How to Replace a Septic Tank Baffle

  • 1-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 125-500
What You'll Need
A filter or new baffle
Digging tools, if you cannot access from the ground level
What You'll Need
A filter or new baffle
Digging tools, if you cannot access from the ground level

If your septic tank is properly maintained with regular plumping, a septic tank baffle is not absolutely necessary. The tank is fully functional even without one. This is provided that it is properly maintained, with regular pumping, or that there are no other issues that would cause lots of sludge to build up in your tank.

However, if your tank needs to be pumped out once every 4 or 5 years, or if the wastes are sent into a drain field, you should probably attach a filter to the outlet side. You will easily figure out whether the field has waste issues because of the smell emanating from the surrounding area. If the baffle has become rusty or is damaged, you can replace it, rather than purchasing a new tank.

Step 1 – Accessing the Septic Tank

You should access the outside part of the septic tank, where the water flows out to the drain field. If you cannot access the lid at the ground level, you should dig in order to get to it.

Step 2 – Clean the Area

If there is a tank leakage, you should call the local health officials and ask what you should do to clean the surrounding area.

Step 3 – Pump the Tank

If there are any problems, you should pump the tank in order to alleviate the existing problems. It is a very important step if you plan to replace the baffle or even the entire septic tank.

Step 4 – Open the Outlet Side

Once you open the lid of the outlet side, you should reach the top of the baffle and slide the new filter or new baffle until you get to the handle of the filter. If you had to dig to get to the outlet, you should use some risers in order to bring the access plate to the surface, enabling every user to check if the filter is clogged easily, without digging all over again.

Extra Tips

Keep in mind that if you use a filter, you will solve many problems, but you might also create a lot of new ones. If you are the system owner and you do the job on your own, you know that the system and filter have to be properly maintained to avoid possible clogging.

Clogging leads to depositions of solid waste in the drain field. In some cases, the system could even back them up in to the house.

You can increase the lifespan of the septic tank and system if you reduce the amounts of water entering the particular system. Keep in mind that an average person uses up to 75 gallons of water per day, most of which comes from the bathroom. If you monitor the usage of water you can save money on water and possible costly repairs to the septic tank.

When checking the system for possible clogs, you should always check if there is rust, any damages or deterioration of the baffles.