How fast should water be flowing into a septic tank?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by cgray21, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. cgray21

    cgray21 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    California
    We got the tank pumped, and I flushed the toilet-- and it drained very, very slowly. Nopw we had the cap off, and the inlet was, well, not dribbling, but the flow was fairly flow-- I'd say it took about 3 minutes to stop dropping water into the tank after teh flush concluded (I turned off everything else on teh line, so that I could be certain it wasn't getting any other water.).

    Now, given the age of teh tank and the fact that it wasn't pumped for some time and the fact that it looks like settling has badly reduced the pipes slope (and it had to have two 90 degree bends to get to the tank), I'm thinking this seems to say that there's either a blockage or simply silting up in the pipe, but I thought I'd ask those more skilled if that slow flow from an inlet pipe is unusual in the aftermath of a flush.
    Now that we have the tank pumped, however, my plan is to dig up the inlet pipe over the next several days, check it for root intrusion, and maybe just remove the pipe from the inlet to the tank so I can jet them both out.

    Does that sound like a plan, or am I missing something obvious here?
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    South*East
    If you can see the water entering into the tank try flushing some toilet paper down the toilet and if the line is pitched right and doesn't have any low spots you should see the paper enter the tank with one flush.

    John
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    If you had a full tank, then it may take some time to get your lines cleared of solids.

    When the system backs up, You have poop in the chute, even after the tank is pumped.

    A lot of water can help to clear it. If water don't help, then you have a blockage or crushed Septic line going to the tank.


    Good Luck.
  4. traveller

    traveller Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I had an experience similar to this and it may very well be your problem.

    The 4" ABS pipe going from this customer's house to the tank was blocked, and the snake I was using only seemed to go through it like Jello, without dislodging the blockage. I hand dug the last two sections of pipe and discovered the ABS had been transitioned to 4" PVC. Not sure what happened but, there was a 10" belly hanging down in the two sections of pipe. I disconnected the two sections and shook out what was inside of them. They were full of rancid grease and that, plus the smell of what was now flowing freely from the 4" ABS pipe, was enough to gag a maggot.

    I believe what had happened was this. Small bits of grease settled into this low spot and coagulated, eventually making a solid blockage 20' long in the pipe. As you said, it looks like settling has taken place, and it may very well be your sewage is going uphill to the tank.

    Time to get out the shovel and start digging. Have fun! :)
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    "Time to get out the shovel and start digging. Have fun! "


    I would not start digging until I could pin point the problem.


    Digging is not all that much fun and you can get into deep shit.
  6. traveller

    traveller Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    British Columbia
    He did say the ground had settled badly between house and tank, affecting the slope of the inlet pipe. Chances are very good that the poop is running uphill to the tank inlet now. If he can see this, the tank cannot be down that deep. I would, at the very least, expose a few feet of the inlet pipe adjacent to the tank and put a level on the pipe.

    And besides, digging is great fun!
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    It can also be a health hazard.
  8. traveller

    traveller Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    British Columbia
    LOL Then I should have been dead years ago.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I have never died, but I have gotten sick.

    Maybe I was just sick of digging.
  10. traveller

    traveller Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    British Columbia
    "That which does not kill you, makes you stronger." :)
  11. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    ct
    Throw the shovel away and use an excavator. Doctors orders
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