when to pump the tank/s

Old 08-05-20, 02:58 PM
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when to pump the tank/s

my girl moved into a house 4 years ago and 2 years before that they installed a new septic system. she had some toilet issues and got into her head that the septic tanks/s had to be pumped. the toilet issues turned out to be nothing as a few week before that i had to reset the toilet because the wax ring faile and she had a leak.

now fast forward to now. so i found out she has 2 1000 gallon tanks i got the site plan form the county. so i dug up the tank lids the first tank and the second tank. it turns out they entered the first tank from the sides and not under the first lid. she has 2 areas of use. so i dug up the first lid for the first tank and the last lid for the second tanks. i may dig up the second lid for the first tank and the first lid for the second tank to inspect the cross over trap. and to see if it actuall has one as some tanks that are a single unit with two chambers just have a hole in the wall.

so this is what i found i made 2 test pipes from pvc the first has a 4" L on it so i can push it thru the scum layer and turn it to lift the scum layer to get the scum thickness. and the second pipe i put a sock on it so i could get an idea of the sludge layer thickness and the total water line depth.

so two time now i tested the tank and this is what i got when looking into the first lid closest to the house you can see the water and scum so i pushed the L hook pipe into the scum and turned it 90 deg and lifted it and i have 1" of scum then i made a hole in the scum layer and then put the sludge test pipe into the open water hole and then down to what felt like i was just hitting the sludge. i was at about 45" deep and i kept pushing down and then at 48" i hit the floor of the tanks. so i let the pipe set there for maybe 5 minutes and then i drug the pipe in an x pattern for like 12" in each direction. and then pulled it out real slow. when it came up i had 5" of dite on the sock. in doing the formula for when to pump i came up with 6" of scum sludge numbers and 48/3 is 16 and so i put 6 over the 16 for a 6/16 number. and in the formula if the top number is lower than the bottom number the tank is good to go. am i correct? the tanks is nowhere near ready to pump correct or not?

i talked to 3 pumpers and one tells me the system is doing it's job perfectly and 2 tell me i need to pump it out now. but the test tells me i'm good to go yet for some time. and f you go by people in the house she has 1.5 people in the house. 2 kids every other week. it has been 6 years now and those are the numbers she has.

i can post some pictures of the effluent tank and the dip stick with the dirt on the sock. the picture of the scum did not save and if needed i will go back and get that and a video of the process i used. to get those numbers. i did dip thru the effluent tank outlet trap and that came up with maybe 1" of dirt on it so that tank is doing good. so to pump or not. is the 240$ word. i don;t mind paying for pumping but if it is not yet needed then no sence wasting the money.

also going by my past experience i had a septic tank 25 years ago and i did the same tests on it back then and for the 20 years we used it it looked good. and we sold the house we had to pump by law. and the pumper told me i had 6 or 7 years yet on the tank before it needed to be pumped based on 4 people and the use it was getting if that continued. and i had 6" of scum and about 12" of sludge in that tank and i had on tank. and that formula would have been 18 over 16 and been in need of pumping. so it was ready by the formula but not by the company that did the job. thanks for any ideas here
Old 08-05-20, 03:49 PM
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Manifestos are never good, fell asleep after first paragraph, boil down to basic questions and many more will respond!
Old 08-05-20, 06:52 PM
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Sounds to me like you know more about septic systems than most people. However, one thing you didn't mention is does it have a drain field?
Old 08-06-20, 10:39 AM
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I would say that when the sludge level peak gets to 1/3 the height of the tank interior, that is a good time to pump the tank. When you have one tank or chamber pumped, also have the other chamber(s) pumped.

After three pumpings, a good septic pumping tech should be able to estimate the date for the next pumping so long as famly size and habits don't change much.

To start with (no pumping data asnd no dipstick data yet) every 2 years id a good interval to use.
Old 08-06-20, 04:11 PM
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and 2 tell me i need to pump it out now.
I do the tests that you do with PVC poles and socks etc. (we must have read the same stuff –lol). It sounds like you have a good handle on it and I would ignore those 2 guys who say you need pumping now - unless they can give you a really good reason. I think those are just the canned worst case numbers that are thrown and are a catchall – so that no septic that needs pumping ever goes overdue.

But in your case you are measuring. So to me – you know better at this point in time.

Just my 2 cents!

Old 08-10-20, 07:26 AM
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well i have found that if i fail to give the details some one will just have to ask. and if i give the complete issue someone just has to ask. so it is what is is.
Old 08-10-20, 07:31 AM
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ok most places require a drain field so i did not bother. and so today i had it pumped and the sludge was at the top of his shovel he did not use a the core tester and said he does not carry it for jobs that are just to pump the tank. poor excuse for doing the job. but he did say form his experience that it could have went for a year os so longer. and he checked the 2nd tanks and he said that was running clear to the drain field and doing its job. he told me that every systems is different as how the homeowners ust the system and that this one is getting light use. and it should be good for 5 to 6 years. so i'm going to check it again in 2 years. plus he told me how to set the system up for regular inspections so i believer i will do that. thanks

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