In Septic Knowledge Center

Can septic tanks explode? Is there any truth to that question? In the multitude of things to manage in our lives, the septic tank can sometimes be forgotten. It’s understandable. We have our schedules, our family’s schedules, work, and more, but it is very important that your septic tank receives its regular maintenance and inspections.


Can septic tanks explode?

Yes, septic tanks can explode. It is very rare for a septic tank to explode, but it is possible. Menthane, a highly flammable gas, can build up in septic tanks. Methane is created during the anaerobic digestion of waste in the tank. In most tanks, the methane produces no risk at all, but if methane ventilation is comprised, the gas can reach unsafe levels.


The methane explosion is usually triggered by some sort of heat. For example, a septic tanks explode can be triggered if a maintenance hole (manhole) is opened and a spark or flame is nearby. In Florida, there was a toilet that exploded after a septic tank was hit by lightning. Again, these instances are very rare, but they speak to how important it is to ensure your tank is well maintained and receiving inspections.


What does it mean if septic tanks explodes?

While being incredibly rare, there are instances of septic tanks exploding. When a septic tank explodes, it usually causes a fire or a significant force. For example, there are many stories of house fires starting from septic tank explosions. There are also stories of maintenance hole covers being shot 20 feet into the air after an issue with gas ventilation in a septic system. Septic tank explosions are very dangerous and should be taken seriously. They are also costly. Entire septic tank replacements can be anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 on average, depending on your area.

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How do I keep my septic tank from exploding?

There are precautions you can take so your tank remains intact.

  1. Ventilation

Make sure that your tank is properly vented. If the tank is a single compartment septic tank, make sure there is space above the baffles. Baffles are located near where the pipes enter and exit the septic tank. If it is a two-compartment tank, make sure there is enough ventilation between the two compartments. Otherwise, methane will build up.

  1. Proper inspections

When you receive an inspection from a professional, they will be able to determine your ventilation requirements and how to ensure the tank is safe. Septic tanks should be inspected every 3-5 years. This schedule usually coincides with the requirements for having your tank pumped, so they can be combined.


Most importantly, these professionals are trained to handle emergencies as they arise. Septic tanks carry a wide range of toxic gases, so mending or maintaining one is very dangerous and shouldn’t be done by anyone that doesn’t know how to handle emergencies.


While it is rare for septic tanks to explode, it does happen. And it usually occurs because the system wasn’t well maintained or inspected. Getting regular updates and inspections for your tank could save you from a dangerous septic explosion but, more realistically, will save you money on tank replacements and give you peace of mind that your family and property are safe.


If you have questions about your septic system, buying a new home or need yours serviced give us a call. We are the top septic system company in Southwest Florida. We can help you with any problem or service you might have. We look forward to working with you!

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