If you’ve never had your septic system pumped, or you’re a first-time septic-tank owner, you may wonder how often you should have your septic tank pumped. Experts agree that, on average, a septic system should be pumped at least once every three years.
Several factors can increase or decrease the optimum time between septic system pump-outs. Here’s more information about having your septic system pumped.
Use the Last Pump Date as a Guide
When you know your septic system hasn’t been pumped in three or more years, go ahead and schedule the pumping service as soon as possible. You’re better off paying for a tank pumping now than shelling out resources for carpet cleaning for the whole house after a sewage backup.
If you aren’t sure when the tank was pumped last, schedule an inspection of your septic system. The plumbing service can tell when you should schedule pumping services by examining the contents and components of the septic tank.
While the plumbing service is on site, they inspect your septic system to find mechanical, drainage, and leakage issues. The plumber repairs problems and replaces parts of your system to keep septic lines and tank in good working order.
The plumber can also give you an estimate about how often your septic tank should be pumped. The pumping interval is determined by the size of your septic tank and the number of people using the tank per year.
Pay Attention to Septic System Warning Signs
Your septic system and other parts of your drainage lines can give you clues to septic tank problems. Slow drainage is a big red flag for septic tank trouble. However, some slow-drainage issues are the result of clogged septic lines or household lines. Once the lines are cleared and set at the correct angle, your septic system works normally again.
Be alert for signs of septic tank trouble in your household drainage system. Several drainage issues occur when the septic tank is full and needs to be pumped now. Signs include:
Sewer-type odors indoors
Slow flushing toilets
Slow drainage in sinks or tubs
Sucking or gurgling sounds from toilets
The above signs can also be related to venting issues. The only way to know for certain is to hire a plumber and have a complete inspection performed on your drainage and septic lines.
Go Outside and Look Around
Slimy algae growing around the septic field is a sign of a full septic tank. Pooling water and soggy ground around the septic tank are two more signs of an overflowing tank or breaks in the drainage lines.
If your area has flooded or received intense rain recently, the septic tank can become overwhelmed with floodwaters or storm runoff. The plumber will wait until the ground drains before pumping a flooded septic leach field. Pumping the septic tank in flooded ground can cause the tank to pop out of place.
Leaks in your home water system can overload the septic tank and lead to early failure. If your toilet or sinks are leaking, have the plumber replace or repair fittings. The less water you send down the drain or toilet, the longer you can go between pumping services.
Don’t overload an already overloaded septic system. While waiting for the pump truck to arrive, avoid using the washing machine, showers, and other water fixtures in the home.
After the septic system is pumped, explore ways to reduce the load you place on the septic tank. Switch to low-flow shower heads, aerated faucets, and water-efficient toilets to send less waste water down the drain.
If your septic tank needs service, call Backlund Plumbing to schedule a complete inspection of your septic system. We pump out septic tanks and systems in the Greater Omaha, Nebraska, region.