How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?
Homeowners often take their plumbing systems for granted. We stroll through the day carrying out our general bodily functions, yet, we rarely consider the overall effect this has on plumbing. From taking a shower to using the toilet, basically anytime water is involved, your home’s plumbing system is storing, facilitating, or managing water and waste. Moreover, it is the septic tank that handles much of this responsibility and that can bear the brunt of waste overtime. This is why the septic tank needs to be monitored and pumped every so often. So, the question comes to mind—how often should you pump your septic tank?
Factors to consider
Home size: In regards to your septic tank, this is not something you necessarily have to concern yourself with. The size of a home is considered when the initial septic tank is installed. Installers should match your home size with the proper sized septic tank. However, it would be wise to at least be aware your septic tank’s size and how many gallons of waste it can hold.
For example, a tank for a three-bedroom home should hold at least 900 gallons. For a four-bedroom home, at least 1,250 gallons. This information provides a basis on when the septic tank needs to be pumped.
Family Size: Now, let’s consider the residents of a home. Simply put, the more people in a home, the more water usage and the more waste. Water and waste will filter into the septic tank and continue to accumulate to its eventual capacity. The accumulation will be more rapid for a household of four, as opposed to an empty nester.
Ages of household members: If your family consists of younger children then your septic tank will likely take on more water and waste. Children generally take longer showers and use the bathroom more often. They are also home more often. Plus, they likely won’t yet have the appreciation of water conservation.
Experts recommend to have a septic tank pumped once it reaches 1/3 capacity. Taking our earlier example, a family of four living in a three-bedroom home would need to have their septic tank pumped at 300 gallons, given its 900-gallon capacity.
A general rule of thumb is to have it pumped every 3-4 years. Most families will be in that 1/3 range within that timeframe. If you live on your own, you should be safe to wait an additional one or two years.
How do I determine the number of gallons currently in my tank?
Two answers: First, if you want to accurately measure the amount of waste in a septic tank, you’ll need a sampling tool specific to the task at hand. You can call around to nearby plumbing agencies to determine how to obtain one. Once you have the sampling tool, you can enter it through the manhole of the tank to measure. If it exceeds the 33% mark, it’s time to have it pumped.
***Make sure you, or any part of you, does not come in contact with the insides of the tank. The tank includes various chemicals that are very harmful to the touch***
Secondly, and preferably, contact an expert. Obtain a quote for an inspection or for a pumping and proceed accordingly. An expert is accustomed to this work and he/she will be able to inspect your septic tank much quicker and precisely than you.
Another simple solution is to schedule a routine inspection. Having an expert regularly inspect your septic tank very 2-3 years will simplify the process. You won’t have to worry about remembering, nor will you have to monitor the septic tank on your own.
Contact Four Stars Plumbing Co.
If you are worried about your septic tank or if you feel it is time to have it pumped, call Four Stars Plumbing Co. We’ve been providing plumbing services for over 37 years! We’ve seen and dealt with just about any plumbing scenario you can think of. Contact your trusted plumbing source today!