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Old 11-08-2008, 06:44 PM   #1
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


A friend is looking for some help in re-plumbing a house.
The house currently has a septic tank which two toilets flush into and then a dry-well which all other fixtures drain to (kit. sink, two tubs and two bath-sinks).

Can everything be drained to a septic tank and then cap off the dry-well or only use the dry-well for the washing machine ?

Also there is no "house-trap" (unless its built into the tank ?? have no idea of the age of the tank and he does not care), should we add a trap just before the septic tank ? There will be an inspection done (and personally i would like to do it right the first time, he wants to "wing-it" and if the inspector wants something change, change it later).

Thanks for any in-sight.

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


In most jurisdictions everything(sinks, toilets, tubs, etc) MUST drain into the septic tank.

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Old 11-08-2008, 08:30 PM   #3
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


Even though I'm sure your code requires everything to go to the septic, I'd try to keep the dry well if at all possible. No bleach or harsh chemicals to kill the bacteria or excessive water flow to dilute the bacteria means pumping the tank MUCH less.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:11 AM   #4
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


I vote to keep the dry well. Its possible that the original designer of the system was qualified to do so. In that case the septic's leach field probably wasn't designed to handle the other waste water. You might want to do a perk test before adding to the field.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:07 PM   #5
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


Thanks all.
Never had a tank, leach-field or dry-well, always manicaple but have heard people i work with talk about bacteria and tank drainage/leach-field.

If this is common knowledge and draining everything into the tank can cause problems with older home/systems, why is it code, why are dry-wells bad ?


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Originally Posted by DUDE! View Post
You might want to do a perk test before adding to the field.
Thanks for mentioning this, how would one know where the leach-field is ? Im sure my friend has no clue... we can see where the piping shoots out the basement wall but thats about it.
Does a home-depot or lowes sell these kits ?

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Old 11-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


Sounds like you need to call the inspector before you even start work to make sure everything is correct! In my area you are allowed to drain "grey water" to a different location. Tub and shower is not considered grey water and would need to go into the septic.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:19 PM   #7
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


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Originally Posted by CrpntrFrk View Post
Sounds like you need to call the inspector before you even start work to make sure everything is correct!
Thats what i said (and would be doing if it was my project) but he just wants to do it and see what happens. Im pretty sure the house was build in the 40's or 50's; with the comment above saying the leach-field might not be designed to drain the extra water sounds like something to look into. Not sure how "caring" the inspector is; i was looking at some of the framing (two dormers where added) and windows which passed the inspection and was glad its not my house or that i had nothing to do with it.

As of now he wants to drain everything to the tank except the washing machine. No skin off my back, but i prefer to do things once and right if at all possible... im sure there will be little mistakes we will make along the way and one less head-ack would be nice

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:15 AM   #8
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


To find out where the drain field is you can contact the local building authorities. A print or drawing of the layout of the house, including any additional buildings and the drain field w/ location of the septic tank and distribution box should be on file.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:05 PM   #9
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What can drain into a spetic tank ?


If an inspector is already involved, I'd get his opinion first before doing any work. Probably only happens once in a blue moon, but its been said that you get someone out in the country with septic, who knows what they will do to correct problems. Chances are that if the area you are in is populated with close neighbors, everyone keeps an eye on things. Otherwise no telling what someone might of done. As for a perk test, I'll assume only the inspector can do that, or at least they will be the one to take the readings.

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