pump is unable to manage the particles that are introduced into the system. It is also possible to clog toilets by flushing inappropriate objects (dental floss, tampons, etc.). Pumps can get clogged when a white or gray waxy deposit builds, which is frequently caused by bacterial growth or the use of powdered detergents, among other things. See WAXY CLOGGINGS IN SEPTIC / SEWAGE PUMPS. PUMP FOR SEWAGE / eeSEPTIC Clogged discharge line vent: necessary in the discharge line at the height of the pump’s top where some check valves such as Zoeller Unicheck are mounted
- NO-FLUSH LIST
- NO-FLUSH LIST As is customary, watch for water discharge from this 3/16″ aperture when the pump is turned on, as well as for a brief period at the conclusion of the pump-on cycle. Components that are missing: Verify that each of the sewage grinder system components that are shown is present. THE INSTALLATION OF A SEPTIC PUMP We demonstrate a comprehensive pump installation in this section. A buildup of junk in the pump basin, such as loose debris and wood shavings as well as hair and thread, may clog and harm the pump. Leaks, exposed wiring, and unprotected entrances into the pumping chamber or tank are all potential hazards. Odors coming from the sewage or septic pump are frequently produced by an inadequate reservoir seal, a faulty check valve, or inappropriate venting. See ODORS FROM THE SEWAGE PUMP
- Check the performance of the sewage or septic pump by turning on a nearby plumbing fixture to fill the reservoir tank and observing the pump action, which should be turned on and off normally
- Pumpopening cover: In order to ensure the safety of the sump pumping basin, a secure, child-proof cover must be in place
- In some installations, the cover must also be gas-tight. What kind of pump has been installed: Has the correct sort of pump been installed for this application? Installing a basic basin pump or effluent pump where the pumping of sewage and sediments is required is not a wise choice. PUMPS FOR SEPTIC AND SEWAGE We explain why placing the incorrect sort of pump on a system where blackwater (toilet waste) is entering the system, such as a basic basin pump or effluent pump (both of which are designed to handle mostly liquid waste), is likely to result in pump blockage and failure. Reservoir or basin: the fiberglass or plastic container should be in good condition, with no fractures, breaks, inappropriate holes, or other damage. Some basins are made of cast iron, and their lids are also made of cast iron. The lid should be well-fitting, made of the appropriate material, and free of any leaks. Proper tank ventilation must be present in order for the pumping chamber to function properly. Openings in the pumping chamber or tank itself may allow smells, hazardous sewer gases, bacteria, and sewage backup to be released into the surrounding area, contaminating the air. If a vent is not provided, the pump will produce an unwelcome vacuum in the sewage reservoir while it is operating. For further information, please consult the guidelines for sewage/septic grinder pump diagnosis and repair atSEWAGE PUMP DAMAGEREPAIR.
SepticSewage Pump Maintenance GuidesInstructions
- PACKAGE DE CONTRACT FOR GRINDER PUMP (2017) Frederick County, Maryland Department of Engineering and Planning 4520 Metropolitan CourtFrederick, Maryland 21704 USA Tel: (301) 600-2078 Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management Frederick County, Maryland Department of Engineering and Planning 4520 Metropolitan CourtFrederick, Maryland 21704 USA Website: obtained on June 19, 2018, original source: DocumentCenter/View/282613/ Grinder-Pump-Package-rev-12-21-17?bidId=282613 Grinder Pump Package Revision 12-21-17 Questions and Answers about CT GRINDER PUMPS Original source:
- UNIFORM PLUMBING CODE, Chapter 7 SANITARY DRAINAGEfrom Virginia 2006 Plumbing Code, retrieved 20178/06/19, original source:
- HYDROMATIC GRINDER PUMP SEWAGE SYSTEM OPERATIONSummit Township, 2121 Ferguson Rd., Jackson MI 49203, Tel: 517 788 4113, retrieved 20178/06/19, original source:
- PENTAIR HYDROMATIC SUMP, Phone number for Cambridge, Ontario is 519-896-2163. Guide to the Selection of Submersible Sewage Pumps (Roeth, Bradley W. P.E., Guidance for the Selection of Submersible Sewage Pumps), obtained on 2018-06-19 from the original source: Bradley W. Roeth, P.E., Stanley Consultants, Muscatine, Iowa, obtained 20178/06/19, original source:6513/6182/9009/Submersible Sewerage Pumps-White Paper-Roeth.pdf
- SEWAGE PUMP UP PACKAGE retrieved 20178/06/19, original source:6513/6182/9009/Submersible Sewerage Pumps-White Paper-Ro Pentair
- The Zoeller X71 Hazardous Environment Series Class I, Division 1, Group CD Submersible Grinder Units Owners Manual was retrieved on June 19, 2018, from Zoeller Engineering, P.O. BOX 16347 Louisville, KY 40256-0347 USA. The original source was: Additional manuals and instructions for effluent, septic, and sewage pumps may be found at SEPTIC SYSTEM PUMP MANUFACTURERS.
. READ ON FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SEWAGE PUMP DAMAGE AND REPAIR Alternatively, choose a topic from the closely related articles listed below, or browse the entireARTICLE INDEX. You may also look at the SEPTIC PUMP INSPECTIONMAINTENANCE FAQs- questions and answers that were previously provided on this website. Alternatively, consider the following:
Septic Pump Articles
- SEPTIC SYSTEM PUMPS
- SEPTIC PUMP ALARM SYSTEMS
- SEPTIC PUMP DUPLEX DESIGNS
- SEPTIC PUMP INSPECTIONMAINTENANCE
- SEPTIC PUMP INSTALLATION
- SEWAGE PUMP BUYERS GUIDEMANUALS
- SEWAGE PUMP DAMAGEREPAIR
- SEWAGE ODOR SOURCE LOCATION
- SEWA PUMPING STATIONS
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PUMP MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION AT INSPECTION An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Septic Tank Pumping & Inspection – Our Complete Process
At All SepticSewer, we are driven by a desire to help people and to solve problems. 20 years in the septic industry has given us the opportunity to cultivate strong client connections by delivering great care that keeps their septic systems in good working order and troubleshoots big issues before they occur. Regular maintenance on your septic system is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about spending money, but it is just as necessary to keep up with as regularly as you change the oil in your car.
In other words, whether you have driven 3,000 to 5,000 miles or if it has been 3-5 years since you had your septic system drained, it’s time to schedule a preventative maintenance service.
All SepticSewer Starts By Assessing, Listening, And Learning
When you call, the first thing we do is listen and learn about the problem in order to determine how we might help. We begin by asking you a few questions, providing you with an initial quotation, setting a service date, and conducting some preliminary research. Since when did you last have a plumber come out to pump out your septic tank? This information assists us in determining the sludge levels in your tank. As time passes since your tank has been pumped, sludge levels rise, and it takes longer to pump them away.
- People have a tendency to believe that “if it ain’t broke, don’t change it,” yet this might lead to serious consequences.
- Do you have a septic system that is on risers?
- Providing a pricing quote and scheduling a time to come out and service your septic tank are two important steps.
- Despite the fact that our rates for the jobs we discuss will not alter, your system may require more work after we have entered and completed a comprehensive assessment.
- After that, we will schedule you for the earliest available appointment time and will work with you to ensure that we are on-site as soon as feasible.
- The pump truck will arrive within a two- to three-hour window, and we will phone you on the day of service as we are leaving our last assignment to provide you with a more precise arrival time estimate.
- A few minutes after we hang up with a customer, we call the local health agency (in this case the counties of King, Pierce, or Thurston) to collect any septic system drawings that may be on file, as well as to check the Online RME, which includes recent and prior servicing on the system.
This enables us to troubleshoot potential difficulties, decrease work time, and save you money in the process.
Getting To The Bottom Of Your Tank And Septic System Problems
When you arrive to your residence, We will contact you the morning of your scheduled service to confirm your appointment and to inform you of any changes to the pump truck’s schedule that we have learned about. The technician will contact you again when they are on their way out of the job site, which will be before your planned appointment, to provide you with a more precise arrival time. We make every effort to keep our consumers up to date with the latest developments. Once the driver arrives, he will locate the most ideal location to park the pump truck, taking care to ensure that all wheels remain on firm roadways and that no grass or dirt surfaces are used as parking areas.
- Upon arrival, our technician will check in with you to explain the job being done and to answer any concerns you may have; if no one is there, the technician will begin searching for the property’s septic tank or tanks.
- Our staff are instructed to run hoses with care to ensure that no plants, flowers, or other landscaping are destroyed.
- This provides us with a basic picture of how your septic system is operating at this point.
- Infiltration of a tree root into the tank, other damage, or long-term wear and tear can all result in this problem.
- Higher than normal liquid levels — If liquid levels are high, there may be an obstruction in the sewer lines, which prevents waste water from exiting the tank, or there may be an issue with the drain field pipes.
- if the technician discovers abnormal levels in the tank, he will want to speak with you about the need for additional system checks and repairs.
Pumping Your Tank Clean And Inspecting It From Top To Bottom
Following that, the technician will begin pumping the major compartments to ensure that all corners and walls are thoroughly cleaned and that sludge is adequately removed from the tank’s bottom. It is critical to pump from the major compartments rather than the small inlet and exit ports in order to ensure that the sludge removal and cleaning is accomplished completely and completely. Inspecting every component of your system after it has been pumped and cleaned, we search for cracks, breaks or other damage to your septic tank, including checking the baffles, cleaning the filters, and inspecting the tank for any cracks, breaks or other damage.
Following a thorough inspection and cleaning of your septic system, we will:
- Close the jars’ lids. Fill the dirt up to the top of the tank (unless the tank is on risers). Using the pump truck, clear all of the hoses to ensure that no residuals are leaking out
- Load the hoses into the back of the vehicle. Prepare the necessary documents for the service
- Review the job we completed with the customer and respond to any queries that may have arisen
- Make an application for approval and collect money
Explaining The Service Visit And Earning The Customer’s Trust
Immediately following the service of your septic system, we take the time to go over the work we’ve done with you, including explaining how many gallons we pumped out of your tank, any additional maintenance or repairs that were completed with your consent (if applicable), and identifying any broken or missing components that were discovered. Our billing is itemized in order for us to be able to go through each and every aspect of the service visit with the customer. As soon as he returns to our office, he completes the documentation related to your septic system maintenance and files a mandatory report with the health department, which identifies the work that was accomplished and provides an overview of the inspection’s findings.
We are always delighted to address any questions that consumers may have at any step in the process.
All SepticSewer Is An Industry Leader InSEPTIC–S killed,E fficient,P rofessional,T horough,I nnovative, C ustomer-Focused
All SepticSewer is a renowned industry leader in the counties of King, Pierce, and Thurston. It is our goal to put our 20 years of knowledge to work for you every day to assist you keep your septic system in good working order and your quality of life high. Even though we are accessible for emergency repairs, it is important to note that routine maintenance every 3-5 years can prevent the need for quick assistance. In addition to installation, maintenance, and replacement, All SepticSewer offers decommissioning services for all types of septic systems.
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Does Your Septic System Require A New Pump?
A septic tank’s waste and sewage are evacuated from it and discharged into a drain field, either by gravity or with the assistance of a septic system lift pump. In most cases, a septic pump is not required if the waste can flow at a rate of at least two feet per second through the system using gravity alone. Pumps are typically required for septic tanks that are located lower than the drain field and for which gravity is unable to transport and/or force the effluent out of the tank due to its location.
Know If Your System Uses A Septic Effluent Pump Or Septic Grinder Pump
Knowing what sort of pump your septic system is equipped with is critical to the overall operation of the system. A septic effluent pump is a device that transfers waste from a septic tank to a drain field. A septic grinder pump is responsible for the grinding and movement of human waste and toilet paper. Septic tank businesses in Gainesville, FL such as Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service can help if you’re not sure what sort of pump the system is using or where it’s located in the system.
Our professionals will identify the pump and check the septic system in order to notify you of the procedures that need to be taken in order to keep all components in proper operating order.
How Septic Pumps Work
A septic pump is a sort of submersible pump that is installed in either the last chamber of the septic tank or in a separate chamber outside the main tank of the system. As waste builds up in the chamber, it activates a float switch, which then activates the septic pump. After that, waste is forced up the outflow pipe and into the drain field by an impeller. Installing a septic tank pump alarm is an excellent strategy to avoid having to clean out your septic tank on a regular basis. One of our professionals will connect the float switch to an alarm panel, which will sound if the pump fails for any reason during the installation.
This alarm will ring and notify you if there is a sewage backup in your home.
Maintenance For A Septic Pump
The upkeep of a septic pump goes hand in hand with the upkeep of a septic system in its whole. Never drain or flush any of the following common home objects to avoid the need for emergency septic service and to ensure the pump’s long-term functionality:
- Baby wipes
- Cat litter
- Fats, oils, and/or grease produced by or utilized in the preparation of meals
- Dental floss
- Personal hygiene products
- And Q-tips or other cotton swabs are all recommended.
In addition, avoid using the garbage disposal because this can cause the septic tank to fill up more rapidly and force water into the tank, among other things. If there is an excessive amount of water entering the septic system, it can cause sediments to enter the septic pump, resulting in a probable blockage in either the pump or the drain field. If or when this occurs, contact Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service for prompt and dependable septic tank repairs.
Common Septic Pump Issues
Even with proper maintenance, a septic pump can develop a variety of problems over time, including the following:
Noise Or No Noise
There are occasions when it is possible to hear the septic pump operating within the chamber itself. Do not hesitate to contact us for septic service if it appears that the pump is having difficulty or is failing to transport waste effectively.
Leaking Into The Septic Tank
The septic pump is equipped with a check valve, which provides a pressure gradient in order to keep the waste flowing through the pump and into the drainage system. Whenever the valve wears down or breaks, waste is forced back into the septic tank, causing the tank to overflow and back up into the pipes.
Floats can become stuck open or closed, or they might become damaged as a result of material entering the septic tank. Depending on the extent of the damage, a professional from Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service may be able to remove the debris or may need to replace the float entirely.
Burnt Out Motor
If the motor within the septic pump burns out or fails, the pump will be unable to transfer waste, even if the energy is still being supplied to the device, since the waste would be trapped. In most cases, replacing the pump will address the problem.
Installing A New Septic Pump Or System
Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service will replace your septic tank if it is essential, and they will also install a new pump. Everything begins with an application, which is needed by the Florida Department of Health.
We will always assist you in filling out the application and applying for any permissions that may be required. Our professionals will be pleased to walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Septic Tank Service
Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service can solve any septic issue, regardless of whether your sewage system currently has a pump or if you’re interested whether installing a pump will increase the system’s overall efficiency. When performing septic tank repairs in Gainesville, our specialists take into consideration the demands of the family or company. Call Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service immediately to make an appointment for septic service!
Inspecting Your Septic Tank
Version that can be printed Septic tanks are mostly comprised of settling chambers. They provide enough time for particles and scum to separate from wastewater so that clean liquid may be properly discharged to a drainfield without contamination. Increasing the thickness of thescum and sludge layers over time results in less space and time for wastewater to settle before it is discharged to the drainfield. In the tank, one gallon of water is pumped out into the drainfield for every gallon that enters.
Septic tanks should be inspected for accumulation every one to three years until you can establish a regular pumping plan for your system.
The frequency with which particles are removed from the tank is determined by the size of the tank, the number of persons in the household, and the amount and kind of solids entering the tank.
The “stick test” process will walk you through the steps of assessing the quantity of scum and sludge in the tank, establishing the tank’s functional capacity, and determining whether or not the tank requires pumping.
What You Need to Do the Stick Test
- One 90-degree elbow*
- Two SxMPT threaded adapters*
- One coupler*
- Two feet of white rag or old gym sock
- String or duct tape
- A pencil or waterproof marker
- A disinfecting solution made of 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water in a bucket
- A plastic bag for storing the towel, rag/sock, and gloves*. All PVC materials are 1/2-inch Schedule 40 PVC plastic
- No other PVC materials are used.
The slime stick to the right measures 6 feet in length and has a 6-inch leg. The sludge stick is made up of two 5-foot portions that have been fastened together. Scum and sludge sticks can be any length up to 10 feet in length. (NOTE: To learn how to make the scum and sludge sticks, check Step 2 – Measuring the Scum Level andStep 3 – Measuring the Sludge Level in the following sections: Continue to Step 1 – Locate the Tanks. Additionally, see: Step 2 – Determining the Scum Concentration Step 3 – Determining the Sludge Concentration Check the baffles in step four.
Understand the Septic Inspection Process
There are certain distinctions in care, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or considering about purchasing or building a home without sewer hookups. This document outlines three ways in which your budget will be affected if your wastewater is treated using a septic system. 1. You will not be required to budget for municipal sewer service. Because the municipal wastewater system normally processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is sometimes determined by how much water you purchase from the city.
- A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that department as well.
- It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
- Although you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your septic system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly.
- It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, so you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair bills.
- You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
- Spreading the expenditures out over several months is the most effective budgeting strategy, even for an expense such as tank pumping that does not occur every year, because it allows you to better estimate the costs ahead of time.
- You may need to set aside money for septic tank replacement.
The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably recent septic system and plan to sell your home within a few years.
If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much a new system would cost you as soon as possible.
For example, if the previous owners did not do routine maintenance or if the system was installed on clay soil, the system may need to be replaced.
It is a prudent decision to begin putting money aside in anticipation of this eventuality.
When you have a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently.
Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to complete an annual examination of your septic system. Our experts at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. would be happy to assist you with any septic system assessment, maintenance, or repair needs.
Maintaining Your Pressure Distribution System
Many years have passed since septic tanks with gravity flow drainfields were first installed in places that were not served by municipal sewers. Not all soil and site conditions, however, are well suited for the use of these basic methods. Non-standard sewage treatment systems are frequently employed to preserve human health and water quality in regions where regular sewage treatment systems are unable to provide safe sewage treatment. The pressure distribution system is an example of an out-of-the-ordinary system.
- Periodic dosing and resting
- Uniform dispersion of effluent
- Shallow placement of the drainfield
The following information will assist you in better understanding your pressure distribution system and ensuring that it continues to operate safely and at the lowest cost feasible. A typical pressure distribution system is composed of three functional components:
- The sewage treatment plant
- The pump chamber as well as the pump
- The drainfield and replacement area, respectively
The Septic Tank
Most septic tanks are constructed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene and are buried beneath the ground surface. All of the waste water from your home is channeled into the tank. Heavy materials sink to the bottom of the tank, where they are partially decomposed by bacterial activity. Fats and oil, among other lighter particles, float to the surface and form a scum layer on the surface of the water. Effluent is the term used to describe the wastewater that exits the septic tank. Despite the fact that it has been partially treated, it still includes disease-causing germs as well as several other contaminants.
Proper Care Includes:
- Septic tank maintenance should include an inspection once a year and pumping it as necessary. Unless the septic tank is regularly emptied, sediments escaping from the tank will clog the pump and drainfield, causing them to fail prematurely. Because it increases the quantity of particles entering the tank and necessitates more frequent pumping, the use of a trash disposal is strongly prohibited in order to avoid the flushing of dangerous materials into the septic tank. Don’t put anything into the tank that may cause a fire or explosion. This includes grease and cooking oils as well as newspapers and paper towels. You shouldn’t put anything into the tank that could cause a fire or explosion. In order to obtain information on the correct disposal of hazardous home trash, you should contact the Humboldt Waste Management Authority. It is important to avoid the use of any form of chemical or biological septic tank additive. As previously stated, such products are not essential nor beneficial to the effective operation of a septic tank, nor do they minimize the need for routine tank pumping.
The Pump Chamber
The pump chamber is a container made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that collects the effluent from the septic tank. A pump, pump control floats, and a high water warning float are all included within the chamber. Pump activity can be regulated either via the use of control floats or through the use of timed controls. A series of control floats is used to switch the pump “on” and “off” at different levels in order to pump a certain volume of effluent per dose of medication. Using the timer settings, you may create dosages that are both long and short in duration, as well as intervals or rest periods between doses.
If you employ pump timer controls, the alarm will also sound to alert you if you are using too much water in your house.
The alarm should be equipped with a buzzer and a bright light that can be seen clearly.
The pump discharge line should be equipped with a union and a valve to facilitate the removal of the pump.
Proper Care Includes:
- Performing an annual inspection of the pump chamber, pump, and floats, and replacing or repairing any worn or broken parts. Pump maintenance should be performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Inspection of electrical components and conduits should be performed for corrosion. If the alarm panel is equipped with a “push-to-test” button, it should be used on a regular basis. If your system does not already have one, you should consider installing a septic tank effluent filter or pump screen. It is possible to prevent particles from clogging the pump and drainfield pipes by screening or filtering the effluent from the septic tank. Inspection and cleaning of the filter, when necessary, are quick and simple tasks that help to avoid costly damage caused by particles entering the system. After a protracted power outage or a pump failure, taking steps to prevent the drainfield from over-loading is necessary.
After the pump is turned on, effluent will continue to gather in the pump chamber until the pump starts working. When there is more effluent in the chamber, the pump may be forced to dose a volume that is more than the drainfield’s capacity.
If you use up all of the reserve storage in the chamber, the plumbing in your home may get backed up as a result. Reduce your water use to a bare minimum when the pump is regulated by float controls and has been off for more than 6 hours.
It is comprised of a network of pipes laid in 18″ wide gravel-filled ditches in the ground to drain the water. In order to ensure uniform dispersion over the drainfield, effluent is pushed via the pipes in regulated dosages. It trickles downhill through the gravel until it reaches the earth under low pressure as it exits the pipes through small-diameter pores. In order to prevent bacteria and other contaminants from reaching groundwater, the effluent must first pass through the soil and be treated by it.
It must be safeguarded in the event that an addition or repair to the current system is required.
Proper Care Includes:
Knowing where your system and replacement area are, and making sure they are protected, are essential. Before you plant a garden, erect a structure, or install a pool, double-check the position of your system and the area designated for replacement.
- Practicing water conservation and balancing your water consumption throughout the week will help to prevent the system from being overburdened. The greater the amount of wastewater produced, the greater the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed of by the soil. Water is diverted away from the drainfield and replacement area by diverting it away from surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and patios. In order to aid in surface water drainage, the soil above your system should be somewhat mounding. Keeping traffic away from the drainfield and replacement area, such as automobiles, heavy equipment, and cattle, is essential. The pressure might compress the earth or cause damage to the pipes, for example. Ensure that your system is correctly landscaped. Placement of impermeable materials over your drainfield or replacement area is not recommended. Construction materials, such as concrete or plastic, decrease evaporation and the delivery of air to the soil, both of which are necessary for effective effluent treatment. Grass provides the most effective cover for the complete system. On a regular basis, check the drainfield and downslope regions for smells, damp patches, or sewage that has come to the surface. If your drainfield is equipped with inspection pipes, inspect them to determine if the liquid level is consistently more than 6 inches in height. This might be a warning sign of a potential issue. For help, contact the Division of Environmental Health (DEH) of the County of Humboldt.
What If The Alarm Goes On?
If the effluent level within the pump chamber reaches the alarm float for any reason (faulty pump, floats, circuit, excessive water usage, or another problem), the alarm light and buzzer will illuminate. The reserve storage in the pump chamber should provide you with enough time to have the problem resolved if you use water sparingly (avoid baths, showers, and clothes washing). To turn off the alarm, press the reset button on the alarm panel’s front panel. Before contacting a service or repair company, determine whether the problem might be caused by:
- A tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse are examples of this. The pump should be on a separate circuit with its own circuit breaker or fuse to prevent overloading. A piece of equipment can cause the breakers to trip if it’s connected to the same circuit as another piece of equipment
- A power cord that has become disconnected from a pump or float switch. If the electrical connections are of the plug-in variety, be certain that the switch and pump plugs make excellent contact with the outlet. The electric power wire, hoisting rope, and pump screen are entangled with the control floats and other sections of the chamber. Make certain that the floats are free to move about in the chamber. Debris on the floats and support cable is causing the pump to trip the circuit breaker. Remove the floats from the chamber and thoroughly clean them.
CAUTION: Before touching the pump or floats, always switch off the power at the circuit breaker and unhook any power cables from the system. Entering the pump room is strictly prohibited. The gases that build up inside pump chambers are toxic, and a shortage of oxygen can be deadly. After completing the measures outlined above, contact your pump service person or on-site system contractor for assistance in locating the source of the problem. Pumps and other electrical equipment should only be serviced or repaired by someone who has previous experience.
Caring for Your Septic System
It is important not to flush any sort of wipe down the toilet, regardless of whether the box specifically states that they are “flushable.” These objects have the potential to block your home’s plumbing, as well as the pipes in the street and the important machinery at the wastewater treatment facility. The water in which personal care wipes, dental floss, paper towels, and tissues are flushed does not dissolve them rapidly – or at all – therefore they are not safe to flush down the toilet. Personal care items, cleaning supplies, and other home garbage should be disposed of appropriately, either in the trash, the recycling bin, or at your local domestic hazardous waste disposal facility.
- The term “septic system” refers to an individual wastewater treatment system (conventional septic systems, innovative/alternative (I/A) systems, or cesspools) that uses the soil to treat tiny wastewater flows, which are typically generated by a single residence.
- Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations today.
- In a normal septic system, there are three main components: the septic tank, a distribution box, and a drainfield, which are all connected by pipes known as conveyance lines.
- Primary treatment is the term used to describe this separation procedure.
- Flowing from the tank into a distribution box, which distributes the wastewater uniformly into a network of drainfield trenches, is how partially treated effluent is removed from the environment.
Once in the subsurface soil, this effluent is further cleaned and filtered before being released back into the environment (secondary treatment). No pollution of groundwater occurs when the septic system is properly maintained and operated.
Additional Resources for What is a Septic System?
According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, a properly maintained septic system should be pumped out at least once every three years! Regular maintenance is the most crucial factor in ensuring that your septic system is in good working order. Pumping on a regular basis helps to keep particles from leaking into the drainfield and blocking the soil pores. While the frequency of pumping depends on the amount of consumption, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection advises that systems be pumped at least once every three years for households without a trash disposal.
- The frequency with which you pump should be determined by the amount of water that has accumulated and the amount of water that has been pumped in the past.
- It is astounding how many system owners assume that if they have not experienced any difficulties with their systems, they do not need to pump out their tanks.
- Solid materials sink to the bottom of the tank when your system is utilized, resulting in the formation of a sludge layer.
- In most cases, correctly engineered tanks have adequate room to safely store sludge for up to three to five years at a time.
- As the amount of sludge in the system rises, more solid wastes are allowed to escape into the soil absorption system (SAS).
When hiring a pumper, be certain that they are licensed by the local Board of Health, and always insist on receiving a paid receipt from the pumper that clearly outlines the terms of the transaction and the amount you paid (how many gallons were pumped out of the tank, the date, the charges, and any other pertinent results).
In addition, a copy of this report is forwarded to the local Board of Health by the pumper.
Additional Resources for How often should I pump out my septic system?
- Once every 3 to 5 years, have the system examined and pumped out. If the tank becomes overburdened with sediments, the wastewater will not have enough time to settle before it overflows down the drain. After that, the extra solids will be carried to the leach field, where they will block the drain pipes and the soil. Always know where your septic system and drain field are in relation to your house and keep a detailed record of all inspections, pumpings, repairs, contract or engineering work for future reference. Keep a sketch of it on hand for when you go to the service center. The drain field should be planted above the septic system with grass or small plants (not trees or bushes) to help keep the system in place. Controlling runoff through imaginative landscaping may be an effective method of reducing water consumption. Install water-saving devices in faucets, showerheads, and toilets to limit the amount of water that drains into the septic system and into the environment. Replace any dripping faucets or leaking toilets, and only use washing machines and dishwashers when they are completely full. Avoid taking long showers. Roof drains as well as surface water from roads and slopes should be diverted away from the septic system. Maintain a safe distance between the system and sump pumps and home footing drains as well. Take any remaining hazardous substances to a hazardous waste collection station that has been approved by the local government. Use bleach, disinfectants, drain and toilet bowl cleaners sparingly and in line with the directions on the product labels. Only utilize septic system additives that have been approved for use in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). In Massachusetts, it has been found that the additives approved for use have no detrimental effect on the particular system or its components, or on the environment in general.
- Non-biodegradables (cigarette butts, diapers, feminine items, and so on) and grease should not be disposed of down the toilet or sink. The use of non-biodegradable materials can clog the pipes, and grease can thicken and block the pipes as well. Cooking oils, fats, and grease should be stored in a container and disposed of in the garbage
- Paint thinner, polyurethane, antifreeze, insecticides, certain dyes, disinfectants, water softeners, and other harsh chemicals should all be added to the system to ensure that it works properly. Septic tank malfunctions can be caused by the death of the biological component of your septic system and the contamination of groundwater. Typical home cleaners, drain cleaners, and detergents, for example, will be diluted in the tank and should not do any damage to the system
- And Make use of a garbage grinder or disposal that drains into the septic tank to eliminate waste. If you do have one in your home, you should use it only in extremely limited circumstances. The addition of food wastes or other solids lowers the capacity of your system and increases the frequency with which you must pump your septic tank. If you utilize a grinder, you will have to pump the system more frequently. Trees should be planted within 30 feet of your system, and vehicles should not be parked or driven over any section of the system Tree roots may block your pipes, and heavy cars may cause your drainfield to collapse
- However, you can prevent this from happening. You should not allow anybody to work on your system or pump it without first ensuring that they are licensed system specialists
- Wash an excessive number of loads of clothing in your washing machine. Doing load after load deprives your septic tank of the time it needs to properly process wastes and causes the entire system to become overwhelmed with surplus wastewater. As a result, you might be overflowing your drain field without giving yourself enough time to recover from the inundation. To calculate the gallon capacity and the number of loads per day that may be safely pumped into the system, you should speak with a tank specialist. Cleaning the plumbing or septic system using chemical solvents is recommended. Microorganisms that devour toxic wastes will be killed by “miracle” chemicals that have been developed. These items have the potential to pollute groundwater as well.
Key Actions for Septic System Do’s and Don’ts
Septic systems that have been properly maintained can assist in preventing the spread of disease and other illnesses. System failures can have serious consequences.
- Your failure to maintain your water system could pose a serious health hazard to your family and neighbors, degrade the environment, particularly lakes, streams and groundwater, reduce the value of your property while also being extremely expensive to repair
- And put thousands of water supply users at risk if you live in a public water supply watershed and fail to maintain your system.
Keep an eye out for the following warning signals of a malfunctioning system:
- Surface sewage over the drainfield (particularly after storms)
- Sewage backups in the home
- Lush, green vegetation over the drainfield sewage smells
- Toilets or drains that are difficult to empty
If your system fails, the first thing you should do is call your local board of health, which must authorize all modifications and the majority of repairs before they can be carried out or installed.
The board of health will inform you of the steps that must be taken. In the event that your system fails, call your local Board of Health immediately!