While your septic tank is quite large, it does have a maximum capacity. Eventually, it will fill up, and if there are any issues when that occurs, you can start having backups and other problems. You will need to have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis. However, if you’ve lived in homes connected to a city sewer system, you may not be familiar with septic tank pumping and septic tank maintenance. While we can help you with any septic tank issues through our septic tank services, it’s important that you understand what pumping is and how often it’s necessary.
What Is Septic Tank Pumping?
Septic tank pumping involves using a professional pump to fully empty the tank. This involves removing all of the liquid, solid waste, and sludge that has accumulated over the years. This isn’t any type of emergency solution that’s only done when there’s a problem. Instead, septic tank pumping should be a part of your standard tank maintenance. Otherwise, it can lead to a number of issues, including causing sewage to back up into your home.
Why Is Septic Tank Pumping Needed?
To understand why septic tank pumping is needed, it’s helps to know how the tank works. A septic tank holds all of the waste water and other wastes that comes from your home. Over time, all of the solid waste will sink to the bottom and settle, while liquid waste, grease, and oil will float at the top of the tank. Over time the liquid will actually leave the tank through a series of pipes and drain out onto the drain field. The solid waste, meanwhile, typically breaks down with the help of anaerobic bacteria.
Unfortunately, the bacteria doesn’t always break down all of the solid waste. This process does take time, and there may be more waste coming in than the bacteria can break down. This means the amount of waste slowly builds up until there’s very little room for liquid. Eventually, the solid waste will reach the drain pipes. When these pipes become clogged, the liquid has nowhere to go and backs up.
Septic tank pumping removes all of the liquids and solid waste from the tank. If needed, the crew will also clean out the drain pipes so the liquid can once again reach the field and be absorbed by the soil.
How Septic Tank Pumping Works
When you call us out to pump your tank, we will arrive in one of our large pump trucks. This truck includes a large tank to haul away the waste as well as a powerful vacuum system to clean the tank. We will dig down to your septic tank’s cleanout valve and attach the hose. When activated, the vacuum sucks out all of the waste within the tank. We may need to use a long tool to break up some of the sludge if it’s become too solid to vacuum out. If your tank hasn’t been pumped for quite some time, it can be difficult to remove the sludge. We may have to add extra water to it or use a pressure nozzle to break it up.
Does Pumping Differ from Cleaning?
Some people use the terms “pumping” and “septic tank cleaning” interchangeably. Some use the term “pumping” to mean only removing the liquid, while “septic tank cleaning” is removing all liquids and solids. When we come to pump a tank, we’re going to remove all waste so that your tank is ready to go. It doesn’t matter what you want to call it, we will make certain your tank is emptied of all waste.
How Often Does Your Septic Tank Need to be Pumped?
In general, it’s recommended that you have your septic tank pumped every three to five years, depending on how many people live in the home and the size of the tank. We base our recommendations off of a standard 1,000 gallon septic tank, but we can provide custom estimates if your tank is larger or smaller.
- For two people, five years is often fine.
- For a family of three to four people, we recommend having the tank pumped every three or four years.
- • For homes with more than four people, you want to have the tank emptied at least every three years.
In many cases, we recommend pumping more often, especially if there are a lot of people in the home.
Issues Related to Septic Tank Pumping
There are some factors that can make pumping your septic tank more difficult. The first is waiting too long to have the tank pumped. The sludge can build up and become very thick. This thick sludge often requires breaking up before it can be vacuumed out. In some extreme cases, the tank may need to be pumped, allowed to sit so the bacteria can break down more of the waste, and then pumped again.
Another issue if when tree roots break through the tank or the drainage field pipes. While modern septic tanks are built to withstand this, some older tanks may not be. Sludge can become trapped in the roots, creating large clogs. In some cases, if the roots can’t be easily removed or if there are a large number of roots present, the tank may have to be replaced.
Modern septic tanks that were installed after the 1980s may have two separate compartments divided by a wall. In some cases, we can pump out the liquid from both sides because the wall isn’t watertight. However, it’s difficult to remove the solid waste without accessing both sides. We will inspect your septic tank to determine if it has two compartments or not and will always fully clean both sections.
Call Us Today
You don’t want to leave your Atlanta septic tank pumping to anyone other than a professional. If sewage were to back up into your home, it can damage the flooring, present a health risk, and create costly septic system repairs. We understand how to fully clean and remove all waste from a septic tank, and we price our services very affordably. If you believe your septic tank needs pumping or other maintenance, contact Septic Master today at (678) 646-7744.