The First Things You Should Do When You Move Into a Home With a Septic System


If this is the first time you have lived in a home with a septic system, you may need to do some things differently than you have in the past. Here are the first things you should do when you move into a home with this type of system.

Have It Inspected

In order to avoid any costly issues in the future, it is a good idea to get the septic system inspected. Often, this will have been done by the seller, but it’s still smart to have it checked when you move in, especially if there was a length of time between the seller’s inspection and the time you moved in. A professional, like those at 1 Day Septic, can make sure that there are no holes in it and that roots from trees or bushes haven’t made their way into the system. If they do find that there are any issues, make sure you get them fixed right away so that you won’t have to deal with inconvenient plumbing issues later on.

Make Sure You Can Easily Access the Lid

Many homeowners don’t realize how important it is that they are able to easily access the lid to their system until an emergent situation arises where they need to open it. This is why it’s imperative that you make sure that you can easily access the lid. Remove any brush or grass that’s grown on top of it, and check to make sure that you can still access it on a weekly basis.

Have It Pumped Out

Your home’s septic system can only hold so much liquid and debris, and it will need to be pumped out on occasion. If you don’t know the last time that the system’s been pumped out, it’s a good idea to get it done now. Once your system gets full, it can cause your toilets, sinks, and showers to backup. In general, these systems should be pumped out about every four years.

Only Flush Toilet Paper

There are all sorts of things that can cause a septic system to be backed up, and you should never flush anything other than toilet paper. Things like feminine products, baby wipes, and paper towels can clog your entire system and necessitate costly repairs. This is why you and your family need to get in the habit of only flushing toilet paper. Teach your children to follow this practice as well.

When you move into a home with a septic system, you will find that new sets of issues you’re not familiar with can occur. However, you can do some things when you first move into your home that will make owning a septic system a whole lot easier.

Going forward, though, you will still have to have the tank pumped on occasion. However, how often does that need to be done?  If you have just moved into a home which has a septic tank, you may be unsure of how often it needs to be pumped out and cleaned. On average, they need to be emptied every three to five years. However, a number of different factors will influence the frequency with which pumping and cleaning should occur. Below is a guide to the things which will affect how often you need to have your septic tank cleaned.

The Age of the Septic Tank

You should also establish the age of the tank. The older a septic tank is, the more often it will need to be cleaned. This is because of the wear and tear caused by waste passing through the pipes and into the tank. This wastewater can weaken the metal sides of the tank, leading to leaks if the tank is allowed to reach full capacity. Your inspector can talk to you about the age of your current tank and the condition of its sides. They may also be able to repair weak areas so that you can get your system pumped less often.

The Number of People Using the Septic Tank

To put it bluntly, the more people who are using the toilet, shower and sinks in your property, the more waste will be produced. If you are living alone, you will not need to have your tank cleaned as often as a family of four. When you move in, you should speak with the people who previously lived in the house and ask them how many people lived in the property and how frequently they had the tank cleaned. 

The Condition of the Tank

Finally, you should check how often any maintenance has been carried out on the tank. If an old septic tank has received a lot of maintenance, it is likely it will need cleaning less frequently than one which has never been serviced during its lifespan. A tank that hasn’t been maintained should be inspected by a professional.

The Size of the Septic Tank

Not all septic tanks are the same size. Of course, the smaller the tank, the sooner it will fill up with waste. When you move into the property, you should check the documentation so you can establish the precise volume of the tank. If you are unsure of the capacity of the tank, you should contact a local sanitation company who will be able to offer you further advice.

If you would like to find out more about how your specific septic tank operates and the steps you can take to keep it in good condition, you should talk to your inspector or a contractor. They will be happy to visit your home before offering further information and advice.