What To Do When Your Septic System Is In Trouble

Blue Diamond ET80

No homeowner wants to wake up and find that there’s a major issue with part of their home. Certain things are unavoidable – broken glass from the wind, excess rainwater, faulty appliances – but what about the components that people don’t think of often? 

One of them is the home’s septic system. Though it’s almost completely hidden from view, unfortunately, sometimes they do have problems. If you think that your septic system is in trouble, the smartest thing that you can do is call a professional – but what are some of the most common septic tank problems? 

It may help to know, because if you have a general idea of what’s wrong with your septic tank, you’ll know what to tell the septic services professional over the phone or via email. 

Common Issues With Your Home’s Septic System 

Leaks: This happens when something goes wrong with either the septic tank itself, or the pipes that lead to and from it. Leaky septic tanks may cause soggy ground, unpleasant odors and even water coming back and into the home when it shouldn’t. While this is a huge problem, it’s usually easy to diagnose, even though you’re unable to see the cracks. 

Broken septic aerator: The aerator is responsible for introducing oxygen into the septic system. When a septic aerator stops working, the system still functions, though at a much slower pace. In an aerator septic system, the design is meant to treat water faster, meaning that there is often not as thorough a second step. Without a fully functional JET aerator, what’s released back into your drainfield is likely not as clean as it could be.

Non-functional septic pump: Your septic pump is responsible for keeping the water level in your septic system steady. If this breaks – either because you lose power or there’s a faulty part – the water level rises, which is a danger to the system. Examples of quality choices for septic pumps are the Blue Diamond ET80 and the other pumps in the same product line. 

Unpleasant odor: Sometimes, your septic tank simply smells – and that’s the only issue. While an odor may be the result of cracks or other problems, there is a solution that will eliminate smell quickly. Septic tank treatment is added directly into the tank, and this additive helps to encourage bacterial growth and decrease scents. While it’s recommended that you let the pros add items like this to your septic system, it is possible to do it yourself. 

Don’t Panic. Your Septic System Can Be Saved

Since the septic system is responsible for such an important  task for your household, it’s normal to feel anxious if you believe there’s a major issue. 

But that’s what the professionals are there for. Not only can a septic services pro actually perform repairs and replacements, but they’re more than willing recommend the right products for your needs, too. Whether you need to replace your aerator motor, septic pump or just need some product to treat the tank’s contents, they’ve got you covered! 

When Do You Need Septic Tank Treatment?

natural septic treatment

Even if your septic tank is performing well, you may need to consider doing some “in between” maintenance on it. It doesn’t matter if the septic aerator motor or the septic pump are brand new. The integrity of the septic tank lids and septic system covers might not be in question … but that doesn’t mean that the contents are where they need to be.

One option to fix this is by using natural septic treatment. There are a whole list of options that septic services professions don’t want people to flush through their systems – and when people ignore this and do introduce these things, it becomes hazardous. 

What Not to Put Into Your Septic Tank

  • Harsh chemicals like bleach, insect or weed killers, and solvents, like alcohol or nail polish remover
  • Solids like paper towels, cloth, feminine products or plastic
  • Grease, fat and oil
  • Paint
  • “Gritty” items like cat litter or coffee grounds

Small amounts of things like grease, coffee grounds or paint aren’t going to cause huge issues, but the more of these things that enter the system, the more taxing it is on your septic tank. 

It may not seem like a big deal to occasionally introduce these into your septic tank, but it actually is. Think about it this way: a napkin or piece of plastic within the septic tank may get caught around the aerator motor, causing the motion to become impaired – or, over time, stop entirely. 

When this happens, you’ll need to repair or replace your aerator … and that involves a lot of extra work. 

What Septic Tank Treatment is Available?

For all of the things  that you shouldn’t introduce into your system, there are many septic tank treatment options for those looking to improve the overall health of the contained environments within the tank.

Septic tank health relies on the presence of healthy bacterial colonies. This bacteria works with the oxygen in order to break down solids within the system and “digest” them over time, which treats the water. This type of septic tank treatment is considered natural septic treatment, as it happens over time and requires no input or interference on your part.

But are there other types of treatments, too? 

The answer is yes. 

Septic tank treatment like Fresh Lemon Blue is an additive to your septic tank that promotes bacterial growth. It includes enzymes that work to break down individual types of solids, which helps improve function overall. 

To add this to your system, simply lift septic tank lids or septic system covers, and follow the instructions on the package. While septic service pros will be able to treat the system this way, the process is simple enough that the average homeowner can do it, too. 

Understanding Your Septic System

The overall goal of every homeowner is to keep their household running smoothly. This includes all components with – and beneath – your home, and your septic system is no exception. The more you know about it, the better off you will be when it comes to picking the products and services that suit your needs. 

Start researching the best options for your home’s septic system today! 

Can I upgrade my septic pump?

septic system pumps
Making upgrades to your septic system pumps has never been easier!

When you purchase a home that includes a septic system, you’ll probably ask yourself a lot of questions. These might include some of the following. 

  1. Where is my septic tank located and how do I access it?
  2. How old is my septic tank?
  3. What are the different parts of my septic system?
  4. Where can I go for septic system maintenance and repair? 
  5. Who does septic tank maintenance?
  6. How often do I need to have a septic tank inspection?
  7. Can I upgrade or replace parts of my septic system?

The answers for all of the above are simple – you just need to know where to look – and what to look for. 

Upgrading septic tank pumps is easy

Like with other home systems that include many parts, changing and replacing internal portions of your septic tank doesn’t need to be complicated. One of the parts that often needs repair are septic pumps. These are tasked with facilitating the movement of water through the home’s septic system and into the drain field, as well as introducing more oxygen into the contained water. 

Since they are made with moving parts and are constantly in use, they tend to wear down. Replacing them is one thing – but upgrading septic tank pumps is another. 

Many people choose to upgrade their systems and install larger or more powerful pumps. This helps your septic tank become more efficient, and reduces the strain put on each individual pump. Think of it this way: the more powerful the pump, the less it will struggle to keep up with increased water flow. If you have a small pump in your septic tank, it will need to do more work – and likely lead to it breaking down sooner. 

Answering those other septic tank questions

You might be new to septic tank maintenance, but septic tank service professionals are not. These people are capable of performing tasks like septic tank inspections, parts replacement, pumping and even installations and removals. Basically, they can do it all – and all you’ll need to worry about is choosing the right company. 

If you’re not ready to reach out to a septic service pros yet, do some research of your own. In many cases, the deed to your home as well as property information blueprints include information about the location, age, size and other specifications of your septic tank. Since a septic tank inspection must be done before selling a home, this information is also often available in your home inspection report. This is how buyers are able to avoid surprises with damaged tanks after they buy their dream home. 

For more information on septic tank parts, services and general knowledge, visit http://septictank.wpengine.com/. This site puts a wealth of information at the tips of your fingers – and is a great place to start! 

The more you know about your septic system, the better prepared to maintain it you will be. It’s not a home system that needs constant attention, but being sure to follow the suggested maintenance schedule for inspections and pumping goes a long way.

Where in the septic system do the septic system pumps go?

septic system pumps

Septic systems typically include a pipe running from your home, a large tank with 2 or more chambers, and a drain field.  Under certain circumstances, septic system pumps or a septic aerator may also be necessary.

Some systems require septic system pumps

To understand why septic tank pumps are sometimes necessary, you first need to know how a septic system works.  When you have a septic system, all wastewater flows from your house and into the septic tank.  In the first chamber of the tank, the wastewater settles into 3 layers: oils, liquids, and solids.  The middle layer (the liquid) then flows into another chamber where it can settle further. Bacteria work to breakdown solids and the water eventually is sent to a drain field.  In some septic systems, the water flows out of the tank naturally, but sometimes a septic tank pump is needed. The pump can be submerged (usually in the last chamber of the tank) and pumps water to the drain field.  

Whether or not you need septic pumps can depend on the conditions in your yard and the amount of water that needs to flow through your septic system.  For example, if the box that distributes water to the drain field is at a higher elevation than your septic tank, gravity will not cause the water to flow that way so you will need a septic tank pump.  Your septic system installers and service providers can help you determine which septic tank pumps are best for you based on the elevation of your system components and the amount of water that will flow through the system to maximize efficiency.  Your septic service providers will need to ensure that the pump can handle the amount of water discharged from large appliances (such as dishwashers and washing machines) but that it also gives the water time to flow through the drain field.

Septic tank aerators

Another component that is sometimes included in a septic system is a septic tank aerator.  In a typical septic system, the bacteria that help breakdown waste in the septic tank are anaerobic – meaning they work with little to no oxygen.  A septic tank aerator draws air from outside the tank and distributes it in the tank through tubes so aerobic bacteria can help breakdown waste. A septic tank with an aerator usually has 3 chambers and the septic aerator is located in the second chamber.  

The advantage to a system with a septic aerator is that the aerobic bacteria are usually faster and more effective.  The effluent that flows from a septic system with a septic aerator is usually cleaner than effluent from a system without an aerator.  Visit www.wastewaterpro.com/ to learn more about septic tank pumps and septic aerators.  

What are the Different Kinds of Septic Pumps?

HP 80 aerator pump

Maintaining the wastewater disposal system in your home or business is one of the most important things you can do to make sure your property retains and increases its value.  If your property is located in a larger metropolitan area, you may not have a septic system. Today, most municipalities have their own wastewater treatment plants. These facilities provide clean water to customers within the metro limits, and also take care of disposing of their wastewater for them.  Customers pay a monthly fee that is based on usage.  

Those who have property in more rural areas do not pay these fees, but are instead responsible to install and maintain a wastewater treatment system in compliance with state and local regulations.  This is called a septic system.

Not all septic systems require a pump.  Those classified as anaerobic break down solid wastes by allowing the anaerobic bacteria naturally present in the solid waste material to eventually consume it.  Some property owners prefer this kind of wastewater disposal system because it has no mechanical parts and is therefore cheaper to install and maintain.  

Aerator septic systems are known to be a bit more efficient in breaking down solid wastes.  This type of system may be appropriate for businesses that express a large amount of wastewater daily, or for homeowners who are particularly concerned about the impact of their wastewater on the environment.  These systems use a pump to add air into the wastewater as it is held in a treatment tank. This facilitates the introduction of aerobic bacteria. The combination of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria is more efficient for breaking down solid wastes.

Septic Pumps: HP 80 Aerator from Hiblow

As mentioned above, an aerator septic system requires a pump.  Knowing which pump to get is an important first step in disposing of wastewater in a manner that is efficient for your property and consistent with your values.  There are a few different kinds of pumps available. Here, we will discuss the HP 80 aerator which is made by the Hiblow company.  These are a few of its specifications: 

  • It is appropriate for most 500/600 gpd aerobic septic systems.  These systems are an “industry standard” that are installed in many residential and commercial properties.  Therefore, this pump is quite likely to be a good fit much of the time.
  • These HP 80 aerator pumps are known for being very quiet.  One of the best features of any wastewater disposal system is being able to count on it day in and day out without even knowing it is there.  Having a quiet aerator pump is, of course, important to this end.
  • The “80” in the name of this pump stands for the amount of liquid displacement that takes place each minute.  So, the pump will displace 80 liters of water each minute.  
  • When it comes to cleaning wastewater, keeping the water moving is just as important as introducing oxygen and aerobic bacteria into it. This type of pump is known to be very durable.  It does come with a two-year warranty to put your mind even more at ease.