Septic Tank Alarm: Types, Reasons For Going Off & Fixes

If you’ve used a septic system for a significant period of time, you shouldn’t find the idea of a septic tank alarm surprising. Such an alarm is necessary to alert you to a wide range of possible issues as will be discussed in this article.

Whatever your interest is, we hope you’d find this informative

Is A Septic Tank Alarm Necessary?

Septic alarms are key components of the system without which a malfunction could deteriorate without noticing. Alarms are only set off when there’s a problem with the septic system.

Therefore, given its importance, it goes without saying that this mechanism is a necessity.

Possible Reasons Why Your Septic Tank Alarm Goes Off

What does it mean when your septic alarm goes off?

An alarm will go off due to many reasons associated with a malfunctioning septic system. Also, an alarm may be easily triggered due to a faulty electrical connection.

For better understanding, let’s take a look at the various reasons why your septic tank alarm may go off.

  • Excess Surface Water Getting into Septic Tank

Here is why sometimes you see a septic alarm going off after heavy rain.

During heavy storms, surface runoff water could find its way into your septic tank. This easily fills up the tank, thus making the pump work indefinitely in reducing water levels.

The septic tank alarm (high tank water alert) is set off when abnormal functioning of the pump is detected.

  • Disconnection of Power Line from Pump

An alarm may go off after a power outage when your septic tank pump is accidentally disconnected from its power source. Troubleshooting actions will include checking if there’s a proper connection at the power source.

  • Clogged Drain Field

A drain field is designed to treat wastewater through absorption.

This process also includes filtration and exclusion of harmful bacteria. However, when such a drain field gets clogged, it becomes a problem as other septic system components are affected.

Due to a clogged drain field, effluent isn’t absorbed. Rather, it accumulates in the septic tank, thus setting off the alarm indicating a problem.

  • Sewage Backup

A sewage backup is caused by several issues including clogs as well as a full septic tank. An alarm is likely to be set off when the system isn’t working as it should.

Urgent action needs to be taken when the cause for such alarm is determined.

  • Pump Malfunction

Whenever a septic tank pump is installed, it’s expected to serve for many years, between 10 to 15 years.

Maintenance plays a major role in determining how long it remains functional. When there’s such a malfunction, it’s announced by a septic pump alarm.

  • Electrical Faults

Sometimes, there could be nothing wrong with your septic tank or system. An alarm could simply be set off by an electrical fault. This calls for inspection as well as fixing or rectifying the problem.

An electrician should be able to perform such functions without issues.

Types of Septic Tank Alarms

There are various types of septic tank alarms to choose from. Although all such alarms are made for the same application, their designs are meant to accommodate customer preferences.

Common septic tank alarm types include outdoor, indoor, pedestal, and wireless alarms.

  • Outdoor Septic Tank Alarm

The name alone tells a lot about this type of alarm. Outdoor septic tank alarms can be installed in outdoor surroundings. This could be the side of the wall, on a post, or where you find it suitable.

Connected to this alarm is a cable that goes into the septic tank to the float switch. Whenever the water level rises within the tank, the alarm is set off by a sensor.

  • Indoor Septic Tank Alarm

An indoor septic tank alarm is best suited for indoor areas. This can be installed in many indoor locations such as the garage, utility shed, or home.

Unlike the outdoor alarm that comes with a weatherproof casing, the indoor septic tank alarm needs to be kept away from the elements.

The lack of a weatherproof casing can’t be used to judge whether it’s durable or not. This alarm type still serves its function effectively and can last for a long time when there’s proper maintenance.

  • Pedestal Alarms

This alarm is named after the pedestal onto which it’s mounted. Such posts are dug and buried into the ground with the top emerging at the surface. The pump is installed or mounted on this platform.

Pedestal septic tank alarms are built for outdoor installation.

  • Wireless Septic Tank Alarm

If you want to avoid trenching your yard while laying your septic tank alarm cables, then a wireless alarm might be all you need. True to their name, wireless septic tank alarms receive wireless transmissions from float switches found within septic tanks.

Responding To A Septic Tank Alarm

Whenever your septic tank alarm goes off, you’re expected to find out what the issue is. There are many steps to take in troubleshooting the problem. This can be done before a technician arrives.

First, you’ll need to locate the alarm. This will be necessary for new occupants who have no idea where the alarm is installed. Normally, a septic tank alarm should be located in several areas.

These include the utility closet, on the side of your tank, at your basement, or installed at the side of your house or building.

Having located this alarm, your next aim should be to activate the silence button. Audible alarms will continue to sound until they’re put off. Another tip for solving the problem is to look out for the red light on the alarm.

As long as this remains, the problem is still unsolved.

Now find the breaker and ensure it hasn’t been tripped. If the problem lies here, putting it back on should do just fine. Moving on from the breaker, you might want to inspect the float if you can. We recommend you call an expert to perform this task.

A faulty float will always trigger a false alarm. When resolved, it should have your system working without issues and devoid of unwarranted alarms.

Septic tank alarm systems have been the focus of our discussion.

If you’ve followed us to this point, you should have a better understanding of the workings of a septic tank alarm than when you started.

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