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Old 11-27-2012, 11:18 AM   #1
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bizarre seasonal septic issue/sounds

Hey all - I'm back. It's crazy - I posted about this exact topic in late November 2010, 2011 - and now 2012.

Like clockwork, my basement toilet is "burping" when other water is used in the house. It's also a bit slow to flush.

In early 2012 (April) - I had the tank emptied for the first time since moving in. Drain field filter at tank end was perfect.

After this issue in 2010 and 2011, I had plumbers come out and tell me everything under the sun. And I did nothing. And nothing happened. Problem went away. I had the tank emptied in 2012 just because I knew it was time.

That now seems to have had no effect on this issue.

It's got to be seasonal and have something to do with the weather. I live in Atlanta, and it has gone below freezing just once for a short time at night. Otherwise I think it's been averaging in the 50s.

For this problem to come back - almost on the same day each year - I just can't figure it out.

I'm thinking it has nothing to do with the tank or fields. I'm thinking that perhaps it's my main drain line running to the tank. If it's colder - not frozen, but colder - perhaps that is slowing down the sludge trying to get to the tank and causing some sort of venting issue. Eventually it blasts itself through from the weight behind it.

Any idea?


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Old 11-27-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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bizarre seasonal septic issue/sounds

Is this the rainy season for you? Or has there just been an above average rain fall?


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Old 11-27-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
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bizarre seasonal septic issue/sounds

No, not really a rainy season. I mean, mid summer we get downpours and thunderstorms where things stay muggy and the ground is wet for a week - yet septic runs fine.

I should mention something else. The guys who emptied my tank were snakeoil salesman. They did say my tank was perfect, and my filter was perfect, so the drain fields were likely perfect. I looked at it all myself, and everything looked good to me as well.

However, the previous owner installed a patio over the main drain line that comes out of the basement slab and under the patio horizontally then into the tank. The washout is right in the patio cement.

Anyway, the septic guys said they believe that main line (seemed to be 8 inch PVC) where it's under the patio had sunk or been pushed down. Therefore, it was no longer on a steep enough angle for the waste to freely flow from gravity into the tank. Across that run of drain line, the waste would thus have a tendancy to get a little caught up there.

It wasn't like an uphill though, just that the a portion of the main drain line's bottom might be 1/2 inch lower than the bottom of that same line where it enter the tank.

They said I needed to tear up the patio and have it fixed and put at a greater angle. Then they asked if I was moving, because if so, I could just let the next guy deal with it. Then they said I'd probably be OK and if I ever had an issue, I could double flush, run some water in the house, etc. That weight and flow would sort of push/blast out anything lingering in that section of drain line.

Or worst case, I could use a hose in the washout in the patio to manuaully clear it. I've never had to do that.

So I'm wondering if the weather is having some effect on the waste in that section of drain line
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