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Is My Septic Tank Full? (5 Easy Ways to Tell)

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Here is how you can tell your septic tank is full

When you own a house with a septic tank, there are a few things you need to know that is extra from or owning a house that doesn’t have one. The first thing you need to know is when your septic tank is full. Knowing this will help you avoid septic tank problems such as septic tank odors in the house and potentially other more damaging issues that can come up. Here’s how to tell if the septic tank is full.


Slow drain

The first one is that your drains are draining slowly. We’re not just talking about when you have one clogged sink or a clogged bathtub. We’re talking about the whole house. When your septic tank is filled up, all of the drains in the home will drain slowly. When you start to notice this, your tank needs to be pumped.


Septic pump running more often

Another way to tell that your septic tank is full is that the pump from your septic tank to your leach field is running more frequently than usual. This can mean that the tank is full, and water is passing from the first tank to the second tank faster because the holding tank is full.


You can smell the sewer

When you live in the city once in a while, you may have a sewer smell that passes through the pipes. But without a sewer connection, this smell can be only one thing. Your septic tank is full. Of course, there may be other reasons you are smelling rotten eggs, but this is normally the first place to check. A full tank means stronger smells in the house.

Not sure you have a septic tank? See which one you have here: cesspool vs septic tank.


Grass around the tank

The grass around your septic tank is greener than everywhere else. Your septic tank has a lot of the same components that some fertilizer will have in it. When your tank is full, it could end up cracking, leading to the waste leaking out into the soil.

This could cause the grass around your septic tank to become greener. Not only does this indicate that you have a tank that needs to be pumped, but it also indicates that you may have a crack in the tank. This is also a cesspool problem that can arise. So it’s good to pay attention to this.

Contact a specialist to see if it needs to be dealt with.


Back up into the house

The last and most obvious reason that your tank is full is when it starts to back up into the house. There are preventative measures in place for this to happen, so it is likely that you have more than just a need to get your tank pumped, but you may need to get a backwater valve replaced.

Sewage coming into your home will come through the lowest drain in the home. It will likely be through a shower or a toilet in your finished basement. If this happens, you need to contact a septic tank cleaner immediately to you get your tank pumped. You may also need to contact a restoration specialist if there is extensive water damage from the sewage.

If you find this is happening more often your tank may need replacing, see how long a septic tank last to figure out if you are close to needing a new tank.

Related: How to hide septic tank lids and systems


How to prevent a full septic tank

As a general rule, you’ll want to get your tank pumped every year. Depending on how big your household is and the size of your tank, you may be able to delay it for three to five years. However, it is important to know that the size of the tank and the volume of water you use on a daily basis will largely impact how much goes into the tank and how often it will need to be pumped empty.


Click Here to Find a Local Septic System Professional



Now check out Septic Tank vs. Holding Tank: What you need to know

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