Can Septic Tanks Explode? Check Out These Common Septic Tank Myths

There are some misconceptions about septic tanks floating around out there. That includes everything from when it needs to be pumped to if it will explode at any given moment. The truth is that most of the time, if it sounds too unbelievable to be true, it probably is.

That being said, septic tank myths often do have a kernel of truth within them. Here’s a look at some common septic tank myths and how true they may be.

Septic tanks can explode

This septic tank myth is actually true, though it is not common. The reason behind this is that septic tanks are full of combustible gases like methane, which occurs naturally in the process of breaking down solids in the septic tank. All septic tanks do this, so why doesn’t it happen all the time?

Septic tank manufacturers, installers and service professionals are aware of this danger. That’s why septic tanks are made and installed to be properly ventilated, which avoids the chance of explosion. This is something that should be checked during a septic tank inspection, which you should be getting regularly for a host of reasons—including this one.

It’s okay to build above a septic tank

Another myth is that it’s totally fine to build atop the area of a septic system. This is not true. In fact, this is one myth that doesn’t even have a kernel of truth to it. Simply put, just don’t do it.

Septic tanks are installed on a property in an area with lots of open space. There are a few reasons for this. One is that the ground surrounding a septic system can’t support the weight of a structure. Another is that there needs to be open access to the septic system for pumping and maintenance.

If it looks full, it’s time to pump

Here’s a septic tank myth that’s not usually true but can be in certain circumstances. When your septic tank looks full, it can seem like it’s time to have it pumped—but considering the fact that a septic tank usually needs to be pumped once every 3 to 5 years, you might be confused if your tank looks full just a few months after being pumped.

That’s just how septic tanks work. Since they take in all the water and waste that’s run down the pipes into the tank, the water will end up filling the tank quickly. The tank cleans this water, however, and allows it to naturally drain out into the leach field.

What’s left are the solids at the bottom, and that’s the part you need to be concerned about when it comes to pumping. If that looks full, it’s time to pump. This can be checked with the help of a septic tank service professional.

It doesn’t take much to keep your septic tank running smoothly, and having the right knowledge is most of the work you’ll need to do. When you need any kind of septic tank service, contact the professionals at Gullett Sanitation Services, Inc. today.