Return to the Blog Home Page

Posts Tagged ‘sewage odors’

Signs Your Septic Tank Needs Emptying

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

A septic tank is a common alternative to a municipal sewage system, especially in rural areas. Its proper functionality and durably are crucial to you living a clean, convenient life without risk of an environmental disaster, inside or outside of your home.

However, there’s one major drawback to septic tanks when compared to a municipal sewer system: its limited capacity. While you can almost guarantee that connectivity to a municipal system allows you to flush away wastewater and waste matter without worrying about where it ends up, owners of a septic system know exactly where their waste is going.

That means that, on occasion, you must empty the tank. A plumber or other septic tank professional must visit your property to unearth the tank, pump its contents, and eliminate the deposits that have formed on its walls and floor.

When is it time to do so? How can you verify the fullness levels of a tank that’s appropriately buried underground? Here are the most common signs that it’s time to empty your home’s septic tank.

Slow Draining

Sluggish drains are the top sign that it’s time to call a plumber. While there are microbes in your septic tank that break down the sewage within, solid deposits will form along the sides of the tank over time, diminishing its capacity like plaque in a blood vessel. In reaction to this, waste water from your sinks and appliances will drain far more slowly. Contact a plumber before any of the following signs of a progressing problem happen.

Sewage Odors

When the septic tank is full, sewage gases will have nowhere to flow but up through your sewer main and back up through your drains. Gas takes up space, after all, and in a cramped environment like a full septic tank, it will follow the path of least resistance, escaping back into your home and stinking up your bathrooms and kitchen.

Toilet 2

Moisture in Lawn

Green grass is usually nothing to fear, except when it’s limited to the soil directly above your septic tank. If your grass is significantly healthier, fuller, and faster-growing above the tank than elsewhere, this is a sign that the grass is getting some extra nutrients. What could the culprit be? Try your wastewater. When a septic tank reaches capacity, waste will escape.

Sewage Backup

When sewage gets desperate, it will fight for somewhere to go. Unfortunately, homes with a full septic tank may experience foul sewage backup into their sinks, toilets, and tubs. When this problem escalates further, sewage can even flood your floors, rendering your home completely unsafe to inhabit. Why does this happen? While this may be a disgusting comparison, think about what happens when you suck through a straw. Liquids in a full container will flow through an empty chamber—like a straw—and into your mouth. When your sewage attempts to enter a full septic tank, it will seem to defy physics and flow back upward, causing a disaster.

Before any of the above happens, call a plumber for simple and affordable septic tank pumping services. Then, mark your calendar. A good plumber will recommend a timeframe for your next service.

If the House Smells Like Sewage, It’s Always a Bad Sign

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

If your house smells like sewage, you need help—fast. Not only is the smell of sewage horrible, but it’s noxious, too. Sewage is hazardous to your health and can cause health issues if left unchecked. The minute you notice the foul odor, get expert help.

A Septic Tank Gone Awry

When your septic tank is damaged or you’ve failed to maintain the system, you’ll start noticing the smell of sewage inside your home. If you notice the foul odor, it’s usually due to one of these causes:

  • The trap: Your home’s basement drains have traps that should prevent septic tank gases from back-venting into the home. If the trap is drying out or damaged in some way, it will let the gases backdraft.
  • The plumbing vent: On the roof, the vent equalizes pressure created in the drainage pipes when water moves through them. It’s possible for the vents to freeze shut if the temperature drops, or leaves could be clogging the pipes. It’s also possible that the plumbing vent is too small or too short.
  • The ejector pump: If the cover on the sump pump’s basket doesn’t create an effective seal, you may notice sewage odors.

Taking Care of Septic Odors

Most Atlanta homeowners don’t want to deal with finding and fixing a problem when their house smells like sewage, nor should they. It’s best to contact an expert and let the plumber assess the following:

  • The trap, determining if it needs to be filled with water or whether the cleanout access has a loose plug.
  • The safety of the plumbing vent, ensuring that nothing is blocking it.
  • The size and length of the plumbing vent, resolving any issues that are causing the offensive odor.
  • The seal on the ejector sump pump, inspecting the seals and ensuring it doesn’t leak.

The plumber will also conduct a comprehensive assessment of the septic tank to find the problem, looking for compromised toilet seals, leaky plastic pipe, damaged vent pipes, problematic drainfields, blocked sewer pipes, lost traps on plumbing fixtures, and issues related to poor installation or maintenance.

Scheduling seasonal maintenance and promptly repairing the system ensures a healthy home and a reliable septic tank. Don’t leave your family’s health to chance, or risk a costly replacement due to neglecting septic maintenance. We’re happy to help our neighbors with drain cleaning, sewer repair and leak detection.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today!

Image source: Flickr