Frequently Asked Questions

The Grump is always happy to answer your questions!

To avoid problems, we recommend pumping the septic tank every one to three years to remove the solids and sludge from your tank. Sludge will accumulate until it eventually overflows into distribution box, then into the soil absorption area (leach field). In addition, during septic maintenance, the technician will do a viewing of the tank with a mirror to be sure all the components are intact.
Yes, depending on the depth of the pipe and depth of frost. We have actually seen a layer of ice in the septic tanks during cold winter months. Snow insulates the soil, so there’s less chance of freezing if there is snow on the ground.
Most tanks are 1,000 gallons and 1,500 gallons. There are smaller cesspools and larger tanks, but the 1,000 and 1,500 gallon are the most typical.
Not only is it possible, it’s necessary. Septic tanks are designed to operate at a proper working level, allowing for proper water/solids separation.
No. Some of the material in the tank is not biodegradable. If this material is not pumped out, it could cause problems.
You will need an As-Built plan of your septic system. The As-Built shows the location of the tank, the distribution box and the leach field system. If you do not have an As-Built plan in your possession, you can get one at your town’s Board of Health, which is usually located at the town offices.
If you have septic tank problems after pumping, they are problems that have already begun. In other words, it is only a matter of time before there are problems with a septic tank that is never pumped. Solids and sludge will accumulate, eventually harming your septic system. If there is no more room in the tank and the solids have no where to go, they will start accumulating in the main line to the house, eventually causing a blockage and/or a backup. If the sludge is not removed, it will accumulate in the tank and overflow into the soil absorption area, harming the system.
It is strongly recommended that you know where you septic system is before doing any additions to your home. Covers of septic tanks that are covered by a deck make it difficult for the septic pumper to do a thorough job.
On occasion you may smell septic odor in your back yard or in your home. Every system has septic gas. Where the gas resides or escapes to depends on your septic systems’ use. First consideration is the number of people living in your home. More people means more water usage: laundry, showers, toilet flushing, and dishwasher use. If a lot of water is being used, this heavy usage can force the gases to escape through the tank’s cover, causing an odor in your yard. The gas can also come back into the basement via the pipe going from your house to the septic tank. The best solution is to use less water and spread out your laundry and showers. That may help to alleviate escaping gases. This seems to be more of a problem in the winter months. Good septic maintenance includes checking your stink pipes (on your roof) to be sure they are not clogged with leaves.
Have a question that isn’t listed here? Feel free to call us. We’ll be happy to help!