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How Much Does It Cost to Empty a Septic Tank?

How Much Does It Cost to Empty a Septic Tank?

A few times every decade, your septic tank needs to be empty. If it is not emptied, it could overflow, and you definitely don’t want that to happen.

But what if you don’t have a lot of money to hire a truck to empty your septic tank this year? Is it expensive?

Depending on the size of your septic tank, emptying a septic tank can be anywhere from $150 to $700. The average cost of emptying a septic tank in a residential home is around $300.

Septic tanks don’t have to be emptied for a few years. Start a small septic tank fund and contribute money to it every six months.

By the time your septic tank is full, you’ll have the funds to empty it out and have it inspected.

How Much Does It Cost?

Emptying your septic tank will prevent it from overflowing. If there is too much liquid in the tank, it can back up into the pipes and spill out of the shower, toilet, and sink.

Unless you have an extremely small septic tank, you only have to empty the tank every 3 to 4 years. If you have a large tank, then you might wait 6 to 10 years.

Along with emptying the septic tank, most septic tank owners have it inspected by a professional.

Since the septic tank is being emptied, an inspector might as well check it over for damage before it fills up again.

If you are not handy or know your way around repairing the septic tank, then you’ll have to hire someone to repair it for you.

The price of emptying ‌a septic tank depends on the size of the tank. Here is the general price range for tank sizes:

  • Small tanks less than 750 gallons: up to $300
  • Medium tanks less than 1000 gallons: up to $500
  • Large tanks of 1500 gallons: up to $500
  • Extra-large tank of 2000 gallons: up to $600

On average, hiring an inspector to inspect the damage of a septic tank is $300. But this price is for small and medium tanks.

Inspecting large tanks will be $500 and extra-large tanks are $700 to $900.

The price of a septic tank inspection does not include any labor to help patch up cracks or leaks. It is solely for an inspector to come out and evaluate the tank for damage.

If there are leaks or cracks, then you will be charged extra to fix them.

What Are the Signs That Your Septic Tank is Full?

You can hire a pump and truck and empty it out anytime you like. It does not have to be full.

The number one sign of a full to bursting septic tank is slow draining.

If you notice water is not going down the drain as fast as it should when you shower or when you are washing the dishes, then it is time to drain your tank.

Another sign to watch out for is a strong odor coming from the tank or from the drains.

Septic Tank

How Often Should I Empty My Septic Tank Out?

You should pump your septic tank every three to five years.

However, the more people live in the home, the sooner the tank will need to be pumped.

For example, a home with one person and one medium septic tank will only need to be pumped every 5-6 years.

But increasing the number of people to 5 and that medium-sized septic tank should be pumped every 2-3 years.

The size of the septic tank usually corresponds to the size of the house. So, a small house designed for three people will not have a large 1000-gallon septic tank. Keep this in mind as you monitor your tank’s water level.

According to the EPA, a septic tank requires pumping every 2 to 3 years or when the liquid reaches within six inches of the outlet.

If there is a lot of human waste, then the tank needs to be pumped when the waste is within 12 inches of the outlet.

Can I Pump My Septic Tank Myself?

If you have the tools and a whole day with nothing to do, then you can pump out a septic tank yourself. But draining and cleaning the septic tank yourself may not be worth the money you save.

Draining and cleaning the tank is a difficult and tiring process. Plus, the chance of your ending up with a mouthful of septic sludge is quite high.

If the sludge at the top of the liquid hardens, you will have to break through the barrier to drain the tank.

Not only do you have to unearth the tank, but you also have to hook the tank up to the pump. After the septic tank is empty, then you will have to clean it and check for damage.

There is a wrong way to clean a septic tank. If you clean it incorrectly, you will damage it. After all that, the tank needs to be reburied.

Unless you have no money or no room on your credit card, it is not worth pumping a septic tank yourself.

Conclusion to Emptying Out Your Septic Tank

The average cost to have a residential house’s septic tank pump is around $300. But the cost of pumping a tank can be anywhere from $150 to $900.

After draining the tank, ‌you will need to have it inspected by a septic tank inspector.

Inspecting the tank can cost $300. If you notice a foul smell coming from your home drains, then it is time to pump your septic tank.

Another sign is if the water from your showers and sinks and toilets drains slower than usual.

As long as the septic tank is built for the number of people in the home, then you won’t have to hold it for three years or more.

But a medium size tank that serves seven people will have to be pumped in one to two years.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.