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How Often Should You Clean Your Septic Tank?

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Septic tanks require a certain amount of upkeep that sewers do not because septic tanks need to be cleaned periodically. Knowing how often to clean your septic tank and how to reduce the burden on your tank so it needs to be cleaned less often can help you maintain your property and reduce your septic tank maintenance costs. These frequently asked questions and answers will help.

How often should you clean your septic tank?

The standard recommended length of time between septic tank cleanings is at least every 3 years, or more often depending on the size of your tank, the number of people in your household, the amount of wastewater that your household produces and the type of solid waste that your household flushes down the drain.

How will you know if you need to clean your tank more frequently than every 3 years?

Your septic tank cleaning professional can tell you if you need to clean your tank more frequently than every 3 years. Have your septic tank inspected by a professional. Ask him or her what type of cleaning schedule you should implement for your tank.

If your septic tank cleaning professional recommends cleaning your tank more often than every three years, what can you do to increase the length of time between cleanings?

If your septic tank is too small for your household, then the only way that you can increase the length of time between cleanings is to get a larger tank. However, if your septic tank needs to be cleaned frequently because of the behavior of members of your household, you can lengthen the necessary time between cleanings by doing the following:

  • Avoid using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals flush chunks of food down your drain, which can cause clogs in your drainfield.
  • Never flush anything down the toilet that isn't toilet paper and human waste. Never flush anything like kitty litter, adult wipes or dead pet fish down your toilet. Even products labeled as "flushable," like adult wipes, are not really safe for septic tanks.
  • Regulate your home's water usage. Flooding your tank with waste water can prevent solid waste from settling to the bottom of the tank; this can contribute to clogs in the drainfield.
  • Avoid flushing medications and antibacterial chemicals down your drains. The bacteria in your septic tank is responsible for breaking down the solid waste at the bottom. Flushing medications and antibacterial cleaning products down your drain disrupts the cycle, leading to clogs.

For more information about how you can protect your septic tank and avoid frequent cleanings, talk to your septic tank cleaning professional or contact a company like Hemley's Septic Tank Cleaning.