A septic tank can last between 20 and 40 years. The lifespan depends on the tank’s material. A steel tank lasts 20 years, while a concrete tank lasts 40 years. Plastic tanks can last as long as 30 years.
How long do septic systems last? – Septic Tank Problems
- If you have a metallic or steel septic system tank, expect it to last for an average of 15 to 20 years, if taken care of optimally. By the time it has reached it full life, the baffles would already be lost and it would have a rusted bottom as well.
How long will a steel septic tank last?
The life expectancy of a steel tank is shorter than a concrete one. Inspectapedia estimates that a steel tank baffles will rust out in 15 to 20 years and may collapse if driven over, but a concrete tank will last 40 years or more as long as the wastewater is not acidic.
Are steel septic tanks good?
Steel septic tanks are the least durable and least common septic tank option. They are designed to last no longer than 20-25 years and can start rusting sooner than that. Plastic septic tanks are also quite popular due to their durability and longevity.
What kind of septic tank lasts the longest?
Concrete septic tanks have the longest lifespan out of any septic tank material. While they are more expensive and sometimes difficult to install, it is for a good reason. A properly designed and installed concrete septic tank can last for anywhere from 40 years and beyond.
Can a septic tank be metal?
Steel Septic Tank—Steel septic tanks are the least durable and least popular tank option. Designed to last no more than 20-25 years, they can be susceptible to rust even before that. Steel top covers can rust through and cause an unsuspecting person to fall into the tank.
Can a septic system last forever?
How long does a septic system last? On average, a new septic system will last for 20-30 years. Soil quality – the quality of soil will determine how durable your septic tank is. For instance, acidic groundwater can corrode a concrete septic tank.
How can I make my septic tank last longer?
How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy
- How the Septic System Works.
- Don’t Overload the Septic Tank and Drain field.
- Use an Efficient Toilet.
- Don’t Treat the Toilet as a Garbage Disposal.
- Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain.
- Divert Rain Water From the Septic Drain Field.
- Keep Trees Away from the Septic System.
When were metal septic tanks used?
coli and giardia. Although civilizations have tried improving sanitation over the last 3,000 years, it was not until the early 1860s when the first “septic tank” was invented and put to use using concrete and clay pipe. However it was not until the 1940s when somewhat of a standard was used in the populated areas.
How thick are steel septic tanks?
F. The top of the tank shall be constructed of reinforced concrete, at least four inches thick. G. When the tank is constructed of concrete, the walls and bottom shall be at least six inches thick and shall be adequately reinforced with steel or other approved material.
Which septic tank is best?
The best choice is a precast concrete septic tank. Precast septic tanks hold many advantages over plastic, steel, or fiberglass tanks. This is why so many cities and towns actually require the use of concrete septic tanks.
How often should a septic tank be replaced?
Typical lifespan is in excess of 30 years for GRP, PE and concrete tanks. Assuming optimal conditions of install and use, you could expect the following: Steel septic tanks have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
How long do septic tanks usually last?
Septic System Basics Because it is expensive to replace a septic system, proper maintenance is important. The more proactive you are in maintaining your system, the longer it will last. In fact, septic tanks can last as long as 30 years or more.
How often should you pump your septic tank?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
Do septic tanks have metal lids?
You can locate the lid of your septic tank by poking the ground every few feet with a metal probe. You can also use a metal detector, as most lids have a metal handle or fastener on them to keep the lid closed. Another reason you might not be able to find your lid is due to the depth it was buried.
Can a septic tank rot?
Depending on when the lid is pulled for an inspection, the deterioration may still be small, just a bit of white decay around the outlet. If the acid has reached the reinforcing rod the tank sides will show rusty streaks, indicating serious structural problems.
How do I know if my septic leach field is bad?
8 Signs of Septic System Failure
- Septic System Backup.
- Slow Drains.
- Gurgling Sounds.
- Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield.
- Nasty Odors.
- Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield.
- Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water.
- High Levels of Coliform in Water Well.
Septic System Life Expectancy Guide for Septic Systems, Septic Tanks, Septic Drainfields and other septic components
- ASK a question or make a comment regarding the normal life expectancy of septic system components in the comments section.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. The life expectancy of a septic system is: This page explains the normal life expectancy of septic systems as well as the various components that make up a septic system. The life expectancy of a septic tank is mostly determined by the materials used in its construction, but the life expectancy of septic system pipe is largely determined by the likelihood of damage by vehicle traffic, root blockage, or flooding by groundwater.
For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.
Septic System Component Life Expectancy
Conflicts of interest are not tolerated at InspectAPedia.com. No affiliation exists between us and any sponsors, products, or services mentioned on this website. Life expectancy of a septic system: It explains the normal life expectancy of septic systems and the many common septic system components in this text. It is primarily determined by the materials used in the construction of the septic tank, whereas the life expectancy of septic system pipe is determined by the likelihood of damage from vehicle traffic, root blockage, or groundwater flooding.
There is an article index for this topic available as well, or you can use the page top or bottom navigation options.
How Quickly Does A Septic System Fail? How long will a septic tank, D-box, or absorption bed last?
Keep in mind that the most essential thing a homeowner can do to extend the life of a private (onsite) septic system is to pump the septic tank on a regular basis based on the number of building occupants, the size of the tank, and the amount of wastewater produced. See TANK PUMPING SCHEDULE for further information.
- Septic Tank Pumping Frequency: Assuming you have a working and reasonably-designed septic system to begin with, the most major action you can take to extend the life of your septic system is to have the septic tank cleaned or “pumped” on a regular basis. See TANK PUMPING SCHEDULE for further information. the name of a table that calculates how frequently a certain septic tank need this treatment
- It is important to understand how the septic system is used, including the amount of wastewater produced and the kind of things that are flushed down the septic system drains. Reducing the amount of water used lessens the stress on the absorption field. By avoiding the use of chemicals or materials that do not biodegrade, the pace of solid build-up in the septic tank can be reduced. Please see the section “DON’T FLUSH INTO THE TOILETthese items into a septic system” for a list of what is and is not acceptable to flush down toilets or down building drains
- Soil conditions such as soil percolation rate, ground water or surface water levels, and the volume and level of ground water or surface water that have an impact on the soil absorption area or drain field The materials used in septic tanks corrode over time, first losing their baffles (which causes drain field obstruction) and then rusting at the bottom or sides of the tank. The pace at which rust develops is determined by the soil conditions, soil acidity, and other variables. When properly installed and maintained, an unlined concrete septic tank may last for over 40 years, excluding instances of improperly mixed concrete or acidic soils, both of which might shorten the tank’s life expectancy. Unless they are mechanically damaged, plastic or fiberglass septic tanks may be expected to survive for a similar amount of time. In many cases, the lifespan of Special Components (such as effluent pumps or septic grinder pumps) along with the lifespan of septic filters, media, and sand bed filter systems dictates the requirement for maintenance of alternate-design septic systems that make use of these components. Trees or plants in the vicinity whose roots have infiltrated system components
- Septic soakaway beds located in wet soils, near high water tables, near creeks and streams that are susceptible to flooding all have a short life expectancy and may be improperly or illegally installed
- Surface and roof runoff directed into drainfields
- And roof or surface runoff directed into drainfields The following is the water use in the building: The amount of water used in a building has an impact on the drainfield, as do exceptional or abnormal amounts of water consumption, such as toilets that are always running. See When a toilet runs continuously or a water softener is stuck in the “backwash” cycle, it can overwhelm a septic drainfield, causing it to break and contaminating the surrounding area. Similarly, a water softener that is trapped in the regeneration cycle and continues to run can cause flooding in septic fields, and a water conditioner that is incorrectly calibrated can introduce an excessive amount of salt into the water can cause damage to the drainfield. For more information on how water softeners function, see HOW SOFTTENERS WORK. Advice on how to set the water softener timing and salt dose may be found atWATER SOFTENER ADJUSTMENTCONTROLS.
How Quickly Will the Septic System Fail if We Have One or More of the Problems Listed Above?
It is not necessary to pump septic systems (tank and absorption system, or onsite wastewater disposal systems) to ensure that they do not fail instantly. However, an unmaintained septic tank no longer provides enough protection against particles in the soil absorption field. If the drain field is neglected for an extended period of time, it might limit its life and cause system failure, which may need total replacement of the soil absorption field. There are various situations when site constraints prevent the replacement of the absorption field from being possible – or at least impossible using a typical drainfield design method There are a variety of alternative designs available to address these issues.
How long can you expect a septic system to survive, assuming you’ve addressed the elements that affect the life of a septic system? How long do you anticipate it to endure before costly repairs to the septic tank or to the septic drain field are required?
How Long do Individual Septic System Components like Tanks, Piping, D-Boxes, Filters or Pumps Last?
A steel septic tank will rust out on a timeline that is determined by the acidity of the soil, the grade of the tank steel, and the integrity of the coating. An older steel septic tank, such as one that is 15 or 20 years old, is likely to have corroded to the point of losing its baffles and maybe having a rusted out bottom, which are issues that can be identified during septic tank cleaning and inspection. A steel septic tank cover will survive until it is either driven over by an idiot or rusted away.
- A traditional septic drain field has a variable life span that is determined by the soil percolation rate, the drainfield size, and the degree of usage.
- I’ve witnessed a traditional septic drainfield collapse within 24 hours of being used for the first time on a new system due to improper pipe installation.
- If you ask your neighbors who have comparable soils and systems, they may be able to provide valuable insight.
- A septic tank is simply one component of a complete on-site wastewater treatment system.
- Preserving the septic tank, on the other hand, will help to extend the life of the absorption system, leach field, or drainfield, which is the more expensive second part of the onsite wastewater treatment system.
What to Do ifyou have just moved into a home with a septic system
Depending on the soil acidity, the quality of the tank steel and the integrity of its coating, a steel septic tank will rust out over time. An older steel septic tank, such as one that is 15 or 20 years old, is likely to have corroded to the point of losing its baffles and maybe having a rusted out bottom, which are issues that can be identified during septic tank cleaning and inspection services. A steel septic tank lid will survive until it is damaged by a vehicle or rusted away. Although low quality concrete and acidic ground water can cause deterioration of baffles and tank components, a concrete septic tank can survive 40 years or more.
- One of the longest lasting septic systems I’ve seen was a huge one on good soil with a well-maintained septic tank that lasted more than 50 years!
- As a result, this component has a very broad operating life span.
- In general, if I know nothing about a property other than that it has a standard septic drainfield or a raised bed system and that it is more than 20 years old, I consider its future life to be unpredictable and advise owners to set aside funds to replace it at any point in the near future.
- It is intended to remove particles from the effluent prior to it entering the soil absorption field, to allow for filtering, digestion of a portion of the solids, and storage of the remaining solids after the solids have been removed from the system.
Preserving the septic tank, on the other hand, will help to extend the life of the absorption system, leach field, or drainfield, which is the more expensive second part of an onsite wastewater treatment system.
Reader CommentsQ A
Pete Providing your excavator digs enough space around the concrete septic tank and the tank is not damaged, it should be feasible to lift and transport the tank without difficulty. I need to relocate a 1000-gallon septic tank because of construction. My main concern is the tank’s structural stability given its age. It’s 40 years old and appears to be in fine shape; the baffles have exhibited just little degradation. Without pumping, I can’t see the edges or the bottom of the tank. If the baffles appear to be in excellent condition, I suppose that would imply a tank that is sufficiently sound to transport.
Additionally, the baffles and concrete of the distribution box appear to be of high quality (I do realize this is a separate entity).
Please keep all comments to a minimum.
“Code” compliance is, of course, a contentious issue; no one purchasing a 40-year-old home can reasonably expect that all of the home’s features will comply with current building codes, nor can the owners be required to update every item to current codes, which cover a wide range of topics from structure to mechanicals to lot line setbacks and clearances to radon mitigation.
- Septic tanks of greater capacity can lengthen the life of any drainfield in general; nevertheless, my 50+ years of expertise in this field leads me to advise that it would be folly to place any expectations on a 40-year-old septic drainfield’s ability to perform.
- It’s all too usual for new homeowners to move into a house, possibly with a younger or larger family, and immediately discover that the drainfield has collapsed due to a lack of maintenance.
- We conducted an examination on a house that was built 40 years ago and still had its original septic system.
- Working with our realtor, I’m attempting to determine if the property owners would be willing to replace it with a new 1500-gallon tank.
- Greg Once the new drainfield has been installed, if there is enough space on the site for it, the contractor leaves everything in the old field in its original condition while excavating new drainfield trenches either in another location or in parallel with the existing trenches.
- If there isn’t enough space, the entire field design is dubious and should be reviewed by a septic engineer who will take into consideration soil perc rates, available space, and other factors.
Beyond that general recommendation, I’m not sure what aspect of your site necessitates the digging up and relocation of existing lines, but I believe it has something to do with a lack of area for the fields.
Just the size of an extra hole that will have to be excavated on my land in order to fit all of the stone, sand, and whatever other materials come with it is something I’m concerned about.
Once again, thank you.
You might be wondering how much excavation and disruption will be required in the first place.
Thank you so much for your prompt answer.
That being said, he said that all of the debris from the failed field would be buried in another location in my yard, which I’m not certain about.
Alternatively, should I request that the material be taken away?
Once again, thank you.
After a few years, you switch between them, giving the one that is “off” time to thin and reduce the likelihood of clogging and failure.
It’s a well-known design, however if I were the builder, I wouldn’t make any guarantees about how long it will last.
See STEPS FOR IMPROVED SEPTIC LIFEHello Sirs and Madams, My standard drain field, which has been in place for 23 years, is nearing the end of its useful life.
His advice is to build a new chamber field and install a valve to allow for switching from one field to another.
He stated that my traditional system will self-restore after approximately 7 years and will continue to function normally.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Rita According on what you’ve described, a realistic planning estimate indicates that you’ll need to:1.
replace your existing septic tank.
create a drainage system (or at the very least scope every drainfield line and dig up a couple of sample cross-sections to see how the field was constructed, amount of gravel, biomat condition) If the tree and its roots are removed, the drainfield must be relocated to an appropriate location.
What about a system that was built in 1978 but has seen minimal use since then?
Twenty years ago, a tree root had broken the cement tank in half, so they chopped the tree root and placed root killer in it.
We wish to bring the property back to life, however we are unsure about the system after so many years of inactivity.
We had a discussion about this system at You’ll see that I’ve presented a number of questions that I hope will assist you get a better understanding of the current state of the system.
We have a steel clargester that has been in service for 30 years and manages the garbage for nine residences.
Ron, how many more years do you think it will be before it has to be replaced?
I wish there was a solution like this that worked and didn’t pollute the environment like some of the harsh chemicals that people have tried in the past.
Is there a method to divide the field into smaller sections?
Alternatively, view the FAQs on SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY- questions and answers that were originally presented at the conclusion of this page. Alternatively, consider the following:
Articles on the life expectancy of a septic system
- DISHWASHER vs. SEPTICS
- NO ROCK SEPTIC SYSTEM LIFE
- SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
- DISHWASHER vs. SEPTICS
- FORMATIONS OF BIOMATTERIALS PLANTSTREES ON TOP OF SEPTIC SYSTEMS
- EPTIC DRAINFIELD LIFE
- SEPTIC FIELD FAILURE CAUSES
- EPTIC SYSTEM AGE
- EPTIC LIFE
Suggested citation for this web page
AT INSPECTION, THE EXPECTANCY OF SEPTIC LIFE An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Citations can be shown or hidden by selecting Show or Hide Citations. InspectApedia.com is a publisher that provides references. Daniel Friedman is an American journalist and author.
How Long Will A Septic System Last?
Q:We recently purchased a home that had a septic system that was 20 years old. It’s a simple gravity system with a leach field at its heart. We had the system evaluated before purchasing it, and the inspectors stated that everything “appeared to be in good working order.” The vendors did not keep track of how many times they pumped the tank, although they claimed to have done it “a few times.” How long do you think we’ll be able to get out of this system before it needs maintenance or replacement?
- — John et al.
- Typical life spans in the business are 20 to 30 years for systems that have been adequately planned and built, have been well-maintained, and have not been overburdened with data.
- I just had a conversation about this with a sanitary engineer who has been designing septic systems for more than four decades.
- He has also encountered systems that have lasted 40 or more years, although they are the exception rather than the rule.
- There are just too many factors to consider.
Don’t Forget Maintenance
Typically, the leach field is the first component to fail in a septic system system (drain field). The drain field is calculated based on the number of bedrooms in the house, with two persons sharing each bedroom. As a result, a three-bedroom drain field may accommodate up to six people. All else being equal, a drain field that receives little traffic will outlive one that receives a lot of traffic. In the case of a three-bedroom system, if only two people use it, low-flow fixtures and appliances are used, and the system is pumped on a regular basis, it should last for many years.
- Chemicals, grease, and food scraps that are flushed down the toilet will reduce the life of the system.
- The septic tank is the other main component of the system.
- Steel tanks often fail after 20 to 30 years, however high-quality plastic tanks can endure for 30 to 40 years with proper care.
- The lifespan of a system is influenced by a variety of factors.
- Others, like as proper care and upkeep, are completely within the hands of the homeowner.
- Routine pumping, household water conservation, and paying attention to what they flush down the drain — no harsh chemicals, paints, grease, food scraps, or other solids — are the most critical aspects that the homeowner can manage.
- Drainage of yard and roof water away from the drain field is necessary to prevent the soil from becoming saturated.
Drive or park over the field, or use it in any way that may crush the earth, is strictly prohibited! Maintain a safe distance between trees and big bushes, as the roots of these plants might block the perforated drain pipes. Grass provides the most effective ground cover.
Drain field failure occurs gradually in the majority of cases when the soil around the leaching trenches becomes clogged with sediments and grease from the septic tank and becomes blocked by the naturally occurring “biomat.” In other circumstances, the drain field may collapse completely (due to high-volume water usage and inadequate pumping). Slow drainage, backups on the lower levels of the home, or moist regions over the leach field with a strong odor of sewage are all indicators of a clogged drain.
If the tank is in good condition and you have a designated area for a replacement drain field, as required in some jurisdictions, the cost of a new drain field will typically range from $3,000 to $10,000.
If you want a fully new system, the cost can easily approach $15,000, and if you require an alternate septic system, the cost can potentially reach double that amount.
New Perc Test?
The majority of municipalities will require that you perform a fresh perc test and an in-hole test before they will issue a permit to replace your present leach field or full septic system. If a site has already passed the perc test, it is likely that it will pass again in the future. The opposite is sometimes true because site circumstances (for example, a higher water table) may have altered, or the town’s test processes and requirements may have changed. It’s possible that you’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive form of “alternative” septic system than the one you started with.
- – BuildingAdvisor.com’s Steve Bliss says Continue reading about Septic System Maintenance.
- Drainage Slopes for Septic Lines System Inspection of a Septic Tank The minimum lot size for a septic system is one acre.
- How much does a perc test cost?
- After a failed perc test, should you retest?
- Examination of the WellSEPTIC SYSTEMView allSEPTIC SYSTEMarticles
How Long Will Your Septic Tank Last?
It is still an important system in any home, but because most people pay little or no attention to their septic tanks until they have a big problem, it has become the least well-maintained system in most structures. Fortunately, this is changing. When sewage backs up into a house or foul smells permeate the backyard, most people don’t pay attention to their septic tanks until they experience a problem. Similarly, the majority of people are under the impression that septic tanks are built to endure forever, but the fact is that, on average, septic tanks are known to survive anywhere between 15 and 40 years.
Because the average lifetime is based on a variety of factors, which will be discussed in greater detail later in this article, this is a wide range of possibilities.
How often do you pump your septic system
The septic tank is still an important part of every home, but because most people don’t pay attention to their septic tanks until they have a serious problem, it has become the least well-maintained system in most structures. The majority of the time, individuals don’t pay attention to their septic tanks until sewage backs up into their homes or foul aromas permeate their backyards. While the majority of the population believes that septic tanks are designed and constructed for a lifetime of service, research has shown that they are only capable of lasting between 15 and 40 years on average.
The type of tank you have
It is still an important system in any home, but because most people pay little or no attention to their septic tanks until they have a serious problem, it has become the least well-maintained system in most structures. The majority of the time, individuals don’t pay attention to their septic tanks until sewage backs up into the home or foul aromas permeate the backyard. Similarly, the majority of people believe that septic tanks are built to endure forever, but the fact is that they are known to survive anywhere between 15 and 40 years on average.
The soil condition under and surrounding the drain-field has a significant impact on the type of tank that may be put in such regions, as well as the lifetime of such tanks. Acidic soils have been shown to have a negative impact on septic tanks, regardless of the materials used in their construction. It is normally recommended that property owners choose reputable organizations that will go as far as assessing the surrounding area and making recommendations on what type of tank to install.
Water usage in the building:
It is important to note that how much water is used in the building will have a significant impact on the longevity of the septic system. A septic drain-field will become saturated if the water use is extraordinary or unexpected. This will result in the drain-field failing.
Septic tanks should not be sited near floodplains or in areas where the water table is high, since this will result in the tank’s lifespan being significantly reduced.
A large number of homeowners who place their septic tanks in close proximity to trees have experienced problems with tree roots infiltrating their septic system. Continued neglect of a septic tank reduces the lifespan of the sewage system and may end in system failure, which may need the replacement of the soil absorption field entirely. Posts from the recent past
5 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Septic System — BL3 Plumbing & Drain Cleaning
Nobody wants sewage backing up into their yard, and there are a number of things you can do to keep your septic system from malfunctioning in the first place. But there are times when it is necessary to throw up the towel on an old system and make the investment in a new one. Because it is a costly option, you will want to be certain that it is absolutely essential.
In an ideal world, efficient maintenance would preclude the need for replacement for decades, if not generations. However, years of poor maintenance may lead to the conclusion that a replacement is the best solution. Here are five indicators that you may be in the market for a replacement.
1. Age of the System
If you buy a new house, it’s possible that your septic system may endure for 40 years or longer, meaning you won’t have to replace it for a lengthy period of time. You may, on the other hand, have an older home with a septic system that has been in place for more than half a century. If you begin to notice difficulties with the system, and if you find yourself pumping it more regularly in order to maintain it operating correctly, it may be time to start planning for a new septic system installation.
2. You’ve Outgrown the System
If you buy a new house, it’s possible that your septic system may endure for 40 years or longer, meaning you won’t have to repair it for a long time. Some older homes have septic systems that have been in place for more than half a century, and this is something to consider. If you begin to notice difficulties with your system, and you find yourself pumping it more regularly in order to maintain it running correctly, it may be time to start planning for a new septic tank. If you don’t already know how old your septic system is, it’s a good idea to find out how old it is roughly.
3. Slow Drains
If you buy a new house, it’s likely that your septic system will endure for 40 years or longer, which means you may never have to repair it. You could, on the other hand, have an older home with a septic system that has been in place for over half a century. If you begin to notice difficulties with your system, and you find yourself pumping it more regularly in order to maintain it running correctly, it may be time to start planning for a new septic system. If you don’t already know, it’s a good idea to find out how old your septic system is.
4. Standing Water in the Yard
Any standing water in your yard due to a clogged septic system is a bad omen. However, it is possible that you are only in need of a repair and not a complete replacement. It’s possible that there is a problem with your drain field. It is critical that you do not disregard standing water since the problem will not go away; rather, it will only worsen. It’s possible that your septic tank isn’t the source of your difficulties. Standing water can be caused by a clogged drain field in some cases.
It is desirable to have grass and plants growing over your drain field because organisms aid in the breakdown of the liquid and prevent it from accumulating.
Aeration through mechanical means is the second option.
It is possible to repair the drain field without having to replace the septic tank in some situations.
5. Nearby Contaminated Water Sources
If nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacteria are detected in neighboring water sources, this is a strong indication that there is a problem with your septic system.
If you notice contamination in water sources, it is critical that you analyze the situation as soon as possible.
Other Septic Systems Issues
The replacement of the septic tank is the most extreme circumstance. A number of these indicators might be symptomatic of simpler problems that only require little correction. If you have obstructions in your septic tank, you may need to have it pumped or have the system cleaned. If you’re concerned about a septic tank problem, the best course of action is to contact a professional for assistance. At BL3, we provide a wide range of sewage line-related services. In order to speak with a plumber, please call (405) 895-6640 in North OKC or (405) 237-1414 in South OKC.
How Long Does A Septic Tank Last (PLUS 5 Tips To Make It Last Longer!)
Suppose you’re in the midst of purchasing an older property, or if you already own an older home, and the house is equipped with a septic tank rather of being linked to the city sewage system. You may want information on how long septic tanks last for a variety of reasons. It’s possible that the house inspector identified it as something that needed to be looked at further, or it’s possible that you’ve had your septic tank for a year and you just don’t believe it’s functioning properly. As a homeowner, you’ll want to know how long it will be until you’ll have to repair the septic system in your residence.
Perhaps you are in the process of purchasing an older home, or you already own an older home that is equipped with a septic tank rather than being linked to the public sewage system. In order to determine how long septic tanks endure, you must first determine why you want this information. It’s possible that the house inspector identified it as a problem that needed to be addressed further, or it’s possible that you’ve had your septic tank for a year and still don’t believe it’s functioning properly.
Understanding this is critical since repairing a septic tank is a costly endeavor that must be done with caution.
How Long Does A Septic Tank Last
On the short end of the spectrum, a septic system can endure for anywhere between 15 and 40 years. This large range can be attributed to the fact that there are a variety of elements that influence the life expectancy of an aseptictank. According to Inpectapedia.com, “the life expectancy of a septic tank is mostly determined by the materials used in its construction, whereas the life expectancy of septic system pipe is largely determined by the danger of damage from vehicle traffic, root blockage, or flooding by groundwater.”
Septic Tank Life Expectancy Based On System Type
According to the acidity of the soil as well as the overall condition of the septic tank, a steel septic tank may gradually rust out. A steel septic tank that is 15 to 20 years old or older is likely to have corroded to the point that the baffles and, maybe, the tank’s bottom have been completely lost.
Similarly, the lid on steel septic tanks will endure for as long as the tank itself is not rusted. During a routine septic tank examination, a professional will be able to quickly identify these signs of septic tank failure.
How Long Does A Concrete Septic Tank Last?
The lifespan of a concrete septic tank might range from 40 years to infinity if it is made from high-quality materials and configured properly. However, poor-quality concrete and acidic soils can cause the baffles and other components of concrete septic tanks to malfunction.
How Long Does a Leach Field Last?
As explained on Inspectapedia.com, “The life of a traditional septic drain field varies depending on the soil percolation rate, the drainfield size, and the amount of wastewater that is generated.” One of the longest lasting septic systems I’ve seen was a huge one on good soil with a well-maintained septic tank that lasted over 50 years. It has happened to me that a typical septic drainfield has failed within 24 hours of being used on a fresh system because the plumbing was improperly built.”
The Largest Factor That Determines How Long A Septic Tanks Lasts
Septic tank servicing is the single most critical thing you can do to help extend the life of your septic system and keep it running efficiently. Also, keep in mind that septic tank pumping is only one aspect of a comprehensive septic service package. Septic tank service should be performed at least once every three years, but there is more to septic tank service than merely draining trash out of the tank. Septic tank service companies that are of high quality will not only pump out your tank, but they will also check it and recommend any repairs or further maintenance that should be performed.
That leaves nothing but the solid muck that has built up over the years in the tank’s bottom.
How To Make A Septic Tank Last Longer
Some factors that influence how long a septic tank lasts are totally out of our control, such as the weather. Although we as homeowners cannot extend the life expectancy of our septic systems, there are several things we can do to assist in doing so. Some of these items are as follows:
- Quality and Design: The location, soil condition, and installation of your septic tank, as well as the overall longevity of your septic system, all have a role in how long it will last. A site that is excessively damp or one that is prone to floods can clog your leach field. Surface water flow into your leach field, as well as poor soil conditions and a high water table, will all shorten the lifespan of your septic system. And even the most incompetent septic tank installation may have a detrimental impact on the longevity of your septic tank. Septic tank materials: As previously stated, concrete, plastic, and fiberglass tanks have a lifespan of 40 years or more. Steel tanks may corrode far more quickly than you would expect. Septic Tank Workload: The entire workload on the septic tank and leach field has a direct impact on the length of time a septic tank will function. Reducing the quantity of water used may extend the lifespan of the entire septic system as well as minimize the amount of maintenance required.resulting in significant cost savings. How Does Septic Tank Waste Dispose of Its Waste: In addition, limiting the use of chemicals and non-biodegradable materials while flushing your septic tank can help to decrease the amount of trash that builds up inside your septic tank. Septic Tank Pumping & Service: Routinely pump out the particles in your septic tank to prevent them from building up and clogging your system. Regular inspections during the pumping process can also help to extend the life of your septic tank since the specialists can spot problems early on when they are still in the beginning stages.
How Long Can A Septic System Sit Unused?
A septic system can be left unattended for up to 30 years without being used. Recall that it’s all of the material we put into a septic system that eventually fills it up or causes it to decay, so shortening its useful life. It is expected that a septic system will survive as long as the concrete tank and the plastic leach lines, which is typically 30 to 40 years if left unused and with no more materials added to it.
There are a variety of factors that influence how long a septic tank can operate. Despite the fact that my septic tank is 46 years old, it was just recently examined. And, according to the professionals, my old tank and system are still in good working order. However, I will continue to do all in my power to ensure that my septic tank and leach field endure as long as they can. If you’re thinking about buying a house with an older septic system, talk to your neighbors. Consult with your neighbors to find out how they’ve handled the situation.
The finest piece of advise I’ve received, and which I can pass on to you, is that if your septic tank is more than 20 years old, you should plan to get it changed as a matter of priority.
Septic tank maintenance will help to extend the life of the tank and leach field after it has been removed from the ground.
Should You Buy a House with an Old Septic Tank?
If you’re thinking about buying a property with a septic tank, you might be wondering how long a septic tank will last you. Having this information is essential since repairing a septic tank can cost thousands of dollars. You should know how long your septic tank will last, as well as the condition of the tank, before finalizing your house purchase. The lifespan of a septic tank is determined by a variety of factors, including soil conditions and upkeep. A plastic or fiberglass septic tank, on the other hand, will typically last 30 to 40 years on average.
How to Perform a Septic System Inspection I will argue that having a professional inspect your septic system is the best course of action.
Second, it’s a mediocre position.
However, there are several basic inspections you can perform on your own to determine whether or not there is a problem with your septic system.
- It is possible that you will be wondering how long a septic tank will endure before purchasing a home with one. This is critical since a septic tank replacement might cost thousands of dollars. You should know how long your septic tank will last, as well as the condition of the tank, before closing on your new house. There are several elements that influence how long a septic tank will endure, including soil conditions and upkeep. A plastic or fiberglass septic tank, on the other hand, will typically survive 30 to 40 years in the usual environment. A concrete septic tank has a lifespan of 40 to 50 years, but under the appropriate conditions, it may endure virtually forever. Performing a Septic System Inspection However, I will contend that having a professional inspect your septic system is the best course of action. Because they’re professionals, they may see something that a non-professional might miss. Second, it’s a dreadful job to be doing this. You should absolutely have a professional evaluate the septic system before purchasing a property with one in case you need to request repairs or negotiate prices with the Seller later on down the road. However, there are several basic inspections you can perform on your own to determine whether or not there is a problem with the septic system in your house. For more in-depth information, please see our post on the Seven Indicators You Should Never Ignore, but in short, these are the seven signs you should be looking out for:
What is the average cost of a septic inspection? As you might guess, the cost of septic tank inspections varies based on where you reside and who you choose to hire to perform the inspection. Generally speaking, though, it appears to cost between $100 and $250 for the examination. An extra fee, on the other hand, will almost likely be charged if the inspector is required to dig up the tank in order to reach it. Furthermore, if it becomes necessary to empty the tank, the expense will be significantly greater (but since they have already uncovered the tank and are already in it to inspect it, the additional cost to pump may be cheaper than if you were to call them back out at a later date to pump it.) If this is necessary as part of the purchase of a home, the Seller may be forced to conduct a tank pumping or inspection as part of the transaction.
Consult with your real estate agent to learn about the standards in your neighborhood.
What would the cost be if you discover that you require a new septic tank?
Every one of them comes out to around $1 per gallon. As a result, a 1,000-gallon septic tank would cost around $1,000, plus or minus a couple hundred dollars. This is a rough estimate for the cost of a tank alone. Any of these will result in an increase in cost.
- Removing and replacing the old septic tank
- Installing a new tank
- And making repairs to the leach field lines
The installation of the septic tank, on the other hand, represents the most significant cost difference. Septic tanks made of fiberglass or plastic weigh between 300 and 400 pounds, however concrete tanks can weigh as much as 8,000 pounds (or 4 tons!) and require the use of a crane and a vehicle capable of handling such weight in order to be properly installed. A new plastic septic tank may even be purchased from Home Depot or Lowes, which is convenient where we reside. In the event that you already have a truck or trailer to transport it, you will simply need to pay someone to put it in place.
- In contrast to a plastic tank, a concrete tank should provide you with a longer lifespan and fewer possible difficulties.
- The tank and installation cost him $2,000, which he paid in cash.
- The problem with estimating the lifetime and cost of a septic system’s components or the entire system is that everything is dependent on a variety of other factors, including what gets into the system, how well it is maintained, the soil conditions, and so on.
- Ideally, it should last for at least 20 years.
- What is the average cost of replacing a drain field?
- There are several aspects to consider.
- Grease, fats, and sludge materials may have discharged into the drain field pipes and blocked the pipes and drainage area below them.
It is also conceivable that the ‘hardware’ of the drain field is in good condition, but that the soil is the problem.
Occasionally, this occurs naturally; however, it can also occur as a result of driving or parking across the drain field region.
This is accomplished by the use of a metal probe that is inserted into the ground and forces air down into the earth.
This is also not a cheap cure, as you might imagine.
Although the tank is only one component of the system, it is likely that installation expenses as well as maintenance to other sections of the system, such as the drain field or the soil itself, will need to be considered.
Everything above is an excellent reason to have any septic system properly assessed by a professional before acquiring a home that uses a septic system to handle its waste water.
How Long Do Septic Systems Last?
The expense of installing a septic tank, on the other hand, is the most significant difference. Septic tanks made of fiberglass or plastic weigh between 300 and 400 pounds, however concrete tanks can weigh as much as 8,000 pounds (or 4 tons!) and require the use of a crane and a vehicle capable of handling such weight in order to be properly installed and removed. A new plastic septic tank may even be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes, which is convenient where we live! In the event that you already have a truck or trailer to transport it, you will simply need to pay someone to put it together.
- In contrast to a plastic tank, a concrete tank should provide you with a longer service life and fewer difficulties.
- The tank and installation cost him $2,000 in total.
- It’s important to remember that when it comes to septic system lifetime and cost predictions, everything is dependent on a variety of other aspects, like what enters into the system, how well it is maintained, how well the soil is prepared, and so on and so forth.
- A good rule of thumb is that it should endure at least 20 years.
- In what range does the cost of replacing a drain field fall?
- Several factors play a role here, as well.
- Grease, fats, and sludge materials may have discharged into the drain field pipes and clogged the pipes or drainage area below them.
It is also conceivable that the ‘hardware’ of the drain field is in good condition, but that the soil is the issue.
Occasionally, this occurs naturally; however, it can also occur as a result of driving or parking across the drain field.
This is accomplished by the use of a metal probe that is inserted into the ground and forces air into the earth.
Moreover, this is not a low-cost remedy.
Although the tank is only one component of the system, it is likely that installation expenses as well as maintenance to other sections of the system, such as the drain field or the soil itself, will need to be taken into consideration.
Everything above is an excellent reason to have any septic system properly assessed by a professional before acquiring a home that uses a septic system to handle its wastewater.
How Often it is Serviced
In order for your septic system to last as long as possible, it is critical to get it serviced regularly. This includes more than just sludge pumping. While it is recommended that you have your septic tank pumped at least once every three years (more frequently if you use a garbage disposal regularly), there is more to septic service than simply draining waste out of the tank. A reputable septic services company will not only pump your tank, but they will also check it to see whether or not any additional repairs are required in the meanwhile.
It is necessary to wipe this out in order for the system to continue to function properly and efficiently.
What Type of Tank You Have
Septic tanks may be constructed from a number of materials, each of which has a different expected lifespan. Steel tanks can endure anywhere from 20 to 30 years before deteriorating as a result of exposure to the elements. Plastic tanks have a somewhat longer lifespan than steel tanks, with an average lifespan of 30-40 years. Concrete tanks, which may last up to 40 years or more, are the most durable alternative available. When having a concrete tank placed, make sure that you pick a business that has experience working with them in previous situations.
Concrete tanks are popular because they survive practically eternally.
Which Material is Best?
All of this is dependent on the condition of the soil in your area. The presence of large amounts of acidic groundwater in your soil might cause a concrete septic tank to deteriorate. Depending on the business you pick, they will be able to assess the area surrounding you and provide recommendations on what type of tank you should have installed.
Just Remember to Have it Serviced!
No amount of emphasis can be placed on the need of septic servicing in extending the life of your septic tank! Today is the day to call AAA Wastewater to get your tank pumped, cleaned, and properly inspected!
How long does a septic system last?
What is the average lifespan of a septic system? A new septic system will typically last between 20 and 30 years in ordinary use. However, this is not a set in stone figure. The lifespan of a septic system is impacted by a number of different variables. For starters, long-lasting septic systems are those that were constructed appropriately and are kept in good condition. Below is a list of some of the most important elements that influence the lifespan of a septic system: The number of people in the house– it is generally assumed that a typical household uses at least 110 gallons of water per bedroom per day.
- Should an excessive amount of water be sent to the septic tank at frequent intervals, the wastewater may be driven out and into the drain field before the bacteria have completed their work of decomposing the organic waste or before the other particles have had time to settle.
- Some home items include chemical contaminants that are hazardous to the beneficial bacteria in the septic system, and these products should be avoided.
- General, the materials you use in your house will have a direct influence on the overall health and lifespan of your septic system, so choose wisely.
- For example, corrosive groundwater can erode a concrete septic tank, causing it to fail.
It is estimated that the typical lifespan of a septic system in Canada is between 20 and 30 years. However, depending on the soil conditions and how well the tank is maintained, it is feasible for the tanks to endure for up to 50 years or even longer.
How long does a septic system drain field last?
A well-built and regularly maintained drainfield should endure for at least 20 years before needing to be replaced or repaired. However, there are a number of elements that influence how long the septic drain field will function well. These are the ones: Because of the way the leachfield was placed, its lifetime will be determined by the specifics of the installation process. Some of the most significant variables to consider are the depth of the water table, the size of the leachfield, and the type of gravel that will be utilized.
Some discharge systems may overburden the drainfield with too much wastewater, resulting in a reduction in the percolation rate of the effluent.
Flooding, surface runoff, and groundwater levels are all critical soil characteristics to monitor during the growing season.
Pumping the tank every couple of years and adding biological additives on a regular basis are all part of regular maintenance.
Why do septic systems fail?
The septic tank is in charge of separating the solid organic waste from the liquid wastewater that enters it. Solid particles settle at the bottom of the tank, generating the sludge layer, while grease settles at the top, forming the scum layer. Solid particles settle at the bottom of the tank, forming the sludge layer. As effluent runs from the tank into the drain field, some sediments are washed away with the wastewater, causing the leach field to become clogged over time. Because the leach field is blocked, it cannot accept any more wastewater, resulting in backups, foul odors, and other signs of a failing septic system, among other things.
How to perform a septic inspection
Ultimately, if your system fails and pollutes the environment, the government will order you to entirely replace it. Thus, it is recommended that you verify your system on an ongoing basis to guarantee it is in correct operating order. But, more specifically, how does one go about performing a septic inspection? Starting with the following indicators of a failing system, you may determine whether or not your system is failing:
- Drains that are sluggish to drain
- Septic tank overflowing and flooding the house Yards with standing water and a foul odor
- When it rains and you have drainage issues, you should call a plumber. If you have to pump the tank regularly – more than once a year – you might consider renting a pumping station. If the grass around the septic tank looks to be growing more lushly
Using tracer dye tables to perform a septic inspection
Drains that take a long time to drain Backing up of sewage into the home; Yards with standing water and a foul odor. When it rains, and you have drainage issues, call 911 immediately. If you have to pump the tank on a regular basis (more than once a year), you might consider renting a pump. The grass around the septic tank looks to be growing more lushly.
Common septic tank problems and how to solve them
Drains that take a long time to drain; Backing up of sewage into the house; Yard areas that are wet and stinky; When it rains, you may experience drainage issues. If you have to pump the tank regularly – more than once a year – you might consider renting a tank. If the grass appears to be growing more lushly surrounding the septic tank;
Poor or no maintenance
Drains that fill up slowly; sewage backing up into the home; Yards with puddles and odors; When it rains, and you have drainage issues, you should call a plumber. If you have to pump the tank on a regular basis (more than once a year), If the grass around the septic tank appears to be growing more vigorously;
Poor design and installation
Problem: Different soil types, bedrocks, groundwater levels, and gradients exist in different parts of the world. It is possible that ignoring such considerations while constructing the septic system would result in the construction of a system that will bring the owner numerous troubles. Solution: In order to get the optimum results, the septic system must be built and constructed specifically for the needs of the property in question. Make sure to talk with a trained engineer and encourage them to do a site inspection in order to provide you with the information you want in order to select the most appropriate septic system design for your needs.
Problem: Driving over, paving over, or building over a septic tank can cause physical damage to some of the most crucial components of the septic tank. Solution: It is possible that the tank or the pipes will move or break, resulting in the malfunction or failure of the system. Solution: Avoid driving, construction, or any other physical activity that might put undue strain on the septic tank and the area surrounding it by not doing so.
Using harmful products
The problem is that the majority of septic system owners inadvertently utilize a large number of dangerous items. Products such as bleach, solvents, detergents, drain cleaners, and antibacterial soaps are created from chemicals that can significantly lower the amount of bacteria and enzymes in a septic tank’s water supply and waste. As a matter of fact, the average septic system contains more than a hundred detectable chemical substances. Solution: Avoid the use of materials that may cause damage to your septic system.
Flushing non-biodegradable items
Besides human waste, tissue paper is the only other item that can be flushed down the toilet without being harmed by bacteria. Contrary to popular belief, individuals flush anything from condoms to floss to hair to expired medications and face tissue down their toilets. Using these things can cause the tank to fill up more quickly than it should, and some of them can even jam up the pipes. Solution: Other than human waste and tissue paper, do not flush anything else down the toilet.
Because trees and shrubs are quite invasive, they will push themselves into the pipes, which will result in a congested system. Additionally, the roots can rupture pipelines and damage septic tanks, resulting in leaks as a result of their continued growth. Solution: As a general rule, avoid growing trees and plants in close proximity to a sewage treatment facility.
Can you repair a failed septic system?
A clogged septic system is not only a nuisance, but it may also pose a threat to public health.
This is why any issue that arises with the septic system should be addressed as soon as possible. A biological issue or a mechanical failure are the most common reasons for septic system failure.
Repairing biological problems
When a system fails due to biological reasons, shock therapy is generally sufficient to restore functionality. The vast majority of septic system owners are unaware that they are using items that significantly lower the number of bacteria in their septic tanks. As a direct result, organic waste is not digested at a rate that is sufficient for it. In order for the septic tank to handle the new wastewater from the home, some of the wastewater already in the tank will have to be discharged into the drain field.
Biological additives bring billions of bacteria and enzymes into your septic system, allowing it to continue to break down organic waste at its optimum level for a longer period of time.
In more than 80 percent of these situations, the septic systems were restored and were able to function at peak performance once again.
The benefits of this product are available to you as well.
Repairing mechanical problems
Mechanical failures are quite rare, but there is always an exception to the rule. Biological solutions should be used first when a septic system fails, as they are more effective than chemicals. More often than not, the biological remedy will be effective, allowing you to save thousands of dollars in the process. It is still possible to have mechanical difficulties despite all of this. For example, a concrete tank may fracture as a result of faulty design, the operation of automobiles and other heavy machinery above the septic tank, and even corrosion caused by gases such as hydrogen sulfide, which are produced as a by-product of anaerobic bacteria activity.
- Cracks in concrete septic tanks can be repaired in two ways: mechanically and chemically.
- Cracks in lids are rather simple to repair — a concrete filler is poured, and the crack should be filled in no time.
- Septic tank cracks need to be corrected in certain cases, however not all cracks in septic tanks need to be repaired.
- Concrete septic tanks are constructed with solid walls, which ensures that even little fractures will not do any damage.
- Initially, the tank will be drained and then allowed to dry before any repairs can be carried out, as is the case in this example.
- When the tank cracks are repaired, the contractor will use cement and crack filler to complete the job.
Keep in mind that accessing a septic tank is extremely dangerous, so do not attempt to fix it on your own. Possibly after the tank is completely depleted, it will continue to produce dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to your health and even cause death.
DIY drainfield / septic tank replacement
When faced with a problem with their septic system, some septic system owners choose to tackle the job themselves by building a DIY drainfield. Typically, this comprises emptying the wastewater and then excavating a bed of rocks as a means of fixing a failing drain field after it has been discovered. Performing this or any other type of DIY drainfield repair and replacement is not only risky, but it is also against the law. Septic system inspections are required by law, and if you fail to get them performed on a regular basis, an inspector will ultimately catch up with you, perhaps resulting in a substantial punishment.
- However, it is not recommended that you attempt to change the tank yourself because it is quite risky.
- If your septic system has deteriorated to the point that it is polluting the environment, it will be necessary not only to replace the tank, but also to completely overhaul the entire septic system, which will cost you more money.
- In truth, Canadian environmental legislation does not permit the installation or repair of a septic system by just anybody.
- Replacement of the septic system is a major task that may cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 in labor and materials.
How to prolong your septic system life
Your septic system will last for many years if you give it the right attention and upkeep. The majority of septic system owners cause their systems to fail simply by using goods that are harmful to their systems. The average septic tank contains more than 100 identifiable contaminants, the majority of which are derived from home items. The bacteria population in the septic tank is greatly reduced as a result of these contaminants. Due to a reduction in the amount of bacteria in the environment, organic waste will not be broken down properly, which can result in blockages in the drain field, ultimately resulting in the collapse of the entire system.
Download this free eBook, which contains a complete list of all the goods that may be causing damage to your septic system.