Regular pumping and cleaning of a septic tank increases the lifespan of your septic system in addition to eliminating the foul smell from your home. Usually, pumping and cleaning are recommended for a regular period of about three to five years. Ways of knowing that your septic tank requires cleaning include checking if there are puddles of water above the septic tank, if there is a foul smell coming from the septic tank, if there are pests above the tank or whether the toilets and bathrooms are taking too long to drain.
However, while the terms 'pumping' and 'cleaning' are used interchangeably, the two words mean completely different but related processes. While pumping refers to removing the water and solid waste from the tank, cleaning refers to removing all the sludge and any solid waste that might be stuck onto the walls of the tank.
Septic tank cleaning is more thorough and is recommended after pumping is done. While pumping and cleaning are generally expensive, there are some instances when you may be charged at a higher rate than usual. While you may think that you are duped, here is an explanation behind such charges.
Septic pumping is recommended, preferably within every three to five years. However, if you do not do this, you make cleaning much harder because the sludge becomes thicker and heavier. In such cases, the contractor has to use extra resources like pressurized water to remove the sludge, and the waste stuck on the walls. Because of the extra work and resources, the contractor will have to charge you extra.
The type of the septic tank
Septic tank may come in one compartment, or in two compartments. Two compartment septic tanks are a common design for modern septic tanks. Notably, if you have a septic tank of this nature, the contractor has to clean both compartments. Therefore, they will charge you more than a person who owns a septic tank with only one compartment.
If your tank has invading roots
Sometimes, the solid waste in your tank may get entangled with invading roots. This makes it difficult for the contractor to remove the waste. While you do not have control over this, you will have to meet the extra costs for the contractor working around the problem such as removing the roots together with the waste.
If your septic lid is too narrow
Contractors use standard hoses to pump and eventually clean the tank. If your top is too small, the contractor will have to come up with ways and tools to get the job done. This may lead to extra charges.