Septic tank maintenance may not be your favorite topic of home ownership, but it's important to know how and when to get your tank pumped. Here is a guide to septic tank cleaning for residential use.
Benefits of Regular Septic Pumping and Maintenance
When you set up a regular septic pumping schedule, it helps you to avoid septic tank failure that could be both costly and hazardous to your health. Your septic tank service can give you some pointers on understanding the signs of septic tank overload and maintenance issues.
What Affects the Frequency of Pumping?
With regular usage, your septic tank shouldn't need to be pumped more than once every two years. If you have to get it pumped more frequently than that, your septic tank might not have a high enough capacity for the number of residents in your home.
You can also reduce the number of times that you have to get the tank pumped by reducing the amount of water and waste that flows through it. For instance, garbage disposals are not advised when you have a septic tank, because they put a lot more solids into your tank. On the opposite side, putting buttermilk or yogurt cultures down the drain every once in a while may have a positive effect, since it helps to break down some of the waste that goes into the tank.
Judging When It's Time to Get a Septic Pumping Service
You can use your scheduled septic cleaning appointments as a guide for when service is needed. However, it's also advisable to get to know your tank and the signs that it needs to be pumped. For instance, your septic service can show you how to use a specialized measuring stick to check sludge levels in your tank.
Knowing What to Expect for Service
Once you have called in a professional septic tank pumping service, they will use specialized machinery to safely remove waste from your tank, where it will be taken to a treatment facility. The septic tank specialist may also do an inspection of your septic tank at this time to make sure that there are no pressing maintenance needs. For instance, they may look for signs of septic tank leaks, issues with the drain field and biomat, and plumbing problems related to your tank. It's also a great time to schedule your next septic tank pumping, although you can always have them come sooner if you realize that your tank gets full prematurely.