Pumping Your Septic Tank: How Often Should It Be Done?

If you find yourself wondering how often you need to have your septic tank cleaned, you're not alone. It's a question that countless homeowners often ask when it comes to keeping their septic systems in good order. The following explains how often you'll need to have this important procedure done, as well as some factors that could influence how frequently it needs to be done.

Rule of Thumb or By the Book

Ask any contractor about the right time to pump your septic tank and you may end up with a wide variety of answers. Most contractors tend to go by rule of thumb when it comes to recommending septic tank pumping schedules. This advice could range from "every year," as Inspectapedia notes, to "every 3 to 5 years" according to USA Today.

Going by general rule of thumb is often easier for the contractor, but it could lead homeowners to have their tanks pumped too frequently, which could be a waste of money. Keep in mind that the average national cost of having a septic tank pumped is $376, according to recent figures from HomeAdvisor.

Other contractors may go by a septic tank cleaning frequency table. These tables typically show how often homeowners should have their septic tanks cleaned based on household size and septic tank size. For instance, this septic tank table recommends a cleaning frequency of every 2.6 years for a 1,000-gallon tank serving a household of 4 occupants.

Factors that Affect Pumping Frequency

In addition to the size of your household and the size your septic tank, there are other factors that could affect how often you'll need to have your septic tank cleaned. If you have a garbage disposal, for example, you may end up having to clean your septic tank earlier due to the higher volume of wastewater it produces. If your septic system uses holding tanks instead of a septic field, you may need to have your septic system cleaned more often than normally expected.

Your flushing habits could also affect how often you'll need to clean your septic tank. Certain bad habits, such as flushing wet wipes and other non-biodegradable items, could cause problems that require more frequent cleanings. Using chemical additives to manipulate the bacteria inside the septic tank can also cause changes in pumping frequency.

By establishing a relatively reliable pumping schedule, you'll be able to take the mystery out of having your septic tank cleaned. Contact a business, such as Zeb Watts Septic & Underground, Inc., for more information.