How often should you get your septic tank checked?
- Septic tanks should be checked for buildup every 1 to 3 years until you can get on a predictable pumping schedule. Most septic tanks need pumping every 3 to 5 years. How often depends on the size of the tank, the number of people in the household, and the amount and type of solids entering the tank.
How do you check for septic tank problems?
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.
How do you know if your septic tank needs cleaning?
Common Signs You Need Septic Tank Pumping Services
- Slow or Frequently Clogged Drains. Since your septic tank is connected to the entire network of drains throughout your home, your sinks, showers, and even toilets can exhibit signs of a problem.
- Sewage Backup.
- Regular Gurgling Noises.
- Strong and Pungent Odors.
Can I clean my septic tank myself?
Can You Clean a Septic Tank Yourself? Technically, you can clean a septic tank yourself. If done incorrectly, you can damage your tank, improperly dispose of waste, or fail to remove all of the waste from the tank. You should hire a professional to clean your septic tank for many reasons.
How do I check my drain field?
Walk over the drain field and make a note of any place you detect sewer odors or feel squishy ground. Both are signs of a leak and reasons to call a septic pro. You should see one or more pipes sticking vertically out of the ground; these are risers that were installed so you can check the drain system.
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.
Can I shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
What happens if you don’t pump your septic tank?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
How do I unclog my septic tank?
Sprinkle the drain with baking soda, then dump vinegar into the pipe. Leave the mixture to sit in the pipe for an hour or two. Finally, flush the drain with hot water. If the clog is small, this could be enough to clear the pipe.
How can I increase bacteria in my septic tank naturally?
Homemade Septic Tank Treatment The ingredients required for this natural solution are the following: Water, Sugar, Cornmeal, and Dry Yeast. To concoct this mixture, first start by boiling roughly a half gallon of water. Add in 2 cups of sugar. The sugar will act as the first food your bacteria will eat!
How do I know if my drain field is bad?
Warning Signs Your Leach Field Could Be Failing:
- Drains are slow or producing bad smells.
- Toilets are not flushing properly.
- Patches of greener or denser grass or shrubs develop in yard.
- Soggy soil pooling above the leach field.
- Foul smell in septic field area.
How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?
To measure the sludge layer:
- Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
- As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.
How do you unclog a drain field?
Can Anything Unclog an Old Septic Drain Field?
- Shock the System With Bacteria. A septic system bacteria packet can help clean out a clogged drain field by allowing waste material to break down and drain through.
- Reduce Water Usage.
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals.
- Change to Gentler Toilet Paper and Soap.
- Contact a Septic Professional.
How To Find My Septic Tank
- What is a septic tank
- How do I know if I have a septic tank
- And how do I know if I have a septic tank Identifying the location of your septic tank is critical for several reasons. The Best Way to Find a Septic Tank
- What to Do Once You’ve Discovered Your Septic Tank
You may have fallen in love with your new house because of its appealing good looks and characteristics, but there is almost certainly more to your new home than meets the eye. In many cases, the characteristics that make your house run more effectively and allow you to live a pleasant, contemporary life are not readily apparent. Septic tanks, for example, are an important part of your home’s infrastructure. A septic system is responsible for regulating and managing the wastewater generated by your home.
“How can I locate my septic tank?” is one of the most often requested inquiries we receive.
When your tank’s lid is difficult to locate – especially if you are not the original homeowner – you may be at a loss for what to do or where to look for the lid when you need it.
The majority of the time, all of the components of the septic tank are buried between four inches and four feet below ground level.
In order to do so, it is necessary to first comprehend the functions of septic tanks and septic systems and why it is important to know where yours is located.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
Your septic tank’s location is not a closely guarded secret. There will be a method for you to locate it and make a note of its position for future reference, and below are a few examples of such methods.
What Is a Septic Tank?
Having a functioning septic tank is an important aspect of having an effective septic system. In the United States, around 20% of households utilize a septic system to handle their wastewater. Houses in rural parts of New England are the most likely to have a septic system, with residences in the Eastern United States being the most prevalent location for septic systems. When there are few and far between residences, it is typically more efficient and cost-effective to employ a septic system to manage wastewater rather than relying on a public sewage system to handle waste water.
Typically, a septic tank is a container that is waterproof and composed of a material such as concrete, polyethylene, fiberglass, or a combination of these.
An important function of a septic tank is to hold on to wastewater until any particulates in the water separate themselves from the water.
Any liquid that remains in the tank eventually drains into a leach field or a drainfield, where it is known as “effluent.” The dirt in the leach field aids in the filtering of the water and the removal of bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants that may be present in it.
Septic tanks erected in Onondaga County must contain input and outlet baffles, as well as an effluent filter or sanitary tees, in order to effectively separate particles from liquids during the treatment process.
How Do I Know If I Have a Septic Tank?
What is the best way to tell if your home has a septic tank? There are generally a few of different methods to tell. Examining your water bill might help you identify whether or not your house is served by a septic system or is part of the public sewage system in your neighborhood. If you have a septic system for wastewater management, you are likely to receive a charge from the utility provider for wastewater or sewer services of zero dollars. In the case of those who are fortunate enough to have a septic system, it is likely that they may not receive any water bills at all.
- A lack of a meter on the water line that enters your property is typically indicative of the fact that you are utilizing well water rather than public utility water, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- A septic system is likely to be installed in your home if you reside in a rather rural location.
- Septic systems are likely to be installed in all of these buildings, which means your home is likely to be as well.
- When a septic tank is present, it is common to find a mound or tiny hill on the property that is not a natural structure.
- Checking your property records is a foolproof method of determining whether or not your home is equipped with a septic system.
Why It’s Important to Know the Location of Your Septic Tank
You might wonder why you should bother trying to discover out where your septic tank is. There are several important reasons for this:
1. To Be Able to Care for It Properly
The first reason you should try to locate your septic tank is that knowing where it is will help you to properly repair and care for it in the future. The standard guideline is to avoid erecting structures or placing heavy objects on top of the septic tank. It’s possible that you don’t want to park your car or truck on top of it, and you don’t want visitors to your house to park their cars on top of it, either. Due to the weight of the automobiles, there is a possibility that the tank would collapse due to excessive pressure.
2. If You Want to Landscape or Remodel Your Property
If you want to build an addition to your home or perform some landscaping around your property, you will need to know where your septic tank is located. Nothing with deep or lengthy roots should be planted on top of or in the area of your tank, since this can cause problems. If roots are allowed to grow into the pipes of your septic system, it is conceivable that your system will get clogged. When you know where the tank is going to be, you may arrange your landscaping such that only shallow-rooted plants, such as grass, are in close proximity to the tank.
For starters, the tank’s weight might lead it to collapse due to the weight of the construction. A second issue is that getting access to the tank becomes more difficult if a permanent building has been constructed on top of it.
3. If a Problem With Your Tank Occurs
Knowing where your tank is buried might also assist you in identifying problems as soon as they arise. Consider the following scenario: you wake up one morning and see that there is flooding or ponding water in the region surrounding your septic tank – a sign that your system is overwhelmed and that an excessive amount of water is being utilized all at once.
4. Ease of Getting It Fixed
Knowing where your tank is buried might also assist you in identifying problems as soon as they arise. Consider the following scenario: you wake up one morning and see that there is flooding or ponding water in the region surrounding your septic tank – a sign that your system is overwhelmed and that an excessive amount of water is being used all at once.
1. Use a Septic Tank Map
First and foremost, make use of a road map. Using a map is frequently the quickest and most convenient alternative. Most counties keep records of the installation of septic tanks at all of their residents’ residences. These maps should include schematics that illustrate the specific placement of the tank on the land, as well as measurements that allow you to measure and locate the tank’s exact location on the property. Never mind that landmarks may shift over time depending on when the tank was built, so if there are a few more shrubs or a tree nearby, don’t rule out that location as a possibility.
- If you are unable to locate a map or other documentation that identifies the location of your septic tank, there are a few places to check to see if you can obtain a map of the area.
- The county health department is responsible for keeping track of septic systems.
- A septic tank’s position could be depicted on a survey map, for example.
- The creation of your own map and documentation may be worthwhile if you cannot locate a map or blueprint of your property and nothing appears to be on file regarding it at the county health department or another municipal agency.
2. Follow the Pipes to Find Your Septic Tank
Whether or not there is an existing map of your septic tank on file, or whether or not you choose to develop one for future reference or for future homeowners, you will still need to track down and find the tank. One method of accomplishing this is to follow the sewer lines that lead away from your residence. The septic tank is situated along the sewage line that goes from your home and into the yard, as we’re sure you’re aware. Find a four-inch sewer pipe in your basement or crawl space. This is the line that will lead to your septic system and should be accessible from the ground level.
- In general, though, you’re searching for a pipe with a diameter of four inches or more that leaves your home via a basement wall or ceiling.
- By inserting a thin metal probe (also known as a soil probe) into the earth near the sewage line, you can track the pipe’s location.
- The majority of septic tanks are located between 10 and 25 feet away from your home, and they cannot be any closer than five feet.
- Going via the sewage line itself is another method of locating the septic tank utilizing it.
- Drain snakes are typically used to unclog clogs in toilets and drains, and they may be used to do the same thing.
- When the snake comes to a complete halt, it has almost certainly reached the tank.
- While drawing the snake back, make a note of how far it has been extended and whether it has made any bends or turns.
- When looking for your septic tank, you may use a transmitter that you flush down the toilet and it will direct you straight to the tank.
If you only want to keep an eye on the condition of your tank and don’t need to dig it up and inspect it, you may thread a pipe camera into the sewer pipe to see what’s happening.
3. Inspect Your Yard
Septic tanks are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when they are erected. With the passage of time, and the growth of the grass, it might be difficult to discern the visual indications that indicated the exact location of your septic tank’s installation. However, this does not rule out the possibility of finding evidence that will take you to the location of your septic tank in the future. First and foremost, you want to rule out any potential locations for your septic tank, such as:
- Tanks are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when they are erected. With the passage of time, and the growth of the grass, it might be difficult to discern the visual indications that indicated the exact location of your septic tank’s placement. There will still be hints to guide you to the position of your septic tank, though, so don’t rule out looking for them. You should start by eliminating potential locations for your septic tank, such as the following:
Septic tanks are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when they are erected. After some time has gone and the grass has grown, it might be difficult to discern the visual indications that indicated where your septic tank was constructed. However, this does not rule out the possibility of finding evidence that will take you to the location of your septic tank. First and foremost, you want to rule out any potential locations for your septic tank, such as the following:
4. Talk to Your Neighbors
If your neighbors have septic systems as well, they may be able to assist you in locating your tank. Inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tanks in relation to their residences. Having a polite conversation with your neighbors regarding septic systems not only provides you with a means to figure out where yours is, but it may also serve as a friendly introduction to the other residents of your community.
5. Look for Your Septic Tank Lid
It is only the first step in the process to discover where your septic tank is located. After you’ve located your tank, the following step is to locate the lid. You can locate it with the help of your soil probe. The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around five feet by eight feet. The perimeter of the tank should be marked with a probe once it has been probed around. A shallow excavation with a shovel within the tank’s perimeter and near the center (or broken into halves for a two compartment tank) should show the position of the lid or lids if you are unable to feel them by probing.
The tank itself is likely to be filled with foul-smelling vapors, if not potentially hazardous ones.
What to Do After You Find Your Septic Tank
Once you’ve determined where your tank is, it’s time to bring in the specialists. Trust us when we say that opening a septic tank is not something that just anybody wants to undertake. Concrete septic tank lids are extremely heavy and must be lifted using special lifting gear in order to be removed. Since the vapors are potentially dangerous due to the contents of the tank, please respect our advice and refrain from attempting to open the tank yourself. An exposed septic tank can be hazardous to anybody wandering around your property’s perimeter, and if someone were to fall into it, it might be lethal owing to the toxicity of the sewage in the tank.
However, before you send in a team of experienced plumbers, there are a few things you can do to ensure that others do not experience the same difficulty locating the tank and to make locating the tank in the future easier.
1. Mark Its Location
The likelihood is that you will not want to post a large sign in your yard that reads “Septic Tank Here!” but you will want to leave some sort of marking so that you can quickly locate the tank and lid when you need them. In an ideal situation, the marker will be substantial enough that it will not blow away in the wind and will not be readily moved by children who are playing in the yard. A patio paver, a potted plant, or a decorative gnome or rock are just a few of the possibilities. In addition to putting a physical sign beside the septic tank, you may draw a map or layout of the area around it to illustrate its position.
2. Take Care of Your Septic Tank
Taking proper care of your tank may save you hundreds of dollars over the course of its lifetime. The expense of maintaining your system could be a few hundred dollars every few years, but that’s a lot less than the thousands of dollars it might cost to repair or replace a damaged tank or a malfunctioning septic system. Two strategies to take better care of your septic tank and system are to avoid utilizing your drain pipes or toilets as garbage cans and to use less water overall. Things like paper towels, face wipes, and cat litter should not be flushed down the toilet since they are not designed to be flushed.
In addition, installing low-flow faucets and high-efficiency toilets can help you reduce the amount of water used in your home.
For example, you don’t want to be washing load after load of laundry or running your clothes washer at the same time as your dishwasher all at the same time.
Call a Professional Plumber
Maintenance of a septic system is not normally considered a do-it-yourself activity. In the Greater Syracuse region, whether your septic tank requires pumping out or cleaning, or if you want to replace your tank, you should use the services of a reputable plumbing firm to do the job right. If you’ve attempted to locate your septic tank on your own and are still unsure of its position, it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of a professional local plumber. Our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse can assist you with locating, maintaining, or replacing your home’s sewage tank.
Request an Estimate for the Job
Inspecting Your Septic Tank
Version that can be printed Septic tanks are mostly comprised of settling chambers. They provide enough time for particles and scum to separate from wastewater so that clean liquid may be properly discharged to a drainfield without contamination. Increasing the thickness of thescum and sludge layers over time results in less space and time for wastewater to settle before it is discharged to the drainfield. In the tank, one gallon of water is pumped out into the drainfield for every gallon that enters.
Septic tanks should be inspected for accumulation every one to three years until you can establish a regular pumping plan for your system.
The frequency with which particles are removed from the tank is determined by the size of the tank, the number of persons in the household, and the amount and kind of solids entering the tank.
The “stick test” process will walk you through the steps of assessing the quantity of scum and sludge in the tank, establishing the tank’s functional capacity, and determining whether or not the tank requires pumping.
A more thorough check will look at the condition of the baffles as well as the pipe seals leading into and out of the storage tank (seeStep 4).
What You Need to Do the Stick Test
- Version in PDF format A settling chamber is the most important part of a septic tank. Sediments and scum are separated from wastewater during this period, allowing clear liquid to pass through to the drainfield without being contaminated by solids. Increasing the thickness of thescum and sludge layers over time results in less space and time for wastewater to settle before it is discharged into the drainfield. In the tank, one gallon of water is pumped out into the drainfield for every gallon that comes in. In order to avoid scum and sludge accumulation at the inlet or outflow baffles, where it may clog them or be taken out to the drainfield, it is critical to limit the level of scum and sludge from building up and approaching them. Once a year to three years, examine your septic tank for accumulation of waste until you can establish a regular pumping plan. Every 3 to 5 years, most septic tanks require pumping. Depending on the size of your tank, how many people live in your house, and what kind of solids you have entering your tank, you may need to empty it more frequently. Septic tank inspection can be done by a professional or by the homeowner. The “stick test” process will walk you through the steps of assessing the quantity of scum and sludge in the tank, establishing the tank’s functional capacity, and determining whether or not the tank requires a pump. The condition of the baffles and the pipe seals into and out of the tank are examined as part of a more comprehensive examination (seeStep 4).
The slime stick to the right measures 6 feet in length and has a 6-inch leg. The sludge stick is made up of two 5-foot portions that have been fastened together. Scum and sludge sticks can be any length up to 10 feet in length. (NOTE: To learn how to make the scum and sludge sticks, check Step 2 – Measuring the Scum Level andStep 3 – Measuring the Sludge Level in the following sections: Continue to Step 1 – Locate the Tanks. Additionally, see: Step 2 – Determining the Scum Concentration Step 3 – Determining the Sludge Concentration Check the baffles in step four.
How To Find Septic Tank Location: A Guide for Property Owners
It is 6 feet long and has a 6-inch leg, as shown at right. There are two 5-foot portions that are fastened together to make the sludge stick overall length. NOTICE: Scum and Sludge sticks can be any length up to a maximum of ten feet in length. Follow the steps in Step 2 – Measuring the Scum Level and Step 3 – Measuring the Sludge Level to create the scum and sludge sticks. Continue to Step 1 – Locate and Disclose the Storage Tanks. See also: Taking the Scum Level is Step 2 of the Process. Measurement of the Sludge Concentration in Step 3 Measure and inspect the baffles.
Follow the Main Sewer Line
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your property. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about down there. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or building. Keep a note of the position of the sewer pipe and the point at which the line exits your home so that you can locate it outdoors.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your home.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may have to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
Inspect Your Property
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your yard. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about in it. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or business. Recall where your sewer pipe is located, as well as where it exits your home, in order to locate it while you are out in the field.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your house.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may need to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
- Paved surfaces
- Unique landscaping
- Your water well, if you have one
- And other features.
If you are still having trouble locating your septic system, you might inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tank on their land. Finding out how far away their septic systems are will help you figure out where yours might be hidden in your yard or garden.
Check the Property Records
Are you unsure about how to obtain this? Simply contact your county’s health department for further information. Check with your local health agency to see if they have a property survey map and a septic tank map that you can borrow. Perhaps you will be shocked to learn that there are a variety of options to obtain information about your property without ever leaving the comfort of your own residence. Building permits, for example, are frequently found in county records, and they may provide schematics with specifications on how far away from a septic tank a home should be, as well as other important information such as the size of the tank.
Most counties, on the other hand, keep records of septic tank installations for every address.
Don’t Try to Fix Septic Tank Issues Yourself
Septic tank problems should be left to the specialists. The Original Plumber can do routine maintenance on your septic tank and examine any problems you may have once you’ve located the tank. It is not recommended to open the septic tank lid since poisonous vapors might cause major health problems. Getting trapped in an open septic tank might result in serious injury or death. While it is beneficial to know where your septic tank is located, it is also beneficial to be aware of the potential health dangers associated with opening the tank.
Schedule Septic Tank Maintenance
The maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis helps to avoid sewer backups and costly repairs to your sewer system. You should plan to have your septic tank pumped out every three to five years, depending on the size of your tank and the number of people that reside in your home. The Original Plumber offers skilled septic tank and drain field maintenance and repair services at competitive prices. While it is useful to know where the septic tank is located, it is not required. Our team of skilled plumbers is equipped with all of the tools and equipment necessary to locate your tank, even if you have a vast property.
We are open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system is a system for the management of wastewater. Simply said, wastewater will exit your home through pipes until it reaches your septic tank, which is located outside your home.
Septic tanks are normally located beneath the surface of the earth. Solids and liquids will separate in the septic tank as a result of the separation process. Eventually, the solids will fall to the bottom of the tank and the liquids will run out onto your leach field.
How do I know if I have a septic tank?
Even if there are no obvious signs of a septic tank in your yard – such as uneven landscaping – there are a few techniques to assess whether or not your home is equipped with an onsite sewage system. Checking your property records is the most reliable technique to ensure that you are utilizing the correct system. When you acquired your house, you should have received a copy of the septic system map with the property documents as well. Checking your electricity statement is another way to determine this.
If you’re also using well water, it’s possible that you won’t receive one at all.
What do I do once I locate my septic tank?
Once you’ve discovered where your septic tank is, there are a few things you should do. It is critical to clearly mark the position of your septic tank. With our inspection, pumping, and repair services, you can save time whether you need a sewer line cleanout or a septic tank maintenance job completed quickly. Make a note of the location of your tank so that you can find it again if necessary. It should be heavy enough so that it does not fly away in windy conditions. A creative approach to accomplish this without having an unattractive flag or marking in your yard is to use garden décor or a potted plant.
This way, you’ll have it for future reference and will be able to quickly locate the exact position if necessary.
Then contact The Original Plumber to have your septic system maintained on a regular basis.
All of the heavy lifting has been delegated to our team of professionals.
Understand the Septic Inspection Process
There are certain distinctions in care, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or considering about purchasing or building a home without sewer hookups. This document outlines three ways in which your budget will be affected if your wastewater is treated using a septic system. 1. You will not be required to budget for municipal sewer service. Because the municipal wastewater system normally processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is sometimes determined by how much water you purchase from the city.
- A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that department as well.
- It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
- Although you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your septic system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly.
- It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, so you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair bills.
- You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
- Spreading the expenditures out over several months is the most effective budgeting strategy, even for an expense such as tank pumping that does not occur every year, because it allows you to better estimate the costs ahead of time.
- You may need to set aside money for septic tank replacement.
The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably recent septic system and plan to sell your home within a few years.
If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much a new system would cost you as soon as possible.
For example, if the previous owners did not do routine maintenance or if the system was installed on clay soil, the system may need to be replaced.
It is a prudent decision to begin putting money aside in anticipation of this eventuality.
When you have a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently.
Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to complete an annual examination of your septic system. Our experts at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. would be happy to assist you with any septic system assessment, maintenance, or repair needs.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
It may seem impossible to imagine that one of the largest and most visible elements of your whole plumbing system is also one of the most difficult to locate, but when your property is served by a septic system, this is perfectly true. A strong explanation for this is because septic tanks are huge, unattractive, stink horrible and give off an unwarranted impression of dirt. Not only does burying them underground assist to prevent them from harm, but it also provides you with additional useable space on your property and conceals what would otherwise be a blight on your landscape.
This site is dedicated to assisting you in locating your septic system without the need for any time-consuming digging.
How To Find A Septic Tank: Step By Step
The fact that one of the largest and most visible elements of your whole plumbing system is simultaneously one of the most difficult to locate may seem impossible to believe, but when your property is served by a septic system, this is exactly true! There’s a solid reason for this: septic tanks are huge, unattractive, smell unpleasant, and give off an unwarranted impression of dirt. Not only does burying them underground assist to prevent them from harm, but it also provides you with additional useable area on your property and hides what would otherwise be a blight on your neighborhood.
You may identify your septic system using this blog, which eliminates the need for any time-consuming, labor-intensive digging.
1. Gather Some Helpful Tools
Septic tank location may be made much easier with the use of several simple instruments and techniques. To locate your septic tank, you only need to know the following information: A soil probe is one of the most useful instruments for locating a septic tank. It is a tiny piece of metal that is used to puncture through the earth and detect anything that could be buried underneath. Start at the point where your sewage line exits your home and work your way straight out, inserting your soil probe every two feet along the way.
Using this method, you may also locate the cover for your septic tank.
While we highly advise keeping your cover clean and exposed in the event that you require emergency septic service, we recognize that this is not always the case.
2. Use a Septic Tank Map
If you are a new homeowner who is trying to figure out where your septic tank is, a septic tank map should be included in your inspection documentation.
You can use this information to assist you in pinpointing the exact position of your storage tank. If you don’t have access to this map, there are a few of additional strategies you might employ.
3. Start Ruling Areas Out
The location of a septic tank cannot be constructed in specific areas due to the risk of causing major damage to your property or tank, as specified by local rules. Your septic tank will not be affected by the following:
- Immediately adjacent to your well
- Beneath your home
- Directly against your home
- For example, underneath your driveway
- Under trees
- And other locations. Structures like a patio or deck are good examples of this.
4. Inspect Your Property
If you take a hard look around your land, there’s a high possibility you’ll be able to locate your septic tank without having to do any probing whatsoever. In many circumstances, a septic tank may be identified by a slight dip or slope on your land that cannot be explained by any other means. Due to the fact that the hole that your contractors excavated for your septic tank may not have been exactly the proper size, they proceeded to install the tank anyhow. This is a rather regular occurrence.
When there is a minor divot or depression, it indicates that the hole was too large and that your contractors simply did not fill the depression to level the hole.
The likelihood of your septic tank being discovered in a few specific locations is quite high.
- Your water well, if you have one (for a variety of reasons that are rather clear)
- Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a patio, sidewalk, or driveway unless they were added after the home was built and no one performed a proper inspection before it was built)
- Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a driveway, sidewalk, or patio unless they were added after the home was built and no one conducted a proper inspection before it was built)
- Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a patio, sidewalk, or driveway unless they were added after the home was built If there is any particular landscaping
5. Inspect Your Yard
A comprehensive investigation of your yard may be necessary to discover your septic tank considerably more quickly in some cases. The following are important items to check for in your yard:
- It is possible that a comprehensive survey of your yard can assist you in finding your septic tank much more quickly. In your yard, search for the following important things:
The metal soil probe can let you find out for certain whether or not your septic tank is located in a certain area of your yard or not. As soon as your metal soil probe makes contact with the tank, you may use your shovel to dig out the grass surrounding it and discover the septic tank lid.
6. Follow Your Sewer Main/Sewer Pipes
Following your sewage lines is one of the most straightforward methods of locating your septic tank. These pipes have a diameter of roughly 4 inches and are commonly found in the basement or crawlspace of your house. They are not dangerous. Following the pipes from your house out into your yard, using your metal soil probe every 2 feet or so until you reach the tank, is a simple process once they are located. Aside from that, every drain in your home is connected to your sewage main, which in turn is connected to your septic tank.
The likelihood that one of your major sewer lines is located in your basement or crawlspace is high if you have exposed plumbing lines in your basement or crawlspace.
If the line is labeled, it is usually made of plastic or rubber. It is important to determine where this line exits your property and in which direction it is moving, as it often travels straight out to the septic tank itself.
7. Check Your Property Records
Following the path of your sewage lines is one of the most straightforward methods of locating your septic tank. These pipes have a diameter of roughly 4 inches and are typically found in the basement or crawlspace of your home. They are not dangerous. Following the pipes from your house out into your yard, using your metal soil probe every 2 feet or so until you reach the tank, is a simple process once they are discovered. Apart from that, your home’s drainage system includes a septic tank, which is connected to your sewer main through a pipe.
If you have exposed plumbing lines in your basement or crawlspace, there’s a good possibility that one of them is your main sewer line, which may be dangerous.
If the line is identified, it is usually made of plastic.
What to Do Once You Find Your Septic Tank
One of the most straightforward methods of locating your septic tank is to follow your sewage pipes. These pipes have a diameter of roughly 4 inches and are commonly found in the basement or crawlspace of your home. Following the pipe out of your house, you may use your metal soil probe every 2 feet or so to track it through your yard until you reach the tank. Additionally, every drain in your home is connected to your sewer main, which is connected to your septic tank. As a result, following the sewage main will take you right to your septic tank.
Many times, this line will be identified, but if it isn’t, it is normally a metal line with a diameter of around four inches or less.
How to Inspect Your Septic Tank – Septic Maxx
If you give your septic system the attention and care it deserves, it will survive a long time. It will endure for many years if you pump as regularly as you need to for the size of your tank, utilize it properly, and do not let anything that shouldn’t be in it to enter. Steel septic tanks corrode with time, generally after 15-20 years of service in most climates. Concrete septic tanks have a lifespan ranging from 40 years to nearly indefinitely. If you want to see your septic system live to a ripe old age and not have to worry about replacing it, it is in your best interests to do periodic septic maintenance.
Maintaining and caring for your septic system will ensure that it lasts as long as possible. It will survive for many years if you pump as regularly as you need to for the size of your tank, operate it properly, and do not let anything that shouldn’t be in it to get into it. Rust inevitably occurs in steel septic tanks, generally after 15-20 years of use. Solid-state septic tanks have a lifespan ranging from 40 years to nearly infinity.
If you want to see your septic system live to a ripe old age and not have to worry about replacing it, it’s in your best interests to keep it in good shape. You should start with a routine septic tank examination, which is a simple activity that anybody can do.
Inspect the Area Around Your Septic Tank
Checking the ground around your septic tank is a good idea before opening the lid and pumping out the sewage. Check to see if there is any accumulation of effluent around the tank, and look over the septic tank lid to check whether it is in good shape.
Remove the Manhole Cover
Many septic systems these days are equipped with ” risers,” which make this task much easier by elevating the lids above earth. If you are unable to locate the lid of your septic tank, locate the tank and dig it up. There should be two lids, one for each compartment, in the box. In the majority of situations, the hole on the left corresponds to the first compartment, while the hole on the right corresponds to the second. In the first one, you simply need to take measurements, and that’s all.
Measure the Scum’s Thickness (SC)
To determine how thick the scum layer is in your tank, you’ll need to go for your trusty scum measuring stick, of course. Measure the distance between the stick and the opening of the septic tank, and then lower the stick until it lies on top of the scum layer and indicate the location of this intersection. As a further step, descend down through the whole scum layer with the elbow end leading directly into the scum layer. Rotate the stick 90 degrees and raise the stick as high as you can until you feel the bottom of the scum layer.
Take the distance between the two markers and multiply it by two.
Measure the Sludge’s Thickness (SL)
Make a hole in the scum layer with your handy sludge measuring stick and carefully lower the stick through it after tying two feet of a white cloth to the stick. Mark the point on the stick where it comes into contact with the aperture of the manhole or riser. After that, drop it to the very bottom of the tank and keep it there for 5 minutes to allow the sludge to adhere to the cloth towel. Measure the distance between the tanks or the operating depth of the tank. Remove the stick and use the rag to measure the height of the black stain that should be visible on it.
Following the completion of these measures, you will be able to calculate when it is necessary to pump your septic tank.
- SC plus SL equals inches
- WD inches divided by 3 equals inches
- If the sum of A and B equals the sum of A and B, pump your tank.
It is recommended that you engage a professional to examine your tank in order to get an accurate reading; but, if you are comfortable doing it yourself, you may save money by using this approach. Besides saving you money, Septic Maxx may also save you money by reducing the amount of accumulation in your tank and so extending the intervals between pumping.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order.
Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract. The frequency with which a septic tank is pumped is influenced by four key factors:
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
When dealing with a clogged drain, stay away from chemical drain openers if possible. To prevent clogging, use hot water or a drain snake; Don’t ever flush cooking oil or grease down the toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge amounts of harmful cleansers down the toilet. We should strive to reduce even latex paint waste. Disposal of rubbish should be eliminated or limited to a minimum.
In turn, this will dramatically limit the quantity of fats, grease, and sediments that enter your septic tank and eventually block its drainfield; and
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
How to Find Your Septic Tank
Many folks have contacted me through e-mail (typically from across the nation) to inquire about the location of their septic tank. “I have no idea,” I generally say as a helpful response to the question. I really want to add something like, “It’s just off your driveway, near that bushy thing,” or anything along those lines. But, truly, even for the most experienced searchers, septic tanks are difficult to come by. The following are some strategies you might employ to assist you in locating your tank.
- Precaution should be exercised before you get started.
- So, proceed with caution!
- Please let me know if you have any queries or need assistance.
- Get to know the beast!
- tanks are normally buried 4 inches to 4 feet below the surface of the ground.
- You might be astonished to hear that someone knows exactly where it is hidden in plain sight.
- It is against the law to dig or probe in your own yard without first locating and marking the underground services.
You will receive the following tools to aid you in your search: Measurement tape, tile probe, and a shovel (if you are ambitious) The following tools are required: a metal detector (borrow or rent one since septic tanks often include iron steel rebar in the lids), and a hoagie sandwich (because locating sewage tanks makes you hungry.trust me on this).
- Examine the basement wall to see where all of the pipes join together and exit through the basement ceiling.
- If you don’t have a basement, walk outdoors and check for the roof vents on your house.
- Ordinarily, the sewage line that leads to the septic tank will exit the home right below this ventilation opening.
- On sometimes, the ancient proverb “The grass is always greener on the other side of the septic tank” is true.
Your tank may be located by probing or digging for it, and with luck, you will locate it. Keep in mind that not everything that seems to be a septic tank actually is! It’s possible that you came upon one of the following instead:
- Rubble buried in the ground (not to be confused with Barney Ruble)
- An old foundation
- In case you happen to live in a cemetery (which is spooky), you may use a grave vault to keep your belongings safe.
After a few hours of hopelessly digging about in your yard, it will be time to eat your hoagie and take a little sleep. Following that, it will be necessary to rent or borrow a metal detector. In the event that your next-door neighbor loves Star Wars action figures or has more than three unidentified antennae on his roof, there is a significant probability that you can borrow his metal detector. If you’re lucky, the metal detector will really assist you in finding your septic tank, rather than simply a bunch of old buried automobile parts.
According to local legend, a pumper known as “Zarzar The Incredible” can locate sewage tanks using a metal measuring tape spanning 30 feet in length.
Continue to press your commode (“commode” sounds sophisticated) tape deeper and farther down the pipes until he “feels” the bottom of the tank with his tape.
I recently acquired locate equipment that can be used to locate septic tanks, and I’m excited about it.
For further information, please contact me at 574-533-1470.
After that, you may have a movie of the inside of your sewer pipes created!
Related: Visit our Septic System Maintenance page for more information.
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