septic tank question

Old 08-19-2019, 10:50 AM
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Default septic tank question

The solids inside the tank, do they float or sink to the bottom?
If they float, do they form a hard crust that could be up to and possibly more than a foot thick?
Old 08-19-2019, 11:44 AM
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They float,the pipe going out to the drain field should have 90 and a extension that goes down below the solids level,so it siphons off the liquid and not the solids.

I guess how thick it is depends on the length of the extension pipe if it enters the drain field and plugs it up.

Speaking from experience and not from any level of expertise.

Washing some packages of yeast down the drain will help the bacteria do its job.
Old 08-19-2019, 11:57 AM
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there are solids that sink to the bottom and build up, that is the reason for the short walls in the tanks.(keeping the lower part of outgoing Tee from plugging up from the bottom)

there is also a floating cap and the tees on the in and out line should be tall enough to keep the solids from floating cap from getting into places it should not go..
It is a very good idea to have the tanks vacuumed out way before you start having problems with the system.
field lines are for liquids only, if you get solids in them you screwed up.

flushing only what can be eaten by the good bugs helps keep things in good running order.

yeast is for making bread, they eat sugars.
get the stuff made for septic tanks to flush down the toilets.
Rid_X sounds right
Old 08-19-2019, 12:04 PM
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There's a layer of sludge in the bottom, and a layer of scum floating on the top. The outlet tube going to the drain field is located via a pipe on an elbow or an inspection tee so that it draws from the middle. If the later of sludge is too high it will send solids out to the drain field. If the layer of scum is too thick, it will send grease out tot the drain field, neither one is a good thing. Yes you could have a thick layer of scum on the surface - it probably needs to be pumped out. Rule of thumb is 10 years divided by the number of people - 5 people then very two years, two people, every five years, etc. No need to flush yeast, additives, etc - bacteria will grow if there is enough food.
Old 08-19-2019, 02:28 PM
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There are different variations with baffles, integrated pump chambers, etc. But this is the most basic and common design. The scum layer can be pretty thick and form a crust.
Old 08-19-2019, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
The solids inside the tank, do they float or sink to the bottom?
If they float, do they form a hard crust that could be up to and possibly more than a foot thick?
Both. And yes a hard crust will form and it's sign of a healthy system.
Old 08-19-2019, 05:24 PM
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I bought a property with a 22 year old gravity system, house in foreclosure.
I removed the tank lid and using a piece of rebar it was 3/4 sludge on bottom AND 2" of cigarette butts on top.
I didn't have time to deal with it so I dumped a box of Riddex in and worried for the next year.
When I finally got time I pulled the lid off again ready to have a pump out.
BUTTS WERE ALL GONE! Sludge down to about 6".
12 years later I had to have it pumped out/inspected for property upgrade but it didn't need it!

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