Septic tank cleaning is something that has to be done periodically. The last thing you want is your home’s wastewater backlogging back into the house, because your septic tank can’t do its job anymore. Since septic tank cleaning is going to be a inevitable expense, you might as well plan well for it.
Cost to clean a septic tank
The average cost estimates across America vary quite widely, depending on which source you trust. HomeAdvisor.com says that its average customer spent between $279 and $515 on septic tank cleaning, although lows could be as low as $198 and high could be as high as $900.
AngiesList.com, another very popular site with homeowners reports that the average cost to clean a septic tank is about $270 (based on 2013 data).
How often does septic tank cleaning need to be carried out?
It is highly recommended that you thoroughly clean out your home’s septic tank every 2-3 years, even if it can go longer without a cleaning. Many homeowners have nightmarish stories where they didn’t even know what a septic tank was until all the toilets in their home started pushing water back.
Leaving septic tank unattended in such extreme circumstances will mean a major cleaning process that requires replacing a septic tank, pipes, plumbping, pumps, all repairs that can easily cost upwards of $5,000 and almost go up to $11,000!
Cost of spare parts involved in septic cleaning
If you have to change the filter on your septic tank, you can expect to pay about $250 for a brand new filter. Another rather high-ticket item is the submersible pump that can cost anywhere between $55 and $350. A submersible septic pump that costs about $55 will be able to pump out a maximum discharge flow of 1,680 gallons an hour at 10 feet. A pump that costs $350 will be able to pump out 3,150 gallons an hour at 10 feet.
Cost of replacing your septic tank
If your home’s septic tank has been neglected beyond repair and has come to a point where it has to be replaced, you can expect to anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000 to completely replace your septic tank. This cost will not include digging, excavations and also top soil costs to replace excavated earth. Those excluded costs can easily add up to anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000.
Cost of septic tank soil fracturing
In some cases, you might not need a new septic tank, even if regular cleaning won’t fix your septic tank problems. A process called soil fracturing will typically cost about 1/4th of the cost you will pay for replacing your septic tank system.
The process involves a regular cleaning of your septic tank combined with a massive injection of air that is blasted into the ground below your septic tank. The blast of air will make your septic tank more aerobic and thereby revive the functioning of your septic tank.
What you can add to your septic tank to help it function better?
Your septic tank uses bacteria and you can add more of such good bacteria to help your septic tank! Products like these Bio-Active Septic Tank Treatment Powders cost just about $25 for a whole year and can give a tremendous boost to healthy bacteria levels in your septic tank.
Don’t kill your septic tank bacteria!
Your septic tank constantly uses good bacteria to break down all the wastewater from your home. When bacteria levels are healthy, you can go even 5 years without requiring a cleaning, as the bacteria successfully breaks down the sludge and separates water that can be channeled away to drain pipes. At any given point of time, almost 90% of your septic tank’s used capacity contains liquids. The rest is sludge, a semi-solid like layer that forms at the bottom of the tank.
But when you start hurting the bacteria in your septic tank, you speed up the rate at which sludge is created, thereby creating the need for more cleanings, cleanings that will cost you money.
As a general rule of thumb, do not flush down or pour down anything that can upset the bacteria culture in your septic tank. Liquids and things you shouldn’t flush down your water system include oils, bath salts, strong anti-bacterial solutions, medicines or drugs and even detergents and water softeners that do not have the right environmental clearance certificates.
It is also highly recommended that you keep the area above your septic tank free of encroachments like parked cars, shrubs and definitely trees! You must also avoid the practice of dumping paper towels, diapers, condoms and other non-biodegradable (or poorly biodegradable) items down your home’s drainage systems.