How Does a Septic Tank Work?

A septic tank is a self-contained wastewater treatment system, commonly found in rural areas or on properties that are not connected to the municipal sewer system. It works by separating solid waste from liquid waste and allowing the effluent to be naturally filtered through the soil. In order for a septic system to work effectively, it must be properly maintained—including regular pumping of the tank. But how often should this be done? Our team at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical is taking a closer look at what you need to know about septic tanks and their maintenance requirements.

How Often Should You Have Your Septic Tank Pumped?

The Importance of Regular Pumping

While every household is unique, septic tanks should generally be pumped every 3 – 5 years. This range will depend on the size of the tank and the number of people living in your home. The average size septic tank for a home with four or fewer bedrooms should be pumped once every three years. However, if you have more than four bedrooms, or a large family, it is advised to pump the tank every two years.

The reason behind needing this routine pumping is related to the system’s efficiency. Over time, solids will build up in the bottom of the tank and can cause it to become sluggish or clogged, preventing it from working properly. If the tank is not pumped regularly, it can lead to backups—or worse—overflows, resulting in unpleasant and potentially costly repairs.

Signs that Your Septic Tank Needs to Be Pumped

Even if you haven’t reached the three-year mark, there are certain warning signs that pumping might be necessary—sooner rather than later.

6 warning signs that your septic tank should be pumped:

  1. Foul odors coming from multiple drains
  2. Gurgling sounds when flushing toilets
  3. Slow-draining sinks or showers
  4. Standing water around the septic tank area
  5. Unusual wet patches in the yard near the septic tank area
  6. Sewage backups into your home’s plumbing system

Factors that May Affect the Frequency of Pumping

The size and age of your system, the amount of wastewater your home generates, and how well-maintained your system is are all important considerations when determining how often you should have your septic tank pumped.

It is best to consult with a septic tank professional who can assess your system and make the most appropriate recommendation. Taking proactive steps to maintain your septic system will prolong its life and help you avoid any costly repairs or premature replacements in the future. Enter All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical. We offer extensive septic tank solutions for homeowners throughout Ontario and the surrounding areas, including pumping and repairs. Call us at (909) 500-8193 or reach out online today! We offer free estimates for your convenience.