Murphy’s Law all too often applies to septic systems because “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”. That’s why this particular article discusses classic septic problems and how you can prevent them. Another way to say this is with this proactive principle: “A stitch in time, saves nine”. In other words, by staying one step ahead of possible problems, you can help eliminate certain issues.
One Septic Problem: Buying The Wrong Sized Tank.
When you bought your septic system tank, you probably used some kind of formula to determine the best size for your home’s or farm’s needs. For example, if you have a one- to two-bedroom home of around 1,500 square feet, you most likely purchased a 750-gallon septic tank. Or, on the larger size of the spectrum, you could have chosen up to a 1,250-gallon septic system tank for a home with four bedrooms and approximately 3,500 square feet. But whatever the size of the system you have, you may be processing more sewage than your tank can hold, which can lead to the kinds of problems that you really don’t want worry about in the middle of the night, or any other time.
More Classic Septic Problems: Choosing The Wrong Type of Tank.
Perhaps you bought concrete when you should have gone with plastic or polyethylene. Maybe you opted for fiberglass instead of the other types of tanks. While concrete is typically a safe choice and is the most popular material used in septic tanks, you would have needed big, heavy machinery to install it on your property. And when you’re digging a big hole to place a big tank, you always run the risk of digging through a pipe, cutting an electrical cable, or otherwise nicking an important lifeline to your home. That’s another reason why you should always be in contact with someone in your county or your town to verify local building codes and septic system regulations.
A Third Septic Problem: Your Tank Design Does Not Allow Percolation.
When you installed your tank, you probably chose to have a percolation area –– also known as a soak-away –– that is used for infiltration. Here, you can treat the outflowing of your raw sewage that can be soaked into the soil. However, if you have permeable soil that has a higher infiltration rate than other areas, your discharge area can be smaller and less spread out as it percolates into the ground. The result? Not enough percolation can cause wastewater to bubble into pools near your septic system, which, in turn, can indicate that you have a serious problem on your hands that you most likely don’t want to personally handle.
Classic Septic Problems #4: Neglecting Your Septic Tank Drain Field.
You tune-up your car or truck every 50,000 to 60,000 miles with new spark plugs, timing belts, air filter, fuel filter, and oil changes. You always keep your tractor running at all costs. You probably even get an annual physical to keep your body at optimal health. But if you don’t regularly schedule to have your septic system pumped or cleaned at least every two years or three years––as recommended by your septic system installation company––you could be asking for big trouble. After all, neglecting your drain field could allow solid waste, scum, and/or sludge to enter your drain field and damage it. Again, standing wastewater is a huge red flag and a malodorous sign of neglect.
Another problem is a clog or a blockage in the pipes between your home and your septic tank; in fact, it’s a very common issue. If your tank is overfilled or if sometime is clogging the line, make sure that your effluent filter is working properly. Its job is to keep small particles of solid waste from getting into your drain field.
Ventilating Your Septic System.
You switch on your air conditioner to ventilate a hot bedroom. You turn on a fan to blow your kitchen stove’s smoke outside. So ventilating your septic system and its percolation trenches is equally important.
Keeping The Right Bacteria Balance.
Another problem is maintaining the delicate balance of bacterial organisms in your septic tank. These millions of microbes help break down the solid waste and help prevent it from entering your tank. And be careful not to flush too much bleach, ammonia or laundry soaps into your drain because they can kill the good microbes.
The Final Septic System Problem: Maintaining and Operating Your System.
When you install your septic system, your installer will recommend a maintenance schedule to keep it running properly. As stated in #4 above, we recommend that it be serviced every two to three years through an up-front maintenance contract to keep your septic tank system to help it work optimally. If you happened to forget to have it inspected, maintained or flushed during that time span, you should contact a professional.
Still Having Classic Septic Problems?
Call Pro Rooter & Septic at (559) 623-2340. We’ve been proudly serving the good folks in the Fresno and Clovis area for more than 40 years. We provide up-front free estimates and same-day service for Central Valley septic problems, from Madera and Fresno County in the north, to Kings, Tulare and Kern County in the south. With 11 locations to serve you, we’re typically less than two hours away to visit your home, farm, ranch, or office.
All Pro Rooter & Septic field technicians are licensed, bonded, and insured for all residential and commercial plumbing and septic issues. Plus, we back all of our work with a 100% guarantee –– or your money back––and provide 100% financing if you need it. Some limitations apply.
Call us today for residential septic tank selection and installation. But we also offer pumping, commercial / industrial pumping services; as well as septic certifications; plumbing issues from toilets to tubs, sinks to faucets; residential / commercial re-piping; hydro-jetting; water heater installations and repairs; sewer camera and locating; drain and sewer cleaning; leaky pipes; and more.