Septic Pumping: It won’t solve all septic/plumbing issues. - WNC Independent Labs

Septic Pumping only solves the problem of the tank being too full. If something else is causing an issue, pumping will not solve it. Sometimes it requires a septic contractor, sometimes a plumber.

Drains in the house are smelling, bubbling, draining slowly, or not draining at all.

Is it only happening in one drain or room? Probably a Plumber

Its probably a clog in the line, which would be a plumber issue. If its the lowest or closet to the out pipe, it might be the early stages of a septic back up, but we would recommend starting with a plumber.

Its happening in multiple drains/rooms? Probably a Septic Pumper

This is probably the septic system backing up.

If the tank is just ready to be pumped, a septic pump will solve the problem. (See below)

If there is a clog between the tank and the house, a septic pump will probably not solve the problem and you’ll need a septic contractor or a plumber to work on the line.

Yard smells like sewage and/or there is constantly a wet spot, even when the rest of the yard is very dry? Septic Pumper or Contractor.

Do you know if its over the tank or the drainfield?

If it’s over the tank, the tank is probably ready to pump.

If it’s over the drainfield, you might still need a septic pump to empty the tank to keep it from backing up into the house, but you are also going to need a septic contractor to look at the drainfield – they may want/need the tank pumped before or as part of their assessment (even if it was pumped a couple days before).

There is also a chance that there is a break in the line between the house and tank, or between the tank and drainfield or there could be a that has a problem. A Septic Contractor can help you.

Why is my tank full? Why does it need pumped? I just pumped the septic, why is it backing up again?

A septic tank is designed to hold septage and let the solids, fats, oils, greases, etc separate from the water. The the solids, fats, oils, and greases build up in the tank and need to be pumped out occasionally (rule of thumb every 3-5 years). Pumping it regularly will reduce the chance for issues.

If too much septage is being put into the tank too fast (for instance between 6 am and 8 am you run the washer, the dishwasher, and 3 showers – a lot of water all at once), that can cause issues. Pumping it and spreading out your water usage throughout the day/week will solve the problem.

If the filter is clogged, that can keep effluent from leaving the tank and cause it to fill up.

If the drainfield is not working properly, it can back flow into the tank once the tank is emptied and prevent water from leaving the tank. Pumping will stop it from backing up into the house, but it will continue to need pumped frequently until the drainfield issue is repaired. (This is the most common reason for a tank that was just pumped to back up again a few days later.)

Sign that the drainfield might have an issue – water coming back from drainfield as we pump the tank

Sign that the tank is overly full

3 February 2022 Septic Pumping FAQ
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