There’s no need to panic if your system alarm activates. Here’s a short video explaining why your alarm might go off, how to silence it, and what to do next.
Alarms are required on any type of septic system that has a pump on it to let homeowners know when there is a problem with a system. There are two types of alarms:
Some systems have just visual or just audio; some systems have both in case the visual alarm is not located where the owner would easily notice its being activated, or in the event that one of the alarms is inoperable.
If your alarm turns on, don’t panic — it is usually not an emergency. The sound may be loud, but you can silence the audio alarm by pressing the silence button; depending on your system, the alarm and/or silence button may be located on the a wall mounted control box or on the cover of the aerator box.
Pressing the silence button stops the alarm’s sound, but doesn’t actually turn the alarm off — if your alarm has a visual component, you’ll see that the light will stay illuminated even when the sound is off. The light will stay on until the issue that triggered the alarm is solved.
There are an unlimited number of reasons why an alarm may activate — it is comparable to the “Check engine” light for your vehicle. It could be something small, or something major, but you really don’t know until the system is checked out.
The most common reasons an alarm may turn on for an aerobic system are:
Here is something you can check yourself: If you have a tablet chlorinator, see if it is clogged. If it looks clogged, try to clear the blockage and see if the alarm turns off (see our video on how to unclog your chlorinator). Note: Adding chlorine to your system will not make the alarm turn off.
Next, check your home’s circuit breaker. If the breaker connected to your aerobic system has been tripped, set in back in place and see if the alarm turns off.
If your chlorinator is not clogged and no breakers are tripped, call your maintenance provider and do not attempt any further troubleshooting on your own.
Your provider may service your system immediately, or may request that you wait to see if the alarm stays on for 24 hours. If your system is on a timer, it may just be that it needs to spray or pump down after the timer turns on the pump; if this is the case, the alarm will turn off after it sprays or pumps down.
Anytime your alarm is on for 24 hours or more, call your maintenance provider.
If you have pressed your silence button, you may need to reset it by re-pressing it to turn it off of the silent mode for the next time the alarm comes on.