Size Matters: What Homeowners Should Know About Choosing The Right Size Septic Tank For Their Home

While home septic systems are designed to be able to function properly through decades of use, most will eventually need to be repaired, upgraded, or even completely replaced. When this happens, homeowners may want to use the opportunity to make sure that they have a septic tank that is sufficiently sized for their family. If you are a homeowner who was not aware of the importance of septic tank size, the following information will provide the information you need to choose the best size for your home's waste disposal needs:

Numbers of bedrooms is the first rule in determining size

A basic septic industry rule has traditionally used the number of bedrooms in the home as a guide for choosing the correct size for the septic tank. For example: 

  • a 2-3 bedroom home would require a 1000-1250 gallon capacity tank
  • a 4 bedroom home would require a 1250-1500 gallon capacity tank
  • a 5 bedroom home would require a 1500-2000 gallon tank 

While this guideline was once a reliable method for selecting the right size septic tank to install, it may no longer be as accurate as it once was. 

Existing homes and the effect of additions and modifications

When a family purchases an existing four bedroom home with a working septic system already in place, they may not realize that the system may have been installed before additions and modifications to the home were made. This means that the home may have been originally designed and built as a two bedroom home, and then expanded later. 

This expansion could mean that the home's septic system is no longer adequate for the amount of sewage and wastewater it produces. Homes that have not been modified to add additional bedrooms can still run into a problem with an inadequately sized septic tank if there are frequent guests overnight guests or there are other activities that create more wastewater, such as running a catering business from the home. 

Upgrading the septic tank is smart if the home will be sold in the future

If the home's septic system is being repaired or replaced anyway, it can be smart to decide to also upgrade the septic tank to a larger size, even if the old tank is still working. Doing this can be a good selling point later when the home is placed on the market and will appeal to buyers who may intend to enlarge the home at some point. 

Remember that having a problem with your septic system may not necessarily require replacing it. In fact, many issues can be addressed by simply having the septic tank pumped more frequently by a reputable septic tank cleaning and repair contractor in your area. Doing this will help a struggling system work more efficiently for years of additional usage.

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