When it comes to your residential or commercial plumbing system, septic tanks can cause quite the headache! For most people, septic tank problems seem overwhelming. They know they have a problem but have no idea how to solve it.

Luckily, the standard septic system isn’t too complex and can continue to work properly for many years with routine maintenance and as-needed repairs. With the right knowledge and timely intervention, you prevent small issues from turning into larger plumbing fiascos.

In this blog, we’ll explore the most common septic tank problems and provide ideas for how to solve them.

Slow Drains

Water that drains slowly is one of the most common issues homeowners face, yet few know how to fix it. When you have a septic system, slow drains are the result of a clog in one of the pipes leading to the main drainpipe, the main drainpipe, or the septic tank itself. Pay attention to where the problem is occurring. Gurgling sounds can sometimes help you determine which drain is blocked. If you only notice that the drains are slow in one appliance, the problem is likely in a single pipe. If your whole house is draining slowly, you may be looking at a larger plumbing problem.

For DIY fixes, try running hot water down the drain for a few minutes. If this simple solution does not work, you can pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain and wait for it to bubble. This will begin to clear debris from the pipe. After about 30 minutes, flush the drain with hot water. Finally, you can try to run a snake down the drain. When you begin to feel where the pipe is clogged, twist the snake to break apart the debris.

If none of these DIY solutions work, or you notice that many drains in your home are not functioning properly, it is possible that something within the septic tank, such as the inlet baffle, is clogged and forcing all of the drains in the home to move at a slower pace. In these types of situations, it is always best to call in a professional septic tank plumber to perform any needed septic tank repair services. They will be able to diagnose a more serious issue that likely has to do with a clog in the actual septic tank. From there, they can determine the right solution and have your drains working again in no time!

Sewage Back-Up

While a slow drain might not cause too much harm, a sewage back-up is a more serious issue and one that must be resolved quickly. If you begin to notice sewage backing up into your toilets, sinks, or other drains, you’ll likely have to have a professional examine your septic tank. If sewage has contaminated items in your home, it’s best to leave it be and let the professionals take care of it.

There are a few reasons why this might be happening. Your septic tank might simply be full, in which case you’d need to get your septic tank pumped ASAP. Having a full tank can cause issues with the solid waste outlet baffle and effluent filter, leading to sewage that is not properly treated. You could also have an obstruction inside your tank that is causing it to be backed up. Sometimes, tree roots or other plant roots can grow into the septic system and cause damage.

In the case of sewage back-up, the solution is always to call a professional. A professional septic system plumber will be able to perform septic plumbing repair to get your tank problem solved and make your system work well.

If sewage back-up has contaminated a lot of household items, you should contact your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company. They will be able to help you file a claim so you can proceed with replacing your lost possessions. The most important thing is that you do not touch anything that has been contaminated, as contact with these items can bacteria and cause you or your family to get sick.

Bad Smells

If you start to notice a bad smell in your home, typically like rotten eggs, there is a good chance your septic tank needs some maintenance. Foul odors are usually a sign that there is a sewage backup or a blockage or could indicate that wastewater is leaving the tank before it has been cleaned. A septic system that is functioning well will not emit any odors.

If you need a quick fix, you can try using a deodorizer in the area, but know that this is not a long-term solution. If you’re experiencing a foul odor, it’s best to contact a plumber as soon as possible to figure out if there is a blockage or if there are septic system components that are broken and in need of repair.

Standing Water

While it might not seem like a serious problem, standing water near your septic tank and drain field is a major concern. There are a few reasons that this might occur. You might have clogged pipes in the drain field that are preventing the proper flow of water. It is also possible that your septic tank is failing because it has not been properly cared for. Even if you have not found pooling water yet, you can detect if it will happen soon by checking the ground near your septic tank to see if it is soggy or has abnormally bright green grass. If you see these signs, call your septic system plumber right away. If you do run into this issue, your plumber will likely need to clear the pipes and/or drain your septic tank.

If left unchecked, these common septic tank problems can cause irreparable damage resulting in the need for a costly system replacement. However, this type of damage is entirely preventable with simple, routine maintenance.

Be Prepared

The best way to ensure you do not experience any of the problems listed above is to properly maintain your septic system. If you conduct regular maintenance on the system yourself or hire a septic tank plumber to do it for you, your system should run smoothly for decades to come. However, if you do begin to experience problems, calling a plumber for septic tank repair services as soon as possible is the best way to keep costs down and avoid major system damage.

If you’re experiencing problems with your septic system or would like routine maintenance done, call Justin Dorsey Plumbing. With over 30 years of experience in the field, our team can handle any problem your system throws our way.

Don’t delay… Contact us today to take advantage of our 24/7/365 service with no after hours or weekend fees. If you call today, we guarantee your problem will be fixed today!