How to Fix Septic Tank Problems


Septic system use is predominant in areas where municipal sewer systems are unavailable. The systems contain two major components, the septic tank and the field lines. When operating properly, these systems are almost maintenance-free. When problems arise, the entire system can fail and result in not only a messy situation, but also costly repairs. Fortunately, you can fix most septic systems problems if caught and properly treated early. A few key actions will help correct problems and keep your septic system working smoothly and efficiently.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-conserving appliances
  • Plumbing router

Basic Practices to Eliminate and Prevent Problems

  • Limit the amount of water entering the septic system. Too much water will overwhelm the system and prevent it from operating properly. Do not allow drain lines such as roof gutters to drain into the area of the septic fields. Consider installing low-flow toilets to help prevent, as well as correct, problems with the septic system.

  • Clear away plants or underbrush from above the septic tank and field line. Roots are a major enemy of your septic system and responsible for a large number of septic system problems. Lingering surface water or pooling is an indication of a clogged line. A plumbing router can be used to clear out roots and open up clogged lines. The main issue will be an access point at which to enter the line. Most systems will have an access port just outside the house foundation.

  • Prevent unwanted materials from entering the septic system. Your septic system is intended to break down waste materials by using the naturally-occurring bacteria inside the waste. This bacteria works efficiently on the waste products but does not do as well on other items that often enter the system. Inspect the tank and if the solid waste occupies more than 35% of the tank have the septic tank pumped out and then limit any new influx of foreign materials.

  • Ensure that poisons do not enter your septic system. Items such as gasoline, paint thinner, and strong household chemicals can kill the bacteria in your septic tank and thus render it useless. When the bacteria in your system is killed the entire process comes to a halt. Once you halt the influx of new poisons into the system, it will slowly begin to recover on its own. If too much solid waste has gathered it will be necessary to have the tank pumped out in order to allow a fresh start.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your tank will need to be cleaned on average every three to six years. With regular cleaning you will help prevent many of the most common problems.
  • Never allow vehicle traffic over your septic system. This can result in crushed pipes and damaged components.
  • Do not use additives. These are not necessary if your system is maintained properly.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit pollution 1 image by Nathalie P from
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Septic Tank Backup Problems

    A septic backup is cause for concern, because the remedy could require costly repair. It's just as possible, though, that when water...

  • How to Repair a Septic Tank Pipe

    Septic tank pipes are buried from depths of 6 inches up to 4 feet. When a pipe is located near the surface,...

  • How to Repair a Septic Tank Lid

    Septic tanks come in a variety of materials, shapes and configurations, although, they are all functionally the same. Older tanks are metal...

  • How to Repair a Septic Tank

    Septic tanks, for the most part, are rugged and reliable systems. If installed and maintained properly these system require little maintenance. The...

  • How to Repair a Septic Tank Leak

    The septic tank is an important part of the septic system. Its purpose is to hold waste water so that the solids,...

  • How to Fix a Leaky Septic Tank

    Septic tanks can leak in several places, including the inlet pipe and outlet pipe, as well as the manhole riser. Water and...

  • How to Fix a Septic Tank Pump That Is Not Working

    Effluent pumps are the heart of a working septic system. Effluent pumps can clog from debris washed into the pump chamber from...

  • Types of Roto-Rooter Tools

    Roto-Rooter is a national company that specializes in repairing and unclogging residential and commercial plumbing systems. The specialists at this company use...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!