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Septic Troubles *Ideas Needed*

Old 12-08-2018, 07:44 PM
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Default Septic Troubles *Ideas Needed*

I know that is a terrible subject but Iím a mechanic and not a plumber so I need some guidance here
im gonna make this as short as possible but still give details

2 weeks ago our toilets and tubs were slow to drain, weíve never pumped the tank in 3 years we owned the house so we started there 375$ for the septic tank dig/flush/pump
Then me septic guy says oh you have a pump tank too that is full and the pump must be bad, another 250$ to pump that out as well... quoted 1600$ to replace pump so i did it myself

*Fun part*
upon replacing the pump we noticed the power cord was cut at the house as was the high water alarm, so it had never worked since we bought the house ( Oct 2015) so we ran new power cable in pvc (grey) all the way to the pump tank, installed a new lid, float switch, and pump. Tested it with multimeter all functioning well ....

I went to the water & sewage dept here and got a print out of the septic system for the house and found that
in 2005 they had a backup and the fix was to install the pump tank and 85í of 2Ē pvc into a distribution box in the back yard followed by 140í of additional field lines
( original looks like a snake in front yard and is still hooked to original septic system )
so while I was already fixing the pump tank I wanted to be sure all was well with it, turns out the box was completely crushed so I am repairing that Monday.

My Concern
Here in North Ga it has been raining like crazy the D-Box is uncovered and I went out there to cover it and noticed that itís full of water and not draining down the 4Ē pipe to field lines....should I be worried ? How fast should that drain ??
Iím going to cover it tomorrow to keep any more water from getting in there but I feel like itís clogged since water isnít rushing down a 4Ē pipe thatís 140í ft long
is there any way to clear it???


sorry for the long read
any helpful replies would be greatly appreciated
I can upload the drawing from the county if needed

thanks Guys

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Old 12-08-2018, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hemi_Hammer View Post
I know that is a terrible subject but Iím a mechanic and not a plumber so I need some guidance here
im gonna make this as short as possible but still give details

2 weeks ago our toilets and tubs were slow to drain, weíve never pumped the tank in 3 years we owned the house so we started there 375$ for the septic tank dig/flush/pump
Then me septic guy says oh you have a pump tank too that is full and the pump must be bad, another 250$ to pump that out as well... quoted 1600$ to replace pump so i did it myself

*Fun part*
upon replacing the pump we noticed the power cord was cut at the house as was the high water alarm, so it had never worked since we bought the house ( Oct 2015) so we ran new power cable in pvc (grey) all the way to the pump tank, installed a new lid, float switch, and pump. Tested it with multimeter all functioning well ....

I went to the water & sewage dept here and got a print out of the septic system for the house and found that
in 2005 they had a backup and the fix was to install the pump tank and 85í of 2Ē pvc into a distribution box in the back yard followed by 140í of additional field lines
( original looks like a snake in front yard and is still hooked to original septic system )
so while I was already fixing the pump tank I wanted to be sure all was well with it, turns out the box was completely crushed so I am repairing that Monday.

My Concern
Here in North Ga it has been raining like crazy the D-Box is uncovered and I went out there to cover it and noticed that itís full of water and not draining down the 4Ē pipe to field lines....should I be worried ? How fast should that drain ??
Iím going to cover it tomorrow to keep any more water from getting in there but I feel like itís clogged since water isnít rushing down a 4Ē pipe thatís 140í ft long
is there any way to clear it???


sorry for the long read
any helpful replies would be greatly appreciated
I can upload the drawing from the county if needed

thanks Guys

Three years before pumping it. Come on man.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:51 PM
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We were told it was pumped before we bought the house and itís just my wife and I
We asked at he closing and were told 3-5 years

Last edited by Hemi_Hammer; 12-08-2018 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:54 PM
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Gonna be a lot of rain next couple days.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:25 PM
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Three years between pump-outs is not a problem at all unless you have more than 4 people living there or a very small septic tank. The pump-out just helps keep the sludge from going out into the drain field. Regardless, the problem is that the drain field is done and needs to be replaced with a new one. This happens all the time, they don't last forever. The drain field should drain quickly if it is ok. Should cost about $2000 for a new drain field, just a guess, that was my last cost.

I know this sounds gross, but I monitor the sludge level in the tank by using an inspection port and a long stick. Pump it out when the sludge level is 12" deep.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
Three years between pump-outs is not a problem at all unless you have more than 4 people living there or a very small septic tank. The pump-out just helps keep the sludge from going out into the drain field. Regardless, the problem is that the drain field is done and needs to be replaced with a new one. This happens all the time, they don't last forever. The drain field should drain quickly if it is ok. Should cost about $3000 for a new drain field, just a guess, that was my last cost.
Thanks for the reply,
We have a 1000 gallon septic tank and a 1000 gallon pump tank, Iím gonna grab a 4-6Ē auto pipe snake from work on Monday and see if I can clear out the field lines while replacing the D-Box since it wonít cost me anything to try and maybe Iíll get lucky
If not then I guess thereís a few things that wonít be getting done to the boat this winter
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:38 PM
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Thereís a leach field rejuvenation process that can be done if you need it
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:40 PM
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You won't be able to clear out the drain field because the stoppage is in the spaces or holes in the pipes that make up the field. Don't bother, It doesn't matter why it happens, you have to replace it. I have been doing maintenance in the three septic systems on my property for the last 40 years. I initially tried everything even though I was told it was hopeless to repair a drain field.... It was not possible.
Your tank is plenty big for just two people.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by STEELA View Post
There’s a leach field rejuvenation process that can be done if you need it
That's not true and is a big scam in the industry. Do NOT Buy into that. In this subject...I do know my shit ;-)
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:44 PM
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Should cost about $2000 for a new drain field, just a guess, that was my last cost.


So i was about tol buy a house about 3 months ago and walked away cause it failed the septic inspection. 3 bad drain lines $10000 grand a piece we were told
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Maranvin View Post
Should cost about $2000 for a new drain field, just a guess, that was my last cost.


So i was about tol buy a house about 3 months ago and walked away cause it failed the septic inspection. 3 bad drain lines $10000 grand a piece we were told
That's about right for a large field but the OP only has two people. Also it depends a lot on the area and ground percolation factor (clay is poor, sand is best).

It's not that hard or expensive to do a percolation test to see what you need. Dig a hole and pour water in it and time it basically.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
You won't be able to clear out the drain field because the stoppage is in the spaces or holes in the pipes that make up the field. Don't bother, It doesn't matter why it happens, you have to replace it. I have been doing maintenance in the three septic systems on my property for the last 40 years. I initially tried everything even ut though I was told it was hopeless to repair a drain field.... It was not possible.
Your tank is plenty big for just two people.

the original septic tank has itís own set of field lines
that wind around the front yard....it took 3 years for the septic tank to fill to the point that we needed it pumped out so I think they are ok, my concern now is the rear field lines
I set the pump tank float @ 3ft from bottom
high water alarm @4 ft
tank is 6 ft tall
so I guess I just need to have them both replaced???

i wish I had put some kind of monitor in the septic tank like I did the pump tank just so Iíd know
hereís a drawing from County to help
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:57 PM
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That's a strange drain field, are you on a hill? Also, do you have any large trees near the drain field lines closer to the tank? The tree roots will get into the line eventually and stop it. A good system will have solid pipe to beyond the trees to keep that from happening.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:57 PM
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[QUOTE=Maranvin;12046531

... 3 bad drain lines $10000 grand a piece we were told[/QUOTE]
10000 grand is a lot of money, I'd get another quote....
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
That's a strange drain field, are you on a hill? Also, do you have any large trees near the drain field lines closer to the tank? The tree roots will get into the line eventually and stop it. A good system will have solid pipe to beyond the trees to keep that from happening.
not on a hill our property is pretty flat, itís only .95 acres
the D-Box now has that 2Ē pvc from pump tank into one side and a 4Ē piece of PVC at a downward angle out, but idk how long that pvc piece is before it turns to corrugated
our back yard is 100% trees but there was a clearing on one side which I assume is where those field lines go
repair was done in 2005 so 13 years ? House sat empty for at least 3 years before we bought it ....
appreciate all the help
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:07 PM
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13 years. No good, you have reached the end of life for the drain field especially with all those trees. If I were you, I would have them install a new field in the area of the oldest one in a forked layout as far from the trees as possible. I prefer short lines and many of them instead of long lines that can clog up in a single place. I love trees but hate the way they clog up the lines.
Also, I have been experimenting with the chamber drain systems. There is mixed opinion as to whether they work long term. For me, so far so good, 15 years and counting. And I installed them myself for only 700 bucks per house and lot of digging ;-).
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
13 years. No good, you have reached the end of life for the drain field especially with all those trees. If I were you, I would have them install a new field in the area of the oldest one in a forked layout as far from the trees as possible. I prefer short lines and many of them instead of long lines that can clog up in a single place. I love trees but hate the way they clog up the lines.
10.4
Well I guess Iíll make a few calls on Monday and see what kind of prices I come up with. The digging I can do I can bring a mini ex and bobcat home from work for nothing and do most of the work myself I guess.. County has to come inspect after I assume and get permits before hand
So much fun a few weeks from Christmas
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:16 PM
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I guess, never got a permit for any of mine, but this is a bit of a rustic, pioneer old Florida area. Good luck and shop around, you may be shocked at the different prices..
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:21 PM
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See what I added about the chamber systems. Might be ok for you. Check codes of course but should be legal and easy to install.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:39 PM
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I just checked it out looks way easier than having to do gravel and sand and all that ....hav to price it out
but may be the best option
less work for sure
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