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Finding Your Septic Tank: A Quick Guide

If you’ve recently moved to a new property or have plumbing problems at your current location but aren’t familiar with the system, finding the septic tank can be difficult. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when you need to access it to solve the problems you’re having.

Most septic tanks are located fairly close to the house in an open location, so finding them isn’t difficult with a little know-how. Continue reading for the plumbing solution you’re looking for.

Finding the Lid

You would think it would be easy to locate the lid to your septic tank in the middle of your yard. However, it’s much easier said than done. One of the following four strategies should help you to locate this equipment.

Follow the Pipes

Go to your home’s basement or crawl space and look for a four-inch pipe running out of the house. Follow this pipe out into your yard, probing every two or three feet to make sure you’re still on track. Most likely, you’ll find your septic tank anywhere from five to 25 feet from the house along the pipe’s route.

Ask the County

Counties keep building permits from the past and usually have diagrams from when every home was built. Ask for a copy and study the blueprints. The septic tank will be marked, and take note of its position in proximity to your house. This will give you a good idea and starting point.

The Lid

Your tank may contain two or three lids. Normally, they’re buried about four feet underground and measure about five feet by eight feet. Probe around the yard and try to find the metal lid handle just below the soft dirt. It may take some time, but with a little persistence, you should be able to find your septic tank.

Call a Professional

If you’ve tried everything and can’t find the lid, it may just be time to throw in the towel and call a professional. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you can’t find the lid in the ground no matter how hard you probe. However, when you locate the tank and lid with professional help, you need to remember to do one thing.

Place a marker on top of the area where the lid to the tank is located. Use a landscape rock, a lawn ornament, or anything else that reminds you of the location. This way, you’re guaranteed not to have to go through the same hassle again!


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