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Old 06-23-2017, 07:59 PM   #1
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Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


So this started yesterday. Whenever a toilet is flushed, the water goes down extremely slowly. I have a 2 floor house with basement. There's a drain in the basement floor. If the 2nd floor toilet is plunged, it changes the water level in the 1st floor toilet. If the 1st floor toilet is flushed, it drains just as slow as the 2nd floor toilet.

The drain in the basement is also fuller than normal too. We noticed this issue at the same time the softener system was draining water into the basement drain, yesterday . It stopped 10 minutes later.

This morning, all drains worked fine. Now it's night time again and the drains are ultra slow.

I'm going to check the basement again to make sure nothing is backing up again.

What do I do?


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Old 06-23-2017, 08:06 PM   #2
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


Sounds like a venting issue. If it was a clogged line the first floor toilet would be overflowing when the second floor was flushed.
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:20 PM   #3
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


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Sounds like a venting issue. If it was a clogged line the first floor toilet would be overflowing when the second floor was flushed.
So i heard a big bubble come from the first floor toilet when the second floor was flushed. Water level didn't appear to change. Odd.

Okay. The one stack that I know of is is iron through the roof connected via a rubber tube to some pvc then angles 90 to a larger pipe. Here's pics.

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Old 06-23-2017, 08:22 PM   #4
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


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So i heard a big bubble come from the first floor toilet when the second floor was flushed. Water level didn't appear to change. Odd.

Okay. The one stack that I know of is is iron through the roof connected via a rubber tube to some pvc then angles 90 to a larger pipe. Here's pics.

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EDIT: AND now it's flushing kinda okay, again. First floor toilet was flushed with some product in it. The bowl filled pretty high but then it ALL went down, the water went below the back of the S bend, and it bubbled a few times like air was flying into the bathroom, then stopped.

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Old 06-23-2017, 10:53 PM   #5
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


Bubbling and gurgling would be another clue that it is a venting issue.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:48 AM   #6
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


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Bubbling and gurgling would be another clue that it is a venting issue.
Okay.

What I would like to know is: do you know how to figure this out and fix it? Not sure if i start there in the basement or out on the roof to find an obstruction to that vent pipe. Haven't been able to find if there actually IS a guide on here to chasing down how to fix this without a plumber.

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Old 06-30-2017, 10:51 PM   #7
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


The issue went away for a while but it's back again. I'm noticing it happen after someone takes a shower. The shower is located on the 2nd floor of the house. Whenever the toilets are flushing ultra slow like this, the bowl fills to the top but then drains all the way down to just above the S bend in 1-2 minutes. Also, the liquid in my basement drain is much higher than normal but it has not came up into the basement (yet). Still a venting issue causing all this (considering the basement drain too)?

Thanks.

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Old 07-02-2017, 03:10 PM   #8
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


Your septic tank is probably in need of pumping. More water in use during the day. It's hard for the septic to handle the additional flow. At night it had time to drain to the leach field.
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Old 07-02-2017, 05:32 PM   #9
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


Any one run the line from the house the the septic tank to make sure that it has not become broken?
Have seen that as long as the water is at a slow flow the water will flow and not back up , but if there is a large volume of water going to the septic tank then water will back up into the house.
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Old 07-02-2017, 06:06 PM   #10
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


It's right back to functioning normally now. This morning I flushed some solid waste and it went down just fine but it did pull almost every drop of water out of the bowl until it could suck air.

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Old 07-07-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


It acted up again, so I pondered the situation since out of both the plumbing communities I posted at, nobody had a good starting point. So, I went and bought a snake, some 2" pvc, a 90 elbow and a coupling, a pipe cutter and grabbed a bucket. I went and cut the elbow off of the vent pipe, and found the situation below. 100% clogged, rock solid rust that required a pry bar to break free. Replaced the section I cut out, waited half an hour for the cement to set, and now my system is working better than ever!

So, in short, it wasn't a low quality toilet. It wasn't a clogged main line. It wasn't a foreign object lodged coincidentally in both toilets simultaneously. It was the vent pipe, complete loss of ventilation to the whole system. And absolutely no sewer odor in the house, which is a primary symptom of a clogged vent.

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Old 07-07-2017, 12:31 PM   #12
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


Quote:
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Sounds like a venting issue. If it was a clogged line the first floor toilet would be overflowing when the second floor was flushed.
It seems as if joed nailed it from the beginning.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:01 PM   #13
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


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It seems as if joed nailed it from the beginning.
Indeed he did. I forgot to mention that, honestly

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Old 07-07-2017, 03:20 PM   #14
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


this will happen again, the rusting pipe should be changed in the future
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:22 AM   #15
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Re: Slow drains at night... Septic system (not city sewer)


Update: a week after I cleaned the vent stack, the issue came back. After a lot of hunting around, I finally got help and I pulled the lids off the tank and had someone inside running water, flush a toilet etc. Absolutely no water reached the tank. I borrowed an electric snake with a tip (can't describe the tip well enough). Ran the snake from one of my basement drains that meets mainline at a 45 angle, and ran about 17 of the 20 loops worth of snake into the mainline, and WHOOSH, you could hear all the built up waste water finally rush out of the pipes and into the tank.

I rewound the snake and in the process I removed 2 Medusa-heads... Balls of fine roots.

I've got a mainline replacement job in my future. Not in a big hurry, but it's still gonna suck!

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