How do I know if my Middleburg VA septic tank needs pumped out? It’s a question we get on a regular basis from proactive homeowners who don’t want to be caught off guard by an unexpected problem. We totally get that, and if you’ve been wondering the same thing, but didn’t know exactly who to ask, this article is for you!
How Do I Know If My Middleburg VA Septic Tank Needs Pumped Out?
The first thing you need to answer that question is a frame of reference, so we’ll start by answering a question with a question: How long has it been since your last tank pump out? If you’re struggling to remember the date, the safe play is to assume that it’s time, and perhaps even past time. Then, once we take care of that for you, mark your calendar or give yourself a digital reminder to have it done every three to five years in order to minimize your risk of a serious septic system issue.
The most important thing to remember though, is that the above is just a general guideline. Every household is different, and the exact interval will vary depending on a variety of factors including:
- How many people you have living on the property
- How often you have overnight guests staying with you
- And how good your septic tank habits are
Let’s talk a bit about septic tank habits, because they’re a lot more important than most people realize.
If you live in a home that’s connected to a city sewage system, then you don’t really have to think too much about what gets flushed down the toilet or poured down one of your sink drains. While it’s true that some things might clog your drain temporarily, once you solve for that and the offending material clears your pipes, it’s gone. It’s off to the sewage treatment plant where it becomes someone else’s issue.
That’s not how things work if you have a septic tank. Everything that gets flushed or poured down the drain winds up in your tank, which means that one way or another, sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with it.
Mostly, this comes down to increased mindfulness. You don’t want anything going into the tank that’s not supposed to be there, so no grease and nothing that isn’t biodegradable. If you can minimize those types of inputs, you’ll reduce the frequency you have to have your tank pumped out. Naturally, the reverse holds true too. The more stuff you introduce into your tank that aren’t supposed to be there, the more often you’ll have to have it pumped back out.
There’s more to answering the question ‘How do I know if my Middleburg VA septic tank needs pumped out?’ than simply developing better septic tank habits though.
Although your septic system won’t send you a text or an alert message on your phone when it’s starting to struggle, it does try to get your attention when it starts having problems. The trick then, lies in being able to recognize those signals. Here are a few things to keep a watchful eye out for:
- You begin noticing that the grass growing over your drain field is a notably different, brighter shade of green than the grass growing elsewhere in your yard.
- You start noticing foul smells in and around your drain field.
- You start noticing those same foul smells drifting up from your sink drains and toilets.
- Your sinks begin to drain with a painful slowness, and nothing you do to try and remedy the situation seems to make any difference.
- Your toilets won’t flush properly, and no amount of plunging seems to make any difference.
It’s important to remember that these symptoms don’t automatically mean it’s time to have your tank pumped out. They could point to any number of other potential problems, but if you see any of these things, it’s a sure sign that your septic system is struggling.
Unfortunately, septic problems don’t fix themselves. In all the years we’ve been in the business, we’ve never once seen an issue get better on its own. Worse, by the time you start seeing any of the symptoms above, it’s a sure sign that whatever underlying problem is causing the issue has already become quite advanced.
Worst of all, in the end, whether it’s a full tank or some other issue, all septic problems ultimately end up the same way if left untended. Sooner or later, they’ll result in raw sewage backing up inside your home. If you’ve suffered through that before, you know what a nightmare it can be. If you haven’t, take our word for it; you never want to.
That’s why proper maintenance is so important, and why we recommend that in addition to having your tank pumped out at regular intervals, you also have your system inspected from end to end. That gives us the opportunity to spot problems while they’re still in their formative stages and are relatively easier and less expensive to repair. That way, it never has to come to that. You’ll never have to live through that nightmare scenario.
It’s just not worth the risk. If you even suspect you’re having an issue with your home’s septic system, don’t delay. Give our office a call and we’ll come take care of it.