Installing risers for a septic tank

The septic tank is an airtight, closed container installed underground through which domestic waste water flows into it. The tank built up with concrete and separates from ground to avoid polluting the ground water. There is both inlet and outlet to the tank. The waste is sediment as sludge in the bottom. Anaerobic bacteria in the tank decompose the waste into minerals. The filled tank can be emptied through a vacuum pump by the external agencies.

What are Risers?

Risers are nothing but a lid or closing door to the tank which is raised to the ground level from the underground tank. It’s useful in repairing or evacuating the tank without actually digging out to it.

Installing a riser, Do It Yourself:

If you’re having a septic tank and a riser is to be installed, follow these simple steps and you can do it by yourself. (If you do not have the confidence to do it on your own, please call a professional septic contractor or plumber in Cheektowaga, NY.)

Materials Required:

You should have the following materials for installing a riser.

  • Meter Tape
  • PVC Riser Kit
  • Butyl sealant rope
  • PVC Risers
  • Driller
  • Stainless Steel Screws.

It’s better to use the PVC material other than plastic or concrete structures for the riser as it is light and can seal properly and doesn’t allow any gases to vent out. Before starting, dig out to the ground at least a metre uniformly surrounding the tank opening.


Measure the diagonals of tank opening before purchasing the riser kit. Using meter tape, purchase a kit that is bit larger than the opening. E.g. If it’s a 22 inch opening, buy a 24 inch size kit.


Clean from the inside opening of the tank to remove dirt & ensure tight and proper installation and avoid leakage of gases.


Install a concrete ring structure of a few inches height and diameter more than the opening and should be in similar diameter to riser kit. The concrete ring is placed on the opening to give a leverage of height to the ground. Take the adapter ring and apply butyl rope into the ring. The butyl rope is used as sealant to the water and avoids leakages. Put the adapter ring along the hole and drill it up with the driller to make holes. The ring is having the holes and you can fix the stainless steel screws into the ring to fix it to concrete ring.

Now take the risers and apply the butyl rope to each rise along the ring and make sure to fix along with the riser on the top. Repeat the procedure to attain a height of ground level. The butyl rope assures you the tightness of the riser. Bore the holes using driller and screw them up to give a tight and firm structure. Take the lid and fix it on the adapter ring risers to close the riser. Once you’re done check for the leakages if any and fill the mud up in the hole to ground level. The lid of riser should be visible on the ground. Now it’s easy for you to access the tank without the help of professionals.

Common Causes of Septic System Failure

A septic system includes the source, the septic tank, the drain field and the soil beneath the drain field. Although septic tanks are given a big importance, the drain field is the most important part. Septic tank failure is a nuisance and a health hazard and can result in the spread of diseases and causes pollution. One should know the causes which lead to septic system failure and should precautions should be taken accordingly.

Age of the septic field

The age of the drain field is a major factor because even if the drain field is well maintained, it will start to clog at some point and have to be replaced. It depends on the size of the field, soil characteristics, groundwater, materials used for the construction etc. The average age of a drain field is 25 years, depending on its usage and maintenance.


Soil clogging is a major problem around the drain field trenches. Tree roots can infiltrate the drain field. If the septic tank is not pumped routinely, sludge is formed in the pipes, which can lead to blockage.


A common reason for system failure is over usage of water. A septic system is designed to handle a specific amount of water. When the flow rate is exceeded, the extra water starts to pile up and flows into the yard and around the house. This problem is mainly faced due to any leakage in pipes, which leads to the constant dripping of water which can get logged due to oversaturation. Using more water than the soil can absorb is a major issue. Even the water draining from the roofs and rainwater is lead to the absorption area which leads to a saturation point beyond which the soil cannot hold water. Hence, the waste water might back up into the house which can create a health hazard and bad odor.

Septic tank failures

The septic tank baffles are sometimes made of steel. When it is in constant contact with water and air, corrosion can occur which can damage the whole septic system. The tank baffles should be properly coated to prevent rusting.

Physical damage

Vehicles and permanent structures built over the pipes of the septic system can crush the pipes which can lead to breakage. Tree roots may clog the drain lines, so it is advised to remove trees from around 20-25 ft. from the drain field.

Poor maintenance

The septic tank should be pumped at least once in every 3 years to avoid the formation of sludge. We should avoid solids from reaching the drain field as they may clog small pores and spaces in the soil.

These are the major causes of septic tank failure and proper precautions should be taken in order to avoid it. If any signs of septic system failure arise, it should be properly inspected by professionals to avoid further nuisance.

Why Plumbers Choose Plastic Pipes

For the do it yourself homeowner there are many types of plastic plumbing pipe and fittings available today. While cast iron, copper, and galvanized steel are still being used, it is quite common for plumbers to use either ABS or PVC pipe in new home drainage systems. The advantages of these plastic pipes make them the best choice for the professional as well as the home owner. A couple of benefits are low cost and availability. Metal prices continue to rise making copper and cast iron pipe limited to fire rated assemblies and special commercial construction. Material weight is another advantage. Plastic pipe is much lighter than metal pipe. This helps make installation easier.

Assembling PVC or ABS drain pipe is also quite simple. It can be cut with a common hack saw or a tubing cutter. After cutting the pipe to length, remove the burrs from the end of the pipe and apply the appropriate glue to the pipe and fitting. Next, simply insert the pipe into the fitting with a slight twisting motion. The glue sets quickly and the results are a strong permanent joint. Plastic pipe is also easily joined to cast iron, steel or copper by using the appropriate transition fittings. This makes plastic pipe ideal for repairs on existing drain lines.

When installing horizontal plastic drain lines make sure they are properly supported. A good practice is to support the plastic pipes at four-foot intervals and at the ends to prevent sagging and to maintain good grade for drainage. A vertical pipe should be supported at every floor level.

Keep in mind that plastic pipe tends to be a little noisier than a cast iron pipe. If installed below a concrete floor or in a crawl space this won’t be a problem. If installed in a wall or ceiling though, consider wrapping the pipe with insulation to quiet down the sound of wastewater flowing through the pipe. Particularly on toilet lines and large vertical stacks.

If you’re considering a home improvement project or have drain pipes in need of repair consider using plastic pipe. It is the best alternative to metallic pipes and the best choice for home owners.