Plumbing problem question

Hi, Today we started to hear gurgling in the lower level toilet, the sink and the kitchen sink.
- There is no observed problem with water draining. - The septic tank was cleaned within the past 18 months (2 adults, 1 child in a 4BD house that I believe has a 1000gal tank) - I thought it might be a vent issue, so I ran a 20ft snake down the vent and did not hit anything (house is a tri-level, so the vent exposure is about 2 1/2 stories up) - Rank 20ft snake into lowest level toilet (where gurgling is heard and where it backed up enough to overflow onto the floor) and seemed to hit something but got through it
Still the gurgling is heard when the clothes washer runs and it backed up a second time.
Tomorrow, I will attempt to snake from the septic back into the house.
Is it basically a vent/blockage to the septic issue (i.e., am I on the right track)?
Thanks, Dave
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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Doesn't sound like venting, as you discovered the vent is clear. Main line clogged or else the septic field is blocked/waterlogged. The tank is always full of liquid; that's the way it works. The spillover goes out to the field.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

Thanks for the reply, Jim. The field is not wet at all and recently my neighbor had to dig up their field because of roots...they had a noticeable liquid problem in their case.
So, it must be a clog in the main somewhere. I attempted to get the cap off the septic tank to try to snake from that end, but I cannot get the plug out (I need a crowbar). The clog must not be a complete blockage because lately, the backup has not occurred during flush tests, but rather if a large amount of water is put through (i.e., laundry).
Thanks, Dave
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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

May have more success with a bigger snake. Rent a sewer auger at a local rental place. You'll need a cleanout access in/near the house.
Jim
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Jim, In reading about the septic system the past couple of hours, I've seen quite a bit on the do's/don'ts for systems.
One item I've read about is a laundry filter. Do you have any opinion on their effectiveness (i.e., worth the cost)?
Thanks, Dave
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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes. Even a basic mesh screen type will remove a *lot* of lint which can eventually clog the pores of the field piping. A true "laundry filter" will do an even better job. Jim
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You're better off snaking downstream rather than up, that way when you get the clog, you don't get soaked.
You can snake from any sink, toilet or bathroom drain or even the roof vent if you cannot find any additional cleanouts on the main line.
Harborfreight tools has a cheap full sized snake that costs about the same as a plumber visit. HD also rents full sized units.
Spend a little time trying to diagram the plumbing and the location may become obvious.
Acid will work but it is about the most dangerous method available and if it dosen't, you end up with a worse mess.
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You always spoil the fun ;)
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PipeDown wrote:

Would the full sized snake damage the porcelain?
TIA, Dave
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Just to follow up... to my surprise, the septic was full. I was incorrect on the size of the tank, in that it is only a 500 gal tank (house was built in 1959). What evidently was happening was that during the night, the tank would drain a bit and everything would be fine in the morning. Then as the next day arrived and showers were taken, clothes were washed, etc., the tank would fill to the point of causing problems.
It's cleaned out now and all is well. However, there was a fair amount of buildup material that came out of the drain once the tank was cleaned, so it would be a good idea for me to snake the pipes. Since it appears that (based on another poster) I can get a full size snake for the cost relative to once visit, I will look into the full sized models.
Thanks to all who posted. Dave
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