One minute you’re completing your morning routine getting ready for work or to take the kids to school, the next minute you’re smelling an odor that definitely does not belong. What’s causing it? Your septic system may or may not be the cause, but if it is, you’ll want to get on it right away.
Let’s go through some of the most common culprits for weird odors in a home – culprits that usually have simple fixes – so you can resolve the problem without having to dig into your wallet.
1. Check your drains
If you have a drain you don’t use, perhaps in the guest bathroom, or a sink you rarely ever see, the problem may be as simple as a soured P-Trap. Running water down the drain for a minute or so should remove the smell.
2. Check your toilet
The toilet can be another common source of unpleasant smells if the wax rings have become deformed over time. Damage to the rings also can happen during a poor installation.
3. Did you just have a decent rain?
Low pressure in the atmosphere can cause the vents that the plumbers installed to allow the air up and out that would normally be held in place under standard atmospheric pressure. The air may be filtering through openings nearest the vent. This is generally unavoidable, but it shouldn’t last long.
4. You can’t find anything overflowing or backed up, but your house reeks!
This is uncommon in newer homes, but we see it periodically in older homes. Over time, your pipes can corrode and exhibit holes and/or cracks. If one of your vent pipes is cracked, you have a very real situation that requires a leak test to diagnose.
5. You have multiple bathrooms, but the toilet in just one of them is overflowing.
Typically this points to a clog in the lines, from hair, toilet paper, feminine products or a combination of these or other items inappropriate for toilets. Pay attention to the drains nearest the toilet that’s backing up to see if they’re having problems as well.
Plumbers vs. Septic Companies
Generally speaking, the problems above don’t require the services of a septic company. Rather, some of them require the attention of a licensed plumber.
The following scenarios do need to be addressed by a reputable septic service company.
1. Things are backing up in your bathroom – you flush the toilet and the shower starts overflowing or use the shower and the toilet backs up
This indicates a full septic tank that needs to be pumped down. If you have a lift station, you may have a flipped GFI and stopped power to the alarm. To easily test this, go to the alarm and flip the switch on the box to “Test.” If it goes off, you need to contact a septic company.
2. Your yard stinks horribly
This is quite common after heavy rain. You likely need a professional to check the drain field to make sure it’s not blowing out.
3. There’s standing water above your septic tank
While this is an uncommon scenario, it would indicate a need to have your septic tank cleaned, because the tank may have a clog or the drain field may no longer be accepting liquids. Thankfully, if you have a lift station, the problem may be as simple as a tripped GFI, which is preventing liquids from being pumped out.
4. The alarm has been going off and won’t stop
There can be several reasons for this, and they all require having a septic company look the system over.
We hope these guidelines give you some clarity and help you keep a lot of your hard-earned money in your pocket by properly addressing various issues with your septic system and the drain system in your home.
Get Septic Service from Local, Licensed Professionals
Quality Septic Inc. has been serving your communities since 1994 in the Plant City, Brandon, Tampa, Lutz, and Land O Lakes areas. Often imitated, never duplicated! Reach us today at (813) 754-9891.