What is it and does it have to be on

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  #1  
Old 04-21-19, 01:45 PM
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What is it and does it have to be on

We are helping out a family that moved here from MT.
They bought a house with septic and, while talking to wife yesterday, mentioned that something in septic is running all the time. First thought was - pump is running non stop.
I went there today - they have never seen septic before - and found as follows:
1. 3 chamber septic with normal sump pump, leach field and digital control pad. No water running from house to tank 1.
2. No filter
3. Constant water flow between tank 2 and 3 (pump tank)
4. Grey box sitting by bedroom wal, buzzing loudly non stop.
5. 2nd control panel, apparently for that box, both septic and that panel on common breaker.
6. Buzzing box plugged into the wall outlet. I pulled plug out and it shut down.
Problem is, woman that sleeps in bedroom behind that wall can't sleep at night. She is recovering after major health issue and is very sensitive.
I found that that box is apparently aerator pump for septic systems. Fine.
Here's questions:
- does it have to run all the time? None of our septics have that system and does just fine without aeration
- can it be, if just must run, set on timer, so that it runs during the day and not during the night?
- that's a lot of panel for simple aeration pump. Anything else it is controlling?
- why there is constant water flow between tanks 2 and 3?
See pics attached.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=10W...o6MNEP1hHXxisz
 

Last edited by ukrbyk; 04-21-19 at 02:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-21-19, 03:51 PM
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This sounds like an engineered system and I strongly recommend they get a professional in to review their system and instruct them in it's operation. I do NOT think this is a common or simple septic system. In many areas the homeowner is prohibited from working on or modifying systems like that and maintenance is required by a licensed professional.

Without knowing more my guess is that there is a septic tank, an aeration chamber to aerobically break down waste and a pump chamber that doses the effluent to a treatment area. Systems like this usually don't have traditional leach field lines and instead use a engineered absorption or treatment area.

3. Can you explain what you mean by "Constant water flow between tank 2 and 3"?

4. The gray box is possibly a high limit alarm. They are used to warn when something has gone wrong with the pump system and the tank is over filled.

If there is an air pump in the system yes, they generally run continuously. Sometimes the air pump system also has an alarm to indicate when it fails.
 
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Old 04-21-19, 04:04 PM
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I read that aeration is required for aerobic tanks and where there is insufficient space for leach field.
I mean just that. Check pipe next to tank 2 showed constant water flow between tank 2 and sump pump tank. I was there for almost an hour and it kept running with no water influx from the house. Beats me. Tank 2 was not overfilled effluent was below the drain pipe level.
It looks like water is cycled by some pump somewhere.
Grey box is 100% aerator compressor. I looked it up. Just very noisy and too close to the bedroom wall.
Look, highly trained professional is out of question. Husband is still in Minnesota and will join them in October. He works msintenance job. She is heavy ilness recovery applying for disability. Son graduated from history major and has no job.
so paying big bucks to septic folk is not an option.
 
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Old 04-21-19, 04:25 PM
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You have probably already done this, but often times I find paperwork related to special systems tucked away near the electrical panel. If not try identifying the system and possibly the company that installed it, they may have documentation or may be willing to talk to her or you about how it works, no charge just good customer relations.

Could the noisy box be relocated?

Bud
 
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Old 04-21-19, 04:37 PM
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They are week 2 in the house. No, no manual ir else.
It modt likely needs to be sound proofed. IllI let husband do it when he joins the family. Until then I told them to put it onto outside timer and call it a day. Nothing will happen if it aerates for daytime only. She was delighted as she can finally sleep at night.
 
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Old 04-22-19, 04:15 AM
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This is what you have.

You can either call the number on the aerator or get a manual from their website.
You only need to register to get the manuals you need online.
 
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Old 04-22-19, 08:00 AM
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Yeah, thank you. Piping they have in tank 2 looks exactly like one in the picture in the link. So it does not have to have a filter.
That's cool. I think, nothing will happen if that aerator compressor will run half time. Then man of the house will come and either move or insulate compressor.
 
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Old 04-22-19, 08:24 AM
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Well, you do not know if anything will happen if you only run the system half time.
Breaking down sewage quickly which is what that system does and running steady is a compromise to allow for a smaller and more efficient disposal of waste than a conventional system.

It is possible that you will get settling and incomplete breakdown of the sewage if you tamper with the running time.
if you are tring to help you could look into why the box is buzzing on the wall.
It is likely a bad contacor that needs replacing.

Also, if these folks are new to country living other that replacing a defective part they need to become one with country living.
You can help by making them realize what they have gotten themselves into.
We've had threads here about city folk moving to the country and needing help with noisy birds or too many insects!.
 
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Old 04-22-19, 08:36 AM
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It's not box on the wall. The control box is quiet.
It's the aerator compressor on the ground that buzzes and vibrates. It's wisely locate about 10 inches from the bedroom wall. I'd not sleep with that buzz at night myself.
I'll take a chance. It's only 2 people with modest water use, I know immigrants. When they will get their first water bill, what surely will be a sticker shock comparing to where they came from, they will likely cut it even lower. Should be fine. My voice does not rise to tell them to call septic folk what instantly equals to around a thousand right there. Right now, gods watching over them, let them do their job.
 
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Old 04-22-19, 10:45 AM
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If you know immigrants so well then what do you suppose an immigrants reaction would be if you have caused problems with their system that they will have to pay to repair...... not you!

You do not seem to have any knowledge of how this sysyem works and are only guessing low useage will allow you to shut it off.
It's a bit like a homeowner shutting off a water softener because salt is expensive.

None of our septics have that system and does just fine without aeration
Your septic system does not require an aeration pump.
They need one because the settling/decomposition chamber in theirs is a fraction of the size of yours.
I also know little about that type of system but from what I do know it might be possible for the first chamber to become a thick sludge that is unable to flow if the pump is shut off.

Instead of guessing you would do well to learn how the system works and consult with the mfr to see if it can be used on a whim.
Maybe you could really help them by seeing if you are able to relocate/repair the pump or have it done at a reasonable cost.
Another thing you could do is if they are unfamiliar with technology they don't have in their original country help them understand its importance.
 
  #11  
Old 04-22-19, 11:31 AM
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Great advice.
They'll do just that.
 
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