What A Plumber Can Do That A Septic Contractor Can't (And Vice Versa)

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When you have indoor plumbing and a septic system, you might be wondering who to call when your toilets or sinks have a problem. Do you call a plumber because it is a plumbing problem, or do you call a septic contractor because you have a septic system? Well, for starters, there are some things that a plumber can do that a septic contractor cannot, and vice versa. 

A Plumber Can Fix and Install Plumbing Fixtures

Plumbers fix and install plumbing fixtures. That includes sinks, toilets, showers, tubs, and the related indoor plumbing. Plumbers cannot install a septic system, unless they actually went the extra mile with their education and are licensed to do that. Most plumbers are not licensed to install septic system lines, tanks, etc., and therefore cannot help you with that. However, considering that your issue is with an indoor plumbing fixture, a plumber is the perfect professional to call.

A Plumber Can Scope a Septic Sewage Line, but Cannot Fix It

So, if your plumber fixes the toilet or sink, and there still seems to be a problem, he/she comes back with an articulating borescope. This device is a lighted camera that snakes its way down a drain to find a problem and projects the images on a screen inside its carrying case as it goes. If the plumber finds zero problems with any of the plumbing inside and under the house, but spots a big problem in the main line enroute to the septic tank, he/she typically cannot fix that. That is something the septic contractor has to fix.

Thankfully, your plumber can snap a few still photos and send them to you so that you can share them with the septic tank contractor. (The septic contractor is not usually trained in or skilled with the use of a borescope because it does not fall in line with septic work.) The contractor will see what the problem is right away and be able to fix it. 

The Septic Contractor Does Not Do Indoor Plumbing

The primary job duties of most septic system contractors involve installing new and replacement septic tanks, septic repairs to the septic line, tank, and drainage field pipes, and maintaining the septic system as it extends away from the house. That said, the plumbing, fixtures, and pipes you have inside your home are outside the scope of the contractor's work and skills. When your plumbing problem is inside, call a plumber. When there is a septic issue outside (even when sewage backs up into house drains), call the septic contractor.