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21

The pumping question depends on your local codes. In our area, a brand new tank is good for 5 years before it needs to be pumped. A non-new tank must be pumped every 3 years. This is pretty typical. I would say that tank monitoring will vary depending on your system. A septic tank is a pretty simple system. You have a primary tank (some call it a ...


10

This sounds terribly obvious, but have you tried snaking it? Depending how long the run is to your septic tank, you could have a blockage further from the toilets, at a point where the pipes join, and the plunger just gains you a little time by shoving crap into the other end of the "Y".


10

It's probably the toilet that is the problem and nothing later in the line. I highly recommend the American Standard Champion4 Toilet. I installed this when I remodeled one of my bathrooms and two years later it has yet to clog (compared to the other two toilets in my house that clog on a regular basis). The advertisements show it being able to flush golf ...


9

Replacing a septic system is a really crappy job, you'll want to let the pros handle this one. A job like this requires special licenses, permits, equipment, and knowledge. It may seem like your just digging a hole and dropping a tank in it, but there is a lot more planning and hassle involved. It's worth paying to have this done, rather than doing it ...


9

this is fun, this is straight up detective work, and i'm sure you can figure it out with some guidelines mike gives good advice, with the sniff test and such, but i think it might be easier another way. if it was laid out for a basement bathroom, which would be my guess, then those smaller pipes would be vanity drain, and would be laid out to line up ...


9

From your description, I'd guess it is the toilets themselves. If it is the septic system, you would expect to see slow flowing drains/backup in all of the drains on the lowest floor of the house. If it is only one toilet that is experiencing this, I'd guess it is a cheapo low-power model installed by the builder. Do you have the brand/model and stats of ...


8

MarkD already gave a really good by the book answer, but let me answer from the side of a homeowner who has had septic tanks for around the last 20 years. The only time I had any maintenance/inspection was one time when my yard was getting really swampy. I had a septic guy come out and he pumped it rather cheaply, no permanent damage, no big whoop. Those ...


8

You can pretty much do anything above a septic tank, as long as you aren't going to be doing major landscaping that requires tractors, heavy equipment, etc.. The one thing you do want to be aware of is the location of any inspection pipes, or manholes that might have a negative effect on mower blades. Trying to mow around these nice yard "features" can be ...


7

I stay away from chemical solutions all together. I have had reasonably good luck with using a drain snare to snag most of the hair in my tub drain. Every few months, I will shoot one down the drain if I see it getting a little slow. This will normally clear things up without any further intervention. When that fails, I usually move towards using a hand ...


7

Take a straw. Suck up some liquid, and put your finger over the top. Notice how the liquid doesn't fall out the bottom of the straw. That's a vacuum lock, and it is one of the reasons why you need to vent your drains. Poorly vented drains don't drain well, and you'll get clicking and bubbling. Your toilet may fail to clear the payload. So regardless ...


6

Tester is right on this one. Most towns require several items before issuing a permit. A septic plan designed for the proposed structure, (# of bedrooms/bathrooms ), a soils study done by a soils engineer, Perk tests in some areas. and a site inspection pre-excavate and again before system is covered up. Before you consider the expense of building a new ...


6

Yes, you're being paranoid. If it was installed correctly, there really isn't much of anything that will go wrong with it from sitting - most septic problems are from using the system and not maintaining it, leading to material that should have been pumped out getting into the drain field and clogging it. If it's not used, that won't happen. The materials ...


5

If your tank and box are completely filled, your drain field is plugged up and no longer draining properly. It is not in jeopardy, it is done. While it could have been worse, it is still bad. Unless this was caused by a temporary overloading condition, or the main line was simply blocked at one point, you probably will need to build a replacement field soon, ...


4

Get a bucket of water - About 2 gallons. After dropping the kids in the pool (Thank you BMitch for that euphemism), dump the entire bucket in the bowl. If it flushes ok, then your problem is that there's not enough water in the toilet tank. (Look at adjusting the float level) If it doesn't, the problem is further down the line. Contact the Landlord.


4

Tooth paste and soap (even a little anti-bacterial) are certainly fine. Basically, you just don't want to put any harsh chemicals in there that will kill the bacteria eating away at the waste. I would avoid food and thicker items as they will not break down. I try not to allow hair, coffee grounds as they might not break down. I would definitely avoid ...


4

I just had a breakthrough in my situation in the last couple of weeks. My leach field was about 95% clogged, very little if any movement. I had already diverted the graywater to another solution, which helped for awhile, but slowly the field failed to the point of essentially total failure. I have a single septic tank and wanted to try aerating it ...


4

You may want to check to see if the sewer line vent pipe(s) that go up through your roof are plugged up. A plugged vent line cap prevent proper sewage water flow in the drain lines. The foul smell in and around the bedroom area could also be caused by a plugged vent pipe that is keeping sewer gasses from dispersing in the proper way.


4

It is recommended that septic tanks be pumped every 3-5 years, having said that it is not always necessary depending on the usage of the tank. You could simply check the sludge level in the tank to see if it requires a pump out. Leaving the tank without checking it is not a good idea as even though it may seem to be working it may be allowing ...


3

To some extent, this is going to depend on the lids required by the manhole material, and local codes. In our area, for example, both concrete manhole covers, as well as bolted down plastic covers are acceptable. That being said, either way it shouldn't be terribly expensive, if it is only the lid that needs to be replaced. For example- I just had a pump ...


3

As far as code goes, I think you're okay with your approaches since you've tagged hots appropriately. Personally, I think mixing cable with individual wires is sloppy. I'm going to assume that 12 AWG is the correct size for the pump, but you should check before actually putting in 12 AWG. I would do one of two things: Run using NM cable: A 12/2 wire ...


3

When it comes to make the hatch invisible, I personally use a large flowers vase. Previously I had a human statue (of manageable weight). It adds a nice touch of classic to the garden, and it can be removed easily from the hatch when you require emptying. Unfortunately it is prone to falling when you have a dog or small children. The vase is a much safer ...


3

Here are some ideas for reducing the load on your septic system: Set your toilet reservoir to hold less water. Sometimes the float has an adjustment mechanism, or you can bend something. My 1950 toilet previously used 5 gallons per flush. I set it to the lowest fill level, and then put some mason jars in the reservoir to hold back more water. I don't put a ...


3

Given that you have a septic tank, and the main sewage line is well above the basement floor, I'd be very, very wary using any of those drains until you locate a sump pump, sewage macerator/pump, or some other method where they are dealt with appropriately. Note that if you only find a sump pump, do not use them for sewage until you have a sewage pump ...


3

I bought a house recently, and one of the toilets kept getting clogged. A plumber showed me the reason this particular toilet backed up. The toilet was one of the first water efficient models to come out, and had a cylindrical dam that reduced the amount of water that flushed. He said most people break the dam and get better water flow, but that as a ...


3

It is similar to changing the water on a tank of fish, not quite but the best comparison I think of on the spot. Your septic system works by natural decomposition aided by bacteria, surprising similar to your stomach. Putting that much water into a septic field at once can disrupt decomp process by "shocking" the system or flooding/shaking it and moving the ...


2

Are there tree's near-by? Especially "Fruitless Mulberry", they stretch out in search of water like no other. I once had a similar problem, upon removing the toilet I found that our tree discovered that there was water there and started rooting in the pipe. The tree's roots had come up from the floor and pushed their way through the seal and then started ...


2

Check the cleanout going to your septic tank. If the water level is high there then you may have a clogged pipe at the tank or it may be time to get it pumped (I had a root ball grow into mine a few years ago). Another thing to check is your vent stacks. There should be one no more than a few feet from each toilet. Running a snake through those can help ...


2

Have you tried pulling up the toilet and seeing if there is an object stuck in trap (the S-shaped portion of the toilet)? I had a similar issue and someone had dropped a toothbrush into the toilet, which got lodged sideways into the drain area. I took off the floor bolts, detached the water source, pulled up the toilet, looked up the toilet drain pipe, and ...


2

I don't have much to offer but I hate to see a question with zero answers so I'll post my thoughts in case any of them are helpful. Do you know for sure what the intended purpose of these rough-ins was? The plumbing you've got doesn't look bathroom-like to me. Normally you'd have a toilet flange installed on one of the pipes prior to pouring the slab, and ...


2

I'd say let it sits for a few weeks. It might take awhile now that it is fixed based on the ground saturation and type of soil. Keep in mind that many septic systems these days have two fields. Ours built in 2005 is this way, and there is a switch box that I rotate twice a year. Switching it gives each field a chance to catch up and remain healthy. ...



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