How to Know the Difference Between a Clogged Septic Tank vs a Clogged Drain

Whenever water drains from your home into your septic tank, it will pass through an inlet at the top of the tank. Over time, the tank will eventually release water into certain outlets in an area on your property known as a drainfield. They won’t smell, they’re mostly hygienic and the soil covering it will eventually filter out any remaining bacteria that remains. 

However, when that pipe that supplies water to the drainfield gets clogged or backed up, wastewater can actually back up through the septic tank itself. Things can get a little tricky for a homeowner here, because a septic tank blockage can be confused with a blocked drain – but acting fast and diagnosing your problem can save you countless dollars and a whole heck of a lot of anxiety.

Diagnosing a clogged septic tank

Like we said above – clogged septic tanks and drain pipes can present similar symptoms. Water might drain from fixtures slower, you might hear more gurgling noises, etc. The key difference you’ll want to keep your ears peeled for will be the breadth of the issues. If you’re noticing drainage problems in only one or two fixtures, you’re most likely dealing with a clogged pipe somewhere. If you’re noticing it in fixtures all over your home, then it’s most likely a clogged septic tank. 

Clogged septic tank issues will almost always present themselves in the lower levels of your home first – particularly in basement floor drains, shower outlets and toilets.

So what should you do?

BLocked pipes can be treated relatively easily and oftentimes without any professional assistance. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar will help clear up most clogs and a liberal flushing of hot water a few hours later will do the trick most of the time. It’s always important to remember that if you’re looking to flush a pipe connected to a septic system to never use chemicals as it can harm the beneficial bacterias that your septic tank depends on to work properly. 

If you’ve found you have a blocked  septic tank, then call a professional – it’s not a job you can do on your own. And if you want to avoid issues to begin with, the best solution is always prevention. Getting your system pumped and maintained regularly by your septic tank service is always the best way to ensure that your tank continues to operate at a high level. 

If you’re noticing issues or need help with a septic tank repair, give our team a call today and we’ll be happy to offer you with a free consultation. Good luck!