Many septic systems are equipped with alarms which are designed to go off if there is a septic tank issue. Some people panic when their septic tank alarms go off, but this often isn't necessary. You certainly shouldn't ignore the alarm when it goes off -- it is there for a reason, after all -- but if you have noticed that your alarm is emitting a sound and that the light has switched from green to red, it could be due to one of these reasons and not because there's actually something wrong with your system.
1. It's Been Raining
Before you panic, take notice of the recent weather conditions. During periods of heavy rain, the excess water -- which might be standing in your yard in the form of mud puddles -- could find its way into your septic system. This is in addition to any water that your family has been using, which can trigger the alarm. You don't necessarily need to call a professional for repair right away, but you should watch for the indicator light to turn green again as the lawn starts to dry up. If this does not happen, it could be a cause for concern.
2. Your Family Has Been Using a Lot of Water
Has your family been using a lot more water than usual? For example, did you recently go on a marathon laundry session, or did you have a big party that involved more people using your sinks and toilets than usual? If so, the additional water use could be overloading your system. To avoid this problem in the future, it is best to spread out your usage as much as possible, such as by doing your laundry all throughout the week rather than all in one day, and renting portable toilets when you're going to be having a lot of guests over. It's also a good idea to look for ways to reduce your family's water consumption, which can both prevent your septic tank from becoming overloaded and can save you money on your water bill, along with being good for the environment. In the meantime, monitor your septic system; the indicator light might change on its own once your system is able to process the additional used water, but if this does not happen in a relatively short period of time -- or if you notice other signs of a septic system issue, such as sewage backups -- then you should hire a pro.
3. You Need to Call a Professional for Pumping
Even if your system is in good shape, it still needs to be pumped every now and then. The frequency with which this should be done depends on the size of your septic tank, the number of people in your home and whether or not you have a garbage disposal. For example, for a family of four with a 500-gallon tank, the system should be pumped about once a year. If you are unsure of how frequently this should be done, you should talk to a pro about your own situation.
There are various things that can cause a septic tank alarm to go off, and they don't necessarily mean that a repair needs to be done to any of your system's components. These are three other reasons that could be causing the alarm to be set off. Contact a service like Midwestern Plumbing Service to learn more.