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Rising to the Occasion: The Basics of Septic Tank Risers

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Septic Tank Plastic Cover
When it comes to ownership and maintenance of a septic system on your property, one of the seemingly smallest features can actually prove to be a valuable investment. A septic tank riser, or an insert that is placed between your septic tank's lid and the tank itself, is just that. If you want to simplify your septic care and make the most of your investment, here's what you need to know about septic risers and their use.
Is a Septic Tank Riser a Good Investment?
Septic tank risers are a good investment for a number of reasons. Not only do most municipal areas require that new septic systems include a riser, but its installation can also save you time, money, and damage to your property during septic tank care.
A septic tank riser actually lifts the septic tank's cap to make it easier to locate and access the tank itself, which can save you from digging to locate the tank cap. In addition, adding a riser prevents frost and moisture exposure on the ground from causing corrosion on the tank cover hardware, because the cover and hardware are raised further from the ground.
Your septic tank maintenance technicians can keep the tank cleaner with less frequent pumping thanks to a tank riser as well. Without a tank riser, many septic tanks are outfitted with a small-diameter pipe protruding from the ground. Since the pipe is small, the small diameter restricts what the company can adequately remove from the tank. A riser on your septic cap means the pumping company can simply remove the cap and pump the tank from there, removing more waste and getting your tank cleaner.
Is a Riser Difficult to Install?
While some septic tank work can be intimidating and is best left to professionals, installing a riser isn't necessarily one of those tasks. In fact, you may be able to install the riser yourself.
Your septic tank riser kit will include everything you need. Measure the tank cap diameter before ordering the riser, as you need the precise dimensions to get a riser that fits right. If you cannot find a riser in the proper diameter, choose the next largest so that the riser fits on the outer edge of the tank opening.
Expose the septic tank top ring by lifting the tank cover. Clean the top ring thoroughly with a damp rag. Any debris or dirt on the ring can keep the riser from securing correctly.
Place a ring of butyl rope, also called sealant rope, from your riser kit around the outer edge of the tank's top ring, if your kit came with it. Some include it for leak prevention, while others simply screw together. Connect the two ends of the rope on the ring to form a solid circle. That solid circle is essential for a complete seal.
Set the adapter ring from the riser kit onto the butyl rope on top of the tank. Press down firmly to secure the ring. Apply some thick-mixed concrete to the area around the base of the riser where it meets the septic tank to help secure it in place.
If your kit doesn't include butyl rope, just place the ring in position over the tank. Drill holes at the recommended intervals for your riser using the drill bit from the riser kit. Place concrete screws in those holes to hold the adapter ring securely in position.
Apply the remaining butyl rope, if included, to the recessed section of the riser base. The butyl rope should fit perfectly in the opening, and forms the seal between the adapter ring and riser to prevent any leaks. Push the riser onto the adapter ring using even pressure around the diameter of the ring.
If there is no butyl rope, screw the riser to the ring with the included screws. Use the clips provided with the riser kit to lock the riser into place. Secure the septic tank cover once the riser is installed.
For homeowners who are uncomfortable installing the riser on their own, we can help. Contact Acme Environmental Services today for more information.