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help us solve septic problem

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  • help us solve septic problem

    My husband and I bought our home 3 years ago, and quickly added 2 little people to our family. Last spring I noticed that I couldn't do a lot of laundry at once, or the drain beneath our laundry sink would have lots of water coming out of it. (I just adjusted the way I done my laundry, by doing one or 2 loads a day.)

    By the summer, water would come up from that same drain, if someone would take a shower or bath, near the time I was doing laundry. (So then I would make sure the tub drained slowly, and we took shorter showers.) In the fall we had our septic tank emptied. That seemed to ease it maybe a little.

    Then we had someone come out and snake out our lines. He even went to the tank and back. There is a tree near our tank, and he said he didn't pull any roots or such back, just mainly soap. He used all sorts of different sized snakes, one was huge. That eased it for a while, then it started again.

    I now let the washer empty into the laundry sink with a used fabric softner sheet in its drain, to let the water slowly drain and get filtered at the same time. When water comes up from the drain under the laundry sink, it always slowly drains back down.

    So... my husband got a job in another state, and we are relocating. I would really like this problem solved now more than ever. I have no idea if we have finger system problems, a broken pipe somewhere, or a clog that will not go away.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

  • #2
    I am not a plumber. That said, my brother had a very similar problem in the house he moved into a couple of years ago. (Water backing up into his bathtub and then slowly draining back out) As his yard is close to the level of the lake he lives near and we had quite a bit of rain (several hurricanes) he thought it was water level. He also was having his septic pumped every three months. When he saw the septic tank wasn't full when they pumped it, he called a plumber. What the guy found was the vent pipe which was located by the commode, was plugged above the level of the drain from the sink and commode. He cleaned it by running a clean-out device (I don't know what type) from the roof down the vent and had a difficult time going through the blockage, which he likened to concrete. He said it was most likely toilet paper (the double thickness fluffy kind) which he said had at one time floated on the top of the water and was backed up into the vent due to previous back-up (full septic, etc). It then had hardened into a very dense plug. Since having the vent cleared, (almost a year ago) my brother has had no further drainage problems and hasn't needed to pump out his septic tank. Just a thought on something you could have the plumbers check out.
    Good luck
    Practicing at practical wood working


    • #3
      It may be new leech field time. If there is no clog between the house and the tank the problem is after the tank. There could be a clog in the leech field, or a clog in a distribution box (if applicable). If you have a different system than a leech field (sand filtration, aerator pump system, mound system, etc) it may also need service or replacement. Unfortunately, this is not cheap - any of it. You do have a serious problem when water and waste cannot escape from the septic tank at an acceptable rate as to not cause a backup. In our area - you must contact the city and get permits and have a perculation test done any time you want to replace a leech field. I would hire a qualified contractor that works on septic systems to come and evaluate your problem. And as always when your looking at something that could cost $1000's get three estimates and don't go with the cheapest unless you want it coming back on you after selling your house. Excavation companies are usually the companies that work on and install septic tanks and leech fields, plumbers generally stop at the tank. When getting your estimates ensure that the contractor knows the proper legal procedures for getting the work done and agrees to follow them. If the permits aren't pulled and the system is not approved you may not be able to sell your house. Then you'll be paying fines on top of the permit fees on top of uncovering the system so the inspector can view the pipes.


      • #4
        Good tip on the permits, etc, Theron. Thank You
        Practicing at practical wood working