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Old 02-23-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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locating outside line from toilet


I am trying to find our septic tank, the plumber said to find where the line comes out of the house from the bathroom. He said I could judge this by where the vent came up. I havent been able to do this. How do I use the vent to judge where the line comes out?

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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locating outside line from toilet


Usually your vent is a direct line coming out of you drain striaght through the roof.... How that is going to help you I have NO IDEA! He may be thinking it is on the same side of the house or something... I am not a fan of the guessing game... What if the tank was moved since the house was built? What do you need to find it for! maintenance or to have it pumped? If pumping... That company may be able to help...Me I would use a camera and locator... I think in this area they rent for about $150

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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locating outside line from toilet


If it was a permitted installation, your town health dept. or building dept. should have a record of its location.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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locating outside line from toilet


If it was a permitted installation, your town health or building dept. should have a record of its location.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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locating outside line from toilet


I am digging trying to find the line coming out of the house to save the money it would cost to use the camera... I am most likely going to have to replace the system. I don't like the guessing game either but I have to start somewhere. Thanks for the quick response!
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:46 PM   #6
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locating outside line from toilet


I assume that your home must be built on a slab? But if not, you should be able to look in your crawlspace or basement, and determine where the line exits the dwelling. Another indicator may be a cleanout located around the perimeter of your home. Regardless, I would follow cgoll's suggestion about checking with your local building or health department, because, short of renting one of the prescribed devices, you will only be able to determine a general direction from which it leaves the house.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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locating outside line from toilet


System was installed pre 70's so there is no plan. House is on slab. I just gotta do alot of digging. Thanks all!
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
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locating outside line from toilet


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System was installed pre 70's so there is no plan. House is on slab. I just gotta do alot of digging. Thanks all!

Well Think about how much digging you will need to do....

Say the Pipe is 12 inches deep.... That would be one square foot of Dirt.... Now if it is a straight line.... Not a problem... Just dig down 12 inches or sooo every few feet BUT if it turns in any way be ready to back track and find it again. I have seen then leave a house go out 5 feet CIRCLE the Back of the house go under a deck and out the other side to the Septic system. I have also seen them go all of the way under the slab and exit out the other side. There really is not a cut and dry THIS IS HOW IT IS DONE on older houses.

The Rule I live by- If I can earn the money that I save by renting a tool in the time I save... I rent the tool... Example is a Water service I was on and my bit broke- By time I drove to the store to rent it and drove back I was an hour into the job- $30 for rental... or I can waste and extra 20 minutes and drill 8 holes and chip it out... I drilled the extra holes. Now another job I had that had the same problem but the walls were Hard as*(*&)( I rented the bit!!!!

What is going on with your system that you think you will need to replace it? Also check your building inspectors anyway and tell them "You may need to replace your Septic system are there certain areas I can or can not put it?" My brother for example can not pave is driveway because if he ever needs a new Septic system that is the spot it must go.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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locating outside line from toilet


Water is backing up into the house. We were going to have the septic pumped to see if that would help but as I said, we cant find it. I know it is alot of digging but I have no choice except to try. I cant afford one cent extra right now. Putting in a new system is more than I can afford. This system is at least 41 yrs. old and I am quite certain it was not kept up by the previous owners.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:12 PM   #10
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locating outside line from toilet


Just a thought, but if the previous owners ever had the septic pumped, one of your local pumping companies may have records of their own, indicating the location of your tanks. I know that both of the major guys in our area are second and third generation, and I have seen both of them pull out a sheet of paper and walk to an otherwise unidentified spot in a yard to start digging. Might be worth a couple of phone calls.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:28 PM   #11
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locating outside line from toilet


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Water is backing up into the house. We were going to have the septic pumped to see if that would help but as I said, we cant find it. I know it is alot of digging but I have no choice except to try. I cant afford one cent extra right now. Putting in a new system is more than I can afford. This system is at least 41 yrs. old and I am quite certain it was not kept up by the previous owners.
Ayuh,... For the price of a toilet gasket/ ring,...

Pull the toilet, 'n you should be able to tell the general direction the line runs....
Then, Snake it, push through til it stops, 'n measure the snake as ya pull it out....
Then go measure that distance, in that general direction, 'n ya should be diggin' About where yer tank is....
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:47 PM   #12
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locating outside line from toilet


a lot of septic pumping companies in my area use flushable locators to find tanks. it will get to the tank and float in the baffle, then the pumper finds it with a locator. do that or send a camera down the roof vent. my company charges 75 bucks in addition to the pump to do that, well worth not digging for hours to "hope" you find the tank.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:54 PM   #13
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locating outside line from toilet


Just a Couple of things....

None of us have the money to spend on stuff like this, but a lot of us here are professionals that are trying to help people save money. Maybe i read it wrong maybe i am having a bad day... But I am personally asking you questions and giving you advice to benefit you from years of experience... I personally do not care how much you spend... My advice is free.

Now you say you have water backing up into your house so answer a couple questions and I will explain why as I am going through.

1- When is it Backing up? Are you using the shower? When you use the sink? When it is raining? Reason- If it is constantly when it is raining you hhave an outside leak somewhere... If it is when you are running water you could have a clog

2- Where is it Backing up? Is it all on one level? When you run a kitchen sink Does it back up in the bathroom? Could be a blockage in the main line or it could be a blockage between the lines

3- Have you ever had the lines Snaked?

There are several things that can be going on We want to help as much as we can. Both of the ideas about calling the Septic companies and also the snake are good, but warning the Snake could take turns with out you knowing it
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:43 PM   #14
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locating outside line from toilet


This is a single story home. The water backs up into the house only when the ground outside is saturated, we just had all the snow melt so the ground is really wet. When we shower is when we have the most trouble. If we dont allow enough time after a quick shower and we try to do dishes, that causes it to back up as well. When it starts to back up, you can hear it gurgle in the kitchen sink and or the toilet just before water starts to come up under the toilet and pour into the floor ( we are going thru wax rings like crazy) lol. When the weather is dry, we are fine. I will be gone for the night, to someplace I can shower freely, be back sometime tomorrow. Thanks for all your help! You can also email me at tandee676@aol.com. Thanks again Doc!
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:35 PM   #15
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locating outside line from toilet


I've done jobs like this is really simple takes 30 minutes, pull up the toilet drop a sewer camera down, watch the screen till it drops into the sump, grab a locater and start from where the toilet is then follow the line to the sump.

Out here there's a few rental places that will rent you a ridgid camera, monitor, and locater saves a alot of guess work. Or bring in roto rooter to camera it for you.

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