Troubleshooting Common Septic Tank Problems – Diagnosis And Solutions

Your septic tank is your on-site waste treatment system. Unfortunately, it’s buried out of sight and out of mind until something goes wrong. Foul odors, slow draining, and sewage backups are not only annoying, but they can be costly.

If you notice sewage backing up into your home drains or wet spots and puddles in your yard, it’s time for Septic Tank Cleaning Perth.

septic tank

Slow Drainage

It can be extremely frustrating when you run a load of laundry or take a shower and the water drains slowly. While a minor slow drain might not cause any damage to your home, it’s important to catch the problem early and fix it before it worsens. If you neglect to address slow drainage, clogs will build up and restrict water flow, which can lead to expensive plumbing repairs.

A simple DIY solution for a drain clog can be achieved with baking soda and vinegar. Instead of purchasing heavy-duty liquid drain cleaner products, mix one part baking soda with two parts white vinegar and pour it down the clogged drain. The reaction between the ingredients can dislodge a blockage caused by soap scum, hair or grease. Repeat this process as needed to keep your home’s drains clear.

Another common cause of slow drainage is aging pipes. Many older homes have copper or cast iron pipes that are deteriorating and partially blocking the drains. If you notice this problem, it’s a good idea to contact a professional plumber for pipe inspection and repair solutions.

You can also try a drain snake to remove a clog without requiring the use of any chemicals. If the clog is due to hair and soap scum, it’s recommended that you invest in a drain strainer or a hair catcher, which will help prevent clogging from occurring in the first place. Additionally, never throw fats, oils, or grease down a drain because they can solidify and clog the drain. Instead, dispose of them in a trashcan or green bin.

If your septic system is the source of the slow drains, you may need to have your tank pumped, unclog your pipes, repair a damaged septic tank line, or install a new one. A septic system treatment can help by supercharging the biology of the septic system to prevent future slow drainage or clogs. In addition, homeowners should regularly inspect both the septic tank and drain field to catch any potential problems. If you’re experiencing multiple slow drains, it’s a sign that there’s a more serious problem with your sewer, vents, or septic system.

Sewage Smells

For homes without centralized sewer systems, septic tanks perform an essential function of treating wastewater right at the source. Wastewater from household sinks, tubs, and toilets drains into a tank underground, where microorganisms break down the waste solids. The bacteria-rich sewage then drains into a soil area called a drain field, where it is naturally cleaned by the groundwater. When a septic system isn’t functioning correctly, it can start to smell awful and cause problems in your home.

Foul odors from your sinks and toilets indicate the presence of a septic tank problem, which may include a leak or a clog. You can try using a septic tank additive to neutralize the odor, but these products are not effective for long-term use and can disrupt the natural bacteria that already exist in your system. It is important to have your septic tank professionally inspected, pumped, and repaired as needed.

Other signs that you have septic system problems are gurgling sounds in your plumbing and puddles in your yard. If your septic system is leaking, it could be due to corrosion of the tank or poor installation. Leaks can also be caused by tree roots that have grown into the pipes or drainfield.

If your septic tank isn’t being pumped out regularly, it will eventually overflow. This will produce a strong sewage odor, and it is best to have your tank emptied as soon as you notice the smell.

Regular septic system pumping should be performed twice per year. To reduce the frequency of septic tank pumping, homeowners should avoid flushing non-organic waste items like cigarette butts and feminine hygiene products down the toilet. They should also limit the amount of cooking oil, coffee grounds, cleaning products, and drain cleaners that are poured down sink and tub drains.

Finally, you should have your septic tank baffles checked and replaced as needed to keep the sewage system from overflowing and causing foul odors in your home. A professional plumber can inspect your septic tank, septic system, and drain field to identify any issues and make repairs as needed.

Sewage Backups

A septic tank system is designed to hold the majority of the solid wastes that enter a home. These materials are broken down into liquid effluent in the septic tank before it is released into the drain field for further treatment. If the septic tank fails to perform, or the drain field fails to properly disperse the effluent, problems can result. Foul odors, slow sink and toilet draining, and sewage backups are all warning signs of potential issues within the septic tank or drain field that require immediate attention.

The bacteria that occupy your septic tank generate gases to break down the waste contaminants. The most common gas is hydrogen sulfide, which has a distinctive rotten egg smell. When these gasses are generated, they are vented out of the septic tank through a mushroom-shaped vent. If this vent becomes blocked by an obstruction, the resulting odors can infiltrate your home and cause unpleasant symptoms.

If you notice the septic tank vent becoming blocked, contact a septic service provider immediately. An expert can figure out the source of the problem and provide an effective solution before it worsens.

A clogged inlet baffle to the septic tank can cause this problem. This is one of the most serious septic tank problems and usually requires professional help. The inlet baffle is designed to prevent solid wastes from entering the septic tank and leach field, but it can become clogged by grease, oils, and toilet paper. A septic tank service professional can clear the inlet baffle and prevent it from clogging again.

The septic tank outlet tee is another critical septic system component. This tee allows the liquid effluent to flow from the septic tank into the distribution box and then into the absorption area. The septic tank float switch is designed to maintain a level of effluent in the outlet tee. If the septic tank is not pumped regularly, this can lead to a high effluent level and a clogged float switch.

The drain field is the last part of a septic system to receive waste from a home. If the drain field fails to adequately treat wastewater or the system is overworked, it can cause sewage backups. You may also notice wet spots in your yard or unpleasant odors near the septic tank and drain field.

Clogged Drains

If your septic system is working properly, waste will travel to your drain field where it’s broken down and absorbed by the soil. But if the tank overflows or there’s a problem with your leach field, you’ll notice foul odors in the home, wet spots, and excessive green growth in the yard. The odors, puddles, and grass growth are signs that your system isn’t processing waste properly and needs to be fixed.

Clogged drains happen even in the best-maintained septic systems. That’s because food and non-flushable items can get into the plumbing. Pouring boiling water down the drain or using a septic-safe drain snake can help with minor clogs. However, if you find that your sinks are constantly clogged, it’s likely time to have the septic tank pumped out.

When the septic tank is full of sludge and scum, it won’t be able to take any more waste from your pipes. This forces the waste to go back into your house drains, causing slow draining and clogs. This can also lead to sewage backups and structural damage to your property.

You can help prevent septic tank overflows by getting it pumped regularly and only flushing the toilets with paper, liquids, and human waste. Avoid putting anything else down the drain, including cooking oils, wet wipes, and hygiene products.

A septic tank that’s overflowing is an emergency and should be dealt with immediately. The overflow will disrupt the balance of bacteria and cause the septic system to fail. The smelly sewage will leak into the home and the yard, resulting in costly repairs.

If you notice a foul odor in the home, wet spots in the yard, and excess green growth, call the experts right away to schedule an inspection. We’ll check the septic tank and drain field and recommend a course of action.