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How Do I Know If My Clifton Va Septic Tank Needs Pumped Out?

How do I know if my Clifton VA septic tank needs pumped out? It’s a question we get asked on a regular basis by the customers we serve. It’s easy enough to see where the question comes from. After all, nobody wants to be faced with the nightmare scenario of raw sewage backing up inside their homes, which is exactly what happens if your septic tank fills to the point of overflowing.

If it’s something you’ve wondered about yourself, then you’re in luck and this article was written for you! Below, we’ll answer that question in a couple of different ways and give you some valuable tools that will help ensure your home’s septic system provides years of mostly hassle-free service. Let’s get started!

How Do I Know If My Clifton VA Septic Tank Needs Pumped Out?

The first thing you need in order to answer that question is a baseline, 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, it’s probably safe to assume that it’s time, or even past time and have it done.

Then, once you’ve got a fixed point on the calendar, a good rule of thumb and our recommendation is to have the tank pumped out and your system inspected from end to end at three to five year intervals to ensure you don’t have major problems going forward.

Bear in mind that the above is only a general guideline, however. Every household is different, and you may need to have your tank pumped out more or less frequently based on a number of factors including:

  • How many people you have living in your home
  • How often you have overnight guests staying with you
  • And how good your septic tank habits are

That last point might surprise you, especially if you only recently purchased a home with a septic system and are more accustomed to being tied to a municipal sewage system. While there are a number of important differences, for our purposes, the one we’ll focus on is this:

If you’re connected to a city sewage system and you flush something down the toilet or pour something down a sink drain that doesn’t belong there, the second it makes its way past your pipes, it’s no longer your problem.

Sure, it might cause you some grief if it causes a clog, but a bit of plunging and some Drain-O, and once you clear the clog, the offending material is out of your life for good.

Septic tanks aren’t like that. Anything that gets flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink drain winds up in your tank where it will take up much-needed space and fill your tank to capacity faster than it would normally fill up, which will necessitate more frequent pump outs.

The best way to decrease the frequency you find yourself in need of a tank pump out is to begin by developing better septic habits. The first step in doing that is to become increasingly mindful of everything that goes into the tank. In particular, you want to avoid pouring grease down the sink drain and ensure that absolutely nothing that isn’t biodegradable winds up in your tank.

If you can minimize the introduction of those things, you’ll be miles ahead in terms of maximizing the length of time between tank pump outs and help to ensure your system continues to work reliably in the long term.

Better habits will certainly help change the tank pump out equation, there’s another critically important aspect of answering the question, ‘How do I know if my Clifton VA septic tank needs pumped out?’

While it’s true that your septic system doesn’t have any advanced diagnostics that can send you a text message or an email alert when a problem begins to develop, it does try to communicate that information in its own way. It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for. Here are a few of the more common signs that your system is struggling:

  • You suddenly start noticing that the grass growing over the area of your drain field is a notably different and brighter shade of green than the grass growing everywhere else in your yard.
  • Foul odors begin wafting up from your toilets and sink drains and you notice those same foul odors in and around your drain field.
  • The pipes in your walls shake and groan every time you turn on a faucet or flush one of your toilets.
  • Your sinks begin draining very slowly, and your toilets won’t flush properly, no matter how vigorously you apply your trusty plunger to the task of getting them working again.

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean that your tank is reaching capacity, but they are sure signs that there’s a problem somewhere, and worse, by the time you start noticing these things, it’s an indication that whatever the underlying problem is, it has already become quite advanced.

Septic problems don’t get better on their own, so if you start noticing any of the signs mentioned above, it’s important to call us right away so we can investigate the matter and get to the bottom of it. Inaction will inevitably lead to raw sewage backing up inside your home, and it’s just not worth the risk. Give our office a call, and we’ll get you taken care of.

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