Homeowners with a septic system will hardly be able to tell the difference between that and being on a municipal sewer system until there’s a problem. When a septic system is functioning properly, all liquid wastewater will leave the home through toilets, sinks, tubs, and appliances and get processed in the septic tank before it gets released back into the underground water table. However, solid waste that ends up in the septic tank will settle at the bottom and slowly start to build up over time. That is why homes with a septic system require regularly scheduled septic tank cleaning and maintenance to avoid an issue like the septic tank backing up.
If you start to notice that the sinks and tubs are slower to drain, that is usually a sign that something isn’t working quite right and you may want to call in the professionals for some preventative maintenance before an emergency issue like a sewage backup occurs. Here are five reasons why your septic tank may be backing up:
A Clog in the Pipes
The first thing that might come to mind when you notice a backup is that there may be a clog in the pipes. Clogs can occur anywhere, starting with the pipes that take wastewater from the home and deposit it into the septic tank. A clog may be made of solid waste or items that should not be flushed. If there is a clog in the pipes then this can obstruct wastewater from moving into the septic tank to be treated and moved through to the drain field.
A Full Tank
Another reason why your septic tank might be backing up is if the tank is full. Over time, solid waste will build up and require a septic tank pumping to be removed. The buildup of solid waste means there will be less room in the septic tank for liquid waste to be treated and processed. When the septic tank is full, there is nowhere for the wastewater to go once it gets into the plumbing under the home.
A Clogged Drain Field
Sometimes a septic tank backup may occur when there is a clog in the drain field. This part of the septic system is also underground and is a series of perforated pipes that slowly allows the treated wastewater to leach back into the water table. It is possible for the drain field to get clogged or for the pipes to get damaged with plant roots, soil, or rocks underground.
Using Non-Flushable Items
The septic system isn’t designed to process everything you might want to send down the drain. There are some items that should never be flushed down the drain because they can cause clogs or damage that lead to costly repairs. Even items that are marketed as flushable will not always break down properly inside a septic tank, like wipes or feminine products. When in doubt, throw solid items away instead of sending them into the septic tank and adding to the buildup of solid waste.
An Overloaded Septic Tank
The septic tank can become overloaded when you send too much water through the plumbing at one time, especially if the tank is nearly full. You can avoid overloading your septic tank by spacing out your water usage. For example, try to avoid running the washing machine and dishwasher at the time while one person takes a bath and another person takes a shower. That sends a lot of water into the septic tank all at once and if the tank is full then there won’t be anywhere for the water to go but back into the home.
What to Do When the Septic Tank Is Backing Up
If you start to notice backups in the drains and toilets of your home, do not attempt to DIY septic repairs, you would want to call in the professionals. Our team of technicians at Septic Masters, LLC provides comprehensive septic tank services to address all routine and emergency issues. We provide septic tank cleaning and pumping services, inspections, maintenance, repairs, and more. Septic Masters, LLC also has technicians available day or night, 365 days a year, so you can always get the help you need in a timely manner.