Septic systems are an important part of numerous homes. While they can act as lifesavers, they can also become a headache if they’re not treated properly. If you’re a septic tank owner, you may have wondered what it is that you can do to expand the lifespan of your septic tank system and prevent any misfortunate accidents that may happen if your tank is not maintained correctly.
To help you take those worries off your mind and rest assured knowing your septic system works at its peak, we’ve asked experts from Coker Septic to let us in on some of the most effective ways to expand your septic tank’s life.
What is the average lifespan of a septic tank?
If you’ve recently moved to a home that has a septic tank installed, you may be wondering how long it’s been there and, more importantly, how much longer can you expect it to work correctly. As you may assume, the answer to this question depends on several reasons, including the actual age of your tank, the type and size of it, whether it was regularly pumped, the number of residents who use it, and whether previous owners paid attention to its maintenance.
Generally speaking, a concrete septic tank can last anywhere from fifteen to forty years. You can inspect the area looking for any damage or leakages, but we suggest you find professionals to do it for you. You can also ask the previous owners to provide you with a document that contains the information about the tank’s installation date, etc. If it turns out your current septic tank is outdated, take some time to find a trustworthy company to install a new one for you.
What can you do to expand it?
As mentioned earlier, septic tanks can last pretty long if you take care of them properly. Whether you’re new to septic tank systems or are just looking for additional effective ways to expand the lifespan of your septic tank, these are a few of the essential tips to implement:
1.Inspect your system regularly
There’s a reason we started with this tip. Regular inspection can be a crucial factor in determining whether your septic system is decaying at a fast rate. Now, we’re not saying you should stress over this every day, but rather pay attention to any unusual smells around your home, sounds in the pipes, as well as leakages and cloggings. Whenever you notice something that’s out of the ordinary or suspicious, make sure to contact professionals to take care of it immediately.
2. Ensure regular pumping
Regular pumping is imperative if you want your septic tank to last long. Since this is not something you’ll do by yourself, it’s easy to forget about it. Therefore, it’s best to schedule your pumping in advance.
3. Use septic additives
Septic additives are another excellent way to keep your tank working at its peak. These substances are used to break down solids and can be a great addition to your septic tank maintenance list. Since some of the chemicals that go into the tank can kill the good bacteria that are supposed to break down the solids, it’s good to have these additives do their job and prevent further strain on your septic tank that can quickly result in its shorter lifespan.
4. Reduce your wastewater flow
Each septic tank has a specific volume of wastewater it can effectively handle. Although they come in different sizes, it’s always better to reduce your wastewater flow as much as possible without it affecting your everyday life. For instance, you should pay attention to any leaks that might occur and consider installing low-flow toilets and showerheads. We also suggest you ensure your dishwasher and washing machine are full before turning them on and try to take shorter showers instead of long baths.
5. Pay attention to what you flush
This goes without saying, but paying attention to what you flush can have an immense impact on your septic tank’s lifespan. These are some of the most harmful things you can flush:
Harsh chemicals: As mentioned before, harsh chemicals can kill the good bacteria in your septic tank, so try to avoid them altogether. They can also lead to corrosion of your pipes and cause dangerous gas buildups.
Fats, oils, and greases: No fats, oils, or greases are safe for your septic tank. Besides causing clogs, these substances can make it difficult to drain the tank, as well as reduce its storage capacity.
Paper towels and disposable hygiene products: Keep in mind that paper towels are not the same as toilet paper. They’re built differently to have the ability to absorb liquid, while toilet paper dissolves into smaller particles when in touch with water. Besides this, you should also avoid flushing anything that’s titled as disposable since they also do not dissolve easily in water.
Pet waste: This may be obvious, but let’s point it out just in case – pets have different diets than humans. With that in mind, septic tanks are designed to hold human waste, not pet ones.
Maintain your drain field
The drain field is an essential part of a septic system. It filters any contaminants that go out of your septic tank. Therefore, you should be familiar with its position and avoid driving and parking above it. Planting trees can also be a risky move since its roots can damage the drain field, therefore shortening your septic tank’s lifespan.
These few tips will ensure your septic tank works at its peak and remains in good shape for as long as possible. Most of them require little to no effort to implement – all it takes is a bit more mindfulness about what goes into your septic system and some adjustments to your regular water usage. We strongly recommend you inspect the area regularly to always stay ahead of a possible accident. Lastly, having professionals by your side can help you enjoy all the benefits a septic system provides without worrying about it decaying too soon.