If you’re moving into your first house that is equipped with a septic system instead of being connected to the municipal sewer system, you’ll need to understand what the septic tank alarm means and what you should do if it goes off. Most people who are inexperienced with septic systems don’t even realize that there is an alarm until it sounds, and they don’t know how to address it. Here are some tips to help you understand the function of the alarm and how you should deal with an activation.

The Basics of Septic System Alarms

A septic system alarm is an indication that the tank isn’t forcing overflow into the drain field. Whether this is due to a failure of the float in the tank or other issues, it can lead to a serious backup in your plumbing system. The alarm is designed to notify you of this problem before it actually causes the plumbing system to back up.

The alarm float in the tank sends a signal when it reaches the sensor that’s placed at the warning level of the tank. This is usually far enough down to allow you time to have the tank pumped if needed, but not so far that it activates unnecessarily. The float and alarm system are usually on a separate electrical circuit with a power backup system so that you don’t lose functionality when you lose power.

Finding the Septic Tank Alarm

The location of the septic tank alarm will vary from property to property. Sometimes, it’s attached to the tank itself, while other times, it may be installed on your home’s exterior wall, in an outdoor shed or even in the basement. Ask the prior owner or the septic company where your alarm is so that you know where to find it to turn it off if it activates.

Dealing With a Septic Tank Alarm Activation

If the alarm goes off, you’ll need to try to restore the flow to the tank. If your septic tank uses a pump to transfer liquid to the drain field, you can try to reset the breaker for the septic pump. If this doesn’t get the system flowing again, you’ll need the help of a septic tank specialist to assess the tank’s drainage pipes for clogs.

When you move into a home with a septic system, make sure you ask about the alarm. The more you know about where it is, how it works and how you can shut it off, the easier it will be to deal with any potential septic tank problems. For more information, contact Moon Septic or a similar company.