HELP! Septic backup/blockage?

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  #1  
Old 11-03-06, 05:07 AM
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HELP! Septic backup/blockage?

Hi all,
I have an old septic system. I had issues years ago that were solved with the removal of a tree and new header pipe. It has had no hint of an issue since until last night. I went to use the downstairs washroom (about 5 feet higher than the septic tank if it maters) and the water in the toilet was low. I flushed...then someone did after me. I could hear a gurgling out of the shower and bathtub as the water flushed. By the third flush, the toilet overflowed. I tried to plunge it, but water shot out of the fixtures that were gurgling. The toilet would not go lower. I got fed up and left, came back an hour later and it had gone down on its own. My upstairs toilet still SEEMS ok, but wonder if its just because it has more empty pipe (for now) due to its location.

It has been incredibly wet here the last few weeks, but no rain for about 3 days now. I checked the vent - it seems clear.

I plan to remove the septic cover today if the ground isnt too frozen.

Any ideas? as to what is going on?

Please please please help!
thanks
 
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Old 11-03-06, 12:25 PM
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When was the last time the tank was pumped?
 
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Old 11-03-06, 02:09 PM
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it was pumped...

last year - in October...and again today...it was full...the flow to the field looks ok...the guy said that it looks blocked from the toilet to the tank. It was full, but could have gone longer...I will be hammering it with Liquid Draino tonight. Will let you all know if this is solved by that
 
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Old 11-03-06, 02:27 PM
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Wink

Have you tried a plumber snake in the pipe. from the top toilet out to the tank????
 
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Old 11-03-06, 05:23 PM
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snake/cleaner

I have not yet tried the snake. I did just put in some septic safe liquid plumber in the upstairs toilet (and flushed so as to not ruin the precelin)

I can tell you that when I flushed upstairs to do that the downstairs kitchen gurgled. When I flushed the downstairs one previously, the sinks/bathtub in there all gurgled.

When we try to plunge the downstairs toilet, all of the fitxures shoot out septic water.

From the outside, we flushed right after it was pumped...it just trickles in.

One more thing: - downstairs toilet only - it loses water...after a few hours it has only about an inch in it. There is no leakage there or even in the basement.

Hopefully the above helps isolate it better for you guys.

My thoughts:
1. Should I try from the roof again? (vent pipe). I have a pole that could reach almost the basement from there. Or is that just a waste of time.

2. Should I try the cleanout in the basement? I dont want to unless absolutely necessary - I have heard horror stories about flooding the basement with the sewage doing that.

3. Should I try the snake? I hear its tough to work through toilets.

Your help is greatly appreciated.
thanks!
 
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Old 11-03-06, 06:18 PM
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Sounds like you have a blockage between the house and the tank. Might want to try a power snake from the lowest toilet.
I agree about the cleanout. If the lines are full then opening it might result in a backflow of sewage out the clean out.
 
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Old 11-03-06, 07:14 PM
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a bit more info that will hopefully help

a bit more info that will hopefully help:

I waited 2 hours and then ran hot water from my bathroom sink as per the clog-remover instructions. When I ran the water for about a minute, the bathtub gurgled and the toilet water moved.

Does this help isolate anything?

Looking for my snake now...
 
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Old 11-04-06, 05:11 AM
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The solution as I see it would be to remove the downstairs toilet first of all. Now you took that curvy toilet trap out of play. Now determine the length approximately to the inlet of the septic tank for a sewer rod/tape to travel. Borrow, rent or buy a heavy rod and ram it down the pipe from the toilet opening. Jammming a rod down that 3 or 4" opening in that small bathroom will take a helper to help control the sewer tape when coiling.

You might just as well dig up and remove the cover on the septic tank so you cann watch for the sewer tape to exit the inlet pipe as well as enter the tank. After that hopefully happens attempt to determine why the pipe plugged in the first place. Are baffles in tank in place? outlets taking the flow all right?

Good luck

bs5
 
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Old 11-04-06, 05:15 AM
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I forgot to add that once you clear the obstruction (unless septic tank is filled) flush with plenty of clear water.


bs5
 
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Old 11-04-06, 05:34 AM
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tank

I do already in fact have the tank exposed and can see the water go in it. I will get a better auger and try what you are suggesting here later today. It sounds like ultimately it will just cost me an extra $2 for a ring and each of the suggestions posted here anyway.
I had the tank inspected yesterday - baffles are just fine.

thanks

Im also open to any other suggestions should this not work.
thanks all
 
  #11  
Old 11-07-06, 06:21 AM
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Solved!

It was a clog in the main line out to the septic. Went in through the downstairs toilet and used a power snake. I can see the water running well into the septic now
 
 

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