The thought of septic tank replacement creates panic in even the calmest person. Replacing this waste management system isn't cheap and it takes a considerable amount of time. While there are instances where you have no choice but to replace your septic system, other times a simple cleaning might get rid of your problems. Here's how to spot the difference.
Clogged Toilets a Problem?
Most people notice a problem with their septic systems when toilets clogged frequently. If you've been plunging and nothing is happening, you need to call a plumber. Chances are that something is clogged in the system and need professional septic tank cleaning.
When was the last time you had your tank cleaned? If you're experiencing clogs or leakage around the tank site, the tank might be overfilled. It's recommended that residential septic tanks get cleaned and pumped once every 3-5 years. However, the recommendation is fluid and should be based on your home's particular needs.
For example, how many bathrooms do you have? How many people are in the household? The more bathrooms there are and the more times they are used throughout the day means more frequent cleanings might be needed. Likewise, if you're a single person living in a smaller home with one bathroom, you might get away with cleanings once every 5 years.
It's best to speak with a licensed septic contractor who has the experience to guide you in the right direction.
What If Septic Cleaning Doesn't Solve the Problem?
There are situations that septic cleaning just won't solve. If the drainfield or leach lines are damaged, they might need replacement or repair. This job doesn't require the whole septic system replacement, but is still pricey.
It's when the tank breaks down and fails, causing raw sewage to leak into the soil, that a major problem exists. At this point, you might need to replace the tank. If you think this is something that's happening at your home, contact a septic tank company right away for immediate assistance.
Protect Your Septic Tank from Damage
Septic tanks are a great option for homeowners who don't want to or can't connect to a city sewer system. With proper care, the tank and its components can last a long time without major repairs. Of course, you have to stay on top of the little things.
Here is a quick checklist of dos and don'ts to extend the life span of your septic tank:
- Do invest in regular septic tank cleaning. Have the tank cleaned according to recommendations from a local plumber.
- Don't use chemical drain cleaners. The chemicals in these cleaners have bleach that messes with the natural processes in the tank. Instead, if you have frequent clogs, call for drain cleaning service.
- Do have the tank's parts inspected annually. Make repairs when problems pop up.
- Don't install a garbage disposal. Although this small appliance makes kitchen clean up convenient, it's a no-no for septic tank systems.
If you're concerned about your septic tank, call a plumber near you right away for a complete inspection.