If your home has a septic tank, you have a responsibility to maintain it properly and make it last as long as possible. A leaking septic tank can create an environmental hazard, and a big repair bill for you. Maintaining your septic tank the right way is the best way to extend the useful life of your septic tank, but it is also important to know how old your tank is.
If you are buying a home with an existing septic tank, the current owners should be able to provide you with information about when the tank was installed and how it has been maintained. This is important information, since replacing a worn out septic tank can be an expensive proposition – one that could affect the price you are willing to pay for the home.
The Life of a Septic Tank
When properly maintained, a home septic tank can last as long as 20 to 30 years, but the lifespan of your own tank will vary widely depending on how well you care for it. If you fail to care for your septic tank properly, it could begin to break down in less than 10 years, leaving you with a contaminated yard, possible environmental damage and a big repair bill.
The quality of the tank itself will also play a role in its longevity. Some septic tank manufacturers are better than others, so it is important to know what kind of tank you have and maintain it accordingly.
Get an Annual Checkup
One of the best things you can do to make your septic tank last as long as possible is to have it inspected frequently. Scheduling an annual checkup for your septic tank can give you peace of mind, but it can also warn you of looming problems.
Taking care of those problems now, when they are small, can help you avoid larger problems later. If you cannot remember the last time your septic tank was inspected, you are probably long overdue.
Avoid Damage to the Drain Field
The drain field is an integral part of your septic system, and an easy component to damage. Use extra caution when mowing around your drain field, and raise the mower blades to their highest height before you venture on to them.
You should also look for standing water around the drain fields, as a lack of drainage could indicate a problem. If you spot any issues with the drain field or the septic tank, be sure to call a professional right away. If you take care of your septic tank, it will take good care of you. If not, you could be looking at a big repair bill.