When was the last time that someone came to your home for a septic tank pumping? For most people, it has been quite a long time, and that is a problem. Don’t be embarrassed – this is common. However, it isn’t always a good thing, even if it is common.
If you have not had a septic tank pumping in the last five years or you are experiencing problems, it might be time to contact a septic system company for a pumping.
How a Residential Septic Tank Works
There aren’t many people who know how their septic systems work, it just isn’t something that most people think about until they have to. Still, if you are a homeowner, it is very important that you do understand at least enough to know when it isn’t working properly – when your toilet runs, your pipes are noisy, or there is a foul smell in the air.
Knowing even a little bit about how a residential septic tank works can also help you to explain your problem to technicians or even solve the problem yourself.
Everything that goes down your drains has to go somewhere, right? As you flush the toilet or rinse off your dinner plates, everything travels down into the septic tank. When it is there, it will divide into three parts over time. The bottommost layer is a thick sludge of solids. Liquids are about that, forming a layer that is mostly water, but can be other liquids as well. Then, oils and fat go up to the top and form a scum that gets thicker.
Since that middle layer is water, that means that about almost all of your septic tank is filled with a liquid, and using too much water can really impact the tank’s performance. When you don’t use a lot of water, your septic tank has the ability to carry the water through the drain pipes and to where they are disposed of – a leach field where they distribute the liquid into the soil.
How Septic Tank Pumping Works
Now, the water in your tank does empty over time as long as you do not use an extraordinary amount of water each day for a long period of time. However, there is that sludge layer at the bottom of your tank that builds up over time. Even if you have quite a bit of bacteria in your septic tank, it probably will not be able to keep up with what you are putting into it.
When the bacteria can’t keep up and the water can’t drain fast enough, that is when you are going to start having some major problems with your septic tank. You shouldn’t have to have this completed all that often – once every three years or so should do it. It will all depend on the size of your tank and the number of people in your home.
If pumping is completed in a timely manner and done properly, you shouldn’t have to have much maintenance and/or repairs done to your septic tank.
Can I Pump My Own Septic Tank?
Technically, it is possible for someone to pump their own septic tank. However, it is a really hazardous project for someone to take on, especially if you do not have any experience in doing so. Not only do you have to find and access your septic tank, you have to then clean it out and perform the pumping. Once again, this requires skills that most people do not have. Even more importantly, it requires tools and equipment that most people don’t have and won’t be able to get access to in any way. Remember that not only do you have to pump the tank, you also have to take all of that sludge somewhere. It is incredibly toxic, so you will also want to buy and wear protective clothing so that you don’t get anything on your skin.
Simply put – it is difficult and extremely hazardous to try to pump out a septic tank by yourself. Instead, contact a septic tank company that is highly rated and has experience with your type of septic tank. It will be worth it to just make the call instead of trying to clean it out by yourself – especially if you have never done it before and have no idea where to start.
You do not want to have a huge mess on your hands, and it is not the kind of mess that a shower will wash off of you.