How often should you pump your septic tank? This is a question that many homeowners don’t think of asking until a problem arises. After all, septic systems are buried underground and work behind the scenes for the most part. It’s an important question nevertheless because regular maintenance and septic tank pumping prevents damage to your tank and plumbing system.
These tanks collect sewage and wastewater from a house and are typically constructed from concrete or plastic. The most common places in which septic tanks are installed are in rural areas where a city sewer system isn’t available, or in older homes built before the city sewer system was installed.
The job of a septic system is to separate solid waste, liquid waste, and residue from the wastewater that leaves your house. Because of their weight, solids settle to the bottom, where germs and bacteria work to digest and dissolve them. Any greasy and oily residue remains at the top while the middle watery layer gets diverted through perforated underground pipelines to a drain pipe or leach field. As the water is pumped back into the ground, soil, rocks, and gravel act as filters to clean the water of pollutants.
Despite bacteria helping to break down sludge, your tank can still fill up overtime and require cleaning or pumping. Generally, homeowners should clean their septic tanks every three to five years, but it really depends on the type of sewage system in your home.
Below is a list of factors to help you determine how often your septic tank should be cleaned.
The Age of Your Tank
The age of your septic tank will play a role in determining how often you should pump it. If your tank has been in place for a long time, you may want to consider pumping it more often than once every five years. In fact, we highly advise that you never go beyond 5 years, regardless of your septic system.
The Size of Your Tank
Naturally, the smaller your tank is, the more often you’ll have to pump it out. This is because the volume of your tank is directly proportional to how much wastewater your system can hold. Therefore, a larger tank will require less pumping.
Here’s an easy way to figure out the size of your septic tank: It is usually determined by the number of bedrooms in your home. Generally, a home with 3 bedrooms will have a 1,000 gallon tank; 4-5 bedrooms will usually have a 1500 gallon tank.
Your Water Usage
How many people live in your home? The more people living in your home, the more wastewater your septic tank will have to process. If you have a family of 6, you’ll likely need to pump your tank out more often than if you have a family of 2.
To give you an example: a 1000-gallon tank in a home with a family of 5 will likely need to be pumped every 2 years. However, in a family of 4 people, the same tank will likely only need to be pumped every 4 years.
How often you will need your tank pumped out is not solely determined by the size of your septic tank, your water usage, and the size of your household. A garbage disposal, for instance, can increase the amount of solid waste mixed into your wastewater. As your septic tank fills with solids and oils, you may end up needing to pump it sooner than you planned.
Septic tank enzymes and bacterial additives can also affect pumping frequency. Some homeowners use additives to speed up the natural breakdown of organic solids and other compounds in their septic tanks. The problem is that these additives can affect the balance of beneficial bacteria that already exists in the tank, resulting in greater solid waste accumulation and the need for more frequent pumping.
On average, you should have your tank pumped every 3-5 years. Nevertheless, if you notice any signs of your septic system acting out before its schedule, you need to have it pumped immediately. If your wastewater is slow to drain or you hear gurgling sounds coming from your toilet when you flush, it might be time to get the services of a septic pumping company.
At Advanced Septic Solutions, we do septic tank pumping in Conyers, GA. We specialize in Septic Tank Installations, Pumping, Cleaning, and Repairs, and have been providing septic tank services for residential and commercial customers in Conyers, GA.
If you have any questions about our septic tank pumping services, please call us today 678-940-0226.