15 Mar What do I do when my septic alarm goes off?
An alarm system gives you a warning when the water level in the pump tank is rising more than it should be or are the levels are too low. All septic systems with pumps should have some sort of timer installed. The timer controls when the pump is allowed to pump waste water into the drain field. This prevents the drain field from being overdosed during periods of increased water use.
When a drain field is overdosed it can be damaged, and the timers prevent this from happening. Timer systems allow the pump to run for a specific amount of time at key times during day. If, for some reason, there is a lot of water being introduced into the system between the pumping cycles, the water has no place to go except into the pump tank. The water level will rise inside the pump tank until the pump can come on again. Since the pump is only allowed to come on for a certain amount of run time, it can take several pumping cycles to pump the water back down to the normal level, depending on how much water is being introduced into the system.
From A-C this can happen.
A. Too much water is being put through the septic system. Several loads of laundry, increased amount of dish washing, and a lot of long showers are all reasons that can cause too much water usage.
B. Ground water is getting into the system. A lot of rain may cause seepage. If too much standing water occurs around the septic tanks, the water can seep into the tanks causing the water level to rise inside of the tanks.
C. Something may be wrong with one of the septic system’s components. The pump, floats, alarm, timer, etc. may have something wrong that is not allowing them to work properly.
The best thing to do when the alarm is going off, is to push the red button or switch on the alarm box. This will turn off the alarm. There will be a red light and a green light located on the alarm box. The green light should always be on. The green light means the alarm has power. The red light means the alarm is getting a signal from the pump tank that the water level is getting higher than it should be.
Next, check the septic breaker to make sure the septic system has power. If the breaker is on, check to see if there is any standing water around the septic tanks. Give the septic system a couple of pump cycles (10-15 hours) to see if the alarms red light goes out on its own. Try to use as little water as possible during this time. If the red light goes out, the system is working properly. It just needed to catch up with the additional water that was introduced into the system.
If the red light is still on after 10-15 hours, contact your septic company for service. An alarm signal does not mean sewage is about to back up into the house. Alarms are installed to give you 24-48 hours of usage until sewage will start to back up. If the alarm is going off, reduce your water usage to a minimum. This will allow the pump to catch up quicker. If something has failed, reduced water flow will ensure there is plenty of time before sewage backs up into the house.
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Vac-Tec Septic & Water LLC.
11603 Canyon RD. E
Puyallup, WA 98373
PH: (253) 268-0322
Septic Tank Pumping: http://vactecseptic.com/septic-tank-pumping/
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