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How to Tell Your Household Has Outgrown Your Septic System

Septic Tank System

You may have growing children or decide to rent out part of the property to a couple. No matter the reason, every new person adds strain to your septic system. At some point, you may need to consider upgrading your septic system to accommodate your household growth. Here is how you can tell when it’s time to make a change.

Pay Attention to the Signs from Your Septic Tank

Your septic system will let you know of abuse or overuse in a few ways. Generally, any increase in septic tank problems can indicate your household has grown too large for your current septic tank solution. Some examples of this include:

  • The need to pump the septic tank more often
  • An increase in pipe backups and associated issues (bad smells, gurgling noises, etc.)
  • Tank leakage and pools of standing water

All these and other issues can occur for reasons that have nothing to do with additional people in the home or increased water use. Still, when you add more people to a home, it just increases the likelihood of these problems occurring.

Consider that every additional person means another flushed toilet, another shower, and another running faucet throughout the day. This can all lead to too much water in the septic tank, an overabundance of solids, and a drainfield that can’t handle the influx.

Sometimes, these signs occur gradually. A toddler that turns into a teenager that wants to take multiple long showers every day doesn’t happen overnight. But if you pay attention to your septic system and call out issues immediately, you should easily spot the growing signs of overuse.

Pay Attention to the Math Associated With Septic Tanks

Most places require a tank with a minimum capacity of around 1,000 gallons. This is a general figure rated for an average family or home with up to three bedrooms. However, the capacity needed for your particular home will differ based on:

  • The number of fixtures in the home
  • The number of people in the home
  • The number of bathrooms in the home

You also need to consider the number of additional rooms, fixtures, or people you may add in the future.

Other factors can contribute to tank size needs, such as the size of the home, the location of the tank, and the municipal regulations that govern septic tanks. Still, you can help your contractor to help you by doing a little math.

Start by adding the actual number of people in the home or the number of bedrooms multiplied by two. Go with whichever of those two gives you a higher number.

For example, you may have three bedrooms but only three people in the house. Nevertheless, many municipalities assume each bedroom will potentially hold two occupants. So in this case, you can say six people to give yourself some padding and room for growth instead of just two.

Next, count every bathroom, whether full or half. From there, count all the fixtures in your home. This count should include all taps, toilets, appliances, and anything else that makes use of the plumbing.

Give these numbers to a professional septic system repair and installation service. The service can let you know from those figures if you might need a new tank or another solution. You may even find your current tank works just fine, but you need to show more care with its use and maintenance.

Unlike other plumbing systems that can come with some DIY aspects, your septic system isn’t something you should mess with on your own. A professional can help you figure out what kind of routine maintenance it needs and how often it will need it.

Pay Attention to Household Water Use

Sometimes, a little mitigation is all you need, rather than a whole new septic system. Practicing water conservation can help prolong the life of your septic system by preventing the additional wear and tear that comes from the added water usage of others.

Making fixture upgrades, using less water, and dealing with plumbing issues can all help. Making sure everyone in the household follows basic rules, such as not flushing anything but toilet paper and waste, can lower how often you need septic system pumping.

Pay Attention to Who You Contact for Septic Services

Not all plumbers are septic specialists. Because Florida enforces strong regulations on onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), you need to make sure you’re receiving the right information about your septic tank needs. Those regulations mean only those registered and approved by the state can work with septic systems.

Never let just any contractor do anything with your septic system if they’re not licensed. Rob’s Septic Tanks, Inc., is a licensed and registered septic tank repair, installation, and maintenance service. If you want to know if you need a septic system upgrade, contact us today.

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