How Much Does It Cost To Clean a Septic Tank?

Learn the cost of cleaning a septic tank.

To ensure proper operation of your septic tank, it is recommended that you have it pumped every 3 to 5 years, based on average household usage. A malfunctioning septic tank will begin to clog, and waste can back up into your home or cause other problems to occur.

Typical Cost to Pump Out a Septic Tank:

Depending on the size of the tank, the cost to pump it out can range from $100 to $350 or more. Some companies charge a flat rate for pumping while others charge by the hour. Low-End Cost Estimate: A smaller tank could cost as little as $100 to pump out. High-End Cost Estimate: A larger tank may cost from $200-$350 or more to pump out.

What to Expect:

  • Only a licensed professional should pump a septic tank due to the health hazards posed by waste. However, you may be able to save some money on cost to pump out your septic tank if you can excavate it yourself - eliminating the need for the pumping company to do this before pumping begins.
  • Be certain you know the age and construction of your septic tank before pumping it - an old or fragile septic tank could collapse if it is pumped.
  • Do not have the septic tank pumped if your property is flooded from a storm or natural disaster. This could cause the septic tank to float up out of the ground and damage it or cause mud and groundwater to run into the tank.
  • Be careful of using any chemicals that claim to eliminate pumping needs - they can cause the sludge layer in your tank to expand and plug the drainfield, causing damage to your septic tank.
  • A septic tank should be inspected every 1-3 years for buildup until you determine the best pumping schedule for your needs.
  • Installing a filter that protects the leachfield/drainfield can prolong your septic tank's life.
  • A septic tank will generally last for 20 to 30 years before it needs to be replaced. Regular pumping and proper maintenance will ensure that you get the most life out of your septic tank.

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