There are many different types of septic tanks, and they all have their differences. There is one thing that they all have in common, you have to install them a certain way.
Septic tanks, as well as the machinery that supports them, are placed underground. You should place them at least ten feet away from the home for your safety. You must also situate them far enough away from wells to avoid contaminating any drinking water. With that being said, bacteria are what makes a septic system work. The whole system is designed to keep bacteria healthy and busy, some of which live in the tank, but most do their work in the drain field.
Types of Septic Tanks
The most common materials used to construct a septic tank are concrete and plastic. High-quality polymers, such as polyethylene, are present in some of the latest models. Septic tanks are available in a variety of sizes to suit any homeowner’s needs. It’s important that you’re keeping up on the maintenance of your septic tank and having a professional pump it when necessary. Pumping removes the buildup of sludge and scum, which slows down bacterial action in the tank. Depending on the size of your tank, the type of tank it is, and the amount of waste that runs through your system, you may need pumping each year, or it may be possible to go two or three years between pumpings. Regular inspections and pumping can be critical to the lifespan of your septic tank. Initial inspections can cost anywhere from $300-$500, then around $100 each after that.
Septic systems can be made of all sorts of different materials, each offering a different purpose or level of strength. Here are some of the most prevalent types of septic tanks:
Plastic Septic Tanks
Plastic septic tanks are made of polyethylene plastic and can also be known as poly septic tanks. They are long-lasting, lightweight, and affordable. Plastic septic tanks do not rust and are less prone to cracking than concrete septic tanks. These tanks are very light, making installation simple. However, because they are so light, they can be damaged while installing. Furthermore, if not fitted properly, plastic tanks may float to the surface, requiring reinstallation. Plastic tanks may float due to their weight when the water table is near to the tank bottom.
Concrete Septic Tanks
These long-lasting tanks will typically last several decades, up to forty years if properly maintained. Concrete tanks are also solid types of septic tanks and are not easily damaged by heavy machinery. Speaking of not easily damaged, concrete septic tanks are even resistant to environmental changes. The two most common environmental changes that will affect your septic tank are tree roots and changing soil conditions. On top of that, they are also rustproof which is a great advantage. Concrete tanks have approval for use in all states in the United States so if this tank seems fit for you and your needs, this could be your best option.
How Does This Type of Tank Leak?
This type of tank, however, can leak waste and enable groundwater to flow in if the concrete is cracked, causing damage to the inside of the tank. When a backlog occurs in a concrete septic tank, the blockage may cause water to overflow. These tend to be costly, harder to install because of their weight and the heavy equipment that is needed to install it, and become hard to repair if and when it is damaged.
Steel Septic Tanks
Despite the fact that steel is a naturally durable type of material, septic tanks made of steel often only last 25 years before beginning to rust. As a result, homeowners are less likely to choose steel septic systems. They are known as the least popular nowadays because of their high cost and low durability. They tend to deteriorate quickly and easily compared to other materials that are out there these days for septic systems.
When a steel tank’s roof begins to corrode, the tank may become too weak to sustain the weight of the ground above it. A person or animal could potentially fall into the tank if this happens. It is also very difficult to remove corroded steel septic tanks from the ground but, if the rest of the unit is physically solid, the cover of a steel tank could be replaced to save money. There are only a few advantages to steel septic tanks and that includes that they have good resistance against buoyant forces as well as they won’t float when the water table is nearer to the tank.
Aerobic Septic Tanks
If you have a septic tank on your property that has unexpectedly fails, aerobic septic tanks are often the tanks that you need to install for this type of situation. These tanks are electric-powered. Aerobic tanks are up to three times more expensive than other types of septic tanks. But they are more efficient and require fewer drain fields. This can save a lot of money in the long run. It can also be a huge benefit especially on smaller properties or a single-family home. These tanks require more frequent maintenance. But as long as you are paying attention to the maintenance it needs, they last for several years.
The aerobic septic system brings oxygen inside the processing tank. The extra oxygen does its job of increasing the natural bacteria activity in the system. It ensures that there will continue to be nutrient processing in the sewage. Some systems like aerobic systems can also have the opportunity to have a pre-treatment tank and a final treatment tank. The final treatment tank provides disinfection to the lower pathogen levels.
Fiberglass Septic Tanks
Fiberglass tanks are made using fiber reinforced plastics. The reinforcement of glass fibers actually makes them stronger than plastic tanks. Fiberglass septic tanks will not crumble because they tend to be so strong and they don’t rust like concrete or steel septic tanks. Fiberglass tanks are also much lighter than tanks made of other materials, making them easier to install, but be cautious because fiberglass tanks are prone to damage during the installation process. It can also cause them to shift easily when the surrounding soil becomes saturated.
While fiberglass septic tanks are cheaper than concrete or steel tanks, are water tight, and have high durability, the only disadvantage of this type of tank is that it can’t resist buoyant forces and will float when the water table is nearer to them. The average price for a fiberglass tank in the United States is somewhere in between the range of $1600-$2000, but with the right tools and construction method used, these tanks can last as long as twenty to thirty years.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all septic tank. For one case, the best type of septic tank for one household or situation may not be the best for another. It is important to make sure you are able to find the right information on septic tanks so you’re able to make the best decision for your and your home. The benefits and drawbacks stated should assist any homeowner in determining which type is best suited to the needs of their home.
Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need to purchase and install any of these septic tanks. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.