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What Happens When a Septic Tank Backs Up

August 4, 2023

No one wants to deal with a backed-up septic tank. For one thing, the situation can quickly turn from inconvenient to disastrous, causing significant damage in the process.

Not only that but it can impact your home’s property value as well.

What happens when a septic system backs up? How can you prevent it from happening?

For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over everything you need to know in our septic system backup guide!

Warning Signs of a Septic Tank Backup

what happens when a septic tank backs upDetecting septic tank issues early on can save you from costly repairs and health hazards.

One tell-tale sign that you have septic tank problems is slow drains in the house.

Gurgling sounds emanating from your plumbing fixtures are another warning sign. These noises occur when air gets trapped due to blockages or backups in the pipes.

Unusual Green Patch in Your Yard

A lush green patch on your lawn may seem like good news at first glance; however, it could indicate something more sinister beneath the surface – a failing drain field or leach field.

This phenomenon can occur if a sewage backup nourishes the soil above the fields, leading to greener patches compared to other areas.

Common Causes of Septic Tank Backups

Tree roots infiltrating your pipes as they grow in search of water sources can cause your septic system to back up.

The proximity of trees to drain fields or leach lines often leads to this problem. The invading roots block these areas, causing backups that could wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system.

Influence of Garbage Disposals and Toilet Paper Usage

what happens when a septic tank backs upKitchen waste management relies heavily on garbage disposals in many cases. However, misuse such as disposing large amounts of food scraps at once or flushing non-biodegradable items down the disposal, may overload the system, leading to clogs and eventual backups.

Excessive use of toilet paper may also lead to blocked plumbing systems, resulting in potential backflows.

Introducing foreign objects like feminine hygiene products or baby wipes into toilets can also contribute to build-ups because unlike biodegradable materials, they do not break down easily under normal circumstances.

Heavy Rainfall

Heavy rainfall can overwhelm drainage fields as well. For example, rain can prevent the drain field from taking in additional wastewater, which can cause backflow into the household drains.

The Impact of a Septic Backup on Your Home

Sewage backups are not only disturbing but can also pose significant health risks.

It makes sense when you think about it – after all, human waste and other accumulated solid waste will be infiltrating your living space through open sewer lines or drain pipes. Contact with these materials can cause various diseases such as Hepatitis A, E.coli infections, and Gastroenteritis.
what happens when a septic tank backs up

Not only that but there’s also potential for extensive water damage ranging from stained carpets and warped flooring to ruined furniture and structural harm, if left untreated.

Cleaning After a Sewage Backup

Cleanup after a sewage backup isn’t just about removing standing water; you want to make sure that every trace of bacteria has been eradicated too.

This means hiring professional cleaning services that are equipped with industrial-grade equipment.

How To Prevent Septic Tank Backups: A Comprehensive Guide

The idea of a septic tank backup is daunting, but the good news is that these situations are preventable. Here are a few things that you can do.

Regulate Your Water Usage

what happens when a septic tank backs upRegulating water usage, especially during heavy rainfall can help prevent your septic system from being backed up.

To mitigate this risk, consider spreading out high-water-usage tasks throughout the week instead of cramming them all into one day.

For instance, you can do the laundry across several days rather than just one – that will reduce the strain on your system and help prevent potential backups.

Avoid Flushing Non-flushable Items Down Toilets or Sinks

Maintaining a healthy septic tank also requires careful consideration about what goes down your drains. Remember that not everything should be flushed away – non-flushable items like wipes or thick paper products can cause clogs leading to backups over time.

Schedule Regular Maintenance Checks With Professionals

Ideally, your septic tanks should be inspected by a professional who specializes in the area once every three to five years.

Handling a Septic System Backup

Immediate action is crucial when it comes to dealing with septic system backups.

Remember, the situation can quickly escalate into a significant health hazard, with the potential for harmful bacteria and other pathogens to infiltrate your home.

The Importance of Professional Help

what happens when a septic tank backs upIn such situations, it’s best to call professional help.

While DIY solutions may appear to be a good choice, they often prove to be detrimental over time. For one thing, handling issues related to septic systems requires specialized knowledge and equipment that only professionals possess.

Besides understanding how these complex systems work on their own terms, experts are equipped with heavy machinery necessary for tasks like pumping out tanks or removing tree roots that have grown into the pipes.

What Happens When a Septic Tank Backs Up – FAQs

What should you do if your septic tank backs up?

If your septic tank backs up, call a professional immediately. Avoid handling it yourself as it can pose health hazards. Not only that but it also requires specialized equipment.

What are the signs of a backed-up septic tank?

what happens when a septic tank backs upSigns include slow drains, gurgling sounds from plumbing fixtures, bad odors, standing water near the septic lid, and unusually green patches in the yard.

What would cause a septic tank to back up?

Causes range from invading tree roots to excessive water usage. Flushing foreign objects like feminine hygiene products or too much toilet paper can also lead to backups.

Knowing If You Need to Have Your Septic Tank Pumped

And there you have it – a guide on septic system backups. As you can see, they can be caused by a number of things from a clogged drain to excessive water usage.

The good news is that they’re preventable – you just have to take a few extra steps in caring for your septic tank.

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Ethan Clarke

Ethan Clarke is a seasoned expert in appliances and household waste systems. Referencing his extensive experience as an appliance repairman, Ethan shares his invaluable knowledge through detailed maintenance & troubleshooting manuals. Ethan’s insights help homeowners understand and maintain their appliances efficiently, ensuring longevity and optimal performance. He’s here to provide practical, easy-to-follow advice for all your appliance needs.

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