Septic Tank Riser Basics

If you've recently bought a house that relies on a septic system, you'll want to be sure that it is working at its best and is properly equipped. One of the things you should check for is the presence of a riser. Risers are basically an additional spacer that sits at the top of the tank, between the tank and the septic lid. Here's a look at what you should know about septic tank risers and how to add one to your new home's septic tank.

Why Should You Add A Riser To Your Septic Tank?

Risers are an ideal investment for most septic tanks and are even required in some areas. You might wonder what the big deal is about them and why you should spend the money. The riser makes it easier for your septic tank technician to access the tank. It prevents the screws that hold the cover in place from corroding due to frost in the ground as well.

With a standard septic tank that doesn't have a riser, most pumping companies will access the tank through a small white pipe that sticks up from the ground. This limits what they can pump to what sits in that area, which may increase your pumping frequency. When you add a riser and make the septic tank cap accessible, your pumping company can remove the cover and pump from there, keeping your tank cleaner and preserving your septic system.

How Do You Install A Riser On Your Septic Tank?

If you want to install a riser on your tank, you can do it on your own. The first step is to gather all of the supplies that you'll need. You'll want a riser kit that includes the riser itself, the adapter rings, butyl rope, a domed tank lid, and the necessary fasteners. Before you order the kit, measure the diameter of your tank opening so you can be sure that you get the right diameter riser for it. Opt for a riser that's slightly larger than the opening itself so that it sits around the outside edge.

Remove the septic tank cover that's in place. Once you do, it exposes the top ring of the tank. Clean that entire ring so that there's no dirt or debris on it. This will help ensure that the riser seals in place properly. Apply the butyl rope to the adapter ring that came with your riser kit. A solid line of butyl rope around the ring should be sufficient. Just make sure it goes all the way around and connects again because it's necessary for a watertight seal.

Press the adapter ring firmly in place on the tank. Then, use the drill bit that's included with the kit to drill the holes to secure the ring. Once the holes are drilled, drive the concrete screws into place. This secures the adapter in place.

Find the recess at the bottom of the riser itself. It should be just wide enough to fit the butyl rope diameter. Fill that recess with a ring of butyl rope to help ensure a proper seal between the riser and the adapter ring. Place the riser firmly in place, then secure it with the fasteners that came in the kit. Repeat this process for each riser you add. The more risers you put in place, the higher the septic cover will be. Secure the cover and your job is done.

If you're not comfortable doing this work on your own, a septic service company can help you with it. They'll send a technician out to do the installation for you and to ensure that everything is properly sealed. Visit a site like for more information on septic tank maintenance.