It might seem like an arbitrary piece of the puzzle, but your septic system’s access cover plays an important role in keeping your sewage contained. As a result, it is important to know when, why, and how you should replace your septic tank access cover. Let’s take a closer look.
When Should You Replace Your Septic Tank Access Cover?
The purpose of your septic tank lid is twofold: to keep sewage from overflowing, and to prevent things from falling into the tank. Particularly if your tank is on risers and the access cover is visible, it is extremely important to make sure your septic tank lid is sturdy, durable, and properly fastened to the tank. Otherwise, small animals or even young children can fall in. Additionally, leaks or cracks in your septic tank’s lid can cause an overflow of wastewater or sewage into your yard, posing health risks and making an unfortunate mess.
If you notice leakage occurring, attend to it as soon as possible. Additionally, keep in mind that your tank could be overflowing due to an overdue pumping. To avoid clogged pipes, maintain your septic system properly with routine tune-ups.
How to Replace Your Septic Tank Access Cover
So, how do you replace a broken or leaky septic tank lid? Take the following steps.
Locate your septic tank lid.
If your septic tank’s lid is on risers, or you have already been through a pumping, this step is easy because you know where your septic tank is. However, if this is your first time inspecting your septic tank, and it’s buried somewhere in your yard nowhere to be found, locating it is a bit trickier.
First, try calling the people who owned your property prior to you. If you can’t get ahold of them, check the local health department for your property’s paperwork. Your property deed might state where it is. If none of that works, you can either resort to a metal detector (and hope the lid is metal!) or follow the drain pipes leading from your home. Poke a shovel into the ground every few feet to make sure you are on the same trail as the pipes. Wait for the trail to end, then poke until you find the septic tank lid.
If all else fails, hire a professional to help you locate your septic tank. Luckily, you only have to do this once! Just make sure to mark the spot.
Determine what type of access cover you need for the replacement.
Keep in mind that septic tank lids come in a variety of materials, which means they range in both durability and affordability. Concrete is relatively affordable and certainly durable, but it is a pain to remove for regular maintenance and septic tank pumpings. On the other hand, PVC or polyethylene lids cost more, but they provide a measure of convenience. Metal and fiberglass lids are also options.
In addition to personal preferences, consider factors such as the location of the septic tank, how much weight will be placed on it, etc.
Measure the current access cover.
Before making your final purchase of a new lid, carefully measure the old one to ensure that you get the correct size. Most lids fall between 21” and 25”.
If the lid is not on risers, use a shovel to dig around it.
Remove the soil from the top of the septic tank, and use a shovel to free the edges of the lid so that you can easily remove it.
Lift the old lid off the tank.
Depending on the type of lid, this step could be easy or difficult. For a heavier lid, such as one made of concrete, you will probably need another set of hands. If made of a lighter material with fasteners, carefully undo the bonds and lift the lid. Make sure any children or pets stay inside during the replacement process so that no one falls in. Additionally, be sure to watch your own footing.
Install the new one using the existing fasteners.
Once you have lifted the old, leaky lid, carefully replace it with the new one by lining it up with the whole and fitting it in snugly.
Re-bury the lid, or ensure its security if it is on risers.
Once finished, place the soil back on top of the lid, or ensure that it is snug and secure.
How Can Norway Septic Help?
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.