Can I Just Call a Plumber? Here’s the Difference Between Plumbers and Septic Service Companies

It’s no secret that slow drains are a nightmare. They’re stressful, annoying, and downright inconvenient. So, it’s time to call a plumber, right?

Well, not necessarily. Slow drains can be caused by both plumbing and septic problems. Yet, there are major differences between a plumber and a septic company. One can’t do the other’s job.


To start, a plumber specializes in the pipes of your home. These pipes bring clean water in and wastewater out. Plumbers can install or repair these pipes, along with fixtures like faucets, garbage disposals, water heaters, and toilets. Plumbers also handle leaks, clogged drains, and frozen pipes.


Septic companies, on the other hand, work with your septic system. This involves your septic tank, which treats the wastewater from your household plumbing. They can also install, replace, repair, and pump septic tanks.


Understandably, it can be hard to tell who you should call. Here are three tips to help you out.




1. Check the Tank’s Cleanout

The septic system’s cleanout is located in between the tank and your house. It’s a short PVC pipe that slightly sticks out. Sometimes, it’s level with the ground.

Remove the cap and look down the cleanout. Is there standing water?

If the answer is no, call a plumber. This means there’s a blockage between the house and the cleanout, which prevents wastewater from reaching the cleanout.

If there is standing water, you may have a blockage between the cleanout and tank. In this case, you need a plumber. However, it can also indicate an overflowing septic tank. If so, you’ll need a septic company.


2. Count Backed Up Drains

Pay attention to the number of backed up fixtures. This includes toilets, sinks, and bathtubs.

If only one fixture is backed up, talk to a plumber. But if multiple fixtures are backed up at the same time, call a septic company.

Additionally, note where these fixtures are located. If they’re on the ground level or close to the septic tank, you’ve probably got a septic issue.


3. Consider the Age

On average, a septic system can last for about 25 years. This depends on the household size, usage, and routine maintenance.

If you have newer septic system, talk to a plumber. But if it’s on the older sider, a septic company is more suited for the job.



When your drains are backed up, it matters who you call. The difference between plumbers and septic companies is significant. And if you’re still confused? Get in touch with Paradise Valley Septic.

Our team of experienced technicians knows what to look for. They can also take care of regular maintenance and pumping. This way, your septic system can do its job for years to come.

We’re ready to lend a hand. To schedule an appointment, call us at 480-351-1725 or send us a message.


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