First thing’s first to note: Septic tanks are typically installed outside of a house (not always, but that’s the standard). And while they can potentially lead to problems that affect the inside, it’s plumbers—not septic companies—who work much more closely with your indoor pipe problems. Do note, though, that if the problem area is the closest thing to the exit pipe leaving the house (and going to the septic tank), then yes, it’s most likely a septic problem.

So, the question is: How can you tell when it’s time to call your local plumber or your septic service provider (aka us)? Here’s what to look out for to help make the determination.

How many areas are affected?
Start off with this initial checklist of questions: First, is your kitchen sink clogged? Or is it your toilet? Maybe both are clogged (now that stinks). Why it matters: If only one area of your house is affected, then you’re better off to call a plumber. However, if it’s multiple areas of the home, like the kitchen and the bathroom, then it’s more than likely a septic system issue. Don’t stop there, though—read on to make certain.

What sounds do you hear?
Now it’s time to listen. Are you hearing a hiss? This sound is saying something to you. It can indicate there is, in fact, an issue with your pipes, so you should give your plumber a ring. If you’re hearing running water from a toilet when it’s not in use, that’s when you’d call a plumber, too. If you’re hearing more of a gurgling noise, then it’s a sign to call your septic company instead.

What do you see?
Last, but not least, keep your eyes peeled, because there are a few visual warning signs that indicate a septic setback versus a plumbing problem. If you notice low water pressure, brown water, constant dripping from the sink or shower, or wet spots on your carpet, you’re looking at a plumbing issue. If you are experiencing sludge messes, wet areas outside (even when it hasn’t been raining), overly green grass (especially near your septic tank), standing water in tubs, washing machines that won’t drain, or soggy ground, it’s best to call your septic company.

As you can see, it’s important to know what to look for in order to call the right company so you don’t waste time or money on a fruitless service check. If you’re scratching your head and just can’t decide, then give us a call and tell us what’s going on. Our experienced team can help determine if it’s an issue with the septic and set you up with an appointment right away.

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