It’s important if you’re living in a home that uses a septic system. Finding the best price for septic tank emptying can save you a lot of money, especially when emptying your septic tank should be regular. Septic tanks should be emptied every 12 months since solid waste builds up over time. Once a septic tank has been used for a year, the solid waste builds up where it can’t be compacted anymore. This is when your septic tank should my emptied. Septic tanks are built to last only with the proper maintenance & emptying. Once the tank fills up, there is nowhere for excess solid waste, which can damage your septic tank system. This is a very expensive repair, which can also create a huge biohazard. This can also result in fines from the council since strict regulations dictate how septic tanks are maintained. If you’re asking yourself, how do I empty my septic tank? Then you’ve come to the right place!
How Do I Empty My Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are big investments but are worthwhile since they’re a great solution to domestic plumbing. You must service and maintain your septic tank. This ensures the smooth operation of the tank. Regular maintenance ensures your tank works, decreasing the chance of any costly problems. Depending on the size of the tank you have, you should empty your tank on an annual basis. This depends on your tank size, but this is a rough guide. You can also take into consideration how often you’re using the tank.
How do I maintain a septic tank?
Maintaining a septic tank does mean being reasonable with your water usage. Learning not to leave taps on or overuse your washing machine is key. These measures ensure you’re using your septic tank system effectively. Pouring grease or solid waste is a big no-no since this will cause unnecessary strain on your septic tank. It’s hard at first since you have to think about so many things, but it’s being considerate of the system that is in your home.
Emptying a septic tank
A well-designed septic tank should have the capacity to store up to a year’s worth of sludge. You need the right tank size for the number of people in your home. We have an informative table below, which we’ll discuss further on. The size of the septic tank you have will determine the frequency of your septic tank emptying. Emptying will always depend on the capacity of the tank. If you’ve moved into a home with an older tank, you may have to consider upgrading.
When should I empty my septic tank?
A sign that you need to have your septic tank emptied is if your washing machine or toilet runs slow. If your toilet flush is weak and you can’t find any other reason, you should check your septic tank. A professional company like D.C Merrett can check your tank immediately when a septic system works as it should. Waste gets pushed through your plumbing into the tank. This waste separates as it enters the tank. The solids sink to the bottom of the tank, usually making up the sludge that must be drained. This solid waste will cause problems if it overfills the tank. When the level of sludge rises too high, drainage issues can occur. If this sludge isn’t emptied, it will cause huge amounts of damage to the tank. The cost to repair your septic tank can be very high.
Another sign that your septic tank needs emptying is when you can see “overflow” on the ground. It’ll be obvious if the tank is overfilling as you will notice the foul smell coming from the ground. You’ll also notice waterlogged areas where the drainage field would be. This happens as the liquid waste has nowhere to go. This results in too much liquid that’s pumped into the drainage field. If you spot this happening, you should immediately contact a professional company. Leaving issues like this can result in further costs incurred when repairing it.
What is the average size of a septic tank?
The main point of emptying your septic tank is to “de-sludge” it before any problems start. It’s always best to maintain & service something so that it stays intact rather than waiting for something to break, which always results in drastic measures and costs. You can save a lot of money by considering the future and emptying your septic tank before it fills.
If you want to pump your septic tank, a good way to base your schedule on emptying is by asking the providers who installed your tank how quickly the tank will fill. They will most often give you the best advice on emptying a septic tank since they install septic tanks for a living. This will give you a general idea of when you need to empty your tank to avoid any problems developing in the future. If you can’t get a rough estimate from a septic tank company, then it’s a safe bet to do it annually if you live in an average household (3/4 people in a home).
Below we have a chart featuring an estimate of the size of a septic tank for a number of bedrooms for the home. It’s always nice to hedge your bets by having a bigger septic tank than you need. This will also extend the intervals between “de-sludging” your tank.
People In Property Minimum size in litres
2 to 4 2720 Litres
5 2900 Litres
6 3080 Litres
7 3260 Litres
How often do you have to clean out your septic tank?
When it comes to septic tanks, preventing a problem is always better than facing it when it becomes a problem. You can’t be too careful with a septic tank and its maintenance, so if you think your tank needs emptying, consult an expert and have them de-sludge your tank! Doing this regularly is much more affordable & less disruptive than having your entire tank system replaced. Regular emptying is much cheaper than a repair once it overfills and makes a literal mess of everything. Overfilled tanks can be a huge hassle to repair, so avoiding problems like this is best.
How often do you need to pump a septic tank?
How regularly you empty your septic tank will depend on how much you are using it. It will all depend on how many people are living in your home and how many appliances you are using at the time. A general rule of thumb is 600-700 litres of capacity per person. This means a household homing four people must have a 2720 litre tank. However, this is only an estimate, so your mileage may vary on these sizes.
How long does it take to fill up a septic tank?
A family of 4 will fill a 2500+ litre tank in a year or so. This means that septic tank emptying should occur on an annual basis. This is according to two adults & two children, with normal household appliances like a washing machine & dishwasher. How long your septic tank takes to fill depends on you since your uses will differ from others. Take a brief look at your needs, and see if you will use more water than other households.
Do all homes have a septic tank?
Not all homes will have a septic tank, as they are usually seen in rural homes that aren’t connected to sewer lines. You may see septic tanks in suburban areas, but this depends on when and where they’re built. If you’re being charged for wastewater, that’s usually a good indication that you don’t have a septic tank. However, the wastewater billing does not automatically mean the house is connected to a sewer. If you need clarification, speak to the previous homeowners/tenants or the property manager!
Do you need to empty a septic tank?
Septic tanks are in constant use since all water in your home will go through the tank. Septic tanks should hold waste for up to a year if maintained properly. De-sludging is an essential preventative measure since your tank will end up filling. Solid waste will build up, which has to be emptied if you want your tank to work properly. We recommend emptying/de-sludging every year or so. However, this can vary depending on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your home.
Can septic tanks freeze?
Your average septic tank should stay dry since the soil around it usually acts as an insulator, so it retains heat. The pipes connected to your septic tank, however, can freeze. This can cause malfunctions & damage to the tank.
How do I stop my septic tank from freezing?
Septic tanks shouldn’t generally freeze since they are insulated from the harsh temperatures from the metres of soil surrounding them. The pipes that connect your home’s plumbing to the tank can freeze in prolonged icy conditions. Wrapping any metal pipes in insulative material or covering any exposed pipes in mulch, hay or straw to draw moisture away will prevent your pipes from freezing up.
What do I do if my septic tank pipes have frozen?
Septic tank pipes can freeze up & cause blockages in the winter, so it’s good to know a septic tank repair service if this happens! A professional provider will look at the septic tank, providing a trained opinion on how to fix your tank. If anything needs repair, they should be able to do so on-site.
Can I add antifreeze to my septic tank?
Professional septic tank providers don’t advise adding antifreeze to a septic tank. The chemicals in antifreeze will kill beneficial bacteria in the tank. This bacteria is essential to the breakdown of solid waste in the tank. The use of chemical additives is not advised as they tend to be detrimental to the function of the septic tank.
Hiring professionals to empty your septic tank:
Draining a septic tank can be lengthy and confusing for many homeowners. Working with a professional company to empty your septic tank is the easiest way. With decades of experience, companies like D.C. Merrett can deliver professional services.
What do we recommend?
Planning your septic tank removal is important since you must think ahead. Leaving septic tank drainage till the last minute isn’t advised. This can result in overfilling the tank, which can cause damage to the system. How often you’ll empty your tank depends on how much you use it. Consider how many people live in the home and how big your tank is. This gives you a rough idea of how quickly you’ll fill your tank. Most experts will suggest that you clean your tank every 12 months.
D.C Merrett will come to your home with tankers to de-sludge and drain the tank. Depending on the size of your tank, we’ll use the appropriate equipment to finish the job. We use a gully sucker to drain your tank, ensuring your system is empty.
Is my drainage field clogged?
If your tank has not been cleaned in years, there’s a higher chance that your drainage field is clogged. We can ensure that we remove all sludge, blockages and debris. This ensures that your tank works as it should.
Septic tanks are always the homeowner’s responsibility. We stress this point since neglected tanks will cause unavoidable odours. Waste will leak from the tank, which will foul the nearby land. We always recommend emptying your tank every 12 months, as this is a safe period to avoid overfilling.
When should I empty my septic tank?
You’ll know when you need to empty your septic tank if you start seeing odd pressures with your water. If your toilet starts to flush sluggishly, your septic tank is affecting your plumbing.
Another sign that your tank is blocked & damaged is a foul stench as solid waste starts to be pumped out into the drainage field. Your drainage field should only deal with liquid waste, which can be absorbed into the surrounding soil. Solid waste is much harder to deal with and ends up literally fouling your drainage field (usually located in your garden somewhere)
Stop using unnecessary water
Septic tank systems are made to last as they are usually made from industrial-strength plastic. However, the pumps/plumbing can only handle so much water simultaneously. The tank needs to have time to separate the solids & liquids. It needs a chance to syphon the liquids into the drainage field. Too much liquid waste can force solid waste into the drain field, which is a huge health hazard.
Learning to use the right amount of water is great for many purposes. It’ll help you save money as well as helping to maintain your septic system.
Overusing the washing machine can cause major stress on a septic system. Several washes a day can result in hundreds of litres of water being pushed through the septic tank. Depending on your system, this can greatly strain the tank. The best approach, in this case, is a slower one, giving the tank time to process the water.
You are protecting your tank
If your tank’s installed where you park your car, you should wait to do so once it’s installed. Doing so is a huge concern as it can damage the pipes and the tank. You can’t place anything heavy above the tank. This will also damage the tank, designed to hold little weight. This will also cause pressure in the tank, affecting the waste inside. This pressure can force excess liquid waste through the drainage field.
The waste you flush can also damage your tank, as things like kitchen grease can clog your system. Cleaning products will kill the bacteria that break down solid waste. This will end up with your tank filling up much quicker as your solid waste isn’t breaking down.
Non-biodegradable waste causes blockages since these foreign objects aren’t broken down. Plastics and other waste will cause clogs which stop the system from operating. This will cause major blockages, increasing the chance of damage to your tank. A lot of people flush foreign objects down the sink/toilet. These will all contribute to blockages/tank damage. From cigarette stubs and cat litter to make-up wipes, foreign objects won’t break down in the septic tank. The best way to avoid unnecessary damage to your septic tank is to throw these straight in the bin.
Cleaning out the tank
Emptying a septic tank may seem costly at first, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of a septic tank repair or replacement. If a lot of residents around your area have septic tanks, you can talk to a provider about area discounts. This will end up saving you money in the long run.
The size of your tank will determine how regularly you need your tank emptied, so it’s best to consult with a professional on a proper maintenance plan to ensure you’re preventing any overfilling issues which can cause major issues & damage.
It’s also a great idea to have your tank serviced & inspected whilst it’s being emptied so that the professional company can spot any issues that may be a problem down the line.