When to Call a Professional for Septic Services versus DIY

September 18, 2023 3:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Septic systems play a crucial role in managing household wastewater. Over time, these systems require regular maintenance and occasional repairs to ensure their optimal functionality. While some minor maintenance tasks can be handled by homeowners, there are instances when it is best to call a professional for septic services. This blog post will explore when it is appropriate to hire a professional versus attempting a do-it-yourself (DIY) solution for septic system issues.

Understanding the Basics

Before delving into when to call a professional, it is essential to have a basic understanding of septic systems and their components. Septic systems consist of a septic tank, which holds and treats the wastewater, and a drainfield, where the treated water is released into the ground. The septic tank relies on natural bacterial activity to break down solids and separate liquids.

Routine Maintenance Tasks

Many routine maintenance tasks can be safely and effectively carried out as DIY projects. These typically include:

1. Regular Pumping: As solids accumulate in the septic tank, it is necessary to perform septic pumping every 3-5 years. This prevents system overload and potential backups. Homeowners can hire a professional to perform this task or rent specialized equipment for DIY pumping.

2. Inspections: Regular inspections of the septic system help identify any minor issues before they become major problems. Homeowners can visually inspect the tank and drainfield, looking for signs of leaks, standing water, or foul odors. However, hiring a professional for a more comprehensive inspection is recommended every 1-3 years.

When to Call a Professional

While homeowners can handle routine maintenance tasks, there are several situations when it is best to call a professional septic service provider. These instances include:

1. Frequent Backups or Clogs: If your septic system experiences frequent backups or clogs, it is a clear indication of a more significant issue. DIY attempts to resolve these problems may provide temporary relief but could mask underlying problems that require professional intervention.

2. Foul Odors or Wet Areas: If you notice foul odors coming from the drainfield area or wet spots above the drainfield, it could indicate a failure or blockage in the system. These are significant signs that require immediate professional attention.

3. Slow Draining Fixtures: Slow-draining sinks, toilets, or showers could be an indication of a clogged or failing drainfield. Professional septic service providers have the tools and expertise to diagnose and resolve these issues effectively.

4. Structural Damage or Collapse: If the septic system shows signs of structural damage, such as cracks or collapse in the tank or drainfield, it is crucial to call a professional immediately. Attempting DIY repairs in such situations can lead to further damage or contamination of the groundwater.

5. New System Installation: When it comes to installing a new septic system, it is essential to seek the services of an experienced professional. Designing and installing a septic system requires knowledge of local regulations, soil conditions, and system sizing.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

While DIY enthusiasts may be tempted to take on septic system repairs themselves, there are several benefits to calling a professional:

1. Experience and Expertise: Professional septic service providers have the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to handle a wide range of septic system issues. They can quickly identify and resolve problems, ensuring proper functioning of the system.

2. Proper Equipment and Tools: Septic system repairs often require specialized equipment and tools that most homeowners do not possess. Professionals have access to these tools, allowing them to complete the job efficiently and effectively.

3. Compliance with Regulations: Professional septic service providers are familiar with local regulations concerning septic systems. They ensure that repairs and installations adhere to these guidelines, preventing any legal issues down the line.


While routine maintenance tasks can be handled by homeowners, there are several circumstances when it is best to call a professional septic service provider. Frequent backups, foul odors, wet areas, and structural damage all require the expertise and tools that professionals possess. By hiring a professional, homeowners can ensure their septic system is properly repaired and maintained, minimizing the risk of damage and prolonging the lifespan of the system. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to septic system repairs!

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC has been proudly serving the surrounding counties since 2005, providing efficient, cost-effective solutions to meet your residential or commercial septic system needs. We will help you develop your initial design and secure permits for installation or provide conversion to the city sewer system. We offer peace of mind with routine maintenance service after the job is done. When you contact B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC, you will be greeted by one of our customer service staff. An experienced service technician will work directly with you to determine how we can help with your septic service or maintenance. Call us today!

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