Septic Tank Replacement: How Experts Locate Your Old Septic Tank

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If your septic tank gets damaged, failing to replace it can make it a health hazard for your and your loved ones. A crucial part of septic tank replacement is the tank excavation. But how do experts actually locate your old tank?

Check the map. Typically, a residential property (especially those that you’ve recently acquired) has a septic tank diagram or map. This presents a layout of everything that is installed or built within your lot, including the septic tank. If this diagram is not readily available, experts resort to requesting records from your municipality or local health department. These entities keep documents like survey maps and septic system records, respectively. They may also look up records from real estate agents.

Trace through your pipes. Many tank excavation technicians take cues from residential pipeworks to locate where an old septic tank might be buried. Perhaps the easiest and most practical way of locating a tank, this involves the identification of your home’s main sewer outlet pipe and following where it exits. Old tanks are typically installed 10 to 25 feet away from the exit point.

Look for physical indicators. Besides following the pipework, experts complement their search by looking for clues — such as sunken or raised areas within your yard. Tank excavators also search for unusually greener parts of your garden. Because tanks and drain fields can give off effluent that can trigger grass growth, the area where these are located have more patches of greens or any other vegetation around them.

Use tools and equipment. To make their search more efficient, septic tank technicians also utilize different tools, including steel rods or steel wrecking bars and shovels. More modern tank-probing equipment like metal detectors, ground scanning radars, and electronic drain pipe sensors can also help — especially in areas where locating old tanks can be quite tricky.

Ask around. Yes, you read it right. Experts also benefit from asking around your neighborhood. Locals who have been living in your area for quite some time now are often knowledgeable about the constructions or any other modifications done on your property.

When To Replace Your Septic Tank

Septic tanks are part of a complex system whose function is to treat your household’s wastewater and ensure its safe disposal. But how do you know if your tank, which is buried underground, is already due for replacement?

Firstly, if your septic system is nearing 40 years of age, you should already retire it, undergo tank excavation and install a new one. Replacement is also the most suitable option if your household has already outgrown your system (e.g. More members have been added to your family, you’ve expanded your residential property).

If you notice pooling water in your garden, accompanied by frequent slow drains and backups and pungent smells, you should definitely be alarmed. This is a tell-tale indicator that your septic tank is already failing badly. Call a septic tank company as soon as possible and schedule your excavation early on.

Whether you need help with tank excavation to replace or install a septic tank, our team at Smith’s Sanitary Septic Service can help. Contact us today.

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