How Can I Find My Septic Tank?
How Can I Find My Septic Tank? The septic tank is among the largest and most important features of your home’s plumbing system. Interestingly, it is also one of the most difficult parts of the system to find. Septic tanks smell bad and are unsightly. The fact that they are also large gives homeowners enough reasons to install septic tanks away from the house. Whether you are having any plumbing issues or just want to locate your septic tank, Diamond Septic Pumping has a few tips to guide you with the process.
i. Get the Help of County Records
Counties typically maintain records of building permits. This includes records of septic system installations on all properties. You can check as-built drawings to locate the septic tank on your property. Such a diagram may also be available from your home inspection records when you purchased the house. When assessing the drawing, it is important to keep in mind that landmarks are likely to change over time.
ii. Inspect the Property
You may also be able to locate the septic tank by inspecting your property. The tank can usually be spotted by a small hill or dip on your property. The uneven surface usually results when the hole dug for the tank was larger or smaller than the required size.
There are certain areas of your property where you cannot find the septic tank. This includes:
- Near a water well, if you have one
- Under a paved surface such as a patio, driveway, or sidewalk
- A special landscaping
iii. Follow the Sewer Pipes
The septic tank and drain field are usually installed parallel to the sewer line that goes out of your home into the yard. Check your crawl space or basement for the 4-inch sewer pipe. Follow it from the point where it leaves your home. Follow this pipe through your yard. A septic tank is required to be at least 5 feet from a building. Usually, they are installed 10 to 25 feet away.
iv. Locate the Lid
If the above-mentioned methods don’t help you find the septic tank, probe around your property to locate the perimeter of the lid. Tanks installed after 1975 tend to have a couple of fiberglass or polyethylene lids on opposite sides of the tank’s perimeter. Tanks installed before that tend to have a concrete lid in the center of the tank.
There can also be variations from this set-up.
- Some septic tank setups may have 2 or even 3 lids
- Usually, the septic tank and its lids are buried 4 inches to 4 feet under the ground
- Once you locate the septic tank on your property, use a metal probe to find its edges and mark its perimeter
- Shallow excavation will be required if you are unable to find the lid
The septic tank is usually located not much far away from a house and is almost always on the same side as the toilet. A good first strategy can be to go outside on the same side as the toilet and perform a visual inspection. The toilet’s location can be determined externally by looking for the stink pipe or breather pipe on the outside of your home.
Usually, the location of septic tanks can vary significantly and they are not clearly visible. If you are unable to locate the tank, it is best to seek the help of septic tank professionals. At Diamond Septic Pumping, we provide a complete range of septic tank services in Southern California. This includes everything from septic tank pumping to emergency pumping to grease trap pumping. If you need any maintenance or repair services for your septic tank, feel free to get in touch with us. We are available at 1-866-592-2115 or you may also write to us.