How Often Do You Need to Get Septic Tank Pumping Done?

The septic tank is one of the most important parts but also one of the most neglected areas in your home. Routine maintenance of septic tanks through inspection and pump out is essential for its proper functioning, the absence of which can clog pipes, cause wastewater to flow back into drainages, emit unpleasant and foul smells, or contaminate drain fields, surrounding soil, or even water sources around. The health and environmental hazards posed by a faulty septic tank are many, which is why it is recommended that a routine cleanup of the system be carried out by septic tank pumping companies from time to time.

How the cleaning is performed

During a routine cleaning, the septic pump company uses a large vacuum hose to remove the sludge or solids settled into the bottom of the tank. This gets deposited in a specialized truck, which then transports it to a nearby sewage treatment facility, where the solids get disposed of properly and safely in accordance with local laws. During such scheduled pump outs, the technician also inspects the septic system for any faults that may flare up later and performs necessary fixes or recommends replacements where necessary.

The frequency of cleaning

Calling for a commercial grease trap cleaning or septic tank pumping company is easy. But the question that most homeowners face is how often do I need to do it? There isn’t one figure that suits all and the answer to it depends on many factors as discussed below.

  • The frequency of use

How often to clean the septic tank actually depends on how often you use it. The more it is used, the shorter the spans between two successive pump outs need to be. For instance, the home in which you reside permanently and use every day will need a septic tank cleaning more quickly than a weekend or a holiday home that you visit only once in a while.

  • The number of family members

Another factor that determines the cleaning frequency is how many members your family has. Obviously, the higher the number, the earlier you need to clean your septic tank. Additionally, when there are babies or young kids involved, there tends to be more frequent use of toilets, basins, and wash appliances that are necessary to keep the little one clean and free of poop and pee. The same applies to families with elderly or bedridden folks. A large quantity of rinsing detergents or solid wastes entering the septic tank can cause it to slow down decomposition and get filled up more quickly, thus necessitating frequent pump outs.

  • The size of the tank

Another factor that affects the pumping frequency is the size of the tank. Given the same number of users, a smaller tank needs to be cleaned up sooner than a larger one.

  • The overall health of the tank

Old and worn out septic tanks may not function properly. Faulty drain fields can also cause troubles. In such cases, it becomes important that you clean out the septic tank frequently to prevent clogging, backflows, or overflows into the ground surface. Monthly cleanups may be necessary during the time a drain field get replaced. Opinions vary on how often you need to clean out your septic tank but experts typically recommend that small tanks be cleaned every year. Larger ones can go up to 3 to 5 years between every pumping. However, it is recommended that you get the system inspected by a professional septic tank cleaning or pumping service company every year to determine its functioning capacity and health. Such technicians can tell you when the tank warrants a pump out and identify warning signs or damages wherein the tank or its parts need repair or replacement. Such an assessment of the septic tank and the drainage field can reveal troubles like drainage problems, root growth, cracked or broken tanks, damaged or non-functioning pipes, contamination of the drainage field, etc., which, if not identified on time, can lead to costly repairs in the future. The technicians can also work out your use patterns and determine a service schedule, which helps keep the septic tank in good condition. They can also give you tips on water use and dos and don’ts for waste disposal through kitchens, bathrooms, etc. to help prolong the life of your septic tank.