You may have heard the advice that you should always have your septic tank inspected before pumping. Most homeowners have their tanks pumped once every three or four years, and this typically provides a reasonable schedule for inspection as well. While this can certainly be as good of a time as any to check your tank's condition, there are more reasons to pair pumping and inspection together.
If you have a modern septic system, then safety isn't likely to be a concern. Not only do newer septic tank systems use durable concrete or plastic/fiberglass in construction, but installers typically must adhere to strict municipal building codes. For older systems or systems of questionable condition, however, the situation may be different.
Performing an inspection during your pumping procedure can help to avoid a catastrophe in the future. If you aren't sure of your tank's condition, your septic contractor can help alert you to problems that can lead to leaks or even collapse. Since tanks in poor condition can sometimes collapse after pumping, inspecting beforehand is usually a smart move.
Early Leak Detection
When you pump your tank, you aren't attempting to lower the effluent level inside of it. While septic tanks inevitably become filled with too much scum and sludge, the depth of liquid waste usually remains the same. After pumping your tank, it will typically fill back to its average operating level of effluent within a few days or a week.
Since your tank usually contains about the same volume of effluent at all times, an excellent way to detect leaks is to check the level before pumping. During an inspection, your septic contractor will measure the depth of your effluent, scum, and sludge. If the effluent level is lower than it should be, this usually means that your tank is leaking liquid.
More Efficient Pumping Schedules
Your effluent level can alert you to a leak, but your scum and sludge levels can tell if you are pumping too frequently or infrequently. When it comes to septic pumping, you want to stay in a median zone. Pumping too often wastes money, but waiting too long can cause costly damage to your system.
By checking the level of solids in your tank, your contractor can determine whether or not you've picked a good time to pump. If your tank contains too many solids, then you should increase your frequency of pumping. On the other hand, you can probably decrease your tank pumping intervals if your contractor finds that the tank hasn't yet reached a critical level.
In many cases, septic tank companies will always offer an inspection alongside any pumping job. By taking advantage of this simple service, you can help to protect your septic tank and even save money on future maintenance.
For more information about septic pumping, contact a local professional.