What Size of Septic Tank Do You Need?

When you are adding a septic system to your property for your home, the size of septic tank you use will be important. Not only are there building and environmental regulations that you must meet – building codes require certain size tanks based on the size of the home – but you want to plan for future needs as well. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when determining what size septic tank is needed for your home.

Most residential septic tanks range from between 750 and 1250 gallons. The specifications in most building codes look at the size of the home and number of bedrooms, since there is no way to know for sure how many people will live in the home. A smaller tank of 750 gallons is designed for a home with one or two bedrooms and less than 1,500 square feet. Larger homes with three or four bedrooms may need a 1250-gallon tank or larger.

However, meeting the minimum requirements is not all you should consider. If you plan on having a full household or entertaining many guests, a bigger tank may be needed. And, you want to plan for any additions you may make in the future – adding more rooms could require you to put in a larger tank. It will save money to have a larger tank installed from the beginning.

If you are not sure what size of septic tank you should use for your home, talk to your local septic service company. They can help you determine the best size and material to use for your new septic tank, as well as the right placement and installation.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

What to Expect When Your Septic Tank is Installed

When you are having a new septic tank installed, you need to be prepared for the process. It is not as simple as digging a whole and dropping in the tank. There is planning and permits that are needed, whether it is a new or replacement tank for your septic system. Most homeowners will only have one tank installed in their septic system over a few decades, so knowing what to expect can help the process go smoother.

Planning and Permits

Before the installation can be scheduled, you need to complete the planning process. First, you need to decide the size of tank needed. If you are replacing an existing tank, this is an opportunity to upgrade to a larger tank. Talk to your septic tank professionals to determine the best type and size of tank for your home.

Placement of your tank will also need to be planned. If it is a replacement, it will most likely be placed in the same location. However, for new tank installations, your installer can help choose a location that will meet the local regulations.

Once you decide on the tank, you can make sure you apply for your permits. Often your septic installer can help with getting the right permits from the city or county office in your region.

Day of Installation

When you have the permits and planning completed, your contractor will schedule the day of your installation. Expect a significant amount of soil removal for new installations, including trenches for pipes and a deep hole for the tank. Replacement should not need as much digging, but the old tank will need to be disconnected and removed before the new tank can be lowered and buried.

When the correct planning and preparation is completed, your septic tank installation can be done expediently when you hire experienced installers. Make sure to plan your tank installation carefully with your contractor to ensure it is done right and legally from beginning to end.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Choosing the Right Size Septic Tank

If you are building a new home with a septic or replacing an existing system, choosing your tank size is a crucial decision. You don’t want a tank that is too small; that will mean frequent pumping and possible backups if it gets too full, too quickly. But a tank that is too large can be a waste. Although there are set parameters you can follow based on the size of your home, there are other considerations. The number of bedrooms or bathrooms in your home is just the basic measurement. Here are a few other factors to keep in mind:

  • Daily usage. The rule of thumb for septic tanks is that it should hold at least double the amount of your daily usage. While this is a good estimate, keep in mind your usage can change. For young families, that usage may grow.
  • Plan for growth in household. Are you planning to have more kids or have parents move into your home in the future? If your household will grow in the next few years, consider the extra space you will need in your septic tank to accommodate a larger family.
  • Excessive use. Make sure to consider any additions you may make to your home. If you may run a business out of your home or do other work that will use excessive water, you may need a tank that can handle the extra use.

Of course, you will need to meet the legal requirements for your municipality or county. Talk to your local septic service company for help choosing the right size tank for your new septic system.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Buying a New Home? Questions to Ask About the Home’s Septic System

You find the perfect house for your family with a beautiful yard and everything you ever dreamed of in a home. The only problem is, it has a septic system and you don’t know anything about septic systems. Don’t let the fact that a home is on a septic system scare you away from a great home. They can be easily and affordably maintained by your local septic professional. However, you do want to make sure the system is in good condition and it will be the right fit for your family. Here are a few questions to ask the current homeowner or real estate broker.

  • What is the size of the septic tank? Most septic tanks are built based on the number of bedrooms in the home. However, if you have a larger family, you need to make sure the tank is large enough to accommodate the extra load. Most tanks are between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons.
  • How old is the septic tank? If maintained correctly, a septic tank can last for decades, so age is not always a factor. However, it is good news if the tank is less than five years old.
  • Has the system recently been inspected? Most homeowners will have their septic system inspected once they decide to put their home on the market and have that information available. If they have not had the septic system inspected recently, insist on having the inspection done before moving forward with buying the home.

A licensed septic service company can provide a complete septic system inspection so you know the exact condition of the system. They can also provide you with estimates for yearly maintenance and upkeep so you can figure it into the price of your new home.

Posted on behalf of:
Hunter’s Septic Service
Nesbit, MS
(662) 429-1686

Items to Keep Out of Your Septic Tank

There are two types of items that need to be kept out of your septic tank: cloggers and bacteria killers. Items that clog can backup your septic systems, clog your sewer pipes and cause major problems throughout your entire system. The other group, bacteria killers, can ruin the chemical balance in the tank, which slows the breakdown process. It is important to educate your entire household on what these items are and the potential harm they can do to your septic.

Cloggers

Anything that does not breakdown naturally from bacteria should not be allowed to be put down the drain or flushed. These can be larger items or even granules, all which can be destructive to your septic system, causing clogs. These items include:

  • Cotton products: swabs, cotton balls, feminine hygiene products and bandages.
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter, even those that claim to be flushable
  • High-fiber vegetable or fruit peels

Bacteria Killers

Your septic tank must maintain a delicate balance to properly breakdown the waste before it is able to be distributed into your drain field. This bacteria balance can be harmed by certain items that are poured down your drains. Some items include:

  • Bleach
  • Chemical cleaners
  • Antifreeze
  • Oil
  • Paint

All these items should be disposed of into the garbage and always kept out of toilets, sinks, washers and any other drains. Educate everyone in your home on how to protect and care for your septic system by keeping cloggers and bacteria killers out of the system. Don’t forget to inform overnight guests and visitors to be careful of what they put down the drains while in your home to prevent accidental problems and septic emergencies.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Septic Tank 101: Understanding What Your Septic Tank Does

The novice septic system owne may think of their septic tank as the actual system that cleans their wastewater, but it’s just one component of an entire process which works tirelessly to clean and remove the waste from the home. To care for your septic system properly, it helps to understand the different components involved, including the septic tank.

Septic Tank Specifications

The septic tank is the large receptacle where the process of treating wastewater from your home begins. Tank size varies depending on the size of the home, with the standard size at approximately 1000 gallons. Considering the tank must handle up to 350 gallons per person, per day, the size of tank needed depends on how many people live in your home. Tanks can have either one or two compartments, although single compartments are becoming more popular.

The function of the septic tank is to store waste while it decomposes, releasing effluent to be further filtered in the drain field. The solids in the wastewater sink to the bottom of the tank, separating the effluent from the solids. Bacteria, yeast and fungi naturally occur in the tank to breakdown the solids, dissolving 50% or more of the solids in the tank. The solids which are left behind accumulate until the tank needs to be pumped by a septic professional, usually every 2-3 years.

If the tank is sized correctly for the home and precautions are taken to keep harmful items out of the system, very little maintenance is required to allow the tank to perform. Annual inspections and pumping when needed can keep a septic tank functioning for many years with little other maintenance necessary.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA
(703) 435-4441

Different Types of Septic Tanks

Who knew that there are different types of septic tanks?  Well, probably the people who install septic tanks or work with such tanks on a daily basis.  However, for the typical customer, the idea that different types of septic tanks exist may be news!  Within cities, public sewer systems are usually in place.  However, there are areas where public sewer systems do not exist and in such places, septic systems are installed to properly dispose of household waste water.

If you need a new septic system installed, you will also need to consider the different types of septic tanks which include concrete, plastic, and fiberglass  Pre-cast concrete septic tanks are the most popular options.  These generally last a long time unless the tank is made with inferior quality concrete.  Cheaply made septic tanks can deteriorate over time and begin leaking.  Your only option is to replace the leaky tank.

In addition to concrete septic tanks there are plastic and fiberglass tanks.   In addition to lower cost, the main advantage of these types of tanks is their light weight.  If the area where the tank is to be installed is difficult to reach, then these tanks make installation much easier.  Fiberglass and plastic septic tanks are much easier to lift and carry to the work site.  The downside of fiberglass or plastic tanks is that they are more prone to popping out of the ground when the water table is high and the tank is empty.  In addition, some local building codes prohibit plastic  or fiberglass tanks so  be sure to check your local ordinances before you buy a plastic or fiberglass water tank.

Why So Many Opinions On Septic Systems?

If you have been researching septic systems on the internet or by talking to friends and neighbors, you may have noticed that are many different and conflicting opinions on how well a septic system works and what you can and cannot do if you have a septic system.  Some people will tell you that they have had their septic system for 20 years, never had it pumped out, and never needed septic tank repairs.  Others will tell horror stories about septic systems that failed within the first couple years.

Some people will tell you to use an additive and others will say that additives ruin your septic system.  Garbage disposals are another contentious subject.  There are just as many people who say that a garbage disposal will cause problems with your septic system as there are those who have been using garbage disposals on a septic system without any problems.

There are a couple reasons why there is so much conflicting information about septic systems.  One reason is that every septic system is different.  How well a septic system performs depends on the size, how well it was designed and installed, the soil underneath the septic field, how well the septic system is cared for, whether it gets regular inspections and septic tank pumping, and other variables.

In addition, a septic system can take a lot of abuse for many years before it finally fails.  Since it is buried underground, there is no way to tell that a problem is slowly developing other than periodic inspections and septic tank pumping and even those cannot give you a really good idea of the health of the drain field.  In most cases, there will be little warning that a drain field is getting clogged until the system starts to back up.

What one septic system can handle may cause another septic system to fail.  In addition, many people who say “we have been doing that for years without a problem” are actually doing harm to their septic system, but it hasn’t quite failed yet.  The best source of information on your septic system is from a local, reputable sewer-septic professional who has inspected and evaluated the condition of your system and can advise you on what your system can handle.

Concrete or Plastic Septic Tank?

If you are installing a new septic system or replacing your septic tank, you have the choice of either a concrete septic tank or a plastic septic tank.  Each has advantages and disadvantages.  Your sewer septic contractor can help you decide which is the best tank for your septic system.

Concrete septic tanks have been in use for decades and are still the standard in the industry.  They are heavy which means a much lower likelihood of floating up out of the ground when empty, it also makes the tank more cumbersome to install.  The site must be accessible to a crane to lift the tank into place.

Concrete septic tanks are also very durable, but they are more expensive than plastic tanks.  In addition, they can crack in certain conditions are more susceptible to leaks than plastic tanks.  One advantage that could be very important is that concrete tanks are approved for use in every state.

One of the primary advantages of plastic tanks is their lower weight makes it much easier to move them into position for installation.  This can be crucial if access to the work site is limited.  However, their lighter weight makes them more likely to “float” or pop up out of the ground when they are empty if groundwater levels are high.

Preventing plastic tanks from floating and preventing damage during installation requires careful installation techniques that can increase the cost of the system.  Once they are properly installed, a plastic tank is very durable and resistant to cracking.

Another plus is that plastic tanks cost less than a comparably sized concrete tank.  However, plastic septic tanks are not approved for use in all states so check your local laws before spending your money on a plastic septic tank.

Septic Tank Size Considerations

If you are installing a new septic system in your new home or replacing the existing septic system, it is important to make sure that the septic tank is properly sized for your situation.  Your sewer-septic professional will be able to help you determine the minimum size for your septic tank, but a basic understanding of the variables to consider will help you make an appropriate choice.

A septic system is made up of a drain line, a septic tank, the leech field, and the soil under the leech field.  Each of these components has an important job to do and the septic system will fail if any of these components is not functioning properly.

The septic tank is designed to hold wastewater from your home long enough to allow most of the solid material to settle out to the bottom of the tank.  The septic tank also allows greasy scum to float to the top of the tank.  The septic tank is designed with baffles to hold the scum layer and the solid waste in the tank, but allow the effluent to flow out to the leech field.

A properly sized septic tank will be large enough to hold the wastewater for about 24 to 48 hours before it flows into the leech field.  Based on average water usage, a septic tank for a three bedroom home should be at least 1,000 gallons.  A 1,200 gallon tank is appropriate for a 4 bedroom home, and a 1,500 gallon tank is suitable for a 5 to 6 bedroom home.

If your home is equipped with a garbage disposal or if you anticipate unusually high water usage, it is a good idea to use the next higher septic tank size.