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What You Need to Know About Septic Tank Pumping Services

Water Drain

Are you new to septic tank use? Do you need to know more about when to schedule a pumping service? If this is your first home with a septic system, take a look at the top tank pumping questions homeowners have.

Who Should Pump the Septic System’s Tank?

This isn’t a do-it-yourself job you should tackle on your own. Septic services require professional attention. If you’re not sure who to call for a tank pumping, consider:

  • The contractor’s specialization. Choose a company that specializes in septic tanks. A general plumber or handyman won’t have the knowledge or equipment to safely and effectively pump the tank.
  • >Experience level. How long has the contractor serviced the community? While there’s no magic number of years of experience a contractor should have, an expert should have a strong history of septic tank service in the local area.
  • References and reviews. Don’t assume general reviews online are accurate. Ask your potential contractor for references from current or past customers.
  • Professional organization affiliations. Industry-related associations and organizations, such as the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA), can help you to find a qualified septic contractor.

Along with expertise, experience, and references, choose a contractor who meets your scheduling and maintenance needs. Ask the septic pumping provider about the availability of service times and whether they offer a maintenance plan.

How Often Should a Professional Pump the Septic Tank?

Septic tank pumping isn’t a constant activity homeowners need to worry about. But that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore your tank. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a septic service professional should inspect your tank every three to five years. Even though it needs an inspection during this time frame, your tank’s pumping service schedule depends on:

  • The size of the tank. The bigger the septic tank, the more it holds. This means the sludge buildup won’t overtake the tank in the same way it would for a smaller version. Even though more sludge develops over time, you can typically schedule pumping services less often.
  • Your household size. In general, larger households produce more waste. The more family/household members create waste, the more often you need to schedule pumping services.
  • The number of wastewater fixtures in your home. Provided you use all the toilets and sinks/garbage disposals, you may have increased pumping needs. A higher number of toilets, sinks, or anything that drains into the tank may increase wastewater and the volume of solids.

If you’re not sure what size septic tank you have, how much wastewater your household generates, or what the volume of solids in the wastewater is, a septic tank services contractor can help you to choose the appropriate pumping schedule for your home’s needs. Without the correct information (on size and wastewater issues) you can’t calculate a pumping schedule.

Are There Other Times to Schedule a Pumping Service?

You’ve set a schedule for routine pumping maintenance. But is this enough to keep your septic tank in top shape? Even though regular pumping can reduce the risk of wear and tear or damage-related issues, you may need to schedule additional services if:

  • Your home has slow or clogged drains. Slow or clogged drains indicate a plumbing problem. While the issue is possibly inside your home, it could also indicate a problem with the septic tank.
  • Puddles in the yard. Puddles or standing water in the drainfield area or around the tank itself are signs of a potential problem.
  • Green grass. Even though green grass is desirable, excessively lush plant life over the drainfield could also point to a tank problem.

Along with these issues, odd odors are another septic system symptom you shouldn’t ignore. The septic system contractor will inspect the tank and decide whether they need to pump the contents.

Do you need a septic system service? Contact Rob’s Septic Tanks, Inc., for more information.

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