Plastic Tanks vs. Concrete Tanks

Septic tanks are made of many different materials; concrete, plastic, high density polyethylene, steel, and fiberglass.  The most common are plastic and concrete.  In this article we will discuss the benefits and negatives of both concrete and plastic septic tanks.

Benefits and disadvantages of plastic septic tanks

Using a plastic septic tank has many benefits.  There is never a worry of a plastic tank rusting, and therefore leaking into the ground.  In addition, plastic is less susceptible to cracking as well. Plastic tanks are much lighter than concrete tanks and that makes it much easier to get into place when it comes time to install them.  Because plastic is usually resistant to corrosion, there are problems that you won’t have to worry about with plastic, that you will have to watch for when using tanks made of other materials.

Even though plastic tanks have many benefits, there are some disadvantages as well.  Plastic is a lightweight material and because of this, the tank can sustain damages during the installation process which can be a costly problem if you have to buy another tank before it is even installed due to damage.  Because plastic is so lightweight, “floating” can be a problem, so be sure to address this issue before installation and ask the installers what they do to prevent this from occurring.

Not all states will approve the use of plastic tanks for various reasons, so if you do choose plastic for your septic tank, you will need to check with the laws of your state to make sure you can use a tank made of plastic.  If cost is a major consideration, and your state doesn’t have a law against using it, then plastic may be the best choice for you.  Asking a professional who is knowledgeable about plastic tanks would be a good move, so you can see if the initial cost saving is worth it in the long run.

Benefits and disadvantages of concrete septic tanks

Concrete is a common material to use for septic tanks, and there are many benefits to using concrete when you are not needing to cut corners due to finances.  Concrete is heavy, so one of the things you’ll not have to worry about is the tank floating like you will with a plastic tank.  Another benefit is that a concrete tank will last a long time and they are very strong as well.   The use of concrete septic tanks is approved in all 50 states, so getting prior approval for a different material is not necessary.

Despite the durability of concrete, there are some disadvantages to using them.  They are typically more expensive than plastic tanks, but last longer, so for most people, this outweighs the cost saved initially with the length of time the concrete tank will last.

Concrete septic tanks are not the easiest to install simply because they weigh so much.  It is always easier to install something lighter, so if you are doing this installation job yourself, you will need to take the weight into consideration and plan for some major help.

Concrete can crack under certain circumstance, but this is not usually a problem.  Asking those who have concrete tanks if your state has extreme cold or hot weather is always a benefit to you so you can find out if weather has been an issue for them.  Sometimes concrete can crack in extreme weather conditions and this can lead to leaks, so be sure to check with those who have had concrete tanks and are still using them to see if this has been an issue in your location.  Others who have had septic tanks installed can be a great help in helping you determine which will suit your needs better.


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  • plastic vs concrete septic tanks
  • plastic septic tanks
  • concrete vs plastic septic tanks
  • plastic septic tanks vs concrete tanks