Signs that Your Septic Tank’s Pump is Malfunctioning

Septic tanks are a good grey and black waste holding solution especially if you are far from the municipal sewer system. A well-designed septic tank fitted with a good pump will work for years with little to no maintenance. So, it is easy to forget the tank’s existence and let it fall into disrepair.

The neglect makes it easy for a submersible sewage pump failure to go unnoticed. 

What do Septic Tank Pumps Do?

Sewage pumps are common in holding septic tanks or sewage pans that are lower than the municipal sewage treatment plant. In such a setting, the sewage can’t flow by gravity to the main sewer line. The pump gives it the extra push it needs to clear the gravity gradient.

Holding tanks are smaller than traditional septic tanks. Their main purpose is to create a small reservoir for the sewage pump instead of storing the waste for months before manual removal.

Don’t Wait for the Pump to Fail

Inspect and service your sewer pump at least once a year. Don’t wait until your septic tank or sewage pan is full before calling in the experts. A well-maintained submersible sewage pump will keep the sewage flowing for over five years.

Signs that Your Pump is Faulty

The biggest sign that your pump is faulty is when the tank fills up. You can use the following tips to identify a filled up sewer pan or septic tank.

large septic tanks

1. Slow Draining and Flushing

Slow drains and sluggish flushing of toilets hint at some flow resistance down the line. There are two possible causes:

Either your drainage pipes are partially clogged or your septic tank or sewage pan is full, hence your flushed or drain water has nowhere to go.

Sluggish drainage is hard to miss. But, many homeowners choose to ignore it since things seem to be still moving. Don’t do this. It could easily escalate into a messy backflow that is harder to remedy.

2. Odors in Your Drains or Toilet

When your septic tank or the sewer system is full, gases from the decomposing waste will have nowhere to go. They will overpower the water seal in the U joints of all your drainage and toilets causing your house to stink.

You will also notice a stronger pungent smell near or around your septic tank and drainage manholes.

3. Sewage Overflow and Backflow

This is the nastiest of all signs. If the pump is out of commission for long, your septic tank, sewage pipes and manholes will fill up and start overflowing. The initial overflow could lead to a surprisingly lush lawn around the septic tank and drainage covers.

With time, you will start seeing raw sewage seeping above the ground.

If you know that your sewage needs a pump to keep moving, ensure that you inspect it once or twice a year. You should also avoid throwing bulky things down the toilet or the drainage as a pump powered drainage is easier to clog than a traditional gravity-driven system.

Remembering these pieces of advice will help you prevent sewage backflows and keep your home smelling fresh.

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