How septic evaluations keep your septic system running smoothly.

A septic system is a critical part of your home’s sewer system. It’s designed to treat wastewater from sinks, showers, and toilets before releasing it into the environment. Over time, these systems can experience problems like blockages or leaks that require repair or replacement. That’s why it’s vital to have regular septic system maintenance evaluations by a qualified service professional.

An evaluation typically includes evaluating the tank and drain fields (the pipes that carry wastewater out of the tank) for signs of damage or excessive infiltration of wastewater into the soil. If necessary, repairs or upgrades can be done to ensure the proper functioning of your system and the protection of groundwater from contamination. This blog will tell you everything you need to know about evaluations—what they are, why they’re essential for the long-term performance and safety of your system, and how they’re performed.

septic evaluations on outdoor covers in your garden

When and why septic evaluations are important

An evaluation is an important part of maintaining your system’s health and function. Septic systems should be evaluated every 1-3 years as household tanks are typically pumped every 1 to 3 years. Regular inspections can help identify problems before they become costly repairs. A professional can perform a thorough assessment of the system, looking for signs of trouble or potential issues like clogs, leaks, and other sewage issues. They can also inspect the pumping device and all components of the system, checking to make sure they’re in good working order and any maintenance items have been performed as specified in the systems manual.

A maintenance contract is an excellent way for individuals to stay on top of their wastewater system’s upkeep without having to track down different specialists for every checkup. This type of contract outlines regular service intervals and provides clear instructions on how to care for the wastewater system, ensuring it’s always working properly and preventing costly backups. As a homeowner, it’s important to regularly check your system’s performance and address any issues as soon as they arise so that it runs smoothly.

what is a septic evaluation?

An evaluation is a process conducted by a certified service provider to check the overall health of the system and its components. It is usually done when selling or buying a home as part of a septic system inspection. An evaluation includes a visual check of the key elements of a system, such as the sludge level, condition of baffles, and pump operation. A certified evaluator can perform an evaluation by conducting tests on the system’s sewage pumping ability and sludge strength. This helps homeowners understand how to properly care for their sewage systems.

septic evaluations for septic systems in vermont

How often should my system be pumped?

Ideally, septic tank pumping should be every 1-3 years to ensure the proper functioning of your system. This is because regular cleaning of the tank is necessary for optimal maintenance and sewage backup can be an indication of issues. Furthermore, many systems need to be replaced after 15-20 years of use; thus, it’s important to keep up with regular pumping and cleaning services in order to avoid costly repairs or replacements down the road.

What are some common problems with systems?

Wastewater systems are complex systems that require maintenance and care because, over time, they can experience a range of issues that may lead to failure. The most common problems associated with these systems include sewage backups, clogged or sluggish drain lines, and eventually, system failures.

If you notice any back-ups in your sinks or toilets, that’s usually an indication that something is wrong with your system. If you have a system older than 15 years, it may be time to start thinking about replacing it as systems can often fail after this period of time.

In addition, regular maintenance is key to prevent septic system failure. This includes inspecting the leaching fields and pumping out the tank every 3-5 years depending on usage. If you’re not sure what needs to be done, professional residential or commercial services help can take care of the process from start to finish.

What problems can happen with an old system?

If you have an old septic system, there are some common problems you should be aware of. Septic systems tend to fail after 15 to 20 years of age due to normal wear and tear. This can lead to clogged drain lines, slow-flowing drains, sewage backup in lines and appliances, foul odors from the septic tank, wet spots in your yard or garden, and other issues.

If these signs are present, you should seek professional help from a service provider who can identify and solve the issue with the system. Repairing or replacing an old system can be costly, so it’s important to take preventive measures by having your tank serviced regularly.

How long to septic systems last?

Septic systems are designed to last for up to 15-20 years, however, regular maintenance is essential to ensure proper functioning. Septic tank pumping should be done every 1-3 years to avoid clogging and other related issues. If you don’t have tank pumping done your system may to fail prematurely.

Replacing a septic system can be costly, so homeowners should be prepared for the financial commitment. Professional services are available to install, replace, and maintain systems. Regular maintenance and inspections can detect any signs of deterioration early on and help to extend the life of a system.

septic evaluations with septic systems in Vermont and problems they have over time

What are the signs that it’s time for a septic evaluation?

If you think it’s time for a septic evaluation, then here are some of the signs to look out for:

Overflowing toilets and backed-up plumbing – if you’re noticing your toilets overflowing or any other plumbing back-up, then it may be time to call a septic service.

Gurgling noises – if strange gurgling noises are coming from your drains, it’s likely that something is blocking the system and an evaluation is in order.

Sinks backing up into showers or bathtubs– if sinks start backing up into showers or bathtubs, it is an indication that a system evaluation needs to be done.

Foul odors – if there are any strong odors coming from your drains or on your property, it is a sign that a wastewater service should be called.

Wet waste – if there is any wet waste on your property, it is an indication that an evaluation needs to be done.

Can septic systems freeze?

Yes, septic systems can freeze in colder climates. This is particularly true if your system has not been properly maintained or insulated. Signs of system freezing include sewage backup and clogged or sluggish drain lines. There might also be other signs of tank failure, such as a distinct smell coming from your drains or wet spots in the yard around the septic tank.

To prevent system freezing, homeowners should take certain steps like insulating their tank with blankets or foam insulation and ensuring regular maintenance of their tanks. In some cases, installing a heated tank might be necessary to avoid freezing.

If you are unsure about how to keep your system from freezing, professional installers and contractors can provide additional advice on preventing system freezing.

Can my system cause odor in the house?

Yes, a system can cause odors in your home. If the system is not properly maintained, sewage can begin to accumulate in the pipes, which can lead to unpleasant odors entering the residence. If you have noticed an unpleasant sewage odor outside of your house, this may indicate that your system needs maintenance. Other signs of problems include sewage backup in drain lines and appliances, grey water on the surface of the ground at the drain field, and a system that is 15-20 years old and may need replacing. If you believe that your system is not functioning properly, it is best to contact a professional service to evaluate and maintain the system. Proper maintenance of your system can help reduce foul odors in your house.

Are septic systems covered by home owners insurance?

The answer is generally yes, septic systems are typically covered by homeowners insurance. Septic systems are a costly investment and many of them fail after 15-20 years. If your system does require replacement or repairs, it can be expensive to fix.

It is important to have your system inspected and certified when buying or selling a home since any issues may lead to costly repairs. Warning signs that may indicate an issue with your system include overflowing toilets, backed-up plumbing, strange gurgling noises, and strong odors. In these cases, you may need to contact a service for further assistance.


In conclusion, evaluations are important for ensuring that the system is functioning properly. They can help detect problems before they become a major issues, alert homeowners of any septic-related changes to their property that might affect their wastewater system, and ensure the system is working as it should. If you notice any signs of trouble with your tank or drain field, such as unwanted seeping or smell, contact a professional for an evaluation. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

At Pumptech, we are a family-owned and operated knowledgeable staff of service technicians in the State of Vermont. We strive to provide excellent septic services with professionalism, promptness and value to every customer. If you are experiencing issues, give us a call at 802-728-9170.

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