The septic tank is an essential but often overlooked part of a plumbing system. A septic tank holds all the waste poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet. It prevents waste from escaping and polluting the environment. If you live in a rural area and do not have access to the local waste management system, your home will most likely have a septic tank.
Septic tanks are meant to last very long. Taking good care of them will prevent you from an obnoxious nightmare. But even the most careful and attentive homeowner can’t avoid every problem. Below are some common septic tank problems and when you should call a plumber near me in Houston, TX.
The most common issue homeowners face is clogged drains. Usually, there is no cause for concern if it’s just the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or shower that drains slowly. But if all drains are moving sluggishly and sewage backs up into the house, a plumber near me will need to take a closer look at the sewer line.
A septic tank can clog if not pumped for a long time. The frequency of pumping will depend on the size of the tank, how many people live in the home, and how much wastewater flows into it.
Flushing things like wet wipes, cat litter, tampons, condoms, and sanitary pads down the toilet will cause the sewer line and septic tank to clog. Fats, oils, and grease can also cause significant blockages in sewer systems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates around 23,000 to 75,000 sanitary sewer overflows yearly. Most of these are caused by clogs and blockages due to grease trapped in the system.
If you see wastewater around the tank and know it’s not time to pump it out yet, you need to call a plumber near me. The professional will inspect the sewer line to locate the problem. Sometimes things get stuck in the inlet or outlet pipe, or the baffle collapses. A baffle prevents the solid waste from flowing into the drain field.
The roots of trees and shrubs are drawn to moisture, and they quickly find their way to the sewer line. A crack, however small, is enough for roots to force their way inside. Tree roots can completely break pipes and grow through the walls of a septic tank.
To prevent this, avoid planting trees and shrubs with extensive root systems near the sewer line and septic tank. A plumber near me can remove tree roots by hydro-jetting or treating the tank with a root growth inhibitor. In the worst case, you will need to fall the tree or shrubs and remove their roots.
Extra green and lush grass around the septic tank is a telltale sign the tank is leaking. You will also notice foul smells and an increase in insects and rodents. Ground movement and tree roots could cause a tank to crack. When wastewater flows out or groundwater moves in, the tank won’t be able to properly separate the solids, which can result in blockages and backups.
Because septic tanks are underground, it can be hard to notice them, and a vehicle could drive over them or even park on them. This extra weight can cause the tank to crack or even collapse.
Ensure that you clearly mark the location of the septic tank and the drain field to prevent vehicles and heavy machinery from accidentally driving over it. A leaky tank needs to be replaced. A plumber near me may be able to patch up the cracks, but in the long run, you will still need a new tank.
Once a septic tank nears the end of its useful life, it will start having all kinds of problems. Older tanks were often built with only one chamber and no inlets or outlets that could prevent solids from escaping into the drain field.
An old septic tank might still function, but it will give you more and more trouble. Next time you call a plumber near me in Houston, TX, ask the professional about replacing the tank. Do not wait until the tank collapses.
Replacing a septic tank takes time, and the sooner you start the process, the less you have to worry about the inevitable disaster.
Hydrostatic pressure occurs when water under the tank causes it to pop out of the ground. It doesn’t happen often, but it is more likely to occur in certain areas or soil types. This pressure can severely damage the tank and the rest of the sewer system.
Should this occur, a plumber near me might suggest installing another tank or switching to a completely different sewer system.
You must be extra vigilant about your septic tank if you have a well on your property. A faulty septic system can affect your drinking water and cause serious health problems.
In a Nutshell
Proper maintenance and care will make your septic tank last longer and significantly reduce the need for a plumber near me. Do not ignore foul smells, wastewater puddles, and frequent clogs or backups.
While some of the above problems can’t always be avoided, scheduling regular septic tank inspections and pumping will save you a lot of headaches. Regular maintenance will also help a plumber near me detect and solve a problem before it becomes a disaster.
To Be Informed Is to Stay Safe
Homeowners in Houston, TX can benefit from the many services of bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston. We do all plumbing repairs, from detecting leaks to replacing fixtures, fixing frozen pipes, and cleaning drains.
We also install appliances like water heaters, filters, and softeners. Our plumbers will sort out any plumbing issue, regardless of day or time. For further questions and more information, give us a call at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston today.