How To Check If Septic Tank Is Full (7 Warning Signs)

How to know if your septic tank is full will be our focus. In this guide, we’ll be looking at several warning signs of a full tank.

The condition of a septic tank is one thing homeowners need to pay close attention to. Part of this includes knowing when it’s full and doing the needful.

Tell-tale signs of a full septic tank must be identified early enough to prevent issues as early as possible.

Here, we take a look at the most common signs you’re likely to see and what they mean. Some of these signs will have to be probed further to determine whether they’re septic tank-related or not.

Warning Signs Of A Full Septic Tank

When a septic tank gets filled, it shows several signs.

You’ll need to know these to take appropriate action. Such signs include trouble flushing, pooling water, gurgling pipes, greener patches of grass around the tank, and slow drains.

Other signs include odors and sewer backups. When your septic tank gets full, it shows some or all of these signs. So, is it right to allow your septic tank to get full before pumping?

Let’s answer this question before getting into details about signs that your septic tank is full.

Should My Septic Tank Be Full Before Pumping?

When a septic tank gets full, the next logical step to take will be to have it pumped.

However, it doesn’t need to come to that. Typically, a septic tank must be pumped once every three to 5 years. This pumping interval is sufficient to ensure your septic tank remains in good working condition.

However, there are times when a septic tank may get filled up too soon.

In such a situation, pumping alone wouldn’t be the solution. You’ll need to find out why the tank gets filled up faster than usual. A leak is likely to be the reason why you’re experiencing such problems.

Repairs or replacements may be necessary based on findings from an inspection.

As always, a reputable septic company should be hired for this task.

How To Check If A Septic Tank Is Full

Getting back to our main focus, each of the signs mentioned previously will be discussed in this section. We’re providing additional information to help you fully explore the problem and seek urgent help as soon as you can.

  • Trouble Flushing

One of the common issues that develop when a septic tank gets full is a weak flush.

Now, slow draining toilets could be due to a clog. However, when all your toilets are having the same problem, you may want to call for a septic tank inspection.

When a septic tank gets full, it affects the normal workings of the septic system. This is seen in issues with flushing across all toilets. For this problem to be resolved, the septic tank will need to be pumped immediately.

A reputable septic company will also inspect for possible issues.

  • Pooling Water

Pooling water is another sign of a full septic tank. When septic tanks get full, there’s no space to hold additional wastewater coming from the drain pipes. Such excess water finds its way to your drain field.

This can further deteriorate into a bigger problem when left unchecked.

Now, not all cases of pooling water point to a full septic tank. Sometimes, rains can create similar situations. This wouldn’t be a problem as such water would be gone in no time.

If you’re seeing pooling water in the absence of rainfall, it’s best to seek urgent professional help.

Part of the responsibilities to take includes putting a halt to drainage use including toilets until help arrives. Remember, any delay will only worsen the problem and should be avoided at all costs.

  • Gurgling Water

Gurgling sounds aren’t common with septic systems working in perfect condition.

A defective system gives out these signs that can be used to make urgent fixes. Now, when you hear consistent gurgling sounds in your pipes when you flush your toilets, it may be one of two things.

The first possibility is that of a clog lodged within your pipes. The other reason you’re hearing consistent gurgling sounds is due to the likelihood of a full tank.

Both of these scenarios require further investigation to resolve the problem.

  • Greener Patches of Grass

When a septic tank gets full, the possibility of finding greener patches of grass increases. Greener patches of grass appear and are easily distinguishable from others around your lawn.

For homes without lawns, homeowners will quickly notice lush-green vegetation around the septic tank area.

Remember your septic tank holds wastewater rich in nitrates. Once full, such water is easily accessible to vegetation such as grass and fertilizes them. This early sign of a full septic tank requires calling for an inspection.

  • Slow Drains

Apart from toilets, other drains connect to your septic tank. These include sinks and bath areas. A full septic tank will affect the normal functioning of these drains.

One of the first signs includes slow drains that need to be further investigated.

Further investigations are necessary to help ascertain whether they’re due to clogs or a full septic tank. Whatever the case is, the appropriate action helps resolve the problem.

  • Odors

By nature, wastewater being held in your septic tank smells.

However, such odor isn’t readily perceived when your septic system is functioning optimally. When there’s an imbalance in the system such as a full tank, odors are likely to be given off.

There’s a possibility of your neighbors complaining as such odors may permeate your entire surroundings. Getting help as soon as you can will help resolve the problem.

  • Sewer Backups

Sewer backup is a situation no homeowner wishes to experience. This is quite gross as it involves the regurgitation of wastewater from the full tank. Here, your lowest drains are most vulnerable.

Getting your tank emptied as soon as possible should help resolve the problem.

The longer a sewer backup is allowed to linger, the more dangerous it becomes. You’re likely to be exposed to all sorts of health issues.

These are the most observable signs on how to tell when a septic tank is full. Knowing these signs help prevent misdiagnosis of the causes.

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