Tuesday , July 23 2024
Pump a Septic Tank

How Often Should You Pump a Septic Tank?

Hidden beneath your yard is one of the best sewage processing systems around, a septic tank.

Cost-effective and almost invisible, septic tanks are one of the most popular forms of waste disposal around, and over 21 million Americans enjoy them. 

But like anything else in your home, septic tanks require maintenance to be kept in good working order. 

Failing to have your septic system inspected and pumped can result in sewage emergencies and costs in the tens of thousands. Luckily, it’s easy to keep your septic system healthy by scheduling routine check-ups and pumping. 

But why exactly do you need to pump a septic tank, and what happens if you don’t? Below, we answer all your most asked questions about everything septic.

So if you’re looking for tips on how to keep one of your home’s most important systems working properly, keep reading! 

How Does a Septic Tank Work?

Though millions of Americans have septic tanks, many of them don’t know how they work. Let’s take a look at what actually happens after you drain the tub or flush a toilet. 

Waste from sinks and drains will exit your home and enter the tank through a single pipe. Within the tank, the waste will separate itself. Solids will sink to the bottom, while liquids will rest on the top. 

Naturally occurring bacteria and microbes will begin to process and break down the waste. Eventually, liquid waste will pass through a filter into your drain field. 

In the drain field, liquid waste continues to be broken down. Eventually, it will disperse into the ground, where it will naturally complete its purification process.

The end result is clean, naturally cleaned water is returned to the soil.   

Why Do Septic Tanks Need to Be Pumped?

As you may have noticed, only liquid waste is sent to the drain field and soil. This is because all solid waste remains in the tank. Over time, the solids will build up. 

When the amount of solid waste becomes too high, it’s time to have your septic tank pumped.

While this may sound like just another service you need to schedule, it’s important to understand that septic pumping isn’t something you should put off. 

A septic tank that is becoming overwhelmed can impact your plumbing, yard, and even the septic system itself. This can result in costly repairs and even being displaced from your home. 

When a septic tank is full, it can no longer accept as much waste. This means that drains can slow, and waste can back up into your home. You may also experience intense sewage smells.

One of the most severe complications is solid waste making its way into the drain field. While this extra fertilizer may cause grass in your area to look far lusher, it can also be fatal to your drain field. 

The cost to replace a drain field can be between 5,000 and 20,000 dollars, which is no chump change. Even more daunting is the cost of a completely new septic system, which is anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 dollars. 

Luckily, it’s easy to avoid these costs by having your septic tank regularly inspected and pumped. If you’re looking for proper guidance and the most reasonable inspection rates, visit Bio-Sol‘s website.

How Often Should You Pump a Septic Tank?

How often your septic tank is pumped will depend on many factors. The size of the tank, people in your household, and the age of your system can all impact how often you need pumping services. 

On average, it’s best to have your tank pumped at least once every 3 to 5 years. If you live alone, you may be able to go without pumping for 10 years, while larger households could require servicing every 2 years. 

It’s always a good idea to keep a log of all septic tank pumping and inspections you have performed. This will make it far easier to know how longs it’s been and when it’s time for more servicing. 

If you recently moved into a home and don’t know the last time the tank was pumped, scheduled service to be safe. 

This is also good advice if you simply can’t remember the last time your tank was pumped. If you know your service provider, you can reach out to see if they have a record of your last service date. 

When it comes to septic systems, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  

Can I Pump My Own Septic Tank?

Septic pumping is more than just a plumping service, and it’s something you can’t do on your own. Only a trained provider, like Goebel Septic Tank septic services in Washington, can safely pump a tank. 

Septic pumping involves large quantities of hazardous waste that need to be disposed of responsibly, and most people don’t have the equipment necessary.

Pumping your own tank can also result in hefty fees, as it poses a danger to groundwater and other people. 

You should always call a provider for septic services and never attempt to do them on your own.  

What Are Signs Its Time for Septic Tank Pumping?

To make sure your septic system is healthy, it’s always wise to keep an eye out for common warning signs.

Let’s take a look at some important signals you shouldn’t ignore that your septic tank needs to be pumped. 

Sewage Smells

When a septic tank becomes too full, there is less room for the gasses that occur there. As a result, these odorous and sometimes toxic gasses can come through the pipes into your home. 

If you notice a powerful sewage smell near any of your drains or sinks, it’s time to check on your septic tank. 

Standing Water

An overwhelmed septic tank can result in sewage water pooling in our yard.

If you see standing water that isn’t from rain and doesn’t go away on its own, it could be a sign of a septic problem. 

Lush Grass

Grass near your septic tank that is especially lush and green may be benefiting from extra fertilizer. That seems nice, but because that fertilizer is from sewage, it’s actually quite serious. 

Spongy, extra green grass near your septic tank is a red flag that it’s time for an inspection. 

Slow Drains

When a septic tank is struggling, it won’t be able to accept as much. Additionally, building clogs can make it difficult for your waste to drain. 

Keep an eye out for slow drains in your home that do not respond to normal plumbing solutions. 

Sewage Backing Up Into Your Home

When a septic tank runs out of room, you can experience one of the most severe of complications. For worse than a simple toilet backup, the sewage that comes into your home from your septic pipe is often hazardous to your health. 

If you see sewage backups in your toilet or sinks, you could have a septic tank emergency. It’s important that you call your provider as soon as possible to avoid further complications. 

What Happens During a Pumping Service?

When your service provider arrives, they will come with a large truck and vacuum system. 

After a cursory inspection, your technician will open your tank and insert a tube. The waste from the tank will be vacuumed into the large truck and carried away to be disposed of safely and responsibly. 

Your technician will also let you know of any issues or repairs that are needed.

The average cost of a septic pumping service is between 250 and 300 dollars, which is tiny compared to the cost of fixing a neglected septic system. 

How Can I Prepare for a Pumping Service? 

To make the process quicker and help out your provider, there are a few steps you can take. 

Ensure that there is no debris or furniture near your septic tank area. If you don’t know where your tank is, do your best to find out. Your provider can do so, but having a general idea will help them. 

If you have any information about your septic system, have that ready in case your provider needs it. 

Beginners Guide to Septic Tank Pumping

Septic tanks are simple, low-maintenance means of processing waste.

Because they’re invisible, it can be easy to forget about them, but always remember that a full septic tank can result in serious costs. They can also produce major health hazards. 

To ensure your family is healthy and your septic system is happy, make sure to pump a septic tank at least once every 3 to 5 years. 

Looking for more helpful tidbits? Check out the rest of our site for advice on everything from travel to health. 

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