Maintain Your Septic Tank by Being Mindful of all Components

septic tank cover

There may not be as many moving or individual parts within a septic tank as there are in something like a car, truck or other appliance, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t responsible for doing just as much. 

A septic tank only works when all of the individual parts are functioning properly. This isn’t hard to understand, but what can be difficult to learn is how the different parts work – and what they do. The more you know, the likelier it is that you will notice problems or issues as soon as they happen, instead of much later on down the line.

What Makes Up a Septic Tank? 

While there are a few different builds for septic tanks, there is some consistency when it comes to the way they are constructed. 

All septic tanks have septic holding tanks. This is where the liquids and solids go as they leave your home. This tank is where the “treatment” takes place, and where the solids are broken down. Common issues in this portion of the tank include cracks, breaks, and general wearing down.

Within the holding tank, aerobic septic systems contain a septic tank aerator. This is the part responsible for agitating the liquid, introducing more oxygen, and promoting bacterial growth. This part is constantly moving, which means that it will wear down. Examples of problems here are solids becoming entangled, the aerator motor breaking or seizing, or loss of power. 

The septic tank baffle (or septic tank filter) is also located in this main chamber. It keeps the water flowing in the right direction, as well as keeps larger solids from going where they are not supposed to. Issues with the baffle often include getting jammed, blocked, or simply breaking. 

There Are Parts Outside of the Septic Tank, Too

Most of your septic system is hidden beneath the ground, but there are some parts and pieces that are visible. 

This includes the septic tank lids and risers, and in some cases, septic tank covers, too. Concrete septic tank lids are designed to withstand the elements over long periods of time, but they aren’t the only option. Septic lids are also constructed of heavy-duty plastic. Issues with the lids and risers include cracking, breaking, becoming loose or getting damaged. 

Choosing the right options for your tank often depends on the location of it, your climate, and the length of time you want it to last. This is where talking to professionals comes in handy. 

Learning What to Look For With Your Septic Tank 

For new homeowners, it might seem overwhelming to have another thing to consider the status of, but over time, being mindful of your septic system becomes second nature. 

If you don’t know where to start, consider asking a pro, or someone that also owns a septic tank. Pointers, tips, warning signs and even suggestions for taking action differ depending on who you talk to and what kind of system you have, but any information helps. 

Don’t hesitate when it comes to learning – it’s a necessary part of owning a home with a septic tank. 

The Steps Necessary for Septic Tank Installation and Maintenance

septic tank installation

What is septic tank installation? 

If you’re moving into a new home – and it contains a septic tank on property – you’ll need to think about septic tank installation at some point. Though the systems are designed to last for decades at a time with maintenance and upkeep, sometimes things happen. The need to replace a septic tank isn’t something that homeowners look forward to, but it’s a definite reality in many cases. 

Here are a few things that you need to know about septic tanks and installing a completely new one 

Septic Tank Size 

While you can’t choose the size of an existing tank, you can decide how large you want the next one to be. It’s never a good idea  to go too small, but it is possible to increase the size of your septic tank. Septic tank size depends on a lot of factors, but most notably on the overall size of the home – and the predicted volume of water. For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank is better suited for a larger home than a 500 gallon septic tank. You want your tank to withstand the daily use and for the included parts to not be overworked. 

How much is a septic tank?

As with other purchases, the larger a septic tank is, the more it will cost. Assessing septic tank cost – and finding septic tanks for sale – aren’t difficult tasks, but they can be a little difficult to understand at first. There’s more than the cost of the tank and components to consider. You’ll also have to think about preparing the land, removing the old tank and components, and any upgrades or additions you need to make over time. 

How do I maintain my septic tank? 

Septic tank maintenance needs to be done. You home’s septic tank is not only essential, it’s an investment for the future, too. Taking care of it now – scheduling pumping and clean out, using septic tank treatment products, monitoring the function of your tank’s components like the aerator, pump, and septic tank lids and risers  – these are all important. Overlooking one thing, or pushing it off til later might not seem like a big deal, but it can turn into one very quickly. 

Everything begins when the septic tank installation is done, but owning a septic tank is much different than using one. For the most part, you can simply use it as necessary, but every now and then, you’ll have to pay attention to it. Don’t let your septic tank go unwatched for long – especially if it’s one that’s newly installed. Yes, it’s meant to last a long time, but this is only possible with careful and complete monitoring by you – and your septic tank services professionals. 

What is involved on your septic tank maintenance checklist?

septic tank products
Having a list of all the septic tank products you’ll need helps take the stress out of septic tank maintenance.

When trying to keep your septic tank in fully functional condition, there are some things to remember. The most important is to stick to a schedule for septic tank services. Even though it might not seem like a big deal to skip out on an inspection or a pumping, or to put them off for a little while… this doesn’t always turn out the way homeowners hope that it will. 

The following steps are some of the most important things to keep in mind when you own a home that features a septic system. 

Septic Tank Maintenance: A Guide

  • Keep the septic system protected
    1. Do not park on top of the septic tank or drainfield. Though buried, the tank and pipes are still fragile, and the excess weight of vehicles presents a danger to them.
    2. Avoid building anything – barns, sheds, pouring concrete – over the tank. The same idea of excess weight applies here. 
    3. Watch what you plant near your system and drain field. Tree roots grow fast and can present issues if they reach your pipes – or even the tank itself, causing cracks and leaks. 
  • Ensure that your drain field is adequately located
    1. If this area doesn’t drain properly from rain or snowmelt, it won’t drain properly when your tank empties out into it. Soggy, damp ground isn’t going to make the work your septic tank does any easier. Avoid it whenever possible. 
  • Routine maintenance for your septic system is necessary
    1. Whether it’s quick visual inspection or a thorough full inspection and pump out, utilizing the septic tank services provided near you are a lifesaver. These visits to your home will give you an idea of what’s going on with your tank – and what needs to be done. 
    2. Septic tank products are available to promote bacterial growth and encourage faster and more thorough treatment of the wastewater. Learn more about it here
    3. Be mindful of the condition of different components. Septic tank lids crack and warp in some cases, the pipes wear down, and motors in aeration septic systems sometimes burn out. Don’t make your system work harder than it has to. A septic tank lid replacement is not as expensive as you may think. 
  • Treat your toilets and drains like they matter
    1. The health of your septic tank depends on what you put into it. Avoid pouring chemicals down the drains of your sink and tub whenever possible. Don’t let lots of solids like hair enter the system. Be careful about plastic, cloth, or paper going down the drain. 
    2. Avoid pouring grease down the drain whenever possible. 
    3. Many homes with a septic system do not feature garbage disposals, but if yours does, be careful about the types of food scraps you introduce. 

The more you know about your system, the better you can protect it. Check in with septic services professionals, and only use products from trusted and reputable suppliers. Treat your septic system as if it’s the most important part of your home – because in many ways, it is.