A Full Moon Septic FAQ's
Q. My septic system is backing up, will pumping the tank solve my problem?
A. Cleaning your septic tank may not solve the problem. You may have to have your line snaked to remove a blockage. Your leach system may have failed so you might have to replace to drain field to correct the problem & empty tank often until it is replaced. CLEANING ALONE MAY NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
Our systems are 4’ in ground & it’s not easy to see exactly what is causing the problem as it can be a broken pipe, blocked pipe, baffle in tank blocking outlet, baffle blockage, rocks from separated pipe or toilet paper building up in separation.
Q.What should I do if my system is backing up?
A. Stop using the water. Check that the water softener, dish washer, laundry machine if you do not shut off the water to fixtures & appliances. Trouble shoot why the system is backing up.
Q. Trouble Shooting Questions & Problems: These are questions you will need to know when calling for help.
A. Is there a clean out 2 to 5 foot from home? Does it have water in it? When was the last time it was pumped & what is a good average for your household usage to pump your tank? Is any part of your system frozen such as clean out pipe by home, tank or leach field? Gurgling & slow draining are signs of problems have you checked your pipes? Do you know what level is proper working levels & what levels are overfull? How much water is in your leach field monitor pipe? Is the on roof blocked by ice/frost or animals’ nest? Do you smell an odor anything & if so where? Did you check to see if a pee trap dried out by adding water to any pee traps not used in a while? Are all the caps on your pipes? To help you get the correct help & save the most money possible we need clear honest answers to these questions. Is an alarm going off? Do you have a lift station?
Q. How often do I need to pump my septic tank?
A. ADEC recommends an average of 2 years. We suggest an average that works for your size system & how many people use it. It is important to remember changes to household impact the septic system. The EPA recommends an average based on whole United States that does not reflect our colder temperatures.
Q. Do I need to be present when having tank pumped?
A. No, if payment arrangements have been made. Some people prefer not to be present. Appointments are giving or take an hour on either side of your appointment time. You are responsible to cancel your appointment & if you do not, we will charge our minimum fee of 1000 gallons.
Q. How long will the pump take?
On average a half hour, it depends on size of tank, how far to tank & other variables.
Q. What is the best time of year to pump septic tank?
A. If access to your home is hilly or harder to get to in winter, you should have your tank pumped in the summertime when snow & ice are not present. Try to have your tank pumped earlier in the season instead of waiting until October when everyone else is, it overloads the sewer plant & pumping companies. You can pump your septic system in the winter without any issues.
Q. What do I need to do to be ready for my septic cleaning?
A. You should prepare access for septic truck to get as close as possible without driving on lawn. This includes moving vehicles from driveway, removing snow & sanding driveway & path to tank. Cleaning path to tank & work area around tank of personal items, trees, brush & animal waste. Animals removed from work area. Water if available. Know where the pipes are for your system, if ground level marked if not home. If buried, you must dig pipes up.
Q. I haven’t pumped my tank in years (5, 10, 15, 20) & it still works just fine.
A. Your septic tank is most likely not working properly, it’s probably disposing or more accurately polluting. When scum & sludge build up it’s forced into the leaching area. It can become so thick in the tank there’s no room for anymore household wastewater causing it to back up into the home.
Q. What should grow on my septic system?
A. Grass, roots from trees damage the systems.
Q. Should I add additives/chemicals to the tank to help solids breakdown?
A. The ADEC & EPA does not recommend the use these products.
Q. What kind of toilet paper should I use?
A. The toilet paper that forms a ball doesn’t breakdown that well & can cause clogs. The toilet paper that rips into small pieces can float out to the leach field & clog the drain field.
Q. How do rocks get in my septic tank?
A. Broken or separation of pipes, no caps on pipes, installers not being careful during excavation and tank deterioration.
Q. What kind of soap should I use?
A. Do not use Powdered Laundry Soap. Use soaps that kill the bacteria in small quantities such as anti-bacterial soap, Clorox & vinegar. Do not use toilet bowls cleaners in the toilet reservoir made for every flush. Limit all chemical use as much as possible.
Q. I am selling my home should I have my septic tank pumped.
A. You don’t want your tank full of scum & solids when the engineer comes to do the test. If you have not cleaned your tank in an average that works for the household usage or ADEC’s recommended pumping of 2 years, you should clean your tank & allow time for it to refill with normal household water use. Our family of 4 used on average 5000 gallons of water or more per month, so it would take us 4 or 5 days to refill tank.
Q. Who do I hire to do inspect my septic system?
A. In the state of Alaska engineers certify & inspect septic systems for resale. If you are having problems with your septic system not preforming correctly you may consider hiring an engineer to preform a septic test. When designing & installing it is recommended to have an engineer preform this work & submit the paperwork to ADEC. It helps ensure you have a system that will be designed to your needs & meet ADEC requirements.
Q. When will a tank refill?
A. Yes, a proper working tank will refill in a short period of time. Our family of 4 refilled our 1000-gallon tank in about 4 to 5 days. After it is full water comes into tank & then goes out of the tank to leach field. It’s important that only the water leaves tank & goes out to leach field. See image below:
Q. Why do you need to pump your septic tank?
To extend the life of your drain field by removing the scum & sludge so they don’t build up to levels that get forced out to leach field that cause premature failure of the drain field.