A backed-up septic tank is no joke. It’s messy, expensive, and a headache to deal with. If your septic tank is backing up regularly and you aren’t sure why, there is probably a deeper problem occurring. Make sure you know the common reasons why your septic tank could be backing up.
Common Causes of a Backed Up Septic Tank
Unfortunately, a clogged septic tank is not a rare problem. Most homeowners experience this issue at least once. On the bright side, that means the causes are fairly common and (mostly) manageable. Common sources of septic tank clogging include the following.
The tank is incorrectly sized.
Much like an incorrectly sized HVAC system, a too-small septic tank simply cannot keep up with the household demand. Whether your home has too many occupants or you use a lot of water, a small tank will probably overflow far before its average 3-5 year pumping.
Something besides toilet paper is in the pipes.
It can be tempting, but never, ever flush items like paper towels, feminine products, diapers, wipes, etc. These items are not meant to dissolve and will quickly clog your septic tank, resulting in backed up drains and even busted pipes.
Water is being overused.
Even if your tank is the right size, excessive use of your washer, shower, toilets, dishwasher, etc. can put a lot of strain on the system. Try not to run all your appliances at once, and space out showers if you can.
The drainfield is flooding.
Your septic tank acts as a passageway from your house to the drainfield. If your drainfield is full from excessive rain or flooding, it may cause the water in your septic tank to overflow.
Your tank is leaking.
Although a septic tank leak might cause interior water to escape, it also allows exterior water to enter. If the outside water has more force than the inside water, the tank might fill up quickly and overflow.
Harsh chemicals are destroying the tank’s bacteria.
Some septic tank additives actually cause more harm than good, destroying vital bacteria that break down waste and allow water to escape to the drainfield. Additionally, be careful not to pour harmful chemicals down your drains, as they can have the same effect.
Tips for Dealing with a Backed Up Tank
So, if your tank is backed up, what should you do? In a nutshell, a healthy septic system relies on two things: personal maintenance and professional maintenance. Apply the following tips to prevent and deal with a clogged septic tank.
- Slow down on usage.
- Inspect your system visually.
- Contact a professional for a septic system inspection.
- Pump your tank every 3-5 years.
- Be careful what you send down your pipes.
How Can Norway Septic Help?
Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.