In Northeastern Indiana, many homeowners and owners of commercial facilities rely on septic tanks to dispose of solid and liquid wastes water from their buildings. These tanks hold the solids and sludge while releasing the liquids into leaching fields to biodegrade naturally back into the environment. But septic tanks are not bottomless; periodically, they must be emptied out by a professional septic system cleaning company. Which brings up the question, how often should you pump a septic tank?
When Should You Pump Out Your Tanks?
Should your system be pumped every three years? Many professionals recommend you pump out your septic tank when the level of solids reaches one-quarter of total tank volume. This type of accumulation can take up to two years, but your tank may need to be pumped out more or less often, based on several different factors.
Number of home occupants and lifestyle
If you have a large family, you may be sending more wastes water and solids into the tank than normal. Also, keep an eye on your septic tank if you often invite houseguests over for extended visits because more toilet paper is being flushed, which may make it necessary to pump out your tank more frequently. If you add appliances onto your septic tanks lines, such as dishwashers or laundry machines, then your tank may fill up faster due to the extra water.
Size of the septic tank
Septic tanks come in a wide range of sizes and capacities. You may have a single tank for residential use or a double tank for commercial use. Understanding the capacity of your septic tank and the average use of the wastewater system will allow you to develop a septic tank pumping and septic tank maintenance schedule to ensure your septic tank runs optimally.
Amount of solids in the septic tank
Including a garbage disposal on your septic tank lines creates more solid waste that accumulates in the tank. To prevent overwhelming the septic tank system and clogging the pipes to the leaching fields with this non-biodegradable material, you may need to schedule your septic cleaning more frequently. Always limit the number of solids that enter the tank, whether it’s for commercial or residential use, by not introducing grease, paper towels, plastics, sanitary hygiene products, or cigarettes into your septic system.
Track Your Septic Tank Usage to Determine the Right Pumping Schedule
The best way to know when to pump out your septic tank is to understand how much it’s designed to hold. Your septic tank cleaning and repair company can help you calculate the capacity of your system and determine how long it should take your tank to fill up, based on your household size and daily usage. Be sure to ask your septic tank cleaning and repair company to inspect your system to spot any issues before they adversely affect your pumping schedule or cause your system to fail.
When your septic system fails you
Your septic systems isn’t a normal topic of conversation, that is until you find that it’s failing. Somebody in your family woke up in the morning and noticed a wet spot developing on the lawn, a drain making funny gurgling noises, or a toilet backing up somewhere in the house. There were foul smells coming from the basement, another family member reports. The drains smell, too, says somebody else…
Suddenly your septic system is the only topic of conversation and you need to find septic services near you.
How your septic system works
To help you determine if your septic system is in serious trouble, and what that trouble might be, here are the basics of how a septic system works.
Everything that goes down your household drains eventually makes its way to your septic tank. All of the substances lighter than water floats to the surface of the tank, creating a layer of scum. Once the scum has separated and floated to the top, it leaves behind something called “effluent”. Effluent is the water that exists between the scum layer and the sludge layer of your septic tank (the sludge layer is made up of solid particles, heavier than water, that sink to the bottom of the tank.) Over time, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria work to digest both the floating and sinking solids in the tank, while the effluent flows through your drain field and seeps into the ground.
Problems develop after several years of scum and sludge buildup starts to fill the capacity of your septic tank—waste buildup and capacity overload are the root causes of most major septic system failures. A tank filled beyond its capacity results in the visible (and foul-smelling) symptoms you may have the misfortune to discover: persistent wet spots over your drain field, sluggish plumbing, back up in your drains, lingering, unpleasant odors, and so on. What should you do when you find one or more of these symptoms in your home?
Call a professional, and fast.
Septic services we offer
We respond quickly to your call for help and immediately get to work on troubleshooting, diagnosing, and solving your septic problems. We’ll discover if there is a clog in your line, waste buildup in your system, or damage to your drain field. Then, we’ll determine the best method of repair. To minimize damage to your property we carefully read a map of your system, which tells us where your tank, manhole, distribution box, lines and drain field are located. When a septic emergency strikes, we get there quick and will leave behind as little evidence as possible.
We care about our customers—we want to save you time, money, and headache, so we’ll always educate you on how to preserve important bacteria in your tank, allowing your septic system to function longer and more efficiently. We’re happy to teach proper septic tank maintenance to spare you from having your tank pumped more often than needed. A healthy septic system makes for fewer septic problems.
If you’re building a home and need a brand new septic system installed, we’re the guys for that job, too. We’re experts at determining the best location for a new septic system according to the layout of your property, the location of your house and other buildings, the condition of the soils near your residence and other environmental factors. Preserving the local environment and functioning alongside it is important to us, and we consider this each time we install a new system or repair an existing one.
Shankster Bros., are your local septic pumping professionals
Septic systems may not be a normal topic of conversation for most people—but we’re not most people. We’re septic service professionals.
We know how to help you.
We want to help you.
Whether you’ve found indicators that your septic system is failing, need a new septic system installed, or need to know more about how to extend the life of an existing septic system—we can help. You have questions—we have answers, guaranteed.
After all, septic systems are a normal conversation topic for us every day of the week, so call us about yours: (260)-982-7111