How often should I Have my septic tank inspected?
- The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. 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.
What are the signs that 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?
How do I know if my septic tank is clogged?
Signs of Septic System Clogging: Water and sewage from toilets, drains and sinks backing up into your home. Bathtubs, showers, and sinks draining slowly. Gurgling sounds present in the plumbing system. Bad odors coming from the septic tank or drain field.
Are septic tank locations public record?
Contact your local health department for public records. These permits should come with a diagram of the location where the septic system is buried. Depending on the age of your septic system, you may be able to find information regarding the location of your septic system by making a public records request.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
Can I shower if my septic tank is full?
Unless the toilet’s overflowing or the bath spigot is filling the tub with blood, plumbers and exorcists aren’t usually on our minds. When the waste water from your toilet, shower, sinks and washing machine leave your house, it’s combined. When it hits the septic tank, however, it begins to separate.
How do I know if my drain field is failing?
The following are a few common signs of leach field failure:
- Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard.
- The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water.
- Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
- Slow running drains or backed up plumbing.
Why is my septic tank low?
Low septic tank levels can have several causes depending on the tank age and the material from which it was built. Low Sewage Levels in Concrete septic tanks: If the tank is made of concrete it should be pumped and cleaned thoroughly so that your contractor can inspect the tank for cracks or other damage.
How do you unclog a septic tank?
How Do You Unclog a Drain if You Have a Septic System?
- Pour Hot Water Down the Drain. If you have a clog in your drain, one of the easiest methods you can use to try to remove it is pour hot water down the drain.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar.
- Septic-Safe Drain Cleaners.
Will toilet flush if septic tank is full?
Toilets Flush Slowly When your septic tank is excessively full, your toilet may start acting odd. You might find that your toilet doesn’t fully flush or flushes very slowly and odd noises occur when you flush your toilet. These noises usually sound like gurgling or bubbling.
How do you tell if a septic pump is working?
To test if the pump is working, first turn the pump on by turning the second from the bottom float upside down. While holding that float upside down, turn the next float up (that would be the second from the top), upside down. You should hear the pump turn on.
Where can I find a drawing of my septic system?
Often we find a rough sketch of septic system component locations, at least that of the septic tank, drawn right on a basement or crawl space foundation wall or floor joist overhead where the building sewer line exits the foundation wall.
How do you find a septic tank in an old house?
Look for the 4-inch sewer that exits the crawl space or basement, and locate the same spot outside the home. Septic tanks are usually located between ten to 25 feet away from the home. Insert a thin metal probe into the ground every few feet, until you strike polyethylene, fiberglass or flat concrete.
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.
How to Inspect Your Septic Tank – Septic Maxx
If you give your septic system the attention and care it deserves, it will survive a long time. It will endure for many years if you pump as regularly as you need to for the size of your tank, utilize it properly, and do not let anything that shouldn’t be in it to enter. Steel septic tanks corrode with time, generally after 15-20 years of service in most climates. Concrete septic tanks have a lifespan ranging from 40 years to nearly indefinitely. If you want to see your septic system live to a ripe old age and not have to worry about replacing it, it is in your best interests to do periodic septic maintenance.
It is necessary to have the proper equipment in order to assess the condition of your septic tank and determine whether it is necessary to have it pumped out. Aside from wearing loose-fitting clothes and rubber gloves and shoes, you’ll need a special tool known as a Sludge Judge to measure the levels of scum and sludge that are present in your tank. This tool is simply a clear plastic pipe that has been marked at one-foot intervals and divided into three sections, each of which is five feet in length.
Sludge, effluent, and scum are the three types of waste that accumulate in a septic tank.
Scum is formed when fats, oils, cooking grease, and other lighter waste float to the surface of the water.
The liquid effluent makes up the middle layer. To inspect your tank, you must first determine how much sludge and scum is present inside in order to determine whether or not it needs to be pumped.
Inspect the Area Around Your Septic Tank
Checking the ground around your septic tank is a good idea before opening the lid and pumping out the sewage. Check to see if there is any accumulation of effluent around the tank, and look over the septic tank lid to check whether it is in good shape.
Remove the Manhole Cover
Many septic systems these days are equipped with ” risers,” which make this task much easier by elevating the lids above earth. If you are unable to locate the lid of your septic tank, locate the tank and dig it up. There should be two lids, one for each compartment, in the box. In the majority of situations, the hole on the left corresponds to the first compartment, while the hole on the right corresponds to the second. In the first one, you simply need to take measurements, and that’s all.
Measure the Scum’s Thickness (SC)
To determine how thick the scum layer is in your tank, you’ll need to go for your trusty scum measuring stick, of course. Measure the distance between the stick and the opening of the septic tank, and then lower the stick until it lies on top of the scum layer and indicate the location of this intersection. As a further step, descend down through the whole scum layer with the elbow end leading directly into the scum layer. Rotate the stick 90 degrees and raise the stick as high as you can until you feel the bottom of the scum layer.
Take the distance between the two markers and multiply it by two.
Measure the Sludge’s Thickness (SL)
Make a hole in the scum layer with your handy sludge measuring stick and carefully lower the stick through it after tying two feet of a white cloth to the stick. Mark the point on the stick where it comes into contact with the aperture of the manhole or riser. After that, drop it to the very bottom of the tank and keep it there for 5 minutes to allow the sludge to adhere to the cloth towel. Measure the distance between the tanks or the operating depth of the tank. Remove the stick and use the rag to measure the height of the black stain that should be visible on it.
Following the completion of these measures, you will be able to calculate when it is necessary to pump your septic tank.
- SC plus SL equals inches
- WD inches divided by 3 equals inches
- If the sum of A and B equals the sum of A and B, pump your tank.
It is recommended that you engage a professional to examine your tank in order to get an accurate reading; but, if you are comfortable doing it yourself, you may save money by using this approach. Besides saving you money, Septic Maxx may also save you money by reducing the amount of accumulation in your tank and so extending the intervals between pumping.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order.
Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract. The frequency with which a septic tank is pumped is influenced by four key factors:
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed.
Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
How to Check a Septic Tank and Leach Field
Septic sludge can build up in a leach field that has not been properly managed. Images from EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images courtesy of George Mdivanian. In every residence that does not have access to a public sewer system, an aseptic system must be installed, and the homeowner is responsible for keeping it in good working order. Despite the fact that most septic repairs are dangerous and should only be performed by professionals, homeowners can recognize problems and know when it is time to call in the specialists.
However, others that can lead to more serious problems require a more thorough examination.
Visual Inspection of Septic Tank
Prepare yourself by donning goggles, protective clothes, gloves, and steel-toed boots before uncovering the tank, which you may have to look for due to its location beneath the ground. Make sure your assistant is also well attired before beginning. In tanks with more than one chamber, there are two lids, and you should remove both of them to conduct a comprehensive inspection. However, you can detect the majority of issues by removing only one of the lids. Depending on the size of the tank, you’ll either notice the waste input port, which is a 3- or 4-inch pipe located on the side or the outlet port, which is also constructed of the same size pipe.
If it’s higher than that, there’s either an obstruction in the drain line that’s keeping water from draining out or, if your system uses a lift pump, the pump isn’t operating properly and has to be replaced.
In any situation, it is necessary to contact a septic professional.
Measuring Scum and Sludge Layers
In order to inspect the septic tank, you’ll need two instruments, both of which may be constructed from 1/2-inch PVC tubing. Each pipe measures 6 feet in length with a 90-degree elbow on one end and a 6-inch length of pipe inserted into the elbow to form a “L” shape pipe, and the second is a 10-foot length of straight pipe with a 3-foot length of white Velcroortan masking tapeestuck to one end, as shown in the illustration. First, take measurements of the scum layer that is floating on top of your tank’s surface, and then take another measurement of the sludge layer in the bottom of your tank’s bottom.
- Make a mark on the pipe after you have lowered it all the way through the scum layer and pulled it up until you feel resistance.
- To determine the thickness of the sludge layer, drop the sludge tester into the tank until it comes into contact with the bottom of the container.
- Use the Velcro or tape to measure the length of the sludge stain on the Velcro or tape.
- Take a walk through the drain field and make a note of any areas where sewage scents may be detected or where the ground feels spongy.
- Several pipes should be protruding vertically out of the ground; these are risers, which were placed so that you could inspect the drainage system.
Remove the cap from each pipe and examine the interior with a torchlight. If you see any standing water, this indicates that the drainage system is not functioning properly and must be rectified.
How to Check a Septic Tank
Septic tanks should be inspected at least once every five years, if not more frequently. This is something that the average homeowner may readily accomplish; the straightforward technique is explained below. A septic tank should never be accessed by a resident of the property. In addition, persons who have entered septic tanks and perished from asphyxiation due to poisonous gases have also been reported. 1. Remove the septic tank lid from the tank. The tank’s cover will be located at the far end of the tank, closest to the house.
- The tank is often located in that direction, approximately 10 feet away from the house.
- An oval-shaped flattening steel tank is the most common shape for steel storage tanks.
- Tank covers made of fiberglass can be secured in place with bolts.
- Preparing a dipstick is the second step.
- The end of a long stick can be strengthened by attaching a flat piece of wood approximately six inches broad to the end of the staff.
- The objective of the flat piece of wood (plate) is to acquire a “feel” for the sludge by pressing it against the surface.
After removing the cap, make a note of the amount of liquid remaining in the tank.
Occasionally, this will be over an inch thick and appear to be virtually solid in appearance.
This indicates that there is an issue with the tank or leach field’s outflow, if it is located above the intake baffle.
If you discover one of these conditions, you should get the system examined by a service professional.
Evaluation of the sludge After you’ve broken through the crust, if there is one, carefully lower the plate end of the stick down toward the bottom of the dish.
When the plate reaches the surface of the muck, it will encounter some resistance.
Afterwards, press the stick down into the sludge until the plate touches down at the bottom of the tank.
The depth of normal sludge ranges from one to four inches.
A firm, thick (over one inch) crust on the surface of the tank should be pushed away together with the remainder of the contents.
It is necessary to inspect the condition of the baffles to ensure that they are still in place and not rusted out.
The lower end of the baffle is located considerably above the bottom of the tank at its lowest point.
This is not always the case.
It is possible that a clogged line to the septic tank, as well as a choked leach field, are to blame for problems with toilet function and/or septic tank overflows or odours.
You should be absolutely certain that your tank is overwhelmed with sludge and/or scum and that it is in desperate need of pumping. In reality, seasonal-use tanks are rarely need to be emptied.
Septic System Inspections
Nick Gromicko, CMI®, and Kenton Shepard wrote this article. A septic system is a system that collects, processes, and disposes of waste water and solids that are generated by a building’s plumbing system. When the solids are partially broken down into sludge, they are separated from the liquid effluent (water) and scum in a septic tank (fat, oil and grease). Effluent is discharged from the tank on a regular basis into a drainfield, where it is naturally filtered by microorganisms and re-enters the groundwater supply.
The septic system should be tested at least once a year, and it should be done immediately before putting the house on the market for sale.
Prospective home buyers who have not recently had their septic system checked should insist on having the system checked before they acquire the property, since it is in their best interests.
When it comes time to examine or pump the tank, this is typically not a problem.
- The placement of the tank should be depicted on a “as-built” design of the home. These designs are frequently kept on file by municipal health and zoning departments. It is possible that older systems do not have such a record. It is possible to get in touch with the prior owner
- Modern tanks are equipped with risers that protrude clearly above the ground surface. It is possible to probe a suspicious location using a thin metal rod that has been placed into the soil. It is critical to do this carefully and only on soft, damp soil in order to prevent harming the tank and its accompanying pipelines. Another option is to use a shovel, although this will need a little more effort. If a sufficient number of tank components are made of metal, a metal detector can be utilized. A tiny radio transmitter that can be flushed down the toilet and followed by a receiver can be used to communicate. The grass that grows the most lushly in a yard is frequently seen just over the sewage tank. Snow melts more quickly above the tank than it does in the rest of the yard. While they are not failsafe techniques of finding a place, they have been shown to be beneficial in the past.
What kinds of things may InterNACHI inspectors be looking for?
- Find out when the tank was last pumped by looking at the date on the tank. The sludge level should ultimately indicate if a tank has to be pumped, although having a record of past pumping dates might be useful as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge present. It is normal for sludge to collect on the tank bottom, but it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s total capacity or climb to the level of the baffles. The septic tank and drainfield should be located far away from wells and streams, for obvious reasons. Make certain that the system is large enough to accommodate the household it serves. A 1,200-gallon tank is normally required for a four-bedroom house, for example. The number of people that live in the house determines the size of the tank that is necessary. The tank’s capacity in gallons may be computed based on the size of the tank. For rectangular tanks, the capacity in gallons is equal to the product of the length, breadth, and depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is calculated as 3.14 times the radius squared x the depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. Check the ground surface for any liquid waste that has found its way to the surface. This is an unclean state that signals that the system is overburdened and needs to be repaired. In order to prevent wastewater contamination of groundwater and groundwater from flowing into the tank and causing it to overfill, make certain that it is waterproof. The presence of a riser lid should be checked for cracks and the integrity of the lid should be checked as well. Check to see that the baffles are securely attached to the tank’s inlet and exit pipes. It is recommended that each drain line receives the same quantity of wastewater. By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made of. If the box becomes tipped or blocked, it will distribute effluent in an excessively large amount, and it may even flood areas of the drainfield.
In a septic tank, baffles are components that restrict wastewater entry to a sufficient degree to guarantee that particles are distilled and that solids (as well as scum) are not discharged into the drainfield. It is via this process that they are able to protect the soil’s absorptive quality and hence extend the life of the entire system. They are often constructed of the same materials as the septic tank, which might be fiberglass, steel, or concrete in construction. Inspectors should look for the following things in baffles:
- The baffle is covered in solids. This should be reported as soon as possible because it implies overflow. There is evidence of prior overflow due to chemical and water erosion. Ideally, the sewage level should be several inches below the baffle top of the drain. A lower level implies leakage, whereas a greater level indicates obstruction.
Inspectors should be familiar with the following facts so that they may advise their clients about the various ways in which they might cause harm to their septic system:
- The only thing that can be flushed down the toilet is bath tissue. Tampons, paper towels, cigarette butts, and diapers should all be disposed of in the garbage. In order to prevent microorganisms in the septic system from being damaged by household chemicals such as gasoline, paint, medicine, antifreeze, or pesticides from being flushed, they should never be put down the toilet or down the sink. In little volumes, detergents and bleach can make their way into the plumbing system. There should be no driving on or near the drainfield unless absolutely necessary. Their weight might cause damage to subsurface plumbing without them realizing it. There should be no other vegetation grown over the septic tank and drainfield. Roots from trees and huge bushes can create harm that is not visible. People are not permitted to excavate or construct structures on top of a drainfield. Ensure that any water drainage from rains, sump pumps, or any other source of surface water is routed away from the drainfield. An over-saturated drainfield can cause the water treatment process to be slowed down and plumbing fittings to get clogged. Fixing leaking faucets and toilets as soon as they occur is a simple method to extend the life of a septic system and avoid having to pay for an expensive replacement. Any waste of water in the home should be avoided at all costs. Taking shorter showers and avoiding using the garbage disposal are two examples of strategies to conserve water.
- It is not recommended that inspectors enter the septic tank to search for cracks. Tank interiors are extremely filthy, and entering should be avoided at all costs. The fracture will most likely be located at the level of the effluent, which will have drained from the tank via the crack if one is there. An effluent level that is much lower than the level of the tank outflow is a clear indicator of the presence of a fracture. A tank that has flaws that enable sewage to escape into the surrounding soil is effectively a cesspool and should be removed as soon as possible
- If the water comes from the tank, it indicates that the septic system is overburdened and has to be repaired. Sometimes, inspectors will use a dye that is flushed down the toilet to confirm that the water is coming from the residence and not from somewhere else. Despite the fact that this metric might be beneficial, it is not an accepted means of testing the operation of a septic system. A malfunctioning septic system will be confirmed if dye from the flushed dye shows in the puddle
- However, a working septic system is not guaranteed if dye does not appear. It may take many days for the dye to develop, and it may be too diluted to see properly
- It is outside the scope of a standard house inspection to evaluate a septic system, and this needs specialized skills. Laws differ from one jurisdiction to the next, and inspectors should be well-versed in them before providing this job. They should disclaim all responsibility for any component of the septic system examination that they did not do
Septic systems are meant to manage hazardous waste, and they may pose major health risks to both residents and inspectors if they are not properly maintained. Precautions include the following, in no particular order:
- Solid waste should be removed from septic tanks by a professional septic tank pumping service, not by an inspector. No one else should be allowed to enter a tank unless they are a licensed and properly equipped professional. Noxious gasses such as methane can induce asphyxiation and death in a matter of minutes. When a septic tank begins to exhibit indications of fragility, proceed with extreme caution! Collapse has the potential to be deadly. Keep an eye out for tanks with rusted metal, improvised lids, or anything else that seems to be in unsafe condition.
In conclusion, septic system inspections should be conducted on a yearly basis to verify that the system is operating properly. The septic tank is the most expensive household fixture, and it will have a much shorter lifespan if it is not properly cared for and maintained.
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.
In areas where public sewers are not available, household wastewater is treated and discharged through septic systems. Maintenance of the system on a regular basis is just as critical as changing the oil in your automobile on a regular basis. Maintenance helps to extend the life of the system and to avoid the need for costly emergency repairs, which may cost thousands of dollars and which frequently occur at the most inconvenient periods. Aside from that, badly operating septic systems have the potential to be a significant source of water contamination in nearby streams, which can have a negative impact on human health.
Dog River is the principal source of drinking water for Douglas County, and it is located inside the county.
The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in Douglas County waterways has been connected to leaking or failed septic systems.
A map illustrating the location of the Dog River drainage basin (shown in green on this map) and how it links to the other drainage basins in the county may be viewed by clicking on this link.
Please see this link for further information about septic tanks, including their design and function, as well as some tips on how to help keep them running smoothly.
How Can I Tell if My Septic Tank is Full?
The majority of septic system owners are interested in knowing when their tank is full so that they may plan a pumping appointment. The difficulty is that there are many different definitions of what constitutes a “full” septic tank, and only one way to validate that it is full – by opening the tank lids. Just because a septic system looks to be in good working order does not rule out the possibility that it is overflowing and in need of pumping.
Defining a “full” septic tank
There are three possible scenarios in which your septic tank is termed “full.”
Tank is filled to normal level
It is at this level that the tank’s output line permits liquids to flow into the absorption region of your septic system. When the septic tank is pumped, the water level in the tank drops, but it quickly returns to its regular level as the system is utilized.
Sludge has accumulated
As the tank fills to its regular level and the system continues to be utilized, toilet paper and waste build up and become “stuck” in the tank, causing it to overflow (liquids continue flowing out of the outlet pipe to the absorption area). Some of this paper and solid waste decomposes, but it does not suddenly disappear on its own. The septic tank must be pumped on a regular basis, and the sludge must be eliminated from the system (mostseptic tanks should be pumped every 3-5 years).
Tank is “overfull”
When the water level in a septic tank reaches the very top of the tank, it is deemed to be “overfull.” When the absorption field of a septic system stops taking water, the water collects in the outflow pipe and backs up, overfilling the tank and causing it to overflow.
Preventing a full septic tank
There is a point at which your septic tank is “full,” no matter how long it has been since you last had it emptied and pumped. However, if it has been more than three to five years since you last had it pumped, it is definitely time to do so. Don’t wait until you have a problem before pumping out your tank; by then, it’s typically too late to do something about the situation. By allowing the sludge to accumulate between pumpings, you might cause damage to your drainfield and increase the likelihood of future problems.
Schedule your septic tank pumping
Since 1937, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has been providing septic system installation and maintenance in the Texas Hill Country region. We may be reached at 830-249-4000 (Boerne) or 210.698-2000 (San Antonio) to make a septic pumping appointment. Over the course of 80 years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has proven itself to be the premier Wastewater System provider, supplying San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can rely on today and in the future. We can assist you with any of your wastewater system needs, and our specialists can also assist you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Austin) (Boerne).
Septic Tank Pumping
For more than a decade, Forever Clean has been serving homes and businesses in Raleigh, North Carolina with the best and most effective septic tank pumping services available. We’re well-known across the Triangle as one of the top septic tank service providers, and the glowing reviews from our loyal clients speak volumes about our firm and the high standards we follow. Contact us now to learn more. Forever Clean is your dependable partner for any and all of your septic tank pumping and cleaning needs.
- Maintaining your septic tank on a regular basis can help to keep it in good functioning condition.
- If you want to ensure the long-term health of your septic system, you should have it pumped at least once every three to five years.
- In most cases, septic tanks are available in two common sizes: 1000 gallons and 2000 gallons.
- Septic tank systems are intended to distribute wastewater into the soil and are expected to work correctly for at least 20 years without experiencing any serious difficulties.
- This is why it is critical to have thorough repair and upkeep performed by licensed organizations.
Septic tanks, like the majority of other household equipment, require periodic maintenance to function properly. Our top-rated septic pump services provide the following features and benefits:
Opening of Tank Access Lids
Because tank lids are normally buried a few inches below ground level, it will be necessary to find and uncover these lids in order to get access to the tank for pumping. As soon as we’ve located the lids, we’ll be able to see how much liquid is remaining in your tank.
Liquid Level Observation
We will check the liquid levels in your septic tank prior to cleaning it to make sure you don’t have a leak before beginning the cleaning procedure. Once we have determined the liquid levels in your septic tank, we will begin the pumping procedure.
When our specialists do a septic tank pumping service, they take the time to check the interior of your tank. If any problems are discovered, such as leaky holes, visible fractures, broken baffles, invading roots, or severe corrosion, our technicians will notify you as soon as possible. We at Forever Clean understand that regular tank maintenance is essential in order to minimize costly tank repairs and replacements to a bare minimum. Septic tanks should be pumped every two to three years, according to the recommendations of our company.
Forever Clean is the Triangle’s Septic Pumping Specialist
What does septic tank maintenance include, and what should you expect? The circumstances of each case vary based on your home habits and the size of your septic tank, but in general, a professional inspection of your ordinary household septic system should be performed at least once every three years. In order to maintain appropriate operation in the future, tanks are normally pumped every three to five years; however, the more complex the system and its components, the more frequently the system and its components should be examined by an expert.
Make contact with us right once to guarantee that your septic tank system continues to run at optimal performance levels.
- Call 919-552-0200 at 116 W. Academy St., Fuquay Varina, NC 27526.
About Forever Clean
We are a full-service septic cleaning, drain cleaning, and porta potty rental company based in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, and we serve the greater Triangle area, including Wake, Durham, Chatham, Johnston, and Harnett counties, as well as Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, Pittsboro, Apex,Garner, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Lillington, Clayton, Zebulon, and Wake Forest. We are
How to Inspect a Septic System
Septic tank systems in residential buildings must be examined and pumped on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to work properly. In this piece, we’ll go through the best way for performing a DIY septic tank examination.
Your Septic System 101
It’s important to understand how your septic system works and what you should check for while inspecting the tank before you can evaluate your system. A septic system is basically comprised of a tank buried in the ground that is connected to a structure (such as your home) by drain pipes. A septic system can be installed in a variety of configurations. When waste water departs your house through the toilets and sinks, it is sent to the septic tank for treatment. Any particles present in the water (such as food scraps from your kitchen sink) will sink to the bottom of the tank, leaving a layer of sludge on the bottom.
If the drain field in your yard is full, water from the septic tank will flow into it and filter through the soil, eventually reaching the ground water underneath you.
At the course of time, both the sludge in the bottom of the tank and the scum on the top of it expand in size.
This is due to the fact that sludge or scum that enters the drain field has a high likelihood of clogging the tank.
A clean-out of the septic tank is necessary when the amount of sludge or scum in the tank exceeds one-third of the total volume of the tank.
Follow these safety precautions before you begin checking your tank:
- Work with a companion
- Never lean over the tank and inhale the vapors
- Never work alone. Never walk into a tank to look for someone who has fallen into it. Unless you have received particular training for the task, never enter a septic tank on your own initiative
You should keep in mind that septic tanks can contain enough methane gas that it can cause someone to lose consciousness, and that falling into one is typically fatal.
Performing the Inspection
Using a 10 foot 2×4 and marking it with measurement lines every 6 inches, you’ll be able to tell how deep down into the liquid the 2×4 has been placed when you put it into the tank when you put it into the tank. Insert the 2×4 into the tank slowly and carefully. There will be a coating of scum on the surface. Upon breaking through the scum to the liquid underneath, you’ll notice an immediate shift in texture. The height of the scum on the board markings should be noted when you notice this happening.
- When this occurs, you will be able to notice a distinct difference in quality.
- The final measurement is the height of the board when it reaches the bottom of the tank.
- Example: If the board reached sludge 4 feet into the tank’s contents when it reached the bottom, but was only 5 feet deep when it reached the top, then implies there is 1 foot of sludge at the bottom of a tank that can carry 5 feet of trash.
- If you want to see an excellent illustration of this method, watch this YouTube video: Terry’s Plumbing can provide you with further information on examining the drainage system in your property.
7 Signs Your Septic Tank Is Full & Needs Emptying
Septic tank ownership presents a set of issues that are distinct from other types of property ownership. The consequences of failing to empty your septic tank are slightly more significant than those of neglecting to empty your trash cans. If you’ve had a septic tank for a long amount of time, you may have noticed that there are several tell-tale symptoms that your tank may need to be pumped out. If you’re new to having a septic tank, the symptoms listed below will be the most important things to keep an eye out for in the beginning.
How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying
- Pooling water, slow drains, odors, an unusually healthy lawn, sewer backup, gurgling pipes, and difficulty flushing are all possible problems.
What Does A “Full” Septic Tank Mean?
Before we get into the seven warning signals you should be on the lookout for, it’s crucial to understand what it means to have a “full” tank. There are three alternative ways to define the term “full.” 1.Normal Level- This simply indicates that your septic tank is filled to the maximum capacity for which it was built. This implies that the intake and outtake valves are free of obstructions and allow waste and wastewater to flow into and out of the septic tank without interruption. When a tank is pumped, it is completely empty; nevertheless, when the tank is utilized, it returns to its typical level of “full.” 2.
Over time, sludge can accumulate and become entrapped in the system.
Waste water will continue to flow out of the building and into the drainage system.
An overfilled tank will eventually reach a point where the drainage field will no longer absorb water.
When this occurs, water will overflow into the overflow tank. The water level will increase to the maximum capacity of the system. Now that we’ve covered the many ways a septic tank may become overflowing, let’s look at the seven warning signals you should be on the lookout for.
1. POOLING WATER
Water pools accumulating around your septic tank’s drain field are the first item to watch out for while inspecting your system. This is a telltale indicator of a septic tank that has overflowed. It goes without saying that if it hasn’t rained in a while and you’re seeing a lot of water, it’s most likely due to your septic tank failing. Typically, this occurs when your tank is at capacity and there is solid water in the system, which causes it to malfunction. This will then drive the liquid to rise to the surface of the earth.
2. SLOW DRAINS
If you see your sink, bath, or toilet draining slowly, or if you notice any other draining slowly in your house, take note. A blockage in your septic system, or the fact that your system is completely full and has to be emptied, might be the cause of this. Slow drains, in either case, are a warning flag that should not be ignored. The first line of defense may be to employ a septic-friendly drain cleaner, but if the problem persists, it is advisable to have the septic tank drained completely.
Because all of the waste water from your home will be disposed of in your septic tank, you can be assured that it will not be a nice odor. And it will very certainly have a distinct fragrance that you will notice. In the event that you begin to notice odors surrounding your septic tank, this is another indication that it is either full or near to being full. It’s also possible that you have a leak, therefore it’s important to conduct a fast inspection. The flip side of smells is that it will not just be you who will be able to detect them.
However, it is important to discover a remedy as soon as possible after realizing the problem.
4. A REALLY HEALTHY LAWN
A septic tank that is overflowing has a few beneficial effects. It’s possible that the grass atop your sewage tank is the healthiest patch of grass you’ve ever seen. It will outshine the other elements in your yard, allowing you to spot it more easily. If you do happen to discover this, it’s still another red flag to keep an eye out for. If it’s near your septic tank, it’s possible that water is seeping from your system, indicating that it’s either leaking or that it’s full. Whatever the case, it’s time to get it checked out.
5. SEWER BACKUP
The chances of missing this one are little to none, and it’s absolutely something you don’t want to happen. It’s the most evident, and it’s also the most detrimental. Always keep a watch on the lowest drains in your home, since if they begin to back up, you should get your tank emptied as soon as possible.
6: Gurgling Water
Unless you are aware of any gurgling sounds coming from your pipes, you should ignore them. This is especially true if they are dependable. This is another another indication that your septic tank is overflowing and needs to be drained.
7: Trouble Flushing
If you’re experiencing delayed drainage and you’re seeing that all of your toilets are straining to flush or have a weak flush, it’s possible that your septic tank is full.
If this symptom is present in all of the toilets in your home, it indicates that the problem is more widespread than a local blockage.
The Important of Septic Tank EmptyingMaintenance
Maintaining a routine is the most effective way to determine when your tank needs to be emptied, and it is recommended. It’s a straightforward, yet effective, solution. If you can identify correct emptying intervals, it is possible that you will not notice any of the warning indications listed above. The length of time between emptyings will be determined by the size of your septic tank and the number of individuals that use it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, septic tanks should be drained every 3-5 years at the absolute least.
The following parameters will be taken into consideration when determining the optimum emptying intervals for your tank:
- Typical household characteristics include: size of the septic tank, amount of wastewater generated, and volume of solid waste.
If you’ve recently purchased a property that has a septic tank, be careful to inquire as to whether the previous owners had a maintenance routine. Alternatively, you might simply inquire as to when they last had the tank drained so that you have a general notion. If you do not have access to this information, it is preferable to err on the side of caution and get it emptied as soon as possible. This will leave you in a fresh frame of mind and provide a fresh start for your own personal routine.
It will keep the tank working smoothly, preventing any major problems from developing in the long term.
Otherwise, you may find yourself in the middle of a serious crisis with a major mess on your hands and everywhere else.
Services that are related Septic Tank Cleaning and Emptying Service Continuing Your Education Signs that your septic tank needs to be emptied Is it necessary to empty your septic tank on a regular basis?
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