Do Septic Tanks Need Electricity?
You may have been wondering if your septic tank needs to have electricity to work properly. Most conventional septic tanks are gravity systems and do not use electricity. They depend on gravity to move effluent from the tank to the drain field or leach field. In a conventional gravity system, the drain field is at a lower elevation than the outlet of the tank. This allows the tank to drain downhill to the drain field using gravity. The major upsides of a conventional gravity septic system are:
- Cost-effective because they do not require expensive pumps to discharge or drain effluent to the drain field.
- Gravity-fed septic systems are usually easy to service because they don’t have complicated components like pumps.
In some cases, the terrain is not suitable for a conventional gravity septic system. Another major drawback of a gravity septic system is that it can be affected by seismic activity.
In such scenarios, complex septic systems that use pumps will need to be set up. Any septic system designed to use a pump will require electricity to function. Here are a few septic systems that use electricity:
- Aerobic septic systems use air or aerator pumps to supply oxygen to the aerobic bacteria in the tanks.
- Mound septic systems are often used in areas where space is limited, and the terrain does not allow for a traditional gravity septic system. They are also used in areas with seasonal flooding or where the ground water table is high. A pump is used to move effluent to the raised mound which is at a higher elevation than the tank.
- Pumps are also used to move wastewater to septic tanks that are located uphill from the house.
What to do during power outages
Power outages are a common occurrence in many regions of the world. The most common cause of power outages is damage to the power grid. This can be caused by accidents, natural disasters, or human error.
Most people know that when there is a power outage, it is important to turn off all electronics and unplug them from their outlets. However, many people do not know what to do with their septic system if there is a power outage. If you have a septic tank that relies on electricity to function and experience a power outage, here is what you can do:
- Don’t spend a lot of time in the shower.
- Reduce your laundry or better yet, avoid laundry until the power returns.
- Limit household water use. This includes limiting baths, dishwashing, and closing the tap while brushing your teeth.
- Switch off the septic pump breaker.
Will A Septic Tank Work Without Power? A power outage will prevent wastewater from being pumped out of the septic tank, which can result in sewage backups into your house.
Wiring A Septic Pump And Alarm
This section talks about the process of wiring a septic pump and alarm. It also gives some safety tips to follow while wiring a septic pump. Septic alarms are an important part of any septic system. They help to notify you when something goes wrong with your septic tank, such as when it gets too full or when there is a clog in the pipes. When the waste water level in the tank reaches a certain level, it triggers a float that activates the septic alarm.
Most conventional or traditional septic systems employ gravity to move effluent from the tank to the drain field. In some cases, the drain field is located at a higher elevation than the tank and its impossible to use gravity to move effluent. A septic pump is used in such a scenario to facilitate the removal of effluent from the tank to the drain field.
You need two wires from the house to your septic system. One wire provides electricity to the septic alarm, and the second wire powers the septic pump. In order to make sure that these cables (wires) last for a long time, they need to be UV resistant, weatherproof and strong enough to hold up under pressure. You can use PVC to protect the cables from physical damage. The process is as follows:
- Wiring septic alarm. In order for a septic alarm to work properly, it must be installed with the proper wiring. Connect the 14-2 septic alarm circuit wires and alarm float wires to the junction box via electrical conduit. Inside the house, connect the incoming wires to the alarm. The black wire goes to the alarm’s positive terminal, and the white wire should be connected to the negative terminal.
- It’s important that a septic pump be installed on a dedicated circuit. Install a 12-2 hard cable (wire) from your home`s breaker box to the septic tank. Connect the cable (wire) to the weatherproof electrical box outside the septic tank.
Do Septic Tanks Use Electricity: FAQs
There are many myths about septic tanks and electricity, which is why we decided to break it down for you. Here is a list of some common Frequently Asked Questions related to the use of electricity in septic tanks:
Backup power for septic pump
The United States is one of the most advanced countries in the world with a high level of technology and infrastructure. But that doesn’t mean that it is immune to power outages. The US power grid is one of the most complex systems in the world. It is interconnected, meaning that if one part of it goes down, it can cause a domino effect and take out other parts. The US power grid is an aging system that was demonstrated to be vulnerable in 2018 when Hurricane Florence left over 1 million people without power for days.
A backup power supply is a must-have for any septic pump. Without it, the septic pump will not function in the event of a power outage, which can lead to overflows, backups and other costly issues. A septic system is a very important part of your home and needs to be taken care of with the utmost importance.
What to do when power is restored
First identify whether you have a timer or on-demand pump system. A timer pump system is an innovative solution for a home septic system. It is a programmable pump that can be set to run at specific intervals and times to move wastewater through the system at an optimal rate. It is effective in preventing overloading of the drain field with effluent. If you have a timer septic pump, turn the breaker back on when power is restored.
On the other hand, an on-demand septic pump is activated or triggered when effluent reaches a preset level. Use the following tips when restoring power to an on-demand pump to avoid overloading the drain field:
- You need to manually dose the correct amount of effluent into your leach field by switching the pump ‘on’ for a duration of 2 minutes and ‘off’ for 5 hours. Repeat this process until the pump switches itself off.
What if my Septic Tank Alarm goes off during a power outage?
If your septic tank alarm goes off during a power outage or when power is restored, do not panic. Just simply switch off the alarm.
How can I tell if I have an electric pump based septic system?
To know if you have an electric pump based septic system, you should pay attention to the following:
- A visual inspection of your drain field or leach field will indicate if you have a septic mound system or not. A raised mound requires an electric pump to function.
- Your home inspection paperwork will shed light on whether you have an electric pump based septic system or not.
- Contact the listing agent.
- Contact your local county. Most counties keep records of septic systems.
Does septic pump need dedicated circuit?
A septic pump is an essential part of any home or business that uses septic system for wastewater treatment. It is used to move effluent from the septic tank to the drain field where it can be absorbed into the ground. The question of whether a septic pump needs its own dedicated circuit has been raised by many people in recent times. Some people believe that it doesn’t need a dedicated circuit while others think otherwise.
Septic pump needs a dedicated circuit to run. The answer to this question is yes because it is necessary for safety purposes and also for proper operation of the pump.
What voltage are septic pumps?
So, what voltage are septic pumps? Most residential septic pumps work on 110-120 to 220-240 volts of electricity in North America.
Does a septic pump use a lot of electricity?
This is a question that many homeowners wonder about. Some people believe that septic sump or ejector pumps use a lot of electricity. A typical septic pump uses about 10 kWh of power per month, which is not much compared to other devices in your home.
Do Septic Tanks Use Electricity: Final Thoughts
Septic tanks are a necessity for most homes and offices. Do septic tanks use electricity? Conventional septic systems do not use electricity, whilst aerobic or mound septic systems use electricity.