How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?

Septic tank maintenance is based on a few different factors, such as the size of the tank, the levels of scum and sludge, size of household, and the method you choose to determine when to pump the tank. The amount of time that has passed between pumps and inspections is also worthy of consideration.

Septic Tank Size

These days, most septic tanks hold over 500 gallons, even for homes under 1500 square feet. The size of your septic tank is determined by how many bedrooms in your home and the size of your home. The average tank capacity for a 4-bedroom home that has less than 3500 square feet is 1,250 gallons. The size of your septic tank in relation to how many people occupy the home is what determines how often you should pump your tank.

Household Size

If you live in a small home of 1500 square feet and your tank capacity is 750 gallons, you need to pump it more frequently the more people share the home with you. If a total of 4 share a 750 gallon septic tank, you should pump it about every year and a half. If your septic tank holds 1000 gallons, you can stretch that to once every two and a half years. However, double your household size to 8 with a 1000-gallon tank and you need to pump once a year. If your household size is 8 but your tank holds 1750 gallons, you can pump once every two years. If you use a garbage disposal in your home, that adds to the amount of solids building up in your tank, and requires more frequent pumping.

As a septic tank is filled, solid materials form sludge that builds up at the bottom, while grease and lighter materials float at the top as scum. To prevent costly repairs and to ensure proper sewage treatment, it is important to check the guidelines and clean your tank regularly, according to the schedule that is appropriate for your septic tank. When you neglect to clean your tank, sludge levels gradually increase, pushing wastewater out. Solids are thus more prone to escaping into the absorption area, where they aren’t supposed to be. When solids start exiting the tank you are well on your way to even bigger septic tank problems.

Repairing or replacing your tank can cost thousands of dollars. Our septic system protection plans cover what most home owner’s insurance plans do not, saving you thousands. Call us today to  find a plan that works for you.

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