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Old 04-05-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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New Septic System, but something doesn't look right...


Hello All,

New to the forum, I've read numerous threads on here and it's always been a big help. That said, I have an issue that I wanted to run by some of the more savvy eyes here.

We purchased our house about 3 yrs ago, prior to purchase, the septic system failed inspection and was required to be rebuilt. It's called a Title V here in MA. That said, this was paid for my the seller. Since the system was installed, we've has numerous alarms on the pump panel, the company that did the install came out and replaced a GFC plug outside which I guess tripped. The alarms have gone away but we've noticed some backup when our washer is draining, the backup will come into the lower level's toilet.

I decided to get the system pumped out and inspected. I dug up the manhole covers and opened them up. My system doesn't look like any newer system I've seen on the web and I'm really curious if the company who did the job, did a half-a## job. I couldn't find a filter, rope holding wires onto the pipes, the pip spray water when I assume its pumping. I don't know enough to know if this system was done poorly.

Either way, here are some pictures and a small video I made of water spraying out of the underside of the exit piping. It doesn't appear the system needs pumping either.

I thank you all in advance.

Video:

This is the side closest to the leach field.



Images:




cover tank closer to the house...




Does all of this look normal?

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Old 04-05-2013, 07:00 PM   #2
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New Septic System, but something doesn't look right...


I believe the spray you are seeing in that video, is from a hole needed to prevent vapor lock. I had a similar system once at a car wash, and there was a hole drilled in the pipe there too, so when the pump starts up, it primes itself. It's my understanding the pump would not work as well (or maybe at all) if that hole wasn't there to allow the water to move upward till the pump was primed with no pressure against it. I could be wrong (it wouldn't be the first time). Someone who knows more than i, will likely be along soon.
good luck!

edit. Also it looks as if you have multiple float switches there. If you think it's coming on too soon, it could be the float switches need moving up higher so they wont kick on till the fluid level is higher. If you have water backup when washing, then it sounds like you have a blockage somewhere in the line.

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Old 04-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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New Septic System, but something doesn't look right...


That is not your septic tank. It is your pump chamber. My guess is you have sandmound drain field. The hole is the bottom of the pipe is for the water to drain out of the pipe. Your pump pumps the water up hill & water can not stay in the pipe, so they drill a hole in the bottom of it. The rope is to remove the pump when it goes bad. The 3 floats are (1) low level turns pump off, (2) high level turns pump on (3) over high level turns alarm on to let you know pump is not working. If you are getting a back-up in your house & the alarm is not going off you have a clog : (1) in your house, (2) from the house to the septic tank (3) from the septic tank to the pump chamber or (4) weak pump & bad alarm float.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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New Septic System, but something doesn't look right...


Thanks Tool, Great description and analysis! I see you are right down the road. Im in Finksburg.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:21 AM   #5
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New Septic System, but something doesn't look right...


Quote:
Originally Posted by TOOL82 View Post
That is not your septic tank. It is your pump chamber. My guess is you have sandmound drain field. The hole is the bottom of the pipe is for the water to drain out of the pipe. Your pump pumps the water up hill & water can not stay in the pipe, so they drill a hole in the bottom of it. The rope is to remove the pump when it goes bad. The 3 floats are (1) low level turns pump off, (2) high level turns pump on (3) over high level turns alarm on to let you know pump is not working. If you are getting a back-up in your house & the alarm is not going off you have a clog : (1) in your house, (2) from the house to the septic tank (3) from the septic tank to the pump chamber or (4) weak pump & bad alarm float.
This.

The hole in the bottom (while not usually code approved in my area) makes perfect sense if you saw as many of the frozen up systems that I did last year.

If you have it open and are concerned, a new pump is probably $150 - $200.

Good information Tool82
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:39 AM   #6
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New Septic System, but something doesn't look right...


You will want to find additional hatches for the septic tank itself.

Normally the liquid level in the septic tank is about 9 inches below the underside of the lid or top. The washing machine is not going to fill all of that space during the normal cycle so (after you take a look inside to be sure) the toilet in the basement receiving backup from the washing machine is most likely due to a clogged drain pipe before the septic tank.

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