With owning a home there comes added maintenance and repairs that you as the homeowner are in charge of taking care of. All the way from yard work to home upgrades to plumbing, it’s up to you to keep your home in tip top shape. The last thing anyone wants is large scale repairs that could have been avoided with regular upkeep. Septic tanks are one of those items that must be regularly cared for, repaired or maybe even replaced. Having your septic tank backup could lead to hazardous and expensive situations. Having a professional plumber like AAA City Plumbing in Charlotte, North Carolina pump out, clean and check your septic tank on a regular basis can help you avoid costly repairs.
How Does A Septic Tank Work?
A typical septic system consists of the septic tank itself, the plumbing pipes and a drainage field. The septic tank is buried within the ground near your home. When you flush your waste in your home it travels through one main drainage pipe into the septic tank. Once the waste is in the septic tank, it’s the tanks job to hold the wastewater while the bacteria inside works to separate the waste out. The solids will settle to the bottom creating what is called sludge. A layer of scum, mostly consisting of oil and grease, will rise to the top. A series of compartments and a T-shaped outlet with a filter will help prevent solids or sludge from leaving the septic tank. Once the waste has been separated and the scum rises to the top, the overflow, which is called effluent, will travel into a distribution box. From there it flows into perforated pipes into the drainage field. A drainage field is a shallow excavated area that has been filled with porous materials such as sand and gravel, and then covered in soil. From the drainage field the liquid can then safely filter into the soil.
Septic Tank Maintenance
Depending on the size of your tank and how many occupants reside in your home will determine how often you need to have your septic tank pumped. On average it is recommended to have your tank pumped every three to five years. However, if you have a larger family you may need to have it pumped yearly. AAA City Plumbing provides septic tank services such as pumping in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. What happens is the sludge will build up over time causing there to be less room for the liquids to rise and be distributed appropriately. If the effluent is frequently being processed into the drainage field this could cause for your field to flood because it’s not given ample time to dry or evaporate. Another problem that could occur is the sludge then begins to be distributed into the drainage field as well. This would present hazardous and toxic materials to be exposed. Clean up for such situations is something no one ever wants to have to go through. You should try to keep a lookout for overflow flooding. Signs to watch for could include:
- Wet spots in the area
- Bad odor
- Too much vegetation
- Really lush grass
- Waste materials
Another possible sign of your septic tank having an issue is if the drains within your home are draining slowly. Also, if there is backflow present this could represent a septic tank issue.
Avoiding Septic Tank Damages
It’s okay to have grass grow over your septic system area. However, be sure to check with a professional before planting any shrubs or trees nearby. The roots could grow down and potentially damage the septic system. It is recommended to never plant directly over the system. If the roots infiltrate the system, it could cause for those toxic materials to become exposed to the surface. Another thing to avoid is driving vehicles or heavy machinery over the system. You could potentially crush it. Also, don’t park or drive over the drainage field. This can compact the draining material and soil causing the effluent to seep out and flood. As stated prior, keeping up on the maintenance of your tank will also help you avoid problems such as overflow flooding. Another very important thing to take into consideration that most don’t really think about is the type of things you put down your drains. Family Handyman provides us with a few ways to not abuse your septic system.
- Don’t flush non-decomposable items, or hard to compose items, such as diapers, cigarette butts, paper towels, feminine hygiene products or coffee grounds.
- Don’t heavily use your garbage disposal. Sending too much waste too quickly or too often can clog the system.
- Don’t put household chemicals down the drain such as disinfectants or antibacterial soaps. These will kill the bacteria in the tank causing the system to not separate waste properly. Most systems are able to handle light use of these products, just don’t overdo it.
The best thing you can do is to just remember to be conscientious about your septic tank system. Do your best to minimize waste and avoid physically damaging your system directly.
Why Use A Professional?
You may think to yourself, “I can handle this myself and then I’ll save some money.” Wrong! Without proper equipment and training you could end up damaging your system. In the end you would spend more money having to hire a professional for a large repair or even replacement. Replacing your septic system is an extensive and expensive process. Replacement includes completely digging up the area where the system is to gain access leaving your yard in shambles. If properly managed, your septic system should last anywhere from 25-40 years. AAA City Plumbing servicing Mecklenburg, North Carolina hires only the best of the best. All plumbers are licensed and trained with frequent training to stay up to date on all processes and equipment. With over 30 years of experience, our knowledgeable plumbers are able to quickly assess your issue, find a solution and repair it efficiently.
No matter the issue, AAA City Plumbing can help you six days a week. However, we also have emergency servicing 24/7 for those sudden, and inconvenient, plumbing emergencies. Things that need immediate attention from a plumber constitute as an emergency. A few examples of an emergency are pipe leaks, drain backups, clogged and overflowing toilets, flooding, or water heater problems. Anything that can cause further damage to your home by not being immediately addressed.