How Long Does a Septic Tank Last?

If you live in a house with a septic system, anticipating the cost of maintenance and replacement is part of the deal. As an up-to-date, fully-functional septic system is a crucial aspect of home maintenance, a new septic tank doesn’t come cheap. Although a tank’s lifespan can vary depending on type and usage, there are general predictions for its shelf-life.

System Type

While a steel tank can rust depending on the acidity in the soil and quality of the tank itself, it usually lasts between 15 – 20 years. This time-frame stays true for steel tank covers, as well. Since rust is easily seen by technicians, a steel tank’s failure can be predicted in time for convenient replacement. Concrete tanks, on the other hand, can last up to 40 years if high-quality materials were used.

As for the lifespan of the surrounding drain field? It largely depends on the quality of installation. While large drain fields with good soil can function for several decades, issues like badly-installed piping can cause it to fail within days or weeks of installation.

Tips to Make Your Septic Tank Last

  • Regular Maintenance – One of the most important ways to keep a septic tank strong is to have it serviced regularly. Having a top-notch service company inspect it routinely and pump it at least every three years will help keep clogs and build-up at bay, ensuring a well-performing septic tank for many years.
  • Quality Material – Using concrete, fiberglass or plastic can make a septic tank last for decades, while steel tanks are vulnerable to rust and failure at a faster rate.
  • Skilled Design – Installation technique, soil quality, and location can affect how long a septic tank lasts, since excessively damp conditions can clog and flood the leach field. If shortcuts were taken during tank installation or care wasn’t used to determine the best location (away from water drainage), your septic tank could malfunction and fail sooner than normal.
  • Natural Products – Non-biodegradable materials and caustic chemicals (like certain cleaning agents) can lead to buildup and clogged pipes. Ensuring only water and waste go into the tank will help keep it healthy for many years.
  • Tank Usage – A septic system that works hard will burn out faster. If you can find ways to decrease its workload, you can extend the life of your septic tank.

Although these guidelines can help you determine how long a septic tank will last, it never hurts to budget for replacement sooner. To keep a failed tank from throwing you a financial curveball, experts suggest having funds saved for replacement when the tank is about 20 years old. If it lasts longer, good news. If not, at least you planned accordingly.

For help installing, maintaining, or repairing your septic system in the Charlotte or Concord areas, remember to call Rooter Express NC at 919-823-6319 today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Accessibility Toolbar