If your rental property has a septic systems then learn the warning signs that can save you and your tenants a lot of trouble.

Let’s explore the most common issues that are likely to arise at your property with these maintenance tips from Keepe.com.

As a property manager or landlord, you are responsible for maintaining your buildings septic tank. Regular plumbing every three to four years, depending on your tank, is the key to maintenance to avoid premature failing septic systems.

You can give your tenants a list of do’s and don’ts for what to put and not to put down the toilet or kitchen sink drain.

In addition, give tenants information on the common symptoms they might see when a septic tank is failing to ensure you can identify the problem quickly before more damage happens.

Drain Maintenance Habits

Do not put these items down a drain (including toilets, sinks, tubs and showers) since they can trigger a septic system failure:

-Baby wipes and diapers should not be going down toilet drains

-Scrape food waste in garbage disposals should be limited

-Grease down the drain must be avoided, use alternate cleaning solutions that are septic-safe such as vinegar if drain cleaning is needed

Tenants should also avoid very long showers, using the washing machine more than once a day, and refrain from excessive use of garbage disposals. Tenants should know to report of any drain issues as soon as possible. Being aware of the bad habits can keep tenants informed and aware if any issues were to arise.

Most Common Signs of Septic System Failure

Septic systems are fragile, and issues are bound to arise at some point. If your rental property has a septic system, be proactive by keeping an eye out for the most common problems that occur with septic systems.

  1. Backed up toilet: An overflowing toilet might be a sign that your septic tank is failing but in most cases, it’s easy to plunge or snake the toilet to drain any buildup.
  2. Sewer smells: Sewer odors are likely to arise if your tank is overflowing. Other reasons might be due to a pump malfunction, such as a transfer pump that has stopped working. In this case, you’d have to have the system inspected to verify the issue. Another reason for a smelly sewer could be due to frozen rank or outflow pipes. If the weather is cold in your region, your septic tank may have frozen. In this case, you would need your tank pumped.
  3. Drain cleaners: Drain cleaners such as toilet disinfecting products that sit in the tank and dissolve slowly might actually have a negative effect on your drain. Similarly, hazardous chemicals, paints, solvents, antifreeze, and other drain cleaners can have a similar negative effect. Encourage tenants to avoid using these products.

Other Septic System Warnings

As a property manager, make sure to communicate the status of your septic tank to tenants to avoid related septic issues such as the following:

-Limited Capacity Tank: If your septic tank’s capacity is limited, let your tenants know so they can limit how many guests they have during gatherings in the building.

-Septic Field: Let tenants know where your septic field is so tenants can enjoy outdoor activities and plant gardens away from the area to avoid contamination.

Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. The company makes a network of hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. Keepe is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area, Portland, San Diego and is coming soon to an area near you. Learn more about Keepe at https://www.keepe.com