Reed's Plumbing & Excavating

So Your Septic System Failed…

Let’s talk about a few of the reasons a home’s septic system might need repaired or replaced, regardless of the construction material and whether it is a plastic tank, a steel tank or a concrete tank.


Too Much Water Use

Believe it or not, one of the main factors to a septic system that stops working properly is too much water use. As we mentioned above, steel septic tanks, plastic tanks, and a concrete septic tank all have something in common, and that is the fact that their capacity is limited. No matter the tank size, there is still a limit to how much wastewater can be processed at any given time.


A new septic tank or septic tank replacement takes into account the size of your house and the expected water use. Extra people or excessive water use can mean that the tank fills up more quickly than it can process and pump the water out of the system. The tank simply can’t take on anything more. That means what’s coming in has to go elsewhere, such as through pipes or outside the tank as an overflow.


If this is occurring, you may need to discuss your needs with a septic system expert who can make sure you have a properly designed system for your needs today.


Physical Damage

If your septic system is physically damaged, you will definitely reduce the useful lifespan. Along with the tank and drain field, there is also a pipe that connects the tank to your home and the soil around it. Damage to any of these four components can mean trouble for the entire septic system.


As we mentioned above, nearby trees are often a culprit of damage because the roots grow into the septic system itself, breaking and clogging pipes or even the tank.


Driving over the drain field, parking vehicles there, or adding paving or rocks will compact the soil and possibly break things in the process. Regardless of your drain field and soil type, it’s best to keep the area free from interference that can disrupt the pump, pipes, soil conditions, and tank.


Lack of Corrective Action

Lack of corrective action is a significant factor in septic system failure. For that reason, it’s essential to inspect your system routinely and the soil around it to look for signs that something may be off.


What are signals that your system may be in trouble? One of the common signs is a foul smell in the yard that could mean a backup is occurring.


Another thing to watch for is wet grass or standing water in the drain field areas around the tank. Even if you have a high water table, soggy soil around your system can spell trouble and is worth calling an expert to investigate your septic system.


Lastly, slow drainage in your house or backups can mean that a septic system is in trouble and that it’s time to call for system maintenance and possible repair. You can often avoid a more costly septic system problem by taking corrective action early.


Lack of Maintenance

Taking corrective action is great but conducting proper maintenance on a regular schedule is even better when it comes to septic systems. Performing routine maintenance is often the first component to maintaining a long septic system life. Not only does your system benefit from a routine inspection of the tank, pipes, soil absorption field, and more – your professional plumber can also catch early warning signs and take corrective action if needed.


Plan on pumping your tank at least every three years, during which everything from the scum layer and other solids are removed, giving your tank a fresh start. And if you notice any concerns or problems in between cleanings, give your personal plumbing pros at Reed’s a call!