One reason regular septic tank inspections are important is because they catch problems with cracks that develop. A concrete tank can crack due to age, earth movement, or because the concrete wasn't made and poured properly. While older tanks may be more prone to cracking, fairly new ones can crack too if they weren't made properly or if there is a minor earthquake that jolts the tank. Cracks allow water to seep into the tank and sewage to leak out, so they must be repaired. Here's a look at how the cracks are repaired.
Filling In Lid Cracks
Cracks in the lid are most common. These can develop because of pressure on top of the lid, such as when a car or tractor drives over the tank. Cracks in lids are fairly easy to fix. Concrete filler is added to the crack and allowed to cure. When you see a cracked lid, you'll want to hire a contractor to inspect the rest of the tank to make sure there aren't cracks elsewhere. While it may seem like a simple task to repair a cracked lid, it is a job that should be left to a professional. Fumes can seep up through the crack and create a dangerous situation if you aren't experienced at working around septic tanks.
Repairing Cracks In The Tank
Cracks in septic tanks don't always need to be repaired. If they are tiny and nothing leaks in or out, they might be left alone. On the other hand, large cracks or heaved concrete may be so severe that the tank needs to be replaced. If cracks in the tank allow leaking but are not too large, the contractor may fill them with concrete filler. First, the tank is pumped out and cleaned. It may also need to have time to dry out before the cracks can be filled. Even with an empty and clean tank, the contractor has to use special equipment. Entering the enclosed space of a septic tank can be fatal due to gas and fumes. Plus, the tank is a biohazard and a dangerous working environment. Cracks in the tank are filled with cement or crack filler and allowed to cure. The tank is checked for leaking and other damage. The shifting of the concrete can also cause damage to the baffles, so these will be checked as well.
Since you don't ever see the inside of your septic tank, you won't be able to see cracks when they develop. You may never have to deal with a cracked tank, but you should be aware of the signs a crack has occurred. If sewage is leaking into your yard or if you smell sewer gas outside or inside your home, you'll want to call a contractor for an inspection. Take a look at the website http://www.mrbobs.com for more information. You might just have a clog or full tank. However, if the tank has cracked, you'll want to repair it as soon as possible.