Can You Flush Toilet While Septic Tank Is Being Pumped?

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So many people have adopted the use of septic systems in their homes. In the US alone, an estimated 21 million users are using septic systems. While we have a lot of people with septic systems installed, many of them have no idea about how to go about its maintenance.

Can you flush the toilet while the septic tank is being pumped? 

Regular septic tank pumping is very necessary and can help in averting bigger plumbing problems for you. However, the question above is valid to avoid taking one step forward and many steps backward due to your ignorant actions.

Read on to find out what is expected of you.

Can You Flush Toilet While Septic Tank Is Being Pumped?

No, you cannot. Not only are you not supposed to flush the toilet while the septic tank is being pumped, but you are also not expected to switch on the water throughout its servicing.

Before your septic tank is pumped, a professional would first of all need to inspect it thoroughly to know if there are any faults and if the septic tank is full and needs to be pumped. All through these processes, from evaluation/inspection – servicing, you are not allowed to flush nor turn on any water.

Septic tank owners need to prepare themselves for the inconvenience that lies ahead and make provisions for other alternatives. Pumping the septic tank can not be accomplished without as much as a drop of water running into the tank.

How often should you pump the tank?

This is an equally valid question. 

Certain factors are considered before deciding how often you should pump your septic tank. Such factors include the number of people that use the tank and the size of the tank itself.

Here is the logic; the size of your tank determines how often you will have to pump. The smaller the tank, the more frequently you will have to pump. You will pump less often if the tank is large. 

If you are much in the house, you will also have to pump more often because it will mean that there are so many people using it.

See Also: Why Is Water Coming Out of Septic Tank Lid?

How Full Should A Septic Tank Be Before It Is Pumped?

A mistake many people make is waiting for the septic tank to be 100% full before thinking about pumping it.

That is a great blunder, as the septic tank gets to have enough time for some damaging drain backups.

It is advised that septic tanks should be pumped when they are at least 30% and, at most, 50% full. A septic tank is estimated to take at least three years to get that full, depending on your household size.

What Processes Does Septic Tank Pumping Entail?

Inspecting The Tank

Once the professional comes, the first thing is for him to open the tank’s lid and inspect it. Inspection is done to detect if there are other issues to take care of asides from just pumping the tank.


After a thorough inspection of the tank, pumping then begins. To pump, a hose is attached to the septic tank servicing company’s truck. This hose is used to suck up liquid and solid waste from the tank and does this very fast.

Final Cleanup

A tool known as a septic spoon is used to delete the remaining sludge and debris from the tank’s walls. Then, it is rinsed with clean water to ensure it is completely clean.

Final Inspection

This is to check for any holes or cracks that must have happened in the process. Repairs will be scheduled if there are any.

Advantages of Regular Pumping Of The Septic Tank

It is not enough to own a septic tank; you should equally know how to maintain it properly.

Regular pumping of the septic tank is an essential maintenance routine, and the following are the benefits attached to doing so:

1. Regular Pumping Of The Septic Tank Will Avoid The Contamination Of the Water 

With septic systems, the waste is retained in the tank, which will see liquid waste float to the surface from time to time. 

The same liquid waste finds its way to the drain field and goes through a filtering process before gaining access to the groundwater. 

For septic tank owners whose water source is a well, regular pumping is particularly necessary as they are more at risk of contaminating their water. 

If the tank is left for long without being pumped, it pushes the waste to the drain field, which ends up clogging it, rendering it useless and unable to filter properly, thereby allowing germs through to contaminate the water.

2. It prevents Your Toilet From Flushing Slowly

It is possible to have experienced your toilet flushing slowly or not even flushing. This is a clear indication of a septic system problem. 

You will notice a difference when the septic tanks are being pumped. If the issue is traced to a clog in the pipes, then you should consult a plumber.

3. Saves You From Unnecessary Expenses

When you leave septic tanks for long without pumping, it leads to problems that could have well been avoided saving you from unnecessary expenses.

4. Regular Pumping Avoids Drain Back Up

Drains backing up is something you want to avoid as it is a clear sign that the septic system is faulty and in need of services by a professional.

5. Stops The Spread Of Foul Odor: 

Constant septic system pumping will stop the spread of foul odor from infiltrating your home. 

Ordinarily, when a septic tank is full, it releases toxic sulfur, which translates to a bad smell from the pipes. This can be avoided by regular pumping.

6. Protects The Environment

Sewage leaking from the septic tank can pose a threat to the environment because there is a possibility that it can get into ponds and lakes thereby exposing humans and wildlife to toxicity. 

Regular pumping of the septic tank will see that this does not happen.

See Also: My Poop Won’t Flush Down the Toilet


Septic tank owners must prioritize the consistent pumping of their septic tank if they do not want to incur expenses that can very well be avoided.

Pumping should be done by a professional from a reputable septic tank servicing company to be sure that a good job is done.