Just Had Septic Tank Pumped and Full Again: Causes and Solutions

Just Had Septic Tank Pumped and Full Again
Images / metropha.com

Just Had Septic Tank Pumped and Full Again.

A septic tank is an essential part of any home’s plumbing system. It’s responsible for collecting and decomposing waste from your household.

However, it can be quite frustrating when you’ve just had your septic tank pumped, and it’s full again.

This article will discuss the common causes, signs, and solutions for a full septic tank shortly after pumping, as well as tips for maintaining your septic system in the best condition possible.

Common Causes of a Full Septic Tank After Pumping

When you’ve just had your septic tank pumped and it’s still full, it’s essential to identify the cause to resolve the issue effectively.

Here are the most common reasons for this problem:

1. Non-Functioning Drain Field

The drain field, also known as a leach field or leach drain, plays a crucial role in your septic system.

It is responsible for removing and managing wastewater that enters the tank. A non-functioning drain field can lead to a full septic tank, even if it was recently pumped.

a. Age and Wear

Over time, drain fields can become worn and less effective. With proper care and maintenance, a drain field can last up to 50 years.

However, neglecting regular care can result in slow drainage and sewage backups, contributing to a full septic tank.

b. Root Intrusion

Tree roots can infiltrate the drain field, causing blockages and damage.

This can disrupt the drain field’s ability to manage wastewater, leading to a full septic tank.

It’s essential to plant trees at a safe distance from your septic system to avoid this issue.

2. Excessive Water Usage

Using more water than your septic system can handle can lead to a full tank, even after pumping.

An average person uses 60 to 70 gallons of water per day, and most septic tanks can hold between 750 and 1,250 gallons.

Reducing water usage and implementing water-saving measures can help prevent this problem.

a. Household Appliances

Excessive use of water-consuming appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, can contribute to a full septic tank.

Consider investing in water-efficient appliances and using them less frequently to reduce water usage.

b. Leaks and Drips

Leaks from faucets, showerheads, and toilets can add up over time, leading to excessive water usage.

Regularly inspect your plumbing fixtures for leaks and fix them promptly to conserve water.

3. Clogged Pipes

Clogs in your septic system’s pipes can cause your tank to fill up quickly.

Food particles, human waste, and other debris can accumulate over time and create blockages.

a. DIY Solutions

Before calling a professional, try using DIY solutions to clear clogs, such as hot water or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

Avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage your septic system and kill beneficial bacteria.

b. Regular Maintenance

Regularly maintaining your septic system’s pipes can help prevent clogs and keep your tank from filling up too quickly.

Schedule routine cleanings and inspections with a professional to ensure your system is functioning optimally.

4. Poor Pumping Job

If your septic tank was not pumped correctly or thoroughly, it could fill up again quickly.

Choosing a reputable and experienced septic service provider is crucial for ensuring a high-quality pumping job.

a. Research and Reviews

Before hiring a septic service provider, research online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family.

A reputable company will have a proven track record and use state-of-the-art equipment.

b. Warranty and Follow-Up Services

Choose a septic service provider that offers a warranty on their work and provides follow-up services if the job is unsatisfactory.

This can help ensure your septic tank is pumped effectively and stays empty for an appropriate amount of time.

Signs of a Full Septic Tank

Knowing the signs of a full septic tank can help you address the issue before it becomes a larger problem.

Here are some common indicators that your septic tank is full:

1. Foul Odor

A strong, unpleasant smell coming from your drains, toilet, or around your septic tank can indicate that it’s full.

This odor is caused by sewage gases escaping the tank and entering your home.

2. Slow Drainage

If your sinks, showers, and toilets are draining slowly, this could be a sign that your septic tank is full.

While slow drainage can also be caused by clogs, it’s essential to consider the possibility of a full septic tank.

3. Pooling Water

Water pooling around your septic tank or drain field can be a sign of a full tank.

This water can contain harmful bacteria and pose a health risk, so it’s essential to address the issue promptly.

4. Sewer Backup

A sewer backup in your home, particularly in the lowest areas, such as the basement, can indicate a full septic tank.

This occurs when wastewater cannot flow into the sewer system due to a full tank.

5. Lush Lawn Growth

If the grass around your septic tank or drain field is significantly greener and healthier than the rest of your lawn, this could be a sign of a full tank.

The excess water and nutrients from the tank can cause accelerated growth in these areas.

Effects of a Full Septic Tank

Ignoring a full septic tank can have several negative consequences, including:

1. Health Risks

A full septic tank can release toxic gases, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, which can be harmful to your health when inhaled.

Exposure to these gases can also increase the risk of airborne bacteria and pathogens.

2. Malfunctioning Plumbing System

A full septic tank can cause your home’s plumbing system to malfunction, resulting in problems like toilets not flushing properly and sinks overflowing.

3. Unpleasant Odors

A full septic tank can cause foul odors to permeate your home, making it an uncomfortable and unpleasant environment.

Tips for Maintaining Your Septic System

Proper care and maintenance of your septic system can help prevent your tank from filling up too quickly.

Here are some tips for keeping your septic system in top condition:

1. Conserve Water

Reducing water usage can help prevent your septic tank from filling up too quickly.

Implement water-saving measures, such as using water-efficient appliances, fixing leaks promptly, and adjusting the flow rate of faucets and showers.

2. Be Mindful of What Goes Down the Drain

Avoid putting solid waste, such as cat litter, cigarette filters, and feminine hygiene products, down the drain.

These items can take up space in your tank and clog your system.

Also, consider avoiding antibacterial soaps and cleaners, as they can kill beneficial bacteria in your septic tank.

3. Avoid Planting Trees Near the Tank

Tree roots can damage your septic tank and cause blockages in your drain field. Plant trees at a safe distance from your septic system to prevent these issues.

4. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Regular septic system maintenance, including pumping and inspections, can help keep your tank from filling up too quickly.

Work with a reputable septic service provider to ensure your system is functioning optimally.


A full septic tank shortly after pumping can be a frustrating and costly issue. By understanding the common causes, such as a non-functioning drain field, excessive water usage, clogged pipes, and poor pumping jobs, you can address the problem effectively.

Regularly maintaining your septic system and watching for signs of a full tank can help prevent issues and keep your system running smoothly

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