3 Reasons Septic Cleaning Isn'T "One Size Fits All"

Septic tank cleaning is not optional for maintenance. If your home uses a septic system for waste disposal, then you'll need to hire a plumber to pump the tank from time to time. Waiting too long to pump your tank can result in solid or grease levels that are drastically too high, causing sewage backflow into your home or damaging your drainfield.

While routine cleanings are critical for maintaining your septic system, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to this vital plumbing service. Instead, several factors influence how often you should pump your tank. Below, you will find three of the most common reasons that you may need to service your tank more or less often than your neighbors.

1. Garbage Disposal Usage

Contrary to popular belief, you can safely use a garbage disposal with a septic system. There are caveats, however. Garbage disposals introduce additional solid waste into your septic system, which can lead to more frequent pumping. The more often you use your garbage disposal, the more quickly the waste level in your tank will reach a critical level.

Heavy usage may be inadvisable with a septic system, especially if you find that you need to pump your tank more often than every 2 or 3 years. A good rule of thumb is to use the disposal only as often as necessary, such as while cleaning dishes. Avoid throwing extra waste down your disposal when you have a better alternative.

2. Number of Bedrooms

What does the number of bedrooms in your home have to do with your septic system? More than you might think! Builders typically size septic systems based on the number of bedrooms in a house. This measure provides a reasonable estimate for water usage, but it's not perfect for every situation or every family.

If you have more people living in your home than the number of bedrooms, then your tank may be undersized. In these situations, you should consider having your system evaluated more often than would otherwise be necessary.

3. Appliance and Fixture Age

Older appliances, showerheads, faucets, and toilets can all use much more water than their modern counterparts. The more water your household uses, the more likely you are to overload your septic system's ability to eliminate effluent. Ultimately, this can mean that your tank requires more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

If one or more of these factors apply to your home, then you may find that the typical 2-3 year cleaning interval is inadequate for your needs. Scheduling more frequent evaluations will ensure that your septic system continues to run smoothly.