How Often Should You Pump a Septic Tank?

Question Asked by nite_angelica: How often should you pump a septic tank?
We bought our house a year ago. There are four of us (me, my hubby, and two teenage sons).

My husband said we shouldn’t have to do it for two years, but that seems like a really long time.

Best answer:

Answer by Don
I only do it when it fills up and the plumbing clogs, so you’ll know when it NEEDS done! For me, that’s typically about every 7 years, but every septic is different. I’ve heard of some people that never need their septics pumped, and others that need it every 3 years or so. It has to do with what you dump down it, too – if you don’t dump cleaning products and bleach, tampons and garbage, it lasts longer.

Answer by happyman82385
i do mine every three years If you put yeast down it, it will help out alot. Do not buy that septic aid it does the same as cakes of yeast.

Answer by Wally
If the septic system is working properly, microorganisms will digest the organic waste which enters the tank. When you pump the tank you should just be removing the non organic things like dirt,etc. A properly sized tank, which you most likely have should not need to be pumped more often than two years. I personally go about 5 years between pumping and have not had any trouble yet.

Answer by cdpaso
It all depends on your drainage and soil. We don’t have to pump ours but every 7 to ten years. You need to find out if the washer line has a separate line that does not flow into the septic tank. That helps keep that much water out. Some newer homes have that now. Most people wait until they start having problems before they pump their system. If it is not broke don’t fix is my motto. We try to keep as much toilet paper out of the system as possible. You may have a clean out filter also. Sometimes this gets stopped up and not the tank. You might want to inquire to see if you have one of these. A garden hose will fix that problem. Remember water is flowing out as water is going in.

Answer by s_nj_guy
If the system is in good order, 2 years is about right. Sometimes longer. If the tank was just pumped when you bought it and you decide to pump it now, be out there when it’s being pumped and ask the guy if it needed it or can you go for two years next time. If he is honest he will tell you.
Hope his helps, Rick

Answer by khahrosh
To my personal experience, what your husband said is a
pretty good time frame. But, it depends on each individual
household’s habits. Some households consist of bigger
families than yours, some smaller; therefore some are a
lot more active, others much less. (And its your household’s
own activity level that should serve as the scale, when it
comes to the question of how often year you should have
your septic tank pumped.)
A very active household–with, perhaps, an increasingly big
family–might need to have it done no less than once every
6 months, instead of just once every two years.

I hope that helps.

Answer by oil field trash
There are a lot of factors. What kind of system is it? What is its capacity. Capacities are typically set by the number of bed rooms and baths. What all is connected to it. Do you have a garbage disposal and what do you put down it? How many people actually live in the house.

That is why you are getting answers from about 2 to 10 years. Only time will tell what your interval will be.

Our house where there is just me and my wife most of the time, we have ours pumped every 2 to 3 years.

Answer by Corky R
All this hype about getting your septic system pumped every year or two years or three years is just propaganda perpetrated by the guys that perform that service, to keep themselves in business. We’ve lived in the country, on a septic system for over 60 years, several of the homes we’ve been in we’ve never had to have pumped at all with no problems whatsoever. Our current home, where we’ve been for over 25 years had a problem two years ago in the early fall after having had 5 grandkids in and out of here all summer long, staying over and living here mostly. They like being here and we love having them, BUT, they all use way too much TP. By the end of the summer we’d managed to plug a system with enough paper that we finally had to have it pumped and that’s what he found. Paper, paper and more paper. Even though it does dissolve eventually, it doesn’t go as fast as most of the other waste, so it can build up. If you have a garbage disposal, use plenty of water when you run it and don’t put hard stuff down there. Other than that, as one of the previous folks said, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Answer by boy boy
im a builder in the uk ..the true answer is ..if managed properly …ie no rainwater or chemicals never!..there are lots of system i know that have never been emptied in 200 years and when there is a problem its normally after exceptional rain and the land gets waterlogged …never the tank its self

Answer by Elliott M
that is true however you need to add digesting agent to your system every four months available from a hardware store or plumbing outlet

Answer by pen411
Provided you aren’t flushing non bio-degradable items, or items that take a long time to degrade (such as raw foods, rinds, COOKING OIL), feminine products and the like or dumping harsh chemicals (such as bleach), there’s very little reason to have a septic tank pumped except to keep the pumper in business.

When you have it pumped, mostly what you are after is what is on the bottom of the tank, anything that floated (such as cooking oil and grease) has already made it to the leech lines and started clogging them, something that won’t be fixed by pumping.

Those ‘septic fixers’ you see advertised are just cubes of dormant bacteria, fine for starting a new tank, worthless on an existing tank as you are providing more than enough bacteria for it to work with every time you flush. Those cubes typically make things worse by creating a bacteria ‘bloom’, which consumes everything in the tank and then dies off to the point where you are starting from scratch again.

I’ve been in homes nearly 40 years with septic tanks and non of them have ever needed to be pumped out. Be smart about what you are putting down the drain (unless you are sterilizing scrubs for the local hospital, go easy on the bleach for crying out loud).
Peelings and food belong in the trash, not the drain.

Answer by septicgenius.com
This answer assumes you have a 1000 gallon tank. Every two to three years is right for a working system with the number of people you stated. If you use a garbage disposal every year. the most important

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