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Old 01-31-2010, 06:37 PM   #1
jgj5150
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Default Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

Ive had problems lately with my 30 year old septic tank system. Its been backed up for awhile, had it pumped out, only for it to still back up. Ive done alot of online research on the problem, and have come to the conclusion that the lateral lines are clogged. Ive come to this conclusion because the grass over the lines has grown like wildfire over the past couple of years, and from what Ive read, that is a dead giveaway of clogged/ broken lateral lines. I do not believe them to be broken because there are no trees, and no driving anywhere near them.

Do these lines have a cap somewhere, where i can access, and try to flush them out? or is this something better left to a pro to rake me over the coals?
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
OccupantRJ
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

A few feet beyond your tank should be a distribution box where the leach lines originate in order to branch out. There are guys who specialize in cleaning out just the leach field lines. You could use a steel rod probe to find the D box, take off the lid, and have a look before you call someone, then you won't mind paying them so bad.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

My lateral lines have always had grass grow better over them.

You may have a detergent problem that is killing your bacteria, you can try dumping some yeast down the toilet.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

Those those are pretty nasty inside. I don't think you'll want to play with it.

One fond memory of my dad is him after he pulled the cover on the distribution box in our backyard, because we were having drain trouble. The nasty ooze in there started bubbling up and I was grossed out. He said, "David, this is my bread and butter." (He's been a plumber since the 1950s.) Classic.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

few years ago I was having the same problem, I just had a guy who does septic systems come, the drained the tank, found the distribution box and the proceeded to blow out the lines, he said since I live in a house full of women I had a TP problem and it wasn't breaking down quick enough.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

Call the pro.
Some things in life are worth not knowing bout.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

Ive been dumping "rid-x" down the toilet regularly for 2 years. This was grandpas place before me, so I guess me and the family have been over-dumping so to speak.. I will look for the disturbing distribution box with my sharp stick.., thanks all!
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:02 PM   #8
Art From De Leon
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

As Erma Bombeck once said "The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank"

The thickest grass in my yard is in the first 20 feet of the outlet of the tanks, but you can see the full length of the lines all summer long.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

have you done any digging to see what the leech field lines are made of? if there the old ceramic tiles, its time for pvc, cheap and easy to do new leach field. get a shovel and dig a few spots to see whats goin on, or just commit to a new field.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

Run the fawcet, pull the cover off the D-Box and see if the lines are draining.

If they are not draining, you need a new drainfield.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cleaning out Septic tank lateral lines

At 30 years old you have passed the expected life of the system, that is TCEQ's statement not mine. At 30 years you probably have a pipe and gravel system. And with all the rain Texas has had this winter this a common problem. More than likely the field is saturated and just not able to take on anymore fluid. If the county gets wind that your system is in failure they can issue a 30 day notice to get it repaired, then start with the fines, be real nice to your neighbors till you get this fixed. You could try to BIO-Remediate the system. Here is a product line I am familiar with http://septiconline.com/id30.html. Or you could look at getting a new system installed. It is unlikely that the County would allow you to just put in new field. You would need to have a soil analysis, and then go from there on what system is acceptable.
If you have any questions shoot me a PM, I am in the business, just a few hundred miles south of you. I know some guys up that area.
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