Should My Septic Aerator Run All The Time? (Explained)

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

Your septic aerator should run all the time. However, that depends on your septic aerator. Though several septic systems make use of air compressors that run continuously, some models, such as the Norweco, have an Aerator that runs for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.

You must understand the operations of a septic aerator before you can deduce how long it should run.

In order to help you feel more confident about the operation of your septic system at home, I’ve written this article on the distinctions between aerobic and non-aerobic septic systems. Read on to find out all you should know about a septic aerator.

What Is A Septic Aerator?

Several types of wastewater treatment systems are available to homeowners. These include septic and aerobic sewage treatment systems. Both work to clean wastewater before sending it to a secondary treatment area.

The architecture of your property is important because it has a significant impact on the way your wastewater is treated. If you don’t already have one, you might consider installing a septic aeration system, depending on the size of your property and the needs of your family on a daily basis.

So, what exactly is a septic tank aerator, and how does it work? An aerator, also known as an air pump, is a device that pumps air and oxygen into the septic system of a home or commercial building.

The additional oxygen stimulates natural bacterial activity in the system, which aids in the treatment of nutrients in the effluent.

It works by drawing air from the outside and pushing it into the tank through a piping network and diffuser. You find these systems in aquariums.

This system is beneficial to homeowners with smaller lots and poor soil conditions. It also benefits people in areas with a high water level, or homes near a surface water body that is susceptible to contamination by nutrients. However, you will need to maintain these systems to keep them efficient.

The size of your aerator, the ambient temperature in your location, and the position of the pump will all have an impact on its lifespan and performance. Pumping your tank every three to five years is still essential for any onsite septic system, regardless of its age. You will also have to replace your aerator’s moving parts when they approach the end of their service life span.

Always use genuine factory certified components for any repairs, as fake substitutes will damage your system. Fake parts may not be able to withstand the forces placed on the entire system as a result of the repairs.

Parts Of A Septic Aerator

The Tank

The two most important components of a septic system are the septic tank and the spray or drainfield. The tank is often constructed with concrete, polyethylene, or fiberglass, and it is available in either a rectangular or cylindrical design. It is into this tank that the wastewater from your property’s plumbing fittings passes.

Aeration of the water surface allows the accumulation of solids in the septic tank. These solids float on top and interact with healthy bacteria. Solid particles that are not biodegradable settle at the bottom of the container and form a sludge layer.

Septic tanks are available in a number of different sizes and layouts, including double-compartment and single-compartment types.

The wastewater that exits the tank is the effluent. Despite the fact that it has gone through treatment, it still contains pathogens, pollutants, and organic waste. Therefore, it still needs to pass through another process to make it clean for other purposes.

As a result, it is unhealthy to dispose of effluent onto the land’s surface or into groundwater.

The Drainfield

The drainfield is the area where liquid from a septic tank travels into the yard or surrounding area through a system of pipelines. After this, it receives treatment from naturally occurring organisms. Grasses and other shallow plants should cover the drainfield and serve as its protection.

You should care for your drainfield properly. Avoid driving over it or placing heavy materials on it. Anything contrary could damage its ability to function as a filter.

You should make sure that both of these components of your septic system are operating at all times. Consider how frequently you use your home’s water sources, as well as the the bacteria in the system and you’ll understand why the system must be running at all times.

You should inquire more about your septic aerator when purchasing it. This would give you better insight into the best way to use the brand you purchased.

How Do I Tell If My Aerator Is Not Working?

If your septic system’s aerator fails, it will naturally switch from an aerobic to an anaerobic environment, which is much slower and less efficient at breaking down solids. The effluent leaving your system will be like raw sewage unlike the clear, odorless effluent of your aerobic system.

The sound of your septic aerator’s system alarm is usually the first sign that something is wrong with it. However, there are a variety of reasons your alarm may go off, not all of which are directly related to the aerator.

Power Loss

One of the most significant things to note when your aerator is not working is power loss.

Power loss is one of the easy problems to resolve. A tripped circuit breaker is frequently the source of this problem. If this problem persists, however, it may be a symptom of a more serious electrical problem, which requires the help of a professional.

Sewage Pump Failure

Sewage pump failure accompanies the malfunction of your septic aerator. If your sewage pump fails, the water level in your system will rise, which will activate your septic alarm. You will need to replace or repair your sewage pump in order to restore functionality to your system.

Air Pressure

In order for your aerator to oxygenate your system, it must have sufficient air pressure. The lack of adequate air pressure in your system shows the need to replace or repair the system’s aerator.


Another important thing to look out for is the timer. The timer in your aerobic system ensures that water does not flow until the effluent is clear and clean enough to proceed to the next phase of your system’s operation. In other words, your septic aerator is faulty when there is something wrong with its timer.

It is important to silence your septic alarm and immediately check to see the cause of the problem. If you notice something is off, you should call for a professional as soon as possible.

How Long Do Septic Aerators Last?

Good septic aerators built by quality brands can last for 40 years. However, your level of maintenance also determines how long it will be efficient.

What Does The Yellow Light On The Septic System Mean?

Yellow is an aeration alarm, which can result from several factors.

How Often Should I Pump A 1500 Gallon Septic Tank?

The rate at which you should pump your septic tank depends on the size of your family and how often you use it. If you use your septic tank regularly, you should pump it every 3 to 5 years.

Meet Marco, a lifelong tinkerer and DIY enthusiast, developed a passion for plumbing after fixing a leaky faucet in his own home. Years later, he turned that passion into a thriving business, Amarco Plumbing, where he shares his knowledge and expertise with the community.