Septic System Issues

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loaba

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UPDATE #2

Kinked up a 50' snake, gotta get a new one. While I'm at the LHS, I'll score some Rid X.

Plan
1. liberally apply Rid X directly into the full tank
2. Snake the laundry line and hopefully restore toilet function
3. Get tank pumped on Monday
4. Have the septic guy install a new baffle (or do so myself)

Thoughts?

/ thanks to everyone who's responded. This has been a really poopy job thus far
 

frodo

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UPDATE #2

Kinked up a 50' snake, gotta get a new one. While I'm at the LHS, I'll score some Rid X.

Plan
1. liberally apply Rid X directly into the full tank
2. Snake the laundry line and hopefully restore toilet function
3. Get tank pumped on Monday
4. Have the septic guy install a new baffle (or do so myself)

Thoughts?

/ thanks to everyone who's responded. This has been a really poopy job thus far

install a cleanout on both sides of the tank

using 2 wyes and 2 45's per clean out set up

iui.png
 
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loaba

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install a cleanout on both sides of the tank

using 2 wyes and 2 45's per clean out set up
^That's the plan, Stan.

I'm hoping the drain field isn't compromised, but knowing that the baffle not being there doesn't bode well.
 
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SHEPLMBR

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:confused:

I wonder if a riser kit is available for a D-Box (or if one can be bought that way)? Easier than locating and digging.
All tanks and Dbox lids should be above ground to prevent infiltration of ground water. Like I said. No one should DIY a septic system. I hope the OP knows that everything needs to go through proper permits and such. I have seen some hacked and cause illness among other things.
 

KULTULZ

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All tanks and Dbox lids should be above ground to prevent infiltration of ground water.

Like I said. No one should DIY a septic system. I hope the OP knows that everything needs to go through proper permits and such. I have seen some hacked and cause illness among other things.
I never thought (before) of a D-Box access port.

What do you think of a back-flow valve w/ inspection riser at the tank inlet?

You have to be tough to do your own work but I guess some have no other choice.

I have a neighbor that has planted bushes directly @ or around his tank... :rolleyes:
 

KULTULZ

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...the baffle not being there doesn't bode well.
By any chance, does the OUTLET side of the tank look like or appears somewhat similar to the below photo?



OVERLOOKED-

Question: if I were able to dig up the field myself (*doubtful), could the gravel in the trenches be reused? I am capable of installing the pipes.

*ground here is hard as concrete
It really depends on the accumulated bio-mat(s) in the leach-field. I have read that usually if a new field is needed, it has to be in fresh soil. I guess you could do a perk test(s) and maybe get away with it.
 
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loaba

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No - the outlet didn't look like that

Septic guy might be able to get here tomorrow, Wednesday latest. I'll have him dig up the D-box or schedule that after the pump. Now the system is fully backed up, toilet won't flush at all. I guess I could crack the lid again on the tank.
 

loaba

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UPDATE 3

Cracked both ports, water level was lower than has been in several days (outlet port was slightly above surface.)

Rant the snake again and then went outside to see if it had penetrated to the tank. First thing I heard was the gush of water coming out the inlet.

So what caused the gusher? Open ports allowed air into the system? Does this mean that my roof vent might be clogged after all?
 

loaba

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Went up to the roof and snaked an air vent - straight drop, did not appear to be clogged at all. Once I got down into the drain line, it definitely felt like I hit sludge. Whatever it was, or where ever it is in the drain, it's 50' in cause I ran out of snake.

So, I think I have a big-time clog. But why? Going back to the drain field, if that is clogged and not able to take waste wouldn't that cause a backup of sludge into the house line?

Note: water level is dropping in the tank, half the outlet is now exposed.

/ I can take pics if anyone is interested in dirty holes.
// I'm talking about the septic tank...
 

loaba

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SOLVED - maybe

Water level in tank seems to have stabilized, outlet to field is half-submerged. Flow in the house drain lines is restricted but can generally be cleared via auger. I think this due to buildup from the tank being over-full for the last 3-4 weeks. Ran some very caustic drain cleaner down the kitchen sink (packaging said it was septic tank and PVC safe) and that line seems to be flowing much better now. Don't want to put anymore of that stuff down the tubes than necessary. Also pretty sure it's bad for the Rid X.

Anyway - I think I know what caused the leach field failure.

First, as a family of 5, I am positive that we over-stressed the system. On the weekend of Nov 4 we got 8" of rain in out area. That is pretty well unheard of 'round here. It rained heavy for 3 days in a 4-day period. I think between our heavy use of the system and that much rain, that the drain field simply got over-loaded and took this long to right itself.

Does any of that make sense?
 

KULTULZ

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Anyway - I think I know what caused the leach field failure.

First, as a family of 5, I am positive that we over-stressed the system. On the weekend of Nov 4 we got 8" of rain in out area. That is pretty well unheard of 'round here. It rained heavy for 3 days in a 4-day period. I think between our heavy use of the system and that much rain, that the drain field simply got over-loaded and took this long to right itself.

Does any of that make sense?
Yes...

Needed septic tank capacity is rated by the number of bathrooms in the house resulting in the number of people in the house (giving number of bedrooms allowed on the tank) in figuring needed tank capacity.

It may be as you stated the system was overwhelmed briefly. Just keep a watch on it and try to spread out use as only doing a few loads of laundry per day, etc. With any luck, it will even itself out.

There are products which will kill root growth in the actual leach-field. See how it does over the next few days.

Please keep the board informed (via this thread) as it is a learning experience for all.
 

SHEPLMBR

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If possible, "daylight" or drywell your washing machine. Also one thing you may not already know. It is really bad for a septic system to sit for a long period of time when not in use. Lines dry up and deteriorate etc.
 

loaba

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Please keep the board informed (via this thread) as it is a learning experience for all.
Plan to.

Where I live, I need to be able to do as much of this as possible. Septic guy is coming today to pump the tank, would like to get him to look at the D-box while he's here.

If possible, "daylight" or drywell your washing machine. Also one thing you may not already know. It is really bad for a septic system to sit for a long period of time when not in use. Lines dry up and deteriorate etc.
I rerouted the washer line about 2 weeks ago. Runs out into the yard now (legal in NM).

House was empty for at least 3 years before the previous owner moved in (2015). We've been here since June, 2016. Leach field was totally covered over with thick sage bush growth. Since that's been removed, I think digging up the D-box won't be too hard.

Today's Update
Water level is high again. Can't see either the inlet or the outlet.
 

loaba

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Today's UPDATE 2

Septic guy is draining the tank, found the fallen baffle for the outlet side. On the inlet side, the T-baffle was plugged solid. Augered it out, all lines run into tank now. The high water level in the tank plugs up the house drains. Fine, confirmed.

Ran a snake down the fully exposed outlet pipe - it's crudded up with grease and gunk. Septic guy thinks that he can maybe try "water jetting" the line, to break that stuff up. We shall see...
 

loaba

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Water jetting didn't really seem to work.

Need a suggestion for an auger head that will work on a 4" pipe
 

loaba

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Need something to break up that grease.

http://www.lenzyme.com/Grease_Education_Clearing_the_F.html

something like this
For that to work, I have to fill the tank first while dosing with enzymes (like Rid X). Okay - I can do that. I think I've got 3 weeks before the tank is full again.

In the mean time I can rent a 100', 5'8" auger from the Home Despot. If they have a bigger cutting blade then what I have, that'll be great. At $95.00 a day, that's a bargain.
 

Deerslayer

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Water jetting didn't really seem to work.

Need a suggestion for an auger head that will work on a 4" pipe
If the jetting didn't work then you have more going on. For augering or jetting to be effective at removing grease you must be able to establish flow so as grease breaks up it can flow away. Properly done jetting should have been able to pull grease back out of line rather than flushing it to leach bed. It might be time to call in a professional, rather than trying to auger this and flushing grease into leach lines.
 

loaba

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If the jetting didn't work then you have more going on. For augering or jetting to be effective at removing grease you must be able to establish flow so as grease breaks up it can flow away. Properly done jetting should have been able to pull grease back out of line rather than flushing it to leach bed. It might be time to call in a professional, rather than trying to auger this and flushing grease into leach lines.
Tank is empty and the drain line doesn't appear to be back-flowing into it. Are you saying I should try jetting again once the water level is even with the drain?
 
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