If your home has a septic system, then it is vital that you learn to spot the first signs of a problem. Identifying problems early will save you a lot of money and frustration.
Here are some signs to watch for that signal a problem with your home's septic system that requires immediate attention:
Toilet and Drain Noises
Your home's waste water plumbing is designed to allow for a free flow of water from the drains into the septic tank. If the tank is full, then you will hear bubbling and gurgling noises when your drains are draining or you flush the toilet. These sounds are caused by a slow release of air into your plumbing from the septic tank as it slowly passes water out through its leach lines.
Your home's septic system is designed to always have a space at the top that is filled with air. This air helps the bio-digesting bacteria to dissolve the solid materials in the tank. When there is no air, this is a sign that the tank is full and needs to be pumped out. Without pumping, the noises will increase and eventually your plumbing in the house will backup with raw sewage.
The purpose of a septic tank is to safely dispose of waste water underground so that it does not become a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria. Since all of the processing of the water happens well below ground, you should never smell any sewage smells inside or outside of your home.
If you smell any sewage smells outside of your home, this is a symptom of a septic tank that is overfilled and needs to be pumped, and it's likely that raw sewage is leaking from the top of your tank.
If you smell offensive smells inside of your home, then your septic system might be "off-gassing." Off-gassing can happen in a system where not enough water is being passed through the system. Gasses that would have otherwise been processed and released with the waste water delivered to the leach field instead build up inside of the tank. This gas can travel up into your plumbing and cause offensive odors. To stop the outgassing, you should use more water inside of your home.
By learning to recognize the first signs of septic system problems, you can fix smaller problems before they lead to an expensive system failure. If you have additional questions about how to properly diagnose early problems with your home's septic system, then you should contact a septic system maintenance company like Linn Septic Service in your city or town.