- It is a good idea to test not just that alarm circuit, but at least annually to test the float itself. If the float or the connection between the float and the alarm unit has failed, the test button may function, but the alarm may not. Floats and alarms should be tested at least once a year.
Why is my septic alarm not working?
If the breaker happens to be on, check to see if there is any standing water surrounding the septic tanks. Let the septic system run a couple of pump cycles (should last about 10-15 hours) and the red light on the alarm box may go out on its own. Try to minimize water usage during this time.
What triggers septic alarm?
Most septic tanks have an alert when there’s too much water inside of it and could cause some kind of backup or overflow if not dealt with promptly. Your float sensor will trigger your alarm box to sound off once that event has been triggered by detecting how high up in the tank the level is reaching.
How do I know if my septic tank is working properly?
When your septic tank system is not operating correctly, you will be able to see telltale signs if you know where to look.
- Pipe Gurgling Sounds.
- Toilet Flushing Issues.
- Slow Drains.
- Water Backup.
- Bad Odors.
- Greener Grass.
- Patches of Standing Water.
Will a flooded septic tank fix itself?
Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.
Do all septic tanks have alarms?
All septic systems that use a pump to move wastewater from a septic pump tank to a drainfield or mound have an alarm installed in the house. The alarm goes off when wastewater is not being pumped from the septic pump tank to the drainfield or mound.
Why is my septic tank buzzing?
Humming: This is a common sound when the pump is running, but if the noise is constant, then the system might be running without actually moving any water. A common cause for this is the lack of a relief hole between the pump and the check valve, which will develop an air lock in your system.
How often should you pump your septic tank?
Inspect and Pump Frequently 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.
What does it mean when your sump pump alarm goes off?
Sump pump alarms typically start to go off when there’s too much water in the area. If the sump pump alarm is functioning properly, but it’s going off too regularly, that means there is too much water pooling in your basement.
What are the signs that your septic tank needs to be pumped?
Common Signs You Need Septic Tank Pumping Services
- Slow or Frequently Clogged Drains. Since your septic tank is connected to the entire network of drains throughout your home, your sinks, showers, and even toilets can exhibit signs of a problem.
- Sewage Backup.
- Regular Gurgling Noises.
- Strong and Pungent Odors.
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.
Can a full septic tank cause gurgling?
Septic tank needs to be pumped: When your septic tank is too full, gurgling noises will be common with any plumbing fixture or element you use. The tank will be unable to drain, blocking the sewer lines from flowing as they should. You may also notice sewage seeping from the ground or a strong odor outside your home.
Why Is My Septic Alarm Going Off?
If you are receiving an alert from your septic system, it is clear that something is not quite right. In this Knowledge Base post, we’ll go over the most prevalent reasons of a septic alert, as well as how to identify and avoid them in the future. It is recommended that you contact your local service provider to determine the source of the problem if you are unfamiliar with the operation of your system or do not feel comfortable inspecting it on your own.
ALARMS ON CONVENTIONAL SEPTIC SYSTEMS
Aeration is not present in a normal septic tank since it lacks any form of aeration equipment. If you have this sort of system and you receive an alarm, it is likely that the water level is too high. The following are the primary causes of a high water level in a traditional septic tank system:
- Septic tank effluent filter that is blocked with organic matter In many typical septic tank systems, an effluent filter is installed near the tank’s outflow point. Cleaning should be performed on this filter about every 6 months. if the filter becomes clogged with particles, it will slow down the flow of water out of the system, causing the water level in the septic tank to rise
- The submersible pump has failed or the float that regulates the submersible pump has failed Even though not all traditional septic tank systems will require a submersible pump, some may do so if they are properly designed. Occasionally, when gravity feeding the secondary treatment system is not possible, an electric submersible pump is employed. The failure of a submersible pump or a float switch will result in a high water level in the pump tank and the septic tank
- The outlet line will be stopped, or the leach field will be flooded. An obstruction in the outlet pipe of the septic tank or a failing leach field are the other possible causes of a high water level in the tank if it does not have a submersible pump.
An often-heard myth is that a septic tank alarm signaling a high quantity of sewage signifies that the tank has to be drained out. A high level alert will not signal when a tank requires pumping, and while emptying the tank out may temporarily resolve the warning, once the tank fills back up, the alarm is likely to re-occur due to the fact that the primary problem with the system has not been rectified.
ALARMS ON AEROBIC TREATMENT SYSTEMS
An often-heard myth is that a septic tank alarm signaling a high level implies that the tank must be drained out. A high level alert will not signal when a tank requires pumping, and while emptying the tank out may temporarily resolve the warning, once the tank fills back up, the alarm is likely to re-occur due to the fact that the primary fault with the system has not been corrected.
- To test if the aeration equipment is operational, check the following: If you have an air pump or compressor that is located above ground, be sure that the item is operational before proceeding. You may also check to see if the device is producing air by disconnecting the main line that connects to the aerobic tank. Alternatively, if you have an in-tank aerator, remove the cover from the aeration chamber and check to see whether the aerator is operating. If your aerator is not performing properly or is not releasing air, this is the source of your concern. Depending on the kind and condition of the aerator, it may be necessary to repair or replace the device altogether. Assuming that the aerator appears to be performing correctly, the most likely source of the warning is a high amount of water in the tank. Although this is not an emergency that must be addressed immediately, we recommend that the system be restored to operational status within 1-2 weeks of the incident. Check to check whether the water level in the aeration tank and/or the pump tank is excessively high. In a perfectly functioning system, the water level should be below the intake and at the bottom of the outflow. If the water level is high, the following are the most likely reasons why:
- If you have a gravity-displacement system, a blockage in the outlet line would be the source of your excessive water level. The chlorine feeder is the most typical source of contamination. Remove the tube that contains the chlorine tablets and clean the feeder of any material that has accumulated. Also, if the system has surface discharges, make certain that the discharge exit is free of weeds and other debris. High water levels in a system with a submersible pump are usually caused by either the failure of the submersible pump or the failure of the float switch, which controls when the pump is turned on and off. The most effective method of testing a float switch is to use an ohm meter to check for continuity. The switch should be tested closed in the elevated position and open in the lowered position to ensure that it is functioning properly. By detaching the submersible pump from the float switch and running it directly from a known functional power supply, the pump may be checked. Remember that the pump will not automatically shut off when you do this, and you will need to separate it from power in order to turn it off before the tank is completely emptied.
THIS DID NOT RESOLVE MY ISSUES
If you have a gravity-displacement system, a blockage in the outlet line is the most likely reason of a high water level in the system. CHLORINE FEEDERS are the most typical source of contamination. Remove the tube that contains the chlorine tablets and thoroughly clean the feeder of any dirt. Make certain that the discharge exit is free of weeds and debris if the system has surface discharge. Depending on the system, a broken submersible pump or a faulty float switch that regulates pump operation are the two most common causes of a high water level in a system with a submersible pump.
Closed in the elevated position, and open in the lower position, is how the switch should perform during testing.
Remember that when you do this, the pump will not automatically shut off, and you will need to separate it from the power in order to turn it off before the tank is completely emptied.
Troubleshooting: Tank Alarms
The alarm wiring, the alarm light, the control switch, or other panel components may be malfunctioning (either up for a high level alarm application or down for a low level alarm use). Disconnect the power source. Alarm: Check for damage to the power cable of the alarm system. Ensure that the power-in wires are connected to the terminal strip located within the alarm enclosure. Check the installation instructions to ensure that the terminals are installed correctly. In the case of the Tank Alert® 4X, look inside the alarm panel for a blown fuse.
- In this case, detach the float wires and attach them to the terminal places where the float was previously linked using a jumper wire, following the installation instructions.
- The alarm panel may be malfunctioning if the alarm does not sound when it is supposed to.
- Float: Verify that the terminal placements specified in the installation instructions are correct.
- Check the float for appropriate location, tether length, and any objects that may have caused the float to become tangled in the tether.
- To check for continuity, do the following: Removing the float cable leads from the screw connections is necessary.
- Set the float to the “on” position by dragging it there (up for normally open models, down for normally closed models).
- It is important to check the wiring from the float to the alarm; if the wiring from the float to the alarm is faulty, it might result in the alarm reading “no continuity.” Check to confirm that the float switch is the proper model for the application before using it.
Light bulbs may be swapped out in the field if necessary.
(for example, up for a low-level alarm application, or down for a high-level alarm application).
Disconnect the power source.
Examine the connection between the float cable leads and the terminal strip to ensure that it is secure.
Inspect the float cable for signs of wear and tear.
Connect the black and white leads of a volt/ohm meter together.
If the volt/ohm meter indicates continuity, the switch should be returned to the supplier.
A Normally Open (NO) float switch is used for high-level alarm applications, whereas a Normally Closed (NC) float switch is utilized for low-level alarm applications, according to the manufacturer. Check the label on the float switch cable to ensure it is in working order.
Septic Tank Alarm – Understanding Your Septic Alarm
Alarms for your septic tank are an essential component of any septic system. It is preferable if you are familiar with how your septic alarm was installed, how it operates, and what to do if your septic alarm sounds accidentally. If you have a septic system, an alarm is an important component that will safeguard your house from any significant problems that may arise.
What is a septic tank alarm?
When something goes wrong with your septic system, an alarm will sound to alert you of the problem. Based on the size of your tank and how much water you use, you normally have at least one day’s worth of water consumption left after the alarm goes off before you run the risk of something awful occurring to your water system. Alarms are not a cause for concern; rather, they are intended to alert you that a problem with the system has been identified so that you may take action before the problem worsens.
It is the alarm’s responsibility, for example, to notify you if the water level is greater than it should be before the situation becomes a hazard with the potential to cause damage to your property.
Some are located outside near the tank, while others are mounted to the wall of your home or outbuilding, and yet others are located within the property.
It’s possible to have wireless systems that have one component in the tank, one component near the tank, and another component in the home that will warn you when there’s an issue.
It should have three components: a float or level monitoring system to gauge how high liquid levels are rising in the tank, a visual component (beacon), and three components that are audible (siren, horn, or buzzer) to give you the best chance of noticing that something is wrong with the system before it is too late.
After a period of time has elapsed, the muted alarm will automatically reset itself, so that if a new issue scenario develops, the audible alert will resume operation, giving you the highest opportunity of recognizing that anything is wrong with your system.
What kind of septic alarms are there?
The sort of septic alarm you choose will be determined by how the alarm is powered. Several different methods exist for powering a septic alarm. These include dedicated circuits, external power, battery backups, and wireless alerts among others. As a rule, it is advised that septic alarms be installed on a dedicated circuit, or at the at least, on a circuit that is not connected to the effluent pump of the septic system. It is fairly typical for a pump failure to overload an electrical circuit, causing the circuit breaker to trip on the affected electrical circuit.
- Whenever it is not possible to use separate circuits, SepTech Canada can give the option of an outside alarm with failover protection.
- This allows the alarm to continue to alert home owners of potential problems in the event of an overload and tripped circuit breaker.
- The more safeguards you can put in place to ensure that the alarm’s function and functioning remain uninterrupted, the better.
- Depending on whether there is a concrete patio, deck, or some other barrier between the house and the septic tank, it may not be possible to connect cabling between the house and the tank to either construct a new electrical circuit outside or run alarm wires between the house and the tank.
- Wireless systems may be extremely useful for increasing the flexibility of installations, but they come with the danger of potential interference difficulties or other variables interfering with the signal’s ability to pass over the network.
- The majority of wireless systems have a “heartbeat” system to ensure that the signal is correctly transmitted between the components.
Prior to a septic emergency occurring, this gives a chance to remedy the communication issue.
What does it mean when your septic alarm is going off?
Septic systems are equipped with alarms that sound when they detect that something is amiss with their operation. If your alarm goes off, the first thing you should assume is that there is a problem with your septic system and that the water levels in your septic tank are greater than what is considered to be acceptable. Sometimes “nuisance alerts” are triggered, which means that the alarm is activated even when there isn’t a problem in the environment. These can be harmful since homeowners frequently believe there is nothing wrong with the alarm and disable, disconnect, or silence it without properly resetting it.
- Nuisance warnings can be caused by anything as simple as incorrect float installation or a float mast that needs to be adjusted.
- For example, filling the tank with water fast (for example, emptying a soaker tub) may cause the alarm to sound even if there is nothing wrong and the system is merely pumping out a bigger quantity of water to the drainfield.
- Therefore, a float may fail or wire may get corroded over time, preventing an alarm signal from being transmitted and homeowners from being warned of an emergency situation.
- The float should be tested at least once a year, and not merely to ensure that the warning circuit is functioning properly.
- Once every year, it is recommended that the floats and the alarms be examined.
What should you do if an alarm goes off?
First and foremost, check your tank to determine whether the level is greater than it should be. Even if you’re not sure whether it is, contact your local septic specialist for assistance. A full-service septic business will often have an emergency line that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with employees standing by to assist you whenever you need them. If the person answering the phone is unable to assist you immediately, they will usually have a technician on standby to assist you.
After attempting to address the issue over the phone, the next step might be a service call, a vacuum truck, or a combination of the two.
Here’s some good news: unlike our city neighbors, most rural properties have just one source of water entering the septic tank, which is the house to which it is linked.
As soon as your alarm goes off, notify everyone in the household and ask them to decrease water use in the home until the problem has been rectified.
Most alarms are programmed to provide you with up to a day’s worth of water consumption so that you may continue to run your home, flush toilets, wash your hands, and so on while your alert condition is being rectified, but it is always a good idea to be extra cautious.
How to tell if your septic alarm needs to be replaced:
Alarm systems that are properly maintained can endure for 15-20 years, and in some cases much longer. As long as you check their operation on a regular basis, both at the alarm unit and at the float itself, you should feel safe in your house and in the avoidance of floods and backups. When in doubt, swap it out with another one, just like you would with any other electrical device. Compared to the cost and quantity of damage caused by failing sewer systems, individual components of an alarm system are very inexpensive to purchase.
Interior alarms, outdoor alarms, and wireless alarms will all provide you and your property with the safety you want when you need it the most.
Why do you need a professional?
If your septic alarm is sounding, you should always contact a professional to come and inspect it. SepTech’s emergency response line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and technicians are always ready to chat with you concerning emergency situations. Within minutes, one of our technicians will be on the phone with you. You’ll be guided through some basic diagnostic inquiries, asked to check on a few items if possible, and even guided through some troubleshooting as necessary once you’ve been connected to the network.
- Our dedication to our clients means that we are always there to assist you whenever you require it.
- Pumps, even those that are spanking new, are mechanical devices.
- Even though your system was established at a time when alarms were not yet required, this does not rule out the use of an alarm in the present day.
- SepTech is dedicated to providing the finest quality solutions for septic system problems.
What do I do if My Septic Alarm is Going Off?
In the event that your septic alarm goes off, it may surely create some anxiety and uncertainty; and if you happen to be experiencing this right now, then you’ve arrived to the correct location! Don’t be concerned; it does not necessitate urgent action. Instead, take your time to go through this full essay so that you will be prepared to act now or in the future if the situation arises. What Septic Systems Are and How They Work The alarm works in conjunction with the septic system to alert you when the water level within the pump tank has increased to an unsafe level or has decreased to an unsafe level.
The timer is in charge of regulating the time intervals during which the pump is permitted to pump wastewater into the drainage system.
Thus, during periods of excessive water use, the drain field is kept from getting overflowing, which might cause damage to the drainage system.
A large amount of water is injected into the system in between pumping cycles for whatever cause, and the water has nowhere else to go but back into the system’s pump tank.
Depending on how much water was and continues to be put into the system and how the pump is set up to operate on a timer, it may take many pumping cycles until the water levels are returned to normal. Causes of the alarm going off in the first place
- There is an excessive amount of water being put into the septic system. This is the result of excessive water use, which might be caused by multiple loads of laundry, an excessive quantity of dishwashing, or a disproportionate number of long showers.
- Somehow, groundwater is making its way into the system. If there is an excessive amount of standing water surrounding the septic tanks, whether generated by rain or another source, the water may seep into the tanks and cause the internal water level to rise.
- It’s possible that one of the components of the septic system is malfunctioning. If anything goes wrong with your system — including the pump and floats — the alarm and timer will go off and the septic system will stop working correctly.
The Best Thing to Do If Your Alarm Goes Off Alternatively, if you hear an alert, you should press the red button or turn on the alarm box. The alarm will be turned off as a result of this action. There should be a red light and a green light on the alarm box, which should be situated someplace on the unit. The green light indicates that the alarm is operational and should be left on at all times. It is shown by a red light if the alarm is getting a signal from the pump tank indicating that the water level is increasing above or decreasing below what is expected.
- If the breaker occurs to be tripped, look around the septic tanks to see if there is any standing water.
- It is possible that the red light on the alarm box will go out on its own after allowing the septic system to operate for a couple of pump cycles (which should take approximately 10-15 hours).
- If the red light turns off, it signifies that the system is operating properly and that it only needs to catch up with the extra water that has overflowed into the storage tank.
- To be clear, an alarm signal from the septic system does not always imply that sewage is about to back up into the house right away.
- Do you require septic system repair on a regular basis or emergency service?
- Want to learn more about septic systems?
Aerobic System Inspection and Maintenance LLC
|Septic System FAQs Am I required to have a maintenance contract?Yes, it is a Brazos County law that you must keep up a valid maintenance contract at all times. If the County finds that you are not under contract, it could result in a court date and fines up to $500.What should I do if I’m buying a house with a septic system?When buying a home with a septic system you should request to have the system cleaned out and inspected. You want to start fresh in your new home by having the system cleaned out, and having an inspection done will ensure that the septic system is in good condition. If the system is not up to code or there are problems with it, the inspection will give you a chance to negotiate the proper repairs before closing on the property.What can I do to prepare for large gatherings during the holidays?Having a large number of people over for gatherings can be hard on your septic system. An aerobic system is designed for the size of the house and the number of people who live there. Large parties can easily overload the system and cause problems if your system is already getting full. To avoid any embarrassing situations, have your system checked and possibly cleaned out before the holidays.Should my septic system be making a noise?Your aerator will make a constant humming noise. But, if you hear a loud buzzing sound that means your septic alarm is on. First you should check your breakers to make sure power is getting to your system. If the breakers have not been tripped, call ASIM immediately. If the alarm is on, there is something wrong that should be checked out.Is my Aerobic system supposed to run all the time?Yes, your aerobic septic system is intended to run constantly. If your aerator or spray pump is not running, contact ASIM.Do I have to add chlorine to my aerobic system?Yes, it is the law. You must maintain a chlorine residual in your system at all times. Violating this law can result in a fine of up to $80 per day. The only way that the wastewater can be treated is for chlorine to be in the system. So, if you are not adding chlorine, it is spraying out untreated water.Where can I get chlorine tablets?Most larger home improvement stores carry septic chlorine tablets. You can also purchase a 10 lb bucket from ASIM. A 10 lb bucket typically lasts close to a year. If you buy a larger bucket, the moisture will begin to break down the remaining tablets in the bucket and they will go bad before you can use the whole bucket. Also, make sure you ONLY buy SEPTIC chlorine. DO NOT use Pool chlorine tablets. These tablets are made differently and can react with gas and byproducts in your septic system and have been known to explode.Why does my aerobic system smell bad?Some people are more sensitive to septic smells than others. If you are experiencing a sewage smell, that does not mean you need to add more chlorine to your system. This is typically a sign that your aerator is out or there is an aeration problem.Should the alarm and sprayers keep coming on during and after rain?Septic systems typically take in ground water when it rains. This can cause the water level to rise and trigger the high water alarm and sprayers. After the rain stops and water soaks in or runs off, most systems will correct themselves. If you still have a problem, call ASIM.Should my sprayers keep coming on during an ordinary day when there is no rain?If there is no rain water to raise the water level in your tanks, and your sprayers are going off frequently during the day, this is a sign of overloading or a plumbing problem. If you use too much water for the system to handle, it will spray. Also, if your sprayers are going off frequently and you are not using water in the house, check for leaking faucets or leaky/running toilets. This will add to the water level. SEPTIC SYSTEMS DO NO MAKE WATER. If the sprayers are spraying, something is adding water to the system.Since my septic system runs continually, will my electric bill go increase?No, an aerobic septic system uses about the same amount of electricity as a 100 watt light bulb.If there is a bad odor inside my house, that is a septic problem, right?No, septic odors inside the house are typically from a plumbing problem. A plumber is responsible for the area under the house, we are responsible for the area from the cleanout to the system.How do I mute the alarm?There is a button marked on your control panel box to mute the alarm. Anytime you mute the alarm, you should call your septic maintenance company. The alarm comes on for a reason and it should be addressed sooner than later.What can I do if my neighbor’s septic system stinks?If your neighbor has a smelly septic system and doesn’t appear to care or try to fix the problem, you can make an anonymous complaint to the Environmental Health Services division at the local Health Department.What to do if my electricity is out? If your septic system is a conventional system and no pumps are used everything should be normal. However, if you depend on a pump to move your treated water to another tank, disposal area, or if you have an aerobic septic system with surface spray disposal you should minimize water usage during the interruption in electrical service. Once electric service has been restored you may encounter a period of an alarm indicating there is too much water in a tank and after some period of time, which will vary from system to system and usually an hour or less, the alarm should clear itself and everything should return to normal.What can I do if my drains and toilet flushes are slow?Unfortunately during bad weather conditions there is not much anyone can do but if there is no electricity for a long period of time or the rains have caused some degree of flooding things could get backed up. The best thing to do is minimize water usage. If this does not help the last resort would be to locate your sewer clean-out. advise caution when doing this, and remove the cap. Weather conditions may prove to prohibit this procedure and also there could be pressure on the cap which could spray you with raw sewage. Taking the cap off will help relieve the possibility of a sewer backup in the house and let it go outside instead. Once the weather subsides and electric service restored and everything has returned to normal be sure to have your sewer clean-out cap replaced. Your septic service provider should assist you if needed.How often will I need to have my tank pumped?Not very often. An average family of four living in a three-bedroom house will need their tank pumped every three to five years. If your installer is a licensed septic contractor in the area, he should know exact guidelines for your home, usage, and locality.Or you can check with your county health department. If there are no major changes in your household and your usage is stable, you may want to consider a regular pumping schedule for best results with the least worry.Can I build over my septic tank?This is never advisable and is against most municipal codes. Do not build any additions, pools, or driveways over a tank.Also, do not build or plant on top of your drainfield.If I think there is a problem, should I open my septic tank?NO! Though septic systems are safe for your family, opening the septic tank without professional training can expose you to dangerous gases and bacteria. Call a certified and trained septic professional if you detect any problems in your system.What are the major dos and dont’s of maintaining a trouble-free system?DO THIS .Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed. .Repair any leaking faucets and toilets. .Only discharge biodegradable wastes into your system. .Restrict garbage disposal use. .Divert down spouts and other surface water away from your drainfield. .Keep your septic tank cover accessible for tank inspections and pumping. .Have your septic tank pumped regularly and checked for leaks and cracks. .Call a professional when you have problems. .Compost your garbage or put it in the trash. DON’T DO THIS .Flush sanitary napkins, tampons, disposable diapers, condoms, wipes, and such products into your system. .Dump solvents, oils, paints, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides, or poisons down the drain. They can disrupt the treatment process and contaminate groundwater. .Dig in your drainfield or build anything over it. .Plant anything over your drainfield except grass. .Drive over your drainfield or compact the soil in any way.|
What to do When Your Septic Alarm is Going Off
It is critical to respond fast if your sewage alarm is sounding in order to avoid a potentially expensive cleanup. Step one is to turn off the alarm. Typically, a control panel will feature a button on the front that may be pressed to quiet the panel completely. If you only have a tank alarm, it will almost always come with a switch to turn it off completely. Step 2: Stop using water as soon as possible. This is critical in order to avoid incurring additional costs for pumping the tank. Step 3: Determine the source of the problem.
Verify that the tank’s liquid level is correct and that there are no obvious problems with the floats You may do this by switching the control panel’s switch to “Manual” or “Hand.” It is quite probable that you have a problem with a float switch if the pump begins to run when the liquid level in the tank is lowering.
- As soon as the switch is turned to “Manual” or “Hand,” the motor should start.
- The float switch will be a typically open switch, which means that it will always be on.
- The continuity of the switch should be checked using an ohmmeter.
- If you do not have a control panel, your pump is most likely controlled via a pump switch that is connected to a piggyback connector.
- Remove the piggyback plug from the pump and connect it straight to the electrical outlet.
- It is possible that the pump is malfunctioning if it does not start or hums when it starts.
So, maybe, some of these suggestions would assist you in resolving your issue or eliminating potential reasons. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any issues or need more troubleshooting assistance.
Septic Alarm LIGHT is on – No beeping – and smell
My septic system’s “red light” remains on, but the alarm does not sound. I’m 55 years old and have been living alone since one of my sons briefly went back home a few months ago. I embarked on an all-out “spring” cleaning spree on the weekend of July 4th, doing 5 loads of bedding and normal laundry in one day, in addition to showering and washing dishes (by hand), and shampooing carpets throughout the home. After my kid had finished showering that night, the alarm went off. I pressed the reset button, switched the pump to manual, and pushed a little amount of water into the tank (10 minutes).
- The pump functioned properly, and I was extremely cautious with my water use for the following several weeks (as is customary for me), but the red light on the box continues to illuminate, shining brightly and unwaveringly like a beacon in the night.
- HISTORY: During the month of February of 2015, both tanks were pumped (I was out of the home from Jan 2015 to late July 2016 due to a tree falling on my house and ensuing repairs).
- During the inspection, there were no issues discovered.
- Early in September 2017, I noticed that the pump was not operating as I had expected; I was accustomed to hearing it turn on and off (on the outside wall of the family room).
- A short was discovered in the switch, which was changed in September of 2017 and 389.00 later, everything was back to normal.
- All was okay once 130.00 had been spent.
- Also, the alert level was set differently (I can’t remember how) due to the fact that the house only had one or two people in it, resulting in reduced water use.
I have a two-tank, low-pressure system for a four-bedroom drainfield/home, and I do a load of laundry every two to three days on the average.
My dishwasher is only sometimes used (there aren’t enough dishes to warrant its use), thus the few dishes that get dirty are washed by hand.
When it comes to water consumption, there isn’t much to mention.
It has a foul odor for 5-10 minutes, then it fades away completely.
All drains are functioning properly, all toilets are flushing properly, and all sinks are draining properly.
I should mention that my yard went to crap while I was away from the house – the grass perished and dandelions took over.
I want to cover the yard with a couple of inches of compost and re-seed the lawn next month in order to re-establish the lawn.
When I wash laundry or take a shower, the pump starts up.
It’s been about a month since my “clean-a-thon,” and the alarm hasn’t gone off once.
Repairs and diagnosis total $99.00.
I receive a visit from some person who looks in the tank, checks a couple of the drain field caps, and then puts a status report on the door before heading back to the office to file electronic paperwork with the county in order to avoid a 500(min.) fine.
I’d really prefer to retain the 89.00 “technician visit” charge in my pocket if at all possible, and avoid having to call these men out again in the future. Any and all suggestions, comments, and other feedback are welcomed! Thank you very much!
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.
Inspect to make sure that everything is securely fastened to the float tree and not simply hanging there. Zip ties should be used to secure any loose cables.
- Check to make sure that everything is securely tied to the float tree and not just hanging free. Zip ties should be used to reattach any stray cables.
Some systems feature either visual or only audio alarms, while others include both in case the visual alarm is not positioned in a convenient location where the owner would notice it being activated or in the event that one of the alarms is not functioning properly.
What to do when your alarm turns on
It is possible to have only a visual or only an audio alarm on a system; however, some systems include both visual and audio alarms in case the visual alarm is not positioned where the owner would be able to see it being activated or if one of the alarms is not functioning properly.
Why did my alarm turn on?
There are an infinite number of reasons why an alarm could go off – it’s similar to the “Check engine” light on your car’s dashboard. It might be a little issue or something more serious, but you won’t know until the system is thoroughly inspected and tested. The following are the most prevalent reasons why an alert may sound on an aerobic system:
- If the system is set to run on a timer, it may only need to be sprayed down when the timer is activated. A clogged chlorinator
- A submersible pump that is not working
- Aerator not working properly due to low air pressure
- Electrical and wiring issues
- Clogged diffuser
- Float switch that is not working properly
How can I find out what the problem is?
Here’s something you can look into for yourself: Check to see whether your tablet chlorinator is clogged if you have one. Whether it appears to be clogged, attempt to free the obstruction and see if the alert goes off (see ourvideo on how to unclog your chlorinator).
Please keep in mind that adding chlorine to your system will not cause the alarm to go off. After that, check the circuit breaker in your home. It may be necessary to reset the breaker that is connected to your aerobic system in order to determine whether the alarm will be turned off.
What do I do next?
If your chlorinator is not blocked and no circuit breakers are tripped, contact your maintenance provider immediately and do not attempt any more troubleshooting on your own time. Your service provider may decide to service your system right away, or he or she may ask you to wait and see whether the alarm remains on for 24 hours. In the event that your system is on a timer, it is possible that it only needs to spray or pump down once the timer activates the pump; if this is the case, the alarm will switch off once the system has sprayed or pumped down successfully.
After hitting your quiet button, you may need to reset it by pushing it again to turn off the silent mode so that it will not be activated when your alarm goes off the following time.
For assistance, please see our FAQ page or contact us.
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).
What to Do When Your Septic Alarm Goes Off (With Troubleshooting Tips)
Septic systems with pumps are often equipped with some sort of warning mechanism to notify the homeowner if something is amiss. The alarm will sound if the water level in the pump tank becomes too high, or in rare cases, dangerously low. The majority of alarms will have a red light and a beeping sound. If the alarm sound is set to “quiet,” just the red light will be illuminated. When the septic alarm goes out, you should immediately turn it off. Then check to determine if the pump is receiving power from the electrical system.
- The pump will complete a few of cycles and may be able to remove some of the extra water.
- As a homeowner, you should be familiar with the operation of your septic system in order to identify and comprehend fundamental problems.
- You’re probably thinking something along the lines of mine: Don’t I already have enough on my plate trying to figure out why my smoke detector is blaring or chirping intermittently?
- We had just moved into our new home in Lewes.
So I went on the internet, chatted to a few neighbors, and ultimately obtained the services of a specialist, and the following is what I discovered. Take a moment to consider why there is an alert in your septic system.
What is a Septic Tank Alarm, and How It Works?
There is just one major function of a septic tank alarm: to notify you that the water level within the pump tank has risen to an unsafe level. Water will be removed from your tank every several hours, depending on the size of your tank, the amount of water you use, and a few other technical considerations. Modern septic systems include a timer built into the control box that determines when and for how long water should be evacuated from the system. Pumps are often configured to cycle twice or more times per day, which should be adequate to meet the needs of the majority of households.
- Pumping an excessive amount of water into the drain field might result in harm.
- The water level will rise if there is more water than normal in the reservoir.
- When the water level becomes dangerously high, an alarm will sound to alert you.
- In the event that everything is functioning properly, you may be confident that the alarm will sound to alert you of a potential problem.
- If the pump does not have any water to push out, it has the ability to do harm to it.
Get to Know Your Septic System
It is not all septic systems that are created equal. Learn about yours, even if you’ve never had an issue with it. I didn’t have the luxury since the alarm went off just as we were getting settled in. LOL! Find the location of the alarm box. Some alarms have buttons to turn them off, while others have switches to turn them off. Open it up to see the bits that are visible. When you understand how something is intended to appear, you will be able to detect when something is not quite right. On the box, there are two lights: one that is green and one that is red.
The presence of a red light and a sound indicates that the alarm has been activated because it has received a signal indicating that the water level in the septic tank has reached a certain level.
=The following are ten things you should be aware of about your septic system.
Two Main Things toDo When the Alarm Goes Off?
First and foremost, there is no need to panic. Today’s septic systems are constructed in such a way that you have ample time to reduce water consumption and diagnose any issues prior to the system overflowing completely.
The alarm indicates that the water level has been raised, not that it will burst in a few seconds as some people believe. When the septic alarm goes off, take the following steps immediately:
- Locate the control panel on your computer. To turn off the alarm, press the button or flip the switch (if there is a sound). As you can see in the photo above, I didn’t have any sound because my phone was set to mute. Reduce your water use to a bare minimum until the problem has been fixed. Put your washing machine, dishwasher, and other water-using appliances on hold for the time being. And, if necessary, take a shower, but keep it brief
Why is My Water Level Elevated?
The majority of the time, your septic system alarm will sound because the level of water in your tank is more than it should be, according to the manufacturer. Let’s take a look at the most typical reasons behind this.
Electricity is used to run the pumps. Your pump will not be able to extract water from the tank if there is a power outage or any other power problem. In order to determine whether or not there is electricity to your sewage system, check the primary circuit breaker for your septic system. Check the pump circuit breaker in your control box if you have one; otherwise, proceed to step 3. That is also subject to error. This was, in fact, the source of my frustration. The system was never turned on for the first two weeks we were in our home, which was apparently due to a faulty installation by the electrician who installed it.
Also, make sure the outlets where the pump is connected in are working properly.
The problem is with the pump if the electricity is working, but the pump itself is not functioning properly.
Increased Water Usage
You have a set capacity for your septic system, and the pump is configured to push water out in accordance with that capacity. If you are using a significant amount of water in comparison to normal, the level may climb. Performing an excessive amount of laundry, taking repeated showers if you have guests, or even cleaning a large number of dishes might raise the water level. The same may be said about excessive cleaning that necessitates the use of a lot of water. You are familiar with the amount of water you typically consume, and you can readily identify this as a possible cause for the alert to sound.
Heavy Rain or Floods
It is possible that bad weather is the blame for your tank being full. Heavy rains or floods will cause the earth surrounding the tank to become saturated. The presence of standing water surrounding the tank, particularly if there are any cracks in the tank, increases the likelihood of water getting into it. Rainfall that is very heavy can also flood the earth around the drain field, preventing water from draining out of your septic system properly. You should restrict your water use to a bare minimum in this situation and wait until the soil dries out and the pump eliminates the extra water in the subsequent cycles before taking action.
Clogged Effluent Filter
Cleaning the effluent filter on a regular basis, generally twice a year, is recommended. Essentially, the filter serves as a screening barrier to reduce the volume of solid material that is discharged from a tank into a drain field, which in my instance is an underground system. On the tank’s discharge port is a filter that collects any debris. Solid waste might block the filter and cause the water to flow more slowly. The extra water will remain in the tank for a longer period of time than it should, and additional water will be added, raising the level.
If you are unable to identify any obvious cause for the rising water level, the filter is most likely to be to blame. Reduce water use and wait for a few pump cycles to check whether the problem has been resolved. Cleaning it as soon as feasible is recommended.
Pump or Float Failure
Some septic systems, such as mine, are fitted with submersible pumps that, in addition to the timer, are controlled by floats that control the pump. After reaching a certain height, the float will record the change and activate a pump to remove the water. The float is used to temporarily override the timer until the effluent in the tank returns to its regular level. If the float is not functioning properly, it will be unable to control the pump, resulting in the water level rising. The same may be said for a malfunctioning pump.
The pump must be maintained on a regular basis in order for the system to operate efficiently.
- Find the control panel and turn it on. Change the mode of the switch to manual
- If the pump is turned on and the water level lowers, the float is the source of the problem. This indicates that the pump is not starting properly
- The fault is most likely the pump itself.
My view is that pump or float difficulties are not simple DIY fixes, and I would recommend consulting a professional.
What About the Blower Alarm
If you have a blower system, you may also have to deal with an additional alert to worry about. Aerobic septic tanks, such as mine, rely on a blower mechanism to pump air into the treatment tank throughout the treatment process. By maintaining microorganisms that digest waste, this system assures the creation of oxygen necessary for the system’s operation. Solids would not become liquids if this mechanism were not in place. If your blower alarm is going off, it’s possible that your blower is not working.
It’s crucial to note that some of these issues might be ongoing in nature. Consider upgrading your septic system, replacing any damaged components, or having them repaired if you discover that they are occurring too frequently. In any case, discussion with a specialist is required. These common issues frequently arise when there is a significant shift in the amount of water being consumed. Some new residents have just moved in, for example. Everyone now takes advantage of the shower, laundry, and dishwasher.
There is one thing that must be avoided at all costs: turning a blind eye to the situation.
It has the potential to cause the drain field to overflow.
All of these problems will cost a lot and will be more harder to solve than any of the smaller problems which contribute to rising sea level now.
Update: My Septic Alarm is Going Off Again
The alarm went off again one week after the septic system professional arrived to troubleshoot our situation. For starters, it was because the pump breaker was set to “off” that the problem occurred. The technician suspected that the electrician who had installed it may have forgotten to turn it back on once he had finished. He manually pumped the system and believed that this had resolved the issue. The alarm has sounded once more, but this time the pump breaker has been activated. I also tested the primary circuit breaker, which was found to be operational.
It should most likely be a problem with the pump or float, which is strange considering that this is a brand new system.
Because we are still inside the first year of the construction warranty, I will contact the septic system firm and ask them to troubleshoot the problem for us. When the situation is resolved, I will make an update to this post.
- Elevated water
- A control box indicating that the pump breaker has been activated
Technician Came to Troubleshoot the Problem
He arrived and determined that there is nothing wrong with the septic tank system. According to him, we may have a leak somewhere in the home, most likely in one of the toilets. He physically pumped it till the water level had dropped to a safe level. I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with him on this point. I checked all three of our toilets and found no signs of a leak at all. This septic system was intended to handle eight people, and there are presently just two individuals that live in the house.
In my opinion, the alert should not be turned off even if there is a minor leak.
I’ll add any new information to this page when it becomes available.
Update: A Manager Asked the Technician to Come Again
Following my conversation with the builder, the technician was requested to return to confirm that everything was functioning properly. In my previous statement, I said that there was no leak anyplace in the house. As a result, the problem had to be something else, and if we don’t repair it, it may happen again. He came to the conclusion that there could be a problem with the amount of wastewater that is discharged with each pumping cycle. Consequently, he raised that quantity a bit by changing the effluent control valve, which is represented in the illustration below.
Despite the fact that we recently used much more water due to the visit of my son and his girlfriend, I have not experienced any problems since then.
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