How to Find a Septic Tank?

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How to Find a Septic Tank?

If you are the owner of your house, you should know the location of the septic tank in your property. In case, you do not own the property, you will still have to be aware of the location. If you do not know, there are several easy ways to find the septic tank in your property. This article discusses the various ways to find the septic tank so that in times of need, you do not have to waste your time.

So, how to find a septic tank?. To find the septic tank, first check the septic tank map of your property which will have a diagram, with the location of the tank. You can also use a metal detector to detect the metallic rods of the septic tank, or look for visual signs in the yard, ask the neighbors where their tanks are located or follow the septic pipes as they exit from your home as they will eventually end in the septic tank.

Continue reading to know in detail how you can find the location of the tank in your property. Know why you need to know the location and how you can keep the tank in good condition.

Why You Need to Know the Location of The Septic Tank:

  • For its safety and maintenance – You can ensure that no one drives above it or there is no heavy object placed on the septic tank.
  • Repairs – In case it needs repairs or there is a septic system malfunction, you will need to find the location of the tank.
  • Pumping – When there is a need for pumping or cleaning, you will have to find the location of the septic tank.
  • Selling your Property – In case you are selling your property, you must know the position of the septic tank. This is necessary as the whole property will get inspected.

Check the Septic Tank Map

Look for the septic tank map, if you have one. This is the easiest way to find where the septic tank is constructed in your property. This is usually a diagram that shows the precise location of the tank. You can even find the exact spot where the septic tank is located. If it is a new property, you will find the septic tank location details in the inspection papers.


Just Follow Sewer Pipes Exiting the Property

In case there is no map, do not worry. You will just have to follow the sewer pipes that are leading out of your home. These pipes will generally begin from the basement area. In case you are not able to find the sewer pipes in the basement area, they might be hidden in any closed area.

You will be simply looking for any pipe which has a diameter of four inches and which is exiting your home.

Use a Metal Probe

As you follow the pipes leaving your house, you can use a thin probe which is also known as a soil probe. You can keep probing every two feet in search of the septic tank. Usually, the septic tanks are constructed between 10 to 25 feet from your house.

The tank will not be located very close to your property. While using a probe, you might strike hard on a flat surface, it can be polyethylene or even fiberglass. Once you strike something like that, you have successfully located the tank.

Inspection of the Yard

With the passage of time, septic tanks have grass grown on them and it gets tough to find the exact location of the septic tank as they get hidden below the grass and shrubs. However, if this happens, it doesn’t mean that you will not be able to find it. When you are inspecting the yard, there are a few places, where you do not have to search for your septic tank.

These places are:

  • Under any paved surface or the driveway
  • Beside the well, in case there is a well in the compound
  • Not around big trees or wall
  • Not very close to the house. The septic tank will be located at a distance of minimum five feet.

Clues to Find Your Septic Tank:

  • Look for an unusual mound of earth or a hill which indicated the presence of a septic tank around the property.
  • Look for unusual greenery in any area. If you find that there is a section of the yard where grass grows oddly fast, the septic tank might be present there.
  • If you see a bald patch in the yard, it might be due to the septic tank. The tank might not be properly and the grass couldn’t grow there naturally.

Ask Your Neighbors

You can seek help from your neighbors, if you are having a real tough time. You can ask your neighbor where their septic tank is located. Usually houses in the same neighborhood follow a certain pattern. The septic tanks are generally located around the same section of every plot. Speaking to your neighbors can give you an idea about the location of your tank.

Find the Septic Tank Lid – The Next Step

Once you have found the location of the septic tank, your next step will be to find the lid. You can use a probe to find the lid. Septic tanks are generally rectangular in shape. Some of these tanks will have two lids and some will have one. You can simply probe around the tank and find the edges. You can mark its perimeter.

In case you are not able to find the edges of the tank, you can use a shovel to find its lid. Once you find the tank, do not forget to mark the edges of the tank. Thus, if you mark its edges, you do not have to spend time searching for the lid again.

Unusual Signs which Suggest the Presence of a Septic Tank

When you are looking for visual clues, do consider the following which indicates the presence of a septic tank.

  • Bad Smell – If you are getting an unusual sewer smell from a section of your yard, the septic tank is probably located there. It is the drainfield which might be failing and resulting in the stench.
  • Several Pipes – When you notice many pipes sticking out from the ground, it indicates the presence of a septic system. Such pipes are generally of black plastic or cast iron.
  • Depression – If you find a rectangular section of land with sparse grass in a depressed section of land, it might be the septic tank.
  • Unusual wet spots – If you find that a certain part of your property is unusually damp or wet, it means the septic tank is present there.
  • Presence of Stones – This might be a kind of marker that suggests the presence of a septic tank.

Old Properties – Where is the Septic Tank Located?

If you are a new owner of an old property:

  • As the previous owner for any sketch or drawing related to the location of the septic system.
  • You can also check the records with the authorities. Usually, the local authority has details of older properties, and they might be able to help you with the location of the septic tank.
  • You can get in touch with the local septic system installation contractors. They might be able to provide you an idea about the location of the property.

Thus, to conclude, we can say that there are numerous ways of finding your septic tank. So, if you still do not know the location of the tank, follow the above tips, and you will find the septic tank.



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