Septic pump????

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-25-15, 12:45 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Septic pump????

Hello, just found this site and it looks like a really good one.

I hope my first question isn't a dumb one, but here goes. My septic tank drains incredibly slowly, and during rain events, water actually flows INTO the tank. A royal pain for us. While looking at our fuse box for something else, I noticed that there is a circuit labeled 'septic pump'.........well, I had no idea we even had a septic pump, it is not in the tank as I have seen in there many times when getting it pumped out. I see no other evidence that might lead me to the location of the pump.

My question is, where in the world would the pump be located? I have a sneaking suspicion that this maybe the reason for our issues. Assume it is clogged or otherwise not working.

My thanks for any help that anyone can offer.
 
  #2  
Old 06-25-15, 01:01 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,402
Received 743 Votes on 684 Posts
A good place to start is your county Building Inspections or Health or Environmental Services Dept. to see if they have a record of your system. That will tell you if it's a traditional, if there is a pump tank or if it's a more complex engineered system. There may have been an air pump for your one tank. There may be a second, pump tank downstream from your septic tank though there is usually also a control box and alarm somewhere. And, lastly someone could have mislabeled a sump pump or other circuit or "septic pump" was the only pre-printed sticker they had.

As for us helping you now you're going to have to get very specific because the details matter.

When you say your "septic tank drains incredibly slowly". What do you mean specifically? How do you know it's draining slowly?

How are you able to tell water flows into your tank after rain? Where is the water entering the tank?
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-15, 01:01 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,523
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
A lift pump can be used for facilities in a basement that can't gravity flow into the existing system or from a low holding tank up to a primary septic tank, the one you are pumping. In many cases the existence of these pumps and their location, give or take a mile, will be documented at city hall where the permit should have been issued.

Bud
 
  #4  
Old 06-25-15, 01:28 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The lid to the tank is at ground level, so is very easy to access.......I check it during wet times and make note of the 'water' level in the tank. The level goes up when it rains any significant amount. I also check to see how much it drops from day to day after it rains. The level in the tank is above the outflow pipe in the tank and slooowwwwwwly drops after the rain stops and it is dry for a few days. I know water enters the tank from the outflow pipe because I have seen it after having the tank pumped and cleaned out.

And I am sure they meant 'septic pump' on the fuse box label because the actual hand written term on the label is 'septic (turd) pump'. Sorry, I should have been clearer on that.

I also got a copy of the original septic permit from the county when we were planning some flower and bush plantings, all it shows is the general layout of the laterals on a rough hand drawn sketch. There is no mention of a pump. We are the second owners, after moving in one of our neighbors told me that the original septic system installation didn't work right so they had to come back and "re do" or "repair" it ( I don't recall his exact words), and it worked fine after that. I might assume that the fix included installing the pump, but can't know for sure since I wasn't the owner at the time. Did they update the permit request with the county when they did the repairs? I don't know, maybe the permit on file is for the original installation and not for the repaired system.

Hope this helps.
 

Last edited by rbanerjee; 06-25-15 at 02:21 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-25-15, 01:51 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I should add another piece of Information, we had a septic contractor come and look at it.........he said it could be caused by a rising ground water or saturated soils and recommended installing a curtain drain up above the lateral field, and have the laterals jet cleaned. There is no filter in the outflow baffle and he suspects that there may be build up or clogging in one or more of the laterals. The cost is very reasonable so he is planning to do this as his schedule allows sometime in the next month. He will also install a filter (he said the filters weren't required when the system was built and some installers didn't put them in or simply forgot to). He is a very reputable contractor and comes highly recommended by folks that we know who have used him in the past.

If that doesn't work.......then we may be looking at a new system........the 3rd in the 12 years since the house was built.......for a permanent fix.

I just thought that I would check to see what people might offer about the pump question.

Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 06-25-15, 01:52 PM
C
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Our tanks are about 5 feet deep. The outlet of the secondary tank flows through a deep leach bed and any remaining effluent flows from that into a deep basin that contains a septic lift pump. That pumps the effluent up into a distribution box and from there to laterals which are only a couple of feet deep.

If you have an external pump like that, it should be easy to find because it will have an access cover over the basin. Mine's concrete, about two feet in diameter. When that pump fails, my system eventually backs up. There's also a smaller concrete cover over the distribution box.

It's also possible of course that your drain field has simply failed....water should never flow backwards into the septic tank in a properly operating system.

You might try tracing the wire from the breaker to get an idea of where it's connected....
 
  #7  
Old 06-25-15, 02:18 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much for your advice, I will try to follow the wires to see if I can see where it goes.

Yeah, I thought that a secondary tank with a pump would have easy access also, but the only access point that I can find is the lid to the septic tank. If they did install a secondary tank, then maybe it is buried. I don't know, but it sure is a head scratcher to think there is a pump located somewhere and not have a clue where it is.

Thanks again, I really do appreciate it.
 
  #8  
Old 06-25-15, 04:31 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,523
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Pilot also mentioned a control box with an alarm. The house my daughter just sold has such. Her lift tank is before her septic tank and is totally buried. Electricians can put a signal on that wire and follow it from above. Not sure how much depth they can handle, but may be an option.

I also located a tank once when the soil was wet using a piece of sharpened rebar.

Then there is the old method of "the grass is always greener over the septic tank". Maybe not always, but I have seen it several times. I guess it is the heat.

Bud
 
  #9  
Old 06-25-15, 04:49 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,275
Received 108 Votes on 100 Posts
deleted ........................................
 
  #10  
Old 06-25-15, 04:52 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,402
Received 743 Votes on 684 Posts
Regardless of what you find I think a filter on the outlet of the septic tank is a very good idea. They are less than $100 and can do a lot to prevent solids and grease from getting out into the leach field.

I have a "curtain drain" above my septic field. I wouldn't call it inexpensive as mine was several thousand dollars but it does work. I'm on a hill so whatever rain soaks into the ground uphill heads for my leach field. Even after the most torrential rains we've had no problems and I smile when I see the stream of water coming out of the intercept drain.
 
  #11  
Old 06-25-15, 07:40 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yea, I agree and we will definitely have one installed. This is our first home with a septic system so we are still learning the whats and how's.

The curtain drain and lateral flush will be in the 2.5-3.5k range. Agree, not cheap, but compared to the 15k+ for a new system meeting current standards it sounded pretty good, and it will be done by a professional that we trust. Our yard is also on a hill so I hope we see the same results as you have. Will be keeping our fingers crossed for sure.

Good input, and very much appreciated.......always nice to see forums with nice helpful folks.

Still not sure about the pump, I think I will call the builder and pick his brain.......surely he can help. He is also a local guy with a good reputation.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: