Q: Can Ray’s help me find my septic tank?
A: Sure! First, contact your local Health Department and see if they have a record of where it is buried. If they don’t, we can still help you. Our technicians are good at septic tank detective work! We also have electronic locators that we can flush down your toilet to help us with this task.
Q: How often do I need to pump my septic system?
A: This varies by how many people are living there, the size of the tank, and whether there’s a cancer patient in the home, among other things. Feel free to use our pump calculator or call us so we can work out your unique pumping schedule.
Q: Is it normal for some of the drains inside my house to make a gurgling sound at times? Is this an early warning signal my septic system is failing?
A: This can be a sign that your tank is full or that your drain field is draining slow. It can also mean a variety of other things and maybe even means nothing is wrong at all. If you haven’t pumped in three years or more, we suggest having us pump when someone is home so water can be run to make sure that it’s flowing freely into the tank. This will allow us to verify that the drain field is taking water and to make sure the tank isn’t full of solids. Even if you pump once a year, you will likely pay less than you would living on city sewer and it helps keep your system in top shape!
Q: The lids to my system are at least three feet below ground. When I dig it up, what type of shovel do you recommend I use?
A: Unfortunately, there is no perfect shovel- just some good hard work. You may need a way to cut roots and a digging bar can be useful for loosening the dirt. (Be careful with the bar when you get close to the tank.) Most tanks have two 24” lids- one on each end- and both need to be dug up and the entire lid exposed plus 3 to 4 inches. Please leave your lids in place to keep children and pets safe! Our technician will open them when needed.
Q: I don’t want to damage my lawn so when I dig, where should I place all that dirt?
A: We recommend carefully cutting your sod out of the way and setting it aside in the shade so it can be reused. Then place the dirt on tarps or plywood to make clean up much easier.
Q: My septic pump stopped working; can you fix it for me?
A: Unfortunately, according to Washington L&I, it requires an electrician to rewire a pump, so we suggest calling your favorite one. If they need it pumped to do their work, we would be glad to do that for you!
Q: Are you able to unplug my drain field lines?
A: We have no way to restore drain fields that have failed. Usually it isn’t the lines that are the problem but the soil at the bottom and sides of the drain field trench that are plugged off. It takes time for the bacteria to break that down and allow it to drain again. The best thing is to maintain your system, be careful using too much soap, fix any leaky faucets or toilets and pump your tank often which keeps solids from reaching your drain field and gives the drain field a little time to recover. Oh, and take a vacation! In case you needed an excuse, that will give your drain field a break as well!