What Septic Tank Repairs Involve
When there’s something wrong with your septic system, it can throw your entire household into chaos, as everything from washing clothes to taking showers becomes a potential issue. Learning more about what could be wrong with your system and the steps necessary to repair could give you some peace of mind as you move forward in the process.
Get an inspection
Before you worry too much about the cost of septic tank repairs, call in a professional to take a look at what’s really going on in your system. Often, a septic tank that’s past due for a pump can cause backups, foul odors and other problem with the system. After the inspection is complete, you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s just time to pump the system or if you’re looking at more serious damage to the septic tank or the leach field.
Pumping your tank
Depending on the exact nature of the repairs your septic system needs, it may be necessary to pump your septic tank before any work can begin. This is often true whether the issue lies with your septic tank or the leach field.
Sealing the tank
If the inspection determined there was a leak in your septic tank, the next step is to patch or seal the septic tank. Since the true extent of the leaks in your tank won’t be known until after it’s pumped clean, this is the stage where you may learn about more extensive repairs if they’re necessary.
Excavating your system
When the issue lies with the pipes leading to and from your tank instead of the tank itself, some level of excavation must be done to expose the pipes. At this point, your contractor will be able to patch or replace the inlet and outlet pipes as needed. Remember, even relatively limited excavation work to fix a single pipe can still disturb your existing landscaping, so it may be necessary to replace topsoil and sod after the work is complete.
Fixing the leach field
Unfortunately, there are a number of ways your leach field could become compromised, some of which are completely beyond your control. If it’s possible for the contractor to unclog the drain trenches or restore the soil, you’re looking at a relatively minor repair. If, however, the damage is beyond repair, you’ll have to decide whether to create a new leach field on your property or to completely redo the existing site. In both cases, excavation work will be necessary, as well as landscaping after the installation is complete.
If the inspection determined that roots were causing the issues with your leach field, septic tank or pipes, it’s wise to take a closer look at the trees, shrubs and other plants surrounding your septic system. In some cases, removing or relocating the plants with the most extensive root structures can stop the same problem from occurring in the future.