Caring for your septic system is a significant preventative maintenance activity because it can save your home from horrific and costly sewage failures. This is how to care for your septic system!
This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!
Pumping your tank on a timely schedule can save you the significant expense of cleaning up a septic spill or replacing a septic field. When a tank is not pumped regularly, it will fill up and back up into the house. It will also drain and leach into the surrounding soil. This sewage sludge contaminates the soil and prevents it from draining properly. You can save thousands of dollars by doing these tasks. Avoiding or forgetting them can cause severe soil damage. Repair costs can range from $8,000-$20,000 per incident.
Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, Handyman, or Septic Company
How To Care For Your Septic System | Task Steps
Step 1 – Inspect Your System
- Locate your sewage tank, where the sewage comes out of your home into the tank, and then out to the leach field. If you do not have a drawing of this, you can usually obtain one from the local health department. This will indicate where the system is installed and particularly where the access is for pumping out the tank. A septic pumping company will need this.
- Note the location of the sewage clean-out access for future reference.
- Check to see if your house has a rotating leach field (multiple leach fields).
- Note – It is a good idea to have a barrier to prevent any vehicles or equipment from driving over your tank.
- Walk over the area in the direction you think the sewage is flowing and inspect the ground for extra green grass or sogginess. This, along with obvious sewage backup or smell coming into the house, is the first sign that the system is experiencing a problem.
- Pumping the septic tank every 2-3 years will prevent significant problems.
- Now is a good time to take your “before photo” for the task.
Step 2 – If You Have a Rotating Leach Field…
- If you have a rotating leach field, there will be a diversion valve, which needs to be switched every year.
- This valve is usually located in a four-inch pipe in the yard.
- You should have a valve key somewhere (usually kept in the garage or basement).
- The valve key should look like a steel rod with a hook or a catch at the end. The rod can be from three to five feet long.
- Take the cap off the 4″ pipe and insert the key into the valve. You might need a flashlight to look down into the pipe to see how to insert the valve key. Turn one way or the other to transfer waste from one field to the other.
- Everything should be in working order till next year.
- Now is a good time to take your “during photo” for the task.
- Tool List: Valve Key
Step 3 – Schedule to Have the Septic Tank Pumped
- If you notice something off when inspecting the septic field, HomeManager strongly urges homeowners to call a professional to help with the situation.
- If you haven’t had your septic tank pumped in the last 3 years, you should plan on scheduling one soon to help prevent a horrible sewage problem.
- Note–a certified waste pumping company must do septic pumping.
- Now is a good time to take your “after photo” for the task.
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