Septic Tank Lid Replacement: Procedures & Issues

In this guide, we’ll look at how to replace a septic tank lid. Like other components of the septic tank, a lid may require replacement over time.

If you have a septic tank installed in your home, one thing you should know is that these tanks aren’t indestructible. In other words, they’re likely to deteriorate over time and will require close monitoring to ensure they serve for as long as they can.

What we’re simply trying to say is that maintenance plays a key role in the normal functioning of a septic tank.

The process of septic tank lid replacement may be easy for some people but isn’t so for others. This possibility has fuelled the need to provide you with a detailed guide on how to go about the process.

There’s a higher chance that you’re reading this because you need to have your septic tank lid fixed. So, here we go!

What Is A Septic Tank Lid?

The septic tank lid is a key component of the tank that helps keep in the gases and also keeps out dirt and other unwanted objects from falling into the tank.

More importantly, it serves to prevent accidents such as kids from falling into the tank.

This primary access into the septic tank is used by septic tank companies every few years to inspect as well as pump the tanks. Sometimes, some shallow digging will be necessary to access your septic tank lid.

This wouldn’t be necessary if a riser is installed as it helps position the tank lid to ground level.

Common Issues With Septic Tank Lids

It’s possible to discover your septic tank lid is no more.

Although this hardly happens, your lid may have been carted away or misplaced during a pumping session. There’s also the possibility of cracks developing from pressure exerted by weight.

Steel septic tank lids are likely to corrode over time. This is common for steel tanks which is why such tanks are becoming less popular with homeowners.

For steel tanks, replacing the lid due to rust will only fix a small part of the problem. Your steel tank may be rusted and about to give way.

Which is Better: Replacement or Repair? 

Before we get into details on how to replace your septic tank lid, it’s important to discuss the choices before you. When a septic tank lid gets faulty, you’re basically left with two options; to repair or replace.

The repair depends on the level of damage.

When a septic tank lid gets damaged beyond repair, your best bet is to have it replaced. This will mean purchasing a new unit. Thankfully, there are lots of septic system accessories in the market that help with maintenance.

On the other hand, minor issues with your septic tank lid are best resolved by having them fixed. Concrete lid cracks can be fixed by applying new concrete. This is more cost-effective and allows you to keep your septic tank lid functional by extending its lifespan.

So, the question on which is the best option is entirely up to you. You get to make the judgment based on your needs and perceived benefits.

Steps To Replacing Your Septic Tank Lid

Septic tank lid replacement follows several procedures. This is necessary for a perfect job to be done. Without such a procedure, you’re likely to end up with a sham process that doesn’t fix the problem.

So, what are these procedures?

You’ll first need to locate the lid, dig up the lid area, and determine the replacement lid type needed. Lastly, the old and faulty septic tank lid has to give way for the new.

Let’s further discuss each of these procedures for the sake of clarity.

  • Locating the Septic Tank Lid

Replacing a septic tank lid isn’t as easy as it sounds as you’ll have to search out the lid area.

First, you must know where your septic tank is located. Thankfully, maintaining scheduled inspections enables you to discover issues as early as possible.

The best way to save time in locating the septic tank and lid is by calling for professional help or contacting the previous property owner. Another effective way is by making inquiries from your local health department.

These organizations keep records on building permits etc.

You may want to try the metal detector approach. Will this work for concrete tanks? It will! Concrete tanks have metal rebar within their structures. A metal detector search leads you to the general area where you continue with further investigations.

If you’ve found the general area of your septic tank, it should be lying about 12 to 14 inches below the ground. So, a metal poke around such an area should help you proceed to the next step.

  • Digging up Lid Area

The first process has enabled you to find your septic tank, now, you’ll have to do a little digging to gain access to the lid. When working with a record of your property, you’re able to anticipate ahead of time how many lids there are.

Using a shovel for this task should suffice.

Having located the lid, you’ll need to dig out the sides to allow for more clearance. Most septic tank lids lie flat against the tank. With more lids comes the need for increased clearance of the top surface of your tank.

Thankfully, not much digging will be necessary because the depth of the lid should start from around 4 inches.

  • Determining the Replacement Lid Type Needed

Gaining access to the septic tank lid enables you to determine the exact replacement type to purchase.

No purchase can be made until this step is completed. The lid material doesn’t count so much because there are alternatives such as those made of PVC that will serve just fine.

Getting a new replacement lid for your septic tank is likely to cost you around $100 to $200 based on the type you purchase.

  • Replacing the Old for the New

To fix the new lid, the old has to be removed. Depending on the lid, removal may be easy or a bit challenging.

Tools such as a pry bar or backhoe should help with lifting heavy septic tank lids. Having removed the old and replaced the new, it will need to be secured in place.

These are ways to go about replacing a septic tank lid.

Following the process laid out above guarantees a better job. Your septic tank condition should be better improved with this maintenance action.

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