Septic Tank Pumping Cost in a Nutshell
The average cost of septic tank pumping is $400. A normal septic tank pumping will cost between $275 and $550 for a residence between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet. Cleaning a large tank might cost up to $1000.
Even the most pristine septic systems require cleaning every one to three years. If you don’t do your regular cleaning, you can wake up one day to find raw sewage backing up your toilets and drains. At that point, there is no straightforward, pleasurable, or economical remedy.
In a septic system, waste is separated into three layers: solid sludge on the bottom, oils and fats called scum in the middle, and a clear liquid called effluent or gray water on top. The effluent is discharged onto the leach field, although sludge and scum accumulate in the tank and must be collected on a regular basis.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, sludge and scum should be pumped out when the scum layer is within 6 inches of the outlet pipe or the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches to prevent septic failure.
How Much Does It Cost to Pump Out a Septic Tank?
The price is determined by the size of the tank and how filled it is. Rates also differ from one contractor to the next and from one geographic location to the next. Costs might range from $75 and $750.
- Cleaning a small tank with a capacity of 500 or 750 gallons could cost $75-$150.
- A typical-sized tank with a capacity of 1,250 or 1,500 gallons costs between $200 and $400.
- Budget $500-$750 for a large tank of 2,500 gallons or more.
This small amount of preventative maintenance saves a significant amount of money in the long term. A failed septic system often costs between $3,000 and $10,000 – or more. A well managed septic system, on the other hand, can endure 20 to 40 years.
When Should You Have Your Tank Cleaned?
Annual inspections are critical for monitoring sludge and scum levels. Otherwise, it’s impossible to tell when they’re high. A professional septic service will test the levels, inspect your system’s pipes, and ensure that the drain field is in good operating order. If the scum and sludge levels are high, the service will suggest a cleaning.
Your system can overflow if it is not cleaned on a regular basis, causing considerable damage and perhaps leading to the concerns outlined above. Overflows can also pollute groundwater, posing major health risks. They have the potential to damage local water sources, transmit disease, and reduce property values.
The regularity with which you must clean your tank is determined by the size of your tank, the number of people in your home, and your usage habits. Septic tank cleaning is only necessary every five years if there are just one or two persons in the residence. Plan on every two or three years with three to five persons. If you have more than five individuals, you may only need to do it once a year, especially if the tank is tiny. Keep in mind that using a garbage disposal and equipment that demand a lot of water, such as hot tubs, may increase the frequency with which you must pump the system.
Aside from an examination, there are a few other signs that your septic system needs to be cleaned. When the tank is full, some systems incorporate an alarm that lights a light or sounds a siren. The odor of raw sewage in your yard is also a significant indicator.
The Inspection Methodology
The first step in a professional inspection is locating your septic system, which is not always straightforward. If you have past inspection records that demonstrate the location of the tank, please submit them to the septic service. If not, save the inspection records to save time and money on the next one.
After locating the septic tank, the service will expose the manhole and inspection port, which may necessitate excavating. If this is the case, consider installing an access cover to make future inspections easier and less expensive.
The septic professional will then test your system by running water and flushing toilets to ensure that waste is correctly flowing into the system. The sludge and scum will next be measured using specialist equipment introduced into the inspection port. Checking the tank for cracks and analyzing the leach field for indicators of failure are also part of the examination.
If the tank needs to be pumped, the septic business will transfer the trash to a treatment plant near you. In some situations, the company will charge you an additional cost for the disposal fee it pays to the city or town. The charge could be as little as $25, as much as $50, or as much as $100.
What to Look for When Choosing a Septic Service
Check to see if the septic provider you employ is licensed or qualified. Request a list of qualified septic pumpers from your local health agency; most have one on file. Once you’ve compiled a list, request quotations from at least three different companies to compare rates. You can also ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, but getting multiple quotations is still a smart idea.
Request a thorough pricing structure from any service you are considering hiring. You don’t want to be caught off guard when the bill arrives. How much does it cost to have your septic tank pumped? Is that for both tank chambers? Are there any additional fees for digging? Is the price inclusive of disposal fees? Obtain a written itemized list of all charges. However, keep in mind that unexpected charges do occur from time to time. If this occurs, ensure that you are happy with the rationale for the additional expenses.
In addition, get proof that the company is insured. You could be held liable for any accidents that occur on your premises if you do not have workers’ compensation or liability insurance. Finally, conduct some background investigation on the company by contacting consumer organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.
How to Safeguard Your Septic System
Regular inspections are required, but there are several things you can do to extend the life of your septic system and lessen the frequency with which it must be pumped:
- Keep an eye on what you drop down the drain. Never wash food crumbs, grease, or oil down the drain. Consider using your waste disposal carefully if you have one. Instead, composting or throwing away food scraps will allow you to go longer between pumpings.
- Nothing else than toilet paper should ever be flushed. Tissues, tampons, sanitary napkins, and paper towels are all examples.
- Use only cleaning chemicals that are safe for septic systems. Toilet cleaners, drain cleansers, and bleach should be used sparingly. They can harm your septic system, especially if used frequently.
- Products that claim to clean your septic system should be avoided. The majority of professionals think that these products are ineffectual and may be damaging to the system.
- Never plant shrubs or flowers on top of your leach field, and never let someone to drive or park a car on it.
This article is accurate and true to the best of SmartLiving’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.