Septic Tank Troubleshooting: Common Issues

A septic tank is an essential part of a home’s plumbing system, responsible for treating and disposing of household wastewater. However, like any other system, septic tanks can experience issues that require troubleshooting and maintenance.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common septic tank problems and how to troubleshoot them.

Understanding Your Septic Tank System

Before we dive into troubleshooting, it’s essential to understand how a septic tank system works. A septic tank is a large, underground tank that collects and treats wastewater from your home. The tank is divided into two chambers, with the first chamber receiving the wastewater from your home and the second chamber allowing the treated water to flow into the leach field.

The leach field is a network of pipes buried underground, where the treated water is dispersed into the soil. The soil acts as a natural filter, removing any remaining impurities from the water.

Signs of a Septic Tank Problem

There are several signs that your septic tank may be experiencing issues. These include:

  • Slow-draining sinks, tubs, or toilets
  • Foul odors coming from drains or the leach field
  • Sewage backup in your home
  • Standing water or wet spots in your yard near the leach field
  • Unusually green or lush grass over the leach field
  • Gurgling sounds coming from drains or toilets

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage to your septic tank system.

Troubleshooting Common Septic Tank Issues

Leach Field Problems

One of the most common septic tank issues is leach field problems. The leach field is responsible for dispersing the treated water from your septic tank into the soil. If the leach field is not functioning correctly, it can lead to sewage backup and foul odors in your yard.

Septic tank

 

The most common cause of leach field problems is a buildup of solids in the septic tank. Over time, these solids can clog the pipes leading to the leach field, preventing the treated water from dispersing correctly. To troubleshoot leach field problems, you can try using a septic tank treatment product to break down the solids in your tank. You can also have your septic tank pumped to remove any excess solids. If these solutions do not work, you may need to have your leach field inspected and potentially replaced.

Sewage Backup

Sewage backup is a severe issue that requires immediate attention. If you notice sewage backup in your home, it’s essential to stop using water and contact a professional septic tank service immediately. Sewage backup can occur due to a clog in the main sewer line or a full septic tank. If your septic tank is full, it may need to be pumped to remove the excess solids and allow the system to function correctly.

To prevent sewage backup, it’s crucial to have your septic tank regularly pumped and inspected. You should also avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste down your drains.

Foul Odors

Foul odors coming from your drains or the leach field can be a sign of a septic tank issue. These odors are caused by a buildup of gasses in the septic tank, which can occur due to a clog or a full tank.
To troubleshoot foul odors, you can try using a septic tank treatment product to break down the solids in your tank and reduce the gas buildup. You can also have your septic tank pumped to remove any excess solids and gas.

Clogs in the Pipes

Clogs in the pipes leading to your septic tank can cause slow-draining sinks, tubs, or toilets. These clogs can occur due to a buildup of solids in the pipes or foreign objects being flushed down the drains.
To troubleshoot clogs in the pipes, you can try using a plunger or a drain snake to remove the blockage. If these methods do not work, you may need to have your septic tank pumped and inspected to remove any excess solids and identify the source of the clog.

Preventing Septic Tank Issues

The best way to avoid septic tank problems is to practice proper maintenance and care. Here are some tips to help prevent septic tank issues:
Have your septic tank regularly pumped and inspected by a professional.

  • Avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste down your drains.
  • Do not pour grease, oil, or harsh chemicals down your drains.
  • Do not plant trees or shrubs near your leach field, as their roots can damage the pipes.
  • Do not park or drive over your leach field, as this can compact the soil and prevent proper water dispersal.

When to Call a Professional

While some septic tank issues can be resolved with DIY troubleshooting, it’s essential to know when to call a professional. If you are unsure of the cause of the issue or are unable to resolve it on your own, it’s best to contact a professional septic tank service. You can contact us here at Rooter Express and we will get the job done efficiently and effectively.

Additionally, if you experience a sewage backup, foul odors, or standing water in your yard, it’s crucial to contact us immediately. These issues can be signs of a severe septic tank problem that requires professional attention.

In Conclusion

A septic tank is a crucial part of a home’s plumbing system, and it’s essential to address any issues promptly to prevent further damage. By understanding how your septic tank system works and practicing proper maintenance, you can prevent common septic tank problems and keep your system running smoothly.

With proper care and maintenance, your septic tank can last for many years and provide reliable wastewater treatment for your home. Contact us today for our septic tank cleaning services.