I have a house that was built new in '88. I've never had the septic tank
pumped, never put any of these treatments in it. Never had any problems
with it to date. For the most part, after the ex vamoosed around '90, I've
been the sole user.
Is pumping the tank periodically necessary? Is there any benefit to using
any type of septic tank treatment? I was under the impression that the
bacteria that's in there is supposed to be self sustaining.
Thanks for all shared wisdom
:I have a house that was built new in '88. I've never had the
: pumped, never put any of these treatments in it. Never had any
: with it to date. For the most part, after the ex vamoosed
around '90, I've
: been the sole user.
: Is pumping the tank periodically necessary? Is there any
benefit to using
: any type of septic tank treatment? I was under the impression
: bacteria that's in there is supposed to be self sustaining.
: Thanks for all shared wisdom
If it's working fine after all those years especially don't worry
about it. A properly used and maintained septic system does not
require pumping. Apparently you or whoever have been good users.
Personally I think using one of the tank bacterial treatments are
a good idea, just in case some soap or other liquid that kills
off the bacteria gets into it, or at least there should be some
on hand, but if it's working well, don't worry about pumping it.
We haven't had ours pumped since 1983, but we do use
treatments once a month, just for the heck of it. We were a
family of 4 til the kids left, now it's just the two of us.
The ONLY problem we've ever had with it was once when the
stand pipe managed to get frozen shut so it couldn't let air in
to assist the flushing. The rain cap had fallen off and was
letting freezing rain go down the pipe. Thawed it out and it
went right back to proper working.
You're right, the normal bacteria can keep a septic system
Put nothing in the septic tank that hasn't been thru you. Skip the
gimicky treatments. If you have a garbage disposal use it sparingly.
Use liquid laundry detergent.
There are charts that suggest when a septic system should be pumped.
It's based on family size and tank capacity.
I'd definately get it pumped after 17 years, even with one user.
It all depends. But eventually the bottom will
fill up and the top will fill and you will start
getting stuff flowing into the drain field. That
can plug the field but it might not, all depending
on composition of the drain field, how wet you
keep it (how much you are using), temperature,
etc. With only one guy, no feminine pproducts
(which shouldn't be flushed anyway) it will take a
long time. At our house, one woman, one man, and
one kid, we had ours pumped the first time after 8
years. There wasn't much there and the pumper,
smiled, and said, "See you in another 10 years."
The next time we had it pumped, there wasn't much
there either. So you could easily go 15 years or
so, but then you might not.
We put yeast in ours once in the early years
(about year 2, I think). Supposedly helps, but I
doubt it. Just to be careful you could put
bacteria in ever so often, especially after long
vacations (no use) but certainly not more than
once a year. Probably won't do any good, but......
do you have to put bugs in it: no
do you have to get it pumped out once every 5 years or so: yes
you will not know something is wrong untill it is too late, and a dead
septic/leech field is a big problem; you might have to move out of your
house (or get tank pumped once a week untill leech field is fixed).
I don't know if it is really necessary but my township REQUIRES
that tanks be pumped every three years. We are in a lake
community where septic problems could mess up the lake for a lot
of people, so EVERYBODY has to be careful.
To summarize responses: septic tanks need periodic pumping, however,
the "right" interval varies a lot from one installation to another.
In some, it could be decades. And in another, as short as a year.
Your best bet is to get it pumped once, and see how much head/sediment
there is, and compute the next time accordingly. The pumper will
often give a suggested interval.
Look yourself - how much "hard" foam is there on top? You've waited
too long if the pumper has to hack away at the foam layer to get
the hose through.
Our governments all say that "additives" are a waste of money,
and don't do anything useful.
Just don't put anything down it you shouldn't, pump it often
enough to keep the foam or sediment plugging the outflow, and
it'll be just fine.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
It's called "preventative maintenance" for a reason.
PM usually cost between 1% and 10% of the cost of the repair you are trying
to prevent. If you own insurance, this should be a no-brainer. If you're
concerned enough to ask about it now, buy yourself a little peace of mind
and be happy its not a DIY job.
Living alone, you probably don't need to do it very often and I doubt you
are flushing any tampons.
I have seen a tank that was just fine when it was pumped after 15
years. The owner attributed its robustness to the fact he ran the
washing machine drain directly to a separate leach line (in the desert,
not in a lawn), bypassing the septic tank and therefore never pouring
chlorine bleach into the tank.
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