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How Often Should Your Orinda, CA, Septic Tank Be Replaced?

June 9, 2023
Sewer Services

How Often Should Your Orinda, CA, Septic Tank Be Replaced?

Understanding The Timeline Can Help You Avoid A Septic Emergency

The septic tank of your Orinda, CA, home is not a component of your property that will last forever. Yes, you can maintain your septic tank, and you definitely should, but a septic tank is not meant to last for one hundred or more years.

Honestly, many homeowners are surprised that their septic tank could end up needing to be replaced. Homeowners often have a preconceived notion that as long as the sewer pipes are in working order and everything is flowing smoothly, their septic tank is in good working order.

The question on most East Bay Area homeowners’ minds is how often should a septic tank be replaced. What are some signs pointing to septic tank replacement being needed? Are there ways that a septic tank can have its life prolonged? 

Luckily, we have the answers to these questions and much more information so that homeowners can be ready to handle any septic tank issue that may come their way.

Septic Tank Replacement Timeline

The average timeline for your septic tank can be anywhere from twenty to forty years. That is a rather large scope to prepare for! The good news is that you can narrow down the timeline by knowing the material from which your East Bay Area septic tank is made of.

The type of material your septic tank is made of will determine just how long it will last. 

Concrete Septic Tanks

The most common type of septic tank seen in the Orinda area is the concrete septic tank. Concrete is considered durable and long lasting. Concrete septic tanks that are taken care of can last forty or more years.

Steel Septic Tanks

Steel tanks often rust after being in the ground for a short time. Thus, the lifespan for steel is often fifteen to twenty years. Granted, steel septic tanks are not often found these days, as they are found in much older systems.

On average, most homes have already replaced the steel septic tanks that were once in place, so many Orinda, CA, homeowners don’t have to worry about steel.

Fiberglass/Polyethylene Septic Tanks

Most people think that fiberglass or polyethylene septic tanks are plastic – the common name for these. These tanks are lightweight, and when they are properly maintained, they can last up to forty years.

Signs Your Septic Tank May Need To Be Replaced

One of the most significant issues homeowners have is seeing the signs that it is time to replace their septic tank. The problem is that the symptoms are often very similar to when you must have your septic tank pumped out and cleaned.

Some of the warning signs your septic tank needs replacing include the following:

  • The soil where your septic tank is buried is always damp
  • You see greener grass near your septic tank and field lines
  • If there is water near your property, you could see abnormal algae blooms
  • When getting near your septic tank location, there is a foul odor
  • You are witnessing sewage backup inside your home and/or near the septic tank
  • Gurgling noises happen from drains
  • Water and waste tend to drain slowly

You should note that a septic tank must typically be pumped every two to three years, depending on your household size. Therefore, if you start to see these signs and it has only been a few months since the tank has been pumped, it could be time to start thinking about replacement.

How Can You Prolong The Life Of Your Septic Tank?

Can you prolong the life of your septic tank? No matter what you do, the steel will rust for those with old steel tanks. That is why plumbers no longer use steel when installing a new septic tank.

If you have a concrete (the most common) or plastic type of septic tank, you can do some things to help avoid issues with your septic tank that could ensure you get more than the minimum years out of the tank.

Regularly Pumping Is A Must

Regularly pumping your septic tank is a must-do. Otherwise, you will find that overflowing tanks lead to tons of issues inside and outside your home. As stated before, professional plumbers recommend two to three years.

Many issues may come to light during pumping that can be repaired to help you put off replacing your septic tank for a few more years.

Be Mindful Of What Is Being Flushed

Never flush anything down your pipes that could lead to issues within the septic tank. When we think about items going down our drains, we often focus on how they could clog the lines. However, several things can severely damage your septic tank. 

These items include:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Paint thinner
  • Insecticide
  • Gasoline
  • Cigarette butts
  • Cat litter
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Fats or grease

Avoid Planting Items Near The Septic Tank

Trees and bushes all have root systems, and if they are near your septic tank, they can penetrate the walls, leading to cracks and waste leaking. While a concrete septic tank could be patched, plastic tanks that develop cracks are often replaced.

The best bet is to avoid planting anything near your septic tank location that could grow into the tank.

Check The Tank Size In Comparison To Your Home

If your home has even been built onto, especially with more bathrooms or even utility rooms, then the septic tank could be too small to handle the waste coming from the home. While having a small tank in a larger home will not affect the integrity of the tank itself, it will lead to more pumping, which can be a headache.

Free Quotes For Your Orinda, CA, Septic Tank Replacement

If your Orinda, CA, septic tank is old or shows signs of structural damage, replacing your septic tank may be the best option. Luckily, Avalon is here to make your septic tank replacement process easy.