Septic tanks can take some getting used to, especially if you've never been responsible for their upkeep before. If given the proper care and maintenance, septic tanks will last you for many years. However, if you neglect them, they'll fail you. When that happens, you're going to be faced with a big mess to clean up. Luckily, your septic tank is designed to give you some warning before it fails. If this is the first time you've ever used a septic tank before, you'll need to familiarize yourself with some of those warning signs. Here are four warning signs you should be aware of.
Foul Odors Coming from the Drains
If your septic tank is getting too full, or has a clog, you might start smelling foul odors coming up from the drains. Those foul odors are often the first warning sign your septic tank will give you about an impending problem. As soon as you smell sewage odors coming from your drains, you should contact a plumber. They'll be able to let you know whether the odors are there because your drains are dirty, or because your septic tank is about to fail you.
The next problem you might experience will be sluggish toilets. As your septic tank fills, it becomes increasingly difficult for waste to flow through the drain pipes. When that happens, your toilets will start having a difficult time flushing the waste away. To determine whether you have a clog in the toilet or a septic issue that will need to be addressed, try flushing both of your toilets. If they're both sluggish, you might have a septic problem.
Once the septic problems get serious, you'll start noticing raw sewage backing up into your home. The places most likely to experience backups will be your bathtub and your toilets. That's because those two plumbing fixtures have direct access to the septic tank. As soon as you discover sewage in your bathtub or around the base of your toilet, contact your plumber immediately. Raw sewage contains harmful bacteria that could make you sick.
Brown Puddles Over Your Septic Tank
After your septic tank overflows, the liquid will have nowhere to go but up – into your yard. That's when you'll notice puddles of brown water in your yard, directly above the septic tank. If you've got brown septic water in your yard, call the plumber. You have a septic emergency.
If you're new to septic use, you need to be aware of the problems you could face if your septic overflows or malfunctions. If you experience any of the problems described above, you're going to need to service your septic as soon as possible. To avoid these problems, you should have your septic pumped at least once every three to five years.
Speak with a local septic service for additional info.