You should pump your septic tank at least every three to five years. This is a good rule for anyone who has just bought a septic tank and lives with a moderately sized family. While this rule does not apply to all septic tanks, it provides a guideline to help measure how much the tank has been used. Pumping frequency normally depends on a number of factors such as the septic tank size, sludge and scum levels of your septic tank, the number of people in the house, and their habits. 

When you have a septic system installed, wastewater from your house goes to the tank where it separates the waste into sludge (solids), effluent (liquid waste), and scum. Sludge as they are heavier goes to the bottom of the tank where microorganisms and other bacterias live. They will consume and dissolve the sludge. Scum is lighter and is made up of fats, grease, and oil, which floats at the top. whereas, the watery effluent middle layer goes to the drainage or leach field where soil works as a filtration system to treat the liquid waste. The problem occurs when too much sludge build-up at the bottom of the tank and bacterias are not able to break it down. Resulting in an overflow to the drain field. That’s why tank pumping is important. 

How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped? (Pumping Frequency)

When you have a septic tank on your property, you might not know what the septic service intervals for the tank will be. You can pump your septic tank with help from our local professionals, and you should think of how often you need to pump your septic tank. These few rules will help you understand how to manage the tank, and you can avoid any backups or damage.

Can You Wait Longer To Pump Out Septic Tanks?

You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly. This is why you should have the tank serviced once a year.

A septic service inspection of the tank will allow you to know how well it is functioning. This is a good time for you to learn about any problems you might have with the tank. You can have these small problems fixed now, and you do not need to worry about them later. At the same time, you will also learn if any major problems need to be fixed. You can keep the tank in good condition, and it can hold up to the pressure of years of flushes.

How Do You Set Up Your Tank Pumping?

septic tank pumping

You should call our local septic service technicians to pump out septic tank waste and inspect the tank itself. When we come to your home, you do not need to be there. We take care of everything, and we make sure that you know how your septic tank works so you can take better care of it. If you have questions, we can answer them, and we will let you know how much longer it will be before you should pump your septic tank.

You get a good idea of how long it will take for you to fill the tank, and you can set up a regular septic service that you do not need to worry about. We arrive for the septic tank cleaning no matter how many years it is in the future, and the tank will be pumped clean. We still give you the same inspection, and we can show you any problems that might have arisen. We can also give you tips for taking care of the tank because it could be a long time before we come back.

How Do You Cut Back On Tank Volume?

You want to make sure that your septic tank is not filling too quickly, and there are a few tips that will help you ensure that the tank is not overfilling. The tank could crack and leak if it is overfilled and you do not realize if you need to have your septic tank pumped, and you do not want to have a backup or a leak around your home.

You should make sure that all your toilets do not run constantly. If toilets run too much, they will send water into the tank that could cause it to overfill, leak, or crack. You should have a plumber service these toilets, and you can turn them back on when you are ready.

The only thing your toilet is meant to handle is human waste. Even if you are flushing toilet papers in your toilet. Make sure to only use thin toilet paper in all your bathrooms. You do not want the tank to fill up too much, and you do not want the tank to start to expand because you have not managed it properly. You should also consider how much you flush down the toilet that does not belong in the septic tank or grind it in the garbage disposal. Many families will flush paper towels and other products down the toilet when they should be thrown in the trash.

It is common to see signs in homes and bathrooms letting people know that they should only use the toilet paper provided. This is very important because you do not want the people who visit your house to flush things that do not belong. You also want to avoid clogged toilets because the pressure of unclogging a toilet could cause damage to the septic tank.

Warning Signs of a Full Septic Tank

septic Pumping Maintenance Service

After asking “how often to clean septic tank”, the next thing most homeowners want to know is “What are some signs that it’s time for septic tank pumping?” Since you can’t easily check to see how full your tank is, you’ll have to rely on some other observations. Here are some things that might indicate it’s time to give us a call.

  • Slow drains, especially if the problem involves more than one drain
  • Sewage backing up into your home
  • Raw sewage or standing water in your yard
  • Foul odors inside or outside your home

Surprisingly enough, a lush, green lawn is often one of the first signs that your septic tank is reaching its limits. When your tank becomes full, sewage can seep underneath the soil and act as a fertilizer. The result is patches of thick, very green grass over the top of your septic tank system. If you notice a disproportionately green lawn, chances are you need septic tank pumping.

Read More: 

How is a Septic Tank Cleaned Out

How long will a septic tank last

Lingering Odor

A strange smell coming from drains inside your home or on your property that just won’t go away could signal a septic tank overflow.

Properly functioning sewer systems rely on bacteria to break down household waste inside a septic tank. And while this bacteria effectively breaks down most of the solid waste, turning it into a gas or sludge layer, some of the waste remains in a solid state. Over time, the remaining solid waste can build up and cause an overflow, and built-up gas begins to spread out from your toilet and drains inside your home. 

Smells from solid waste do not suddenly go away. Contact a professional plumber from a septic tank cleaning company to pump out this waste immediately to avoid a backup into your home. Plumbers have septic pumpers and other equipment that easily remove solid waste and wastewater from your tank.

Frequent Washroom and Drain Clogs

If your toilets, sinks, and bathtubs drain more slowly than usual or stop draining completely, you could have a clog somewhere in the sewer line. Frequent clogs resulting in slow drains can also indicate that your septic tank requires pumping

If you’ve tried chemical drain cleaners or used a plunger to help clear your drains, but the drains quickly become clogged again, you should contact a plumber.

Only a full inspection of sewer pipes and septic tank can reveal the issue – it’s much easier to remove a sewer line clog, or empty the septic tank now than to clean up a sewage backup, or replace the sewer line or septic tank later on.

Tank Overflow

Visual signs of a septic tank overflow include water puddling around the tank and surrounding soil, or brown or yellow patches on your lawn.

Wastewater leaches out into the septic drain field and surrounding soil regularly to help prevent an overflow. Normally, this happens slowly to prevent oversaturation. However, a septic tank full of solid waste can push this water out of the tank at a faster pace and cause wastewater to puddle.

Brown or yellow patches on your lawn could indicate the presence of bacteria and solid waste. Both pose serious health risks if left unattended.

Tank Alarm

Newer septic tank systems feature an alarm that’s wired to your home that can alert you to a potential overflow.

Don’t ignore these signs your septic tank needs pumping. Never try to fix septic tank issues yourself. Expert plumbers have septic pumpers and other equipment to clean out tanks and make the necessary septic tank repairs.

Read: Why is my septic tank alarm going off

Importance of Professional Septic Tank Pumping

Are you experiencing any of the above signs? If so, please know that your problem will only get worse and not better. So you should never attempt to “ride it out.” Put off septic line pumping and you run the risk of raw sewage getting into your home, which could result in significant structural or property damage.

Never attempt to pump your septic tank yourself. Contact us for professional septic system services in Atlanta. Our work will always comply with state and local guidelines, ensuring you are fully protected from any fines and penalties. Please contact us if you are experiencing any of the above warning signs.

There’s no need to put off septic tank pumping when we are only a phone call away. We provide prompt, affordable service to those in Decatur, College Park, East Point, and other nearby cities in Georgia.

Advantages of Regular Pumping of Septic Tanks

Here at The Original Plumber, we advise our Georgia clients to stick with the three-to-five-year interval whenever possible. There are plenty of advantages to sticking with a regular septic tank pumping schedule, even if you are not currently experiencing any problems.

For starters, routine septic tank pumping provides you with peace of mind. Septic tank problems often occur at the most inconvenient times, such as when you are expecting company. By having your septic tank pumped on a regular basis, you can hopefully avoid a sudden, last-minute surprise.

Frequent septic pumping can also help you avoid costly septic tank repairs. While pumping your tank, we’ll check for problems with your drain field, drain pipes, and septic lines. Many times, we are able to catch small problems before they become bigger ones. By making timely repairs, you can greatly extend the life of your septic tank system as well.

Caring for your Septic Tank

Septic tank system care is important in order to extend the life of a septic tank. All septic tanks will eventually reach capacity. Even so, there are a few things you can do to prevent yours from becoming full too soon. A few best practices to keep in mind include:

  • Never flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste. This includes paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and even “flushable” wipes.
  • Limiting the number of coffee grounds you place in the garbage disposal. We recommend getting rid of garbage disposal completely as it won’t be able to break down the solids small enough to pass through the septic tank filter
  • Using only biodegradable laundry and dish soap.
  • Not pouring liquid waste like grease or oil down your kitchen sink.
  • Roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems should be kept away from the drain field area.
  • Keep tree roots and vegetation away from your septic lines.
  • Install shower flow restrictors to limit the amount of water going to your septic system.
  •  Avoid doing all laundry in one day. Spread your washing machine use over multiple days in a week instead. Your septic tank needs time to treat waste. 

All these things affect how well your septic tank system works.

Contact The Original Plumber

The Original Plumber provides plumbing services to residential and commercial customers throughout Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas. We can quickly identify the problem and start making repairs on the same day. We’re open 7 days a week to serve you.

When you have a septic tank on your property, you need to make sure that you pump the septic tank at regular intervals. Call your plumber to get the best advice on your routine maintenance schedule. Work with us to make sure that you can keep your septic tank in the best possible condition, prevent backups, and keep the house as fresh as possible. Ask us about our septic tank maintenance programs.