How to Install Septic Riser - Cost and Maintenance Guide

Septic Tank Risers Make your Tanks More Accessible


Are you tired of struggling with the maintenance of your septic tank? Do you often find yourself digging up your yard just to access it? If so, it's time to consider the benefits of adding a septic tank riser to your system. 

A septic tank riser is a practical solution that allows for easy access and maintenance of your septic tank, without the hassle of digging. By installing a riser, you can save time, money, and headaches in the long run. 

Not only does it make routine maintenance tasks, such as pumping and inspection, much simpler and more efficient, but it also reduces the risk of damage to your yard and landscaping. In this article, we'll explore the numerous advantages of adding a septic tank riser and why it is a smart investment for any homeowner. 

So, let's dive in and discover how this simple addition can make a world of difference in the management and longevity of your septic system.


Why Septic Riser is a Must to Have for Every Home?


What’s the function of a septic tank riser and why would you need one? Well, if your septic tank service person must dig out your yard every time you need your septic tank cleaned, you do not have a riser installed, and you likely have a concrete lid buried somewhere underground.

A riser replaces your existing septic tank lid, giving you above-ground access, making your tank easier to maintain.

Installing a riser should also reduce the cost of pumping your tank (this is not a given—be sure to ask). Along with eliminating the need to dig up your septic, risers make it easier to inspect your tank, should problems arise. Depending on your outdoor pipe system, some even allow access for septic main cleaning and inspecting. 

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If you have a newer septic tank, your tank may have been manufactured with a riser (or risers) built in. But if you have an older system, most tanks were built with concrete lids that often deteriorate and usually are buried underground.

A riser is an inexpensive upgrade that you may want to consider doing next time you have your tank pumped. Most septic pumping services offer riser installation and it's usually cheaper to consolidate services than ordering them individually as you save on service charges.

Now it’s time to learn how to install the septic tank riser. Although this is a DIY guide but we recommend hiring a professional plumber for this task. This will help you save time and efforts.

Here are the steps on how to install a septic riser:


Installing a septic tank riser is a relatively straightforward process that can be completed by a professional or experienced DIYer. However, if you're not confident in your abilities, it's always best to hire a licensed septic system contractor to ensure proper installation and avoid any potential issues.

Gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need a riser kit, which includes a base ring, riser pipes, and a lid. You may also need a shovel, butyl rope, roofing tar, and screws.


  1. Locate the septic tank lid. The lid is usually located in the center of the tank. If you cannot find the lid, you may need to dig around the tank to locate it.

  2. Clean the area around the lid. Remove any dirt, debris, or vegetation from around the lid.

  3. Apply butyl rope to the base ring. Butyl rope is a watertight sealant that will help to prevent leaks.

  4. Place the base ring over the lid. Make sure that the base ring is centered over the lid.

  5. Screw the base ring in place. Use the screws that came with the riser kit.

  6. Cut the riser pipes to the desired length. The height of the riser pipes will depend on the ground level and the height of the septic tank lid.

  7. Attach the riser pipes to the base ring. Use the screws that came with the riser kit.

  8. Apply butyl rope to the bottom of the lid. Butyl rope is a watertight sealant that will help to prevent leaks.

  9. Place the lid on top of the riser pipes. Make sure that the lid is centered over the riser pipes.

  10. Secure the lid in place. Use the screws that came with the riser kit.


Congratulations! You have successfully installed a septic tank riser, making future maintenance and inspections a breeze. But the work doesn't end here – regular maintenance and care are essential to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your septic system.


Septic Tank Riser Styles

 Septic tank risers come in a range of styles and are made from several different materials. Some are made from concrete (these are the most durable) but some find them unattractive. Concrete risers are more cumbersome to install and may require equipment to lift them off trucks, making the labor cost more, even while the materials cost less.

Polyethylene, PVC and other plastic septic covers are lighter in weight and some in a range of heights to suit your needs. Ground-level septic risers make it easy to maintain your lawn. Most designs can be adjusted to the height you need.

They generally consist of a flange that attaches to your existing tank, some gasket material, a pipe or series of connecting pipes, a safety screen, and a lid. Note that the lids have different load-bearing limits. If you want to drive a mower over it, ask your installer if that’s advisable.

Riser pipes range in size from 8-24-inches and the lengths vary depending on the depth of your tank opening. As previously mentioned, some pipes can be stacked to adjust the height. If you find the lids to be unsightly, you can cover them with sod and note the location so that when you need maintenance, you can lift it up for access, but this kind of defeats the purpose of accessibility and may deprive you of the potential savings of not having to dig out your cover.

Understanding the Importance of Easy Access and Maintenance


Maintaining a septic tank is an essential part of homeownership, but it can often be a challenging and messy task. Traditionally, accessing the septic tank requires digging up a portion of the yard to expose the tank's lid. This process can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and can cause damage to the landscaping. Moreover, it can be frustrating to repeat this process every time the tank needs maintenance, such as pumping or inspection.

This is where a septic tank riser comes into play. A riser is a sturdy, durable, and watertight extension that is installed on top of the septic tank. It raises the lid of the tank to ground level, eliminating the need for digging.

With a septic tank riser in place, accessing and maintaining your septic system becomes a breeze. No more back-breaking digging or dealing with the mess and inconvenience of uncovering the tank. Instead, you can easily access the tank's lid, saving time and effort.

In addition to the convenience factor, a septic tank riser offers several other benefits. It improves the overall functionality and efficiency of your septic system by providing easy access for routine maintenance, reducing the risk of damage to the tank, and preventing groundwater contamination. Let's explore these benefits in more detail.

The Benefits of Installing a Septic Tank Riser

  •  Easy access for maintenance: One of the primary advantages of adding a septic tank riser is the ease of access it provides for routine maintenance tasks. With a riser in place, you can quickly and easily locate and remove the tank's lid, allowing for hassle-free pumping, inspections, and repairs. This not only saves you time and effort but also ensures that your septic system is properly maintained, preventing costly issues down the road.

  • Reduced risk of damage: Digging up your yard to access the septic tank can cause damage to the surrounding landscape, including trees, shrubs, and grass. The use of heavy machinery or shovels can lead to accidental damage or even complete destruction of your yard. By installing a septic tank riser, you eliminate the need for excavation, minimizing the risk of damage to your property. Additionally, a riser provides a protective barrier between the tank's lid and the elements, reducing the likelihood of corrosion or deterioration over time.

  • Prevention of groundwater contamination: A septic tank that is properly maintained is crucial for preventing groundwater contamination. When the tank is not easily accessible, homeowners may neglect or delay necessary maintenance, leading to a buildup of waste and potential leaks. By installing a septic tank riser, you make it easier to monitor and maintain your septic system, reducing the risk of leaks, spills, and groundwater contamination. This not only protects the environment but also safeguards the health and well-being of your family and community.


How a Septic Tank Riser Works


A septic tank riser is a simple yet effective device that connects to the top of your septic tank. It consists of a durable, watertight material, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of underground use.

The riser is installed securely on top of the septic tank, replacing the original lid. It extends from the tank's opening to ground level, providing a convenient access point for maintenance and inspection.

The riser is typically equipped with a watertight lid that can be easily removed when access to the septic tank is required. The lid is designed to seal tightly, preventing odors, gases, and moisture from escaping while keeping pests and debris out. Some risers even feature built-in safety mechanisms, such as child-proof locks or tamper-resistant fasteners, to ensure the lid remains secure and prevent unauthorized access.

When it comes to choosing the right septic tank riser for your needs, there are a few factors to consider.

Choosing the Right Septic Tank Riser for Your Needs


  • Material: Select a riser made from a durable, corrosion-resistant material, such as HDPE or concrete. These materials are designed to withstand the harsh underground environment and provide long-lasting performance.

  • Size: Measure the dimensions of your septic tank opening to ensure the riser you choose is a perfect fit. Standard risers are available in various sizes, and some manufacturers even offer custom options to accommodate unique tank sizes or configurations.

  • Safety features: Consider whether you require any additional safety features, such as child-proof locks or tamper-resistant fasteners. These mechanisms can provide added peace of mind by preventing unauthorized access to the septic tank.

  • Ease of installation: Look for a riser that is easy to install and requires minimal tools or expertise. Some risers feature a snap-on design or innovative installation systems that simplify the installation process.

Once you have selected the right septic tank riser for your needs, it's time to move on to the installation process. 

Maintenance Tips for Septic Tank Risers


While a septic tank riser simplifies access and maintenance, it's important to remember that regular care is still necessary to keep your septic system in top shape. Here are a few maintenance tips to help you get the most out of your septic tank riser:

  • Schedule routine inspections: Regularly inspect your septic system for signs of damage, leaks, or blockages. This includes checking the riser, lid, and connections for any wear or deterioration. If you notice any issues, contact a septic system professional for further assessment and repairs.

  • Pump the tank as recommended: Follow the recommended pumping schedule for your septic system. The frequency will vary depending on factors such as household size, water usage, and tank capacity. Regular pumping prevents solids from accumulating and clogging the system, ensuring proper functionality.

  • Monitor water usage: Be mindful of your water usage to prevent overloading the septic system. Avoid excessive water consumption, such as running multiple appliances simultaneously or taking long showers. Excessive water can overwhelm the system and lead to backups or failures.

  • Avoid flushing harmful substances: Do not flush harmful substances down the drain or toilet, as they can disrupt the natural microbial balance in the septic tank. This includes chemicals, grease, medications, and non-biodegradable items. Dispose of these substances properly to avoid potential damage to your septic system.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your septic tank riser and the entire system in excellent working condition for years to come.

Common Misconceptions About Septic Tank Risers


Despite the numerous benefits of septic tank risers, there are several misconceptions that may deter homeowners from installing them. Let's debunk some of the most common misconceptions:

  • Risers are expensive: While there is an initial cost associated with purchasing and installing a septic tank riser, it is a worthwhile investment in the long run. The time and effort saved during routine maintenance, as well as the prevention of potential damage, far outweigh the upfront cost.

  • Risers are unsightly: Many homeowners worry that a septic tank riser will be an eyesore in their yard. However, risers are available in various colors and designs that can blend seamlessly with your landscaping. With proper installation and maintenance, the riser can become virtually invisible. 

  • Risers are difficult to install: While professional installation is recommended, some homeowners may choose to install a riser themselves. With the right tools, knowledge, and following manufacturer guidelines, DIY installation can be relatively straightforward. However, if you're unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it's best to consult a professional.

By debunking these misconceptions, homeowners can make an informed decision about installing a septic tank riser and reap the numerous benefits it offers.

Cost Considerations for Installing a Septic Tank Riser


The cost of installing a septic tank riser will vary depending on several factors, including the size and material of the riser, the complexity of the installation, and the region in which you live.

On average, homeowners can expect to spend between $200 and $500 for a standard riser installation. This cost includes the purchase of the riser, installation labor, and any additional materials or equipment required.

While this may seem like an added expense, it's essential to consider the long-term benefits and cost savings that a septic tank riser provides. By simplifying maintenance tasks, reducing the risk of damage, and preventing groundwater contamination, a riser can help you avoid costly repair. 

Septic Tank Riser Cost


The cost of a septic tank riser can vary, depending on the size, the material, the style, and your installer. Plan on spending at least $150 for a basic model, but know that they can cost up to $400, depending on the model you choose. If you have a double septic tank, double that number.

The labor and materials are a one-time fee that you’ll quickly recoup by not paying for digs when you need pumping or inspections. They can usually be installed in a half-hour or less.



Adding a septic tank riser to your system is a practical solution that offers numerous benefits. It provides easy access for maintenance, reduces the risk of damage to your property, and prevents groundwater contamination.

With a riser in place, routine maintenance tasks become simpler, more efficient, and less time-consuming. Moreover, the installation of a septic tank riser is a smart investment that can save you money by preventing expensive repairs and prolonging the lifespan of your septic system..

Also check out our septic tank pumping blog post.


People Also Searched These Questions

Should I install a riser on my septic tank?

A septic tank riser makes it easier to access the tank for pumping, inspection, and maintenance. If your septic tank does not have a riser, you may want to consider having one installed.

How high should a septic tank riser be above ground?

The height of the riser will depend on the ground level and the height of the septic tank lid. The riser should be high enough so that the septic tank pumper can easily access the tank. However, it should not be so high that it is a tripping hazard.

Does a septic riser replace the lid?

No, a septic riser does not replace the lid. The riser is an additional pipe that extends from the ground to the tank. The lid is still required to prevent debris and pests from entering the tank.

What are the advantages of concrete septic tank risers?

Concrete septic tank risers are more durable than plastic risers and can last for many years. They are also less likely to be damaged by frost or other harsh weather conditions.


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