Your septic alarm might be inside your home, but more often, it’s installed outside, by the septic tank. The alarm will sound a loud siren and have a light come on when there is an issue. But what are the issues that could trigger the alarm?
Let’s look at the five most common reasons that could trigger your septic alarm.
A high water level inside the tank is the most common reason; as it overflows, the alarm will go off. This could be caused by doing extra loads of laundry, or from people taking too many showers, overloading your septic system. Heavy rain can also flood your septic system. Rainstorms can cause the groundwater under your tank to rise, seeping into your septic tank. If this is the case, stop using water until the levels go down.
A power outage can also trigger the alarm. This could be from a neighborhood-wide power outage, or the pump may have tripped a breaker. A breaker can trip for many different reasons; if the septic pump isn’t on its own breaker something else may have tripped it. If moisture has infiltrated the breaker, it may trip.
The alarm float may be faulty. Likewise, the pump float may be faulty. These floats are designed to work for just a few years. If the pump float doesn’t work, the septic pump won’t know when it needs to come on, and the water levels will rise inside the tank.
The timer isn’t working or needs to be adjusted. Many septic systems use a timer to tell the pump when to come on. These timers are intended to prevent the drain field from being flooded during times of high demand. If the timer isn’t working, the tank may become too full.
The absolute worst reason for the septic alarm to go off is that the drain field can’t accept any more water. This could be caused by many situations. For example, this could be due to rains saturating the area, a broken pipe, or a damaged fitting. Once again, if you believe this to be the case, stop using water until the levels inside your septic system start to go down.
Keep in mind, an alarm doesn’t mean raw sewage will back up into the house right away. Septic alarms are intended to give you 24-48 hours of use before the sewage will begin to back up. If you’ve checked the breakers and waited 10-15 hours for the water levels to go down, but the red alarm light is still on, it’s time to contact a professional septic company for service.