Drain Field Air lock?

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druber

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I'll start by apologizing for my ignorance. I will probably use some incorrect terminology and not know all the details.

Our septic system requires a pump to move the effluent to the drain field. A while ago, the pump failed. We had it replaced by a pro. He said the new pump was quite a bit more powerful than the old pump.

A month or so after installation, the high level alarm started going off. We could hear the pump running but the level was not going down. I called the installer and he feared we might have a clogged drain field pipe. He came out to investigate. What he found was air in the drain field pipes. His process for fixing it was: unplug pump, remove cap from end of drain field pipe, plug in the pump, and replace cap when water started to emerge.

He seemed to think it was a passing issue. He didn't charge me and told me to call if it happened again.

It didn't happen again for a couple of months. When it did, I didn't want to wait for him to come, so I just fixed it in the same way he did.

That was 1.5 years ago. It continues to happen. Sometimes it takes a couple of months and sometimes it happens multiple times in a month. It is such an easy fix, I just never called him back.

I did try to do a little research into why it was happening and how I might fix it. It seems like it could be an air lock issue. Some suggested drilling a small hole in the discharge pipe just above the pump. Initially, this seemed to help, but we're back to having to do our temporary fix about once a month or so.

Anybody have any ideas on what is happening and how to fix it?

I can try to answer any additional questions.

Thanks.
 

Twowaxhack

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The drainfield doesn’t need venting.

It’s likely the pump air locking.

Drill the relief hole like you mention.

Do not allow the pump to pump the water level down below the top of the pump.
 

druber

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The relief hole was drilled several months ago and it continues to happen. Sorry that wasn't clear.

I'll check that the pump does not pump the level below the top of the pump, but can I ask why? Isn't it just important that it doesn't go below the *bottom* of the pump?

Thanks for the input.
 

Twowaxhack

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The relief hole was drilled several months ago and it continues to happen. Sorry that wasn't clear.

I'll check that the pump does not pump the level below the top of the pump, but can I ask why? Isn't it just important that it doesn't go below the *bottom* of the pump?

Thanks for the input.
Because it can air lock the pump. I said top of pump not bottom
 

plowking

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On newer pump up systems here in NH. They put a vent at the pump chamber and a vent on leachfield at the far end. It helps pump push the air before the effluent gets to leachfield .Also if it has a distribution box, the pump line can have a velocity tee to divert flow, that can be trouble and I've seen the velocity tee freeze in colder climates. The weep or purge hole is used to keep line from freezing by letting line drain back between uses.
 
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