What Are the Signs That Your RV Septic System Needs To Be Pumped Out?

What Are the Signs That Your RV Septic System Needs To Be Pumped Out?

September 8, 2022

Owning an RV also means maintaining it, including pumping your septic tank. How often should you have your septic tank pumped out? This depends on many factors. After prolonged use, they can contain a build-up of scum and sludge, which can affect the entire plumbing system. The time frequency you need to empty your septic tank depends on the size and design, but you should also pay attention to warning signs.

Signs Your Septic Tank Needs To Be Pumped Out

Here are 4 signs you need to pump your septic tank.

Drainage Is Slow

Septic tanks are attached to all the drains in the sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets. Once the sewer facility begins to fill up, you will notice pools of water. The wastewater may also leave some dirt in the area where you dispose of it.

If you notice any indicators of slow drainage in your RV, you should inspect different areas for a possible blockage. For example, you should check your sink for any leftover food particles and your shower drain for hair, soap pieces, and other debris.

If you don’t notice any debris in your drains, the slow drainage can result from a full septic tank. You should reach out to a sewage facility company to prevent dampness, stains, and foul odor. They can look at your septic tank to find out if it needs to be emptied.

Backup of Sewage

Another common indicator that your septic tank needs to be pumped is a backup of sewage. This issue can occur when your facility fills up and begins to push sludge into your RV. This type of backup typically only occurs in toilets, even though it can affect any part of your drainage system.

A sewage backup in the toilet can cause a foul odor from contaminants that can pose a hazard to your health. The overflow material can even result in property damage. You should immediately reach out to a septic tank maintenance company if you notice you have a sewage backup. Additionally, to prevent further damage, you should reduce the use of water.

Foul Odor

Pungent and foul odors are the most obvious signs of a septic tank that is backed up. These smells occur due to limited space for the gases produced by decomposed waste. You will be able to quickly identify when to pump your tank before a sewage backup even occurs if you pay attention to foul odors.

You can try smelling your clean kitchen sink to determine if the odor is coming from your septic tank.


If your septic tank backs up, you will see an area near the lid that looks marshy. The area may also contain excess water in rainy seasons, unlike other parts of your lawn.

A septic tank backup is an indicator that you need to pump the facility. However, wastewater may flow to the surface due to damage caused by invasive tree roots or cracks.

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