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How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?

Posted by ADB Septic on April 12, 2019

toilet flushMost homeowners with septic systems know how important pumping your tank is to septic system maintenance. Failing to pump your tank regularly can result in damage to the system, overflowing waste, nasty backups, and foul odors in your yard and your home. Pumping your tank will help your entire system continue to dispose of waste efficiently and increase the lifespan of your septic tank. But what is the optimal pumping schedule for your septic tank? We’ve broken it down for you below.

General Rule

The most general rule for pumping your septic tank is that you should pump it every 3-5 years. There is almost no tank large enough to hold more than five year’s worth of waste, and most tanks do not have enough waste built up after three years. However, there are a number of other factors that can affect your optimal pumping frequency based on your tank itself and your typical household usage.

The People Using Your Tank

One of the most important factors in determining your optimal pumping schedule is the size of your household. The more people that are in your home, the more waste will be produced. Therefore, larger households will need their septic tanks pumped more frequently to deal with this extra waste. Guests can also have an impact on your tank pumping schedule, especially if you frequently have guests in your home. If you frequently rent out a room in your home as an Airbnb or other rental, your tank will collect more waste. If you always have guests staying with you for one reason or another, you will have more waste collecting in your septic tank and require more frequent pumping.

Water Usage

The water usage in your home will affect the frequency at which you need to pump your septic tank because the more water you use, the more wastewater will be created that your septic system will have to deal with. The size of your household will impact water usage, but it’s not the only factor. If you make attempts to conserve water in your home, you will need to pump your tank less frequently. If you have many different appliances in your home that use a lot of water, such as dishwashers and washing machines, you might need to pump your tank more frequently.

Tank Size

The size of your tank can impact your septic tank pumping schedule because the smaller the tank, the quicker it will fill up, meaning it will need to be pumped more frequently. For the most part, septic tank size is determined by the size of the home and the household it will hold. However, your home may have had an addition to allow for extra bedrooms, increasing the household size your tank was originally designed to hold. For this reason, the size of your septic tank can impact your suggested pumping schedule.

General Usage

If you use your septic system properly, you will need to pump it less frequently than if you don’t. If you flush things you shouldn’t down the toilet, such as cat poop or feminine products, you will need to pump your tank more frequently to get rid of these items that can damage your tank. If you dump food and grease down your kitchen sink, these items will also lead to more frequent pumping to avoid damage. If you generally take care of your septic system, you’ll need to pump it less often.

If you allow chemicals into your septic tank, it will disrupt the balance of bacteria in the tank, leading to a slower breakdown of solids in your tank. Chemical drain cleaners can cause this disruption, as can certain cleaners and shower products. If you frequently use any of these products containing chemicals, you might need to pump your septic tank more frequently to compensate for the slower breakdown of solids.


The amount of rainfall you have in your area can impact your septic tank pumping schedule. Excessive rainfall will make your septic system work twice as hard to process all of the excess water and can even flood your drain field. If your septic tank is nearing full, this rainfall can have disastrous consequences such as sewage leaking into your yard and even permanent damage to your system. For this reason, if you’ve had excessive rainfall, you might need to pump your septic tank earlier than originally recommended to avoid these issues. The winter is another factor that can impact your septic tank pumping schedule. It is more difficult to pump your tank in the winter because the frozen ground is difficult to dig through, as is snow. For this reason, if your next recommended pumping is in the winter, your septic company might recommend you pump your tank early to avoid these winter issues.

ADB Septic | CT Septic Tank Pumping

A.D.B. Construction & Septic Corp. is a septic services business in Manchester, CT. We proudly serve residential and commercial customers all over Hartford County and beyond with a full slate of services. With over 20 years of experience, we have completed countless projects of all scopes and sizes. Needless to say, there is nothing we can’t do when it comes to septic tanks, sewer systems, drains, and more.

Our business is committed to meeting your needs and completing your job with the utmost professionalism and precision. We put your satisfaction, safety, and comfort at the forefront of our priority list. When you hire us, you can achieve complete peace of mind.

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Topics: Septic System Maintenance, Septic Tank Pumping

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