If you are a homeowner with a septic system, you know how to use your senses to stay alert about potential issues that might occur. While preventative maintenance is the best way to stop a backed up septic system before it even starts, it is also important to know how to use your ears, eyes and nose to spot a problem before it gets out of hand.
Some of the most common signs of problems with a septic system include sounds, sights and smells. If you have gurgling septic pipes, it could be indicative of a much bigger problem. Your best bet is to contact a professional service provider who can conduct some septic system troubleshooting tests and help it to work properly.
How to Use Your Senses
We all know the normal sounds of water and waste moving through the drains of our home. That being said, any unusual sounds will generally alert us to the idea that something isn’t right. Gurgling septic pipes are usually a sign of a backed up septic system that is clogged. The pipes that are connected to the system will make a very distinct gurgling sound. If you have ever heard this before, you know exactly what this sounds like.
Once you use your ears to hear that you have gurgling septic pipes, it is important to confirm the extent of the problem. The next thing to check is your drain or leach field. If there is flooding or puddles of water above your septic system, chances are good that you have a backed up septic system. This flooding is also sometimes accompanied by a distinct “sewage” odor in the area surrounding your drain or leach field.
Another thing to check for is the operation of other plumbing within the home. For example, part of septic system troubleshooting is to identify whether or not drains and toilets are operating more slowly than usual. In the case of a severely backed up septic system, some drains will back up completely, causing standing water and possible sewage to come up in shower drains or sinks. If you see, hear or smell any of the symptoms of a backed up septic system above, contact your septic system repair or maintenance service right away.
What Causes Gurgling Pipes?
While gurgling pipes are usually a sign of a backed up septic system, there are different situations that can cause your pipes to gurgle. This is why it is important to contact a professional septic system troubleshooting company right away. While some problems can be small and easy to fix, others could be more complex and might cause more damage if left unchecked for too long.
The gurgling sound in the pipes can be caused by a blockage between the pipes that connect the plumbing in your house to your septic system. Gurgling septic pipes can also be caused by a plugged house sewer vent or blockage within the pipes between the drain or leach field and the septic tank itself. Other more serious issues, such as septic drain field failure, can also cause your plumbing to make those distinctive gurgling noises.
Other Types of Gurgling
Another area of the home to keep any eye on is the toilet, as this is where the most waste will be flushed out of your home. A toilet can make gurgling noises if the water and air inside the pipes isn’t flowing normally. Septic system owners need to be aware that a gurgling toilet, much like gurgling pipes, can be indicative of a potentially backed up septic system. This early warning can give you enough time to contact a professional service to conduct septic system troubleshooting and repair issues before they get out of hand.
A gurgling toilet can also be a sign of a partial clog. In some cases, you can simply use a plunger to apply pressure to the drain line to dislodge the clog. This will allow it to go down into the pipe and will eliminate the gurgling noises. Larger clogs may require the use of a toilet snake tool to dislodge the clog. If the gurgling noises continue in your toilet after using a plunger or toilet snake tool, chances are you have a bigger problem with a backed up septic system.
Prevention is Key
When it comes to problems associated with owning a home that has a septic system, it is important to remember that good septic maintenance and prevention is very important. Signing up for a preventative maintenance program, such as the one offered by All-Clear Septic & Wastewater, is a great way to stay on top of your system with regular check-ups. Never add chemical additives or “septic clean up” products to your system, as many of these can actually hurt your septic system.
Reading all of the tips about septic system ownership can help you to keep your system running clean and healthy. Contact All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services with any questions at 508-763-4311 or visit www.allclearseptic.com