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At Magnan Vac Truck Service, we are happy to field calls from homeowners about questions or concerns they have about their septic tanks and fields.


The first thing you should know is that your septic alarm is NOT to tell you your septic tank needs to be emptied. It is to telling you that the pump has failed or has stopped.


When your septic alarm goes off STOP using water immediately, this will help to prevent a flood in your house.


Before calling Magnan Vac Truck Service for this issue, there are a few basic procedures to follow.

  1. The first is to go to your breaker box and check if the septic breaker has tripped. If it has tripped than most likely your pump is dead and it needs to be replaced.

  2. If it has not tripped is go to your tank. When you get to your septic tank, check that the it hasn't been accidentally unplugged the pump from power. This simple little step has saved many clients an emergency call.

  3. If everything is plugged in is to open the septic tank lid furthest from your house. If you have only one lid, remove it and look inside to see if a hose or connector have come disconnected. If it is, unplug the pump from power so you don’t get an unexpected bath.

  4. Reconnect the fitting and replug in the pump to power.

  • How often should I clean my septic tank?
    There can be many variables that impact the need to service your septic tank but on average we recommend every two years. If you have a large and active family, or run a business out of your home, than we recommend yearly. If there is only one to two people in the home, then every three years. We never recommend longer than three years, at that point it is important to have your tank inspected for deterioration
  • What is the difference between a septic tank and a holding tank?
    A septic tank is an underground container which collects all of the wastewater from a home or facility. The solids and the liquids are separated, and the solids are broken down by bacterial process. Some septic systems have only one compartment, while others make use of two or more in order to break down the solids further. Once broken down, the solids are carried along with the liquids out of the septic tank and into a septic leeching field. A holding tank, as you would expect by its name, only provides secure waste containment. It does not process and treat waste as a septic tank does, nor leach it into the ground. The waste must be regularly pumped out by a company providing Edmonton area vacuum truck services. If not regularly pumped, a holding tank will experience backups.
  • I am getting a terrible smell in my house. Does that mean I need to service my tank?
    The smell from a septic tank is the natural biotic activity in your tank. You should not be getting a bad smell in your house. The P-traps that prevent gases from coming into your house may be dry. At this point go to every sink, shower, and floor drain, add about a gallon of water to each. If the smell persists, check that the plumbing vent on the roof of your house is clear of ice and debris.
  • How long does it take to empty my septic tank?
    Depending on how much hose a driver needs, the average septic tank service takes 30 to 45 minutes.
  • I need my septic tank emptied, but I don’t want a truck to drive over my lawn."
    No problem, just tell the dispatcher at the time of scheduling a service and they will ensure the truck has enough hose to reach your tank. Alternatively, if you can wait until winter and the ground is frozen then no damage will occur to the lawn.

Here are some of the questions we get asked the most:

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