Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Septic System Failure?

The system is not covered by your homeowners insurance policy. It does, however, cover your home if it is damaged as a result of a defective septic system or septic difficulties that result in overflow into your home.

Water damage to structural components, interior elements, and mechanicals is covered by septic backup insurance up to the endorsement limit for structural components, interior elements, and mechanicals such as:

What is the most common cause of septic system failure?

The majority of septic systems fail due to poor design or upkeep. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are built on locations with poor or inappropriate soils, steep slopes, or high groundwater tables. Hydraulic failures and pollution of neighboring water sources are possible outcomes of these situations.

Solids in the septic tank can migrate into the drain field and block the system if periodic maintenance is not performed, such as pumping the tank every three to five years.

Do Home warranties cover septic systems?

Septic coverage is usually available as an add-on option with most home warranty programs. Septic tank pumping is not included in most companies’ septic coverage, however some will offer it as an add-on. You can add septic system coverage to your home warranty for a few extra dollars per month after you’ve purchased your home warranty. A home warranty can cover more than just your septic system; it can also cover your home’s most vital appliances and systems.

What are the signs that your septic system is failing?

  • Toilets, drains, and sinks are leaking water and sewage into the house.
  • Even in dry weather, bright green, spongy lush grass grows over the sewage tank or drainfield.

Septic systems, like most other parts of your house, need to be serviced on a regular basis. If properly maintained, the septic system should last for many years. Owners risk severe and costly failures if their septic system isn’t maintained. Septic systems also have a limited lifespan and will need to be updated at some point.

A septic system that has failed or is malfunctioning can endanger human and animal health as well as contaminate the environment. Regardless of the age of the system, a competent septic owner is aware of the indicators of failure and responds swiftly when they are identified. A prompt response could save the owner money on repairs, as well as prevent illness and environmental damage.

What happens when a septic system fails?

Untreated sewage is released and delivered where it shouldn’t be when a septic system fails. As a result, sewage may rise to the surface of the earth near the tank or drainfield, or back up in the building’s pipes. Without our knowledge, sewage could find its way into groundwater, surface water, or marine water. Pathogens and other harmful substances can be found in sewage. People and animals can become ill as a result of exposure to certain diseases and pollutants. They can also contaminate water sources, making them dangerous to drink, swim in, harvest shellfish from, or utilize for agricultural purposes.

What are some common reasons a septic system doesn’t work properly?

The pipe between the house and the tank is obstructed. Drains drain very slowly (perhaps slower on lower levels of the building) or stop draining completely when this happens. This is usually a simple issue to resolve. A service provider may usually “snake the line” and unclog it. Flush only human waste and toilet paper down the drain, and have your system inspected once a year to avoid a clogged line. Vehicle or animal traffic can sometimes crush or break this conduit. Plant roots might occasionally obstruct the pipe (particularly on older systems). To repair a crushed or root-damaged pipe, you’ll need to replace (at least) a piece of it.

The tank’s inlet baffle is obstructed. This failure is very similar to when the house-to-tank input pipe becomes obstructed. You can inspect your intake baffle opening for a clog if you have access to it. If you notice toilet paper or other debris, try using a pole to unclog it. Make sure you don’t harm any of the septic system’s components. For this rather simple and low-cost fix, a service professional can also be engaged. Avoid clogging your inlet baffle by flushing only human waste and toilet paper and having your system examined once a year.

The effluent filter or outlet baffle is clogged. Sewage may back up into the house or surface near the septic tank as a result of this. This problem could indicate that the tank is receiving too much water in a short period of time. If an effluent filter is present, it must be cleaned or replaced. If there is no effluent filter, this problem will almost certainly need having the tank drained to locate and remove the clog. Clean your effluent filter (if you have one) and have your system inspected once a year to avoid this problem.

The drainage system has failed. Sewage may backup into the home if the drainfield collapses or becomes saturated with water. You may notice spongy bright green grass growing above or around the drainfield, as well as wet, soggy places. There could also be scents in the vicinity of the tank or drainfield. This could be the last time this part of your septic system works. It’s possible that the system was set up incorrectly, allowing too much solid material to enter the drainfield, leading it to fail prematurely. Or perhaps the system has just reached its capacity to accept waste after many years of service. However, if the drainfield has been saturated by too much water (due to high amounts of water pouring down the drain or flood water on the drainfield), the drainfield may be dried out and restored. To analyze the situation, contact a service specialist. If the drainfield has failed, if it is possible, a connection to the public sewer system should be considered. A new drainfield will have to be installed if this does not happen.

A septic system can fail or malfunction for a variety of reasons. Contact a septic professional if your system isn’t performing properly.

How can I prevent a failure?

Your septic system will have a long and trouble-free life with appropriate maintenance and operation. The rest is up to you if your septic system has been correctly designed, sited, and installed. Annually inspect your system and pump as needed (usually every 3-5 years). Avoid wasting water and be careful what you flush down the toilet and down the drain. Learn more about septic system maintenance.

Can my failing septic system contaminate the water?

Yes, a failed septic system can pollute well water and nearby bodies of water. Untreated wastewater is a health problem that can lead to a variety of ailments in humans. You and your neighbors’ wells could be affected if this untreated effluent enters the groundwater. Shellfish beds and recreational swimming sites may be affected if sewage enters local streams or waterbodies.

Is there financial help for failing systems or repairs?

  • Craft3 is a local nonprofit financial institution that provides loans throughout many counties.
  • Municipal Health Departments – A number of local health departments offer low-interest loans and grants.

What is the life expectancy of a septic system?

A septic system can endure for 40 years or more, which means that if you buy a new home, you may never need to repair it. You may, however, have an older home with a septic system that has been in place for nearly 50 years.

If you begin to notice difficulties with the system, and you find yourself pumping it more regularly to keep it running smoothly, it may be time to start planning for a new septic system. If you don’t already know, it’s worth finding out how old your septic system is.

How does sewage ejector pump work?

We get a lot of calls about submersible sewage pumps in our sales department at Septic Solutions. The great majority of customers in need of a sewage handling pump assume that they require a sewage grinder pump as well. This is a common misunderstanding that leads many people to believe that all sewage treatment pumps are grinder pumps. This is far from the case. In the domestic and light commercial / industrial parts of the business, sewage handling pumps are divided into two types: sewage ejector pumps and sewage grinder pumps.

In order to throw additional light on the topic of sewage ejector pumps vs. sewage grinder pumps, we’ll go over the proper applications for each device in this post.


Sewage ejector pumps are submerged solids handling pumps with a large volume and low pressure. Grinding blades are not used in sewage ejector pumps. They employ a spinning pump that draws raw sewage in through the bottom of the pump and forces it out the outlet and into the discharge pipe under pressure. Pumps for sewage ejectors are typically built to handle solids up to 2″ in diameter.

A Sewage Ejector pump is most commonly used to transport raw sewage from a home to a septic tank or gravity flow sewer main. These devices typically have a 2″ discharge and range in power from 4/10 HP to 2 HP. Pumps for sewage ejectors can handle large amounts of sewage (up to 220 Gallons Per Minute). These pumps are designed for short pumping lengths (under 750 feet) and can withstand nearly 75 feet of head pressure.

The pump in a basement floor pit meant to evacuate sewage from a basement bathroom up to the main level is an example of a sewage ejector pump. Another example is using an ejector pump to drive waste back to the main house’s septic tank when adding living space or a bathroom to an outbuilding, garage, or shed.

A sewage ejector pump must always be used instead of a sewage grinder pump when pumping to a septic tank or septic system.


Sewage Grinder Pumps are submerged solids handling pumps with a high pressure and low volume. Cutting blades in sewage grinder pumps crush raw sewage into a slurry before passing it through the discharge pipe. Sewage Grinder Pumps are designed to handle the same materials as Sewage Ejector Pumps, but they can handle tougher solids.

When pumping from a home to a pressurized city sewer main, sewage grinder pumps are most typically employed. Because a pressurized sewer main is under pressure from another sewage pump, liquids must be pumped into it with a pump that can overcome that pressure. Sewage Grinder Pumps can achieve this because they can pump fluids at over 60 PSI. Pumps for sewage grinders typically have a 1-1/4″ discharge and range in horsepower from 2 to 10. They can only pump little amounts of sewage (30 gallons per minute or less), but they can push it over great distances (thousands of feet) and handle head pressures of up to 130 psi.

When pumping sewage from a home to a septic tank, a Sewage Grinder Pump is not suggested. The sewage is ground into such a fine slurry that the solids never separate from the liquid in the septic tank and are transferred on to the secondary system. Your subsurface leaching field will fast be ruined as a result of this.

In order to function properly, 2.0 HP Sewage Grinder pumps require a minimum of 20 to 30 feet of head pressure. A Sewage Grinder pump will quickly burn out if used in a low head environment (very little vertical lift, short horizontal run). The majority of manufacturers rely on that small amount of head pressure to keep the electric motor’s RPMs low. When there isn’t enough head pressure, the motors spin faster, drawing more current and becoming hotter, causing them to fail far sooner than they should.


Only utilize a sewage grinder pump if one of the following scenarios applies to your situation:

To summarize, not all sewage treatment pumps are grinder pumps, and a sewage grinder pump is not always required to pump raw sewage. In most circumstances, a sewage ejector pump is the far superior choice. There are some situations in which you could utilize either type.


The 1.0 HP Liberty ProVore Domestic Grinder and the 1.0 HP Myers VRS Residential Grinder pumps are specialist devices designed to replace residential sewage ejector pumps ranging from 4/10 to 1.0 HP. These machines have no minimum head requirement and have the same cutting action as bigger commercial grinder pumps, but with a smaller 1.0 HP motor. While this will pump sewage from a residence to a public sewer, we do not recommend using it to pump to a septic tank because it still grinds the sewage into a slurry.

What are signs of a full septic tank?

Your septic tank is an important part of your property, and it should be inspected on a regular basis for symptoms that it needs to be emptied.

If you see these warning signals, it’s likely that your septic system is in need of repair. It’s not always as obvious as a septic tank that’s overflowing! Here are some of the most common symptoms that your septic tank is full:

Your Drains Are Taking Forever

Is it taking longer than normal for your drains to move when you flush the toilet (slow drainage)? Or do you find it tough to flush? If this occurs in all of your toilets and sinks in your home, rather than just one, it is most certainly more than a clog.

Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank

Is there standing water on top of your septic tank? The presence of pooling water indicates that your septic tank needs to be pumped. Because there is nowhere else for the excess water to go, it collects in your yard.

The health of your lawn is a similar issue to keep an eye on. If water is accumulating around your septic tank, you may notice that the grass around it appears to be particularly healthy. Maybe you’ve noticed a lot of weeds or flowers growing in the area. This is because to the extra water and nutrients that your lawn receives in this location. This can happen before the water starts to pool.

You Hear Gurgling Water

The sound of gurgling water could indicate a backup on the way. If you hear gurgling water coming from your pipes, it’s possible that your tank is filling up and needs to be emptied.

You Have A Sewage Backup

Backing up sewage is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. It’s because your tank hasn’t been emptied that you have a sewage backup.

When your waste water is unable to flow away from your home, this occurs. If wastewater enters your home, it can enter through toilets, sinks, and even your shower.

Blockages are the source of sewage backups. Septic tanks can become clogged as a result of too much food waste. Blockages can be caused by cooking grease, meat fats, oils, or other things accumulating at the bottom of the tank. Septic blockages can also be caused by flushing the improper materials down the toilet, such as feminine hygiene products or cat litter.

During routine septic maintenance, we can detect blockages. During septic tank cleaning, we may eliminate any build-up.

Can I shower if my septic tank is full?

Drains in modern homes have a tendency of remaining unnoticed. Plumbers and exorcists aren’t generally on our minds till the toilet is overflowing or the bath spigot is filling the tub with blood. Waste is kept out of sight and out of mind with the easy push of a lever. This is not the case in this article. We’re heading to your backyard, to the greenest spot of grass, to attack your septic system head on.

A septic system treats the waste in around one-third of all American residences. These systems are designed to be simple. All of the house’s drains connect to a single line that leads to the septic tank, which is buried outside. The waste water from your toilet, shower, sinks, and washing machine is combined when it leaves your home. However, when it reaches the septic tank, it begins to separate. Sludge, or the heaviest particle stuff in the waste, settles to the bottom. The floating scum layer at the top of the tank is made up of fats, oils, and proteins. The relatively clear liquid layer known as effluent or gray water is in the middle. Septage refers to the combination of these elements.

How do you ruin a septic system?

Cat litter is extremely destructive to plumbing, and flushing it can cause a terrible clog. Because clay, unlike garbage, does not break down, placing cat litter through your pipes or, more crucially, in your septic tank, might cause difficulties. It simply builds up in your tank, causing problems.

The best option is to keep the litter away from your pipes and throw it away.

Neglecting to Pump Your Tank Regularly

You’ll also ruin your septic tank if you don’t have it pumped on a regular basis. One downside of a septic system over a city water connection is this. Tanks can only retain so much waste and must be emptied every 3 to 5 years, or more frequently if your system is used frequently.

If you don’t drain your tank, it will eventually back up and overflow into your home through your plumbing fixtures. Nobody wants to be a part of that shambles!

The remedy is to have your tank emptied on a regular basis and to search for signs of slow or clogged drains, a soggy drain field in your yard, or a foul stench indoors.

Planting Trees and Shrubs on Your Drain Field

Trees in the yard are popular among homeowners. It provides some privacy, and a beautiful lawn with well-kept trees and bushes adds curb appeal to any property, especially an older or historic one. However, planting them right on top of your septic system (also known as the drain field) might lead to serious and costly issues down the road.

Once those tall trees and bushes begin to dip their roots deeper and deeper into the soil, their restricting roots can infiltrate a drain field. Tree roots are surprisingly resilient, and they can even break straight through piping. When this happens, they can grow right into your drain pipes, obstructing the flow of wastewater.

The moral of the story is to know exactly where your drain field and septic tank are and to avoid planting huge trees in that location.

Washer Lint Overload

Washing your clothes may not appear to put a strain on your septic system, but when you wash a lot of synthetic clothing, the lint and fibers in the unclean wash water end up in your septic system.

The helpful bacteria and enzymes that work so hard to break down solids are unable to digest synthetic fibers, and the system becomes overburdened, requiring costly repairs.

Installing a lint filter on your washer drain is one option. A nice tutorial on how to install one can be found on Family Handyman.

Installing a Garbage Disposal

Installing a garbage disposal in your home is not suggested if you have a septic system with a tank. Despite the fact that the food is ground into little particles, all of the food in your tank settles to the bottom, causing solids to accumulate quicker than the bacteria can break them down.

How do I know if my leach field is failing?

While many homeowners are familiar with their septic tank, they may not be aware of the leach field, which is an important aspect of the septic system. The leach field, also known as the drain field, is the region beneath your house where your leach field pipes filter wastewater from the tank into the soil. Natural microbes break down the wastewater as it settles into the soil.

The leach field is the most common cause of septic system failure. The leach field filters and disperses waste in the system. The dirt at the bottom of the leach field plugs up and prevents effective drainage when wastewater or solid waste builds up on it. The following are some of the most common causes of leach field failure:

Leach field failure is a significant issue that must be handled as soon as possible. The leach field could jeopardize your and your family’s health if it is not properly repaired. The following are some of the most prevalent indications of a failing leach field:

If properly maintained, leach fields can endure anywhere between 15 and 25 years. Monitoring water usage and what goes into your septic system is the first step in proper leach field upkeep.

How many loads of laundry can I do with a septic tank?

It’s hard to think that something as innocuous as laundry can wreak havoc on your septic system. Washing multiple loads in one day pushes a huge amount of water through your system in a short period of time, increasing the risk of wastewater spills. The topic of today’s blog is how to prevent impending harm to your septic system from the laundry room.

You might already do this with your dryer, but your washing machine also includes a lint trap. Laundry waste and lint can get into your pipes and clog them up. Take this advise carefully because large backups can cause your septic system to fail.

People frequently make the mistake of flushing dangerous chemicals down the toilet. Many home cleaners contain antibacterial compounds, which can harm your septic system by killing the healthy bacteria needed to break down waste in the tank. This is also true of your laundry detergent. Choose all-natural products that are free of bleach and phosphates, and liquid brands over powders. Clay and fillers in powders are known to cause clogs.

We recommend purchasing a high-efficiency washer if you have the option. These consume less water, which means your septic system will be less stressed. You should spread out your loads regardless of the sort washing appliance you have. If you really must do more than one load in a single day, consider completing one load every day or spacing out two loads. Also, to get the most out of your water, make sure you’re completing full loads. When a septic tank receives too much water, it does not have enough time to go through the separation process and filter out solids effectively. This causes blockages, which can flow into your leach field and cause costly damage.

Simple modifications to your laundry routine might have a significant impact on your septic system. If you follow these guidelines, you won’t have to worry about your washing machine causing septic problems. Contact Wind River or Request Service now for more information on appliance wastewater management.