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Author Topic: Septic tank not draining  (Read 11788 times)

Notasausage

  • Joined Feb 2013
Septic tank not draining
« on: April 06, 2013, 08:45:54 pm »
Now that the land isn't so saturated it is apparent that our septic tank simply is not draining. We think the outlet pipe(s) is blocked but as we know nothing about this tank (or any tank for tht matter) or the soak away pipe layout, we're a bit stumped where to start. Can anyone give us some insight into how these things work or how we would find out. Has anyone used a company to fix something like this that they could recommend (central Scotland) though we're up for giving it a shot ourselves. Thanks

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 09:30:24 pm »
Is it a brick built structure if so there should be a plunger pipe sometimes the crust blocks this and does not allow the water to drain all you need to do is plunge with a couple of sections of draining rods with plunger attachment or make up something that will do the same job. Best of luck a lovely job.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 09:34:17 pm »
I would say contact the Council - they empty them (or contract it out) so they will probably have someone who has knowledge of them. When we bought our croft in 1994 our old fashioned concrete box type septic tank was blocked; fortunately our local plumber knew about them and went down into it (yuk!) and discovered that the 'T-piece', whatever that is, was broken.  He replaced that and it worked perfectly till the day I moved and still does to my knowledge.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Notasausage

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 09:36:05 pm »
It's not brick built. The house is about 14 yrs old so it's relatively modern but it was completely dry when we moved in as the house had been empty for a year and our inlet pipe was blocked which was a relatively easy fix.

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 10:12:59 pm »
I'm still new to this too but just as a stupid question, is it supposed to drain naturally or are you supposed to get it emptied? We had a big discussion when we moved in because our predecessor had never had ours emptied in twenty years and swore it was designed to soak away. We've now found the access point and to us it looks like it's supposed to be emptied - and it's just he never used it much compared with us. We're having building work done shortly and the septic tank has been added to the list of things to address.

H

Notasausage

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 10:29:26 pm »
I think most are designed to drain naturally, though there are some that are just collection tanks. The liquid should drain and the solids need emptied. We've only been here a year and have been told that it is normal for the tank to be full of liquid but when we can see the solid layer it's time to empty. However when we empty the bath we can see the water leaking out the top which is clearly not right!

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 10:34:05 pm »
Sounds like it needs emptying and when they are there you can ask them if it's draining correctly
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
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Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 10:36:53 pm »
I'm still new to this too but just as a stupid question, is it supposed to drain naturally or are you supposed to get it emptied?

H


A septic tank is a mini treatment plant the broken down solids settle out in the tank and need to be emptied regularly (usually every year or two - but depends on usage/size etc).The liquid portion drains away to land (and final polishing) through a series of land drains. If the solids are not emptied regularly or the land drains not laid properly they can block up with sediment etc. and need clearing or relaying.


A cess pit on the other hand is completely self contained and holds the liquid and solids until you empty it with a tanker. Other than for holiday homes they should probably be avoided at all costs!

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 11:27:54 pm »
Before you go to the expence of getting in a professional check that the tank is full by full I mean very little water and mostly sediment. If it is full then get in a professional if not full then there is a blockage which could be the out flow t pipe. Google septic tank design.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 11:36:17 pm by bigchicken »
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

Notasausage

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2013, 08:26:00 pm »
Well, after a week of research and a day digging out the 6m pipe that connects the tank to the soakaway, we think we've fixed it. We have learned a lot more about septic tanks in the process! All I can say is if you have one of those infamous tanks that never needs emptied please go and lift the lid and have a look inside because if your solids start to get into your soakaway it's TERMINAL! And digging out a new one is horrendously expensive to the extent that if what we've done today doesn't work it will be as cheep to buy and install a new sewage treatment plant - about £5K.

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2013, 09:03:50 pm »
Henchard's notes and other comments are spot on. we found the lid of ours 2.5 feet down and after 3 digs in the wrong part of the lawn. The fosse had not been emptied for years so the solids took the young girl from the "s**t shovelers company" an age to break up with her suction hose. As said above - a neglected tank meant that solids had gone thru the outlet pipe and blocked the cast concrete double layered zig zag trap and contimanated our sand filter bed. I dug out all and had a chest infection for 3 weekes after the digging and cleaning out but all works well now.

NOTE - if you get the tank emptied then make sure you fill it up with water so as to support the structure and prevent external pressures from cracking the tank. 
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chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2013, 03:38:08 am »
Just to add to MAK's point. If you have a fibreglass unit in wet ground be sure it has a concrete collar on the top  before emptying it, otherwise it will float out of the ground. Viewed a house last month with just that potential problem.

LoveDevon

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 04:11:41 pm »
Hi
  just reading what you have said and would like to add that if your outlet is blocked and even full with solids to dig a new herrin bone drainage line for the tank would not be that expensive. i think 2 days with a 5 ton machine and all the stone and the pipe. i would recon that £2,500 would cover that work. thats a saving of £2,500 on a new system. It all counts.  ;) :thumbsup:

AndyT

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2013, 02:26:43 pm »
Since having a septic tank ourselves (some 21yrs) I have always been very careful what I put down the drains (all fat goes into the waste bin) and regularly dose with a Bio Treatment for septic tanks..  Farmers merchants like Mole Valley Farmers / Scats etc sell these and you just pour down the drain overnight. No absolute proof they work but I would not risk not using them as much less problems since we started with them years ago.

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Septic tank not draining
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2013, 11:40:31 pm »
Just had to repair broken (crushed) outlet pipe from our tank.  Quotes from builders were frightening but Oh hired a mate with a digger to dig out around the broken area and fitted a new section of pipe himself.   Rotten job and he felt quite unwell for a few days but  :fc: :fc: :fc: he has saved us a fortune.  We are now always going to get it emptied regularly.  I blame it on the visitors ;)

 

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