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4 Ways to Ensure Your Septic Tank Cleaning Goes Smoothly

Disgusting Septic Tank
Whether you've just moved into a place with a septic system or whether you're an old hand at septic care, you'll still need to have your septic tank cleaned out on a regular basis. You may not realize it, but what you do between tank cleanings has a big effect on how the cleaning goes. 

In fact, your influence on your septic tank cleaning goes beyond just basic care tips, like using water efficiently and not flushing cotton swabs down the toilet. Here are four ways you can help make sure the next cleaning goes smoothly.

1. Ask for Reminders

Some of your household systems and appliances, such as your AC unit, require annual maintenance, meaning that you can schedule the maintenance visit at the same time every year. Septic tanks generally only need to be pumped out once every few years, though, so it can be difficult to remember. And a neglected tank can overflow and cause all kinds of damage.

To get around this, you can have your septic company inspect the system every year and only pump when they determine it's necessary. Or you can ask the company for a reminder two or three years from your last pumping. Many septic service companies are happy to provide this notification service. 

2. Know Your System

In addition to making sure you remember to get your tank pumped out in time to prevent damage, you should prepare yourself with knowledge about your septic system. Knowing what type of system you have, how large it is, and exactly when and where it was installed can be extremely helpful. 

For example, not having to spend time locating the tank means the septic technician can get down to the task of pumping out the tank faster. You can even save yourself a lot of time looking for the tank if you can find your septic system's own personal as-built diagram that shows its location. Your county records may have this diagram available.

3. Anticipate Problems

If you anticipate problems before they can occur and cause problems, blockages, and leaks, you can make your septic visit go much more smoothly (and save yourself a lot of money on repairs). For example, if your septic tank is approaching full and you're hosting a five-year family reunion in your home, the pumping may go much more smoothly if done before the event.

And don't wait until the middle of winter to ask for a pumping, either, especially if you live in a cold area; it's much harder (or even impossible) to dig out a tank access point if it's covered by solidly frozen sod. So think ahead and call the septic contractor before hard winter sets in.

4. Locate and Free Up Access Points

Another way you can save the technician's time is by finding the tank's access point (or access points if it has more than one, which some tanks do) and digging it up. You may even save money by doing this since you'd have to pay the septic contractor to do it otherwise.

Of course, if your tank has a riser, you can access it with no digging or uncovering at all, so you won't have to worry about this one. How can you tell if this is the case? Basically, a riser looks like a (probably green) manhole cover in your backyard. It may even stick up a few inches above ground level.

If you follow these four tips, you can ensure that your septic tank cleaning has the best chance of going without a hitch. Plan to be at home for the tank cleaning as well; it helps to be around in case the contractor needs to communicate with you about the process, and you can get maintenance tips from a professional.

You can also get professional maintenance tips from Upstate Septic Tank, LLC. Feel free to call us anytime you need help with septic tank maintenance and cleaning.