How Can I Tell When My Septic Tank Needs Emptied?

Question Asked by AIMEECAKES: How can I tell when my septic tank needs emptied?
We bought a house about 2 years ago with a septic tank and I know nothing about them.
It was just emptied when we bought the house. There are 2 of us living here.
Occasionally I put Rid-X in the toilet.
What would happen if it got too full? Would that do any damage like having to dig up my yard?
Aprox. how often should they be emptied?

Best answer:

Answer by Robert H
You need a sepic company to moniter the tank

Answer by Kelly L
Emptying you septic tank is a rare occurrence. The only reason you would need to empty it just after two years, 1. you are putting a lot of non-organic stuff in it. 2. you are putting lots of chemicals down your drain (toxic consumerism: bleach, Mr. Clean, harsh detergents, etc.).
Locate your leach-line outlet, 1. make sure that is down hill of your house. 2. If you are concerned, you can check this periodically to see if solid waste is coming out (paper, etc.) then have a professional come. 3. Any organic enzyme like rid-x will help your system be more efficient.

Answer by Crewel Bill
2 years ago wayyyy too fast for just 2 people.

you should be good for like another 5 6 7 years

Answer by Sonny
Just watch what you put down the drain. Definitely not grease or oil. Use common sense in what you let go into the septic system and you should be good for a long time. No need to worry about the system backing up until you see gunk coming back into your downstairs bathtub or shower (or basement, whichever is lowest in your home.) Continue using the Rid-Ex if you want, it doesn’t hurt. We used our septic system for over twenty years and never had a problem with it. Never had it pumped out either.
If you ever have to have it pumped, and if you know where it is, there would be no, or minimal, damage to the yard in the small area above the tank and it would quickly recover.

Take care……….

Answer by michael d
if there is just 2 people living there , have it pumped about every 2 to 3 years , yes once they plug up you will have to dig your drainage lines up , compare prices

Answer by gwactod
It depends on how large it is, we moved into our house 14 years ago with a septic tank and it nowhere needs emptying yet.

Answer by Johnny Apollo
We’re a house of two and we had to do ours after 4 years. We found out we needed it done the hard way…it started coming in through the main stack in our basement. Luckily it was just soapy water from our washing machine. If your house was previously owned…did you have your tank inspected when you bought the house? If so, they should have drained it then. (they did for us). We paid about $ 140 for the inspection…and then another $ 140 four years later when we had the “problem”…and they drained it – said all was fine. I would recommend using RidX or similar product every month and limit the amount of bleach you use in your drain & think about using less toilet paper. So to be safe, I would say if you don’t know when it was drained last, spend the money and get it done now. Talk to the septic guy about what he thinks for next time….Btw, we located and dug up the 1′ deep area dirt to “unearth” the septic tank lid. WE used a metal rod to poke into the ground to precisely locate to lid…Might save some $ $

Answer by William B
when EVERY thing starts to back up, time to get it pumped,
if it ain,t broke don,t fix it,

Answer by scout485
It is supposed to be full, it fills up, decomposes the waste, and excess water goes out into your septic system drainage field– lateral lines they are usually called. I have 5 in my family, and we have lived here for 19 years, and have never had to “empty” the septic tank. A properly working system does not need to be emptied, it empties itself as the waste decomposes into minute particles by the bacteria down there.
If you do start having trouble with flushing or slow drains, check your sewer line cleanout and determine if it is simply a clog or roots, or if your septic tank is not functioning properly. Sometimes the lateral lines will collapse, if for example someone drives over them. That can cause the septic tank to not drain. Or it can get a big glob of paper at the inlet that wont let any more in, but that is rare.

As said, a proper septic system tank is supposed to be “full” in order to work properly.

Answer by doingitdifferent
when it backs up into your basement

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