3 Essential Things To Know About Your Septic Tank System

Does your home have a septic tank? How long has it been since you gave some actual thought to its condition? Because septic tanks are hidden underground, it's not uncommon to forget about them entirely unless there is an issue. After all, septic tanks are hardly an enticing topic of conversation when you're talking to friends and family. But because of this, there are many things that you probably don't know about your septic system and that you probably need to know. A few of the most important of these attributes include:

Age: Unless the septic services company you contact is the same one who installed the system in the first place, you're probably not going to be able to find out the exact age of the tank if the previous homeowner didn't tell you. However, a qualified professional can give you a reasonable guess based on things like wear and tear as well as style and/or composition of the tank. Septic tanks haven't changed hugely in function over the years but there are still some subtle differences that will allow a knowledgeable person to tell the difference between a brand new tank and one that was installed a few decades ago.

Size: Bigger septic tanks obviously take longer to fill up, something you probably already knew. You may not have realized just how much of a difference there can be between the smallest and the largest tanks. There are small tanks that only hold a few hundred gallons and are best for things like weekend cabins that won't see much regular use. There are also much bigger tanks that can hold several thousand gallons of solid waste before you need to call a septic services company to pump it out. Knowing the exact size of your current tank will help you when you need to eventually replace your tank. You may decide that you need a larger tank or, for a seldom-used property, you might determine that a smaller and less expensive tank will be fine.

Composition: Smaller septic tanks are often made from a plastic material while larger ones are made from cement or concrete. There is some overlap so that size isn't always an indication of what material the tank was made from. Although a plastic tank is generally less expensive than a concrete or cement one, they may not last quite as long depending on a variety of factors. Talk to a septic services professional about the projected lifespan of each material in your location.

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