How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?

A truck involved in septic pumping.

If you have a septic tank on your property, there’s a good chance you at least have a basic understanding of how your septic system works. Instead of traveling through city sewer lines to be treated at a municipal facility, your wastewater is sent to the tank. From here, the scum, solids, and liquid wastes (or “watery effluent”) that are present in the wastewater are separated.

Since they’re heavier, the solids end up settling at the bottom of the tank. Of course, these sludge layers can accumulate over time, which can lead to clogged drains and an overflowing leach field. That’s why it’s important to schedule pumping services occasionally.

So, how often should you pump your septic tank? While there is a straightforward answer to this question, there are also several factors that can influence how often you schedule these services. We’ll go over these factors so that you can have a better idea of how often to pump septic tanks.

General Rule of Thumb

If you haven’t scheduled a pumping service in a while, you might be starting to panic. After all, putting off this important maintenance task can end up having various consequences. Fortunately, when it comes to learning how often to pump septic tanks, there’s a general rule of thumb you can follow.

It’s generally recommended that homeowners have their septic tanks pumped every three to five years. Sticking to this cleaning schedule can be highly beneficial, as keeping your tank clean reduces the risk of the septic system failing, among other things.

However, it’s also important to point out that several factors can impact how often you should pump your septic tank. You may need to schedule these septic services more frequently depending on the size of your tank, the size of your household, and how much wastewater you generate. Let’s discuss these factors in more detail below.

Septic Tank Size

When learning how often to pump septic tanks, it’s crucial to know how your septic tank’s size can affect how frequently you schedule these services. Of course, a larger tank will generally be able to hold more waste. Because of this, you can usually get away with pumping a larger tank less frequently than one that’s on the smaller side.

Household Size

Believe it or not, the size of your household can also influence how often you should pump your septic tank. It makes sense, really. If there’s a large number of people living in your home, this will lead to a significant amount of waste entering the tank over time. As a result, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to have your tank cleaned more frequently than if only one or two people live in your home.

Do you want to cut back on the amount of waste you generate? There are a few steps you can take. For example, you might want to consider cutting back on how often you use your garbage disposal. Although garbage disposals are incredibly convenient, the food scraps they grind up can contribute to the number of solids in your tank.

Amount of Wastewater

When discussing how often to pump septic tanks, it’s also important to mention wastewater.

It’s pretty safe to say that we use our washing machines, showers, and toilets on a frequent basis. Our bathroom and kitchen sinks are also some of the most-used plumbing fixtures in our homes. Unfortunately, the more you use these fixtures, the more wastewater will be generated.

This wastewater can negatively affect your septic tank system. As a result, you’ll most likely want to have your tank pumped on a more frequent basis if you tend to generate a lot of wastewater.

Call the Experts at Tidy Tank Septic Service!

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how often you should pump your septic tank. If you think the time has finally come for a septic tank cleaning, turn to a professional team — like Tidy Tank Septic Service.

Our experienced team is highly familiar with the ins and outs of septic systems. We specialize in everything from routine maintenance to field rejuvenation in Crystal Lake, IL, and the surrounding areas. So whether you need septic pumping or aerobic system maintenance, you can feel confident that your services are in capable hands.

Contact us today to schedule your septic pumping in Forest Lake!