Concrete septic tanks are still the most popular choice on the market, but they are losing ground quickly to cheaper options like fiberglass and polyethylene (plastic). What makes having a concrete septic tank different from other kinds? Find out everything you need to know about concrete septic tanks below.
What is the Difference Between Concrete Septic Tanks and Plastic Septic Tanks?
Each type of tank has its own advantages and drawbacks. Plastic septic tanks are lightweight which makes them cheaper and easier to transport and install. They are however also easier to crush and more susceptible to damage. Plastic septic tanks are not at all susceptible to corrosion, but even with this advantage, they have a shorter life span than a concrete septic tank. Concrete septic tanks, on the other hand, are highly durable, longer lasting, environment-resistant and low maintenance. That said, concrete septic tanks cost more to purchase and install, they are more vulnerable to corrosion and generally lower maintenance than their plastic counterparts.
Ultimately, homeowners more concerned with the long term are the ones who most often opt for concrete septic tanks for their property.
Can You Repair a Cement Septic Tank?
Concrete septic tanks can be repaired, and often are, when they have small cracks. Keep in mind that accessing concrete septic tanks for repairs can be more difficult than it is with plastic septic tanks.
How Do Concrete Septic Tanks Crack?
The most common issue with concrete septic tanks is the development of cracks. You may be wondering with the strength and durability of concrete what causes these cracks. Here are the usual culprits of cracks in your concrete septic tank.
One of the most common reasons that cracks occur and cause a need for septic tank repair is the weight of vehicles. Although concrete is much more durable and less likely to be damaged by vehicular weight than a plastic septic tank is, it can still happen. You should not drive over or park on or near your septic tank unless you absolutely have to. If you know your septic tank will lay close to your driveway or parking area, it may be best to invest in a reinforced septic tank.
If the concrete used to make your septic tank was mixed with a high water ratio it may have a high propensity to bleed. This means that water can pass through small pores in the concrete. When this occurs it weakens the concrete and allows cracks to eventually develop. This is especially true for colder weather areas.
Another common problem that can cause your concrete septic tank to eventually crack is expansive soil. Soil with a high clay content expands when wet and retracts when dry. The expansion, along with the heavy weight of moisture puts excessive pressure on the tank. When the soil dries, it leaves the septic tank without enough support.
Can a Concrete Septic Tank Go Bad?
Concrete septic tanks can have a long lifespan, as much as forty years when properly maintained. However, concrete septic tanks do eventually fail. Specific circumstances, like those listed above can really speed up the process.
How Does a Concrete Septic Tank Fail?
There are several situations that can cause failure of a concrete septic tank but with proper septic tank repair, these can often be saved. Here are some common problems that occur with concrete septic tanks and how they can be taken care of.
The inside of your septic tank is most susceptible to water corrosion especially because of the flow of waste and in some cases possibly other chemicals. Generally, a common fix for this problem is retrofitting the septic tank with a liner to protect it from further erosion.
Cracks and Leaks
Most leaks come from small cracks. Your septic tank will need to be pumped so that the crack can be repaired. If the crack is too extensive you may need to replace the entire septic tank.
In some cases, due to cracking, extensive leaks or even complete collapse, the septic tank may be damaged or broken beyond repair. At that point you will have no choice but to have the old tank removed and replaced.
Contact Mullin Septic in Broken Arrow, OK for Septic Tank Repairs
No matter what type of septic tank you have, if you are having problems with your septic system, you need help right away. One of Mullin Septic’s qualified technicians can diagnose and repair your septic tank and get everything up and running again in no time.