How to Find A Septic Tank Lid?

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How to Find A Septic Tank Lid?

You might feel it is easy to find a septic tank lid because the tank is so large. But, remember that the lid is deeply buried underground and not always visible from above the surface. However, there are some easy ways to find this septic tank lid when you need to. This article discusses different options available to users when they are looking for a septic tank lid, and other related facts about the septic tank.

So, how to find a septic tank lid?. Generally, major components of the septic tank such as the lid, are buried underground, between 4 inches and 4 feet. To find the lid, a metal probe is used for detecting the edges and for marking the perimeters. If the probe does not help, a shovel can be used for excavating which reveals the lid.

Keep reading to know about other ways to find a septic tank lid, how a metal detector can help, and if it is easy to find the lid without help from anyone.

lid of a rural septic tank


Why Would You Need to Find Your Septic Tank Lid

Every resident must be aware of where the septic tank is located.

If you know the location of your septic tank, it is easier to identify different issues related to the tank. For example, if you find that there is flooding right around the septic tank lid, you will know that there can be overloading related problem.

Besides, when you know the location, you can ensure that no vehicles are parked above it. If vehicles are parked or move above it, the lid might collapse. The entire septic system will collapse.

Also, when you are aware of the septic tank location, you can direct all service professionals towards the accurate area when they visit your premises for services. Thus, it helps in saving money and time.


Finding a Septic Tank Lid – Easy Ways

If you are not the original owner of your property, you may not know the accurate location of the septic tank.

Here are some tips that can help in locating the septic tank lids.

  • Follow the Sewer Pipes – Remember the drainfield and the septic tank are generally installed parallel to the sewer lines. The sewer line extends from home to yard. You will find the 4-inch sewer pipe in the basement, as it leads its way to the system.

Simply follow this pipe across your yard. Keep probing every 2 feet of the ground. Tanks are generally positioned at least 5 feet from house. Generally, these are around 10 and 25 feet away.

  • Check the Official Records – Counties usually keep a track of their building permits and this includes the installation of the septic system as well. This is available with a diagram along with dimensions. It helps in locating the septic tank on the property.

Besides, there will be a diagram of the septic system in the home inspection documents as well. Check details like distance of the tank from the side of your house or the sewer exit and more. However, keep in mind that landmarks keep changing over time.

  • Dig the Lids – As per the septic tank setup, the septic tank may include two or three lids. Septic systems are usually rectangular in shape and measure 5 feet by 8 feet. The components are usually buried 4 inches to 4 feet under the ground. Probing with a metal is helpful in finding the lid. Besides, you can also excavate using a shovel and it should reveal the lid.


How to Find a Septic Tank Lid in an Old Property?

In any old property, it can be quite challenging to find the location of a septic tank lid. You will need probes or metal detectors for the purpose. These are excellent tools to find the septic system components like the lid. You will need professional help in finding a septic tank lid in an old property.

However, one needs to be cautious as old properties have several layers or pipes and wires. These can be misleading and can cause errors in reading.

Read: How a septic system works.

Where are Most of The Septic Tanks Located?

If you are looking for septic tank lids, you have to know where these tanks are generally located. These are usually constructed between ten to twenty feet from your home.

In case you cannot find the septic tank or its hidden, you can check the crawl space or the basement. This is where you will come across the sewer pipes leaving the property. You will most likely find the septic tank outside just where the sewer pipe ends.


How to ensure that the Septic Tank Lid is in top Condition

As you locate the septic tank, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is well maintained. There are no damages to the and there is easy access when professionals come home.

Here are some ways you can ensure that the septic tank lid is in good condition:

  • Ensure that you are regularly cutting the grass which tends to grow around the lid.
  • You can remove any debris or dirt which covers the lid.
  • Do not allow anything above the lid – even flower pots are not recommended. There should be no weight on the system.
  • You should also ensure that no vehicle is parked on anything built above it. Place a garden décor item, a decorative rock or a flag right above or beside the lid, which will mark its location.

When you mark the location of the septic tank, you do not have to spend additional time next time to find it.


Questions Related to Finding a Septic Tank Lid

  • Do all tanks have a lid?

If the septic tank is installed prior to 1975, there will a single lid. This is 24 inches lid which is right in the center of rectangle. If it is a two-compartment tank and the one that is installed after 1975, there will be two lids. These are usually constructed at the end of the rectangle.

  • Can I lift this septic tank lid?

It might not be easy to lift a septic tank lid, especially when you do not have the right equipment. You will need a pry bar for lifting it.

  • How is the septic tank lid lifted?

A prybar helps in lifting the lid. The prybar is set in the correct position. It is then pressed then. You can easily lift the lid from its hole with this tool. You will need help to remove it from the side. You can set this lid on its surface.

  • What is the price of a septic tank lid?

A septic tank lid costs between $30 to $70.

  • Why are there two lids on my septic tank?

If there are two baffles in the tank, one is the inlet baffle and another outlet baffle. The inlet baffle moves the waste down to the tank and does not churn the solids. Thus, the tank settles and various layers develop.

  • Can I drive over a septic tank lid?

No, you should not drive over the septic tank lid as it will damage or break it permanently. Ensure that you mark the position of the lid so that no one drives over the lid even accidently.

If you do not know the location of your septic tank lid, you should find it as soon as you can. If there is an emergency and professionals visit your home, they shouldn’t waste their time looking for the lid.

Besides, being the homeowner or resident, you should be aware of its location so that you can keep an eye on it.