More Than a Pipe Dream

« Back to Home

What To Do If Your Septic System Continues To Back Up

Posted on

If you do what you can to take care of your septic system, dealing with repeated backups can be a drag. Something must be causing them, but the list of possible causes, such as something like an underground tree root affecting the tank or pipe, isn't always the easiest to investigate. You can take a few steps to eliminate some of the potential causes, though, before moving on to the more difficult work.

Have Both the Drain and Pipes Cleaned Out 

First, if you've had, say, the drain cleaned out but not the pipes, call a septic tank service to clean out the whole length of pipe in addition to the drain. This could be as simple as clearing a clog that's very far down the pipe. And don't let them just ensure the pipe is open; they need to clean out the whole thing. Sometimes there's a partial blockage that's just big enough to catch larger materials that head down the pipe. And if the toilet paper you're using is rather thick, that could exacerbate matters as it will take longer for that paper to dissolve. That means the paper is more likely to contribute to a clog.

Consider Bigger Piping

Occasionally you or another household member may have rather, uh, wide material to send down the pipes from your bathroom. If this is a regular thing for you, you may want to consider getting slightly wider piping to run from the toilet to the tank. Technically, anything that you can successfully flush should be able to travel down a normal septic pipe, but sometimes the item is just wide in all the wrong places.

Double-Check Just What's Going Down There

If you have a septic tank, you have to be careful what you send down every drain, from the kitchen sink to the toilet to the washing machine. If you're doing everything you can to ensure what you send down the drain is septic-friendly, it's time to check with people who may not know better, such as your new housemate who may not realize that peanut butter can't be washed down the drain even with hot water, or your child's friend who's decided to throw small toys into the toilet and try to flush them.

If fixing those doesn't help, then you'll want to have a septic service come back and look for tree roots affecting the line (a special camera down the line can help with that) and for possible clogs in the outlet to the drainfield. The drainfield itself could be the source of the problem, too. But start with the easy stuff first.

To find out more, contact septic tank services today.