Having a septic tank alarm system is a great way to know when something may be wrong with your septic tank. When the septic alarm sounds, it tells you that there is a problem getting wastewater to the drain field. Several different things may cause this.
Most septic tanks have an alert when there’s too much water inside of it and could cause some kind of backup or overflow if not dealt with promptly. Your float sensor will trigger your alarm box to sound off once that event has been triggered by detecting how high up in the tank the level is reaching.
Let’s discuss the other possible reasons for the alarm being triggered.
If it has been storming or you have gotten a lot of rain in the past few days, the water could be too much for septic tanks. Standing water around septic systems normally causes issues for your septic tank. A rain-saturated drain field will not allow the waste water to go into it. You can also have a flooded area if you overwater your lawn or drain the pool in your yard. You will need to try and not to use your water until the drain field is not flooded. If you continue to use your water during this time, it can worsen the problem.
False Alarms Caused by Power Issues
In some cases, the issue with your septic system alarm may be because of a faulty electrical issue in your home or septic system. For example, your power may have flickered and caused a false alarm. You could also have some electrical problems in your home, which makes the alarm go off.
Water Over Usage
How’s your water use been lately? Have you had a party, or did you have a big shower or bath when doing two laundry? This can all lead to more water being held between pump cycles in the tank. The tanks may also leak if it rains hard enough, causing them to overflow and eventually triggering the alarm to go off.
If the power has accidentally been disconnected from the pump, the alarm may sound. If you hear the alarm go off, the first thing you should do is check to ensure the connection is in place. If not, reconnect and see if the buzzer goes off again. If the septic alarm goes off again, there is an issue somewhere with your pump tank.
Also Read: How to find Septic Tank
What To Do When Your Septic Alarm Goes Off
When your septic alarm goes off, do not panic. The alarm signal is meant to warn you of an issue. This means that you won’t have a sewage backup in your home immediately. However, you should still address the issue right away, as the warning is typically good for 24-48 hours. It means you have a dangerously high water level or the level is too low.
Your septic tank system alarm should have a timer on it. This timer dictates when the pump starts to flow wastewater through your drain field. However, if the system is damaged, then the timer won’t be able to work properly. If a lot of water is going through your system between pumping cycles, then the water has nowhere else to go except for your tank. It can take multiple pumping cycles to return the level to normal, which is why backups can happen.
If your alarm is going off:
- Switch on the alarm box or push the red button to turn the alarm off
- Look for where the red and green lights are located. Your green light should always be on.
- The green light means the alarm has power. The red light means that your water level is likely too high.
- Check your septic breaker. Make sure it has power and make sure there isn’t any standing water around it.
- If the red light does not turn off after 10 hours, give your local plumber a call! At The Original Plumber & Septic, we’re available 24/7 for the Atlanta metro area’s emergency needs.
We also recommend reducing your water usage when this happens. Typically, your septic system pumps wastewater (also known as effluent) out into your leach field. If it’s overwhelmed, it will need time to catch up. Too much water usage won’t give the septic system a chance to catch up. Reduce the amount of dish washing and try to take a short instead of a long shower.
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Maintaining your Septic Tank
One of the most important things you can do to avoid your septic tank alarm going off is to make sure that it is properly maintained. This means making sure there are no clogs. If you find a clog, you will want to use a septic-safe chemical drain opener or use a plumbing snake. If the clog is bad, you will want to call a professional out to ensure that the clog is dealt with. Clogs over time can destroy your pump tank.
You want to make sure that you know the age of your septic tank. Generally, a septic tank has a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. If your tank is nearing the end of 15 years, you will want to consider getting a new septic tank installed. If your septic tank is around ten years old, you may want to set up savings to where you will be able to afford a new pump tank within the next five years.
Another great idea to ensure that you do not have any issues with your pump tank is to have an inspection at least once a year by a septic tank professional. They will be able to inspect the tank to make sure there are no issues. They will also check the alarm to make sure that it is in full functioning order and getting the proper power to it.
If you hear your septic alarm going off and do not know precisely what to do, please contact the Original Plumber quickly. It would be best if you never neglected your septic system alarm as it can be an indicator of a bigger problem. Leaving septic issues alone can lead to costly repairs and a smelly yard. Call us today for an appointment so that we can address any pump tank issues you may have.