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Old 06-02-2008, 09:54 AM   #16
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


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Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
I've never seen a vent on a leach bed. I'd cut it down and cap it with a female fitting and a plug. If you ever need a clean out, you'll have one.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:08 AM   #17
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Update 2!!

I have talked to our septic builder, and he says that it is a vent and by code cannot be cut any lower (3' from under the elbow) due to snow, etc...? Has anyone ever seen this?

The DPH has yet to call me back with any answers...But I am assuming they will say the same thing. The septic builder is certified (I have checked).

Thank you to everyone for responding.

Dave
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:59 PM   #18
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


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Originally Posted by ddave23 View Post
Update 2!!

I have talked to our septic builder, and he says that it is a vent and by code cannot be cut any lower (3' from under the elbow) due to snow, etc...? Has anyone ever seen this?

The DPH has yet to call me back with any answers...But I am assuming they will say the same thing. The septic builder is certified (I have checked).

Thank you to everyone for responding.

Dave
A vent for what exactly? Are you sure you have just a standard septic system, and not a pump system?
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:34 PM   #19
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


In my neighborhood, there are two septic systems with the inverted j-tube near the drain fields--one of those is mine. I've been told by the other home owner that since our two properties are on more or less level ground, our septic isn't gravity fed but "pump-fed". This echoes somewhat what the home inspector told us when we purchased the house, although no details emerged in the homeowner's guide that we received. The 3 drain fields (visible in dryer weather as brighter green longitudinal areas of grass) seem to originate near the inverted tube. My thought was to vent gas ahead of liquid as it moves into the fields from the tank.

One of these days I'll have to ask a plumber or the guy that drains the septic yearly how all this works. We've got 4 cleanouts starting a foot or so next to the house, another 50 feet out, third near the two cement lids over the tanks, and a 4th between the tanks. Next to our fuse boxes in the basement is a Gould pump monitoring system. It's not clear if this pump actually pumps raw material leaving the house since it's apparently not gravity fed, or if it pumps across the two tanks. It went off the last time during the septic's pump out, but stayed quiet on reset.

If anyone in the know can shed light on 1) why two tanks, 2) the real purpose of the pump and 3) and why 4 cleanouts are necessary I'd appreciate it.

Thanks. Here's some photos to help:

1. View from 2nd cleanout to tanks


2. Closeup of tanks


3. Gould pump monitor in basement


John
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:46 AM   #20
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My system has a 1000 gallon tank then a 4" pipe into a second 1000 gallon tank, then a 3" pipe into a 500 gallon "dose" tank which has a pump installed. as effluent reaches the first tank, the solids settle out and the water travels to the second tank, where even more solids settle out. The remaining liquid travels to the dose tank. When the water level gets high enough, a float switch starts the pump which pushes the liquid into the drain field. There are clean outs between all of the tanks and where the 4" line leaves the house. There are also clean outs at the ends of the laterals in the drain field. There are no vents in any of these lines, but you may be required to have one for some local code. I have cut the clean outs down to ground level to mow over them. Because of soil conditions in my area, I was required to put in a pressure dosing system, rather than a traditional gravity system. Pumping the tanks can cause some water to slosh around, tripping the tank/pump alarm. It looks and sounds like you have a very similar system. You likely have a second pump to move the effluent to the tanks if there isn't enough slope for gravity to do the job. Somebody should have told them that septic tank lids should be round so they can't fall in the tank.

Last edited by Maintenance 6; 07-07-2008 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:32 PM   #21
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The "candy cane" is a critical part of your septic system. It allows air to get into the leach field. The reason it is shaped like a candy cane is to allow air into the leach field and keep rain, snow, and small animals out. The height of the vent can vary...it may be higher if you are in an area of heavy snow.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:45 PM   #22
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The "candy cane" is a critical part of your septic system. It allows air to get into the leach field. The reason it is shaped like a candy cane is to allow air into the leach field and keep rain, snow, and small animals out. The height of the vent can vary...it may be higher if you are in an area of heavy snow.
I'm curious then why only two houses in a very large neighborhood have the candy cane. What made these two leach fields different from everyone else. The only common thread I see are that our two yards (about 1.3 acres) are probably the flattest and most level, and other homes tend to be on hills with leach fields "downstream". Could this be a factor?

Thanks--John
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:34 AM   #23
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In Massachusetts, a leach field/bed must be vented if it is 3' below the finish grade or if any part of the field/bed is under a driveway, parking lot or other impervious material, or pump systems. Some new systems (Presby for example), require high and low vents.
For years the "intake" of air for a system came mostly through the soil covering the system. Now, the consensus seems to be a vent for intake helps the bacteria in the system thrive, to keep the system working more efficiently.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:10 PM   #24
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I have seen pipes on the tank itself and it is used for pumping the tank. My mother has one and broke the cover with the lawn mower. After a major rain storm, the tank filled and had to be pumped.

Hers is only about 8"above the ground.
Don't look now but pumping a septic tank a second time on short notice (sludge and scum already removed recently) is a waste of money.

If the liquid level does not drop back down to the normal 85 to 90% full mark then there is a problem further on, in the leach field.

For the dose tank the 85% level would be where the pump kicks on. Sometimes it is lower. Typically the lower, pump off, level is set far enough down so the amount of water ejected fills the leach lines but none comes out the vent pipe.

Now you might have had to pump the yard so rain water does not pour into the septic tank through the broken vent pipe.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-20-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:59 AM   #25
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These vents are quite common in MA where I also live. I have seen some people cut them down, but I don't think they are supposed to. Our leaching pipes are up on a hill b/c our septic system is actually raised. I have driven around and looked a ton of homes trying to figure out what to do with them. The best thing I have seen is painting them green to somewhat camoflauge them. Then I have seen some people put rocks around them and a little flower bed or so to make them a little more asthetically pleasing.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:49 AM   #26
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I'm no septic expert, but I agree here. I've actually SEEN "vents" inside of septic tanks where they use a sanitary tee instead of a 1/4 bend to dump down into the tank. As previously stated, i'm not sure what use that is, since the house in theory should be properly vented, and therefore, the tank shouldn't need it's own vent.


Now, if it's a sewer basin with a pump....... that's a different story.
that tee inside the tank is not a vent but a baffle. the reason for this is to separate the solids from the liquid and to let the solids go down to the bottom of the tank and keep the liquids on top. Then the solids cannot build up around the pipe going into the septic tank and stop up the sewer line going into the house. As for the pipe venting the leech fields I have never heard of it. Call your local health dept and find out why its there and if its nescassary. If not cut it off and cap it. It might be a local code due to methane gas accumalating under ground like they do in landfills.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:12 AM   #27
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


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Update!

I am still waiting for the DPH to give me a call back. However, I did speak with the builder of the home.
He indicated that it is used for "inspecting the system" and it could be cut off...

I a little miffed, because it is not capped (candy cane connector) and there are several other houses in this new development (different builders) and I see the same candy cane vents in some of the yards....

Has anyone heard of this type of pipe to inspect the system? And if we do cut it down, can it be capped? wouldn't 2 vents be better than one???

sorry for my ignorance.

Dave
I had a septic system installed last summer. There are five, 4-inch diameter pipes sticking out of the ground - one at the end of each lateral and one by the distribution box. They don't look like candy canes; they are straight and have the exposed end taped over. The installer told me they are inspection points and are a recent new code requirement. Off the record, he said they are useless and could be removed if I wanted to.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:34 PM   #28
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This is what I have read, can anyone verify?

The vent pipe at the end of the drain field is for: 1) to check to see if the field is "wet", but the article I read never said if you want it to be wet, or when it should or should not be. 2) It helps to aerate the drain field, which promotes bacterial growth thus ensuring proper percolation. (which seems to emply you do not want it to be "wet")
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:41 AM   #29
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These vents are more and more common now. They are infact used to let gases out and fresh air in to promote bacteria growth to help break things down in the leaching field. They are most commonly found on pump systems where the fluids are rapidly forced into the field and in return need to relieve the air just as quickly as the fluids are brought in. The best product I have seen to take care of this ugly vent is the Dirty Bird. It is a cool product that is easily installed after cutting the turn down off the pipe and it slides over the existing pipe to create a pedistal with a bird bath top. This product does what the candy cane does with the venting under the top and has a charcoal filter to control the odors. Really cool and looks like a stone bird bath.
We used these in mass when my father was installing systems. I think it came out around 2002. Check out the website www.thedirtybird.com really cool and super easy to install, no glue, definetly worth it!
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:21 AM   #30
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Septic tanks are all about Bacteria. Bacteria needs air to thrive.
Both the tank and the leach field should be vented.
Chemicals (laundry soap, bleach, drain cleaners) are bacteria killers.
It is getting more and more common for people to put in a simple seperate drain system from their washing machine because of this. The neat thing is plants thrive on the nitrates in the laundry soap, so it is a double win.
Here is a trick I discovered about 7 years ago that really works well.
mix equal parts of: Yeast, Brown sugar and Baking soda and flush it down a toilet once every 3 or 4 months. the bacteria in the yeast feeds on the brown sugar and the baking soda gives it a boost of oxygen to really promote the growth of the bacteria. I have tried those expensive liquid bacteria treatments and this works better and at a very small fraction of the cost.

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