Should I Repair Or Replace My Septic System?
Updated: Dec 17, 2022
Septic systems are one of the biggest investments for homeowners over the life of their home. Septic systems, if well maintained, can survive for decades. Proper maintenance of your septic system with septic tank pump-outs and septic system inspections every 3-5 years can extend the life of your septic system so you get the most out of your investment. Failure to follow through on proper septic tank maintenance will surely result in costly repairs and sometimes even a full septic system replacement. Recognizing the signs of septic system problems and acting quickly can save you from an expensive septic service bill. But, sometimes, regardless of following septic system maintenance and best practices, a new septic system is the only options.
How do you know whether a septic system repair will suffice? How can you tell if your septic system needs to be replaced? There are 5 main signs your septic system is in need of attention from a professional. Depending on the severity of the problems, your septic system technician can determine whether a septic system repair will cure the issue or whether it's time for a septic system replacement.
5 Main Signs Your Septic System Needs Help
1 - Age of septic tank and drain field:
Properly maintained septic tanks and drain fields can function properly for decades. It isn't uncommon for a septic system to last for at least 40 years, sometimes longer. Unless you septic tank or drain field are severely damage you probably don't need new ones. However, if your home is older, or well beyond the 40 year mark, the need for a new system is probably right around the corner. This information is important when shopping for a home. Older homes are appealing for many buyers in recent years due to the popularity of shows like "Fixer Upper", but you never see them replacing a septic system. Older homes require many repairs and a new septic system could very well be one of them.
2 - You have a foul smell:
Although septic systems intake smelly waste product you generally should not smell anything that is inside your septic tank or drain field. If you notice a consistent foul odor this could indicate a problem with your septic tank, drain field, or both. A septic system inspection will identify how the odor is escaping and determine whether it is due to minor damage or a busted septic system. Generally, a continuous foul odor means your septic tank is full and can't hold anymore waste water. Regular septic pump-outs and inspections should diminish any issues your septic system may face and will identify any minor issues before they become major ones.
3 - you've outgrown your current septic system:
Septic system sizes are generally determined by the size of your home and under the assumption that a certain amount of people will be living there. If you have expanded your family or are expanding living quarters in your home to accommodate more people, it may be time for a new septic system. For example, if your original septic system was installed based on 3 bedrooms and 4 total people and you build on an additional mother-in-law suite or an apartment above your garage, your current septic system may not be large enough to function successfully. If you're unsure about the capacity of your current septic system an inspection can be helpful in determining wether it is still sufficient for your homes needs.
4 - your septic system isn't functioning properly:
If your septic system is malfunctioning you could experience slow drainage, frequent clogs, or back-up. None of these issues are present with a properly functioning septic system. Severity may vary and the root causes may vary as well. A septic system inspection should be able to identify the source of the problems and could be a minor repair. On the other hand, if the problem persists, even with proper maintenance such as frequent pump-outs and inspections, it's most likely time for an entirely new septic system.
5 - your have standing water in your yard:
If you notice standing water in your yard near your septic system and it hasn't rained in a while, you may have a septic tank issue. Water pooling above ground near your septic system could indicate an issue with your drain field. Your septic drain field processes the waste water down into the soil. Water rising above the ground in this area is indicative of an overly full tank or a malfunctioning drain field. Standing waste water is an emergency as it can affect the area around your home and your health. Inspecting this type of issue as soon as possible can alleviate the problem and help identify whether the overfill was just a lack of proper maintenance or a more serious problem. If a septic pump-out doesn't resolve the standing water, your drain field is most likely failing and will need to be replaced immediately.
Septic systems are an important piece of a properly functioning home. They protect you and your family from unsanitary waste water which carries bacteria. A properly functioning septic tank is a necessity for any homeowner. Proper maintenance of your septic system should ensure long usage for years to come. However, if you notice any of the signs listed above a simple septic tank inspection can uncover any problems that may lie beneath. Blackwater Septic Service provides septic tank pump-outs, septic system inspections, septic system repairs, and new septic tank installations. No matter what septic system concern you may have we will have help to you promptly. To schedule your maintenance septic pump-out and inspection give us a call at 850-510-3319 and for all your septic system emergencies, we are available 24 hours - 7 days a week.