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Olson Sewer and Excavation Services
17638 Lyons Street Northeast Forest Lake, MN 55025-8855
Phone: (651) 464-2082 | Fax: (651) 464-9029
Web: www.olsonsinthepink.com Email: info@olsonsinthepink.com


Troubleshooting

There may a simple answer to your sewer-related problem.
Check out the tips below if you have...
Remember:
When troubleshooting and making repairs, always wear appropriate personal protective gear such as safety glasses, rubber gloves, etc. Call Olson's for a complete solution!

ALARMS

Lift Station Alarm for Outside Tank

The alarm sounds to alert you to a problem in the lift station tank:
1) There is no power to the lift station tank: 2) The float switch for the pump is not functioning or the pump is not working:
The float switch activates the pump; if it is not functioning the liquid will collect in the tank to a level that will activate the alarm float switch and sound the alarm. PLEASE NOTE: If you are able to resume function of the lift station do not pump out a large amount of effluent in a single dose to the treatment area as this could damage the treatment area. Your system is designed to receive short cycles of dosing distribution. Refer to your original design documents for gallons per cycle information.

3) If the system is time-dosed, there may be excess water use prior to the timer engaging the pump to discharge effluent to the treatment area. Sewage Ejector or Sump Pump Alarm
1) There is no power to the pump:
Check the circuit breaker for the pump-the alarm and pump should be on separate breakers. 2) The float switch for the pump is not functioning or the pump is not working:
The float switch activates the pump; if it is not functioning the liquid will collect in the tank to a level that will activate the alarm float switch and sound the alarm. Constant Chirping on Alarm
If the alarm box is sending a constant chirping sound rather than the alerting horn-like sound that occurs when you activate the TEST button, replace the 9 volt back-up battery in the alarm box. If that does not correct the problem, follow steps one and two above or Call Olson's!

ODORS

IF YOU HAVE A NATURAL GAS ODOR, IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE BUILDING, CONTACT 911 and THEN YOUR NATURAL GAS PROVIDER BY PHONE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING. DO NOT USE THE BUILDING PHONE TO CALL 911 OR THE GAS PROVIDER.


Sewer Gas Odor in Basement
Sewer gas odor generally comes from floor drains or shower drains where the trap inside the drain piping is dry, void of water, allowing sewer gas to escape into the room. This often occurs at the start of the cold weather season when furnaces are running and removing humidity from the utility room where the furnaces operates. If a lower level shower is used infrequently, sewer gas odor may escape from the dry trap in the drain. Sewer Gas Odor in Bathroom
A sewer gas odor in the bathroom may come from a few sources. Sewer Odor When Enters Home
Sewer gas escapes through vents on the roof by design. Occasionally, the gas will travel to the area under the eaves of the building and is pulled inside when the door of the building opened. A charcoal filter can be added to the roof vent to filter the sewer gas as it leaves the home through the roof vent.

Sewer Odor in Drinking Water
If your water supply has a foul odor, generally this is due to hydrogen sulfide or sulfur bacteria, not sewage.
SEWAGE & WATER BACK-UPS

Sewage Ejector Pump or Sump Pump Backed-up

Back-ups occurring in a pump basket area are usually caused by a failure of the pump to discharge wastewater or water out of the sump, basin, or crock. Follow these steps to troubleshoot the problem:

1) There is no power to the pump:
Check the circuit breaker for the pump-the alarm and pump should be on separate breakers. 2) The float switch for the pump is not functioning or the pump is not working:
The float switch activates the pump; if it is not functioning the liquid will collect in the tank to a level that will activate the alarm float switch and sound the alarm. Sewage ejector pumps generally, by code, discharge wastewater only from the lower level of the home. If the back-up is not related to a power, switch, or pump failure, the problem is most likely an obstructed discharge line or overfull septic tank. Call Olson's!

Backed-up Sewer Line-Plugged Baffle
If your home utilizes an onsite sewage treatment system and you have a sewer back-up in the home it is possible that the inlet baffle on your septic tank is plugged. Sometimes the inlet baffle can be cleared by dislodging the blockage with an extended, sturdy, device such as a shovel or broom handle. You can access the inlet baffle through the 4 to 6-inch inspection pipe or the 24-inch maintenance cover-DO NOT ENTER THE TANK. If a blocked baffle is the cause of the back-up and can be cleared the solution may only be temporary if the septic tank has a lot of solids, tissue, etc. that is plugging up the baffle or the baffle is the cause of obstruction and needs repair. Call Olson's!

If the sewer line backs-up after the baffle is checked and cleared if obstructed, the main line likely needs to be rotored to clear the line and restore flow. Call Olson's!

Laundry Line Backs Up
If you have a back-up when doing laundry, shut off the washing machine. Backed up Tub, Bathroom Sink, Kitchen Sink
If your bathtub, bathroom sink, or kitchen sink is plugged, you can try to clear the line by plunging the line, or clearing the drain of any hair or debris. Sewer or Water Back-up After Home Not In Use in Winter
If you arrive home from a winter vacation and find a slight water back-up in the lower level or have an immediate back-up from water use, you most likely have a frozen line due to the condensate from the high-efficiency furnace slowing discharging into the drain line. The line can be opened with a hot water pressure jetter. This can be prevented by having someone come into your home and periodically running water through the piping while you are on vacation or by installing a collection unit and pump to capture the condensate. Call Olson's!

Mobile Homes or Exterior Wall Lines are Frozen
If you have a mobile home make sure the piping under the home is protected from freezing with heat tape.
OTHER

Sewage Surfacing On the Ground

If you see sewage surfacing on the ground you may have a Make sure the electrical components of the system are working. My Tank is Full and It Was Just Cleaned!
A septic tank will "fill up" with wastewater discharged from the home typically within 5 to 25 days depending on the number of people in the home and the water use habits of the family. The inlet of the tank and the outlet of the tank are nearly the same elevation. When the liquid level reaches the outlet elevation, liquid will then flow to the next septic tank, or lift station tank, or to the treatment area, depending on the type of system. The tank will not "fill up" with accumulated solids to a point where the tank needs to be maintained for two to three years in most cases.

Water Pressure is Low
If the problem is limited to a single fixture: If you need a referral for a well service provider or plumber, Call Olson's!