outdoor plumbing

Septic tanks are a significant part of plumbing systems, particularly to homes that are not connected to the sewers in Hidden Valley. Septic tanks are in charge of processing all the wastewater a household generates. When your septic system malfunctions, your sewage discharge has nowhere to go and returns to your home, untreated and unsafe.

Septic tank failure, however, is a dangerous issue to tackle. You will need to hire an expert plumber to fix the problem for you. To know when to call for help for septic tank failures in the first place, we have put together the four most common septic tank problems below:

1. A Lack of Maintenance

Your septic system works by directing all your wastewater into a septic tank. Heavy impurities separate from the water inside the tank and settle to the bottom as sludge. Oil and grease, which are light contaminants, float to the surface of the wastewater as scum. After the sludge and scum have separated, the septic tank pumps the water into the drain field. The scum and sludge remain contained within the tank, preventing contamination of the groundwater.

Some of the sludge and scum in the tank naturally decompose over time, but not all of it. You can remove built-up sludge and scum by pumping out your septic tank at least once every three years. If you don’t, the scum and sludge inside the tank will continue to build up, taking too much space or perhaps beginning to drain into the soil with the treated water.

2. Excessive Use of Water

Septic tanks have a limited capacity. They can only handle a specific amount of wastewater at any given time.

Your septic tank is built to handle a specified flow rate of water, depending on the size of your home. It should discharge wastewater at the same rate or quicker. However, it cannot do that if it has taken on a lot of water. When this happens, the tank fills up before it can be emptied. Because the sewage cannot enter the full tank, it must be disposed of elsewhere. This usually leads back to you, either through your pipes or onto your lawn.

If your septic tank cannot handle your water usage, it is most likely because it is not fit for your needs. It is also possible that outside drainage or runoff flooded the septic tank, which overloaded the system.

3. Damage or Leaks

Several factors can harm septic systems. If any of the four essential components of a septic system (the pipe connecting your home to the septic tank, the tank, the drain field, and the surrounding soil) are damaged, the system could be jeopardized. Varied types of damage have various effects on the septic system. Damage that appears small at first can often progress to something more serious over time.

Tree roots are one of the most common causes of septic system failure. Tree roots can dislocate or puncture pipelines and break into the tank itself as they grow. Even if roots do not cause direct harm to the pipe or tank, they might obstruct drain lines. 

Crushing components and compacting soil, paving, or driving on the drain field can also cause major damage to the septic system.

4. Improper Septic Tank Installation

Septic systems must be buried in a specific type of soil at a specified depth. If the drain field soil is overly wet, it will not be able to properly treat sewage before discharging it. Sewage will instead reach groundwater while it is still tainted.

Your drain field will not be able to absorb all of the sewage if there isn’t enough soil beneath the bottom of the drain field trench (vertical separation distance). Every other system component must be carefully installed. The drain line or distribution box may not work properly if it’s not level. 

In conclusion

These are just four of the most common reasons for septic tank failure. There are many more you must watch out for, which is why you need the help of an expert plumber. Just like any component in the home, your septic system needs assessment and maintenance to prevent serious problems from arising. 

If you’re concerned that your septic system wasn’t installed properly, hire a licensed plumber from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing! It is critical to be as proactive as possible to avoid septic tank failures. If your septic tank fails, however, you can trust our experts to fix them. Give us a call to hire our plumbing services in Hidden Valley, California!