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How To Check Septic Tank Is Full?

By July 19, 2023July 20th, 2023No Comments
Always get your septic tank drained.

Purchasing a home can be a stressful time. There are a variety of items that you need to check for before signing on the line. For example, ask what the water situation is in the home. Do you have a septic tank or are you on city sewer? In some cases, you might be on both. It all depends on what the original homeowner decided to do when the home was built. If you choose a home with a septic system, there are some responsibilities that you will want to maintain. Otherwise, you could have a mess on your hands. Be sure to conduct all maintenance needs about your septic tank. If you aren’t sure what to do, you will want to call on a professional to assist. How to check septic tank is full? Aside from removing the lid of the tank and noticing a high level of water, calling a professional is best.

Let’s take a look below at some more information regarding a septic tank.

What Does It Mean To Have A Full Septic Tank?

Depending on the stage that you are in regarding your septic tank, determines the real meaning of a full septic tank. In many cases, homeowners will forget to have their septic tank drained and overflow will occur into their drain field. Let’s take a look below at the three definitions of a full septic tank.

  • Normal level – Septic tanks are designed to hold a certain amount of water and waste. When the septic tank has reached its normal level of full, the intake and outtake valves are still capable of allowing waste and wastewater to flow in and out of the tank. Once the septic tank is pumped back down, it returns to the normal level.
  • Accumulation of sludge – Over time, sludge will build up and get trapped. This sludge must be removed or the wastewater will continue to build and flow into the drainage field. This will create a foul odor and a sloppy yard.
  • Over-filled tank – Once the drain field stops allowing water, the tank will back up and overflow. This gets very messy and the water levels are not passed the capacity of the tank.

Get your septic tank drained on a regular basis.

What Are The Signs That Your Septic Tank Is Full?

Believe it or not, there are a variety of signs that your septic tank is full. As a homeowner, it is important to pay attention to these signs or you will experience and very unfortunate situation in and around your home. Let’s take a look below at what the signs that your septic tank is full are.

Pooling water

Keep an eye on the areas around your septic tank. If you haven’t had any rain and the ground looks soggy and there are puddles of water, your septic tank is likely full and overflowing. The solid waste is blocking the valves and water is just spilling into the yard.

Slow Drains

  • If water is slowly draining from your sinks, bathtub, shower, or toilets, your septic tank is likely filling up fast. Slow drains are a great warning sign that it is time to get your tank pumped down.


  • Odors around your septic tank or even in your home are not a good sign. This is an immediate problem that needs to be addressed. The septic tank is full and the waste is just building up higher and higher to the point where it could flow back into your home. Additionally, odors could mean there is a leak in your tank. Consequently, have a professional take a look.

Healthy Lawn

  • Check the area around your septic tank. If your lawn is plush and very green, you likely have a wastewater leak. The nutrients in the wastewater will help the grass and plants grow healthy. Also, there will be a clear difference in yard color.

Sewage Backup

  • This is not good. If you have a sewer backup, that means the wastewater is coming back into your drains. Also, this requires immediate attention from your local septic system company.

Gurgling Water

  • Gurgling sounds in your pipes are clear indicators that your septic tank is getting full. Consequently, the water has little to nowhere to go.

Trouble Flushing

  • If it is taking multiple flushes to generate enough pressure for your waste to flush down the toilet, the septic tank is likely full. Additionally, there might be a clog in the system. Call on your local septic system company to come check out your issues.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about checking to see if your septic tank is full, there are other areas of maintenance. One of those is septic inspection.  A septic tank should last about 25-30 years if you are doing the inspection every 3 years.  It costs about $300 or more, depending on your home inspection company.

Next, sometimes you need to add bacteria to your septic tank.  If this is the case, you can get a bag of bacteria that is environmentally friendly from your septic company.  This is often needed to break down the solids so they don’t fill up the tank.

Lastly, homeowners often wonder if their well water has fluoride.  The answer is yes it does as It is naturally occurring in groundwater.  However, you will want to test your water to see what the levels are. Sometimes, the level is too high and you need to remove it with a water treatment system.

New septic tanks should be installed if you are having problems with the old ones.

When Do I Call A Professional?

When dealing with a septic system, you will want to call on a professional septic service company as well as your local home inspection team. Also, in some cases, your local home inspection team can conduct a test using dyes to determine if your septic system has any issues. Additionally, Bentley Home Inspections will look for signs of the dye used in this test to determine if there are issues with the septic tank. Consequently, discovering this fluorescent dye in areas where it shouldn’t be is a clear sign of an issue.


Septic systems can be easily maintained if you pay attention to a schedule. As a homeowner, life gets busy and often the septic tank is forgotten. Also, it is important to maintain your septic system or your risk of having a very big flood of wastewater in your home. Additionally, if you aren’t sure how old your septic system is, or if there are damages to your septic tank, reach out to your local home inspection team. Call on Bentley Home Inspection team for a septic inspection in East Tennessee, and surrounding areas.