How To Bust Open A Septic Tank With No Lid? (Solution)

  • However if your septic tank cover does not include those points of purchase for lifting you will need a flat bar and a larger wrecking bar to pry up the excavated lid from the septic Tank sufficient that you can put a chain around the lid probably 2 Chainz, to lift the lid with a hoist and tripod mechanism or you will use an on-site motorized hoist

What can I use to break down my septic tank?

Here are a few things you can do to help you break down the solid waste in your septic tank:

  1. Active Yeast. Add ¼ to ½ cup of active dry yeast to your toilet bowl and flush it down your toilet.
  2. Rotten Tomatoes.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide.
  4. Inorganic Acids.
  5. Chemicals.
  6. Pumping.

How do I find a buried septic tank lid?

You can locate the lid of your septic tank by poking the ground every few feet with a metal probe. Lids can be buried up to a foot deep on average, so be sure to investigate any bumps that may indicate something is buried underneath.

Do all septic tanks have lids?

Find the Lid. If your septic tank was installed after 1975, it will probably have two polyethylene or fiberglass lids centered at opposite sides of the perimeter. Older tanks will typically have a 24-inch concrete lid right in the center of the tank. Excavate in those locations to reveal the lids.

What eats waste in septic tank?

Large colonies of bacteria and enzymes in your septic tank keep the tank from backing up or overfilling. Enzymes go to work on the scum, and bacteria goes to work on the sludge. The microbes eat the waste and convert large portions of it into liquids and gases.

How do you break up sludge in a septic tank?

How to Reduce Sludge in a Septic Tank Without Pumping

  1. Install an aeration system with diffused air in your septic tank.
  2. Break up any compacted sludge.
  3. Add a bio-activator or microbe blend.
  4. Maintain the aeration system.
  5. Add additional Microbes as required.

How long does it take for poop to break down in a septic tank?

The bacteria take 2-4 hours to germinate and then begin to break down solid waste. If the temperature and conditions are favorable, then the bacteria will multiply to the maximum level that the environment will allow in about 2-4 days.

How do I know my septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  1. Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  2. Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  3. Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  4. You Hear Gurgling Water.
  5. You Have A Sewage Backup.
  6. How often should you empty your septic tank?

Will metal detector find septic tank?

If it’s Concrete or Steel, Use a Metal Detector. Based on your conclusions in Step 3, if your septic tank is likely made from concrete or steel, a metal detector can make the task of locating it much easier. But not just any metal detector will do.

Should septic tank lids be buried?

In most cases, all components of the septic tank including the lid are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. Unless the septic tank has special risers that position the lid at ground level, you’ll have to dig for it.

Do septic tanks have concrete lids?

Septic systems are an inexpensive and frequently viable option for sewer systems. The most common tanks, starting in the 1940s, are concrete, with 3 – 500# lids for a 1000 gallon tank or 4 – 500# lids for a 1500 gallon tank.

Do all septic tanks have filters?

First, not all septic tanks have a filter, especially the older septic tanks. Now many government agencies require or recommend a filter when a septic tank is installed. Cleaning a septic tank filter is different than pumping out a septic tank and cleaning it.

How do you hide a septic tank cover?

The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank

  1. Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view.
  2. Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid.
  3. Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.

Procedure for Opening Septic Tanks

  • ASK a question or make a comment about how to open a septic tank safely and properly for inspection or cleaning.

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. Instructions on how to open the septic tank. The location of the septic tank cleanout or cover, as well as the access and opening processes. We discuss some of the things to look for before opening the septic tank, such as subsidence, indications of recent work, and septic tank coverings that are not suitable to use. Then we demonstrate how to remove the septic tank lid or the access port cover from the tank.

For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.

Procedures for Safe Opening of a Septic Tank, Cesspool, or Drywall for Inspection or Cleaning

The following are the contents of the article:

  • How to remove the lid from a septic tank
  • When it comes to pumping out the septic tank, which septic tank entrance should be used? Why

In this septic tank pumpout article series, you’ll learn how to locate, open, pump out, clean, and inspect conventional septic tanks, as well as how to locate, open, pump out, clean, and inspect conventional septic tanks using photos. In addition to septic pumping tank truck operators, this guideline is meant to provide basic information to homeowners and septic service providers that are concerned about septic system maintenance.

  • There is a risk of dangerous, perhaps deadly collapse due to subsidence (depressions or low regions in the earth) near the location of the septic tank. Evidence of recent construction activity that may necessitate further investigation in order to determine the status of the septic system
  • Backup or effluent breakout at the surface of the ground in the septic tank region.
  • Here is an example of a septic tank cover that was discovered atop an unstable home-made collection of concrete blocks that had been piled by the owner to serve as an access well to his septic tank. Because the masonry blocks were misaligned and loose, and because the tank aperture into which the cover opened was bigger than the cover, there was a serious collapse risk that may have resulted in a deadly hazard. We covered the area with plywood and roped it off, and we quickly informed the residents and the property owner of the situation, both verbally and in writing

Procedure for Opening the Septic Tank Pumping Access Port

Pumping the septic tank through a small access opening such as over the intake or outlet baffle does not provide enough space to adequately reach and remove sludge from the septic tank bottom, and it increases the risk of future clogging of the tank inlet or outlet by partially-removed floating scum.In this example, we already knew the measurements to the exact location of the septic tank from previous work.Pumping the septic tank through a small access opening such as over A wrecking bar is about to be used to remove the cover from the septic tank entrance.

Take note that we excavated far enough away from the tank opening so that when we remove the cover, we won’t have a lot of dirt falling into the tank itself.

Reader CommentsQ A

@Ron, In order for a concrete septic tank lid to be correctly erected, it must feature both access openings and cast in iron loops to which a hoist may be attached. Alternatively, if your septic tank cover does not have those points of purchase for lifting, you will require a flat bar and a larger wrecking bar to pry up the excavated lid from the septic tank sufficiently to allow you to put a chain around the lid, most likely two Chainz, and lift the lid with a hoist and tripod mechanism or you will use an on-site motorized hoist.

  1. 1/2 x 27/4 removing the top of a septic tank @Phil, Although what you describe is theoretically doable, it may be less expensive and more rational to do so in a different way.
  2. This is due to the fact that just stitching a circular hole does not ensure that I am creating a hole through which the lid will not be dropped.
  3. Edge My concrete septic tank, which was constructed when the home was built in 1979 and does not have any manholes or openings for pumping out, is in poor condition.
  4. Is it feasible to cut two manholes using a concrete saw that are 20″/24″ in diameter and then build risers and a cover on top of them?
  5. Could you please share a picture of the tank top?
  6. It is common for the concrete top to be tapered; nevertheless, it may just be trapped by effloresent salts and filth.
  7. I have a feeling that simply tugging will not be effective.

This would have stopped leaks but would have made it extremely difficult to open the tank for the next person who needed to open the tank.

Repeat this process many times all around the cover’s perimeter.

For me, this has worked almost every time in the past.

It is recommended that you build a septic tank riser that is sealed to the tank top, as well as a new secure cover on top of the riser if your septic tank lid is not near to the ground level.

Never work on your own.

I’ve erected two wood 4x4s on top of the lifting ring to provide additional support.

All I’ve done three times is shattered those 4x4s.

Do you have any recommendations?

A septic tank pumping provider can remove plastic bags, tiny pebbles, and other debris from your tank, as well as the sediments, scum, and sludge that has accumulated there.

What is the best way to get them out?

When the septic tank is drained out, would it make sense to place a plastic bag over the top hole of the tank to keep the odors contained?

Gerard A plastic bag as a sewer line cap doesn’t seem right to me – it’s not durable, it’s the incorrect material if a cover is required, and if it’s a vent rather than an access pipe, the vent must be open to the atmosphere and protected from animal intrusion.

What is the function of this item?

A typical septic tank is equipped with clean out access covers that are strategically placed.

Maybe something as basic as a flat piece of concrete or stone will be sufficient, or maybe something more complex.

To be quite honest, I would have expected the contractor who dug the hole to be accountable for ensuring that the system was repaired and safe.

What should I do to solve it?

What store would I go to in order to acquire septic tank covers?

A few years ago, I had a beautiful new house built for me.

I have three plastic polylok lids, one of which is above ground and is for the pump.

I’d like to purchase risers so that I may build all three at a depth of around 6 inches below ground level.

What are the advantages and disadvantages.

Do you have any other suggestions?

I apologize for the lengthy post.

Sorry, but “True Bolt” isn’t a phrase I’m familiar with or associate with septic tank lids in any way.

Although this is not always the case, Mary, as the pumper may be able to access the entire tank bottom from a single opening depending on the tank’s size and shape; however, if your pumper is unable to do so from a single opening, you may want both openings opened to inspect the condition of the tank baffles.

There are two holes in my septic tank. Is it necessary to open both doors for a pump out?

Question:cannot find the manhole cover of the septic tank

(8th of August, 2014) “We’ve located the cesspool concrete lid (about 12 foot diameter), but after digging a 2 foot perimeter, we were unable to locate the manhole cover, which was required for an inspection.” vicki levin stated Help? My husband is becoming increasingly upset with the digging!


If it’s a cesspool, rather than a septic tank, and it’s spherical, the access lid is normally located in the center of the container.

Question: how do i remove septic tank lid that is stuck

The entrance lid would normally be in the center of the cesspool, if it is in fact a cesspool rather than a septic tank, and it is spherical.


Anon:WARNING: If the septic tank cover, lid, or access aperture has partially caved in or sank into the tank, the condition is extremely dangerous – an unsecure cover implies that someone might fall into the tank, which is generally lethal very quickly. Please keep everyone away from the septic tank area until such time as you have had the tank inspected and opened for additional inspection by a professional. Depending on the tank type and condition, lifting the lid may necessitate the use of a pry bar or wrecking bar, as well as a small portable winch (which is unusual).

Alternatively, consider the following:

Septic Pumping ProcedurePumper Truck Operation Articles


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HOW TO OPEN A SEPTIC TANK at Inspect a Tank An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Alternatively, have a look at this.


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septic tank lid stuck

I had just dug up the septic tank in order to get it drained when I discovered that I couldn’t remove the concrete access lid. It has become “frozen” in its current location (more like “chemicallybonded” I would say). The tank is made of concrete, and the access lid is made of concrete as well. The accesscover is approximately 12″x18″ in size and has a rectangular form. It features a handle made of iron that is cast into the middle. It is designed with slightly slanted sides so that the cover fits snugly into the access hole when it is inserted (like a stopper ina utility sink).

It is adamant in its refusal to bend.

I attempted to pull the cover up around the sides with a crowbar, but it just resulted in chipped concrete.

What should I do if the “bond” that has developed between the cover and the hole cannot be broken by acid or any other chemical means? The tank has been submerged for 11 years, and I don’t believe the lid has been removed since the tank was dug up (cover is about 8″ below ground surfacelevel).

Allow the pumping firm to take care of it? In order to provide 500 pounds of uplift to the cover handle for a few hours while spraying hot water around the edge and bonking it with a 4×4, you might use a tripod or two 55 gallon drums on either side, each supported by a beam and an extendable come-along. Pulling the cable sideways with your hand or a fish scale might be used to determine the tension in the wire. With a 20 pound force in the middle of a 4′ cable with 500 pounds of strain, it would slide sideways roughly 1/2″ and break.

  • Pulling the rope sideways with your hand or a fish scale might be used to determine the tension.
  • Nick I’d recommend using a vigorous hose blast or pressure washer to clean up the space between the tank and the lid.
  • That was the final nail in the coffin.
  • I waited three minutes before attempting to remove the lid with the pry bar once again; the cover came straight off.
  • .
  • Is this something you’ve learned via practical experience, or is it something you’ve learned through some magical lay-formula?

Pop The relationship between cable tension and sideways deflection distance and angle an is as follows: with 400 pounds of cable tension and sideways deflection distance and angle a, 2x400sin(a) = 20 results in sin(a) = 0.025 = d/24, which is approximately, for a 24″ distance (half the cable length), so d = 0.025″x24″ = 0.6″.



If you’ve recently purchased an older house, it’s possible that a septic tank is located on the property. This is true even if your home is currently linked to the municipal water and sewer systems. A prior owner may have abandoned the ancient septic system and connected to the city sewage system when it became accessible at some time in the past. Despite the fact that there are standards in place today for properly leaving a septic tank, it was typical practice years ago to just leave the tanks in place and forget about them.

  1. The old tank may either be demolished or filled with water to solve the problem.
  2. It is possible that permits and inspections will be required.
  3. They are dangerous because curious children may pry open the lid and fall into the container.
  4. Falls into a septic tank can be lethal owing to the toxicity of the contents and the fact that concrete can collapse on top of you while falling into a tank.
  5. Eventually, this approach was phased out due to the fact that the steel would corrode and leave the tank susceptible to collapse.
  6. When it comes to ancient septic tanks, they are similar to little caves with a lid that might collapse at any time.
  7. The old tank is crushed and buried, or it is removed from the site.

If it is built of steel, it will very certainly be crushed and buried in its current location.

After that, the tank can be completely filled with sand, gravel, or any other form of rubble and buried.

Tanks can either be entirely dismantled or destroyed and buried in their original location.

The abandonment has been documented and plotted on a map.

It’s possible that you’ll forget about the tank once it’s been abandoned.

As a result, you might wish to sketch a map of the area where the old tank used to stand.

If you can demonstrate that an old septic tank was properly decommissioned, you may be able to increase the value of your property, and the new owners will enjoy knowing that large chunks of concrete are buried underground before they start digging in the yard to put something in it.

It may take some detective work to discover about the history of your land and what may be lying beneath the surface of the earth.

Upon discovering an old septic tank on your property that is no longer in service, contact Total Enviro Services for propertank abandonment procedures that meet with local standards and protect your family, pets, and farm animals from harm or death.

Can’t remove septic tank lid

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Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:FrontRanger (CO)Hi, first post here. This issue may have come up before but I wasn’t able to find it using the Search feature.I’ve got a two-chamber concrete septic tank. The previous owners used to pump out the tank by removing only the lid on the inlet-side chamber. Now the concrete lid on the outlet-side chamber can’t be removed. The septic serviceman said that it hadn’t been removed in so long, the concrete had “re-set”. The way he explained it, irrigation and rain water soak through the soil, then get into the concrete, and over time form a bond. He also said that you can’t pump/clean/inspect the tank properly without removing that lid. Naturally, I called up the previous owner, but he had a different story. I wanted to get some impartial advice to find out who was right, so here goes:1. The previous owner didn’t think it was necessary to remove the outlet-side cover. He said the septic pumping company was able to put their hose in over the baffle and pump out the outlet-side chamber. I’m no expert but I don’t see how that’s possible, given the size and flexibility of the hose, and the extremely limited visibility with the hose in the hole. Is it possible to properly pump out the tank removing only the inlet-side lid? If so, how?2. If the answer to the first question is that you truly need to remove the outlet-side lid, what is the best way to solve the problem of the “re-set” concrete in the lid? The tank is located close to my house, beneath a lawn with sprinkler lines (both water and electrical) cleverly running right over the tank. Not the best choice on the part of the installer but naturally I want to minimize the excavation in that area.In case the options are specific to location, I’m located in Northern Colorado.Thanks!
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:hj (AZ)what are you using to lift the lid? I have never had a problem even when the lid was set with mortar.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:FrontRanger (CO)The lid has what looks like a curved piece of re-bar set into it. The septic service guy was prying up on that with something, I didn’t see exactly what he was doing. Then he took a digging bar and started chipping away little pieces at the seam between the tank top and the lid, then tried prying up in that little space. After doing that unsuccessfully he said the concrete had “re-set”.
Post Reply
Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:mm (MD)Fasten a chain to the lid handle and then wrap and tie it off around a digging bar that is held horizontally 2-3 feet above the tank.Have someone (a helper?) apply upward leverage on the bar against the ground while you take a second digging bar and, using the hammer end, gently but firmly pound on the outer edge of the concrete lid.It will come up.The lids are often set in tar to seal them against water seepage into the tank so they are tight, but it will release.Edited 1 times.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:FrontRanger (CO)Thanks, m m. Now that you mention that, I remember the septic service guy talking about that briefly, and also a variation using a jack to apply the force. He said he thought since it had been so long since it was last removed, the re-bar would break out of the concrete before the lid came up. I know that the previous owner had not removed it since 1995. Don’t know about the owner before that, but he might not have taken it off since it was installed in 1978!There was no tar or tar paper visible in the chipped-away sections. some sort of barrier seems like an obvious step for anyone who installs these things for a living, but it looks like it was omitted in this case.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:hj (AZ)I usually call a tow truck and use his hook in that rebar.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:hj (AZ)A couple of log splitting wedges between the lid and the tank will also help.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:mm (MD)”A couple of log splitting wedges between the lid and the tank will also help”.About all they’ll help in doing is to obliterate the lid.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:hj (AZ)The lid is about 8″ thick, it is not going to be “obliterated” unless it is completely deteriorated.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:FrontRanger (CO)Thanks for all the replies so far, about how to free up the stuck lid.Anyone for the first question? Is it possible to properly pump out the tank removing only the inlet-side lid? If so, how?Thank you.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:Paul48 (CT)Logically.Why would they put 2 access holes if one was enough?
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:hj (AZ)It appears that there are NO access holes just two halves of the lid. The center baffle doesn’t comeup the bottom of the lid so they just stick the hose into the other side.
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Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:FrontRanger (CO)Re: It appears that there are NO access holes just two halves of the lid. The center baffle doesn’t come up the bottom of the lid so they just stick the hose into the other side.-Perhaps I’ve been using the wrong terminology. What I meant by “lid” was a roughly 18″x18″ opening in the top of the tank, i.e., the covering for the access hole.Re: Why would they put 2 access holes if one was enough?-The same track that my mind took. The question arose from the claim of the previous owner that one was sufficient, and that the hose could be put over the baffle into the outlet-side chamber. My skepticism comes from imagining a stiff 4″ hose maneuvering down a hole, over the baffle, and then into the other chamber. Two access holes would certainly make it more convenient. My question is, can it be done properly using only the one on the inlet-side?Thanks again for your time.
Post Reply
Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid
Author:hj (AZ)18 x 18 ports are NOT the same as two tank halves. It would be difficult to put the hose across, IF you have a center baffle. In this case there may not be one and everything can be done from a single port.
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Make sure to contact JT’s Septic as soon as possible! It is possible for us to assist you in diagnosing the problem and determining if it is a plumbing issue or a problem directly connected to your septic system. Wastewater backing up into more than one household fixture (even during dry weather), pooling water or muddy soil around your septic system or in your basement are all signs that your system needs to be checked. If you notice any of the following, contact us to have it checked: a strong odor around the septic tank and/or drainfield

Should I Use Septic Tank Additives?

According to current research, there is no clear proof that these items can prevent septic system failure or that they will improve system function. The addition of compounds to a septic tank will not eliminate the necessity for routine tank cleaning. Septic tank cleansers, rejuvenators, and primers that are promoted as such will not hurt your system, but they will not benefit it either. However, there is already a large amount of bacteria in the tank that will break down waste products, so using enzymes or yeast would not hurt your system at all.

Septic system additives should be avoided, according to the North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication.

-Tank Refueling Station

what are the PVC pipes sticking up in my yard?

Septic tank cleanouts are often located between the home and the septic tank, and they are used to snake the input line from the house to the tank. If the PVC markers are labeled with “JT’s Septic,” they indicate that they are marking the access lids to your septic tank (buried directly under the labels). Alternatively, if the pipes are further away and appear to be arbitrarily arranged in relation to the house or tank, it is possible that they are inspection ports used to check the amount of liquid in the disposal area.

will household cleaning products harm my system?

The majority of specialists believe that the usual use of household cleaning solutions will not harm the system since it will not prevent the activity of bacteria in the tank from taking place as intended.

A large amount of some chemicals, on the other hand, may interfere with the breakdown of wastes in the tank or cause the soil treatment area to get clogged. Please remember that the goods you use may ultimately make their way into the groundwater systems in your community.

How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?

Most tanks require pumping every 3-5 years, depending on the size of the tank, the amount of wastewater that flows into the tank on a daily basis, and whether or not the tank is equipped with a trash disposal. The state of Arizona currently does not have any laws requiring maintenance and inspection (with the exception of those pertaining to the sale of a home), but the Environmental Protection Agency and local health departments strongly recommend routine maintenance to help prevent groundwater contamination due to nitrogen, phosphorus, and disease-causing bacteria that can be found in wastewater.

I just had my tank pumped and it already looks full!?!

There is a distinction between being full and being overfull! An empty septic tank will fill up as quickly as you use up the quantity of gallons it can contain in terms of water use. The tank is designed to maintain a liquid level at or near the bottom of the outflow pipe at all times. (that exits into the disposal area). When you look down into your tank, it should appear to be completely filled. It is necessary to hire an expert to assess the quantity of scum and sludge in your tank in order to decide when it is time to pump it out.

Does anyone have to be home to have jt’s pump my septic tank?

We usually advise people to have someone at their house for our service, but it is not mandatory. Our service technicians are quick and fast when it comes to finding and pumping out a problem. We enjoy having a homeowner and/or a Realtor on site for our inspections so that they may discuss any concerns that we may discover. If we happen to miss you during our service, we are more than pleased to accept a credit card payment over the phone.

Does JT’s Septic do leach line work?

At this time, JT’s does not install or do any work on leach lines or disposal locations. We do minor repairs on septic tanks, as well as on the inlet and outlet sewer lines. Not sure if we can assist you? Just give us a call!

Why can’t you pump my septic tank out of the sewer cleanouts?

We have found that a tank cannot be efficiently pumped through sewage cleanouts because the pumps on our trucks are just too powerful, and there is no way to get all of the scum and debris out of the tank through a cleanout. It is advised that the tank access lids be used in order to remove all liquid and particles from the tank and to examine the baffles. To empty the tank completely, we unlock all compartments and use a pump to remove the full contents of it. The fact that you do not pump via the primary access holes in the tank itself is a disservice to yourself and your system.

how do you know the size of my tank?

Our experts and inspectors can identify the size of the tank based on the form of the tank; tanks for a normal residence are generally 1,000 or 1,250 gallons in capacity, respectively (tanks may be smaller or larger depending on bedroom count, style of tank, etc). Our trucks are outfitted with clear sight glasses, allowing our specialists to keep track of the number of gallons they are extracting from your tank. Our specialists are also trained to measure the tank measurements on the job site in order to establish the approximate gallon capacity.

why do you recommend routine maintenance and frequent pump outs when I’ve not a had a problem in the last 10 years and I’ve never had my tank pumped?

Even while many homeowners are able to go several years over the suggested maintenance time without experiencing any problems, harm is gradually being done. Solids that are insoluble in water and cannot be broken down by natural microbes are stored in the tank.

This builds up over time until the tank no longer has enough space to hold everything. As a result, the solids make their way to the drain field where they fill up the pores in the earth, causing poor drainage and, eventually, the failure of the septic system and drainfield.

How long will my septic system last?

All septic systems have a defined life span, which means they will ultimately cease to function. The length of time a system will survive is determined by the system’s size, installation, soil composition, the water table, neighboring trees and roots, the amount of usage and abuse, and, most crucially, the frequency with which it is maintained and pumped.

if I have a garbage disposal Can i use it?

Yes! It is OK to use the garbage disposal for a limited amount of time, such as for food crumbs that remain after doing the dishes. Pump outs will be more frequent if the disposal is used more frequently, which will result in higher costs. The usage of a trash disposal can have a negative impact on your septic system by increasing the quantity of suspended particles that enter the system. Soil treatment areas can get clogged with suspended particles, which reduces the soil’s ability to remove waste.


No! The presence of this problem is one of the most prevalent we see in tanks. Wipes and/or feminine hygiene items block sewer pipes and do not decompose properly in the holding tank, causing backups.

how often can i do laundry?

It is critical not to overburden your computer system. Instead of completing a large number of loads in a single day, try to spread them out over the course of a week. Doing no more than two loads of laundry every day – one in the morning and one in the evening – is advised.

Can I have a water softener system with a septic system?

It is unlikely that a water softener will cause damage to most septic systems, albeit they may necessitate the installation of a somewhat bigger tank disposal area.

Can We Drive Over Our Leach Field?

Neither driving on the leach field nor on the entrance and exit sewer pipes, nor on the septic tank, is suggested by the manufacturer. It is possible to restrict or slow down efficient evaporation by compacting the soil over the leach lines. Evaporation is a critical component of the drainage and disposal process. It is possible to induce settling and even rupture of sewage pipes by driving over them. It is possible to produce cracks in a tank by driving over it, especially if it is made of fiberglass or plastic.

do i have a septic systeM?

Neither driving on the leach field nor on the inlet and exit sewer pipes, nor on the septic tank, is encouraged by the city. It is possible to restrict or slow down efficient evaporation by compacting the soil over the leach lines. Evaporation is a critical component of the drainage and disposal processes. It is possible to induce settling and even rupture of sewage pipes by driving across them. Driving over the tank, especially if the tank is made of fiberglass or plastic, might produce cracks in the tank walls.

How do I find my septic system?

Once you’ve confirmed that you have a septic system, you may identify it by looking at your home’s “as built” drawing, inspecting your yard for lids and manhole covers, or calling us for assistance.

How Far Does The Tank Have To Be Away From The House?

Once you have confirmed that you have a septic system, you may identify it by looking at your home’s “as built” drawing, inspecting your yard for lids and manhole covers, or calling us for assistance.

An alarm is going off in my tank- what do I do?!

The sirens on certain alternative systems alert the homeowner to a possible problem prior to effluent or waste backing up into the house.

The alarm may sound to warn a problem with the electrical system or a high quantity of liquid in the tank. A pump or float may be malfunctioning, in which case it is recommended to contact either JT’s or your alternate system maintenance provider for assistance as soon as possible.

Can I Plant A Tree Over My Leach Field?

No. Root invasion from trees is one of the most prevalent problems that affect septic systems today. Certain species of trees are extremely harmful to your septic system and should be avoided at all costs. Please check your local nursery for further information.

does jt’s provide portable storage tanks?

We’re sorry, but we don’t provide portable storage tanks at the present moment.

can jt’s facilitate a pipeline repair?

Yes! We are capable of repairing and replacing sewer inlet and outlet pipes. Our main line sewer camera service may also be used to plan infrastructure maintenance, as well as to aid with any and all forms of repair work. Please contact us if you would like to book a service.

why do you suggest running a sewer camera down my line?

A difficult blockage may necessitate the services of more than one plumber. Pipe obstructions can be caused by a variety of factors, including tree roots, grease, aging pipes, and foreign items. Our power snakes and Ridgid sewer cameras are excellent tools for identifying problems such as the following: Pipes that are broken, cracked, corroded, or collapsed are considered damaged and must be repaired or replaced. A clog is caused by a deposit of grease or a foreign item that prevents the passage of water.

Joints that are leaking—the seals between pipes have failed, enabling liquid to leak through.

Complete Guide to Your Septic Tank

When sewage exits your home and enters your septic system, the septic tank is the first component that it comes into contact with. Eventually, all of the greywater and waste will fill the tank, and it will then flow out into your absorption area. Although the septic tank is often the most visible structure in your septic system, many people are confused about how it works. If you want to learn further more about septic systems, you can get our ebook by clicking on the link below. It includes information about septic tanks, septic systems, maintenance, and other topics.

How A Septic Tank Works

As soon as you open the lid of a septic tank, you will discover that the tank is completely full of sewage and nearly filled to the top. Typically, the first notion that comes to mind is that the tank is ready for pumping. However, this is the usual operating level at which a tank functions. As the tank fills up, it overflows down the drain field and into the ground. Many people are perplexed as to why the sewage and other trash are not simply discharged into the drain field directly. What’s the point of having tanks to fill if everything just pours out onto the field in the first place?

This may appear inconsequential, yet it is critical to the operation of a functional system. It would be possible to discern three separate levels of a septic tank if you cut one in half.

  1. The floating solids form the topmost layer (or scum). Anaerobic bacteria did not break down any of the oils, fats, greases, or anything else that was present in the wastewater. Sludge can be found at the very bottom of the well. Septic tank pumping is necessary to remove both floating particles and sludge, which are the primary reasons for frequent septic tank cleaning. If such solids and semi-solid sludge are allowed to enter your drain field, the lifespan of your drain field will be significantly reduced. The cleared effluent is found in the space between the sludge and the floating particles. In the tank, this is the only trash that may be discharged onto the field, and it should account for the vast majority of the waste.

The anaerobic bacterium that colonizes the tank is the majority of the population. Anaerobic bacteria are any bacterium that can survive in the absence of oxygen. For this reason, it is still possible to close a septic tank lid while the waste is still able to be broken down. Because of the tank’s construction, waste can flow into the tank, where it will be collected, and then be discharged. The input pipe of a tank is meant to be approximately 3 to 4 inches above the outflow pipe of the tank.

In order to ensure that the cleared effluent departs the tank without bringing any floating particles with it, it is necessary to use baffles to accomplish this.


Baffles, despite their straightforward design, play a critical role in the long-term performance of your septic system. In your septic tank, there are two baffles to contend with. The entrance baffle is one type of baffle, while the exit baffle is another. This baffle’s duty is to send any waste down into the tank without causing it to stir up the particles already in the tank. It is usually made of metal. This helps the tank to settle and the different layers to grow in a more natural manner.

The exit baffle is generally identical in appearance to the inlet baffle, although it serves a somewhat different purpose.

The outside of the baffle will prevent the passage of floating solids, while the effluent will stream out into the drain field.

Inlet Observation Port

The intake observation port is the first component of your tank that you may be able to observe. This is normally a 4 inch pipe with a white cover on the end to protect the end fitting. The mower will locate the item if you haven’t already done so. Despite the fact that they might be a nuisance when mowing, they are beneficial for a variety of reasons.

  1. They serve to identify the location of the tank. The inlet observation port may also be used to return via the house if someone is examining your sewer line and cannot reach it from the house. This saves a significant amount of time when pumping out your tank or inspecting the system. Aside from that, the intake observation port is quite handy for checking for any unneeded trickles into your septic system. Check to see if there are any slow trickles flowing into the septic system after making sure it has been at least 20 minutes since something has drained into it. This is something you should conduct around twice a year to ensure that everything is functioning properly.

Septic Tank Lid

Just beyond your intake observation port will be your septic tank lid, which will be located just beyond that. This covers the manhole in the center of your tank’s interior. This is the location where all pumping should take place. It has a huge aperture ranging in size from 18″ to 24″ and occasionally even greater. Having a septic tank lid on your lawn is something that many people do not enjoy. However, if it is clearly visible, it may save your pumper a significant amount of time and, perhaps, money.

If the lid is too low during a house sale, an inspector will ask that the lid be raised to a level that is closer to the surface of the soil.

This is helpful for maintenance purposes, as well as so that you may divulge their location if you decide to sell your property in the future.

If concrete lids are not set back into place carefully, they may crack. Occasionally, a piece of the lid may chip off, allowing water and debris to enter the tank via the space created by the chipping. Over time, this might put additional strain on your drainage system.

Septic Tank Pumping

We often get asked “how often should I pump my tank,” which is another frequently asked topic. The answer is straightforward: at the absolute least, it should be done every two years. When it comes to having your septic tank pumped, there are a few things to keep an eye out for that are very crucial. Remember that the purpose of pumping is to remove the floating particles on top of the water and the sludge at the bottom of the water. In order to accomplish this, a pumper must get access to the manhole in the center of the tank.

  1. The center manhole can also assist them in seeing considerably more of the tank and determining whether or not a significant amount of the solids has been removed.
  2. This can cause your input baffle to become detached, resulting in the pumper being unable to detect the quantity of solids remaining in the tank.
  3. A good pumper will back flush some of the water he has pumped out in order to mix up the sediments in the bottom of the tank, and then vacuum up the remaining water.
  4. After everything has been pumped out, they may look inside the tank with a flashlight to see if there are any fractures, roots, or degeneration below the level of the prior liquid.

Different Types of Septic Tanks

There is a wide variety of septic tanks that may be provided to customers. Therefore, it is critical to pose the question “What type of septic tank do I have?” before proceeding. Some of the most often encountered are listed below.

Primary and Secondary Tanks

In 1997, the state of Pennsylvania mandated that all new systems be equipped with a secondary settling tank. Therefore, if you were to repair your drainfield and apply for a permit, you would also be required to install a second tank. The reasons behind this was that while the first tank was settling all of the solids, there was still some that was flowing over into the drain field after it was filled. With this second tank, the solids could be settled and more waste could be broken down, resulting in a more efficient treatment process.

The secondary tank is normally situated immediately following the primary tank.

If you had a fully new septic system done after 1997, there is a good chance that your installer selected a less expensive option than two tank installation. A dual-chamber tank is what this is referred to as.

Dual-chamber Septic Tank

Instead of using separate tanks, a dual-chamber tank makes use of chambers. A enormous rectangular tank with a wall in the middle is what you’ll find here. A 1,250-gallon dual-chamber tank is a standard size for this type of tank. The first compartment contains 750 gallons, while the second chamber stores 500 gallons. The most significant advantage of a dual-chamber septic tank is the cost savings associated with its installation. There is only one hole to dig, and only one tank to put in it.

  1. When a new system is installed, these are the first things to look for.
  2. If you have a dual-chamber tank, be sure that both chambers have been drained out before continuing.
  3. The lid of the second chamber is sometimes buried deeper than the lid of the first compartment.
  4. Being aware that you have a dual-chamber tank and that there are two lids will assist you in keeping your system in good working order.

Holding Tank

Many individuals use the phrases “holding tank” and “septic tank” interchangeably when referring to the same thing. There are, nevertheless, significant distinctions between the two. A holding tank is substantially larger and has an usual volume of 2000 gallons. It is used to store waste water. The tank does not have an outlet, thus it “holds” all of the sewage that is introduced into it. Even the smallest amount of wastewater that escapes the home is collected in the holding tank. A float switch is located towards the top of a holding tank.

  1. This notifies the homeowner that a pumper will be dispatched to come out and pump the holding tank.
  2. A monthly pumping schedule is required if you possess a holding tank, which you should do on an as-needed basis.
  3. What are the benefits of using a holding tank?
  4. In certain cases, the residence does not have enough space for a septic system and does not have a connection to municipal sewage.
  5. A more plausible scenario is that the house is not frequently used.


If you have a cesspool, it is possible that you do not have a septic tank. This is due to the fact that a cesspool may serve as both a septic tank and an absorption area. They are a form of septic system that is no longer in use and is considered outdated. Cesspools are created by excavating a large pit. It was assembled into a big cylindrical building with cinder block along the sides and open soil on the bottom, which was constructed by an installer. The cinder blocks are stacked one on top of the other with no mortar in between the layers.

When the dirt at the bottom of the cesspool is unable to drain properly, the cesspool begins to fill.

At this moment, the cesspool is no longer functional due to its deterioration.

Solids will ultimately accumulate in the soil and prevent it from draining properly. Every two years, you should have your cesspool pumping maintenance performed as if it were a septic tank to ensure that it is operating properly.

Aerobic Tank

Anaerobic bacteria are present in all of the tanks that we have discussed so far, and these bacteria help to break down waste before it enters the drain field. The aerobic tank is used to treat sewage by introducing aerobic microorganisms into the system. Anaerobic bacteria, as we well know, flourish in an environment where there is no oxygen. Aerobic tanks provide airflow, which allows bacteria that use oxygen (aerobic bacteria) to flourish. Two additional components are included in the tank to facilitate the growth of aerobic bacteria: a system for generating air supply and propagation medium (usually a honeycombed structure).

The air supply is responsible for introducing oxygen into the tank.

The anaerobic bacteria found in conventional systems contribute to sludge formation and have the potential to draw oxygen from the soil, impairing the soil’s capacity to drain.

Septic Tank Problems

Septic tanks are constructed to last for many years. The tank maker pours them so that they are approximately 3 inches thick. There is a 25-year warranty on them, which is a considerable period of time, but not an eternity. Eventually, indicators of degradation begin to appear in the tank’s condition. This can take many different forms, but the following are the most prevalent.

Chemical Reaction

As the bacteria begin to decompose the sewage in the tank, they emit gases that rise beyond the level of the liquid. Those gases are converted to sulfuric acid by the bacteria that live above the liquid level. Over time, the sulfuric acid levels in the concrete rise to the point where the concrete begins to crumble. Because of this response on the top section of the tank, a critical component of checking tanks is examining above the level of the liquid to determine whether there is any structural damage present.

Exposed Rebar

The rebar can become exposed as a result of the concrete eroding and revealing the rebar over time. This is a significant red flag for septic inspectors who are looking into the situation. If an inspector notices exposed or corroded rebar in a tank, he or she will declare the tank unacceptable. You can tell that the concrete in the tank has gone mushy and is collapsing when you see the rebar sticking out of it.

Deteriorated Baffles

Eventually, the concrete deteriorates and reveals some of the rebar, which causes it to become exposed. For septic inspectors, this is a significant red flag. In the event that an inspector finds exposed or corroded rebar in a tank, he or she will rule the tank unacceptable. You can tell that the concrete in the tank has grown mushy and is collapsing when you see the rebar protruding through the surface.

Cracks in the Tank

There may be a few feet of dirt cover on top of the tank when it is installed in the ground by a professional installation company. The earth on top of the tank adds a large amount of weight to the structure. Over time, this weight, along with the chemical reaction in the tank, which weakens the tank’s construction, can cause fractures to appear in the tank’s structure.

They often begin at the very top of the tank. The greater the depth to which the tank is buried, the greater the likelihood that a fracture would develop.

Root Intrusion

Planting trees and huge shrubs directly next to sewage tanks is something that many people do on purpose. They may have planted plants to assist beautify their environment, but they may have done so without realizing it, putting the construction of their tanks at risk. The tree roots will begin to burst through the concrete tanks, causing structural damage to the structures beneath. Although it may appear strange, a tree has the ability to cut through thick concrete. However, after time, the thin roots penetrate the tank walls and cause damage.

The development of the roots will result in cracking and, eventually, the tank will collapse.

It is possible to engage a professional to cut the roots and remove them from the tank while they are still thin.

By now, you should have a solid foundation of knowledge about septic tanks under your belt.

This will aid you in the maintenance of your system as well as the purchase or sale of a new property.

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