Slow drain toilet on septic system


Old 02-20-14, 09:03 PM
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Slow drain toilet on septic system

Any thoughts will be much appreciated! Two weeks ago we had heavy rains in my area after none for over two months. Our toilet was clogging so we tried plunging. That didn't work so we tried a plumber. He snaked the pipe, tried a new toilet, snaked the vent, and snaked the pipe again with no improvement. When the toilet was off he could have a hose running water into the pipe no problem, toilet back on and it wouldn't work. Next day the septic guy came out. We have a 60 year old redwood tank (and before you say replace it, our landlord is not hot to do it), he dug about 3 feet down to reach it, and cleared it out. Flushed toilet twice, it worked. He put the wet dirt back and an hour later it was slow draining. When we ran water in the kitchen sink it caused the toilet to flood. A few days later we finally got another plumber to come, he snaked a different line along the kitchen line. Again, first hour it was fine. Then it did the slow drain, and when we ran the dishwasher it caused air to bubble up in the toilet (thankfully no overflow this time). Suggestions....
Old 02-20-14, 09:18 PM
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Move would be my first suggestion.
A wooden septic tank!!! 61 years and never heard of such a thing.
Someone needs to run a camera down the drains and vents to see what's going on.
Old 02-21-14, 09:26 AM
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I'm betting you still have a clogged drain line somewhere.

How big is your wooden septic tank? Are you certain it was a septic tank and not a distribution box or grease trap? Your septic tank is probably at least 500 or 1'000 gallons if it was a septic tank. If the septic guy pumped it you should go at least several days or a week+ before it's full so I'd generally rule that out as a possible source of problem.

A toilet flushing a couple times then backing up or running slow screams a clogged line. The large diameter drain pipes can hold a good deal of water. Simply running water can take a long time to fill it up and even flushing a toilet might not do it depending on how far away the clog is located.

When you say they snaked the lines & vent what did the tool look like?
Old 02-21-14, 09:37 AM
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Well Iím the slowest typist in the world, I just saw Pilot Dane responded and he always comes up with good stuff. But Iíll post this anyway then see what he says.LOL

hi Emily-

Not an expert to say the least. But my first thoughts (which could be wrong):

(1) Do not let that plumber back in! The fact that he would replace the toilet (which I assume you paid for) seems shady to me.

(2) If the septic guy left with a cleaned out tank, and you still had problems within hours, then I would think that would indicate the problem would be a blockage from your home to the tank. In other words, there is no way you could have filled the tank in a few hours. So if the problem were a drain field that was saturated, causing a backup in the tank and then on to your house, you would not have seen that within a few hours after the tank was cleaned. I would get another plumber to snake from the house to the tank. Sounds like thatís where your blockage is!

(3) Shouldnít your landlord be taking care of this? Why are you doing it? Does he know you are doing these things? Maybe you could get yourself in trouble if something is damaged during the troubleshooting process? Seems like he owes you a working sewage system?

Good luck!

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