Septic tanks are an essential part of the sewage system in your home. Septic tanks hold the sewage and act as a medium for breaking down solid waste into usable liquid dispersed throughout the soil.
There are two main types of septic tanks: concreteand plastic. Concrete septic tanks are more durable and are the traditional type of tank that has been used for many years. Plastic septic tanks are a newer invention made from plastic materials instead of concrete.
Plastic Septic Tanks
These days, plastic septic tanks are becoming more and more popular, and many people prefer them as an alternative to concrete tanks. You can find them in any home improvement store and come ready to install.
The following are the pros of a plastic septic tank installation:
1. They are cheap
Plastic septic tanks are cheaper than the alternative of a concrete septic tank. When you need to replace your septic tank, the cost of a new plastic one is considerably less than a new concrete tank. Although you will have to pay more for a high-quality plastic tank, it will still be a lot cheaper than a comparable concrete tank.
The equipment used is also less expensive during the septic tank installation than a concrete tank. You won’t need a crane, for example, to install a plastic tank.
2. They are easy to maintain
Plastic tanks do not require a lot of maintenance. All you need to do is keep the tank free from debris and ensure the inlet and outlet are clear. Plastic tanks are easy to install, as anyone with basic DIY skills can install them. You don’t need sophisticated equipment or training to install a plastic tank.
They are also cleaner than concrete septic tanks. This is because they are more resistant to rodents and do not rust.
3. Easier to Install
Installing a septic tank is one of the most critical aspects of setting up a septic system. A plastic tank is easier to install than a concrete one. This is because it does not require a lot of excavation.
The equipment used to install a plastic tank is also cheaper than the equipment used to install a concrete tank. This means that you will not have to spend as much money on installation costs.
4. They are lightweight & easy to move around
If you ever need to move your septic tank, a plastic tank is much easier to move than a concrete tank. This is because plastic tanks are lightweight, while concrete tanks are cumbersome.
You can place a plastic septic tank anywhere on your property. You can also change your mind and put it somewhere else if you need to move it. This is impossible with a concrete tank, as they are complicated to remove once installed.
5. They don’t crack easily
The material used to make plastic septic tanks makes them resistant to cracks. This means that you will not have any problems with your septic tank breaking through corrosion or freezing.
This feature is essential in areas that experience harsh weather like frost and extreme heat. If exposed to external pressure, plastic septic tanks bend instead of cracking. However, they cannot bend beyond a certain point without breaking.
Even though a septic tank has many advantages, there are some disadvantages. The following are the main cons of installing a septic tank:
1. Have a lower lifespan than concrete septic tanks
Plastic septic tanks have a shorter lifespan than a concrete septic tank alternative. This is because plastic tanks are weaker and can crack easily if not installed correctly.
If you install concrete and a plastic septic tank on the same day, the concrete septic tank will last longer. The plastic septic tank will eventually break down and need to be replaced.
2. Not approved in all states
Some states do not allow plastic septic tanks to be installed. This is because legal and environmental issues have been raised about the quality of plastic tanks.
Ensure that you check with your state authority before installing a plastic septic tank to avoid problems.
3. They break easily
When you install your plastic septic tank underground, it can break easily. This is because they are not as sturdy as concrete tanks and can be crushed by the weight of the soil. Even when vehicles drive over them, they can break.
This is why they recommend installing plastic septic tanks in places where they will not be subjected to a lot of pressure.
4. They require higher maintenance
Plastic septic tanks require more maintenance than concrete ones.You only need to clean the filter on your septic tank every month, most of the time. You may also have to flush out dead bacteria and change the leach field depending on how often you use water.
If you do not hose down your tank at least once a month, plastic septic tanks can become an environmental hazard. The bacteria inside the tank can reproduce and cause severe damage to your environment.
5. Sensitive to the environment
Changes in the environment can have a severe impact on plastic septic tanks. For example, if there is a sudden temperature change, the tank can crack.Likewise, if there is an increase in rainfall, the tank can overflow and damage your property.
This sensitivity to the environment is not the case with concrete septic tanks.Now that we know the pros and cons of septic tanks, we can look at the advantages and disadvantages of concrete septic tanks over plastic ones.
6. They shift in the ground
There is a high chance that your plastic septic tank will shift in the ground, especially in wet soil. This is because it is lightweight and can be moved easily.This movement can break pipes and connections, causing your septic tank to stop working.
Concrete septic tanks are heavier and do not shift as easily in the ground. This means that you will not have any problems with your septic tank moving around.
Concrete Septic Tanks
For years, concrete septic tanks have been the go-to type of tank for many homeowners. They can be installed on-site or purchased precast and then poured when you are ready to put in place your new system.
The following are just some of the many reasons you should consider installing a concrete septic tank.
1. They have a longer lifespan than plastic tanks
Concrete septic tanks have a longer lifespan than plastic septic tanks. This is because they are more robust and less susceptible to cracks.They also do not break easily like plastic tanks, meaning you will not have to replace them as often.This long lifespan is one of the main reasons concrete septic tanks are becoming more popular than plastic tanks.
2. They are approved in all United States
All states allow for the installation of a concrete septic tank. This is because there are no environmental or legal issues with these tanks.Since they are approved in all states, you do not have to worry about legal and environmental issues when you install your concrete septic tank.
3. They are secure against damage
Concrete septic tanks are stronger than plastic ones.Therefore, they will not break under pressure from the surrounding environment, like damage from heavyweight or temperature change.This means concrete septic tanks will be less likely to experience any damage, making it a more reliable option.
4. Require little maintenance
The major advantage of a concrete septic tank is that it requires little maintenance.They do not have any moving parts, and the bacteria decompose slowly.In comparison, plastic tanks require more maintenance as the bacteria decompose quickly, and you have to clean the filters more often.
5. They are strong
Concrete septic tanks are strong and more durable than their plastic counterparts.This is because they do not easily break because of pressure above ground.In comparison, even a tiny amount of damage from the above-ground can cause plastic septic tanks to break and leak harmful chemicals into the environment.
Concrete Septic Tanks Cons
As much as concrete septic tanks have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages that we need to consider.
1. They are more expensive than plastic tanks
The major drawback of a concrete septic tank is the high initial cost.Installing a concrete septic tank costs more than installing a plastic septic tank. The equipment and material costs are higher for concrete septic tanks.This is because the tank needs to be made of a strong material that can withstand the environment. However, the long lifespan of a concrete septic tank makes it more economical in the long run.
2. They cannot move easily when necessary
If you need to move your septic tank for any reason, concrete septic tanks are difficult to move.This is because they are cumbersome and require a lot of workforces to move them.
They are usually installed underground, so it isn’t easy to move them once they are in place.In contrast, plastic septic tanks can be easily moved if necessary.
3. Difficult to repair
In case of any damage, it is not easy to repair a concrete septic tank.The tank needs to be opened up, and the entire structure must be repaired.It is a complicated and expensive process to repair a concrete septic tank.In comparison, plastic septic tanks are easy to repair as the damage is usually only to the outside of the tank.
How to choose a Septic Tank
As you can see, both concrete and plastic septic tanks have advantages and disadvantages. How do you choose a septic tank? The answer depends on your needs and preferences.
If you are looking for a low-maintenance tank and does not require much attention, then a concrete septic tank is the best option. However, if you are looking for a tank that can easily move, the plastic septic tank is better.
In conclusion, concrete septic tanks have become more popular than plastic ones because of their many advantages compared to the disadvantages.These tanks provide an economical solution for waste management and do not pollute the environment.However, consult with the experts if you are still unsure which type of tank to choose.There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for septic tanks, depending on your needs and preferences.
Other Types of Septic Tanks
The two mentioned above are the most common types of septic tanks, but there are other options that you can choose from.
1. Steel Septic Tanks
The steel septic tank is another type of tank that you can choose.It is an old type of septic tank that is rarely used today.However, the steel septic tank has some advantages over other tanks, and many people still prefer it to plastic and concrete tanks.
2. Fiberglass Septic Tanks
Another type of tank is the fiberglass septic tank.It is similar to plastic septic tanks regarding cost and durability.The fiberglass septic tank lasts longer and requires less maintenance than the plastic ones.
These tanks are easy to install and do not need a concrete foundation.They don’t break down easily and can last over thirty years with minimum repairs.
When it comes to septic tanks, you have different options that depend on your needs and preferences.You can choose between concrete and plastic septic tanks depending on the features you think are essential for your household.These tanks are more economical in the long run and have a longer lifespan.
They are also challenging to move and repair, which makes them a good choice for people who are looking for a tank that is low maintenance.If you are still unsure which type of tank to choose, consult with the experts. I hope this article has helped you in making a decision.