Septic systems can last up to three decades with the proper maintenance. Like all home appliances, however, they do have a shelf life. Even with routine maintenance of your septic system, it can’t last forever.

Even before it needs a replacement, it might need some repairs over the years. But how can you tell the condition of the septic system when it’s underground? Below are telltale signs your septic system may need either repairs or replacement.

Slow Drains

If the sink, bathtub, or toilets start to drain slowly – especially all three at the same time - it could be a sign your septic system is clogged, or it’s full. Pay attention to slow drains because if your septic system needs repairs, you should tend to them right away.

Greener Grass

If you notice your grass turning a lush green color in one specific area by your septic tank, it’s not a sign of a healthy lawn. Instead, this grass is getting extra fertilizer from sewage waste. This might be a sign of a leak.

Foul Odor

When a rotten egg smell begins to develop, this is a clear sign of a septic system issue. It could mean a full septic tank that needs to be pumped, or it could mean the plumbing vent pipe needs an extension. Either way, a bad odor is a sign to get your septic system checked out.

Water Contamination

If your water source is contaminated, a septic system that needs repairs or replacement might be the culprit. Water testing that shows your well water is polluted with bacteria, nitrates or nitrites is a clear indication of a septic system issue.

Plumbing Backup

Plumbing backups could be a sign of septic system failure. Clogging, a gurgling sound and a bad odor coming from the toilet could all be plumbing backup issues caused by clogged pipes.

Standing Water

Standing water in the yard might not necessarily mean the septic system is at fault, but it is worth getting a professional to take a look. Standing water could mean the septic system isn’t disposing the waste the way it should, which would mean it needs a replacement.

HouseMaster Harrisburg home inspectors now offer Septic Inspections. Trust the professionals to inspect your septic system to prevent expensive repair costs.

Note: These tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions or need guidance regarding a specific issue. Harrisburg home inspectors Dan Ayers and Scott Ayers, like all Housemaster home inspectors, have extensive training and certifications and are tested annually to meet the industry standards of continuing education, inspection, reporting, and customer service. As part of the oldest and most trusted nationwide home inspection business, Dan and Scott have been able to put their decade long experience in fire and water property restoration and their passion for customer service to good use in the professional home inspection process. Request an inspection today!