How Septic Tank Alarms Work to Keep Your Home Safe

Posted on: 6 July 2015

When a septic system is working properly, it's a finely tuned system that keeps waste from your home funneled away. If any part of that system stops functioning, however, it can create a real mess. A septic tank alarm helps to alert homeowners that there's a problem long before it turns into something that could cost thousands to repair. To keep the alarm working properly, it helps to have an understanding of how the alarm is supposed to work.

What Does a Septic Tank Alarm Do?

A typical septic system involves sewage flowing from the house to a tank, using gravity. Once in the tank, solids sink to the bottom and liquid remains on top. Any liquid overflow exits the tank into a drain field. Occasionally the tank pumps solid waste to a higher part of the tank. That action gets triggered by a floating switch that keeps the tank from overflowing or backing up into the house. An alarm in the septic tank can alert homeowners that there's a problem before the tank either overflows or causes a backup.

The Mechanics of the Alarm

The first component of the alarm is the floating switch. This gets wired to an electrical circuit so that it has power even if the septic pump's circuit isn't functioning. As water and waste levels rise, the floating switch rises, too. If the altitude reaches a specific pre-set limit, the alarm is triggered. This can mean that an actual alarm sounds somewhere in a control panel or simply that a light goes on within a control panel. Really advanced alarms can even send notifications to your smartphone.

What to Do When the Alarm Goes Off

When the septic tank alarm goes off, that means that the pump is likely malfunctioning and the levels in the tank are too high. The first thing to do is to check the circuit breaker and make sure that the septic pump has power running to it, since a lack of electricity could be the only problem. If the circuit breaker is on, then it could mean that the tank has a leak or that the pump itself is clogged. The drain field can also develop clogs or become waterlogged after heavy rains.

If your septic tank alarm is going off too often, you may need some additional help. Whether you need full-on septic system installation or simply a repair, call an expert in septic systems to get your situation resolved. Consider speaking with a representative from Lanik Enterprises INC.