AEROBIC SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
It is important that mechanical components in aerobic systems receive regular inspection and maintenance. For example, air compressors sometimes need to be oiled, and veins, filters and seals may need to be replaced. Malfunctions are common during the first few months after installation, in most cases, homeowners do not have the expertise to inspect, repair, and maintain their own systems. If your unit carries the NSF approval, it will include the first two years of service visits with the purchase price and an option to renew the service contract after two years. It is a good idea for homeowners to renew agreements after two years or to find another service organization to take over the job. This is usually a requirement of the permit. In addition to routine maintenance, NSF requires service contractors to stock replacement parts for
mechanical components and to be available for emergency servicing. Under the original two‐year agreement, failed equipment is replaced at no additional cost to the homeowner. The service contract may or may not cover such problems as damage from power failures, breaking or crushing of pipes leading to and from the system, flooding, fires, homeowner misuse, and other catastrophes beyond the control of the manufacturer. Service visits will most likely be carried out by the dealer or another independent service organization that has an agreement with the manufacturer. In general, we recommend a professional inspection and
maintenance every four months.
Warning Signs of Aerobic System Problems
• Alarms or lights going off
• Any changes in the system’s normal operating sound
• Any changes in the normal color of the wastewater in the aeration chamber (for example if the
color is grayish brown rather than chocolate brown this can sometimes indicate problems)
• Excessive solids, foam, or scum in the unit
• Plumbing backups
• Sewage odors in the house or yard
• Do maintain the contract service arrangement offered by the manufacturer after the initial two-year period has expired. It is extremely important that aerobic systems receive regular maintenance.
• Do keep your system accessible for inspections and pumping, yet protected from unauthorized entrance. If access to your system is locked, make sure that your service contractor has a key.
• Do call a service professional whenever you experience problems with your systems, whenever the alarm is activated, or whenever there are any signs of system failure.
• Do keep detailed records about your aerobic system, including a map of where it is and general information, such as model name, capacity, state license, date installed, contract service agreement, records of service visits, and maintenance performed.
• Do conserve water to avoid overloading the system. Be sure to repair any leaky faucets or toilets.
• Do divert other sources of water, like roof drains, house footing drains, and sump pumps away from the aerobic system.
• Do become familiar with how your own particular system operates, and the way it looks, sounds, and smells when it is working correctly. This way, you may be able to identify problems before they become serious and alert your service provider to anything unusual.
• Do ask your service provider questions about how to know if your unit is malfunctioning.
Do Not Flush the Following…
• Coffee grounds
• Kitty litter
• Cigarette butts
• Bandages or gauze
• Dental floss
• Sanitary napkins or tampons
• Fat, grease, or oil
• Disposable diapers
• Paper towels
• Paints, varnish, or thinners
• Waste oils
• Photographic solutions
These items can overtax or destroy the biological digestion taking place within your system.