Knowing what to do when major home systems fail is important for every homeowner. Unfortunately, you don't always know when a system is near failure until it's too late and you have a mess in your home. For homeowners who have septic tanks, read on to learn what signs may indicate you need a replacement.
Slow Flushing Toilets
One of the first signs you have a septic tank getting ready to fail is when toilets flush slower than usual. You may suspect a clog and attempt to use a plunger to no avail. This is when you need to call a plumber. The problem may be remedied with a simple pump-out. If not, your plumber will be able to figure out if you need a septic tank replacement. Another early sign of problems is a slow-draining sink or tub. You might also hear gurgling in the pipes. Your system is trying to get your attention.
Sewage Backs up into Your Home
A sewage back-up is always serious business, not only because it causes an extremely bad odor but because a back-up may indicate a broken septic tank. Call the plumber, but while you're waiting for service, there are a few things you can check yourself. Examine the water level in the tank. If the water level falls below the outlet, you probably have a clog between the tank and the house. Your plumber can take care of the clog. If the water level is higher than the outlet, the problem is with the tank. It may need to be replaced.
An unpleasant smell may not be the first sign you need a new septic tank, but it should make you investigate further to see if you can determine the origin of the odor. A slight odor around or near the tank is normal. The key word is slight. Once the smell is overpowering, it's time to call in a plumber. Strong odors indicate trouble with the tank. If a rotten smell is detected inside your home, don't ignore it hoping it'll go away. Septic tanks emit gases that can be harmful if they enter your home, so it's best to let a professional plumbing technician inspect the system.
You Have Beautiful Grass
There's nothing wrong with a lush green lawn. After all, who doesn't want beautiful grass? For septic system owners, the yard is an area where visible evidence is proof of a deeper problem. If you notice patches of grass that look healthier and grow faster than others, those patches are getting more fertilizer. Chances are the fertilizer is a result of septic effluent leaking into the ground. A leak would be the preferable issue, but your lush patches of grass could also mean your septic tank has a more serious problem and needs to be replaced.
Pools of Water
If you notice standing water in the yard, beware. This may not be water. Instead, you could be looking at the other visible sign of a septic tank failure. What looks like water on closer inspection could be effluent pooling at the surface of your yard. When you get close enough the smell will overwhelm you senses. This is a serious situation and a plumber needs to be called immediately.
Septic systems must be maintained but even when you're careful about regular maintenance, you may have system failures. Your system provides clues to impending failure, so it's important to pay attention. It's also a good idea to have an ongoing relationship with a plumber you trust. Don't hesitate to call The Pink Plumber at the first sign of trouble.