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.
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
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,
I keep thinking of steam, as it's hard to believe anything else might work.
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
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.
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.
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.
Around here there are companies who will 'refracture' a drain field.
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.
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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