Septic Pumping – The Timing & Schedule

A septic system is an investment that, if well cared for, can last for decades. If not well cared for, however, it can catch up to you pretty quickly. Regular inspections, maintenance, and pumping services should be scheduled so that you can protect your investment and avoid unnecessary expenses, headaches, and messes. You should do some basic things that can set you up for success, like protecting your septic mound. Divert water sources, and take steps to keep the wrong items from entering your system. The more you do in maintenance the less you’ll do in costly repairs and replacements.

Many people wonder how often they should have their septic tank pumped. Should you wait until your septic is full? If it’s at a seasonable cabin, should you pump in the fall or in the spring? Also, what happens if you don’t pump often enough? Or if your septic is completely full?

How Often Should You Have Your Septic Pumped? 

Household and cabin septic tanks should be pumped every 3 to 5 years. That number will fluctuate depending on different criteria, including household size, septic tank size, and the volume of wastewater generated. The more proactive you are with inspections and maintenance of your septic system, the more you’ll be able to predict and schedule your pumping services accurately. 

When’s the Best Time to Have Your Septic Pumped? 

Generally speaking, we recommend that people not pump their septic tank through the winter. The tank is harder to access and it’s a more difficult process with much more involved. With that said, a full or nearly full tank should be pumped, no matter what time of year. When the snow melts, go ahead and schedule your pumping. 

Should You Use Additives to Help Your Septic Do Its Job? 

Your septic system uses a naturally-occurring breakdown process that does not need artificial and manmade chemical reinforcement. These additives can even damage your actual septic tank. Biological additives, while not necessarily manmade and harmful to your tank, have never been proven to bring any measurable benefit to your septic system. 

Your best bet: Avoid all additives. 

The more steps you take to protect your septic, the more you’ll be in a position to save money in the long run. If you take proactive steps to have your septic system inspected, your tank pumped, and your mound protected, you’ll protect your investment.