How to Find Septic Tank Lid Easily: A Step-by-Step Guide

Septic Tank Dude Author at Septic Tank Dude
Jack has been working all of his life in the septic tank maintenance, cleaning and pumping business. In 2020 when COVID hit he decided to retire from pumping septic tanks and use his knowledge to help out readers of Septic Tank Dude. Jack has a wealth of knowledge to share on septic tanks, leach fields and much more.
Jack Cacy

septic tank bacteria treatmentYou have a septic tank pumping scheduled for today, but the problem is you can’t locate your septic tank. You don’t want to pay the septic company to locate it, so you’re left wondering what to do.

Finding the location of your septic tank is crucial for any maintenance or repairs, and paying someone to do it can be expensive. In this guide, we will take you through the steps of how to find your septic tank lid so that you can save some money and get the job done yourself.


Solve your cesspool problems


5 quick steps to locate septic tank lid

Step 1: Check Your House Plans

If you have a copy of your house plans, your septic tanks should show on these. Plans for each state/ county will differ but the plans should indicate the position of the tank, its size, its distance from the house and the location of the leach field. You can also contact your local health department or building inspector’s office to obtain a copy of the plans.


Step 2: Look for indicators

Sometimes, you can easily identify the location of your septic lid by looking for visual indicators or cues such as the following:

  • Lush grass or vegetation: The area around the septic is sometimes richer in nutrients, making the grass or vegetation more vibrant than the rest of the yard. This is especially true if you have a leak.
  • Foul odors: If your system is not operating properly, you could notice a foul odor in a particular area of your yard, it could indicate the location of your septic tanks.
  • Depression or uneven ground: A depression or uneven ground could be a sign that the soil has settled due to the weight of the septic system.


Step 3: Use a metal detector

If you are still unable to locate your septic tank lid, you can use a metal detector to help you find it. Follow these steps:

  • Turn on your metal detector and adjust the sensitivity to the highest level.
  • Walk slowly in a grid pattern over the area where you think the septic tank is located.
  • Listen for a steady beep, indicating that you have found metal. Move the detector back and forth until you find the spot with the strongest signal.
  • Use a garden trowel or a shovel to dig down and locate the septic tank lid.


Step 4: Look for septic tank risers

Septic tank installation companies may have included a septic tank riser during the installation process to help with inspections and maintenance. A riser can make the pumping process more accessible by allowing technicians to locate the riser and begin work quickly. Essentially, a septic tank riser is a vertical plastic or concrete pipe that runs from access points or pump-out openings to just a few inches above the ground. The purpose of a riser is to bring the access point closer to the surface, which can make it easier to find and use for any necessary septic tank maintenance. By installing a riser during the initial installation process, you can save time and money on future maintenance costs.


Step 5: Pay a septic tank pumping company or call a professional

If you can’t locate your septic tank lid and you have a septic pumping company coming, they will be able to find the septic tank lid location. Some companies charge an additional fee to find the tank’s lid, some won’t. If you don’t have an appointment or professional booked for a septic tank opening, you can pay a professional to find your septic tanks.


don't wait for your septic to fail, prevent it


What is a septic tank lid or concrete cover?

A septic tank lid is also called a septic tank concrete cover if you have a concrete tank. The cover sits on top of a septic tank, providing access to the tank for maintenance and pumping. The lid is typically made of durable materials such as concrete, plastic, fiberglass, or steel and can vary in size and shape depending on the manufacturer. Check out the different decorative septic tank cover ideas you can buy.

Septic tank lids are an essential component of any septic system, as they protect the tank from outside elements while also providing a way to access the tank for necessary maintenance. They also play a crucial role in preventing contaminants from entering the system, such as debris, animals, or other foreign objects.

Without a septic tank lid, the tank is exposed to the elements, which can lead to damage and failure of the system. Additionally, without a lid, the tank’s contents are exposed, creating a potential health hazard for anyone who comes into contact with the system.


Proper maintenance of septic tank lids

Maintaining your septic tank lids is crucial to ensuring that your septic system functions correctly. Here are some essential maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  1. Regular Inspection: Inspect your septic tank lids regularly to check for cracks, breaks, or other signs of wear and tear. Catching problems early can prevent them from turning into larger, more costly issues.
  2. Regular Cleaning: Clean your septic tank lid regularly to remove any debris, leaves, or other materials that could clog or damage the system.
  3. Proper Installation: Make sure your septic lid is installed correctly to prevent damage and ensure a tight seal.
  4. Don’t Drive Over Your Lids: Driving over your septic tank lids can damage them and cause them to break, leading to costly repairs.


When to replace an old concrete septic tank lid

Even with proper maintenance, a septic tank lid or a cesspool cover will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, especially for older septic tanks. Here are some signs that it’s time to replace your tank’s lid:

  1. Cracks or Breaks: If your concrete septic tank cover have cracks or breaks, they need to be replaced to prevent further damage to the system. Having an open septic tank can lead to dirt or soil entering your septic systems, or worse animals. This should be part of your regular septic tank maintenance.
  2. Rust or Corrosion: If you have steel septic tank lid, rust or corrosion can cause them to weaken and break down over time.
  3. Sunken Lids: Sunken septic system lids can indicate that the ground beneath them has shifted or settled, potentially causing damage to the system.



household owner with septic tank treatmentFrequently asked questions (FAQs)

How often should I inspect my septic tank lid?

You should inspect your septic tank lids at least once a year to check for any signs of wear and tear.


How often should I check my septic tank concrete cover?

It is recommended to inspect your septic tank cover at least once a year to ensure that it is still in good condition and provides adequate protection.


How much does it cost to replace a septic tank lid?

The cost of replacing a septic lid can vary depending on the type of lid, the size of the tank, and the location of the system. On average, it can cost between $150 to $400.


How do I know if my septic system needs to be repaired?

Signs of a problem with your septic include slow drains, gurgling sounds in your pipes, bad odors, and standing water in your yard.


homeowner with septic system treatment tabletHow do I replace old concrete septic tanks lid?

Replacing old concrete septic tank lids is a job that is best left to professionals. Here are the steps that a professional contractor will follow to replace your septic tank lid:

  1. Locate the Septic Tank – The first step is to locate your septic tank. If you don’t know where it is, you may need to contact your local health department or a professional contractor.
  2. Expose the Lid – Once you have located the septic tank, the contractor will need to dig up the ground around it to expose the lid.
  3. Remove the Old Lid – The old septic tank lid will be carefully removed to avoid any damage to the tank itself.
  4. Install the New Cover – The new lid will be installed securely on top of the septic tank, ensuring that it is airtight and watertight.
  5. Backfill the Hole – The contractor will fill the hole around the septic tank with dirt and compact it to prevent any future settling.


What is an open septic tank?

Septic tanks are typically buried underground and sealed to prevent wastewater from seeping out. However, if the tank is not adequately covered or sealed, it can become an open septic tank. An open septic tank means that the tank is either partially or entirely exposed to the environment, allowing wastewater to seep out or accumulate in the tank.

septic tank dude logo
Copyright © 2023 - All Rights Reserved.
Some Of The Links On This Site Are Affiliate Offers... We May Be Getting Compensated For Referring You To These Sites.
Find out why 21,000+ Septic Tank Owners flush this tiny tablet down their toilet each month.
From just $9 per month septic tank owners are saving thousands with this natural treatment.
60 Day Money Back Guarantee