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Old 04-11-2010, 05:21 PM   #1
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D Box is full of water


So, my wife came in two days ago and said it smelled like septic outside. Upon investigating, I found that our distribution box on our septic was full of water. Keep in mind, she had done several loads of laundry in the morning, but this has never been a problem in the past. Could it be that our septic just need to be pumped, or a bigger problem? Any ideas?

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Old 04-11-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
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D Box is full of water


Don't know your location. In MA a distribution box full of effluent (that aint water in there) is an immediate failure of the system. Pumping the system typically does nothing, since a full distribution box normally means the septic field is clogged and non-functional. Don't know the rules in your area, but in MA you would need an inspection by a licensed septic inspector, followed by design of a new system by a licensed professional engineer, unless you can fix the system.

In some rural areas, the rules are much less stringent. However, a full D-box is generally very bad news.

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Old 04-11-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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D Box is full of water


are you looking in the septic tank, normaly the distribution box is harder to find. they(dist box) also can get out of level and only be using one line which can cause a backup
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
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D Box is full of water


pull the lid off your tank and see whats in there if you havent already
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:56 PM   #5
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D Box is full of water


Can you see in the distribution box that each of the leach field lines (fingers) is receiving a fair share of liquid?

What is in the septic tank itself will not have any immediate effect on the liquid level in the d-box but excessive scum (contains grease) or excessive sludge in the tank could mean that some of those materials found their way out past the d-box into the leach field, degrading the performance of the latter.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:01 PM   #6
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D Box is full of water


im thinking he might be confusing the tank for the dist box,tank should definately be easier to find
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:13 PM   #7
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D Box is full of water


Actually, I know it's the D box. We're having the septic pumped today and they're going to run a camera down the D box to check things out.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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D Box is full of water


Well, we found out this morning that we havent had the tank pumped in 5 years. Hoping this is part of the problem. It looked like it was draining ok initially, then it filled up again. Keep in mind that I had cleaned it out completely, then I ran water down the cleanout until the water ran into the D box. It filled back up after that.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:20 PM   #9
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D Box is full of water


thats not a good sign!
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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D Box is full of water


This is probably going to hurt
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:45 PM   #11
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D Box is full of water


im guessing you have piped laterals instead of domes?
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:13 AM   #12
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D Box is full of water


I have read a number of analyses of the required frequency of pumping septic tanks. In general, if you do not add excessive grease to the system, and keep your solids load low by not using a garbage grinder, most systems can go more than ten years without the need to pump. In fact, many systems never need to be pumped. It is easy to tell if your septic tank needs to be pumped, you open the access manhole and probe down to the bottom with a wooden stick and determine the depth of solids. If the tank is less than 10 percent full, no need to pump.

So unless you are putting something really bad down your system, pumping the tank is not likely to improve your situation. The most probable cause of backup of the D-box is a clogged septic field, which in most states will have to be replaced. There are all sorts of claimed remedies for clogged systems, including peroxide and other harsh chemicals, these are all illegal in MA, don't know about your state. Where I live, a clogged field must be replaced.

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