When you buy a house with a septic system for the first time, you may not realize that the system comes with an alarm. Understanding its basic function and what it means when you hear it go off will be important to maintaining your septic tank and plumbing. Here are a few things that you should know.
What Is The Purpose Of An Alarm On The Septic Tank?
A septic tank alarm is a notification tool that alerts you when the septic tank is too full. This is important because it can not only signify that you need to have the tank pumped but also could warn of a malfunction.
Septic systems that are gravity fed have a natural flow cycle from the house to the septic tank. Once in the tank, the solids settle and the liquids will drain out into the drain field as the levels reach the outlet. Tanks with septic pumps will send water to the drain field when the float in the septic tank engages the pump.
Any time the flow to the drain field isn't happening like it should, waste water will back up into the tank. This can happen due to clogs, a malfunctioning pump, or even an oversaturated drain field. When it reaches the trigger level of the alarm, it will sound.
Is The Alarm Always Active?
Septic tank alarms are always active. Most are connected not only to the home's electrical circuit but to a secondary source as well. This ensures that the alarm will still work even if the power goes out.
You can check on the condition of the septic alarm easily. In most houses, it can be found in one of several places. Check areas like the exterior walls of the home, in the storage shed, in the basement, and on the septic tank itself.
What Should You Do If You Hear The Alarm?
Any time the alarm goes off, it needs prompt attention. If you've recently had heavy rains, the alarm may sound simply because the drain field is oversaturated. You can address this by turning off the pump until the drain field has time to dry out. Otherwise, the problem could be with the pump itself. Try resetting the breaker to see if it re-engages. If not, you'll need a septic system technician to help you.
Talk with a local septic system service like AMERICAN SEPTIC SERVICES LLC to find out if your septic system alarm is functional and how to care for it.