4 Issues That Can Complicate A Septic Tank Cleaning

Posted on: 29 November 2022

Without routine cleanings, your septic system will inevitably fail. Even worse, the problems that result from a clogged septic tank often propagate through the system, potentially causing damage to your even more crucial and expensive leaching field. While septic cleaning always requires a professional, certain things you do can make this process easier or more challenging.

Of course, everyone wants their septic tank cleaning visits to go quickly, smoothly, and cheaply, so it's important to recognize the issues that may make cleaning your tank more difficult. If you want to avoid complications on your next septic system cleaning, avoid these common homeowner pitfalls.

1. Not Locating Your Clean-Out

Septic cleaning companies need to access your tank to clean it, so it's important to be able to direct them to the tank's location. Experienced septic cleaners can usually locate just about any tank, but doing so will add time and cost to your cleaning visit. Instead, it's best to take the time to locate the tank yourself before your visit so that you can point your cleaners directly to the correct spot.

2. Failing to Provide Safe Access

Knowing is only half the battle. Your septic company will also need clear and safe access to the lid to clean your tank. Additionally, they'll need a location close enough to the tank to park their truck. If you live in an area with frequent snow and you're cleaning your tank in the winter, make sure you keep your driveway clear and also clear a path to the tank itself across your lawn.

Note that hose length is typically the biggest limitation for most companies. If your tank isn't close to your driveway, make sure you ask your cleaners how far their hose can reach so you can ensure there's a good parking location.

3. Flushing the Unflushable

You can find plenty of lists of "septic safe" items online, but the reality is that you should generally only flush toilet paper and waste into your septic tank. Food waste can also be acceptable if you have a garbage disposal, although it's important to know what you shouldn't put into it. Anything else you flush into your system will likely remain in your tank, complicating the cleaning process.

4. Waiting Too Long

The EPA recommends cleaning your tank no less than once every five years, although some homes may require more frequent cleanings. The longer you wait, the more sludge and grease will accumulate in the tank. Sludge and grease will eventually threaten your leaching field, but additional solid waste within the tank will result in a slower and more expensive cleaning.

Good habits and maintenance are the best ways to ensure your routine septic tank cleanings go quickly and smoothly. Taking care of your system will help prevent any issues that may cause a more expensive and messy tank cleaning. 

For more info, contact a local company like Chris Mote's Pumping Service.