How Often Should a Septic Tank Flushed Out? Here’s What You Should Know

Not everyone may be familiar with it, but maintaining your septic tank is important to prevent any potential problems that could cost you money from repairs. Calling a professional plumber to fix a broken septic tank is a good solution.

A septic tank system is an important part of your house as it is considered a natural, safe, and eco-friendly way of managing household wastes. Still, it needs regular maintenance and special care to make sure it won’t cause you problems later on. Which leaves you with one important question: When is the right time to pump your septic tank? 

How often should you flush out your septic tank? 

Homes situated outside cities should have a septic system due to non-access to the cities’ sewer lines. A septic tank system can last for many years with regular maintenance and proper care. It separates the sludge, scum, and other liquid waste from wastewater. 

Too much sludge and scum reduces the bacteria’s ability to break down waste and could cause expensive repairs which is why regular tank cleaning is important. The general rule is that a septic tank should be emptied every 3-5 years. Much better if you get it pumped as often as your septic system needs it, which depends on how much scum and sludge is in your septic tank.

However, be careful not to pump too often as it could also mean a waste of money. It would also take at least a week for the tank system to return to normal bacteria levels. 

What to consider before cleaning your septic tank 

By now, you already have an idea of when to clean your septic tank. The next step is what to consider before emptying your tank. 

Size of the septic tank 

As for size, septic tanks are between 1,000-2,000 gallons. If you are not sure about your tank’s exact size, you can seek help from a professional to determine the correct size. The frequency of pumping or emptying the tank depends on its size. For example, a 1000-gallon tank should be pumped every two and a half years. Meanwhile, a 2,000-gallon septic tank is recommended to be pumped every 5 years. 

House and household size 

Another factor to consider when to pump your tank is the size of your house and household. The larger your home, the larger the tank you will need. Because there are more people in your home, the more waste your family will produce. Therefore, cleaning will be more often for larger homes and household sizes. 

Amount of wastewater generated 

The EPA estimates that each individual uses at least 70 gallons of water a day. Efficient water usage is important to prolong the lifespan of a septic tank system and to lessen the risk of leakage and clogging. 

How will I know if the septic tank is already full? 

Here are the steps to know if your tank needs to be cleaned and emptied ASAP. 

  • Find the septic tank lid and remove it carefully. Don’t leave the opened tank unattended. 
  • Check the scum trap to see how thick the layer of scum is. If it’s already about 6 inches thick, it’s time for some cleaning. 
  • Take a 7-foot long and sturdy stick with a Velcro strip at one end. Lower the stick down until it reaches the bottom. If the stick has about 12 inches of sludge, clean your septic tank immediately. 
  • You can call a professional plumber in Franklin TN to deal with your dirty septic tank. 


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