Can I Shower If My Septic Tank is Full?

Can I Shower If My Septic Tank is Full? Complete Guide

Showering is an activity full of comfort and peace. Be it after an intense workout, a sunny day out, a whole house clean, etc., a good shower is always a YES. Have you ever wondered, “Can I shower if my septic tank is full”? You probably would have. 

The water system in a household is complicated with several pipelines, draining pathways and tanks. A shower will connect all these dots before water can fall down.

Sounds pretty serious, isn’t it? 

Well, it is a fact that there is an extensive network running behind all the water actively running through your taps and pipes. 

In simple terms, a septic tank is a wastewater-accumulating compartment system constructed underground. All the used water from your kitchen, bathroom and other areas drains there, and bacterial activity degrades the waste.

 Imagine what would happen if this tank was full? Pretty unpleasant and hazardous outcomes would be the result, right? Well, that is why you’re here to clear up your reservation about whether you can or cannot shower under such a circumstance. Keep moving; you will find out. 

Before we talk about the possibility of showering with a full septic tank, let us quickly look at how a septic tank works. It will help provide you better clarification of your related reservations. 

How Does a Septic Tank Work? 

One of the wastewater disposal systems is the septic tank. It uses tried-and-truce technology and organic methods to digest the waste and keep running the cycle. A typical septic tank will work as follows, 

  • All the waste waterways from your home will connect to one terminal, and wastewater will travel from this point to the septic tank. 
  •  Travelled wastewater will now start settling in the septic tank methodically. The heavy wasted (which is solid) will settle at the bottom, forming sludge. Tiny solid particles and light particles will settle above it in a layer. At the top, liquid and grease will sit. The compartments in the tank will hold the wastage properly and prevent solids from draining into the drain field and blocking the pathways. 
  • After settling the wastage, the runnable wastes (liquid) will drain into the drain field. When the drain field is overcrowded, it may start seeping. And that is when you get toilets and sinks at home clogged. 
  • Already handled wastewater will be transferred to porous soil surfaces via pipes to be filtered. 
  • And finally, the water will be filtered by eliminating Bactria and other harmful micro-organisms and added to groundwater. 

That is basically how your septic tank works. Quiet amazing, I know! 

Well, back to the subject, let’s get your muddling-up reservation cleared. 

Can I Shower If My Septic Tank is Full? 

YES and NO 

I’ll Explain Why 

You can shower even if your septic tank is complete when your bathroom waste is not connected to be drained into septic tanks. As there are no solid wastages involved, most of the time, the wastewater from the bathroom is let drained into the sewage lines and not directly into the septic tank. 

In this case, you wouldn’t harm the tank by showering. But you will have to endure slow seepage in the shower due to the full septic tank issue. 

And Why is it a No? 

When a septic tank gets full, sewage backups happen, and it is prevalent. A sewage backup is when the wastewater is thrust back into your bathtubs and pipes. It is unhygienic and can result in health hazards. In case of sewage backup, it is very unhealthy to shower until you get the issues fixed and ensure clean water is running through all the lines. 

It is hugely concerning if a septic tank gets full, and getting the issue resolved right away is equally important. If not, it could result in many alarming threats and hazards. 

In the following disclosure, let me warn you about the signs that a septic is full and in a state that needs immediate action. 

What are the Signs of a Full Septic Tank?

If you notice any of the below-mentioned signs, be quick to empty the septic tank of your household. 

  • Slow Drainage 

Suppose you notice water draining slowly in your sink, bathtub or shower. In that case, it is probably because the septic tank is filled and needs backup/ emptying. Your toilet flush also can start working unusual and slow. Sometimes may even end up not being flushed completely. Strange or unusual noises can be heard when flushing. All these are signs that the septic tank isn’t in a safe condition. 

  • Pungent Odor 

When the tank fills, and the wastewater layer reaches the above, gases in it will blend into the fresh air outside and befoul the air. It will result in a very strong and unpleasant smell in and around the area where the tank is placed. This signifies that you should work as soon as possible to resolve the issue. 

  • Sewage Back Up 

It can be a significant issue if wastewater backs up into your bathtub, shower, or sink. The tank has been overfilled and needs to be taken care of with necessary actions. Attempting to resolve/ clean on your own is not a good idea, as wastewater can be highly contaminated and poisonous. Health is on the verge of risk when trying to do so. It is best if you can call a 

Professional right away without delay. 

  • Weird Noises 

When using your bathtub or sink, you can hear gurgling and bubbling noises when the water drains. It indicates that your septic tank is filling and needs action. 

  • Pooling 

Water pooling off the tank is the bottom line. You should hurry and jump into the action if you ever notice it (not by yourself, though). 

Before water pools, you can also predict it by supervising the grasses that grow around. If a sudden growth is seen, it is probably because the wastewater layers rise up from the tank. 


Technically, showering with a full tank isn’t a big issue. But however, it is advised not to do so concerning health factors. 

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