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How Can You Tell If Your Septic Tank Needs To Be Pumped?

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Septic tanks need to be cleaned as a part of their regular maintenance. Knowing when your septic tank needs to be pumped and other related details can help you take care of your system. The following frequently asked questions will help you know when it's time to get your tank cleaned.

How can you tell if your septic tank needs to be pumped?

The best way to know when it's time to clean out your septic tank is to speak with a professional. The professional will need to know how many people live in your household, how much waste water your home produces, how large your tank is and when was the last time the tank was cleaned. To find out approximately how much waste water your home produces, the professional may ask you questions about your showering and laundering habits. This information will help your professional calculate the approximate cleaning schedule for your septic tank.  

Other ways to tell if your septic tank needs to be cleaned out include:

  • There's a sewer gas smell in your house.
  • You notice extra green grass in the yard near the septic tank drain field.
  • There's a smell of sewage in the yard.

Once your septic tank is showing the above warning signs, it is already too full. It's better to get a cleaning schedule from a professional and clean it according to the professional's recommendations.

What happens if you don't clean out your septic tank when it needs to be cleaned?

If you fail to clean out your septic tank on time, you could cause a clog in the drainfield and a backup into your home.

What can you do to extend the time between septic tank cleanings?

There are many ways that your household can lengthen the amount of time between cleanings. For example:

  • Limit your waste water production. Too much waste water can prevent the solids in your tank from settling, causing them to float into the drainfield and clog the system. The only way to rid the tank of these floating solids is to have them pumped out.
  • Be careful about what you flush down your drains. Solid waste (besides human waste) can cause your septic tank to clog very easily, thus requiring you to clean out the tank frequently. Pumping out the tank will prevent this from happening.
  • Avoid flushing medications and antibacterial cleaning products down the drain. Antibacterial cleaning products and medications can cause the beneficial bacteria in your tank to die, thus slowing the decomposition of solids inside your tank and requiring the tank to be cleaned out frequently.

For more information about your septic tank cleaning schedule, talk to your septic tank cleaning professional.