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Septic System Maintenance in Warrenton VA: Septic Tank Alarms

If you have regular septic system maintenance at your Warrenton VA home and your system is relatively new, you probably have a septic tank alarm attached to your system.

So, what is the septic tank alarm for, and what do you do if the alarm goes off?

Let’s remember that your septic system has a pump with a timer, and wastewater is pumped into the drainfield at certain timed intervals during the day. A pump timer is necessary to prevent pumping too much wastewater into the drainfield at any one time. This prevents the drainfield from becoming overwhelmed, because a drainfield which is repeatedly overwhelmed will become damaged and eventually fail.

A septic tank alarm warns you when the water level in the pump tank is rising higher than it should, over a shorter period of time than usual. This can happen when:

  • Too much water is being used - perhaps from doing multiple loads of laundry back to back, washing lots of dishes, or having extra guests showering, etc.
  • Too much rain over a long period of time and/or flooding, which can cause ground water getting into the system.
  • There’s a problem with the various parts of your septic system - the pump, floats, alarm, timer, etc. may have something wrong that is not allowing them to work together properly.

When you notice that the audio alarm is going off, you’ll want to push the silence button on the alarm box. Check to see if both the green and red lights are on (the green light is the power light, so that should always be on.) The red light means the alarm is getting a signal from the pump tank that the water level is getting higher than it should be.

Then, check the circuit breaker to make sure the septic system has power. If the breaker is on, look around for any water puddling around the septic tanks. If there is a large amount of water puddling or if there is a sewage smell, call SES Mid Atlantic LLC immediately.

Otherwise, give your septic system a few pump cycles (12-16 hours) to see if the alarms red light goes out on it own. Use very little water during this time, so that your system can catch up. If the red light goes out, the system is working properly. However, if the red light is still on after 12-16 hours - don’t wait any longer - contact your SES Mid-Atlantic for service.

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