Tools Required For Septic Tank Cleaning


To maintain customers’ residential sewage systems and keep them in good working condition, you’ll need the appropriate septic tools.  You’ll require tools either when you’re inspecting, repairing, or installing septic systems. Septic tank service providers must safeguard against numerous health risks, including bacterial infections, hazardous gases, and electric shocks.

More than one in every five U.S households use septic systems to handle their wastewater; as per the Environmental Protection Agency. Households with septic systems are usually found in suburban and rural areas without access to a centralized public sewage system. In contrast, septic or decentralized treatment systems are used in one-third of all residential development.

Bathroom with suspended lights and bath tub
Used with permission of Millhaven homes

List of Septic Tools

Below is the list of the 23 ideal tools for septic tank service providers:

Septic Locator

  • Metal detector
  • Flushable septic tank locator
  • Electronic septic tank locator
  • Plumbing cleanout snake
  • Ground-scanning radar

Septic Probes

  • Soil probe rod
  • Steel probe rod
  • Septic tank probe rod

Septic Inspection Tools

  • Long wooden pole or sludge judge
  • Visual inspection of baffles, tees, and walls
  • Video inspection equipment
  • Septic Tank Cleaning Tools
  • Pump truck
  • High-capacity vacuum
  • Sewer jet, or high-velocity water jet
  • Muck rake
  • Wayne ball
  • Wrecking bar
  • Power rodding
  • Septic tank risers

Septic Maintenance Products

  • Alarms and control panels
  • Effluent filters
  • Vent pipe odor filters
  • Septic business software
Used with permission of Melanie Gowen

Septic Tank Locator Tool

A septic tank is a storage tank or separation chamber for wastewater flushed through drain pipes that are usually trapped underground and made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene.  Sludge is formed when solid matter falls to the bottom, while scum is formed when fats, oils, and grease rise to the surface. The liquid effluent that remains in the tank is discharged into a drain area.

Some visual clues act as basic septic locators such as snowmelt, rectangular depressions in the soil, areas with less grass growth or dense growth, or pipes sticking out of the ground anywhere from 10 to 20 feet from home.  Septic tanks are normally 10 to 25 feet away from houses, with no tank being less than 3 feet away.

If visual cues aren’t working, it’s time to switch to several other septic tank locator tools. Consider the following methods for locating a septic tank using a metal detector:

  • A metal detector is used to locate metal septic tanks or septic tank covers.
  • A metal detector is used to find the reinforced steel bars in a concrete septic tank.
  • Since some septic tanks don’t have enough metal to locate, you may need to use a drainage cleanout reach down the sewer line. When the cleanout snake exits the septic tank, it comes to a halt, and you can use a metal detector to find the snake’s end.

Other devices that can be used as a septic tank locator include:

  • Flushable septic tank finder- It’s an electronic septic tank locator right down the toilet and uses a receiver to monitor its signal. Generally, you’ll find the septic tank where the septic locator transmitter’s signal is the highest.
  • Companies often use ground-scanning radar to find buried oil tanks, but it can also be used as a septic tank sensor. However, customers should be aware that this service could be more expensive.

Note: Be cautious of older buildings with numerous underground wires and pipes that can give false readings while using metal detectors or electronic septic tank locator equipment. Avoid excavating with backhoes, wrecking bars, or jackhammers in places where risky power lines can be buried or in locations where septic tank failure has damaged the soil.

Bathroom with polished flor and bath tub
Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash

Septic Tank Probe

To locate buried drain lines on a customer’s property, septic contractors typically use a soil probe rod or a ground probe rod.

A septic contractor will normally inject a thin metal rod or steel probe rod into the ground 10 to 15 feet away from the foundation to locate the drain lines until they have determined where the sewer pipe leaves the house. They then follow the lines to the septic tank, which is buried. They can use an electronic probe to find the tank in some cases.

Just be cautious when poking or digging over a failing septic tank in soft or wet soil. This may result in a fatal cave-in or send effluent right to the surface, potentially releasing harmful poisonous odors.

A septic probe can also be used to figure out where the septic tank field lines are. Find the tank’s end, which is opposite the building, then track the drain lines to the leach field.  Lush grass, soft spongy land, a sewage odor, or affluence at the surface are all signs of potential septic tank failure.

Septic Inspection Tools

Before using any septic tank cleaning equipment, septic tank services provider checks the tank’s liquid levels after being detected and accessed. Place a long wooden pole into various parts of the tank to test the amounts. When you take out the wooden pole, the amount of wastes and scum on it shows how much cleaning is needed. You can also buy a sludge judge (a long hollow plastic tube with a check valve at the bottom)

The state of the baffles and tees (which eliminate sewage back-flow into the inlet or outlet pipe) and any indications of cracks in the tank’s walls are often checked during a septic tank inspection. Certain businesses can use video inspection equipment to examine the tank and other septic control systems fully.

White designed bathroom with shower
Used with permission of Melanie Gowen

Septic Tank Cleaning Tools

To extract waste from a septic tank, septic tank providers choose a pump truck with a large vacuum. They can also use certain septic equipment to clear clogs or difficult areas of the tank, such as a sewer jet or a high-velocity water jet.

The following are some of the other septic tank equipment used on the job:


Much rake is thick, hoe-like equipment used to break down scum & sludge during pluming.

The Wayne ball

The Wayne ball is a curving, inflatable, semi-hard rubber ball with hydraulic jet action used to clean sewerage pipes.

Wrecking bar

A wrecking bar is a wide steel bar used to remove septic tank lids.

Power rodding

Power rodding is a more advanced variant of the traditional drain snake. When passed through pipes, it uses a lightweight, thin metal cable that does not overstress delicate plumbing.

Septic Maintenance Products

Septic maintenance products include:

Alarm & Control Panels

All functions of a septic system are controlled and monitored by alarms and control panels, which provide alerts for high water, air pump failure, and submersible pump failure.

Effluent filters

Effluent filters are tools attached to the septic tank’s outlets used to minimize the number of solids that exit the tank and enter the drain area.

Vent pipe odor filters

Enabled carbon ventilation stack filters are used to block septic tank odors in vent pipes.

Bathroom with designed bath tub, mirror and sink
Used with permission of Melanie Gowen


Reduce water consumption and the amount of water that flows into your tank, primarily over a short period, to avoid waste materials being flushed into your drain area.

Also, it should be your primary concern to keep stuff off and away from your drain field sector. According to the EPA, excess rainwater from a drainage system, such as a roof drain, may cause extra water to settle near your drain field. As a result, the treatment process in your septic tank will be slowed.

Moreover, always go for the perfect septic service providers and tools to clean unwanted things in your sewage system. Thanks to for consulting on this post.


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