If you have a septic tank on your property, you may wonder exactly where it is. If you built the house or inherited it from your family, you may know where the tank is, but if you bought it, it’s possible that information wasn’t passed on. You will need to know where this lid is for septic tank pumping and for other maintenance such as septic tank repair. In some cases, the lid is at ground level, but in many cases, it’s buried. This means you may have to dig down as much as four feet to find it. You don’t want to dig up your entire yard, though, so here are a few ways you can at least narrow down the location of the septic tank lid.
Check the County Permits
When a septic tank is installed, there are specific permits that are required. One component of filing for these permits is to submit a diagram that indicates where the septic tank sits in relation to the house and other structures. Your local county records office should have this diagram available. All you need to do is visit the office and ask for the permits related to your address. They may even have digitalized these older records, so pulling them up only requires a quick database search.
Unfortunately, if you own an older home, the septic tank could have been installed prior to these mandatory permits. However, you may still be able to find some information from the county assessor’s office or from any home inspection you may have had done prior to buying the property.
Look at Your Pipes
All of the pipes that exit your home connect to a large pipe that then connects to the septic tank. If you have a basement or crawl space, you can look for this large pipe that is usually four inches in diameter. You can trace the pipe out of your home to get a good idea of where your septic tank is. Then, stick a metal probe (a thin metal stick) into the ground every couple of feet. You can start five feet away from your home since the tank must be at least that far from any structure. The tank can be anywhere from 10 feet to 25 feet away from the house. When you feel the probe hit a solid surface, you’ve likely found your septic tank.
Once you’ve done that, you have to locate the lid. Common septic tanks are rectangular in shape and are about five foot by eight foot in size. First, use your probe to mark out the edges of the tank. If you have an older tank made before 1975, check the center of the area you’ve marked out. You should find a two-foot-across lid there. If you have a tank made after 1975, it likely has two compartments. You should find a lid at each end, roughly in the center. You’ll have to dig down at these locations, of course, but you shouldn’t have to dig down too far.
Give Us a Call
If you can’t find the lid to your septic tank or aren’t sure if your septic system needs repairs, give us a call. We’ve had to locate hundreds of septic tanks over the years. If we’ve serviced your septic tank before, even if it was under the previous owner, we may still have notes on its location. If not, we have the tools necessary to find the tank and locate the lids. Even if you do find the lid on your own, you should call us to open it. The lids are very heavy, and once opened, the tank can release toxic fumes that are hazardous to your health. Give Septic Masters, LLC, a call for all of your septic tank needs, including repairs and pumping.