Septic tanks are just one of those things about which nobody ever thinks about unless they are experiencing a problem with them. Surely enough, this kind of overlooking their existence can oftentimes actually boost the probability of a certain issue to rise. That being said, surely, you don’t actually need to check your septic tank on a daily basis. But, some understanding of how the entire system works and the most prominent factors that affect it is indeed useful. Add to that a certain level of maintenance, and you will be able to ensure that the problems you experience with your septic tank are minimal. 

Common Septic Tank Issues and How To Fix Them

Now, if you have never dabbled into the topic and don’t know much about these systems, you probably don’t even know where to start. What information is relevant and helpful, and what is unnecessary and isn’t going to help at all? Well, this article is a good starting point for you. Here, you will be able to learn about the six most common issues associated with Septic tanks, as well as how you can overcome them. 

1. Low maintenance can cause a lot of trouble

Low maintenance is the number one cause of problems when it comes to septic tanks. Depending on the state of the tank and the relevant parameters, the problems can vary heavily. Some may be minor and easily fixable, while some are way more serious and will cause further damage. Worst case scenario – your septic tank can get completely destroyed. 

All that said, these problems can be easily avoided, and it really doesn’t take much to ensure that your septic tank is well maintained. A regular septic inspection followed by emptying the septic tank is all it takes. The inspection will ensure that there are no underlying issues that can require further complex fixes. And the emptying, well, it’s very straightforward why this is important. 

The frequency of required inspections and emptying varies depending on the size and the model of the tank. This is why it is important to consult with septic tank emptying companies, as they have the most experience with the topic. As this type of maintenance is easy to forget, it would be best if you were to schedule it on a yearly basis – just to be safe. 

2. Beware of the plant roots

You can’t really plan how the plant roots are going to grow, which is why root damage is common with septic tanks. This is especially true for older septic tank models, as time allows roots to grow their way to the septic tank. So, what’s the problem here? Well, the problem lies in the fact that even shrub roots tend to find their way to grow through the walls of your septic tank. In some instances, roots can even grow through the pipes that connect the tank with your home. Of course, it’s easy to imagine how this can be a problem for a septic tank.

First of all, the liquid is able to escape more easily, which is bad for the plant in question and for the tank as well. Secondly, the water and dirt from the ground can get into the tank. This leads to clogs, filling, and just an overall horrible mess. In order to avoid all this, it’s important that you tend to the area above your septic tank. If there are any larger plants, remove them as soon as you can.

3. Dip pipe gets damaged easily

Different types of septic tanks have different components. In most cases, a septic tank is equipped with dip pipes or a baffle. There are also tanks out there that are actually equipped with both of these components. What these components do is that they act as a barrier inside the septic tank. Basically, it ensures that the lumpy waste is separated from the liquid waste, ultimately dividing the type of waste. 

The problem is, if your dip pipe gets damaged, the separation system stops working. This means that lumpy waste can find its way into the soakaway system. If that doesn’t sound straightforward enough, here’s what happens as a result. Basically…it can easily go right back to where it came from – through the pipes and into your home. This issue is easily avoidable with regular maintenance, so, the reason more to call your septic tank company and schedule.

4. What about a collapsed baffle?

You’ve just read about the dip pipe, and the problems related to a collapsed baffle are quite similar. As mentioned previously, a baffle serves the same purpose as dip pipes – it acts as a barrier for different types of waste. Just as with dip pipes, if this component is broken, things can go wrong quite fast.

5. Avoid parking over the tank

Here’s a question – do you know where your septic tank is exactly? If the answer is no, don’t worry, a lot of people have trouble with identifying the exact area above the tank as it isn’t all that obvious. This is why it can happen that people often park directly over the tank without even knowing it. This can be particularly problematic if the vehicle in question is heavy, so, a tractor, a van, and similar. With enough pressure, a septic tank can be seriously damaged. In some cases, parking over the tank has caused the tank to collapse entirely. 

6. Maybe your septic tank is too old

Many people aren’t aware of how old the septic tank in the home that they are buying at the moment. This can ultimately lead to overestimating the capacity and required maintenance. Needless to say, insufficient maintenance leads to a plethora of issues. It is not all that uncommon for a septic tank emptying company to stumble upon a tank that is 50 years old. As you can imagine, these models aren’t quite the same as the newer ones. This ultimately leads to further complications even with simple maintenance as it requires special tools. 

Now, don’t get us wrong – if you aren’t experiencing any issues with your old and reliable tank, you don’t need to change it. 

Without a doubt, septic tanks are systems that everyone wants to avoid as much as possible. That being said though, a certain level of vigilance is going to ensure that you lower your exposure to this system So, instead of overlooking the existence of your septic tank and hoping that disaster won’t strike – you should act and avoid unnecessary surprises. 

It surely isn’t a dream chore, but you can do this! Pick your battles and distribute them throughout a one-year period. Good luck!

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