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Septic issues on T-day of course.....

776 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Cabin Fever
Good evening,

I need some help with a Septic problem. As you know the solid tank flows into the liquid tank. In our liquid tank, there is a sump pump that pushes the liquids strait up to just under the access lid , bends 90 degrees for 2 feet, and then bends 90 degrees back down. There is a 90 degree bend near the top of the liquid tank that heads off to the drain field.

Tonight our alarm went off. I pulled the lid and saw that the PVC pipe elbow that heads to the drain field is broken off.

I waited for the pump to start to run again and held the two broken parts together. The liquid would flow into the pipe for about one minute until the backpressure forced the liquid back into the tank.

The pipe going to the drain field is either plugged or frozen. I am 1 hr direct east of the twin cities, so the low temps have not that been that low for me to believe that it is frozen.

Is is safe for me to rent a long gas powered snake, put a ladder down into the tank, and climb down and try to auger the pipe out?

If this is not safe, am I looking at a $200 or $20,000 repair?

I am grateful for your help.

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It sounds to me like there is a stoppage in the field pipe somewhere. The pump is filling it up, then you get the back pressure.

I suspect you have the two tank system with a remote drain field or mound. Essentially settled water goes from the large tank into the one where the sump pump is located. The sump pump then does its job of carrying off the water as it is triggered. This type of sump pump typically has an alarm on it if the water level rises above where the pump should kick in.

Have you recently had any heavy equipment or trucks go over your line which may have crushed it?

Were it me, I'd do a temporary repair to necking down the pvc from the pump to a garden hose coupler and then running the water in various places in the yard until the problem can be found. However, you may have a problem with the garden hose freezing on you.

The county health department should have a copy of your approved septic system. It would be very handy when you get a professional out to look at it. They may be able to dig out the outgoing line to see if they can find a problem. For example, they push through wire and it stops X feet away. Knowing where the line is they can then come close to being over the potential problem.
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