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Our house is 40-50 years old, and we've recently discovered that our drain field is shot. We're getting that replaced, and figured we may as well replace the tank while we're at it.

Are there any down sides to replacing a functioning septic tank? The thought process is that the cost is cheaper to do it now than later (already digging things up, etc) and that we already have the permit approved (included with the drain field repair).

Specifically, I want to know if older septic tanks are characteristically better than newer tanks. For example, was the cement used 50 years ago better quality? Would I be replacing it with a comparatively shoddy replacement?

For instance, I wouldn't replace a door while renovating the wall around it...even if a new door was free: the old doors are solid wood and wonderfully built, whereas newer doors are cheap and flimsy. I realize that's a broad generalization, but you get the idea.

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Can they remove your old one? I don't think they remove tanks, so that would mean abandoning your old tank and relocating to put a new tank in. –  lqlarry Jun 1 '12 at 1:48
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One of the considerations is the council requirements if they have tightened the sizing / treatment methods required you may have to end up putting in a much more expensive system than just a septic tank if you go the way of replacing the exsisting one, were as a disposal field renewal can be put under called "repairs" . Worth looking into before deciding –  UNECS Jun 1 '12 at 6:01
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Have the tank inspected. They should be able to give you an estimated remaining service life expectancy, based on the age and condition of the tank. This might make the decision easier. –  Tester101 Jun 1 '12 at 11:54
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Having the tank inspected was the way to go. The guy flat out told me the tank was fine, and it would be a waste of money to put a new one in...even though he stood to get more business if I did. Post this as an answer :D –  dolphy Jun 6 '12 at 14:51
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Have the tank inspected. They should be able to give you an estimated remaining service life expectancy, based on the age and condition of the tank. This might make the decision easier.

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