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Most homeowners put off dealing with their septic tanks because let’s face it, a septic tank is not the nicest task to deal with. In fact, it is something that most homeowners would rather not think about, but you don’t want to be too remiss in addressing septic tank repair in Cleveland, TN because failure to properly maintain your septic tank can result in one very messy and expensive situation. Not only can septic tanks fail and leak, but they are expensive to replace so trying to avoid the mess can actually leave you in an even larger mess.
Like most major home systems, septic tanks rarely fail instantly. Instead, they usually slowly corrode and decay until the signs become too evident for you to miss. Throughout this process, however, your septic tank has probably been sending you little signs that it needs repair. If you know how to identify these smaller clues you can hire a plumbing company to come in for septic tank repair before you get to the point where you need to replace your entire system. The following is a brief guide to the common warning signs that you need septic repair in Cleveland, TN along with a few basic maintenance tips.
Bad Odors Inside or Outside of Your Home
Unless someone just used the restroom in your home, you shouldn’t smell feces anywhere inside or outside of your home. If you notice that telltale stench anywhere inside or outside of your home, then you need to contact a plumbing company in Cleveland, TN for septic tank repair. Oftentimes you will first notice the smell of wastes on the lower floors of your home since your sewage system starts at ground level and then raises up. This means that you may first notice the odor in your basement or first-floor sinks and bathroom areas. The bottom line is you shouldn’t smell it anywhere, so this should be a red flag.
The smell of wastes usually means that sludge is starting to build up inside of the septic tank. As the sludge accumulates the smell will get even worse and will probably be very noticeable throughout your home. You need to take this seriously, because the odor is what you smell first, but if you don’t take action soon you will see feces and wastes back up your fixtures along with the bad odors. This is a situation you don’t want to find yourself in, so take the odor as a sign and call for a repair sooner than later.
Keep in mind that you can also notice foul odors outside of your home as well. Even though your septic tank is located outdoors, you should never smell it. If you do this also a sign that sludge may be backing up, or even worse your septic tank may be leaking into the ground which is what is releasing the odors into the air. If you start to smell sewer wastes, take quick action and call for septic repair before the situation gets even worse.
Drains Are Slowing Down
Have you noticed that the sinks in your home are starting to drain slowly? Or maybe the toilet is very slow to empty and fill again. There are a lot of things that can cause this problem, but one of them is problems with your septic tank. If you are only noticing this issue with one sink or fixture then there is a good chance that it is a local issue with a clog so you may want to contact a plumber to help clear the clog.
However, if you notice that the issue is occurring in multiple fixtures throughout your home, there is a much higher chance that the problem is connected to your sewage system which means it is probably time for septic tank repair. Another bright red flag that may be connected to your septic system is if the problem is worse on the first floor because usually, problems occur there first when it involves your septic tank. Either way, it is probably time to call for septic tank repair to avoid the day when your sinks and toilets no longer drain at all.
Backups in Your Drains
Unfortunately, if you fail to notice any of the above signs the next clear sign that it is time for septic tank repair will be actual black sludge that is a mixture of wastes and feces coming out of your home fixtures. At this point, it will be very clear that something is wrong with your septic tank that needs to be addressed. You may see black sludge come out of your sinks, toilets, and floor drains which creates a lot of cleanup for you as the homeowner. It is usually one big smelly mess that no one wants to deal with. If it happens to you once it will stick with you long enough that you will never skip a septic tank cleaning again.
Sometimes however this can occur even with regular septic cleaning if something has happened to your tank or a clogged has formed in the piping. The only way to get to the bottom of the issue is to call for septic tank repair, and at this point, it should be considered an emergency because you won’t be able to use any water in your home at all (unless you want more sludge to pool back out of your lower drains).
Signs Outside of Your Home You Need Septic Tank Repair
As briefly mentioned before, not all signs that you need septic tank repair will appear inside of your home. Some of the most ominous signs that you need septic tank repair will pop up outside of your home tipping you off to the need to call a plumber. For that reason, you need to stay attentive to your surroundings and take note when you see something odd outside instead of writing it off which is easy to do these days.
One clear sign that you need to call someone for septic tank repair outside of your home is the presence of pooling water if there hasn’t been any rain. If it hasn’t rained near your Cleveland, TN home for days, but water is pooling in your yard to the point where you have to put on rubber boots to go out into your yard something is happening.
In this situation, there is a good chance that your septic tank is starting to overflow and needs to be drained and cleaned. If you have recently drained your septic tank, then this may also be a sign that there is a clog in your drain field that is preventing the run-off liquids from properly being distributed. You need to do something about this because it can lead to sinkholes and even worse the pooling water may turn into pooling feces and wastes which is the last thing you want in your yard.
Keep in mind that even if you are usually pretty good about septic tank cleaning in Cleveland, TN, it is possible that your tank is still full. These days a lot of people are staying home from work and school and more and more people are choosing to stay home instead of socializing outside of the home. This means that their home plumbing and septic tanks are getting a lot more use than before. Therefore, while you may have been able to make it five years between cleanings before, now you may only be able to make it three years. Therefore, don’t discount the idea that your septic tank may need attention, and just call for septic tank repair and the technician will inspect all possibilities for you.
Another common outdoor sign that you need to call for septic tank repair is if you notice that the grass located on top of your septic tank is starting to die. The grass should be healthy if everything is fine, but if the grass is starting to turn brown or is simply dying out only over the patch over the tank then this is a pretty clear sign that your septic tank is leaking and the chemicals are starting to affect the grass. You need to do something about this quickly or risk having to completely replace your entire septic tank system. Most homeowners want to avoid this expensive task if at all possible, so the second you suspect or notice dying grass give a local Cleveland, TN plumber a call for septic repair.
How to Properly Care for Your Septic System
Now that you know a few of the common signs that you need septic tank repair, it may be helpful to how to properly maintain your septic system. While a septic system does not require a lot of maintenance, the things it does require can mean the difference between a system that lasts for decades and a system that needs to be replaced within just a few years.
The first thing you can proactively do is make it a point to insect your system every six months visually by walking around your yard and noting anything that appears different. If you see any of the above signs make sure you use this opportunity to call for septic tank repair. Make sure that you keep records of everything you notice and note every single time that you have your septic tank pumped.
On that note, ensure that you pump your septic tank on a regular basis as well. Most septic tank repair companies will suggest that you have your tank pumped every one to three years depending on your household usage. Keep in mind as mentioned earlier, that if you are in your Cleveland, TN home more than usual you will need to book a pump cleaning a bit easier Regular pumping ensures that the solids are being broken down by the chemicals in the tank and will reduce the chances of a clog forming in your drain field that will require septic tank repair. In addition, keeping your septic tank clean will help increase its lifespan.
One way you can help protect your septic system is by watching your overall usage. Water conservation, in general, is a great way to help the environment and your septic tank. If you keep water usage to a minimum then your septic tank will not have to handle as much which will decrease the chances that you will have an unexpected backup or a clog. While you should certainly use water on a daily basis, just being conscious of your water usage can help.
Finally, being very aware of what you are putting down your drains when you use them can help. Reducing the number of chemicals that you flush down your drains such as bleaches, household soaps, paint thinner, detergent, and cleaning solutions can help. Opting to use chemical-free cleaning solutions can be a great way to help protect your septic tank from corrosion. Remember that products that are meant to eat away dirt and clogs will also eat away at your septic tank if you use them on a regular basis leading to a call for septic tank repair.
Other materials that should be flushed down the drain in a home with a septic tank include cooking fats towels and other tissues (remember only toilet paper should go down the toilet drain), flushable wipes, and coffee grounds. In general, if you wouldn’t put it down your kitchen sink it should not go down any sink in your home.
Even with good drain habits sometimes your septic tank will still experience problems. If you find yourself in need of septic tank repair in Cleveland, TN, give Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air a call. We will be happy to come out to your home and get to the bottom of the issue.