Handling the Demands of a Septic System
While some may find the prospect of managing your own septic system intimidating, others seize the opportunity as a chance to save on long term utility costs. There are many wonderful benefits to having your own system, even if you have to pay for the occasional septic tank repair. Today, we’re going to take a look at the maintenance requirements of these systems!
The Simple Facts
First, let’s examine these septic systems at a high level.
How Many Years Does a Septic Tank Last?
The lifespan of the tank depends on the material used and the skill of installation. Concrete septic systems easily last over four decades with basic maintenance. For other similarly durable materials, consider fiberglass or plastic tanks. They may not be quite as resistant against mechanical damage, but they are cost-effective solutions when installed properly. Steel versions don’t always enjoy that long a life however, due to rusting problems and acidic soil content.
The drain field (into which the septic system empties) will also last for quite some time, as long as the system is well-managed. Some last as long as 50 years. Again, just make sure to pick a trusted installer.
Do Septic Tanks Need to Be Pumped Out?
All that sludge isn’t going to disappear by itself! While most of the effluent sewage can be safely disposed in the drain field beneath the soil, some of the matter is left behind. Over the years, it builds up until it reaches the maximum capacity of your tank.
At that point, you’re in for a smelly surprise! That’s why it pays to empty out the tank from time to time. We’ll get into frequence details in a little while.
Septic Tank vs Sewer Requirements
Sewer systems simply require a healthy connection to the municipal sewer line. It may need to be repaired and hydro jetted on occasion, but you can usually expect up to 50 years out of your line. The sewer system itself is managed by city employees at no additional charge to yourself (apart from your monthly utility bill).
Septic tanks may require repeated discharge service. On top of that, the homeowner is responsible for repair costs in the event of a breakdown. While that may sound like a sour deal, most homeowners with septic systems save money in the long run because they don’t have to pay municipal fees.
Septic Tank Cleaning and Discharge
Now, we’ll take a look at specific guidelines for keeping your septic system healthy. Keep in mind that maintenance requirements may vary greatly based on tank material and the usage rate of the property owners.
What are the Signs That Your Septic Tank is Full?
Things can get gross pretty quickly if homeowners don’t empty out their septic tank on time! Thankfully, there are some clues you can watch out for that let you know it’s definitely time to call your disposal company.
What do these signs of a full septic tank look like?
- The sewage level is elevated above the outlet pipe in your tank.
- Sulfuric smells are emanating from the yard.
- Unexpected puddles of fluid come out of the backyard.
- There are unusually green patches in the yard above your tank.
- Your toilets are starting to flush slowly.
- Waste water is flowing back up the sewer pipes.
Hopefully, you’ll have your septic system emptied out before experiencing any of these symptoms. If you start to notice any of these stinky problems however, call your waste disposal service ASAP!
How Often Do You Have to Empty a Septic Tank?
Whether you’re managing plumbing, heating and cooling, or roof maintenance, timely care extends the life of your home appliances. It also prevents some unpleasant consequences, which are particularly gross for your septic system! While some larger tanks may go as long as five years without needing a discharge, most professionals recommend cleaning out your septic tank with pump service every three years.
Homes with more family members and higher usage rates may need to discharge their system more frequently.
How Much Does it Cost to Have Your Septic Pumped Out?
Most homeowners will pay up to $200 per septic discharge. With that being said, areas with high cost-of-living rates (or those with larger systems) may pay up to $350. That’s not too bad considering you only need to empty out the system every three years on average.
Schedule Your Septic Tank Repair!
Has your septic tank in Albuquerque, NM started to show symptoms of part failure or chronic overflowing? Our team at HPC Mechanical, Inc. provides plumbing support for countless homeowners throughout the community. If your system is showing troubling signs of malfunction, call our local service at 505-288-3308 and schedule your septic tank repair!