How Often Should I Have My Septic Tank Pumped?

The septic tank acts as a waste treatment system for your home. Whenever wasted water is removed (by flushing the toilet, through the shower drain or the like), it enters the septic tank. Lighter materials float to the top while heavier ones sink to the bottom: leaving a large pool of relatively clean water called effluent in the middle. The effluent can then be released into a drain field: a series of pipes designed to spread the water into a field of soil, fertilizing it in the process. As you may imagine, that leaves a fair amount of sludge and scum behind, and unless the septic tank is pumped out, it can create serious problems in the septic tank’s ability to function. Here in Waynesboro, PA, septic tanks can be pumped out by the qualified plumbers at Larry & Sons, Inc. But how often should you have your septic tank pumped? Some general answers can be found below.

The exact timing depends on how many people are in your household and how often they use the plumbing. A vacation home, for instance, won’t see as much activity as a normal home, and houses with large families will require pumping more than those with smaller families. Add to that a thousand other vagaries, and the timing becomes very dependent on your individual circumstances. The best solution is to schedule a yearly inspection of your septic tank from a trusted service. They will measure the levels in your tank, check the pipes and other components of the system and make sure that the drain field is working as it should. From there, you can establish a reasonable schedule based on the amount of use involved and the particular needs of your home. According to the EPA, most septic tanks need to be pumped every 1 to 3 years. An inspection will establish that number for you.

For more advice on how often you should have your septic tank pumped, contact Larry & Sons Inc. In towns like Waynesboro, PA, septic tanks are quite common and you need a trusted service to do the job right. Call us today and let us show you what a difference we can make!

Signs of Septic Tank Problems

The septic tank serves as a sort of small-scale sewage treatment system for your home. Waste water arrives from your toilet, shower or sink and goes into the tank. Solid waste sinks to the bottom while grease and oil float to the top. Bacteria in the tank helps to break down the solid waste. Water then flows out of the tank and into a drainfield, leaving the solid waste and scum behind.  The water is further processed in the drainfield, where microbes remove contaminants as the water percolates through the soil. In the area of Western Virginia, septic tanks are fairly common, especially in rural areas that don’t have access to a sewer line. And septic tanks develop problems like any other system, usually requiring professional services to address. You can help out the process by watching for signs of septic problems.

Because septic tanks are underground, it’s tough to see issues in the tank itself. Instead, the drainfield provides the most obvious clues, and you should direct your attention there when looking for septic tank problems. The most obvious sign is a strange odor emanating from the field, or wet spots that appear in the ground. You might also notice one or more sections of the drain field appearing greener than others, a sign that flow below isn’t proceeding evenly.

You can also check your plumbing system for signs that the septic tank might be encountering difficulties. If your toilets flush more sluggishly than normal, for instance, it might indicate a problem, especially after a heavy rain or during periods when you’re using the toilet a lot. The toilets might overflow, or you may smell bad odors coming from your sink or shower. And of course, these concerns increase if these problems continue even after you’ve had the tank pumped.

If you spot signs of septic tank problems, don’t hesitate to call the professionals at Larry & Sons Inc. for help. We serve most communities around West Virgina, septic tanks are among our specialized service calls, and we’ll go the extra mile to make sure you’re happy with our work. Septic tank problems have a way of getting out of hand, and the sooner you can jump on them, the better. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!