How Often Does A Septic Tank Need To Be Replaced?

How often do you need to replace a septic tank? This is the central question we’ll attempt to provide answers to. Now, a lot of variables come into play when the issue of septic tank lifespan is raised.

These too will be discussed as you read along.

For any septic system, the tank is one of the major components required for waste treatment. These come in a variety of types and sizes and are expected to serve for a significant period of time.

However, at the expiration of its lifespan, a tank will need to be replaced.

Signs that Point to the Need for Septic Tank Replacement

Before a septic tank replacement is considered, certain signs point to the need for replacement. It’s important to look out for such signs and act fast before the situation worsens.

These include lush-green lawn, standing water, pipe backups, foul odor, and frequent repairs.

Issues such as standing water, pipe backups, and foul odor can also be identified when the septic tank only needs repairs. In other words, not all cases of pipe backups and foul odor among others point to the need for septic tank repair.

Close inspection by an expert goes a long way in determining the condition of your septic tank. This leads to questions on whether the tank is due for replacement or not.

Relying on professional advice saves you the stress of having to endure frequent breakdowns of your septic system.

  • Lush-Green Lawn

Everyone loves to have lush-green lawns around their homes right?

However, it becomes unusual when such lawn is greener around locations where your septic tank is installed. When you see this, you should be worried and call for an immediate investigation by a professional septic technician.

The likely cause for the lush-green lawn around a septic tank is improper disposal of wastewater. The effluent contains a high amount of nitrates which will readily fertilize plants.

So, your lawn may be drawing nutrients from effluent accumulated in the tank.

  • Standing Water

One of the possible signs pointing to the need for septic tank replacement is standing water.

This can be noticed around the tank or the drain field areas. Standing water simply means your septic tank is having trouble disposing of wastewater hence the appearance of puddles around.

It’s necessary to act fast when such a situation is noticed because it could negatively impact health. Wastewater contains a high volume of nitrates and bacteria. These would cause significant health problems when you come in contact.

  • Pipe Backups

It’s common to experience pipe backups when septic tanks become less functional. This is largely due to improper draining and clogged pipes. The best way to find out is by calling for an inspection.

An inspection performed by a professional technician should reveal the degree of the problem.

  • Foul Odors

Quite a lot of septic system issues result in foul odors. These permeate your surroundings creating a great deal of discomfort. Foul odors emanating from your septic tank isn’t natural and needs to be investigated.

Here, gases come up through toilets, drains, and drain fields.

Normally, this should signal the need for septic tank pumping. However, when such foul odors linger on after pumping, the need for septic tank replacement may be necessary.

  • Frequent Repairs

It’s normal to have regular maintenance services carried out on your septic system.

However, when repairs become too frequent, it may be due to a bigger problem such as a malfunctioning or broken-down septic tank. For such, outright replacement may be the best solution.

Septic Tank Replacement Frequency

This is the main point of our discussion; the duration or lifespan of a septic tank.

Now, the useful lifespan of a septic tank varies greatly. This ranges from about 15 to 40 years or more depending on the type. The lifespan of a septic tank will be affected by the type of materials it’s made of.

Apart from its materials, minor damages may have resulted from vehicular traffic when transporting to its place of installation. This is likely to deteriorate over time. Plant roots are also likely to cause clogging.

Groundwater flooding is another factor affecting a septic tank’s lifespan.

Septic tanks are made of various materials. These include steel, concrete, fiberglass, and plastic. These do not have a uniform lifespan. In other words, there is a varying lifespan for each of these septic tank types. Let’s take a look at each as follows;

  • Steel Septic Tank Lifespan

Septic tanks made of steel are naturally durable during the early years after installation.

However, rust activity due to soil acidity and the likes result in the tank’s deterioration. The average lifespan for a steel septic tank is about 15 years until its bottoms and baffles give way.

  • Concrete Septic Tank Lifespan

Of all the septic tank types, concrete or pre-casted concrete septic tanks are about the most durable. This naturally makes them last longer than most types. The average lifespan of a concrete septic tank is about 40 years or more.

  • Fiberglass Septic Tank Lifespan

A septic tank made of fiberglass doesn’t corrode and serves for quite a long time.

Based on conditions a fiberglass septic tank can serve as much as 25 to 40 years before they need for replacement arises. It all depends on how you use it.

  • Plastic Septic Tank Lifespan

Plastic septic tanks are also reliable because they’re built to withstand corrosion. These can last for as much as 30 to 40 years before the need for a replacement ever arises.

In the absence of tree roots and unstable soil among other things, a plastic septic tank will last much longer.

Enhancing Your Septic Tank’s Functionality

Having discussed the many factors affecting septic tank functionality, it’s necessary to consider ways to enhance its condition. You won’t have to replace a septic tank too frequently when you adopt maintenance practices such as system care.

System care refers to the exclusion of certain items such as feminine sanitary pads from being flushed down your drains. Other maintenance activities favorable to your tank include scheduled pumping, and professional tune-ups by licensed professionals.

We’ve seen the varying times or lifespan for septic tanks.

In other words, septic tanks are expected to serve for a certain number of years before they’re considered for replacement.

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