Septic System Question


Hello,
Havew the typical septic system with a "chamber" that feeds several perforated pipes in a leaching field. Believe the pipes are nestled in gravel, and covered with soil.
These pipes with the holes are, I believe, clogged. Or, the gravel and surrounding soil are "clogged.
Question:
Before I call anyone in:
a. Are there treatments, or perhaps steam-cleaning for the perforated pipes that is effective ?
b. Are there treatments or steam cleaning for the gravel and/or surrounding soil ?
Are any of these doable without removing any over-soil ?
e.g. just a steam probe inserted thru the main feeder pipe to the field, or... ?
I keep thinking of steam, as it's hard to believe anything else might work. Thoughts ?
Thanks, Bob
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when was the tank pumped last? if the leach drain field is clogged it MUST be replaced.
if the tank goes too long without pumping the tank fills with muck and clogs the field.
given todays laws you will likely have to be replaced
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Robert11 wrote:

Why do you think so?
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dadiOH
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Having the same problem, and am in the middle of it. Here's what happened. Septic tank filled and backed up. Removed cap, and vacuumed septic tank. Very little solids, indicating that there was a problem with the leach field. The leach field has grass on top of it, and I had been watering it quite a bit over the summer. I may have created my own problem. So, in the last two weeks, the tank has been filling, and since it isn't going out into the leach field, the leach field has had a chance of drying out. We will not know if that was the problem until the tank fills and it starts going into the leach lines again. That should happen this week.
So, in answer to your question, the answer is yes, no, definitely, maybe, and I don't know. Have you called a professional? We have a top rated guy, top rated by people I know who have used him. He's not one of these that it's all shot and everything needs to be replaced, but who identifies the problem, then goes after that.
Google septic tank problems, and that will tell you a lot about things which can affect your leach field performance. Such as overwatering, having a garbage disposal, putting eggshells coffee grounds or fats down the pipe, paving over it, doing too much laundry and overloading it, making changes such as adding toilets or baths or showers since the original build, if the sizing was cheepo minimal from the start, and other things. You may want to have it pumped, give the leach field a break, cut back on the things that will overload the system, and then see what you have.
It's a big, stinky, expensive mess to redo a leach field. So, if I have to give up some grass, take shorter showers, wear my clothes a little longer, whatever, it's worth it.
Yes, there are all sorts of things that they can do, all expensive. They can put a camera down there. They can steam it. But, if the system is sized right from the start, and none of the things mentioned above are happening to overload it or plug it up, they should run forever with just occasional pumping. Save your money on septic tank wonder products. They are a natural process, and if something like floor wax or degreaser or XO Special Cleaner is going in there and disrupting the natural process, then the thing will not work naturally.
HTH
Steve
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One problem that has started to occur during the past quarter century since most authorities now insist on laundry water being discharged to the septic tank is synthetic fiber lint. Natural fibers would add lint that would break down and not affect a septic tank, but synthetic fibers don't break down. They flush through the system into the leach field creating a web of lint fibers in the pipes and gravel surrounding them. This evenually clogs up like any filter will and can cause the leach field to fail. Many new tank designs include a lint filter in the discharge. It is best if you can avoid any laundry lint going down the drain.
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wrote:

I have seen 3 leach fields dug up in my neighborhood and every one of them was OK (but replaced anyway). The problem was always right where the pipe came out of the tank or the collector box where the field ties to the tank pipe. The septic guys always say "well the field needed replacing too", mostly because they were there with a machine and a signed contract. It is certainly worth a few minutes with a shovel before you dig up your whole yard.
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Robert11 wrote:

They blast a shot of air into it. It's illegal in my County but legal in the next. (I live in Washington state). Don't ask me why..?? The blast of air blows the clogs and surrounding soil into a loosened state. It is reported to add years to the life of the field. Never had it done myself.
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Robert11 wrote:

I've heard of Honey Dippers attaching their hose to the drain field and blasting the drain field with liquid, hopefully opening it up again, but I wonder how they keep from pumping the solid goo into the field also? The truck pumps a hell of a lot water fast. They most always use this "feature" to shoot liquid back into the septic tank to loosen up the goo in the bottom, then pump it out again.
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Robert11 wrote:

pretty much no, no, and no. Sounds like years of non-maintenance, and now you know why the tank should be pumped every three years.
s
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