Your septic tank is one of the most expensive appliances in your home. You should regularly inspect your septic tank to make sure that it is functioning correctly. A broken septic system may require costly repairs. Inspecting your septic system on a regular basis will ensure that you never encounter serious problems with it.
A typical septic system is split into three zones. Sludge accumulates at the bottom of the tank. This is heavy waste. The middle zone is a mostly clear liquid zone. There shouldn’t be any waste material in this area of the tank. The top of the tank contains the scum mat. This is a mat of particles that build up at the top of the tank. It is comprised of things like fat, oil and grease.
You should always see liquid coming out of the outlet pipe. This is because water flows into the septic tank after the toilet is flushed. A broken septic tank may have sludge floating into the pipe. You should measure how much sludge is at the bottom of the tank. A high concentration of sludge can cake this part of the tank. This may require replacement of the entire tank. Tanks should usually be pumped every four years. Failure to pump a full tank may result in damage to other parts of the septic system.
Septic tank baffles often need to be replaced. These are often made of metal. Several years of use may cause them to rust. You should inspect all other parts of the septic system. Drain covers may need to be replaced.
You should also inspect the plumbing around the septic tank. Faulty pipes can cause the tank to back up. A backed up toilet may be caused by a septic tank that is clogged. Some waste materials can cause septic tanks to erode. This may require replacement of the entire tank.
Ensure that your septic system leads out to an appropriate drain field. This is usually part of the property. A drain field is typically comprised of soil and crushed rock. Plastic leaching systems usually need to be replaced after a decade. Ensure that the distribution box is also functioning properly. The distribution box uses the force of gravity to pull liquid into the leaching field. A faulty distribution box may cause clogging.
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