When Should You Get Your Septic Tank Pumped?

Understanding the cost of installing a septic system will allow home owners to hire the right contractor for the job. Septic tank pumping is an important maintenance task for homeowners. If you have a septic tank at home, it’s critical to make sure that you keep up to date with pumping. In this guide, we’ll discuss when to get your septic tank pumped. 

When to get your septic tank pumped

There are various factors to consider when deciding when to enlist professional septic system services. The first is the frequency with which your tank needs to be pumped. The second is the time of year. 

Frequency

The frequency of pumping will depend on the requirements and usage of each individual household, the size of the tank, and the number of people living in your home. Generally speaking, it’s wise to schedule septic tank pumping every 3-5 years, but this will vary from one household to another. 

If several people are living in the same house, you run a business from home, or you have a relatively small tank, you will need to arrange for more frequent pumping. If you have a larger tank, there are only 2 people living in the house and your water usage is low, you can wait longer between pumps. 

Time of year

It is possible to pump septic tanks throughout the year, but some times of the year are better than others due to changing weather conditions. 

In the winter, for example, when the ground is hard and there is a risk of frost and snow, it can be difficult to gain access to tanks. In spring and summer, when temperatures are higher, the ground is softer and there is a lower risk of unpredictable weather conditions, it is easier for experts to access and pump tanks. 

Signs that your tank needs pumping

Many people schedule pumping every 3-5 years in line with recommendations based on usage and tank size. However, there may be signs that indicate that a tank needs pumping sooner than anticipated, including:

  • Slow drainage and flushing: if your drains have started to back-up or it’s taking longer than usual to flush and clear waste, this could be a sign that your septic tank needs pumping. You might also notice that it takes longer than normal for your shower or bath to drain when you pull the plug out. 
  • Abnormal odors: if your tank is nearly full, there will be less space for the gases that release odors to circulate within the tank, causing them to escape through outlets within your home, such as drains and toilets. If you have noticed that your toilet has started to smell unpleasant or you can smell pungent odors coming from the drains, seek advice. 
  • Standing water: if your tank is full, there is a risk of standing water around the tank. You may be able to see pools of stagnant water in your yard. If this is the case, this is a sign that the system isn’t coping and it’s best to act swiftly. 
  • Lush green patches of lawn: if you have spotted a flash of lush, green grass near the drain field, this is another indicator of a full or leaking tank. 

Summary

Septic tank pumping is an essential maintenance job for home and business owners. If you just had a septic system installation, it’s important to keep up to date with regular pumping and to seek expert advice if you notice unusual odors, slow draining, or standing water around the tank.