How Long Can a Septic Tank Go Without Being Pumped? (Save$)

Every time a septic tank is pumped it costs on average $400-$700, so if you could reduce or eliminate it then you could save money. The million-dollar question is what happens if it’s not pumped, and how to keep it from needing to be pumped right?

On average a septic tank can go 2-5 years without being pumped but could need it shorter or even longer depending on how it’s maintained.

Keep reading and I’ll share how to know if you should pump your septic tank and a few simple things to improve the health of your tank and save yourself some money.

When to Call Someone to Get the Septic Tank Pumped?

The general rule of thumb is between 2-5 years a septic tank should be pumped. If you maintain your septic tank then you can go MUCH longer.

The easiest way to know when a septic tank should be pumped is with a tool like this one HERE. You can watch a video HERE, that walks you through how to use this tool.

The rule of thumb is the septic tank should be pumped when the sludge or skum layer is 25% to 33% of the total liquid in your tank.

If you have 4 feet of liquid and sludge and skum is 1 foot of the “total” liquid then you are on the edge of getting it pumped.

Also, if you invest in the tool to measure your septic tank, you might even be able to offer your services around your neighborhood for cash or favors.

You might be wondering what happens if you don’t pump your septic tank. The sludge or skum that you tested for will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog.

This can cause backing up (poop going into your home) odors inside the home and in the leaching field and even damage.

It’s not a good idea to wait until you have a smelly backyard before you take action.

It’s better to pump your septic ONLY when it’s needed, and not at a certain time to save yourself money!

Why Maintaining your Septic Tank is a Good Idea?

Believe it or not, your septic tank is almost like a pet (a living thing). If your pet isn’t happy and you start to shove ALL kinds of crazy things in there, then your pet could rebel and give you a nasty smell, clog up, back up (where poop enters your home) and even the pipes can get damaged.

Then you have to call in the VET the “septic cleaner” and end up paying anywhere between $400-$700 to pump the septic tank, depending on the size, where you live, and how many septic cleaners there are.

In fact, if there are NO septic cleaners where you live then that could be an excellent business opportunity.

Oh Snap GIF by T-Pain - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is ALL before you even think about replacing it, which can cost $2,500 plus installation which can cost the same and altogether can around $5,000. Next, you have the drain field that can cost between $6,000 to $30,000 to replace and this is where the money is.

Even if you don’t NEED to replace the drain field, there can still be the start of a “surfacing drain field” and this is where poop will start to surface and as you can imagine will stink. Talk about a “shit show.”

When you pee and poo that is body salts and acid, which both can eat concrete. If you want to geek out more on how someone tests a septic system you can view this video HERE.

The health of your septic tank is also checked when selling your home.

You can see why maintaining the health of your septic tank is good for your wallet.

How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy?

  • Never pour cooking oils down the drain.
  • Don’t flush paper towels, cigarette butts, or wipes.
  • Throw garbage in a trash can not in a garbage disposal.
  • Don’t throw away dental floss, condoms, or household cleaners like bleach.
  • Aim for 1 load of laundry a day if possible.
  • Try to take a shower that is under 20 minutes.
  • Try to avoid putting too much hair in a septic.
  • Put up a sign in your bathroom educating guests not to put weird stuff in your septic.

Another thing you can do is add good bacteria and something that improves the oxygen of the septic tank such as something like this HERE. The best thing is ALL you have to do is drop a tablet into your toilet and flush it.

The reason oxygen is “needed” is because the bacteria need it to survive. This bacteria breaks down the solid material, grease, poop, and toilet paper and keeps the septic tank from having to be pumped, backed up or even damaged.

No oxygen = Good bacteria dying!

What is good about these tablets HERE, is they raise oxygen levels 75% more than with manual aeration.

How Long Does it Take for Poop to Decompose in a Septic Tank?

Poop can take 2-4 days to decompose in a healthy system, but may take longer depending on the bacteria. What takes the longest to decompose is toilet paper.

It’s good for poop to decompose because according to Bio-Sol feces can contain over 100 varieties of bacteria and viruses. Most of them can be harmless, but some can cause diseases like cholera, Hepatitis, typhoid, and others.

Poop is actually water soluble, so it will break down on its own eventually. The sludge at the bottom of your tank mostly comes from toilet paper and solid material (like grease).

Another idea that can save you TONS of money is to use a bidet like this HERE, and they are cheap. Plus, when there is a run on toilet paper like during the pandemic you will be ok.

The cool thing about using the Bidet is even if you cut the amount of toilet paper in half it’s REALLY going to help with the sludge layers in your septic and thus save you money on pumping it.

Heck, if you use a bidet plus the tables HERE, and not flush weird “shit” you may not even need to pump your septic and thus save yourself all kinds of money.

I know talking about poop seems strange, but in many places in the world, their pipes can’t even handle toilet paper like in this country HERE, that I wrote about.


I hope this article on the health of your septic tank was helpful. There are many other ideas that can save your hard-earned money.

There is a way to save money on your electricity and this HERE is a nifty idea. I actually wrote an eBook with Tons of ideas, some I’ve tried and some I haven’t, but I think they are all “great” ideas and you can look at the free eBook by clicking on the link HERE.

Have a great day, bye for now.


Affiliate marketer for 10 years, domain investor for 2 years, a recent crypto guy, and part-time surfer. Hopefully, this blog can benefit you.

Recent Posts