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 05-22-2002, 19:54 Post: 38916
DennisCTB

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 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

I have had septic tanks in each of the three houses I have owned, and I have never pumped a tank once. The longest I was in a house was 13 years. So is it really necessary to pump them out, or am I just lucky.

My current house has the exposed manhole cover so it would be super easy, and I have lived here 4 years.

If it is pumped out, what about all those bacteria additives is that just bull ____ ?

Dennis
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 05-22-2002, 20:27 Post: 38920
jd110_1963



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 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

It is my understanding that a properly working system can go many years without pumping. The problem is not many work properly. With all of the detergents and chemicals that go into the systems, it kills off the bacteria that decomposes the waste. If you happen to have a public water supply with chlorine and flouride additives, you should probably pump your system every 2-3 years.






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 05-22-2002, 20:36 Post: 38921
Slamfire
2002-05-22 00:00:00
Post: 38921
 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

If the tank quits digesting and backs up, you'll have to pump it out. The one at my brother's house is now in its 47th year and hasn't had a pump truck within a hundred yards. The trick is to stick some of the enzymes and bacteria down the toilet once in awhile. The box will tell you to do it every month, but I think that's overkill.






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 05-23-2002, 01:57 Post: 38923
Wingnut
2002-05-23 00:00:00
Post: 38923
 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

Best advice I heard was never pump unless you need to. Either smell or backup are the main indicators. Flush yogurt, old or sour milk, down the toilet every once in a while. If you do get it pumped, make sure they get all the solids out of the tank, especially at the bottom.






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 05-23-2002, 05:19 Post: 38927
Billy
2002-05-23 00:00:00
Post: 38927
 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

We've had a septic tank for 25 years. It has never been pumped nor any additives added. The key to a good septic tank system is your latteral lines and not flush anything but water and waste. Even toilet paper can build up after many years, so use a trash can!

Billy






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 05-23-2002, 06:38 Post: 38929
TomG

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 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

Ironic! Just yesterday I started probing around to find our tank so we can have it pumped. We've been here four years and we aren't certain when it was last pumped or even what kind of tank it is; so it's a good idea to look. A previous owner removed the marker so now I have to probe.

In terms of pumping, it depends on what's put into a tank and how much. Seven person-years is a rule of thumb Ive heard. Were a 2-person household. Bath and toilet goes into the septic system while kitchen and laundry goes into a gray water pit. Were probably on the long side of the rule of thumb.

I'm hardly an expert, but here's my understanding: Virtually every tank receives some material that's not biodegradable and that material builds up in the tank no matter how well the system works. Enzymes or bacteria that chew up soaps, Greece, detergents are available, and accelerants that sped liquidation of solid material. But still, solid material builds up.

As indigestible material increases in a tank (two tanks for double chambered systems), tank volumes are reduced. Waste spends less time in the tanks and undigested material starts going into the leech field. There is potential for contaminating the surface water table in the area. There also is potential to clog the leech field. By the time serious odor and backed up water is noticed a leech field may be damaged.

Anyway, I think that a good pumping company can say how often a particular tank should be pumped. Around here, it's about $150 cdn to have one pumped during the summer. It's much higher ($2000 I've heard) during the winter because waste can't be spread while the ground is frozen and has to be trucked about 3 hours to a large city treatment plant. Anyway, at $150, I'm not going to fool around with it. I'm just going to have it pumped regularly.






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 05-23-2002, 08:05 Post: 38936
Peters

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 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

Yes and No;
A properly working system will go a long time before needing repair. By the time it is backing up the field lines have been done some damage.
In the cost of a new system, I am three for three currently on putting new systems in our houses. The tank is ~ 1500 but the field lines are more. It can cost you 5000 or more depending on the house and system. Rather than the tank you need to protect the field lines.
Previously we had a Rainbow vacuum. In this system you vacumm the floor into water and then flush it down the toilet. The dirt feeds the septic system.






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 05-23-2002, 08:39 Post: 38941
DavidJ



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 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

I agree with most post, Some systems can go long times between pumpings some cannot. On my system I have seperate systems for kitchen and clothes washer. I have been in this house about 15 years and have never had to have it pumped. I have it checked about every 4 years by a neighbor in the business and have not had enough build up to require pumping. I use some of the bio material about every 2-3 months but not sure it's really needed.






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 05-23-2002, 09:10 Post: 38943
treeman



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 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

In Wisconsin you must pump at least every 3 years. Also, before you can sell your house, the septic must be pumped and inspected. It cost me $90 last time to get it pumped. Sometimes if your field gets contaminated you will have to go with a mound system which costs alot more.






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 05-23-2002, 20:39 Post: 38969
DennisCTB

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 Septic Tank Pumping -- Do you need to??

So, besides spending the money to get it pumped, I guess we are all saying that pumping it cannot really hurt the system??? Right!

And if anything may help prevent the leach field from getting clogged. I know this is usually the most expensive part of the system.

After it is pumped do you have to run your tap water to fill it up?? And then add yogurt or other bottled bacteria to it?? Or do you just let it fill up as you use it??

Dennis
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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Plumbing Forum

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auerbach 1 | Big Eddy 1 | Billy 2 | cutter 15 | David Waite 1 | DavidJ 1 | DennisCTB 4 | DRankin 5 | Fitch 1 | jd110_1963 1 | kthompson 1 | lbrown59 1 | MRETHICS 4 | MRETICS 1 | Murf 4 | Peters 7 | plumbnew 1 | Ravenn 2 | rfernandez 1 | Slamfire 1 | TomG 14 | treeman 3 | Wingnut 1 |




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