Monday, January 25, 2010


3 Ways Plastic Or Fiberglass Tanks Excel Over Concrete for Septic System Installation Repair



There is little doubt, that a septic system is not one of the most glamorous of subjects. However, unless your home is tied in to your local sewage system, having a septic tank is a necessity.

For years some people have had the impression that concrete septic tanks are superior to polyethylene plastic or fiberglass. Its human nature to assume that because a cement tank is heavier it will be more durable and have a longer life span. To some the adage has been, only install the lighter weight tank if you can´t get the less portable more cumbersome concrete tank to your location due to the topography of the site. In reality there are several other features and benefits that plastic or fiberglass tanks possess that make them the wise choice to use when designing your septic system. Listed are some of the advantages.

1) Longer life span

There are 3 negative factors that can affect the longevity of a concrete tank. The first two are the methane gases created by decomposing waste inside the tank and the acids in the soil which attack the tank from the outside. Both have a corrosive effect and will eventually cause the tank to deteriorate. The third factor is tree roots. Concrete is porous and thus allows the roots to penetrate and compromise the integrity of the tank. Because of their chemical composition, plastic or fiberglass tanks are impervious to these harmful gasses and acids. These materials are non-porous so tree roots cannot penetrate the tank.

2) Easier to install

We briefly mentioned that poly and fiberglass tanks are extremely portable because of their lighter weight. This allows them to be transported to remote sites with limited access. They can literally be hauled in the back of a pick up or a small trailer. Once the tank has reached its destination it can be off-loaded and set in the hole by hand. Sometimes a small backhoe or ladder is used to accomplish this. You therefore eliminate the cost and inconvenience of a boom truck and other heavy equipment required to set a concrete tank. This saves you both money and time. Anyone that has had the misfortune of waiting on a delivery that´s running behind schedule can appreciate the freedom associated with being able to control your own destiny.

3) Ease of repair

In the remote possibility that damage occurs, plastic and fiberglass tanks can be repaired much more easily than a cement tank. Plastic tanks simply require poly cord which is made from the same material as the tank. This cord can be melted into a crack with the use of a heat gun. Fiberglass tanks are repaired with a patch kit consisting of cloth, resin and catalyst. These kits are available at your local hardware or building supply store. These are some of the major things to consider when deciding on which of the 3 types of tanks to purchase for your septic system.

In fairness, concrete tanks and the companies that manufacture them do have their place in the market. The most obvious application for these tanks is when a traffic-rated tank is required. In some instances a tank must be placed under a driveway, parking lot or other location where vehicles may have to drive over it. Cement tanks can be manufactured specifically for this purpose. This is a custom built tank. The normal concrete tanks are not designed for this purpose. Very important: do not drive over a concrete tank unless it´s a special traffic-rated tank. Of course this tank will carry an additional cost to be manufactured. Fiberglass tanks can also be made to meet these special requirements. Plastic tanks are not made available for this use.

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