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Thread: Septic Question

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    Septic Question

    Since there are quite a few science minded posters on here, I thought it might be worth a shot to ask about my septic leach field problem. I have a 900 gallon septic tank with 330' of field lines that snake out from the tank. It travels 90' south, then crosses over and travels 90' north, crosses over and travels 90' south, crosses over one last time and travel 60' north. There is lots of sludge on top of the third 90' section and sometimes a little bit at the end of the second 90' section. It appears the waste is not making it to the 60' section at the end, probably due to a blockage or a collapsed line (no trees anywhere close). To dig will cost lots of $$$, but it may come to that.

    Before we dig, I would like to explore chemical possibilities. I have looked online and found products like Septic Seep which uses Calcium Polysulfide to open up the soil to increase permeability and has an additive to dissolve grease. This product is flushed into the system. Also, there are oxygen based products like Septic Scrub which are placed into the junction box and flow into the leach field. The active ingredient in these products is the same as oxy-clean, which would be the least expensive alternative, my septic system diagram I got from the county show a junction box. I'm thinking there may be one an each of those 90 degree turns. Does anyone here know anything about this subject? It would be great is these products would work, but I don't want to just throw my money away. I guess I'm hoping there is a BBB septic solution. Thanks!
    18'x48" Intex metal frame pool, 1600 Intex sand filer/pump combo, Intex SWCG.

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    Re: Septic Question

    How often do you have the tank cleaned out?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Septic Question

    If you are getting solids in the lines, you are not pumping the tank often enough or you have issues with excessive flow into the tank keeping the solids in suspension.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Septic Question

    The tank hasn't been pumped in over 10 years, so obviously that needs to be done to keep solids out of the lines. I'm thinking (hoping) that solids haven't gotten into the lines since the waste is making it through the first two 90' sections into the third. I wanted to gather as much info as I could before I call someone out to pump the tank.
    18'x48" Intex metal frame pool, 1600 Intex sand filer/pump combo, Intex SWCG.

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    Re: Septic Question

    Quote Originally Posted by rghilliard
    The tank hasn't been pumped in over 10 years, .
    Thats the biggest issue right there. A tank should be pumped every 2-3 years.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Septic Question

    You don't list where you are ... what are your soil conditions? Clay, sand, shallow bedrock?

    Do you use products similar to Rid-X on a regular basis?
    20,125 gal. (2,690.6 c.f.) In-Ground / Concrete (Gunite) / Pentair Tagelus TA-60-60D Sand Filter / Pentair Whisper Flo Pump Model WF-24 @ 1HP / Hayward Veri-Flo Valve Model 710 / Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 test kit / Pool School student

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    solarboy's Avatar
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    Re: Septic Question

    Once you have cleaned out your tank you could employ a drain unblocking company, ideally with CCTV, to diagnose and hopefully unblock your lines with high pressure water. Then stick to a proper routine of tank maintenance.
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Re: Septic Question

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by rghilliard
    The tank hasn't been pumped in over 10 years, .
    Thats the biggest issue right there. A tank should be pumped every 2-3 years.
    I am in no way saying to not pump out your tank, BUT I built my house in 1992 and I have NEVER pumped my tank and (knock on wood) I have never had a problem. So I would not just jump in and say pump your tank and all is well, you may have another problem.
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    Re: Septic Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolidiot
    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by rghilliard
    The tank hasn't been pumped in over 10 years, .
    Thats the biggest issue right there. A tank should be pumped every 2-3 years.
    I am in no way saying to not pump out your tank, BUT I built my house in 1992 and I have NEVER pumped my tank and (knock on wood) I have never had a problem. So I would not just jump in and say pump your tank and all is well, you may have another problem.
    You may just be lucky that you do not have folks flushing non-biodegradable "stuff" down the toilet/drain. My inlaws get by just fine like that too. We just had our 1500 Gal tank pumped 3wks ago after 3.5 years...the inlet was maybe 3" from being plugged. Unfortunately a cleanout is inevitable...I can live with spending $300 every 3 years for some piece of mind. The new system cost us just over $14K 3.5 years ago and is the main reason we went AGP vs IG

    Darn septic hole!!!
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Septic Question

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b

    You may just be lucky that you do not have folks flushing non-biodegradable "stuff" down the toilet/drain. My inlaws get by just fine like that too. We just had our 1500 Gal tank pumped 3wks ago after 3.5 years...the inlet was maybe 3" from being plugged. Unfortunately a cleanout is inevitable...I can live with spending $300 every 3 years for some piece of mind. The new system cost us just over $14K 3.5 years ago and is the main reason we went AGP vs IG

    Darn septic hole!!!
    dman I totally agree with you, was just telling the OP to make sure what the problem is before doing something just because you THINK that is what the problem is
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    Re: Septic Question

    It only cost $300 or so to pump a tank. Trying to determine if the laterals are crushed, plugged, etc will probably cost more. The first thing to do, and the cheapest, is to pump out the tank. My guess is that fixes the problem. If t hasnt been pumped in 10 years, i'll lay odds thats's the problem.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Septic Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolidiot
    dman I totally agree with you, was just telling the OP to make sure what the problem is before doing something just because you THINK that is what the problem is
    Yeah, no worries...just hit a sore spot with something I've had to deal with. If it's been 10 years, I'd pump the tank. If that's not the problem, unless the fields are made out of orangeburg pipe, they can snake them with a root cutter for another $300 or so, if still no luck then video inspection for another $300...it's no wonder the local septic guy is riding around in a $100K bmw with his "Dooty 1" vanity plate.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Septic Question

    As they say "There's money in muck"
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Re: Septic Question

    Call a septic service and have them do a "hydro jet" service, which blows water at high pressure through your drain field pipes and removes blockages.
    27' round/4 feet deep above ground pool
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    Re: Septic Question

    The tank should have a baffle to keep solids out and pumping it makes sense since you are going to have to dig it up anyway to figure out what is going on. I have never seen one installed with a way to get to the drain field without going through the tank. How far is the nearest tree and what kind of tree? Trees like doody and will send out runners a long way to get some of the "good stuff".
    Why is it most people that work in a pool store know nothing about pool chemistry?
    37,000 gal lined inground, Aquarite SWCG, ORP & pH cont, 30 gal acid tank, and Digital Timer w/ Freeze probe. All integrated with interposing relays to keep pump from shutting down if feeds are running.

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