I just had my Septic tank pumped out. And discovered that the prior owner
of the house had lost or broken the inspection hole cover. This is not the
primary opening, just one over the outflow pipe to the septic pit.
He placed several two inch thick foam squares over the opening, and then
placed a metal ammo box over the foam, and pieces of broken cinderblock
around the area, and then buried it all. What a great cover!
I would like to create some sort of replacement cover for this opening,
since I can't seem to find any for sale. My thought is to try to create a
concrete form, but I have never worked with concerte in this way.
I haven't measured the opening, but it is approximately a 1x2 opening.
Could someone please provide me with some tips? Can I make a casting or
form or something and bury it before it has completely cured?
I hear we are expecting rain the day after tomorrow, so I need to get this
buried before my empty tank fills up again!
If this is a flat opening (no tank I have had has such an opening other
than the tank itself so I'm wingng it), just make a form of 2x4 w/ a
plywood or 1x bottom a little larger than the opening and pour a slab.
If you're concerned about the opening and the rain, I'd just form it in
place and lay some plastic over it until the rain is over, then pick it
up to strip the form and put it back permanently....
A 80-lb of quickrete is 0.6 cu-ft iirc and a 1.5' x 2.5' x 3" volume is
right at 1 cu-ft so 2 bags would be about right. You could, of course,
make two of half-width for less weight each if you chose.
Make a form the size you need, use a small piece of welded
wire mesh for reinforcement, put diesel on the forms as a
release agent and put a rebar handle embedded in the concrete
for a lifting aid.
You can bury it immediately if you put that ammo box back over
it. It should be good to go after 24 hours, anyway.
If your tank is completely empty, you should IMMEDIATELY fill
it with water or you may get to see your tank float out of the
Claude Fountain wrote:> I hear we are expecting rain the day after
tomorrow, so I need to get this
You WANT your tank to be filled with water as soon as you can. If
is a rain, the water table around an empty tank will force it up, and
it becomes a big cement boat, and will probably crack in the process.
Usually, a pumper will run a hose into the tank and at least
fill it with clean water before he/she leaves.
Regarding an inspection cover. It ain't rocket surgery..... just
a hole in the dirt about 3-4 inches deep the same size as the opening
about one sack of sackrete in it. Let it alone for a couple days.....
You should make a lip on it so that it will not fall thru. You can
this out by thinking about it for a while.....maybe putting a piece of
rebar in it to act as a stop.
Nothing wrong with just making a square piece a few inches thick
laying it over the hole.... You are going to put 6-12 inches of dirt on
of it anyway.... Remember, the method the previous owner used worked
just fine for many years..... so it ain't that critical...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
As horrifying as it may have been to see this make shift cover, the
foam cover idea may not be so bad because there is a positive seal a
loose concrete cover won't have. You could take some heavy plastic
wrap and stretch it over the hole and secure with duct tape. Then,
form the dirt round the area to make a mold to pour a little
quickcrete. If the hole seems too big, or you are afraid the concrete
might grip and lock onto the opening, making an irremovable top, take a
can of spray insulation foam (the yellow kind that expands
dramatically), and fill in the mold with that. When the foam is solid,
take it off, peal off the plastic, shape it with a knife to improve the
desired shape. Then put inside a simple wooden perimeter form with the
cap side buried face down into the dirt. Pour the quickcrete over the
back of the foam to a thickness that won't easily crack. Etch a happy
face or the name of the coverplate into the concrete for decoration.
After the concrete has dried, clean dirt off cap side of foam, put into
place, and bury again if you like.
Claude Fountain wrote:
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