Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-25-2013, 05:46 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 16
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Septic system


So the house we are buying has a septic system with a leech field. There was an inspection done and it is going to fail because there is drain back from the leech field, due to the owners NEVER pumping the septic in the 23 years the house has been built. Is there a cheaper way to fix this than replacing the leech field? They said it was sludge back up and clogging.

dianak9938 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,477
Rewards Points: 1,498
Default

Septic system


Have the sellers repair the field. The way it is fixed is entirely up to your local health department and the current code.

Ghostmaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,273
Rewards Points: 2,124
Default

Septic system


Your post is puzzling. You say there was an inspection done "and it is going to fail." By it, I assume you mean the system. Your sentence implies that some time in the future, the system is going to fail. In my town, when a house with a septic system is sold, there is a mandatory inspection, and if the inspection reveals that the system has failed, the system is immediately failed, not some time in the future. Once a system has failed the inspection test, there is typically 18 months on the clock to repair it, else the house loses its occupancy permit. The rules in the community you are looking at may differ of course.

As to your conclusion that the system failed because it was never pumped, that is not necessarily the reason for the failure. Systems fail for many different reasons, and failing to pump out the tank can be a major contributor, but failure can also occur due to high groundwater, poorly percing soils, inadequate size, failure of one or more components, flushing of improper materials into the system, and numerous other reasons.

The proper way to repair a system depends on the exact reason it has failed, whether that be a failed sewage pipe, failed septic tank, failed distribution box, or failed field (it is a leach field by the way, a leech field would be a septic system filled with leeches, which are bloodsucking organisms not normally found in a septic system). Usually the inspection includes a detailed report, which would outline the cause of failure, and would recommend a path forward. Design of a replacement system would require contact with the local Board of Health, as was mentioned in a previous post.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 16
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Septic system


Well as you have already noticed I know absolutely nothing about septic tanks.. It has to be inspected and the septic system either passes or fails, it's backed up so I guess it failed but the official report isn't back yet. I will definitely not be paying for any of it as the owners are the ones who neglected to maintain it. If they do not agree to fix it we will be finding another house, we are just suppose to close on may 15 so I'm trying to do what I can to get this moving forward. The inspector mention something called a French drain to fix it instead of replacing the whole LEACH field..
dianak9938 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 50
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Septic system


If the inspection was done by a home inspector it needs to be followed up with an inspection done by a septic contractor.
If it is a failed drain field you will not be settling on May 15th.
The only thing a french drain will help with is if the drainfield is getting a lot of surface runoff.
You need to make sure the system has been repaired properly, because it can get real expensive to repair.
Not too mention a real pain dealing with a septic system not working.

My guess is there clog between the septic tank & the D-box.
TOOL82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
Member
 
Amateuralex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 284
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Septic system


We just recently bought a house with a 'bad' septic. It was a foreclosure so it was something of an odd situation. The county ran most of the show. They did a perc test themselves, generated a list of necessary repairs, and got one quote from a local contractor that was used to determine the amount of money that would need to be in an escrow fund. The list of necessary repairs involved an entirely new drain field. We got a very good excavator who also inspected and raised the tanks due to a higher water table, replaced a lot of plumbing, installed a new pump and alarm, etc. County inspections at every point.

The excavator said to me that often times when these fields fail, you really just have to scrape out the bottom layer of the drain field. Ours was about 40 years old.

Watching a new drain field get installed is awe-inspiring. They move an insane amount of dirt and rock.

The total cost was 16.5k, and the county required us to have 150% of that in an separate escrow account for the sale to be legal. The project came in right at the estimation.

I guess a lot of this varies from area to area. But where I'm at, I love my county. They really know what they are doing and their stringent rules etc protected us and helped us.

At minimum get a perc test done, or find out the results. That will tell you if the earth in your property can even move enough water to have a normal drain field. I guess the alternative is an 'engineered system' that's a lot more expensive, and thank god I know nothing about that.

Last edited by Amateuralex; 04-26-2013 at 03:36 PM.
Amateuralex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,107
Rewards Points: 1,470
Default

Septic system


I just love it when other members save me a bunch of writing but I also just hate it when a problem of this magnitude arises .

If I still had a pay check I'd bet the total sum, minus taxes of course, that failure to pump isn't the problem . As mentioned, if the seller wants to close on the date mentioned someone better get started digging fast and stay 24/7 until done .
SeniorSitizen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 50
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Septic system


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairview View Post
I just love it when other members save me a bunch of writing but I also just hate it when a problem of this magnitude arises .

If I still had a pay check I'd bet the total sum, minus taxes of course, that failure to pump isn't the problem . As mentioned, if the seller wants to close on the date mentioned someone better get started digging fast and stay 24/7 until done .
Why would you say failure to pump isn't the problem? This system has not been pumped for 23 years. The #1 cause of system failures is failure to pump. A normal septic tank (non-ATU) is nothing but a holding tank. You need to pump your tank to remove the solids. If you do not pump the tank as needed, which is about 2-5 yrs., then those solids go down stream clogging either the piping or D-box. They also go to the drain field causing the biomat to grow faster then it can digest itself thereby not allowing the water to drain off. A septic system is not a public sewer it needs to be maintained to continue to work properly.
TOOL82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 11:29 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,477
Rewards Points: 1,498
Default

Septic system


Repairs to a septic field can range up to 25 grand in these parts. Make sure the authority that inspects it has something to do with government.
Ghostmaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013, 02:12 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: zentral Iowa
Posts: 1,260
Rewards Points: 606
Default

Septic system


A modern system is set up so that it will back up into the house before the field of leeches will be saturated. I know my shiite.
cleveman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013, 07:26 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW Minnesota
Posts: 109
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Septic system


No pun intended, but let me say I have gotten my feet wet dealing with my OLD drain field. It was located in a low spot, it was relatively old (25 yrs), and probably not maintained by previous owner. After a couple of years, I replaced it with a mound system, as there was NO choice in systems. Turned out the old tank had numerous holes in it, as well as the system just giving up. It would work OK when dry, but when spring melt arrived, it was hell. Daniel H. is correct, there are many reasons a septic fails.

Contact the county you live in. I got a low interest loan (3%) for the new system, as it had failed. Didn't really want to spend money on a new system, but as the contractor said, "all said and done, life is a lot better when toilets flush."

As someone mentioned, it was amazing to watch. We went with a double tank system (old system was one), and a mound. Electrician, alarm, tanks, labor, material (several truckloads): Just under $8000.

Good luck figuring out what to do. It sucks, but consider going with a new system if you can afford it.
Bill7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013, 09:19 AM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 16
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Septic system


Thanks for all the advice! We are still waiting to hear back from the owners but it is in the hands of the county right now do hopefully they do know what is best. I know nothing about it besides its a really expensive system so that's why I wanted to get on here and see what everyone else knows. So we will have some idea if they are taking care of it correctly. I'm definitely not paying thousands of dollars to correct their stupidity.

dianak9938 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Septic - Future Nightmares scootermcrad Plumbing 6 12-04-2012 08:47 AM
cost of septic lagoon system chulett Plumbing 0 05-09-2011 10:51 PM
Aerator fuse for septic system. waynealan Electrical 2 04-17-2011 12:00 AM
new system install.....questions firedogut HVAC 4 10-04-2009 08:10 PM
Septic System W/Water Softner wibass Plumbing 14 10-07-2008 10:42 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.