Your Go-To Septic System Troubleshooting FAQs.

Get the answers to your questions here.

Ray's Twilight Septic Service Truck

Q: My septic alarm is going off or isn’t working right. Can you come take a look at it?

Most issues with alarms that are malfunctioning require an electrician to repair, therefore we don’t offer alarm troubleshooting.  

There are some things you can check before calling an electrician:

  • Remove the lid from the riser and check the actual level in the tank.
  • If your level is too high, you can try running the pump on manual to see if it comes on and pumps down the level.  If it does, most likely you have a float or panel issue and you need to call an electrician.
  • If the pump doesn’t work then you may have a bad pump or connection. Again, call an electrician.
  • On a new system, often times a low-level alarm will sound until enough water is used to fill the pump chamber. If this is the case, use a hose and fill the pump chamber until the alarm goes off. Don’t turn off the system! This can turn out very bad!

Q: Can I get a ball park quote on a septic and drain field?

Sure! We will need to know how many bedrooms your house will be, the area it is in and what type of system will be required for the lot (ie gravity, pressure distribution, engineered or mound). With that information, we can give you a ball park quote. Just remember that ball parks are big so it won’t be 100% accurate!

Q: Our drain field is leaking. Do you do that type of repair work?

Once you get a repair permit from the health department, we can jump in and give you a quote to fix it.

Q: I am going from a septic system at my home to city sewer hook-up. Can you help me with that?

Yes! Please call us or send a quote request to our estimating team.

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!

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:  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:  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:  How often do I need septic tank pumped?

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:  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.

Septic Pumping Service Areas

Benton County Washington


Benton City

West Richland





Walla Walla County Washington

Walla Walla

Walla Walla East





College Place




Franklin County Washington




West Pasco


Basin City

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