How To Tell Your Septic Tank Is Too Full And Tips For Remembering To Pump It On Time

If you live alone or have a small family, your septic tank may not need to be pumped out very often. You may go so long between service calls that you forget all about your septic tank. That can be a mistake since your tank will fill up eventually and cause problems on your property if it isn't pumped on time. Here are signs your tank needs to be pumped out and ways you can remember not to wait too long.

Signs Your Septic Tank Is Too Full

When your tank is too full to hold any more solids or liquids, the contents of your drains and toilet have to go somewhere else. That could be in your yard. If you smell sewer odors outside or if your grass is soggy with sewage, call for septic pumping without delay.

Other signs your tank is full include clogged drains and a toilet that won't empty. You don't want sewage sludge backing up in your house, so stop using your plumbing and call a septic pumping contractor to clear out your tank.

Dangers Of Not Pumping Your Tank In Time

The main hazard of not pumping your septic tank on time is being exposed to toxic waste. You may have to clean sewage out of your home or yard to keep your kids or pets safe.

Besides being a health hazard, a tank that's too full can cause clogging in the system because solid waste goes where it's not supposed to go, and that can cause problems with the filter, baffles, or distribution box. Then you'll not only have to pay to have your tank pumped, but you'll also have to pay for repairs to your system.

Ways To Remember To Maintain Your Tank

When you have your tank pumped out, the contractor can give you an estimate of when the tank will need to be cleaned out again. Ask if they offer a reminder service. The company may then mail you a notice in a couple of years that it's time to clean the tank.

You might also put a riser on the lid, so the tank isn't hidden from view. You could even put yard decor near the tank lid, so you're reminded of your septic system every time you mow the grass. If you let the grass grow over the lid, the system will be completely out of sight and out of mind.

If you need to have septic pumping done every year or so, add it to your annual chore list so you call for service or at least check the tank when it's time to have your HVAC serviced or when you change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

By making septic pumping a routine chore, you're less likely to forget about your tank, and if you don't need to pump your tank that often, you can clean weeds from the lid or do some other small task that helps keep septic tank maintenance on your mind.


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