How to Tell a Plumbing Problem from a Septic System Problem

If you have issues with your bathroom drains, piping, or toilets, sometimes it’s hard to tell if the problem is caused by your plumbing or your septic system. While a professional plumber or septic system company can tell the difference, here are some ways to determine the problem yourself, so you can call the proper pros to help.

 

Check Your Tank’s Cleanout

When any plumbing or septic issue appears, always check the tank’s cleanout. You can find it between the tank and your home and will look like a short PVC pipe sticking slightly out from the ground. Remove the cap and look in. If there’s visible standing water, you have a septic tank problem. If not, your issues are most likely plumbing related.

Slow Draining

There are certain things to look for to determine whether it is a septic or plumbing issue if you have a blocked or slow drain. If the slow draining is accompanied by a foul odor like sewage or sulfur, that is the first sign that your blockage is septic tank related. Also, if you are dealing with a single clogged or slow draining sink or toilet, it’s probably a plumbing issue. When your septic tank is backed up or malfunctioning, every drain in your home will be problematic.

Consider the Age of Your Septic Tank

In most cases, septic tanks can last up to 25 years. This is assuming your tank is the right size for your household and properly maintained and pumped regularly. If your septic tank is over 20 years old, or you have neglected it for some time, you will likely start experiencing problems. Call a septic system company and have them do a full inspection of your system.

 

If you have determined your problem is septic related, or still are not sure, call the pros at Affordable Pumping Services. We are here for all your septic system needs and even offer 24/7 Emergency Service.