Maintaining a plumbing system connected to a septic tank is no easy task. You not only have to worry about traditional plumbing problems, such as leaks, clogs, and mineral buildup, but also additional problems such as sludge buildup or septic backflow. For this reason, instead of draining your septic tank yourself, you've always hired a professional to take care of the job for you. Instead of wondering what exactly your septic tank technician does during a tank pumping, find out for yourself.
Why Your Tank Needs To Be Pumped
When it comes to septic tank draining, a common belief is that your tank is full of waste water that must be removed to prevent sewage backflow into your drains and bathtubs. However, this simply isn't true—in fact, your septic tank operates best when it's full of water. Your tank must be pumped to avoid sludge (decomposed solid waste) buildup that can clog the various pipes of your tank and ruin your drain field.
Upon arriving at your home, your technician will meet with you to discuss the specifics of the job. In most cases, this consultation simply allows you to confirm the services for which you're arranging. However, if you've recently experienced problems with your septic tank that may be caused by issues other than sludge buildup, then take this time to point them out to your technician. By doing so, your technician can inspect the corresponding components of your tank while performing their other services.
Before your technician can inspect or drain your tank, they must be able to access your tank. If your septic tank has above-ground lids, then you're in luck—and so is your technician. Although the large metal lids may be an eyesore, they allow your technician to access your septic tanks with ease.
However, if your septic tank's access cover is buried beneath your yard, then your technician will prod your yard until they locate the tank. Once the tank is located, the grass or floral features on top of the lid must be excavated—but don't worry: your technician will carefully excavate only the area directly above your lid. This allows your technician to backfill the hole with minimal aesthetic damage.
Powering Up The Pump
Once your septic tank's lid is located and removed, your technician will begin assembling their truck's drainage hose. If your septic tank is located more than 100 feet away from your home, this step may take some time since each segment of hose must be connected on site.
Once the drainage hose is assembled and attached to the septic truck, your technician will guide the other end of the hose towards the bottom of your tank and power up their truck's pump. While your tank is draining, your technician may need to agitate the sludge in your tank with a long rod or pole to make the draining process more efficient. However, this step isn't always necessary for a thorough job—especially if your tank has been regularly drained or has a built-in agitator.
Inspection and Backfill
After your tank has been drained, your septic technician can inspect the various chambers of your septic tank for signs of damage or clogging. At this point in the process, your technician will inform you of any issues that they find. If your technician determines that a certain pipe or trap must be replaced, your total cost will increase—but fixing the issue right away will be well worth the cost.
If your tank is in good condition, then your technician will replace the access cover and, if necessary, backfill the area of your yard that was excavated to access your septic tank. At this point, your technician will dismantle their drainage hose and haul away the contents of your tank.
Now that you know why your tank needs to be drained, as well as how your technician drains your tank, you can better understand and appreciate the hard (and dirty!) work that goes into a septic pumping.