Your septic system plays an important role in your home’s daily function, so it is important to keep it running smoothly. Sometimes, there is no avoiding a septic system replacement. Can you replace your own septic system, and when is a replacement necessary? Let’s take a closer look.
Understanding the Septic System Replacement Process
Many homeowners love DIY projects. Some consider home repairs a hobby, and everyone loves saving money. However, it is important to know what you are getting yourself into when you take on a project as big as a septic system replacement. Generally speaking, a septic system replacement occurs in the following steps.
1. Remove the existing system.
If you are installing a system on a brand new property, this step obviously isn’t necessary. However, don’t forget that the removal of the old system plays a major part in the replacement workload. Make sure you have a plan for removal and disposal while following proper safety procedures (varying from state to state).
2. Test the soil.
Before a new septic system can be installed, your soil must undergo a percolation test. A perc test determines the quality of your soil, what it can and cannot handle, and what type of drainfield you should install.
3. Determine what type of septic system you need and where it should be located.
Make sure you research the different types of septic systems to determine which is best for your home. Your location, climate, budget, water table, etc. play important roles in choosing a type of septic system.
4. Obtain the correct permits.
Most cities and states do not allow homeowners to rip up a property and install major systems without following proper safety guidelines. Research septic system laws in your area and go through the proper channels before beginning the replacement process.
5. Dig holes for the pipes and septic tank.
Septic systems operate underground. Expect lots of digging! Groundwork can be a big job, especially if you have to dodge city lines and pipes. Unless you are very experienced in this area, it’s usually best to get professional help.
6. Lay and connect the materials.
Once the location of the tank and pipes has been determined and prepped, it is time to physically install and connect the system.
7. Build the drainfield.
The drainfield should be placed in an area away from roots, concrete, and heavy foot traffic. This is where water drains from the septic tank and continues its treatment process, so building a healthy drainfield is important.
8. Cover the pipes and drainfield.
Make sure you insulate or cover the pipes according to city laws, and cover your drainfield with extra sand or soil.
9. Await a final safety inspection.
A final walk-through by a professional ensures that everything is in working order. Most states require final safety inspections for DIY septic system installations.
Can You Do it Yourself?
With enough time, research, materials, and the right permits, you can certainly replace your septic system on your own. However, doing the project incorrectly will lead to some expensive repairs. If you aren’t experienced in home renovation or plumbing, we recommend that you contact a professional to replace your septic system. Fortunately, you can make small repairs without too much fuss or money.
How to Prevent Early Septic System Replacements
The most important maintenance is preventive maintenance. While every system eventually gets to the end of its lifespan, you can certainly decrease the need for an early replacement through proper maintenance. Take the following steps to improve the functionality of your septic system.
- Avoid overloading your septic system.
- Clean your tank when necessary.
- Schedule routine septic system inspections.
- Change your effluent filter.
- Tend to system malfunctions as soon as possible.
Need Help with Your Septic System Replacement?
Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.