Chart: How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped Out?

Chart: How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped Out?

Septic Tank Maintenance

Out of sight, out of mind. Pumping your septic tank is one of the easiest home maintenance tasks to forget about – the tanks are buried, and the access port is usually covered in dirt and hard to access. However, this important maintenance task will help you avoid smelly and expensive septic tank or drain field repairs. If they are regularly pumped, septic tanks can last decades and provide reliable sewage treatment.

How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped Out?

That’s a great question, and the answer depends on several variables. The size of your family, tank size, whether or not you have a garbage disposal, and climate are a few factors that will influence the service interval. Use the chart below to find out the how often you should pump your septic tank.

How Do I Know My Septic Tank is Full?

Hopefully you’re suspicious of a full septic tank before your yard is flooded with sewage. If you notice the drains in your home backing up, this is a good indicator the septic tank needs to be pumped. Foul odors, sewage smells or standing water outside your home can also indicate septic tank failure. Clogged pipes or sewer blockages can sometimes seem like septic tanks problems, so it’s best to get a professional diagnosis. If none of these symptoms is present, locate your septic tank access port. Put on gloves, protective clothing and eyewear for safety, and then insert a 6’ – 10’ wooden rod vertically into the septic tank. If the sludge is more than one-third full, it’s time for a pump.

Septic Tank Pump Chart

Use the chart below to find the correct service interval for your septic tank. Remember: This chart is a guide and not a fail-safe. Some states, cities or counties may have minimum septic tank requirements regardless of your home size.

How often should a septic tank be pumped out? Chart

What Variables Affect Septic Tank Service Intervals?

The service intervals above are recommendations. There are many variables that increase how often you should pump your septic tank, including these:

  • You use a garbage disposal often.
  • You run an in-home business.
  • You frequently dispose of coffee grounds or other non-septic-friendly materials in the drain.
  • You entertain guests often.
  • You have a sewage ejector pump connected to your septic system.
  • You use a water softener that is connected to the septic tank.
  • You do more laundry than the average person or family.

Professional Septic Tank Pumping

Septic tank pumping isn’t a DIY job. Fortunately, Mr. Rooter® Plumbing, a Neighborly company, has all the necessary equipment and expertise to pump your septic tank. If you want to help cut down the required service time, you can locate the septic tank access port and dig it out if it’s buried. Sometimes this can be a treasure hunt! Just call us, or request an appointment online with our technicians.

This blog is made available by Mr. Rooter LLC, for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding on the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.