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THF Help - Septic #8500628 01/11/22 12:42 AM
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Need help from the THFers tonight. I have an aerobic septic and have never had any issues with it. Tonight, I think we had too much going at once (2 showers, kitchen sink, and laundry) which caused hydraulic overload. Water backed up in the south side of the house where things drain to go to septic -- daughter's toilet started bubbling and water was coming out of the drain in our master bath shower.

Septic alarm isn't going, light is off, but sprinklers aren't going either. Thoughts on if a vent is clogged or something else? Trying to avoid calling emergency plumbing and/or septic tonight.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8500641 01/11/22 12:58 AM
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Open your control panel and override the pump controller in order to pump down your effluent tank. You may be able to do it via a timer, or you may need to jump a float contact.

Edit: I just noticed that you have sprinklers. You will know when you get the pump running!

Last edited by Marc K; 01/11/22 01:04 AM.

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Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8500663 01/11/22 01:21 AM
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Thanks Mark. I opened the panel and there is no timer. Electrical is working, but sprinklers aren't coming on. It isn't dry where they spray but it definitely isn't wet. Makes me think I have a float switch that isn't working or the pump is bad all together.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8500673 01/11/22 01:34 AM
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Septic line is stopped up some where before it gets to the pump out tank. Probably at the input to the first tank (raw sewage). You will have to find opening to that tank by digging down to it. Some tanks have baffles and normally that is where stoppage is. Pull lid off of pump out tank and see if it is full or over full. If it is full and not pumping , then pump may be bad, timer problem & I'd bet you have a timer some where.





Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8500699 01/11/22 02:05 AM
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Well, it looks like it may not be septic related after all. I think I have a clog between the house and septic. Time to call someone out to try and snake or jet the line. Wonder what my kids and or wife flushed.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8500720 01/11/22 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Well, it looks like it may not be septic related after all. I think I have a clog between the house and septic. Time to call someone out to try and snake or jet the line. Wonder what my kids and or wife flushed.


I bet this is correct. I built homes over thirty years. On one home a family of four called a week after moving in. They called about "bubbling" sounds in a bathtub. I called the septic company. While waiting on them I went to the home, opened the panel and did a voltage check--all fine there. Then I noticed a small switch on the side. The system was never even turned on.

So......spit out whatever you have in your mouth so you don't blow it on your computer screen. I turned on the switch. An alarm blasted in my face. I stumbled backwards and tripped. A sprinkler came on and hosed down me with NON-AEROBICALLY treated sewage.

Bottom line: That system can hold a lot before service is needed. So....either you are correct about a blockage there, or you may have a float switch not working.

Laugh your a** off. Ya'll are welcome.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501004 01/11/22 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Well, it looks like it may not be septic related after all. I think I have a clog between the house and septic. Time to call someone out to try and snake or jet the line. Wonder what my kids and or wife flushed.


This. Probably a large chunk of TP stuck in the pipe. I had to give "Toilet Use 101" to guests. You press and hold the flush lever until the tank drains completely. Otherwise the tp forms a dam about 5 feet down the line. I hate these new water saving toilets.


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Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501052 01/11/22 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Well, it looks like it may not be septic related after all. I think I have a clog between the house and septic. Time to call someone out to try and snake or jet the line. Wonder what my kids and or wife flushed.

This happened to me with the same symptoms you said above. There should be an overflow adapter between the primary tank and the house. It has a vertical riser. This should have kicked in if the clog was at the primary tank opening like I had. If not, then it isn't working correct or the clog is before the valve like you are saying. Like Andy Griffith said, call the man.


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Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501140 01/11/22 04:35 PM
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All resolved. Snaked it from the cleanout closest to the septic and that took care of it. No clue what was in it -- we have a strict understanding our house that no grease or oil down the drain and only TP in the toilets.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501144 01/11/22 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
All resolved. Snaked it from the cleanout closest to the septic and that took care of it. No clue what was in it -- we have a strict understanding our house that no grease or oil down the drain and only TP in the toilets.


Semi-Strict.......LOL

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TPACK] #8501156 01/11/22 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TPACK
Originally Posted by TLew
All resolved. Snaked it from the cleanout closest to the septic and that took care of it. No clue what was in it -- we have a strict understanding our house that no grease or oil down the drain and only TP in the toilets.


Semi-Strict.......LOL


roflmao

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501173 01/11/22 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Originally Posted by TPACK
Originally Posted by TLew
All resolved. Snaked it from the cleanout closest to the septic and that took care of it. No clue what was in it -- we have a strict understanding our house that no grease or oil down the drain and only TP in the toilets.


Semi-Strict.......LOL


roflmao

I have the exact semi-strict rule in my house


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Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501175 01/11/22 05:12 PM
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I get my tank pumped every 3-4 years. The last guy said a house he had come from could not be pumped due to the caked grease in the tank. He was surprised that my tank was so clean. I said no grease or oil goes down the drain.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501220 01/11/22 06:06 PM
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Thrift drain cleaner will eat up grease and is safe for septic.
I also use septic saver pods once a month. Trouble free and rarely have to pump.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501249 01/11/22 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
All resolved. Snaked it from the cleanout closest to the septic and that took care of it. No clue what was in it -- we have a strict understanding our house that no grease or oil down the drain and only TP in the toilets.

You may want to add Redheaded Sewer Rats to your understanding list.


Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501257 01/11/22 06:22 PM
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When I had my system, the company said to not use liquid fabric softener in the washing machine. That killed the bacteria worse the Clorox. My wife said she didn't care if we had to pump the tank every three months.


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Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501282 01/11/22 06:32 PM
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Well, while I have everyone I guess I'll present the other problem I found while diagnosing last night. I removed the manhole off the clean side of the tank and was confronted with hundreds if not a thousand mosquitos enjoying the warm, damp space. What do ya'll use to destroy/prevent? I was thinking of hanging a fogger down the hole on a string to exterminate what's there. Then to prevent it moving forward I was going to wrap screen material around the vent and rubber band it, plus add donuts/dunks to the "clean" baffle.

Thoughts?

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501361 01/11/22 08:45 PM
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Mosquito Dunks in the tank?

Mosquito Dunks

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: Pope&Young] #8501448 01/11/22 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Pope&Young
Originally Posted by TLew
All resolved. Snaked it from the cleanout closest to the septic and that took care of it. No clue what was in it -- we have a strict understanding our house that no grease or oil down the drain and only TP in the toilets.

You may want to add Redheaded Sewer Rats to your understanding list.

We have the same (semi) strict rules in our house. My wife explained them to the nieces when they came for a visit. It is amazing how quickly 3 Musketeers wrappers will migrate thru an aerobic system and wrap themselves around the strainer screen on a submersible pump. Also the fibers from the RSR's will go thru the screen and wrap up in the pump.
Glad you got if fixed with just a snaking of the pipe.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501457 01/11/22 11:02 PM
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A little bit canned of dog food will do wonders for the health of the bacteria.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8501482 01/11/22 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Well, while I have everyone I guess I'll present the other problem I found while diagnosing last night. I removed the manhole off the clean side of the tank and was confronted with hundreds if not a thousand mosquitos enjoying the warm, damp space. What do ya'll use to destroy/prevent? I was thinking of hanging a fogger down the hole on a string to exterminate what's there. Then to prevent it moving forward I was going to wrap screen material around the vent and rubber band it, plus add donuts/dunks to the "clean" baffle.

Thoughts?

Put some tilapia in the tank. They'll eat the wigglers.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: Old Rabbit] #8501878 01/12/22 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Rabbit
Originally Posted by Pope&Young
Originally Posted by TLew
All resolved. Snaked it from the cleanout closest to the septic and that took care of it. No clue what was in it -- we have a strict understanding our house that no grease or oil down the drain and only TP in the toilets.

You may want to add Redheaded Sewer Rats to your understanding list.

We have the same (semi) strict rules in our house. My wife explained them to the nieces when they came for a visit. It is amazing how quickly 3 Musketeers wrappers will migrate thru an aerobic system and wrap themselves around the strainer screen on a submersible pump. Also the fibers from the RSR's will go thru the screen and wrap up in the pump.
Glad you got if fixed with just a snaking of the pipe.

I pulled mine once when sprinklers were not putting out the usual volume. There was a condom on it. Hair is also a problem. If and when I wash dog's bedding I get all the hair off first. I have heard that adding a lint trap on the washer helps.


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Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: texasag93] #8502100 01/12/22 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Well, while I have everyone I guess I'll present the other problem I found while diagnosing last night. I removed the manhole off the clean side of the tank and was confronted with hundreds if not a thousand mosquitos enjoying the warm, damp space. What do ya'll use to destroy/prevent? I was thinking of hanging a fogger down the hole on a string to exterminate what's there. Then to prevent it moving forward I was going to wrap screen material around the vent and rubber band it, plus add donuts/dunks to the "clean" baffle.

Thoughts?

Originally Posted by texasag93
Mosquito Dunks in the tank?

Mosquito Dunks


I drop a package of dunks in my tank when I replace the chlorine. It wont kill them all but I have less waiting on me when I open the lid.

Re: THF Help - Septic [Re: TLew] #8502194 01/12/22 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Well, while I have everyone I guess I'll present the other problem I found while diagnosing last night. I removed the manhole off the clean side of the tank and was confronted with hundreds if not a thousand mosquitos enjoying the warm, damp space. What do ya'll use to destroy/prevent? I was thinking of hanging a fogger down the hole on a string to exterminate what's there. Then to prevent it moving forward I was going to wrap screen material around the vent and rubber band it, plus add donuts/dunks to the "clean" baffle.
Thoughts?

Had the same problem; found out there is enough of gap in 'manhole' cover that mosquitoes sneak in there for 'protection' from frigid nights / hot dry days.
No poison/ dunks needed; just some fiberglass screen to cover the whole top and used a bungy cord as rubberband to hold it snug.
Skeeters will all die when they can't get in/out.

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