Questions related to septic systems

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15
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3answers
20k views

How often do septic tanks typically need to be pumped?

At the risk of potentially asking an off-topic question, I'd like to better understand the maintenance of a septic tank. I've never had one before and am unfamiliar with how to manage one. My ...
12
votes
11answers
30k views

Why is my toilet constantly backing up?

I've been in my new house for a few months now, and I end up plunging one of our two toilets about once a week - they tend to swap turns on which one gets to be finicky each week. Is there a more ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I verify where the pipes in my basement go?

In the photos below, I have 3 pipes coming up out of the ground in my basement. One is about 4" (sewer?), the other 2 are 2" (gray water?). Then there are a few coming out of the ceiling (vents?), all ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

When wiring two circuits through the same conduit, what wire coloring is required?

Problem I am wiring a septic control/alarm box to a subpanel. They are on the same post, so the wire run is through a short stretch of 3/4" flex conduit. There are two circuits required: a 240V for ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What can (and cannot) be put down drains that are connected to septic systems?

This might be more appropriate as a community wiki... We have a septic system and I'm extremely paranoid about what can (and cannot) be put down our sink drains. I know the general answer is "...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I care for the land area directly above a septic tank?

Any suggestions for how to care for the land area directly above a septic tank? I'm a first-time home buyer with a septic tank in my front yard. I'd like it to be aesthetically pleasing and ...
4
votes
3answers
474 views

Septic Replacement: Can I Do it Myself?

I am looking at a property with a serious fixer-upper on it. I want to place a mobile home on the property while gutting out existing building to see if it can be renovated. My question is about the ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Does my vented septic tank even require traps and vents near the actual fixture connections?

My home has a septic system with a vented lid to let the sewer gasses escape from the tank itself. As a result, it seems like far less gas (if any) would travel up the waste plumbing and exit through ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Did my contractor give me good advice about my septic tank?

I recently had my 1500 gallon septic tank fill up/back up. When the contractor removed the lid, it was obvious that the tank was completely full and needed to be pumped. The contractor then said ...
4
votes
7answers
34k views

Septic system failed - should I try installing an aeration unit?

My septic system's leach field is not able to absorb the liquid that comes out of the septic tank any more. It flows out of the pipes in the leach field and surfaces in the grass. Based on the reading ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Why does water rush through pipes when no water is being used?

We live in a house with city water, septic well, water softener and sump pump. We periodically hear a very loud sound of rushing water through pipes in the house. It lasts about 15 - 20 minutes. This ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

How to locate septic lid in yard

I have a septic system in my backyard, but I don't know where the lid is. Is there a way to locate it based on the pipes or other method? I think it's under the lawn somewhere. The reason I want to ...
4
votes
2answers
257 views

What could cause poor drainage in the kitchen and baths?

After having my septic system (tank) cleaned about a month ago, I've noticed a foul odor in the bathroom of the master bedroom. I've also noticed the smell outside near the master bedroom. It's not ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

What should I do about an overflowing septic system?

I noticed a small puddle in the backyard that remained even when it's dry out, and recently realized that it's probably the septic system overflowing. The tank was pumped 2 years ago and I don't think ...
3
votes
4answers
15k views

Product recommendations for clearing a drain connected to a septic system?

Our shower drain appears to be clogged and is draining slowly. What product can I use to safely clear the drain without damaging our septic system? According to Drano's site (http://www.drano.com/...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Does pumping a septic system disrupt the tank's ecology?

We are the original owners of a 4BR/2.5 Bath home that has been mainly occupied by 2 people over 14 years. (Occasionally 3 people for short periods of time, less than 1 year) We have never had the ...
3
votes
1answer
797 views

Should I replace my septic tank if I don't need to?

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Are two smaller septic tanks equivalent to one large tank?

Related: How often do septic tanks typically need to be pumped? Our home has two 800 gallon tanks next to each other, from the previous plumbers drawing it looks like they are connected. I was ...
3
votes
1answer
388 views

Can we install an aeration unit in an older septic system?

Our home was built in 1957. We have had problems for years with having a wet drain field and keep having our septic pumped. Today (of course my husband is away), I have done a couple of loads of ...
2
votes
3answers
18k views

Why will my toilet not flush after it rains or when ground is wet

I live in a house with a septic system. When the winter/spring rains come, the toilet on the ground level master bedroom does not flush. We have another toilet on the ground floor that does flush. ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is lots of water bad for septic, and how can I take long showers without hurting it?

I recently bought my first home that has septic, after 26 years of living with sewers. I've heard that putting lots of water down the septic all at one time is bad for the system, but I'm confused as ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

About how much would replacing a septic tank cost me?

We recently had our septic system inspected and were informed that the tanks themselves were shot and would need to be replaced. I'm in the process of getting estimates but in the meantime, I was ...
2
votes
1answer
450 views

Can a lack of oxygen cause septic tank deterioration?

After 2 years I had my 8 year old septic tank pumped out for the second time. When we looked inside we found that the area above the outlet had concrete deterioration. Whatever happened ate through ...
2
votes
1answer
911 views

What could be causing my toilet to back up?

I live in a mobile home and my guest toilet continues to back up. When you flush it the water level will rise to the bowl rim and slowly go back to normal. I have taken the toilet off of the floor and ...
2
votes
1answer
330 views

How do I diagnose and fix a toilet blockage

I have a toilet that makes a gurgling noise IF it flushes down. However, at times it will fill up when I flush the toilet and I will see something come up from the bathroom drain. I have tried putting ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Risks of buying vacant lot for new home construction with existing but unused septic system?

My wife and I are considering purchasing a vacant lot for a new home construction. One of the main advertised selling points of the lot is that it has an unused septic system (tank, distribution box, ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

What Type of PVC pipe is required for a septic tank inlet?

I am trying to understand what type of PVC pipe is required for the main septic drain line from the house to septic tank. The IRC says this: International Private Sewage Disposal Code 2012 ...
1
vote
2answers
17k views

How much should replacing septic tank lids cost, and what is involved?

My wife and I may be possibly buying a house with a septic tank. We had it inspected and the report showed that the tank was in good condition however the "tank lids" would need to be replaced. I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Should I use an additive to my septic system?

I recently bought a house with a septic system. In researching maintenance for a septic system I am getting mixed messages about if I should be putting an additive (Rid-X or bakers yeast) down the ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Rebuilding a septic drain field

When rebuilding a drain field, is it imperative to dig individual trenches for each "tine" of the drain pipe "fork", or would it be possible to just dig one big hole to lay all the piping down. If I ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Can I drill holes in septic tank risers to off-gas hydrogen sulfide?

How about drilling a few small vent holes in the riser (assuming it is open air and not buried)? The septic guy says that doing so would vent the HS gas and significantly extend the life of the second ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Septic problem!

We have an issue with our septic pipe I guess or something else. Our septic tank is in the backyard and we had that pumped not to long ago. The problem arises when we shower, run the dishwasher, or ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Installing washer/dryer combo in kitchen

Due to space constraints, I am planning to install 1 1/2 inch pvc piping through cabinetry to the sink tailpiece (with some type of tee) which will go straight down to the p-trap to the main kitchen ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Why are our toilets not flushing correctly after our septic system was cleaned?

We just our septic tanks cleaned. The lines had suction applied. Now neither of our toilets will flush correctly. The water will drain out but the paper will not go down. Any suggestions as to our ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Water is leaking from basement toilet. help

I bought this house that was without electricity for 8 months (water pipes froze too). I have a septic system. I've removed toilet in the basement and plugged septic pipe (it was filled with water)... ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

How to reconnect disconnected elbow in waste pipe?

I live in a mobile home community, the septic recently was overflown, it was pumped, however the main line connecting to the pipes in my house was "out of place" when the maintenance person "banged it ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

How can I build a septic tank?

I am considering renovating my house, that will be turned into a small student housing (approx 10 - 15 people). I would like to know what is the most efficient way to build a septic tank to dispose ...
1
vote
0answers
2k views

Why is my sewer drain line suddenly having frequent blockages?

One month ago I experienced bubbling in my downstairs toilet when someone was taking a shower upstairs. The toilet bubbling concerned me and I noticed a little water on the floor the next day, nothing ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Old Septic Tanks & Fields

I found a old unused (20+ yrs old) septic tank/field in an area that I want to build apon, what am I suppose to do &/or who am I suppose to contact? thanks, Caneadea
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can I eliminate the pump in my septic system?

I have a pressurized septic system with the second tank and a pump, and the pump keeps tripping the breaker and setting off the alarm even though I've put new plugs on it and replaced the breaker. ...
0
votes
1answer
852 views

Can homeowners install sink grease traps to prevent build up in septic/sewer lines?

My septic system periodically gets clogged with hardened grease build up which I have to manually clean out (about twice a year). I use a bacteria additive monthly and have the tank pumped bi-...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the possible solutions for an uphill septic system in rocky area around lake

I'm looking to purchase a bank owned bungalow that had some really sketchy things going on with the septic system. I know that I will have to completely re-work the septic system if I purchase it and ...
0
votes
2answers
162 views

Has our new septic tank been properly waterproofed?

We have a new septic tank made of solid stone masonry. The masonry is held together by cement mortar and has been plastered with cement plaster. A professional working on the job has ensured us that ...
0
votes
1answer
780 views

Why do I hear water running in my bedroom wall when faucets are on or when toilets are flushed?

I've lived in my house for almost 9 years. I recently had my septic tank emptied. I've noticed that about a few weeks after emptying the tank that whenever I flush or when the water is running in the ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Sewer Line Installation [closed]

I am running a septic line from my mancave to the main 4" sewer line coming out of my house. I want to splice into this line coming out of the house. The total run is 60'; is this ok to do?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What is involved with a perk test?

We're looking at buying some land soon so we can build our little get away. I will have a perk test done at some point but was wondering what it involves? Is this something I could do on my own? I ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Should new septic system be filled with water?

I have a brand new septic system and a new 1000 gallon 2 stage cement tank. This is for a cabin that is only used 4 weeks a year with 2 people. Only a toilet is going to the septic. It will take me a ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What can we do about a separate drain from our washing machine to our septic system that has failed?

Our contractor put our washing machine drain in our yard separate from our septic system. However, it is plugged up and failed. We need a solution without putting in a whole new drain. What can we do?...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

Yard Smells Funky When It Rains-I have a Septic System

I just bought a house with well and septic. The last two times it has rained continuously for more than a day I noticed a foul smell around my back yard. There is a septic system, but I had it ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Found old, deteriorated septic tank lids in yard, do I need to keep them?

Our house was built in 1965. We purchased it about 1 1/2 years ago. While doing some yardwork this weekend, we discovered a septic tank lid about 6" below the grass. Then we remembered seeing a ...