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How Much Does It Cost To Pump A Septic Tank

Septic tanks can show a lot of problems. Bad odor and flooding are the most annoying tank-related issues. But it’s very common and most people find a way to encounter the problem. 

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

The truth is that there are a lot of factors that affect the cost of pumping your septic tank. But it becomes easy once the problem is identified. If you don’t need the replacement of any parts, the process will not cost you more than $800. The labor costs, however, differ a little bit based on the place you live in. 

Is this what you’re looking for? Then stay with us as I’m going to explain to you all the affiliated factors. We’ll also guide you through some tips that’ll help you to save money.

Let’s get it rolling!

Signs That Your Septic Tank Needs Pumping

If your toilets and drains are flowing slowly, your septic tank is full. In your home, there will be bad scents. You’ll see water accumulating over your drain field. Sewer backup is seen too. It’s also possible to observe an overly healthy lawn over your septic bed.

Pumping your septic tank every three to five years should have no problems. But if you haven’t pumped your system in 10 years, it might be frightening. The tank’s holding capacity decreases when sludge sinks to the bottom. 

If sludge reaches the T-shaped exit, clogs and backups develop. A full tank may also allow methane and hydrogen gasses to leak into your house.

Here are some of the symptoms you can look for to know if your tank needs pumping.

Water Standing Over Septic Tank

Is there standing water on top of your septic tank? The presence of pooling water indicates that your septic tank needs to be pumped. Because there’s nowhere else for the surplus water to go, it accumulates in your yard.

The condition of your grass is a comparable issue to keep an eye on. If water is accumulating around your septic tank, you might look for a few things. You may observe that the surrounding greenery looks to be developing. 

Maybe you’ve observed a lot of weeds or flowers blooming in the area. Because of the increased water and nutrients that your grass receives in this location. This can happen before the water starts to pool.

Sewage Backing Up

Backing up sewage is every homeowner’s biggest concern. If your tank hasn’t been emptied, you have a sewage backup.

This is a result of your wastewater having difficulty draining away from your home. If wastewater enters your house, it can enter through toilets, sinks, and even your shower.

Blockages are the source of sewage backups. Septic tanks can become clogged as a result of too much food waste. It can also be caused by cooking grease, animal fats, or other things accumulating at the bottom. 

Septic blockages can also be caused by flushing the improper materials down the toilet. For example, feminine hygiene products or cat litter can cause it.

During routine septic maintenance, obstructions can be discovered. During septic tank cleaning, you can eliminate any stuck obstacles.

Drain Taking a Long Time

When you flush the toilet, do your drains take longer than usual to clear? Or do you find it tough to flush? If this occurs in all toilets and sinks in your home, it’s most certainly more than a clog.

One of the earliest indicators of a septic problem is clogged drains. Make use of a septic-friendly drain cleaning. If it doesn’t work and things are still flowing slowly, your septic tank is probably full. In that scenario, I advise you to seek expert advice.

Noise Gargling from Pipes

The sound of gurgling water might indicate a backup on the way. If you hear gurgling water coming from pipes, it’s possible that your tank is filling up. And so it needs to be evacuated.

Yard Emitting Bad Smell

Have you recently detected any bad odors? Examine your yard, particularly your drain field, to see whether they’re the source. It’s possible that you’re inhaling sewage water.  If you detect a sewage odor, contact a professional to schedule a septic tank examination. You’ll smell a nasty stench when your septic tank is full.

The symptoms don’t always mean that your septic tank deteriorates. But it surely means that something’s wrong. And that’s the reason I’m trying to explain to you the importance of timely check-ups.

Cost To Pump Septic Tank: Inspection Charge

The cost of a septic tank examination ranges from $100 to $900. Depending on the size of the tank and the scope of examination, inspectors charge varying fees. This examination tells about the tank’s age, condition, and pumping power.

A camera check of the pipes will cost an extra $250 to $900. But it’s only essential if your drains are slow and you can’t figure out what’s wrong.

The inspection makes sure that it’s in good operating order. And so if there are any problems, it’ll be caught. If the tank is full, they’ll recommend pumping. 

Cost To Pump Septic Tank: Size Basis

Knowing the capacity of your septic tank is critical when determining how frequently it should be emptied. To inquire about the precise dimensions from the prior owner. It’s to ensure that your plans are properly suited to the usage of your family.

Here’s a small table that I have prepared for your quick acknowledgment:

House SizeTank CapacityLow-End PriceAverage PriceHigh-End Price
<1500 Sq. Ft750 Gallon$175$300$400
<2500 Sq. Ft.1000 Gallon$240$375$420
<3500 Sq. Ft.1250 Gallon$275$470$550
>3500 Sq. Ft.1750+ Gallon$325$490$600

There are larger tanks available for larger homes too. You can even find septic tanks of 5000 gallons.

Homes smaller than 1500 square feet often feature one or two bedrooms. So a 750-gallon septic tank can handle the load. Pumping such tanks will cost you somewhat of $175 to $400 including the labor costs

A 2500 square feet house is considered to be a medium-sized house in the US. For such houses, a 1000 gallon septic tank is enough. For pumping such a tank you need to have a budget range between $240 to $420. The costs might differ based on what part of the country you live in. 

A 3500 square feet house is taken as a luxury or a very big house. If you own a big house, you need a septic tank with a capacity of 1250 gallons. You might need more than that but not less. For pumping, you’ll need to spend roughly around $275 to $600

The cost of labor might vary depending on where you reside. In the countryside, the labor costs are generally less. Whereas, in the cities, the labor costs might keep you wondering. They might as well come up with additional service charges. You should also know about the cost of putting in a well & septic system.

Cost to Pump Septic Tanks: Material Basis

There are just a few materials that have been authorized for septic tank designs. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. A septic tank can help the system last longer. This is true regardless of the type of material utilized. The most common materials used in septic tanks are concrete, fiberglass or plastic, and steel.


Most concrete tanks have an average lifespan of 20 years. They can break with time. Which allows liquid waste to leak out and groundwater into the tank. As a result, periodical inspections are required. Pumping concrete septic tanks might cost you around $250 to $400.


Fiberglass septic tanks are a wonderful choice since they don’t corrode or produce algae. They also don’t expand or decrease. These types of tanks are heavier than plastic tanks. Nevertheless, they are susceptible to moving if the earth shifts or the water table changes. The cost to pump fiberglass septic tanks is roughly around $175-$270.


In comparison to a concrete tank, plastic septic tanks are a lighter choice. They’re also resistant to corrosion and cracking. Because of their smaller weight, they may be easier to install. Plastic septic tanks might cost you around $150-$250 to pump. But still, people prefer concrete septic tanks. It’s because of the durability factor.


Stainless steel is a sturdy metal for a variety of applications. However, stainless steel septic tanks are the least desired. It’s because they can fail before their 20-year lifespan. Pumping steel septic tanks costs between $270 and $390.

So this is how the cost of pumping septic tanks depends on the type of material used. Most of the people have concrete-made tanks. Because it’s cheaper to build. The pumping cost is less for plastic and fiberglass tanks. But in terms of longevity, they fail to compete with steel and concrete.

Cost to Pump Septic Tanks: DIY vs Pro

Installing a septic tank system isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. It’s a process that may be unavoidable when municipal sewer systems are lacking. While the price of installing a septic tank may appear to be large or difficult. It’s typically the most cost-effective solution and preferable to run sewer lines from the city.

Many homeowners want to save money by installing a septic tank themselves. But professionals give you some additional services as well. Since the pros don’t do what they are doing, it’ll save you time. Also, you might not be able to do the task in the perfect way.

Required Timeline To Pump Your Septic Tank

Every 3-5 years, you should have your septic tank drained to keep it in good working order. Then you’ll be able to avoid obstructions that cause sewage to back up into your home. It’s also a good time to pump it if sludge occupies more than one-third of your tank’s capacity.

The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States has specific guidelines for caring for septic tanks. Your septic tank should be pumped if the scum layer is within 6″ of the outflow line. 

If you put off the $375 work, replacing your septic system might cost up to $10,000. Proper care, on the other hand, can help it endure up to fifty years.

Consequences Of Not Pumping Your Septic Tank

Your waste will ultimately overflow your septic system if you don’t empty your septic tank. You see, solids accumulate with time, and your tank’s capacity is limited. This puts you in danger of a sewage backlog.

Your septic tank should be emptied every three to five years. This is regardless of the sort of septic system you have. Septic tanks are built such that the heavier contents settle at the bottom. 

If the sludge layer becomes too thick, solid waste will seep into the drain field or leach field. This can result in blockages. As a result, the liquid will not filter into the drain field.

Cost To Repair Septic Tank: Damage Basis

As we said, if you don’t maintain your septic tank in the due time, you might face bigger problems. Here you’ll know about different factors that you might need repairing if pumping can’t be done.

Soil Fracture

Your septic specialist may be unable to pump your system in specific instances. Cleaning the drain field lines, changing the filter, and fracturing the soil may then be recommended. 

A 300-pound jet of air is sent through a hollow tube in the ground in this operation. This procedure might be rather costly. It’s possible that it’ll cost you roughly $1,500 to execute.

Baffle Replacement

The purpose of baffles is to keep sludge from blocking inlets and pipelines. Failure or clogging of baffles is a regular problem. And repairing them is generally far less expensive than replacing the entire tank. The cost of a replacement ranges from $300 to $500, including labor.

Pipe Replacement

The cost of replacing any type of PVC pipes and fittings ranges from $50 to $200. Sometimes the pipes or fittings can break and cause leaks. So you might have to replace them before pumping. Otherwise, you’ll still have to deal with the flaws.

Septic Tank Pump Replacement

For septic tanks that need a pump to drive the effluent out and onto the drain field. It’s conceivable that the pump won’t do its job correctly. The typical cost of replacing a failing pump, including labor, is between $800 and $1,400. Hiring a plumber or professional for the replacement ranges from $45 to $200 per hour

Lid Replacement

Before labor, a cracked or corroded lid is a modest repair that costs between $30 and $70. If a metal lid has rusted over, it’s the easiest to replace. However, removing and replacing a concrete lid may necessitate the use of specific equipment.

Filter Replacement

The most prevalent issue for most homes is the need to replace a septic tank filter. The cost of installing a replacement filter in a septic tank is from $230 to $280. Filter replacement is a very important task as it is responsible for the desired quality of water. So you should give special emphasis on the filter.

Septic Drain Field Replacement

Wastewater can back up into a house if a tank leach or drain field gets highly saturated. The average cost of removing and replacing an existing drain field is $7,000.

The hourly pricing may vary depending on the location. However, for any form of septic installation or maintenance, it should be pretty constant.

So you can see how much you’ve to spend for not pumping septic tanks in due time. On the contrary, if you do the work in time, you’ll also be saved from a lot of hassle.

Maintenance Cost To Pump Septic Tank

Having a septic system necessitates septic tank maintenance as a preventative measure. To maintain everything in functioning condition, some maintenance is required. 

The majority of the maintenance in this situation is deemed preventive. Pumping your septic system is the most expensive part of keeping it in good working order.

Pumping and cleaning the tank every three to five years is the most significant maintenance duty. This is a very normal timeframe, regardless of the system you’re using. Cleaning prices typically vary from $400 to $1,000

This includes any tools and equipment required by the plumber or expert. But most maintenance does not need material replacement. You’ll only be charged if something has to be replaced.

Tips To Save Cost on Septic Tank Maintenance

Maintaining septic tanks can be costly too. But there are ways to save money on that. Here are some of the efficient components to save maintenance cost-

High-End Appliances

The more water you consume or waste, the more water enters your septic system. This can potentially cause various problems. Water waste is reduced by using high-efficiency appliances. As a result, your system will be less prone to drain field flooding.

Setting Limits

Your septic system processes everything you pour down the drain or flush down the toilet. Grease and oil may clog your system. This is regardless of whether they’re drained, flushed, or put down the garbage disposal.

As a general guideline, don’t flush anything that isn’t toilet paper. We need to be especially cautious about flushing hair. Don’t pour chemical drain openers down the drain. And don’t put coffee grinds or fats via the trash disposal.

Drain Field Maintenance

Keeping your drain field in good shape is actually fairly straightforward. Plants with developing roots have a propensity of colliding with and interfering with septic systems. So keep them away from the drain field.

It’s also a good idea to stay away from the drain field when parking.

Timely Pumping

Pumping out your sewage tank every two to four years is the normal recommendation. This guarantees that any solid items have broken down properly and won’t block the drain field. 

Pumping your system correctly and consistently extends its life. At the same time, it helps to prevent system failure.

Keeping Excess Water Out

You must keep your drain field free of any surplus or blockages at all times. Excess water accumulation near your drain field is caused by additional drainage systems. It happens for things like precipitation. This slows down the treatment process.

Keeping Accountability

Every septic system inspection should include full findings on any current or anticipated difficulties. The amounts of scum and sludge should be included as well. Keep these reports on hand in case you need to make any repairs in the future.

Otherwise, you might need these inspections all over again. And it’ll cost you more money than you expect. 

If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll surely be able to save a significant amount of money. Also, these small cautions can keep you trouble-free for a long time.


Question: How much does it cost to empty the tank?

Answer: For emptying the septic tank you’ll need to spend $400 on average. This depends on the size of the tank and the labor cost around you. The cost increases with the size of the tank.

Question: Which Septic tank types are the best?

Answer: Concrete tanks survive a long time, and fiberglass tanks are corrosion resistant. But overall, septic tanks are the best if made with concrete.

Question: What happens if the septic pump breaks down?

Answer: Before a sewage backlog begins, an alarm will ring to warn you. The sewage level continues to increase without a functional pump. And the alarm indicates that the waste is not being evacuated from the tank. 

Summing Up

We hope now you know how much does it cost to pump a septic tank. The costs might not be exact but should surely be in range. 

If there are any other problems that you’re facing, feel free to leave a comment.

Till then, all the best!