My house plumbing is backed up and not draining. Should I call a plumber or jt's?

Definitely give J.T. Septic a call right away! We can help you diagnose the problem and determine if it’s plumbing related or if it’s a problem directly related to your septic system. If you experience any of the following, contact us to check your system: wastewater backing up into household drains, bright green, spongy grass on the drainfield (even during dry weather), pooling water or muddy soil around your septic system or in your basement, a strong odor around the septic tank and drainfield.

Should I Use Septic Tank Additives?

To date, there is no conclusive evidence that these products [additives] will prevent septic system failure or will improve performance. Adding compounds to a septic tank will not eliminate the need for frequent cleaning. Additives that are marketed as septic tank cleaners, rejuvenators or primers won't harm your system, but they don't help either. Enzymes & yeast products will not harm your system, but there are plenty of bacteria already in the tank that will break down waste products. Other additives however, particularly degreasers, may contain cancer-causing agents that can end up in groundwater or surface water supplies.*"

"Avoid Using Septic System Additives"- NDSU Agriculture Communication

"Do Septic System Additives Work?"-  Tank Depot

what are the PVC pipes sticking up in my yard?

Sewer cleanouts are usually between the house and the septic tank and are used to snake the inlet line towards the tank. If the PVC markers have a JT's Septic label, they mark the access lids to your septic tank. If the pipes are further out, they may be inspection ports to monitor the liquid level in the disposal area. For more information on septic tank components, please visit our COMPONENTS page.

will household cleaning products harm my system?

Most experts agree that the normal use of household cleaning products will not harm the system by stopping the action of bacteria in the tank. Large amounts of certain chemicals, however, may interfere with the breakdown of wastes in the tank or could clog the soil treatment area. Keep in mind that the products you use may eventually find their way into local groundwater systems. *

How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?

Most tanks need to be pumped every 3-5 years, depending on the size of the tank, daily flow of wastewater into t the tank,  & the use of a garbage disposal.* There are no laws requiring maintenance and inspection (except for the sale of a home) however the EPA and local health departments high recommend routine maintenance to help prevent groundwater contamination due to the nitrogen, phosphorus and disease-causing bacteria found in wastewater. 

I just had my tank pumped and it already looks full!?!

There is a difference between full and overfull! An empty septic tank will fill up as quick as you use the amount of gallons it holds. The tank is designed to hold a liquid level to the bottom of the outlet pipe (that exits into the disposal area). When you look down in your tank, it should look full.  It takes a professional to measure the scum and sludge levels to determine if your tank is ready to be pumped out.

Does anyone have to be home to have my septic pumped?

We always encourage someone to be home for our service, however it is not required. Our service professionals are efficient and timely in locating and pumping. For our inspections, we love to have a home owner and/or realtor on site to review any issues that we may find. We are happy to take a credit card over the phone for payment if we miss you during our service. 

Does JT's Septic do leach line work?

JT's does not install or work on leach lines at this time.  We do light repairs to septic tanks and inlet and outlet sewer pipes. See a list of companies on our referral list for leach line work.

Why can't you pump my septic tank out of the sewer cleanouts?

A tank just cannot be pumped effectively through sewer cleanouts- our pumps on our trucks are too strong to pump through cleanouts, and there is no way to get all of the scum and sludge out of the tank through a cleanout.  To properly remove all liquid and solids, and to inspect the baffles, it is recommended to use the tank access lids. Our policy is to open all compartments and pump out the entire contents of the tank. You are doing a disservice to yourself and your system to not pump through the main access openings of the tank itself!

how do you know the size of my tank?

Our technicians and inspectors can tell the size of the tank from the style of the tank- tanks are typically 1,000 or 1,250 gallons for your typical home (tanks may be smaller or larger depending on bedroom count, style of tank, etc). Our trucks are equiped with clear sight glasses so our technicians can monitor the gallons removed from your tank. 

why do you recommend routine maintenance and frequent pump outs when I've not a had a problem in the last 10 years and I've never had my tank pumped?

While many homeowners can go many years past the recommended maintenance period without a problem, damage is slowly being done. The purpose of the tank is to hold the solids that natural bacteria cannot break down. Those solids accumulate over time to a point where the tank no longer has room to contain it all, therefor the solids make their way to the drain field where they plug up the pores in the ground causing poor drainage and eventually septic system and drain field failure. 

How long will my septic system last?

All septic systems have a finite life, meaning they will eventually fail. How long a system will last depends on sizing, installation, soil composition, the water table, nearby trees and roots, amount of use and abuse and most importantly, proper routine maintenance and pumping. 

if I have a garbage disposal Can i use it?

Yes! Light use of the garbage disposal, such as food scraps left after doing the dishes, is OK. However, heavier usage of the disposal will lead to more frequent pump outs. The use of a garbage disposal can affect your septic system by adding to the amount of suspended solids entering the tank. Suspended solids can enter the soil treatment area & clog soil pores, reducing the soil's ability to treat wastes.*

CAN I FLUSH WET WIPES & FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS?

No!! This is one of the most common problems we see in tanks. Wipes and/or feminine hygiene products cause clogs in sewer pipes and do not properly break down in the tank. 

how often can i do laundry?

It is important to not overload your system. Try to space out wash loads over the course of a week instead of running many loads in one day. It is recommended to do no more than 2 loads of laundry per day- one in the morning and one in the evening.*

Can I have a water softener system with a septic system?

A water softener probably will not harm most septic systems, although they could dictate the need for a slightly larger tank & disposal area.*

Can We Drive Over Our Leach Field?

It is not recommended to drive on the leach field. Compacting the soil over the leach lines will slow down or prevent effective evaporation which is an integral part of the drainage and disposal process.

do i have a septic systeM?

Do you use well water? Does the waterline coming into your home not have a meter? Do you show a "$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged" on your water bill or property tax bill? Do your neighbors have a septic system? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you may have a septic system.

How do I find my septic system?

Once you have determined you have a septic system, you can find it by: looking on your home's "as build" drawing, checking your yard for lids and manhole covers or contacting us to help you locate it.

How Far Does The Tank Have To Be Away From The House?

The standard setback is ten feet from the house. Yavapai County holds to this requirement. Keeping these setbacks allows ease of access and eliminates possible foundation and moisture issues.

An alarm is going off in my tank- what do I do?!

Some alternate systems are equipped with alarms which warn the homeowner of a potential problem before effluent or waste backups into the house. The alarm can indicate electrical issues or high liquid level in the tank. The alarm may also indicate a problem with a pump or float- it is best to call either JT's or your alternate system maintenance provider. 

Can I Plant A Tree Over My Leach Field?

No. Root invasion from trees is one of the most common septic system issues. Certain types of trees are absolutely detrimental to your septic system. Please consult your local nursery.

does jt's provide portable storage tanks?

Sorry, at this time we do not provide portable storage tanks.

can jt's facilitate a pipeline repair?

Yes! We do repair and replace inlet and outlet sewer pipes. We also provide main line sewer camera service to plan infrastructure maintenance or assist with any and all types of repairs. Please contact us to schedule a service. 

*Source: Source: https://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1160.pdf

why do you suggest running a sewer camera down my line?

Often times, a stubborn clog needs more than a plumber. Tree roots, grease, older pipes and foreign objects can all lead to pipe restriction. Our power snakes and Rigid sewer cameras are great at pinpointing issues such as:

Broken, cracked, corrosion or collapsed pipe — damaged pipes requiring repair or replacement.

Blockage — grease buildup or a foreign object restricting flow.

Settled pipe — a section of the pipe has sunk due to ground or soil conditions, creating a valley that collects paper and waste.

Leaking joints — the seals between pipes have broken, allowing liquid to escape 

Root invasion — tree or shrub roots have invaded the sewer line, preventing normal flow and/or blockage in the pipe