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Old 02-25-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
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Septic tank full?


Some may remember me plumbing in my basement bath. Well, the basement still isn't completed. But I have an issue that showed up last night. Yesterday we got about 3 inches of rain. The sump pump ran as it should, however, the ejector pump runs every 15 or 20 mins as well. I know there is no rain water getting into the ejector well, so is it possible or plausible that the septic tank is full and with the extra water we got causing a back flow into the ejector well? It has a check valve, but I can hear water trickling in on the waste side. Everything is new. I figured the check valve doesn't seal absolute, is that correct? Any insight would be appreciated.

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Old 02-25-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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Septic tank full?


You can get backflow through your drain pipes from a septic system whenever the ground becomes saturated by a rain storm. As the ground water goes down, it may clear itself up. Or, you can have your tank pumped out, which will allow usage until it fills again or until the water table recedes.
You should not get any backflow through any check valve unless there is something that has gotten into the valve (trash, paper, etc.) preventing it from closing as it should.
If you can't get your fixtures to drain properly, I would have the tank pumped out. It costs about $265 here to have a 1,000-gallon septic tank pumped, but it varies all over the ballpark depending upong location.
Good Luck!
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
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Septic tank full?


Storm water, gutter water, ground water, and sump pump water are not supposed to get into the septic tank. If due to collapsed underground pipes or other reasons this water does get in in noticeable quantities, you will need to fix it or you will continue to have septic system problems.

The septic tank normally rests at about 85% full. It is pumped out only to get rid of semisolid matter, sludge, fibrous matter such as from an accidentally flushed tampon, and (on top) grease and scum. If the leach field is clogged from roots or grease, pumping the septic tank again will not cure that other to buy some time (a few days) until you can redo the leach field.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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Septic tank full?


Sorry for the lack of response. I have been out of town all weekend.

When I installed the ejector pump in the crock, the crock had about 5 gals of water in it. I figured it was from sitting open during construction. The lid was bolted on, but the pipe flanges were open where the pipes would go in the lid. I guess I could close the valve in the waste line (with the pump unplugged) and watch the closet flange to see if water fills it. If it does, that would tell me the water is not coming from the waste line. Correct? If I do see water filling the waste pipe at the water closet, I can open the valve and plug the ejector pump back in so I don't get backup in the basement.
I will report back......
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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Okay, here's what I have discovered. If I shut off the valve to the ejection line and unplug the pump, I hear water trickling in. Most noticeable from the toilet flange. While I was doing this test, I had a flash back of the crock/pit in the floor. I remember there being a crack that ran vertically from the top down about 6 or 8 inches. I saw it when I was doing the pump install, but since I never had water back up in the basement from the pit, I figured it was no big deal. I can only suspect, without taking the lid off the pit, that ground water in leaking into the pit thru this crack. This is the first time this has done this and it's been installed for a couple months now. The sump pump is right next to the pit.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:17 PM   #6
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:20 PM   #7
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Can you post a picture showing the location of the ejector system relative to the location of the sump pump?

Somehow I am having trouble understanding your last few paragraphs.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:35 PM   #8
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Here you go.

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Old 02-28-2011, 07:52 AM   #9
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The buried ejector crock/pit must be watertight, otherwise it becomes a cesspool (allows seepage of sewage into the ground there). That is hazardous and illegal.

(Also the line from the house to the septic tank must be free of breaks.)

Then there should be no ground water getting into the septic tank.

The sump pump pit may or may not have holes in the bottom. I do not think this will reduce the running of the sump pump because during the times (wet weather) that water is accumulating in the pit, the ground under the pit will also be too saturated to let water go out the holes.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
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Septic tank full?


Thanks Alan. I think I have a handle on the problem now. I will look the crock up again and see what exactly it's made of so I know what material to use to repair it. I want this right before I stop on it. The bathroom in the basement is not yet drywalled and there is no WC of vanity in place. So it won't be used until I'm satisfied it done correctly.

On another topic: waste check valves. I originally used one sold by the local box store that was black plastic with a rubber hose on each end. When it ran and kicked off I thought someone jumped of the counter upstairs and landed on the floor. I took it back and bought the best one they sold. It's PVC and is better but not acceptable. It bangs too hard as well. I have since found one called "Silent valve". I will attach a photo if I can. They CLAIM it is silent. Have you seen one? know anything about them? If this can't be quieted I will regret having the bathroom in the basement.

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Old 03-01-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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Septic tank full?


Anyone have feedback on this valve? Thanks
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:54 PM   #12
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Septic tank full?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeKy55 View Post
Anyone have feedback on this valve? Thanks
more parts to fail IMO. that check valve actually has 2 separate swing checks inside, one that hinges from the side and one that opens in the center. the bang is less noticeable, but it still exists.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:37 PM   #13
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Septic tank full?


Well, I installed the 'quiet valve' tonight. I don't have the words to describe how happy I am with it. You have to get within 5 feet of it to hear it at all. If your outside the mechanical room when it closes, you can't hear it at all. So I would recommend it to anyone with than annoying bang of a check valve.

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