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Thread: How fast should water be flowing into a septic tank?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member cgray21's Avatar
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    Default How fast should water be flowing into a septic tank?

    We got the tank pumped, and I flushed the toilet-- and it drained very, very slowly. Nopw we had the cap off, and the inlet was, well, not dribbling, but the flow was fairly flow-- I'd say it took about 3 minutes to stop dropping water into the tank after teh flush concluded (I turned off everything else on teh line, so that I could be certain it wasn't getting any other water.).

    Now, given the age of teh tank and the fact that it wasn't pumped for some time and the fact that it looks like settling has badly reduced the pipes slope (and it had to have two 90 degree bends to get to the tank), I'm thinking this seems to say that there's either a blockage or simply silting up in the pipe, but I thought I'd ask those more skilled if that slow flow from an inlet pipe is unusual in the aftermath of a flush.
    Now that we have the tank pumped, however, my plan is to dig up the inlet pipe over the next several days, check it for root intrusion, and maybe just remove the pipe from the inlet to the tank so I can jet them both out.

    Does that sound like a plan, or am I missing something obvious here?

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    If you can see the water entering into the tank try flushing some toilet paper down the toilet and if the line is pitched right and doesn't have any low spots you should see the paper enter the tank with one flush.

    John

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    If you had a full tank, then it may take some time to get your lines cleared of solids.

    When the system backs up, You have poop in the chute, even after the tank is pumped.

    A lot of water can help to clear it. If water don't help, then you have a blockage or crushed Septic line going to the tank.


    Good Luck.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    I had an experience similar to this and it may very well be your problem.

    The 4" ABS pipe going from this customer's house to the tank was blocked, and the snake I was using only seemed to go through it like Jello, without dislodging the blockage. I hand dug the last two sections of pipe and discovered the ABS had been transitioned to 4" PVC. Not sure what happened but, there was a 10" belly hanging down in the two sections of pipe. I disconnected the two sections and shook out what was inside of them. They were full of rancid grease and that, plus the smell of what was now flowing freely from the 4" ABS pipe, was enough to gag a maggot.

    I believe what had happened was this. Small bits of grease settled into this low spot and coagulated, eventually making a solid blockage 20' long in the pipe. As you said, it looks like settling has taken place, and it may very well be your sewage is going uphill to the tank.

    Time to get out the shovel and start digging. Have fun!

  5. #5
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    "Time to get out the shovel and start digging. Have fun! "


    I would not start digging until I could pin point the problem.


    Digging is not all that much fun and you can get into deep shit.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  6. #6
    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    He did say the ground had settled badly between house and tank, affecting the slope of the inlet pipe. Chances are very good that the poop is running uphill to the tank inlet now. If he can see this, the tank cannot be down that deep. I would, at the very least, expose a few feet of the inlet pipe adjacent to the tank and put a level on the pipe.

    And besides, digging is great fun!

  7. #7
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by traveller View Post
    And besides, digging is great fun!

    It can also be a health hazard.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    LOL Then I should have been dead years ago.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by traveller View Post
    LOL Then I should have been dead years ago.

    I have never died, but I have gotten sick.

    Maybe I was just sick of digging.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  10. #10
    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    "That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."

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    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    Throw the shovel away and use an excavator. Doctors orders

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