Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

3 Ways To Tell It's Time For Septic Tank Cleaning And A Quick Look At How It's Done

by Melinda Crawford

If you haven't had to clean your septic tank yet, and you've lived in your home a few years, you might want to have the levels in the tank checked by a septic tank cleaning company. They can tell if your tank needs pumped or if it has a leak that's allowing waste to escape. Here are three ways to tell if your septic tank needs to be cleaned and how it's done.

1. Measure The Contents Of The Tank

The liquids and solids in a septic tank separate into three layers. Water that flows to the drain field is in the middle, while sludge is on the bottom, and fats and oils are on the top. If the sludge or oil layer gets thick enough, your septic tank should be pumped out to keep solids out of the drain field.

2. Calculate Based On Lifestyle Factors

Your septic tank cleaning company can help you calculate how often a tank the size of yours should be cleaned. When your tank is installed, the size is usually selected according to the number of bedrooms in your home.

Once you know the size, you can estimate when cleaning will be necessary based on the number of people in your home and if you have a garbage disposal. However, lifestyle has a bearing on how fast your tank fills and needs to be pumped out.

If you use the garbage disposal a lot and don't conserve water, your tank might need to be cleaned out more often than estimated. On the other hand, if you live alone in a home with multiple bedrooms and you work to conserve water, you may go much longer before the tank needs to be cleaned out.

3. Call For Service When The Tank Backs Up

When sewage spills in your yard or backs in the house, that's a sign it is past time to clean out the tank. You want to avoid this situation if at all possible because a tank that's too full can allow solids and fat to get in the drain field and cause damage. Plus, you don't want toxic sewage in your house.

Septic tank cleaning is a routine service that includes pumping out the contents of your tank into a sewage truck. The contractor also makes basic checks on your system so things like cracks and other problems can be found and repairs scheduled. The pumping is done through a long hose that reaches your backyard from a truck on the street, so your property isn't harmed during the process, and you may not even need to be at home.

It's best to have septic tank cleaning done on a schedule so you can avoid problems with a tank that's too full. This prolongs the life of your tank and reduces the risk of clogs.