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Common Septic Tank & Drain Field Problems & Solutions

Because of our location, Richmond, Northeastern North Carolina, and Hampton Roads area has countless septic tanks used by homes and businesses. And if you own one, you know they are not self-sustaining.

Our plumbers work daily on septic tanks, whether it’s preventative maintenance or fixing a problem.

Professional plumbing advice is recommended when you have septic tank problems. If you don’t know what you’re doing, a failed septic tank can be a dangerous place. Many home and business owners have been overcome by methane gases when dealing with a septic tank problem on their own.

Our plumbers have decades of experience in diagnosing septic tank problems and should be the first person you call when you have a failed septic tank or a failed septic system drain field.

The following is a list of common problems with a septic tank or septic drain fields:

  • Septic tank pump alarms or above-ground septic wet spots
  • Septic tank smells inside home or building from the septic vent pipe
  • Gurgling bubbles sound when flushing your toilets
  • Slow running drains
  • Actual septic sewage backups from toilets or other plumbing inside the building or home
  • Septic tank gas smell above your septic tank cover, septic tank lid, or septic risers
  • Sludge build-up from not pumping septic tank on a regular schedule
  • Broken drain lines or broken septic tank baffles
  • Tree roots getting into cracks in the tank or around the septic tank cover
  • Septic filter clogging from not having it properly cleaned regularly
  • Inadequate septic tank bacteria & septic enzyme populations
  • Grease capping from too much grease entering the septic system
  • Broken drain field piping or compacted soil
  • Old septic tank designs and improper location of the drain field

Our plumbers suggest the following solutions to these common septic tank problems:

Problem: Sludge build-up from not following proper septic tank pumping procedures.

Solution: Follow proper septic maintenance by watching what you put in, having high levels of biological activity present, and getting it cleaned on a regular schedule. To know what maintenance you should be doing, make sure to keep a copy of your septic system layout in your important paper file. If you don’t have one call your septic tank installer, builder, or county where your septic tank permit is filed and ask for a copy of the septic tank diagram.

Problem: Tree roots getting into cracks in the tank or around septic tank covers and septic tank risers.

Solution: Our plumbers in the Richmond area, Northeastern North Carolina area, Virginia Beach, and throughout Hampton Roads have seen tree roots do a lot of damage to septic systems and make them work slowly or stop working completely. Buying root killers at your local store will not resolve your root problems. If a root is cut it will grow back in a very short period, and it will come back with more vigor. And, treating roots in the septic tank is different than treating roots in the septic drain field. We encourage you to call us to attack this problem for you.

Problem: Septic filter clogging from not having it properly cleaned on a regular basis.

Solution: This is a common problem and can easily be corrected with very little effort and cost. One of the best septic products ever developed was septic tank outlet filters because they help protect the drain field from getting overloaded with too many solids. New poly septic tanks, plastic septic tanks, and other modern septic tanks all come with septic tank filters.

Some septic filters can be cleaned by the septic owner. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions on pulling the filter and then wash it with a garden hose. The filter could be clogged by paper, grease, or untreated solids. These are all signs of problems within the septic tank and you will need to take action to restore proper septic tank operation. While cleaning the filter, also examine it for any damage.

If you have septic tank, septic system, or septic drain field problems, please call our plumbing company at (757) 467-0000 or click here to email us.

More about our plumbers in the Richmond, Northeastern North Carolina, Virginia Beach, and throughout Hampton Roads area

Since 1987, A1 Sewer and Drain has consistently served the commercial and home plumbing needs of satisfied customers in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Tabb, Grafton, Smithfield, James City County, Northeastern North Carolina, Hampton Roads, and Richmond area.  With over 35 years of work to our credit, our local plumbing company is extremely proud of its A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau. 

Our Class A Contractor plumbing company has years of experience solving every plumbing emergency from a clogged kitchen sink to a water heater replacement, which means we’ve seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly – and we will solve your plumbing problem with integrity and professionalism.

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Our Locations

Ashland

309 Quarles Rd Suite B
Ashland, VA 23005

Hampton Roads

516 S. Military Hwy
Virginia Beach, VA 23464