Basement toilet having trouble flushing...septic issues?

Old 07-26-16, 10:54 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: united states
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Basement toilet having trouble flushing...septic issues?

So, my toilet bowl is filling, but it's not flushing down, and it seems to not fill the bowl all of the way back up. It also seems to take holding the lever down longer than it should to flush when it is working 'well'.

I'm wondering if this is a septic issue? I'm new to septics. We've been in the house for about six years now and get it pumped every two years per city reminders, but I grew up on city water, so I'm still learning as I go.

Last rain we were getting bubbles back into the toilet. I went out and looked in the tanks. Neither of them seems full to me at all, though I'm not really sure where the level should be. What I did notice...

1. The level in the first tank seems to be flirting with what appears to be the pipe coming from the house. When I was watching it, it was just at the level and whether it was the rain or the shower running or what, there seemed to be be a little movement as the water was moving into the second tank, which also seemed lower yet. I don't know if that means it is too high, but it seemed to be related to the bubbling perhaps.

2. This worried me a little more. In the second tank, there was a pump running and it seemed to be running fine, but there did seem to be a possible issue as there was water spraying out the side of what appeared to maybe be pvc piping (?) as if there might be a gasket worn out or something???

Lastly, I have been reading that sometimes this can be related to something like a birds nest clogging a vent out of the top of the roof. We do have a lot of birds that like to bug the house as we have very few trees. What would this look like? Does that sound like a possible issue? Would it be worth it to try to check this somehow? I have a pretty steep roof, so I'm not sure that I'd want to get up there.

Thanks for any help.
Old 07-28-16, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,348
Upvotes: 0
Received 250 Upvotes on 230 Posts
Unclog the top of the vent pipe. A blocked vent will cause sluggish flushing of toilets.

1. The septic tank (first chamber) should be about 85% full, with the level at the level of the exit pipe. This usually puts the level around 9 inches below the underside of the top slab or cover. For every gallon of new waste water entering, a gallon goes out the exit pipe. When you have the tank pumped out to get rid of sludge and grease, no water will exit for the second chamber or leach field until the level gets back to the (approx) 85% mark.

2. Some septic tank second chambers have an aeration pump. Others have a an emptying pump timed to go on and off, and each time pump out so many gallons every so many hours so the leach field further on does not get too soaked. You would need to check for a cracked or broken pipe allowing water to splash around instead of being sent out of the chamber. Second chambers without pumps rest at about 85% full like the first chamber.

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