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Does My Septic Tank Need to Be Replaced?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Giovanni in New York, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    GIOVANNI: I have a septic tank that a water softener flushes into. And we put up drywall next to the septic tank for the saltwater to regenerate and bump into. It was 25 years or 10 years or 20 years ago – I can’t remember. When they cleaned the septic tank out earlier this year, they said the walls are becoming deteriorated to the tank because of the salt. And I might only have a three-year life left in the tank.

    TOM: What’s the tank made out of?

    GIOVANNI: Concrete.

    TOM: I’ve never actually seen a septic tank wear out. I can buy that you may have some deterioration in the walls of the concrete. But unless a septic tank is leaking or cracked, I don’t know if I would believe that you’re going to have a three-year life left in it. I mean I think those things are pretty indestructible.

    Now, what – did you have somebody open it up and inspect the inside of it?

    GIOVANNI: Well, they cleaned the septic tank out about a month ago before they holidays, because they had all the kids and the family coming over. And I was thinking – I didn’t ask them the question – is it deterioration on the inside or is the drywall overflow from the water softener plug about to be – and pouring salt around the outside of the tank. I haven’t been able to get back to him yet. He’s not – he never returned my calls.

    TOM: Yeah. I don’t have a high degree in confidence in the advice that you were given on this. I don’t think I would be too concerned about it, because I don’t see salt deteriorating concrete. You know, it’ll deteriorate the surface but I don’t think – with all the water that’s being run through there, I don’t see it having that kind of serious deteriorating effect. If you put a rock salt on a concrete sidewalk, it’s going to cause it to pit. When you’re using saltwater along with the tens of thousands of gallons of other freshwater that gets dumped into that kind of a tank, I just don’t see it as having the same kind of effect.

    Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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