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Concrete Vs. Plastic Septic Tank: Which Is The Best Material For A Residential Septic Tank?

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Are you installing a new septic tank in your home? It's crucial to understand the pros and cons of different septic tank materials. Concrete and plastic are the two most popular materials used in the manufacture of residential septic tanks. Concrete tanks are made of precast concrete, while plastic ones are made of polyethylene (poly). However, this isn't the only difference between the two options. Consider the following factors when comparing concrete and plastic septic tanks.

Installation Expenses

Both concrete and polyethylene septic tanks are manufactured off-site and delivered to your home for installation. Plastic tanks are lightweight, which significantly lowers the transportation and installation costs. Conversely, concrete is a heavy material. 

The weight of concrete septic tanks can increase the installation costs. Heavy pieces of machinery, such as cranes, are required to lift and set up the tank at the installation site. Conversely, plastic tanks can be installed without the use of rigging equipment. Thus, consider the additional equipment rental costs when comparing the installation expenses of both septic tanks.

Septic Tank Performance

Both concrete and plastic are durable and efficient septic tank materials. However, concrete is a porous material; thus, it needs to be lined to prevent sewer leaks. You must replace the lining every few years to prevent leaks. Concrete tanks are prone to cracks, especially when invaded by large tree roots. Thus, when choosing an installation location, find a spot with no invasive tree roots. On the plus side, a concrete tank is less likely to be punctured during landscaping work.

Plastic septic tanks are less prone to cracking and corrosion. However, large, stubborn roots can still invade your tank and cause harm. Polyethylene isn't a porous material, which makes it sanitary and ideal for sewer systems. Note that it is easy to puncture a plastic septic tank with gardening tools. Thus, exercise care when landscaping around the system. 

Ease of Maintenance

Septic tanks require frequent pump-outs, cleanings, and repairs to optimize performance. Plastic tanks are easy to maintain, and since they are less prone to leaks, you don't have to worry about system emergencies. Conversely, the porous nature of concrete tanks makes them harder to maintain. If the material corrodes, it can allow untreated sewage to leak into your yard. Thus, you need to conduct frequent cleanings and inspections to address potential issues before they arise.

Both concrete and plastic are durable septic tank materials. However, concrete may require more maintenance to perform optimally at all times. If you need help choosing the best septic tank for your home, consult a company like Chastains Septic Services