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 > Cleaning out a DIY septic tank

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JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 09/23/19 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

winniman wrote:

Curious how the OP made out with his air compressor trick. Not well Im guessing. A barrel with holes in it is not a septic system. A septic system consists of a tank with two chambers, and a properly constructed field to disperse effluent in such a manner that bacteria has time to consume the organics BEFORE they reach the water table. No solids ever reach a properly designed septic field. You barrel is full of solidified ****. Its done. Dig a new one, or better yet, dump into a proper septic system.


Well, I planted more than a few tanks that just one chamber, and dug up many more. The 2 chamber deal is a fairly recent change, added because of dish washers and and home laundry. With a proper leach field, a plastic drum would be plenty big to dump a normal used RV tank...

Dave H M

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Posted: 09/23/19 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A septic system consists of a tank with two chambers

Hmmmm, if you gazed down into mine it is just one round tank. Way they are here, the regular ones that is.

DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 09/23/19 12:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually there ARE 2 versions of septic tanks:

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wing_zealot

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Posted: 09/23/19 01:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

winniman is correct. Although it"s possible to not have 2 chambers (the vast majority do), you must have the outlet baffle. A barrel with holes drilled in it does not have the outlet baffle. And if the holes are drilled all the way (or most of the way) to the bottom of the barrel, it's useless. What the OP has is a rusted and probably broken and dilapidated "used to be barrel" full of ****. Full being the operative word. No baffle, no standing water, no organisms to breakdown the solids in the OP's barrel, hence, the solids didn't breakdown.
What he had was an outhouse and just like the old timers did when the hole got full, it's now time to dig a new hole.

* This post was edited 09/23/19 03:21pm by wing_zealot *

John&Joey

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Posted: 09/23/19 05:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So how far away is the nearest well to this? Should be 100 or more feet away. Hopefully if you got neighbors they don’t have shallow water sources supplying a family.

wopachop

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Posted: 09/23/19 10:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It very well might have a DIY outlet baffle. I know I said it's a barrel with holes drilled. That's the story I was told years ago. Asked the homeowner again if metal or plastic and she didnt know. So maybe the holes are not true.

I tried air pressure. Around 3psi. Not enough to register on a cheap pencil tire gauge. Air was leaking out the cap. It was just a quick test. Added teflon tape. Hit it again with a quick blast. I heard movement in the tank. Waited about an hour and unscrewed the cap. It was like holding your finger on a straw. Cap came off and water and air rushed down. Tank was full and overflowing when I screwed on the cap. Its clean looking water. No odor at all. I had filled the tank with hose water.

I hear everyone that it's time for a new one. It takes around 20ish gallons and there is no time rush. So for now we can dump which isn't very often. Just means doing it in stages a couple times a day. It's weird how the 20 gallons will become available in half a day. Maybe it takes 20g at first and then only 10g after. Either way it seems to drain a small portion off rather quickly for something I think is absorbing into close to saturated soil.

I'm still hoping enzyme and air pressure might clear out a soft clog if indeed its holes drilled in a barrel. Again no rush for the liquid to drain. So even 1 or 2 holes cleared lower in the barrel would help regain some capacity. Unless the barrels have disintegrated and filled with sand. I will sacrifice my cheasy endoscope at some point and feed it down the hole.

To answer a fellas question there is no RV dump into the main septic. City water, no wells.

Thanks to those with the helpful pics and info. I've been wanting to install a valve stem in the cap for months. People telling me no was the inspiration to finally do it!!

Giving the enzyme a few weeks and then will test capacity with a 5gal bucket. Fill it to overflow and then try air pressure again. Wait another time period and check again.

I think the endoscope would help answer lots of questions. Looking down the hole it's a double wye.

maillemaker

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Posted: 09/24/19 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I want you to crank up the air pressure to 150 PSI and fill 'er up!

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wopachop

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Posted: 09/24/19 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roger that....150psi, check!
Cuzzin Eddie outfit, check!
Volcano eruption in 3...2...1

winniman

muskoka Ontario

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Posted: 09/25/19 05:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A properly built septic tank has a baffle of some sort to prevent solids from getting to the septic field. In Ontario, septic tanks have had two chambers for many decades. They now also require a filter at the exit of the tank. The only thing that separates the two chambers, is a baffle wall in the centre. Solids stay in the first chamber. Effluent goes over the baffle into the second chamber, and on into the septic field. This is why you should have your tank pumped on occasion to make sure no solids build up and get into the second chamber. Once they are into the second chamber, they could possibly get to the septic field. Solids reaching the septic field will soon plug the entire bed. Every area has slightly different rules for septic due to different soil conditions and percolation rates of the soils.

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