Whether you want to plant a garden, build a shed, or get your septic tank inspected, you need an easy way to find your septic tank. Homeowners don’t always mark where their septic tank is, so when it comes time to find it again, you may be a little lost.
There are many ways to find your septic tank, but not all methods are 100% reliable. That’s why we rounded these easy ways any homeowner can use to find their septic tank. We’ll explain each process in detail so you know exactly what to do.
So, if you’re ready to locate your septic tank, read on! These are the easiest ways to find your septic tank. We’re also going to give you some advice about living with a septic system, so make sure you stick around.
Easy Ways To Find Your Septic Tank
Homeowners who have never lived with a septic system before might not understand how much maintenance goes into maintaining these systems. Knowing your septic tank’s location is vital for ensuring it’s properly maintained. If you need help locating your septic tank, then you’ve come to the right place! Below are useful tips to locate your septic tank; we also included lots of visual info to make your search easier.
Follow the Main Sewer Line
Regardless of the type of septic system you have, your septic tank is connected to your home by a main sewer line. This line leads waste from the house and into the septic tank.
Following the main sewer line to your septic tank is one of the easiest ways to locate your tank. You should be able to find a four-inch sewer line in your basement or crawlspace that leads from your home straight to the septic tank.
If you don’t have a crawlspace and your basement is finished, then the sewer pipe is likely located in a closet or another closed-off space. Once you find the pipe, go outside your home and note where it’s coming from.
Next, you’ll want to follow the pipe by sticking a soil probe (a thin metal probe available at most home improvement stores) into the ground near the sewer line. Use the probe every 2-3 feet to follow the line.
Septic tanks are usually bout 10-25 feet away from the home and can’t be closer than five feet, so you should be able to find it pretty easily with that method.
Eventually, your probe will hit something that feels like concrete, high-density plastic, or fiberglass. Once you hit that material, you’ve located your septic tank.
Inspect Your Property
Septic tanks are generally installed to be unnoticeable, but there are still plenty of visual clues that can lead you to the location of the tank.
The first thing you’ll want to do is narrow down your search. You can do this by eliminating areas where the septic tank can’t possibly be. Areas that are paved, less than five feet away from your home, and next to your well won’t contain your septic tank.
Additionally, any area of your yard with a structure, such as a gazebo, a patio, or a heavy growth of trees, won’t contain your septic tank.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you can inspect the rest of your property for cues indicating the location of your septic tank. Large mounds of earth can indicate the location of your septic tank.
Your grass can also be a good indicator of where your septic tank is. If you see a patch of grass growing faster than the grass around it, your septic tank might be nearby. Alternatively, if the tank wasn’t buried properly, then a patch of dead grass surrounded by lush grass could indicate the presence of a septic tank.
Check The Property Records
The best way to determine the location of your septic tank is to check the property records. There should be a blueprint of your property that shows the location of your septic tank. You’ll need to contact your local municipal government to receive a copy of your property records, and there might be a fee associated with this.
Check With Local Septic Maintenance Companies
If you recently moved into a home with a septic system but don’t have property records, and the previous methods haven’t worked for you, you should try checking with local septic maintenance companies.
You can give these companies your address and see if they’ve come out to service your septic tank in the past. Once you find a company that’s come out to your address before, they can give you the location of your septic tank.
Alternatively, you can call a local septic maintenance company and have them come out and locate the tank for you. This will come with a cost, but it’s an effective way to find your septic tank.
Ask Your Neighbors or Contact A Professional
If you’re really struggling to locate your septic tank and don’t want to spend a ton of time calling around, then there are two options left for you. The first option is to try talking with your neighbors.
Your neighbors likely have a septic system similar to yours and can help you determine the location of your tank. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to your neighbors and get advice on caring for your septic tank.
Not everyone enjoys socializing with their neighbors, so if you’re not comfortable with that option, then you’ll need to contact a professional. A professional septic tank company will be able to come out and locate your tank for you, although it will probably come with a fee.
Don’t Try To Fix Septic Tank Issues Yourself
Most homeowners are going to run into trouble with their septic tank at some point. Your septic tank could become clogged, parts could start leaking, or sewage could back up into your home.
When you start to notice signs of trouble with your septic tank, it can be tempting to try to address the problem yourself. You think that you can unclog the tank yourself with the right chemicals or through a manual method such as septic stirring.
It’s not recommended to try to fix issues with your septic tank yourself. You could end up causing more damage, which can result in a costly repair bill. Your best bet is to contact a septic maintenance company to resolve any issues with your tank.
Schedule Septic Tank Maintenance
Owning a home with a septic system comes with a lot of responsibilities. You need to make sure your septic tank is properly maintained. Part of that maintenance comes from homeowners taking care not to flush chemicals and non-organic waste down their toilets or drains.
However, it’s equally important to make sure you’re scheduling regular septic tank maintenance. Most septic tanks need to be pumped every 2-5 years, though the exact frequency of pumping will depend on how many people live in your home, the type of septic system you have, and the size of your septic tank.
Along with regular pumping, you’ll also want to schedule regular inspections for your septic tank. Most experts recommend getting your septic tank inspected once every three years. An inspector will look for clogs, leaks, proper ventilation, and other common problems to ensure your system is in good condition.
Disguise The Lids
Some homeowners like to disguise their septic tank lids. It’s a great way to avoid an eyesore in your yard while also marking the location of your septic tank for future maintenance.
Many homeowners use artificial plants or rocks, wine barrels, or a coat of paint to disguise their septic tank lid. Just make sure you don’t try to disguise the lid with something that could fall into the tank or damage the lid.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If I Have A Septic Tank?
When you’re going through the process of purchasing a home, the previous owners or realtors should inform you of whether your property has a septic tank. However, if this isn’t mentioned, then there are other ways to tell if you have a septic tank.
Checking property records, inspecting your yard, checking your bill for sewer fees, and talking to neighbors about their waste disposal systems are all ways to determine if you have a septic tank.
What Do I Do Once I Locate My Septic Tank?
Once you locate your septic tank, you should make a note of it for future reference. Many homeowners draw a map of their yard and mark where the septic tank is. Another option is to put something in your yard to mark its location. You can’t put anything too heavy on the septic tank because it could cause damage, but you could put down some artificial gravel/rocks or a wine barrel, so it’s easier to find next time.
What Is A Septic System?
A septic system is a waste disposal and treatment system for homes without sewer access. There are many different types of septic systems, but they all have the same goal. Essentially, waste gets carried through a pipe from the home into a septic tank.
Once the waste is in the septic tank, bacteria break down the solids while the wastewater goes through different treatment processes, depending on the type of septic system. The wastewater usually ends up back in the native soil and eventually reaches groundwater after undergoing treatment.
Finding your septic tank should be an easy and stress-free process. You can follow the main sewer line, inspect your property for visual cues, check property records, check with local septic maintenance companies, talk to your neighbors, or contact a professional to locate the tank.
Make sure you never try to fix issues with your septic tank yourself and remember to schedule regular maintenance to keep your tank in working order.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.