Monthly Archives: June 2021

How often do you empty a septic tank?

septic tank lid

Is septic tank good or bad?

When you live in the city, you take for granted the water supply and the sewage lines. They’re always there, and what you flush down the toilet or pour into the drains goes out and away from your home, magically. However, when you’re in a rural area and well water and a septic tank are a way of life, you have a different aspect. Or you should anyway, and that is what our article is all about today. 

Yes, a septic tank system requires more attention and maintenance by the homeowner, but there are advantages too. 

  • Wastewater isn’t pumped long distances to a treatment facility.
  • A septic tank system requires less energy overall.
  • A septic tank system makes less impact on the environment.
  • The bacteria breaks down better in a septic tank system, reducing hazards of potential leaks in the  lines.
  • No monthly charges for processing waste.

Is buying a house with septic bad?

Not if it is in good working order and up to code.  Having a septic tank system has pros and cons, which we just listed the pros. It is really a matter of where you live, meaning you may not have an option between being on a municipal sewer system or having a septic tank system. 

On the municipal sewer system, you’re going to have a monthly charge along with the monthly water bill. With a septic tank system, there is not monthly charge, however there is monthly maintenance needed to keep the tank flowing as it should into lines.  

As long as you have the septic tank and the entire system checked out, and keep the maintenance done as recommended, buying a house on a septic tank system isn’t an issue. 

Does a septic tank have to be pumped?        

Yes, because a septic tank can overload, even though a septic tank can hold a what seems to be an infinite amount, septic tank emptying and pumping is necessary. The main purpose of a septic tank is to hold your waste by-product, which the heavier stuff becomes sludge and goes to the bottom of the tank. This enable the water waste to flow on through to the lateral lines and become one with nature, so to speak. 

What happens if you never pump your septic tank?

If a septic tank isn’t pumped and empty on a regular basis, that sludge keeps building up on itself and can eventually clog the lateral lines. If the lateral lines become clogged, your septic tank is going either back up or overflow. Either way, you’ll have dangerous unsanitary water on the ground or worse, in your house. 

A basic rule-of-thumb is to have your septic tank pumped by a professional every 3 to 5 years. Some households have an excessive amount of waste going into their septic tank, for example, large families or a business. In that case, an annual professional septic tank pumping is recommended.

Ever wonder why septic tank smells?   

A septic tank is designed to keep those foul odors out, but like a municipal sewer system, malfunctions happen. When your septic tank smells like rotten eggs, something is wrong, and it can be a simple fix or it can be a costly issue. Some possible problems you could be having are: 

  • The Septic Tank Is Full: This is the most common problem when a septic tank is stinking. It is usually accompanied by gurgling sounds in the sinks, dishwasher, washing machine, and toilets drain slow.  This is why you need the professional septic tank pumping every 3 to 5 years! 
  • Drains are Dry: Septic tank drains have a U-shape pipe, same as the P-trap under the sink. It holds water and keeps that smelly gas  from rising. If that P-trap is dry, the gases come up. Have a professional septic tank come inspect your septic tank system is the best thing you can do. 
  • Clogged Vent Stack: Just like a house on municipal sewer, the vent stack is needed to release the gases that build up. When that stack is broken or clogged, the gases can’t escape and back up into your home, smelling like rotten eggs. Having a professional plumber that works on septic tanks system is needed. 
  • Cold Weather: Part of Texas doesn’t have cold weather much, but in 2021, there wasn’t an area that didn’t!  So you may be having some rotten egg smell that you never have experienced before, and it could that cold snowstorm we had did a number on your septic system. The venting areas could have gotten clogged up with ice, snow, and other debris.  See if you can clear that up or have a professional septic tank service check your system out.  
  • Gaskets and Seals: If any of the gasket and seals of your septic tank are broke and are improperly sealing the connections they are meant to seal, that rotten egg smell will escape.  Check the wax ring around your toilet,  a common issue even for homes on municipal sewer system. 
vaccuum pump cleaning out septic

Can I empty my own septic tank?

You can, but do you really want to do it yourself? A professional septic tank company has equipment and trucks that pretty much pump that sludge out of the tank without ever having to actually touch it. Unless you’re going to invest in that type of equipment and truck, you’re going to have to do it by hand because that shop vac won’t handle what comes with that sludge. 

Not only is that going to be messy, really messy, but it is hazardous and unhealthy too! You’ll want to purchase and wear a hazmat suit because you’ll be getting down inside that septic tank, with all that human waste.  Think about it before you attempt it. Then think again. 

What is the difference between a septic tank or cesspit? The key difference between a cesspit and a septic tank is a septic tank  holds wastewater and is pumped out, whereas a cesspit has a slow drain, working on its own. Which one is better? 

Well, the cesspit is sitting there with bacteria and germs leeching out as it drains, pretty much in the open. A septic tank has a lid and a pump, getting all that bacteria and germs to the lateral lines out and away from your home. Call (310) 901-2120 today for septic tank cleaning in San Pedro, CA.