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How Often Should You Pump Your Septic Tank?

October 28, 2019

How often should you pump your septic system? It depends on how many people live with you, how much water you use, and how big your tank is. Read more here!


Key Points:

  • Your septic tank is designed to break down waste into liquids and solids (the scum and sludge layers). When a system is functioning properly, liquid waste flows out of your septic tank into the leach field, and solid waste accumulates inside the tank. Solid waste will eventually need to be pumped out of your septic tank.
  • How often you pump your septic tank depends on the number of people who live in your household. However, as a general rule, you should consider pumping your tank every 2-5 years. Once you’ve determined how often your particular tank needs to be pumped, we recommend that you write it down.
  • In order to avoid a clogged leach field and waste backing up into your plumbing system, it is crucial that you have your tank pumped.
  • On average, septic tank pumping will cost between $250-$300. While this might seem expensive, the cost of repairing your septic system after it has been damaged is exponentially greater, sometimes exceeding $5000-$10,000.

It’s easy to forget about or choose to ignore pumping your septic tank. Maybe it’s been years since you’ve thought about it. Meanwhile, unseen by you, waste is steadily accumulating in the tank. Eventually, that waste will need to be pumped out. This article will tell you how often you should have your septic tank pumped and hopefully show you just how important it is to do so!

First, it’s critical to understand that your home septic tank is not connected to your city’s sewage system. This is because home septic tanks are normally installed far from city sewer lines, and many of them were built before city sewer lines were even installed. Consequently, your septic tank is a closed system; there is nowhere for solid waste to go once it arrives in your septic tank. No matter how much it is broken down, solid waste will build up, and the only way to remove it is by pumping it out manually.


How Your Septic Tank Works

Your tank works by breaking down waste and separating it out into liquids and solids. This process can be made more efficient by using a bacterial enhancing septic product like Unique Septic System Digester. Once it has been broken down, the liquid portion of the waste drains out through your lateral line system (more commonly called a leach field). The leach field is responsible for safely dispersing the liquid waste back into the soil, where it will eventually be recycled into the groundwater. The solid waste separates to the top (scum layer) and bottom (sludge layer) of your tank. Therefore, solid waste will not flow out of your tank; instead, it will steadily accumulate until the tank needs to be pumped.


How Often Should You Pump Your Septic Tank?

Perhaps you’re one of those people who check the level of their septic tank periodically. That’s great! But let’s be honest: most of us probably don’t, which is why it’s important to understand how often to pump a septic system. With that being said, however, there is no hard and fast answer to this question. Depending upon the number of people in your household, the frequency of your septic tank pumping will change. It can also depend on whether or not you use a septic treatment. We recommend Septic System Digester if you are looking to prevent frequent pump-outs and control build up inside your septic tank.

All the same, it’s possible to determine how often you should pump your particular tank. Additionally, as a general guideline, it’s probably a good idea to get your tank checked and pumped every 2-5 years. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, this can vary. For instance, because his or her usage is so low, a single individual may be able to go 7-10 years without cleaning out their septic tank. However, a family of 6 will need to have their septic tank pumped much more frequently (maybe even every 2 years). We recommend that you make a note of the number of individuals in your household, check your tank periodically, and write down how often your particular tank needs to be pumped. You could also speak with neighbors who have similar sized families, and use the information to determine the frequency that your septic system needs to be pumped. 


The Importance of Pumping Your Septic Tank

After reading this article, you might be tempted to continue using your septic system without pumping out your tank. But this is not a good idea. In fact, it’s absolutely crucial that you actually pump out the sewage from your septic tank. There are a number of things that can go wrong if you don’t:

  • First, if you don’t pump your tank, the sludge layer will rise too high and begin to clog your lateral line system.
  • Second, this will block liquid waste from flowing through the lateral line system, which will prevent it from absorbing into the surrounding soil.
  • Finally, waste will begin seeping to the surface, causing nasty smells and swampy conditions. Waste may even back up into your home’s plumbing system! Obviously, you’ll want to avoid these malfunctions!

The Cost of Pumping Your Septic Tank

When it’s time to pump your septic system, we recommend that you seek a professional pumping service. In all likelihood, there are many septic system pumping services near you, and we suggest that you find the one that works best for you. On average, a single septic system pumping may cost $250-$300. This might seem expensive, but it is nothing compared to the immense cost of septic system repairs if you choose to neglect proper maintenance. In fact, if not pumped, it may cost upwards of $5000-$10,000 dollars to repair a septic system, particularly if you must replace damaged components.

We hope that this article has given you some useful pointers on how often you should pump your septic tank while also conveying just how important it is! The fact is that, as part of regular maintenance, all septic tanks will need to be pumped sooner or later. Therefore, it’s best to stay on top of maintenance if you want your septic system to function properly for years to come.

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at support@uniquemm.com if you have any further questions or concerns! We're happy to help!





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