If your new house comes complete with a septic tank instead of municipal sewer services, you may not be familiar with the care it will require. For instance, to keep your septic tank running smoothly you should have it pumped out at least once every three to five years. It's also important to avoid over-using things like bleach and other cleaning solvents that can destroy the healthy bacteria inside the tank. In addition, you should know that your tank will give you some subtle – and not-so-subtle – hints when it's time to be serviced. Here are four questions you might find yourself asking once it's time to empty your tank.
What's That Smell?
All of the drains in your house empty out into your septic tank. Once your septic tank starts to fill up, the gases that have been building up inside will start to escape back through the drain pipes. When that happens, you're going to start noticing foul odors coming up through the drains. As soon as you notice those odors, you should have your septic tank serviced.
Why Are the Drains Clogging So Much?
Once your septic tank reaches near-capacity, small amounts of raw sewage will back up into the drains. As the drains get filled with debris, you'll start experiencing more clogs. That's because the water and sewage that's flowing out of your home is running out of space to flow to. Having your septic tank serviced should alleviate the clogs.
What's That Sound Coming from the Toilet?
Virtually all the human waste that gets flushed out of your house goes down the toilet drain. If your septic tank is getting too full, the drain pipes that run from the toilets to the tanks will have a difficult time pushing the solid waste through. As the drain pipes get full, you'll start hearing a gurgling sound coming up from the septic tank. That's basically your septic tank telling you that it's running out of room and it's about to push everything back up into your house. If you're hearing those gurgling sounds, you need to have your septic tank pumped as soon as possible.
Why is There Raw Sewage in the Bathtub?
By the time your septic tank goes through the odors, clogs and gurgles, it will be ready to back up. If that happens, you might find raw sewage floating in your bathtub – which is not only a clean-up nightmare but also a health hazard. Raw sewage contains bacteria that can cause several diseases including Typhoid, Cholera and Hepatitis A. If your septic tank backs up into your tub, you'll need to have your septic tank pumped out immediately. You'll also need to have a plumber come out and clean the drains.
If this is your first experience with a septic tank, you need to know how to care for it properly. To avoid asking the questions described above, be sure to take proper care of your septic tank. Contact a company like Elliott's Septic Service if your tank needs to be pumped.