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Old 06-12-2014, 10:15 AM   #1
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Sealing septic tank lid...Issues?


I've got some issues with odors coming from my septic tank lid. It usually bad after a shower or a toilet flushing, and unfortunately ends up smelling strongly at our outdoor patio area.

I've added some charcoal plumbing vent filters to all of the vents on the roof, thinking that was the source, but it hasn't helped. I happened to be out near the tank when my wife was showering, and I can 100% confirm that the lid is definitely the source of the odors. I should add that this isn't a recent event, it's been happening as long as we've owned the home. (7+ years)

The system and tank are in good shape, inspected and pumped out every 2 years. No issues with fixtures draining, smells inside the home, no soft spots of thick grass in the drain field.

The system is a basic 2 compartment spillover style precast tank, with a gravity leach field. The tank has a round, 1ft high precast concrete riser with a precast concrete cover. I was thinking of sealing the concrete riser at the top of the tank with some caulking, and then adding a felt or rubber gasket to the bottom of the lid.

My question is, if this works, am I going to run into issues if I seal this up and I actually manage to make it airtight? I would hope that this should force any gases up through the filtered plumbing vents, and there won't be a build-up of any pressure from the gases.

I'd love some opinions on this. The last thing I want is septic explosion.

Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MANGINA View Post
I've got some issues with odors coming from my septic tank lid. It usually bad after a shower or a toilet flushing, and unfortunately ends up smelling strongly at our outdoor patio area.

I've added some charcoal plumbing vent filters to all of the vents on the roof, thinking that was the source, but it hasn't helped. I happened to be out near the tank when my wife was showering, and I can 100% confirm that the lid is definitely the source of the odors. I should add that this isn't a recent event, it's been happening as long as we've owned the home. (7+ years)

The system and tank are in good shape, inspected and pumped out every 2 years. No issues with fixtures draining, smells inside the home, no soft spots of thick grass in the drain field.

The system is a basic 2 compartment spillover style precast tank, with a gravity leach field. The tank has a round, 1ft high precast concrete riser with a precast concrete cover. I was thinking of sealing the concrete riser at the top of the tank with some caulking, and then adding a felt or rubber gasket to the bottom of the lid.

My question is, if this works, am I going to run into issues if I seal this up and I actually manage to make it airtight? I would hope that this should force any gases up through the filtered plumbing vents, and there won't be a build-up of any pressure from the gases.

I'd love some opinions on this. The last thing I want is septic explosion.

Thanks.
If it's been doing this for 7+ years, seriously doubt anything is going to explode on you when you seal the lid with new gasket. The buildup of gases will exit through the vents if vents are not clogged.

Sounds like you have a good maintenance record, and doing what you're suppose to be doing.

I agree, could just be a bad seal at the septic tank lid. Make sure vent is not clogged. Go from there. Just an opinion. Please give the plumbers time to respond to your post. Thanks.

Last edited by jmon; 06-12-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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It won't hurt to improve the seal. Air is not supposed to get into a septic tank anyway.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:23 PM   #4
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Smoke test and see exactly where the leak is at..
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fa_f3_20 View Post
It won't hurt to improve the seal. Air is not supposed to get into a septic tank anyway.
I see a lot of septic tank solutions which consist of aerating the waste waster to allow bacteria to thrive better with 'oxiginated' water (like fish tanks). Wouldn't a septic tank getting no air perform very poorly for decomposing?
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:12 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help everyone. I got the riser tank connection sealed today and the odor is already improved quite a bit. I just need to figure out some sort of riser to lid gasket to get that part sealed up.

So while getting this done this afternoon, I discovered my septic tank is not in fact concrete, but is some sort of round single compartment fibreglass tank. (I guess the home inspector was too busy taking my money to actually check it lol)

I spent a good 10 minutes trying to understand how it works but I'm completely at a loss. I'm hoping someone can give me an idea.

1. I've got 2 baffles completely full of crud, the left side one was almost dry on top.

2. I've got some sort of pool style overflow skimmer just above the water level. (Bottom right)

3. I've got a random white pipe that angles down into the water (next to the skimmer)

4. There looks to be some sort of foam filter just below the water level (next to the floating scum)

5. The line from the house comes in from the left side.

I've attached a photo below shot from directly above the opening (Beware, graphic sewage pics)

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/y74v8k81e...PkpfWOoopEBYMa

Anyone have an idea of how this type of tank works? I would have assumed that there was one inlet and one outlet baffle, but that doesn't make sense because the outlet is full of crud. Also, the skimmer seems like it would just collect the floating scum layer and send it out into the field which makes no sense? I pretty sure I've assumed wrong lol.

I've been googling all afternoon and this is driving me nuts.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:59 PM   #7
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All of the septics in my area are covered with dirt. I put a riser in mine after I located it but the cover is still under 4-6 inches of dirt.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTSNicholas
I see a lot of septic tank solutions which consist of aerating the waste waster to allow bacteria to thrive better with 'oxiginated' water (like fish tanks). Wouldn't a septic tank getting no air perform very poorly for decomposing?
Septic tanks work either through aerobic or anaerobic action. Most are anaerobic and air isn't really helpful. Aerobic treatment systems do need oxygen to work and they have some advantages over anaerobic systems. The "solutions" you are seeing are attempts at converting an older style anaerobic system to temporarily function using aerobic action. Usually the results not as great as advertised.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:46 AM   #9
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Sealing a damaged concrete cap on septic tank


I purchased my home late 2012 ~ this past Sept 2015 had septic emptied ~ the guys had a difficult time getting the concrete cap off the liquid side of tank ~ they beat the hell out of it for hours ~ finally got it (I did not go out to see) ~ I paid them, even tipped them to get lunch...

Here's my problem ~ once we started getting heavy rains I could not flush toilets ~ we called them and they beat around the bush saying it was just more rain than usual ~ since I've lived here we have had monsoons over the years and I never had an issue flushing ~ so yesterday I dug up where the cap is and damn if they didn't chunk off the concrete on one side of cap ~ we can clearly see into septic on one side of cap ~ even looks like they chunked off concrete on the same side of cap on the tank...

What can I do to make a new seal for the cap? Septic service refuses to do anything because they don't believe they did anything wrong ... HELP! It's going to rain again soon...
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:48 AM   #10
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And of course it's full with liquid
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turn3turnsok View Post
I purchased my home late 2012 ~ this past Sept 2015 had septic emptied ~ the guys had a difficult time getting the concrete cap off the liquid side of tank ~ they beat the hell out of it for hours ~ finally got it (I did not go out to see) ~ I paid them, even tipped them to get lunch...

Here's my problem ~ once we started getting heavy rains I could not flush toilets ~ we called them and they beat around the bush saying it was just more rain than usual ~ since I've lived here we have had monsoons over the years and I never had an issue flushing ~ so yesterday I dug up where the cap is and damn if they didn't chunk off the concrete on one side of cap ~ we can clearly see into septic on one side of cap ~ even looks like they chunked off concrete on the same side of cap on the tank...

What can I do to make a new seal for the cap? Septic service refuses to do anything because they don't believe they did anything wrong ... HELP! It's going to rain again soon...

Ayuh,..... 1st thing you can do is,.... Start a thread of yer own,....

Hy-jackin' this 2 year old thread ain't gonna get ya many answers,.....
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:05 AM   #12
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Sorry Bondo ~ new to the group ~ I just figured out how to start my own post ~ I wasn't hijacking anything just needing help!
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