Septic tank question


At my mountain cabin, there is a septic system. At the perimeter of the cabin, a 4" white drain pipe comes down to a cleanout with a plug, and is visible about 6" above the dirt line. The line continues on into the septic tank.
The area over the septic tank appears to have been filled in with a combination of type 2 and local soil. After many years, it is hard as concrete. I started to dig down to find the cap and do an inspection, but stopped after about an hour of picking. 7500' elevation x a 5 way bypass is a bad formula.
My BIL is coming between now and spring to do a lot of dirt work. I shall have him CAREFULLY scrape over the top of the tank, and with my metal detector, find the loop on top of the cap. I anticipate it is a relatively small tank.
QUESTION: Does the septic pumping guy have to go in through the cap, or can he go down through the cleanout? I figure it is best to pull the cap, and visually inspect, as well as pump more thoroughly, but just wondering since technology moves so fast, there may be a newer easier way of doing the same old dirty job.
TIA.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

My line cleanout is below the tank, before the field. You cannot access the tank from it. If you know where the tank is, it should not take much to find cap but it could be a ways down. Mine was like that when new and septic guy put on a well ring so it would no longer be buried. You will save money if you can guide them directly to system. I busted my tail digging up a transfer box to alternate field, repairing and adding a well ring. And, that was way before my heart surgery ;) Frank
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Steve B wrote:

I would try soaking the ground above the tank and see if that softens it enough to dig.
I have used a small electric jack hammer to cut through hard packed soil. With the right bar you have to work at it to damage concrete beyond a few small scratches.
once you dig it out get an extender and make the cap at the surface, get some advice from a local septic company first though, a surface entry can promote freezing of the tank contents .
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Steve B wrote:

Sorry, but they cannot do a good job through the cleanout.
Harry K
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Don't be sorry, Harry. Reality is nature's way of keeping things straight.
Steve
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I've been told that to pump out a septic tank through a stack pipe is not effective. This makes some sense to me, because the hose can only suck up crap over a small (4 inch or 6 inch) diameter. Liquid would not be the problem, but solid waste within the septic tank is the problem.
Is this logical/correct ?
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Vince wrote:

Yes, it is correct. For more reasons than you cite. How Things Work has a good descrip.
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