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Old 09-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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new house septic - mayday!!!


Bought a new house. The water in the abs pipes collects and doesn't drain. We put a big long pipe into the outlet sticking out of the ground leading to the septic tank. The pipe went in 13 feet of which 5 were wet. It didn't look like there was any dirt or toilet paper or sludge on the pipe after it came out. Looked like it was wet with clean water.

What's going on? I would think that if the septic needed pumping the probe pipe would be dirty and yucky not clean wet with water.

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Old 09-21-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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Are you saying- You stuck a pipe down the cleanout right outside the house- before the tank?
My first guess would be a plugged baffle inside the tank.
Is the house new construction? Might have a test plug still in the line- an oversite by the plumber or septic guy.
These are just a couple thoughts. Can you explain your system better?

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Old 09-21-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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Is this new to you, or really a brand new house?
Not sure how you could push a pipe down a clean out when there's a angle right at the top of it.
When you removed the cap and looked in and there was no standing water then the plug is someplace between that point and the house or inside the house.
Is there any access under the house? If so there should be another clean out under there someplace.

Last edited by joecaption; 09-21-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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Have someone come in and inspect the septic tank and, if needed, pump it out. At that time he can check to see that the main drain pipe from the house and the main line from septic tank to leach field are clear and that baffles and other needed parts inside the septic tank are intact or replaced.

The septic tank is normaly about 85% full which is typically up to about 9 inches below the top. For each gallon of waste water coming in, a gallon exits the other end of the septic tank and the leach field is supposed to absorb it. The septic tank full to the brim usually means the leach field has failed. If there is little or no sludge at the bottom or scum (grease) at the top then pumping is not needed and is a waste of money unless you need to buy time (live in the house and not have drains back up) until other parts of the system (a failed non-absorbing leach field) get repaired.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:31 PM   #5
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Have someone come in and inspect the septic tank and, if needed, pump it out. At that time he can check to see that the main drain pipe from the house and the main line from septic tank to leach field are clear and that baffles and other needed parts inside the septic tank are intact or replaced.
Forgive me for asking stupid questions, but how can they inspect this kind of stuff when it's deep underground? Do they stick a probe with a video camera down there or how do they do it?

Also some asked if it's a new house. Built in the 1930's additions made in the 90's. Supposedly someone installed a new septic tank "recently". It is unclear if any records or maps were made to keep track of what was installed and where the leach lines are located.

So let me get this straight. I have a septic system on the ranch and there are two 60 foot long leach lines. This house I'm asking about is in the city and I don't see where long leach lines like that would be installed. Are you sure that this septic in the house in the city even has leach lines? How do septic systems in the city operate? Do they work the same way as the ones out on the ranch?
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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A septic tank has access port on top that can be opened to pump it out. If it is buried then you need to dig it up and find the lids and remove them for inspection.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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2 things you've stated that bother me.
1- you said 13 ft deep in the opening post. septics in my area are no more then 4ft. deep. They dont work well deeper then that(although mine is 8') Do you have a pump outside?
2. You're in the city? Are you sure it's septic still? At some point was it hooked up to city sewer?
Cameras are used to inspect pipes. They also have locating devices built into them so you can map the depth and path of the line.
Drainfields are sized by sq. ft. Not by leg length. So the drainfield maybe shorter and wider then your other one.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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1- you said 13 ft deep in the opening post.
2. You're in the city? Are you sure it's septic still? At some point was it hooked up to city sewer?
1. Readings are as follows. Probe pipe went in 13 feet. Pipe wet 5 feet. Does not smell foul (assuming water not sludge).

2. I am not sure of anything. Leach lines in a city did not make sense to me. Are there any other types of septic systems which don't use leach lines? I told my ex-wife (who bought the house using my credit) to ask her girlfriend (real estate agent) to get info on the septic system from the previous owner. What do you think they talk about? Color of walls they're going to paint. Tile styles. Etc. Ex husband #3 isn't much help. He just wants to pump the water out to make room for showering and baths. Short term fix in my opinion.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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You may want to start by calling the city, or making a visit to the board of health. If you have a septic system, they should know about it. If you are on city sewer, the sewer department will definitely know about it. And you would probably get a bill every month. I am confused by your post, a few pictures might help, since I cannot visualize exactly what you did to test your system, and I don't understand why you think you have a septic system.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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What city are you in? There are a few cities that still allow septic systems but almost all of them outlawed ceptic tanks & leach fields decades ago. Are you sure the "new system" is a tank or is it new sewer lines to the street?
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackwashere View Post
Forgive me for asking stupid questions, but how can they inspect this kind of stuff when it's deep underground? Do they stick a probe with a video camera down there or how do they do it?

Also some asked if it's a new house. Built in the 1930's additions made in the 90's. Supposedly someone installed a new septic tank "recently". It is unclear if any records or maps were made to keep track of what was installed and where the leach lines are located.

So let me get this straight. I have a septic system on the ranch and there are two 60 foot long leach lines. This house I'm asking about is in the city and I don't see where long leach lines like that would be installed. Are you sure that this septic in the house in the city even has leach lines? How do septic systems in the city operate? Do they work the same way as the ones out on the ranch?
Yes, the system can be partially inspected by running a camera down the lines to determine if there are low spots, breaks, cracks, root intrusions, etc. that may be causing a blockage.

I'm still confused however (like others), what you mean by probing 13' deep. A cleanout for your septic system should be around 3' deep before hitting a WYE fitting (90 degree turn) toward the tank. As far as the leach field, there are many different types of systems. It's probably not like your ranch house.

Post pics if you can.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Bought a new house. The water in the abs pipes collects and doesn't drain. We put a big long pipe into the outlet sticking out of the ground leading to the septic tank. The pipe went in 13 feet of which 5 were wet. It didn't look like there was any dirt or toilet paper or sludge on the pipe after it came out. Looked like it was wet with clean water.

What's going on? I would think that if the septic needed pumping the probe pipe would be dirty and yucky not clean wet with water.
Just re-read your original post. Something else came to mind. Is the septic backing up into the house?

You said it's clear water. Are you sure this isn't a curtain drain (french drain), that you're sticking a probe into? A french drain around the foundation of the home would be much deeper than the septic tank. The french drain diverts ground water away from the foundation. If there's standing water in it, it would indicate a blockage.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:04 PM   #13
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this post makes no sense.....I have never seen a septic system in any city that I have been to .....contact local authorites find out what you have servicing your sewage..... ....
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #14
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this post makes no sense.....I have never seen a septic system in any city that I have been to .....contact local authorites find out what you have servicing your sewage..... ....
I once owned a house that was in city limits and had a septic system. When it was built in 1959, there was no sewer in the area, and it may not actually have been within city limits at that time. Some time later, it was connected to municipal sewer. But the septic system was still there, and at least one thing (washer drain) was connected to it.

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