When To Replace Metal Septic Tank? (Question)


  • The short answer to this question is that most septic tanks are built to last anywhere from 20 to 30 years. If they are properly maintained and serviced, they could last even longer. Although, at some point, they will fail. And when they do, you will need to replace them.

How long does a metal septic tank last?

The life expectancy of a steel tank is shorter than a concrete one. Inspectapedia estimates that a steel tank baffles will rust out in 15 to 20 years and may collapse if driven over, but a concrete tank will last 40 years or more as long as the wastewater is not acidic.

How do you know when to change septic tank?

5 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Septic System

  1. Age of the System. It’s pretty common for a septic system to last 40 years or longer, which means if you buy a new home, you might never need to replace it.
  2. You’ve Outgrown the System.
  3. Slow Drains.
  4. Standing Water in the Yard.
  5. Nearby Contaminated Water Sources.

Are steel septic tanks good?

Steel septic tanks are the least durable and least common septic tank option. They are designed to last no longer than 20-25 years and can start rusting sooner than that. Plastic septic tanks are also quite popular due to their durability and longevity.

How long should septic tanks last?

Because it is expensive to replace a septic system, proper maintenance is important. The more proactive you are in maintaining your system, the longer it will last. In fact, septic tanks can last as long as 30 years or more.

How do I know if my leach field is failing?

The following are a few common signs of leach field failure: Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard. The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water. Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.

How do you tell if the leach field is clogged?

Stay vigilant for five signs your drainfield does not drain correctly anymore.

  1. Slowing Drainage. Homeowners first notice slower than usual drainage from all the sinks, tubs, and toilets in a home when they have a compromised drainfield.
  2. Rising Water.
  3. Increasing Plant Growth.
  4. Returning Flow.
  5. Developing Odors.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

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

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

Do I have to replace my septic tank by 2020?

Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

What should be the size of septic tank?

Length of septic tank (L) should be taken as 9feet 9 inches or 9.75 feet. Breadth of septic tank (B) should be taken as 6 feet 3 inches or 6.25 feet. The standard height (D) of septic tank should be taken as 5 feet 9 inches or 5.75 feet.

Which type of septic tank is best?

The best choice is a precast concrete septic tank. Precast septic tanks hold many advantages over plastic, steel, or fiberglass tanks. This is why so many cities and towns actually require the use of concrete septic tanks.

Do septic tanks have metal lids?

You can locate the lid of your septic tank by poking the ground every few feet with a metal probe. You can also use a metal detector, as most lids have a metal handle or fastener on them to keep the lid closed. Another reason you might not be able to find your lid is due to the depth it was buried.

What is the most common cause of septic system failure?

Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.

How often should I pump my 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 a septic system last forever?

How long does a septic system last? On average, a new septic system will last for 20-30 years. Soil quality – the quality of soil will determine how durable your septic tank is. For instance, acidic groundwater can corrode a concrete septic tank.

Septic Tank Condition – How to Inspect Steel Septic Tanks

  • INSTRUCTIONS: SUBMIT A QUESTION OR COMMENTONSTEEL septic tanks: unique difficulties, inspection, installation, troubleshooting, repairs, age, and longevity

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. Steel septic tank warnings include the following: This paper outlines how to examine the state of a septic tank, with additional considerations for examining steel septic tanks being included in addition. Steel septic tanks are a critical component of onsite wastewater disposal systems, and they must be regularly inspected. Steels septic tank faults, life expectancy, specific issues, and repair procedures are discussed in detail.

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

STEEL SEPTIC TANKS – Life Expectancy, What Breaks, What to Look For, How to Fix a Damaged or Leaky Steel Septic Tank or Tank Cover or Baffle

Steel septic tanks generally survive 20-25 years before rusting and collapsing due to corrosion. If you don’t do this, steel baffles may rust off, clogging the drain field with sludge, the tank top may become corroded and dangerous, or the tank bottom may have rusted through before the time limit. The steel septic tank baffle can be seen in the lower left corner of this photograph; did you notice that the top corners of the baffle have corroded away over time? The steel septic tank lid in this photograph had rusted through and was covered with brush and roughly two inches of earth, as depicted in the photograph.

Guide to Steel Septic Tank Maintenance and Repair

Make sure to keep surface and roof runoff away from steel septic tanks or any other type of septic tank, as well as other septic system components such as D-boxes and drainfields. When unwelcome water is allowed to enter the system, it increases the danger of drainfield collapse and the failure of the septic system. The steel septic tank in the photograph is not only too close to the home (as was customary at the time of its construction in the 1960s), but it is also too close to a roof drainage downspout, which is a safety hazard.

Special Hazard Warning for Steel Septic Tank Covers

Keep an eye out for: Steel tank covers that have rusted may be deadly! Covers that are rusted might collapse. As recently as December 1997, we have received reports of children and adults who have died as a result of this danger. In 2000, the author was consulted in the case of a death involving an adult who had fallen into a sanitary sewer. During a construction inspection, the author, although taking caution not to trip over a buried, rusted-through steel septic tank lid, was caught by surprise (shown in the photos above on this page).

This might be a steel septic tank that has collapsed, or it could be a steel access riser to a cesspool that has been constructed out of stones.

Furthermore, there was no secure cover.

Septic gases are very hazardous and can cause death within minutes of being exposed to them. Even leaning over an empty tank (that had just been pumped) has resulted in the collapse and death of a sewage pumper.

Special Problem with Rusted Off Baffles in Steel Septic Tanks – repair may be possible

Baffling issues with steel septic tanks: On a steel septic tank, the baffles at the inlet and exit are frequently rusted out and break off before the owner notices that the tank requires repair or replacement. It is on the right side of the manhole of this septic tank (picture at left). Solids are able to enter the soil absorption system as a result of this degradation. The steel septic tank baffle depicted in the photo above on this page has rusted away at the top, which can be seen in the bottom left of the tank top aperture in the photo above.

Should we repair a steel septic tank that has lost its baffles?

If a steel septic tank is otherwise in good condition, but its baffles have gotten broken or have been lost totally, placing a plastic tee into the intake and outlet waste lines may be a viable alternative solution. Baffling, or septic tank teeing, is used to prevent solid waste from flowing out of the tank into the drainfield, as well as to prevent waste flow into the tank from the building it serves from being blocked. For further information on this septic system component, please seeSEPTIC TANK TEES (PDF).

Here’s an example: this steel septic tank is still holding effluent, but its sides are crumbling and its baffles have been removed, and it is likely missing its protective septic tank cover.

Until the tank can be replaced, it should be cordoned off and kept out of reach of the public and employees.

Steel Septic Tank SideBottom Rust-Out, Leaks, Abnormal Sewage Levels

Steel tank bottoms rust away, allowing effluent to escape into the soils around the tank and, in certain cases, creating a big void in the tank at the time of testing, so causing a loading or dye test to be invalidated. Because steel tank tops can be replaced while the previous tank is still in place, the condition of the top itself is not a good predictor of the state of the tank in question. You may tell whether a steel septic tank has a leak if the bottom or lower sides are missing by observing that the amount of sewage in the septic tank is lower than the level of sewage in the outlet baffle or pipe for a septic tank that is currently in use and has not been pumped out.

Technical content contributors

Thank you so much to

  • In addition to being a trained ASHI home inspector, a Licensed Pesticide Applicator, a BPI Building Analyst, and an Envelope Professional with 18 years of house inspection experience, Lawrence Transue is also a Pennsylvania building scientist and consultant. Lawrence Transue may be reached at the following numbers: 610.417.0763 and by email:[email protected] His WEB SITE and FACEBOOK pages are also worth checking out.

Reader CommentsQ A

Lola Thank you for taking the time to leave such a valuable remark. When you have your septic tank pumped, you may want to have a professional evaluate the baffles and the tank itself to ensure that they are in good working order. Considering the age of the tank, it would not be surprising if the baffles and even the sides and bottom of the tank had not rusted away by now @ Crystal, Yes, this is a possibility. On our steel septic tank, which was built in 1960, we have a concrete lid. It is still operational.

Crystal Anything is conceivable when it comes to the variety of things that individuals do to and with their structures, but it would be odd to find a concrete cover on a metal septic tank.

Be cautious if you notice signs that the septic tank lid is tipping, settling, breaking, or collapsing; this is a very dangerous and potentially fatal hazard (if someone falls into the tank).

Hello, we have a concrete cover on our septic tank that we would like to remove.

Is it feasible to install a concrete cover on top of a metal septic tank?. Continue reading atSEPTIC TANK BAFFLES, or choose a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or see the completeARTICLE INDEX for more information. Alternatively, consider the following:

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How Long Does a Septic System Last?

What is the average lifespan of a septic system? Homeowners who aren’t familiar with septic systems may be concerned about the expense of replacement. However, depending on the type of septic system used and how well it is managed, a septic system can last for decades. Septic systems are used in rural regions and in communities that are not linked to existing sewer systems to provide sewage disposal. A domestic septic system collects wastewater from the home and stores it in a holding tank. It is possible for particles to sink to the bottom of the tank and fats, grease, and oil to rise to the top because of the tank’s ability to hold effluent.

  1. How Long Do Steel Septic Tanks Last?
  2. The type of material chosen to construct the septic tank of the system has an influence on how long it will survive.
  3. Steel tanks are susceptible to rust, which weakens the structure after approximately 15 years.
  4. Is it legal to use metal septic tanks?
  5. While steel septic tanks were previously widespread, they are no longer permitted in many areas of the country.
  6. For further information on whether metal septic tanks are permitted in your area, consult your local and state legislation as well as construction codes.
  7. A high-quality concrete septic tank can survive for 40 or more years if it is maintained on a regular basis.

Moreover, the tanks are hefty enough to withstand the buoyant pressures generated by rising water tables.

If the cracks are significant enough, they indicate that the tank should be replaced.

Is it possible to repair a concrete septic tank?

Some concrete septic tank problems can be repaired, but not all of them.

Large fractures and other failures, on the other hand, need the replacement of a concrete tank.

How Long Do Plastic Septic Tanks Last?

They have a lifespan of more than 30 years.

Rising water tables below ground can pose a danger to the stability of lightweight plastic storage tanks.

Septic systems with sand mounds serve residences on their land that have a lot of groundwater or not a lot of soil depth.

The longevity of a sand mound system will be determined in part by the quality of the septic tank that is installed.

However, it is also dependent on how much the drain field has been degraded by home chemical solutions and even antibacterial agents contained in the wastewater.

See also:  How Should My Pipe After My Septic Tank Be Sealed?

A Septic Leach Field is expected to last for several years.

The size of the field and the amount of wastewater it feeds can have an influence on its lifespan.

Is it Legal to Drive Through a Leach Field?

It is critical that the leach field be protected at all costs.

The practice has the potential to cause harm to the drain pipes that transport wastewater.

How Long Does a Septic Pump Typically Operate?

The life of a sewage pump is determined by the amount of wastewater it pumps and how frequently the septic tank is filled.

Do Septic Tanks Need to Be Replaced on a Regular Basis?

The material used in the tank determines how long it will last.

Plastic tanks have a life expectancy of up to 30 years.

Puddles or moist soil surrounding a septic tank are indications that it is time to replace the tank.

A rusted steel tank might be an indication that it has to be replaced in order to prevent additional corrosion or collapse.

When it comes to home insurance, are septic tank damage and septic systems covered?

Damage to a septic system is normally covered by homeowners insurance if the damage was caused by one or more of the 16 dangers listed in your policy.

Take a look at the image below. Poor construction, neglect or inadequate maintenance, and abuse allegations, on the other hand, are likely to be denied. The following are examples of assertions that might be rejected:

  • What is the average lifespan of a septic tank? The expense of rebuilding septic systems may be an issue for homeowners who are unfamiliar with them. Septic systems, on the other hand, may last for decades if they are properly maintained and are of the right type for your property. Septic systems are used in rural regions and in communities that are not linked to existing sewer systems to provide sewage treatment. An underground storage tank collects wastewater generated by a domestic septic system. It is possible for particles to sink to the bottom of the tank and fats, grease, and oil to rise to the top because of the tank’s ability to hold wastewater in storage. The effluent from the tank is discharged into a drain field, where it can infect the soil with hazardous bacteria and virus. Is it possible to extend the life of steel septic tank? Septic tanks have a life span that is determined by the materials used in their construction. Steel tanks are unpopular because of their high cost and poor endurance. Tanks made of steel are susceptible to rust, which weakens the structure after approximately 15 years of use. It is possible for a steel septic tank to collapse even before it has reached its planned lifespan of around 20 years due to corrosion. Are Metal Septic Tanks Permitted in the United States of America? Usually,no. While steel septic tanks were formerly widespread, they are no longer permitted in many areas because to health concerns. Steel tanks can collapse as a result of corrosion, posing a threat to the safety of a house in this situation. For further information on whether metal septic tanks are permitted in your area, check your local and state regulations and building rules. A concrete septic tank is designed to last for a long time. Septic tanks made of durable concrete have a life span of 40 years or more when properly maintained. It is usual for home sewage systems to include a concrete storage tank, and these concrete septic tanks acquire strength with time. Because of their weight, the tanks can withstand the buoyant pressures created by increasing water tables. Septic Tank Issues with Concrete Concrete septic tanks, while sturdy, are susceptible to cracking, especially if the concrete is of inferior quality. That tank is in need of replacement if those cracks are large enough. Without proper ventilation to avoid sulfuric acid accumulation, a concrete tank will deteriorate over time. Is it possible to repair a concrete septic tank. Yes. Some concrete septic tank issues might be resolved by repairing the tank. A expert can seal minor fractures and install a new input line to avoid sulfuric acid accumulation from leaking hydrogen sulfide gas into the environment. It is necessary, however, to replace a concrete tank if it has extensive fractures or other defects. Is it possible to extend the life of plastic septic tanks? In comparison to steel or concrete storage tanks, plastic tanks are lighter and less costly. For more than 30 years, they have served their purpose effectively. When heavy loads are applied from above ground, plastic septic tanks are more susceptible to damage. Rising water tables under the surface of the earth can pose a hazard to lightweight plastic storage containers. A Sand Mound Septic System has a life expectancy of approximately 20 years. Home owners with high groundwater or little soil depth might benefit from a sand mound septic system on their land. The drain field is formed by a sand mound above ground. Depending on how well the septic tank is constructed, the life expectancy of the sand mound system will be influenced. In the wastewater, there are household chemicals and cleaning solutions that shortenthe life of the system. However, it is also dependent on how much the drain field is degraded by home chemical treatments and even antibacterial agents that are found in wastewater. Clogs and system failure are caused by the lack of beneficial microorganisms in the system. For How Long Does a Septic Leach Field Remain in Service? A septic leach field is the first component of a system to fail, but if it is properly managed, it may endure for up to 20 years. The size of the field and the amount of wastewater it treats can both have an influence on its lifespan and performance. It takes a longer time to drain a field that serves a seasonal residence than a field that serves a bigger household all year round. Is it Legal to Drive Through a Leachfield? No. To safeguard the leach field, you must do all possible. Parking or driving on or near a leach field is not permitted under any circumstances. Wastewater distribution pipelines might be damaged as a result of this activity. Another issue is that trees placed in or too near to the drain field might generate roots that disrupt the drain field’s line connections. Approximately how long does a septic pump function? It takes between 10 and 15 years for a septic system pump to fail. The amount of wastewater that is pumped and the frequency with which the septic tank is filled determine the life of the septic pump. Avoid unexpected system failure by replacing the pump rather than fixing it. In how many years does it become necessary to replace septic tanks? Between 20 and 40 years, the life expectancy of a septic tank is reasonable. How long the tank will last is determined on the material used to construct it. In comparison to steel tanks, concrete tanks have a lifespan of 40 years. Plastic tanks have a life span of up to 30 years in some instances. If my septic tank is failing, do I need to replace it? Flooding or damp soil in the vicinity of an existing tank indicate the need for a new system. Wetness might indicate that there are fractures or other weaknesses in the building structure. It is possible that rusting a steel tank is a symptom that it should be replaced in order to prevent additional corrosion or failure. Septic tank deterioration might be indicated by the presence of strong scents that appear abruptly. Home insurance does not cover septic tank damage or septic system failure. Yes. Damage to a septic system is normally covered by homeowners insurance if the damage was caused by one or more of the 16 dangers listed on your policy. Take a look at the illustration below. The claims will be dismissed if the building was built improperly or was neglected or maintained insufficiently. The following are examples of assertions that may be rejected:

What is the average lifespan of a septic tank system? Homeowners who are not familiar with septic systems may be concerned about the cost of replacing them. However, depending on the type of septic system and how well it is managed, a septic system can last for decades. Septic systems are used in rural regions and in communities that are not linked to existing sewer systems, such as subdivisions. A home septic system collects wastewater generated by a residence and stores it in a holding tank.

  • The effluent from the tank is discharged into a drain field, where it introduces dangerous germs and viruses into the surrounding soil.
  • How long do steel septic tanks last?
  • Steel tanks are an unattractive choice because of their high cost and poor endurance.
  • It is possible for a steel septic tank to collapse even before it has reached its projected lifespan of around 20 years.
  • Usually,no.
  • Steel tanks can collapse as a result of corrosion, posing a threat to the homeowner.
  • Do Concrete Septic Tanks Last Forever?

It is usual in home sewage systems to include a concrete storage tank, and these concrete septic tanks acquire strength with time.

Troubleshooting Concrete Septic Tanks Concrete septic tanks, while sturdy, are susceptible to cracking, especially when made of lower-quality concrete.

If a concrete tank is not ventilated to avoid the accumulation of sulfuric acid, it will decay.


A expert can seal minor fractures and install a new input line to avoid sulfuric acid accumulation from emitting hydrogen sulfide gas.

How Long Do Plastic Septic Tanks Last?

In comparison to steel or concrete storage tanks, plastic storage tanks are lighter and less costly.

Extreme weight applied from above ground can cause damage to plastic septic tanks.

What is the lifespan of a sand mound septic system?

The drain field is formed by a sand mound raised above ground.

The presence of household chemicals and cleaning solutions in wastewater shortens the life of the system.

The absence of beneficial microorganisms results in blockages and system failure.

A septic leach field is the first component of a system to fail, but if it is properly managed, it may endure for up to twenty years.

It takes a longer time to drain a field that serves a vacation residence than a field that serves a large household all year.


Always avoid parking or driving on or near a leach field.

Aside from that, trees placed in or too near to the drain field might generate roots that cause harm to the leach field’s pipes.

A septic system pump has a life span of between 10 and 15 years.

Instead of fixing the pump, it is recommended that you replace it to avoid sudden system failure.

A septic tank has a lifespan of between 20 and 40 years.

A steel tank has a lifespan of 20 years, whereas a concrete tank has a lifespan of 40 years.

Is It Necessary to Replace My Septic System?

The presence of moisture might indicate the presence of fractures or other issues.

Strong scents emanating from the septic tank that appear out of nowhere might also be a symptom of deterioration.


Take a look at the picture below. Poor construction, neglect or inadequate maintenance, and abuse allegations, on the other hand, will be dismissed. The following are some examples of assertions that might be rejected:

5 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Septic System — BL3 Plumbing & Drain Cleaning

Nobody wants sewage backing up into their yard, and there are a number of things you can do to keep your septic system from malfunctioning in the first place. But there are times when it is necessary to throw up the towel on an old system and make the investment in a new one. Because it is a costly option, you will want to be certain that it is absolutely essential. In an ideal world, efficient maintenance would preclude the need for replacement for decades, if not generations. However, years of poor maintenance may lead to the conclusion that a replacement is the best solution.

1. Age of the System

If you buy a new house, it’s possible that your septic system may endure for 40 years or longer, meaning you won’t have to replace it for a lengthy period of time. You may, on the other hand, have an older home with a septic system that has been in place for more than half a century. If you begin to notice difficulties with the system, and if you find yourself pumping it more regularly in order to maintain it operating correctly, it may be time to start planning for a new septic system installation.

2. You’ve Outgrown the System

Septic systems are designed to have a limited carrying capacity. In most cases, the size of a house is determined by the number of rooms and square footage it has. However, if you’ve increased the size of your home or your water usage, you may find that you’ve outgrown the capacity of your septic tank. If your tank is inadequate for your needs, it may be necessary to improve the system in order to better serve your family and your way of life.

3. Slow Drains

Having a septic problem might be indicated by the fact that your sinks or bathtub take an unusually lengthy time to empty. Because this is a tiny sign, it is possible that you are only suffering from a blockage. If, on the other hand, all of your sinks are draining slowly, it is possible that you have a more major problem. Due to sludge accumulation at the bottom of the septic tank, it is possible that the water is going more slowly through the septic tank.

4. Standing Water in the Yard

Any standing water in your yard due to a clogged septic system is a bad omen. However, it is possible that you are only in need of a repair and not a complete replacement. It’s possible that there is a problem with your drain field. It is critical that you do not disregard standing water since the problem will not go away; rather, it will only worsen. It’s possible that your septic tank isn’t the source of your difficulties. Standing water can be caused by a clogged drain field in some cases.

It is desirable to have grass and plants growing over your drain field because organisms aid in the breakdown of the liquid and prevent it from accumulating.

Aeration through mechanical means is the second option.

Your final choice is to seek a replacement. It is possible to repair the drain field without having to replace the septic tank in some situations. You should, however, plan on replacing the tank as well if you find that the majority of the difficulties you are experiencing are connected to age.

5. Nearby Contaminated Water Sources

If nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacteria are detected in neighboring water sources, this is a strong indication that there is a problem with your septic system. If you notice contamination in water sources, it is critical that you analyze the situation as soon as possible.

Other Septic Systems Issues

The replacement of the septic tank is the most extreme circumstance. A number of these indicators might be symptomatic of simpler problems that only require little correction. If you have obstructions in your septic tank, you may need to have it pumped or have the system cleaned. If you’re concerned about a septic tank problem, the best course of action is to contact a professional for assistance. At BL3, we provide a wide range of sewage line-related services. In order to speak with a plumber, please call (405) 895-6640 in North OKC or (405) 237-1414 in South OKC.

How to Repair the Top of a Rusted Septic Tank

Steel septic tanks were designed to be strong, but even the most durable man-made metals, such as stainless steel, can rust out after 15 or 20 years of use. Most of the time, rust accumulates near the bottom of an uncoated steel septic tank; when it does develop at the top of a tank, it is usually restricted to the tank lid. A rusted-out steel septic tank lid may be repaired with a very affordable replacement; however, a rusty septic tank should be completely removed and replaced with new steel.

Step 1

The contours of your septic tank should be visible. You should be able to obtain a copy of the blueprints from your local town clerk’s office, as the office is most likely responsible for issuing the septic system permit.

See also:  How Many Gallon Septic Tank For A Shop Toilet And Sink? (Best solution)

Step 2

The contours of your septic tank should be easily identifiable. Assuming that your town clerk’s office has granted a septic system permit, you can generally obtain a copy of the designs from that office as well.

Step 3

Remove the cover and examine the riser, which is the section of the tank that holds the lid. If necessary, replace the cover. It is possible to replace the rusty top with a heavy-duty plastic or concrete cover if it has not rusted through. By measuring the diameter of the entrance, you can determine the proper size. Concrete septic tank covers are hefty, but they are also sturdy and long-lasting. Plastic coverings allow for quicker access to the septic tank and are far less difficult to install.

Step 4

If a riser of adequate size is required, it should be installed. The riser is designed to fit over the hole in the septic tank that was previously occupied by the riser and lid. For future reference, the riser should protrude at least one foot above the ground surface to allow you to establish its placement.

Step 5

If caulk is required between the septic tank and the riser, it should be used. Allow the caulk to cure for at least 24 hours. Replace the old lid on top of the new one. In order to prevent runoff from entering the septic tank, make sure that it is firmly fastened.


Make certain that the replacement cover fits securely over the tank in order to prevent runoff from entering the container.


Before you begin working around your tank, get it pumped. The tank may hold enormous levels of methane, which may be both combustible and dangerous when released into the atmosphere.

4 Types of Septic Tanks – HomeAdvisor

The characteristics of each type of septic tank are crucial to understand whether you’re deciding which type of tank to use in conjunction with your septic system or solving a problem with your existing tank. Each installation option has its own set of pros and limitations, just like any other installation. Knowing the relative advantages and disadvantages of each option will assist you in making the right selection while establishing, repairing, or replacing your septic tank. Please keep in mind that most of these issues are the consequence of improper septic maintenance or installation.

The cost of an inspection might vary significantly based on a variety of criteria.

  • Solid Waste Container— Solid waste containers made of concrete are prone to cracking and even separation. These fissures, which are usually extremely durable for several decades, might appear sooner if a poor quality concrete mix was used or if the septic system has not been adequately maintained. These gaps will allow effluence (waste) to leak out of the concrete septic tank and/or allow groundwater to seep in through the tank’s drainage system. Either scenario is undesirable. The system may get clogged as a result of a blockage. Runoff is harmful, but it will not be discovered by a typical dye test since it is invisible. If a concrete septic tank is not physically inspected, it is possible that the problem will not be discovered until it is too late and major difficulties have developed. Tanks made of steel are the least long-lasting and most unpopular of the available tank options. They are intended to survive no more than 20-25 years, although they can succumb to rust even earlier than that. Steel top covers have the potential to rust through, allowing an unwary individual to fall into the tank. It is possible to change these covers without having to replace the complete tank. If you’re purchasing a property or already live in one that has a steel septic tank cover, personally viewing the cover will not necessarily provide you a clear indicator of the general state of your tank in the long run. As with any septic tank, pay particular attention to the baffles (entry and exit points) because they are the first to corrode in most cases. Fiberglass/Plastic Septic Tank—Unlike steel and concrete septic tanks, plastic septic tanks are virtually immune to the corrosion and cracking that occurs in steel and concrete septic tanks. Nonetheless, they have their own set of difficulties that should be kept an eye out for. In some cases, a low effluent level might indicate that a blockage at the bottom of the tank has gotten dislodged. Pumping should be performed even if the effluent level seems to be normal throughout the process
  • Nevertheless, any clogs should be carefully checked after the pumping. It is possible that the process of pumping a septic tank will be sufficient to remove a clog.
  • In spite of the fact that plastic septic tanks are more resistant to the chemical processes that occur naturally in a septic system, their lower weight makes them more prone to structural damage. It is necessary to install the tank with care in order to avoid damage to the tank. It is important to take careful notice of the land above the tank. Avoid driving any vehicles over the tank’s filling station. During periods of wet soil, the lighter can also cause the tank to shift in its position in the ground. Occasionally, a plastic septic tank may emerge from the earth, destroying pipes along the way.
  • Using oxygen to help in the degradation of the effluent is what aerobic septic tanks are all about, according to the manufacturer. They also necessitate the use of power. When a septic system fails, aerobic septic tanks are most frequently utilized to replace it. They can also, on occasion, minimize the amount of space necessary for their drain field. Aerobic septic tanks are generally two to three times more expensive than conventional septic tanks, but their high efficiency can result in significant savings in terms of reclaimed land in the drain field and a longer tank life. The capacity of an aerobic septic tank to function has nothing to do with its long-term dependability. A more regular and more thorough maintenance schedule is required for an aerobic septic system. Because of its more intricate breakdown structure, there is a greater possibility that something may go wrong. However, if the system is properly maintained, its effectiveness will allow you to keep your effluent under control for an almost unlimited period of time.
  • Important Caution: Exercise extra caution when in the vicinity of open or uncovered sewage tanks. Falling into a sewage tank will almost always result in death due to asphyxiation. The simple act of leaning over a septic tank might lead you to pass out.

Our True Cost Report gathers information from homeowners on the expenses of small and big capacity septic systems. Use this resource while planning your installation project’s financial budget.

Septic Tank Replacement

If this is the case, you will want the services of a reliable septic repair service provider such as Lentz Wastewater Management. What if I told you. Before 1970, most houses had septic tanks made of manufactured cinderblock, rock (also known as cesspools), or metal tanks, depending on their construction. We rapidly discovered that we needed to employ more lasting materials, such as concrete or plastic, in our construction. Despite the fact that we still see these sorts of tanks today, they are frequently in need of replacement owing to degradation.

The Septic Tank
  • An underground, watertight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a waste disposal system. The major function of the tank is to separate solid waste from liquid waste by separating the solids and greases from the liquid waste. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow heavy particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Septic tanks include anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that do not require oxygen to function), which break down the solids and greases. Some sediments are left at the bottom of the septic tank that have not been digested (sludge). Solids must be removed from the tank on a regular basis in order for it to function properly. It is via this pumping that sediments are prevented from being taken intothedrainfield and the effective capacity of the tank is maintained. Grease, sludge, and hair float to the surface of the water. A standard septic tank has a capacity of 1,000 gallons of liquid, is waterproof, and is typically constructed of concrete, however it can also be constructed of fiberglass and plastic. Inlet and outflow flow patterns are controlled by internal baffles located at the tank’s inlet and exit
  • Historically, single compartment tanks were the norm for systems built before 1980ish. Tanks erected after 1980 are often divided into two compartments. Because both compartments of a two-compartment tank must be pumped when the tank is being pumped, it is critical to understand this before having the tank pumped.

Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations, including gravity, chamber, pressure distribution, and others. Septic systems differ in the manner in which effluent is transported from the tank to the absorption field, which is often a matter of design. The septic tank itself is the most frequent component of all of the many types of systems on the market.

How often does a septic tank need to be replaced?

In most cases, septic tanks will not need to be changed after a specific number of years. Homeowners should not wait until they are experiencing issues before considering tank replacement. When it comes to your system, regular maintenance is essential. The majority of older septic systems that have been properly maintained are still in good working order today. Septic systems are inspected by a professional septic inspector to determine their condition. He can tell you what sort of soil absorption system you have based on the information you provide.

It is necessary to drain the tank if there is indication of bacterial issues, such as very thick scum or solids accumulation inside the tank.

If your septic system is not properly maintained, it may fail, necessitating excavation and repair or replacement.

If your septic system is properly planned, implemented, and maintained, it should survive for a very long period of time. Systems that are not maintained will fail. PROTECT. DON’T NEGLECT TO DO SO!

Septic System Life expectancy

System and component life expectancy are discussed in detail in the next section. How long does a septic tank last before it has to be replaced? A septic leach field or drainfield is expected to persist for several years. Which septic system components, such as pipes, D-boxes, septic pumps, and other septic system components, have the longest expected life span? Septic systems and typical septic system components have a life expectancy that is mostly dependent on the materials that were utilized during the initial installation.

Old age, lack of adequate maintenance, neglect, and misuse are among factors that might cause a septic system to fail.

The normal septic system may survive up to 30-50 years or even longer in some instances.


What to do if you just moved into a new home with a septic system?

If you’ve recently purchased a property that has a septic tank, you’re likely to have a lot of questions. Contact a septic pumping provider and have your septic system cleaned and pumped out as soon as possible. The majority of firms will perform a septic system examination, which will inform you where the tank is located, how big the tank is, and whether or not there are any urgent problems. It is advised that you have your septic system evaluated by a professional septic inspector in order to get a more in-depth review of your system.

  • Determines the type of system to be used, as well as the position of the tank, absorption field, and distribution boys (if any). Observations of a septic tank
  • Risers and lids that are working or that are damaged
  • Tank – flaking, cracking, crumbling, and depth Sanitary Tee — a sanitary tee that is still in good condition. the presence of and functionality of an effluent filter Levels of scum and sludge in the effluent are measured. Tank construction materials include concrete, polyethylene, and other materials.
  • Pump Chamber is operational
  • Electrical connections are operational
  • Pump Chamber is operational
  • A functional alarm is activated when the floats are activated for wastewater. The pump is located.
  • Located
  • Flow – continuous functioning flow from the home to the tank with no backups or effluent spilling to the ground surface
  • Cleanouts that are visually appealing, useful, and in tact
  • Saturation is represented by lush vegetation and wet/soggy areas.
Tips for a Healthy Septic System
  • Reduce the quantity of waste water that your system has to treat and distribute by using water-saving techniques. To decrease waste water and stress on your septic system, for example, spread out your laundry across many days of the week. Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and fix them right away, as this will help to limit the quantity of waste water that must be treated by your septic system. Surface water should be diverted away from your septic tank and drain field. Address the problem of wet soil above your drainfield, which prevents the system from processing waste water effectively. Install septic risers as necessary to ensure that your septic tank is accessible for pumping, inspection, and maintenance. In general, septic tanks should be pumped out every three to five years, depending on their size. Annual inspections can help to ensure that your system remains in good functioning order. Pumping the tank will not restore the drainage field to its original condition if it has been infested with solid waste particles. Maintain detailed records of all system repairs, pumpings, inspections, and other maintenance activities. When it comes to selling your property, these will be really advantageous. When planting trees and plants, use caution. Deep-rooted plants and bushes can infiltrate your leachfield pipelines and chambers, suffocating the flow of wastewater. Do not drive over your septic system, nor should you construct decks, pools, or other structures on top of the tank or absorption field.
Steps to Take for a Septic Tank Replacement in North Carolina
  • Contact Lentz Wastewater if you want to be put on our schedule as a replacement for an existing system. We will assist you in every stage of the procedure
  • We will be with you every step of the way. Fill out the septic repair permit application that is needed by your county. Applications for counties near Iredell can be found at the websites provided below.
  • The “Authorization to Act as Legal Representative Form” must be signed by both you and the homeowner if you are not the homeowner.
  • You can submit the application to your local environmental health agency for review and approval. Fee schedules according to county
  • An inspector from the county will come to the site and finalize the permission for the replacement of the tank.
  • Obtain a copy of the permission that has been completed
  • An official written quote from Lentz Wastewater will be supplied to you after we have a copy of the new permit granted by the health department. Utility Locate Services in North Carolina can be called
  • Pumping, crushing, and filling the current tank are all decisions made by the health department
  • The health department also selects the size, material, and placement of the new tank. Pumping and crushing the existing tank is an option.

In order to obtain further information on permits and costs, you should speak with your local health department. Environmental Health in Iredell County – StatesvilleContact The following phone number is for Adrienne Shea: (704) 878-5305 ext. 3456. – Statesville, North Carolina 28677 N. Center Street Application for a Septic System Permit in Iredell County Permit Fees in Iredell County Catawba CountyPhone: (828) 465-8268Catawba CountyPhone: (828) 465-8268 Catawba County Email100A SWBlvdNewton, NC 28625 – Application for a Septic Permit in Catawba County Fees for Catawba County Permits Charlotte – Mecklenburg County– Change the link if necessary.

980-314-1680Mecklenburg County EmailPhone: 980-314-1680Groundwater and Wastewater Services3205 Freedom Drive Suite 8000Charlotte, NC 28202Groundwater and Wastewater ServicesGroundwater and Wastewater ServicesGroundwater and Wastewater Services Application for a Charlotte-Mecklenburg CoSeptic Permit Fees for Permits in Mecklenburg County – 336-753-1680210 Hospital StreetMocksville, NC 27028 Davie County EmailFax: (336) 753-1680 Application for a Septic Permit in Davie County Alexander CountyPhone: 828-632-1000 Ext 311Fax: (828-632-13546125 NC Hwy 16 SouthTaylorsville, NC 28681Alexander CountyPhone: 828-632-1000 Ext 311 Application for a Septic System Permit in Alexander County Fees for Permits in Alexander County -– Rowan County’s phone number is 704-216-8533.

Tad Helmstetler402 N. Main StreetSalisbury, NC 28144 Helmstetler, Tad Fees for Rowan County Permits -– 336-679-4200213 E. Elm StYadkinville, NC 27055Yadkin CountyPhone: (336) 679-4200Email Application for a Permit in Yadkin County Fees for Permits in Yadkin County

Should You Buy a House with an Old Septic Tank?

If you’re thinking about buying a property with a septic tank, you might be wondering how long a septic tank will last you. Having this information is essential since repairing a septic tank can cost thousands of dollars. You should know how long your septic tank will last, as well as the condition of the tank, before finalizing your house purchase. The lifespan of a septic tank is determined by a variety of factors, including soil conditions and upkeep. A plastic or fiberglass septic tank, on the other hand, will typically last 30 to 40 years on average.

See also:  How To Seal Drain Pipe Into Septic Tank? (Best solution)

How to Perform a Septic System Inspection I will argue that having a professional inspect your septic system is the best course of action.

Second, it’s a mediocre position.

However, there are several basic inspections you can perform on your own to determine whether or not there is a problem with your septic system.

  1. Drains take a long time to drain
  2. The toilet flushes at a leisurely rate. When flushing the toilet, gurgling sounds are heard in the pipes. Sewage or rotten egg (sulfur) odor within the house or in the vicinity of the septic system. There is more grass over the septic tank or drain field region than there is elsewhere on the land
  3. And When there is standing water on the ground over the drain field, the ground is soggy. Water overflows into the shower or other low-flowing drains

What is the average cost of a septic inspection? As you might guess, the cost of septic tank inspections varies based on where you reside and who you choose to hire to perform the inspection. Generally speaking, though, it appears to cost between $100 and $250 for the examination. An extra fee, on the other hand, will almost likely be charged if the inspector is required to dig up the tank in order to reach it. Furthermore, if it becomes necessary to empty the tank, the expense will be significantly greater (but since they have already uncovered the tank and are already in it to inspect it, the additional cost to pump may be cheaper than if you were to call them back out at a later date to pump it.) If this is necessary as part of the purchase of a home, the Seller may be forced to conduct a tank pumping or inspection as part of the transaction.

Consult with your real estate agent to learn about the standards in your neighborhood.

What would the cost be if you discover that you require a new septic tank?

Every one of them comes out to around $1 per gallon. As a result, a 1,000-gallon septic tank would cost around $1,000, plus or minus a couple hundred dollars. This is a rough estimate for the cost of a tank alone. Any of these will result in an increase in cost.

  • Removing and replacing the old septic tank
  • Installing a new tank
  • And making repairs to the leach field lines

The installation of the septic tank, on the other hand, represents the most significant cost difference. Septic tanks made of fiberglass or plastic weigh between 300 and 400 pounds, however concrete tanks can weigh as much as 8,000 pounds (or 4 tons!) and require the use of a crane and a vehicle capable of handling such weight in order to be properly installed. A new plastic septic tank may even be purchased from Home Depot or Lowes, which is convenient where we reside. In the event that you already have a truck or trailer to transport it, you will simply need to pay someone to put it in place.

  • In contrast to a plastic tank, a concrete tank should provide you with a longer lifespan and fewer possible difficulties.
  • The tank and installation cost him $2,000, which he paid in cash.
  • The problem with estimating the lifetime and cost of a septic system’s components or the entire system is that everything is dependent on a variety of other factors, including what gets into the system, how well it is maintained, the soil conditions, and so on.
  • Ideally, it should last for at least 20 years.
  • What is the average cost of replacing a drain field?
  • There are several aspects to consider.
  • Grease, fats, and sludge materials may have discharged into the drain field pipes and blocked the pipes and drainage area below them.

It is also conceivable that the ‘hardware’ of the drain field is in good condition, but that the soil is the problem.

Occasionally, this occurs naturally; however, it can also occur as a result of driving or parking across the drain field region.

This is accomplished by the use of a metal probe that is inserted into the ground and forces air down into the earth.

This is also not a cheap cure, as you might imagine.

Although the tank is only one component of the system, it is likely that installation expenses as well as maintenance to other sections of the system, such as the drain field or the soil itself, will need to be considered.

Everything above is an excellent reason to have any septic system properly assessed by a professional before acquiring a home that uses a septic system to handle its waste water.

How Much Does a Septic Tank System Cost?

A Quick Look at Septic Tank Prices

  • Total cost: $3,900 on average
  • $1,500 to $5,000 on a sliding scale
  • Anaerobic septic tanks cost between $2,000 and $5,000
  • Aerobic septic tanks cost between $10,000 and $20,000
  • Gravity septic tanks cost between $1,500 and $4,000
  • Mound septic tanks cost between $10,000 and $20,000
  • Chamber septic tanks cost between $1,500 and $5,000
  • Conventional septic tanks cost between $2,000 and $5,000.

The wastewater generated by your household is teeming with potentially harmful germs. In order to properly dispose of waste and prevent it from backing up into your sinks and toilets, you must ensure that your septic tank is in good working condition. This Might Also Be of Interest to You: What Is the Difference Between a Septic System and a Sewer System? Everything you need to know about septic tank replacement, including how much it will cost, can be found in this article.

What Is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank is an underground chamber that is used to treat residential wastewater to a modest degree. It is intended to store wastewater for an extended period of time, allowing particles to settle to the bottom and oil and grease to float to the surface. After that, the liquid waste is filtered away.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Septic Tank?

In most cases, a new septic tank system will cost you around $3,900 to install. It costs between $1,500 and $5,000 to install a conventional 1,250-gallon tank, which is the perfect size for a three- or four-bedroom house. This price includes the tank itself, which ranges in price from $600 to $2,100 or more depending on the size and kind. Workman’s compensation is included in the price of the installation and often ranges from $1,500 to $4,000.

Types of Septic Tank Systems

Septic tank installation and replacement costs are heavily influenced by the type of system that you select to use. Tanks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here are a few examples:

Anaerobic Septic System

Anaerobic systems are a popular alternative for many homes since they don’t require any additional electricity or chemicals to function properly. Anaerobic systems include microorganisms that do not require oxygen to exist and hence are called anaerobic systems. Solid waste is broken down by microbes, and any leftover liquid waste is pumped out and spread beneath the surface of the soil. The garbage is naturally recycled when the water seeps into the ground and returns to the environment. The installation of these devices is between $2,000 and $5,000.

Aerobic Septic System

Aerobic systems, in contrast to anaerobic systems, make use of microorganisms that do not require oxygen to live. To activate the bacteria in the tank, oxygen is injected into it, and the bacteria then feed on the solid waste. Aerobic systems perform effectively in soils that are unsuitable for other systems and in areas where the groundwater table is elevated. It is an excellent choice for residences that are close to a body of water. Aerobic systems are more costly to install than anaerobic ones.

Gravity Septic System

Gravity septic systems employ gravity to filter and move water through the system. They must be put on a mild slope in order to allow water to flow without the use of a pump. The cost of installation ranges from $1,500 to $4,000.

Conventional Septic System

A standard septic system is comprised of a septic tank and a trench that serves as a drain field for the collection of waste. The trench is built on stone or gravel and is designed to allow water to move through it easily.

In order to prevent sand or dirt from contaminating the clean soil, geofabric is laid over the top of the trench and secured in place. In order to function properly, a traditional septic system requires a huge amount of room. The installation of these devices is between $2,000 and $5,000.

Mound Septic System

If your groundwater table is close to the surface, a mound septic system is the most appropriate option for your situation. An area for the septic system is prepared, and a sand mound is built to allow effluent from the tank to be pumped into the mound in modest amounts. The sand then acts as a filter, preventing the water from reaching the soil and groundwater. This design necessitates a large amount of floor space. They’re also expensive to install since a sand mound needs to be built before they can be utilized.

Chamber Septic System

Chamber septic systems have lately gained popularity as an alternative to traditional septic systems. They are comparable to conventional systems, with the exception that plastic chambers, rather than gravel, are utilized in the drain field. These are less difficult to build and have a lower carbon footprint. The cost of installing them ranges from $1,500 to $5,000.

Septic Tank Materials

Another aspect that influences cost is the type of material used to construct your septic tank. The following are some of the most often seen materials:


Concrete septic tanks are the most prevalent form of septic tank because they are extremely long-lasting and reliable. They can survive for 20 to 30 years if they are properly maintained. Concrete, on the other hand, may break with time. When concrete is reinforced with rebar, the strength of the concrete is increased when subjected to pressure. Because of its weight, installation is more difficult and necessitates the use of specialized equipment. The cost of a typical-sized concrete tank ranges from $720 to $2,050 dollars.


Fiberglass does not deteriorate when utilized underground, and because it is nonporous, it will not support the formation of algae. Because of the tank’s modest weight, it is easy to install. You won’t have to worry about cracking since, unlike concrete, it will not expand or shrink as the weather changes. The typical cost of a fiberglass tank is between $1,600 and $2,000.


Tanks made of plastic are lightweight and simple to install. They’re also fairly long-lasting. Plastic tanks range in price from $830 to $1,400 on average, depending on the kind.


In spite of steel’s strength and durability, septic tanks built of steel are susceptible to rust and collapse if not properly maintained. As a result, several municipal governments have tightened their restrictions in order to discourage their usage. Typically, you’ll discover them in regions where the system was already in operation. If you are able to have one installed, they range in price from $900 to $9,900.

What Size Septic Tank Do You Need?

The size of your septic tank is normally decided by the number of bedrooms in your house. This is used to calculate the amount of water that will flow through the system on a daily basis. In general, the expense of a system increases in direct proportion to its size.

Two Bedrooms

A septic system with a minimum of a 750-gallon septic tank is required for a two-bedroom residence.

However, in many localities, a 1,000-gallon tank is the least capacity that may be accommodated.

Three Bedrooms

A minimum of a 1,000-gallon water tank is required for a three-bedroom residence, which handles around 360 gallons of water each day on a daily basis.

Four Bedrooms

A bigger tank, with a minimum volume of 1,250 gallons, is required for a four-bedroom residence. It is capable of handling around 480 to 600 gallons of water each day. Additional Related Articles:

  • How to keep the cost of septic tank pumping to a bare minimum
  • 3 Symptoms of Sewer and Septic System Problems
  • Do you have a clogged sewer line? Here’s What You Should Do
  • Water Sewer Line Repair: Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional
  • Listed here are 15 common plumbing problems that every homeowner should be aware of.

Septic Tank Repair Costs

It’s conceivable that only a certain component of your septic tank has to be replaced rather than the complete tank. Repairs and replacement parts can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a complete system replacement. The following are some of the most often seen repairs:

Drain Field

Drain fields can get overloaded and flood, resulting in sewage backing up into toilets and sinks. The cost of replacing a drain or leach field ranges from $3,500 to $11,000.

Tank Pump

A replacement septic tank pump typically costs between $500 and $1,200.

Tank Filter

It is the most typical type of filter change that is performed by homeowners. It typically costs between $230 and $280.

Tank Lid

Concrete coverings and steel lids may break and corrode as a result of exposure to the elements. In most cases, you can repair a septic tank lid on your own for about $35 and $60. In most cases, having it changed by a professional is more expensive.

Tank Baffle

The baffle is responsible for directing wastewater through the septic tank. A replacement baffle piece will cost between $23 and $44 dollars.

Additional Factors to Consider

A septic tank can be built either below or above ground, depending on your preferences. Because of the amount of excavating and footing preparation required, installing a tank underground is a pricey endeavor. Underground septic tanks necessitate the construction of a drain field that can accommodate a soakaway. In addition, because the soakaway allows for part of the wastewater to drain into the ground, the tank will require less emptying over time. Over time, this might result in a reduction in your expenditure.

Some demand that an inspector check and approve the site, which might result in a fee being charged to the homeowner.

How Long Does a Septic Tank Last?

The lifespan of a septic tank varies based on the material used and the type of system used. The lifespan of a septic tank might be reduced if the tank becomes clogged due to roots or floods from groundwater. Septic systems have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years on average. Maintaining your septic tank on a regular basis is the most effective approach to extend its life. Keep in mind that maintaining your tank entails more than just draining out the contents; it’s also crucial to have a professional evaluate your tank on a regular basis and perform routine maintenance.

In the event that you have a plan in place, you can call our 24-hour repair hotline anytime a covered problem develops. We’ll dispatch one of our locally based, licensed, and highly qualified professionals to complete the work for you right away.

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