When you move into a home that has a septic tank, one of the things that you'll need to plan for is routine septic tank pumping. Many homeowners make the mistake of timing their septic tank pumping according to what the prior owner has done. Unfortunately, this can often leave you pumping your septic tank either too often or not often enough. Here are some tips to help you customize your septic tank pumping schedule according to your family's needs.
Determine the Size of Your Tank
One of the most important factors in how often your septic tank needs to be pumped is the size of the tank itself. You can check the installation paperwork or the prior owner's records to see if the tank size is referenced there, or you can schedule a tank pumping and inspection to have your septic system technician assess the tank and tell you its size as well as a general guideline for pumping frequency.
Consider How Many People Live in Your Home
Another thing that will directly affect how often your septic tank needs to be pumped is the number of people living in your house. Remember that, the more people there are in your home, the more waste your tank will deal with on a regular basis. As a result, a home with five people living in it will need septic tank pumping more often than one with two people living in it. Talk with your septic tank pumping technician about how many people there are in your home and what effect this has on your tank pumping schedule.
Evaluate Your Water Consumption
While the number of people in your home is a good general indicator of the amount of waste that your septic tank processes on a regular basis, you also need to think about your family's general water consumption.
For example, if you have a water-conserving toilet, a low-water dishwasher that you only run every few days, and a water-efficient washing machine, you will put less demand on your septic tank. However, if you do several loads of laundry a day, run the dishwasher more than once each day, or have other high-demand water needs, you may need to have your septic tank pumped more frequently.
Recognize Special Situations
Even if you've established a septic tank pumping schedule that is working well for your home, it's important to recognize any special situations that may necessitate more frequent pumping. For example, if you have a special event or have a large number of guests in and out of your home for any length of time, or if there's been a significant amount of rain or snowmelt recently, you may want to reach out to your septic tank pumping contractor for an extra pumping appointment. These things place a heavy demand on your septic tank and can lead to backups or overflows.