tee or 90 on septic inlet accident

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by pbgmimosa, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. pbgmimosa

    pbgmimosa New Member

    Messages:
    3
    advice needed on septic tank inlet pipe

    i had a break on main inlet going into septic tank. hired a guy to come pump out tank and dig out old inlet pipe. to save money he told me to fix the line myself and he would come back and re cover tank and line. he told me to put a tee on the end of the inlet pipe. by my not listening very well and also listening to a neighbor friend of mine who says he has done septic work and also my haste to get this project done i slipped up and put a 90 degree elbow on the pipe instead. just got finished with putting concrete around new pipe when the guy showed back up to to fill in and cover up the tank. he noticed my mistake, did not have a tee with him, acted if he was in a hurry to get to get things covered back up and did not seem to want to wait for me to go get a tee and replace the 90 with the tee. the maximum time it would have taken me to run to the hardware store and get a tee and fix that mistake would have been 30 minutes. he seemed not too bothered by it but i had the 90 pointed down towards the bottom of the tank he said that i needed to turn the pipe sidways instead of pointed down. as i said before he seemed to be in a hurry to get things covered back up and i do know time is money to repair guys like him. so with out doubting him at the moment i let him cover it up. now i am wondering if and what kind of problems i might expect from this mistake. should i call this guy to come back and put a tee? should i call someone else to come and uncover the tank for me and put a tee? or is every thing gonna be ok with this?!?!
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,296
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tee

    The tee, or ell, had to point downwards. Turning it sideways would have done nothing to make it work properly. In addition there should have been a section of pipe, about 2' long glued into the elbow. The problem you can have with an elbow, (but since you do not have the pipe, it probably will not be a problem), is if soap and grease float on top of the water inside the baffle you made and harden. With a tee you can break it up with a stick, assuming you also installed a cleanout to ground level in the small access port. Without the tee, the cleanout would have no function and you will have to snake to the tank from the nearest cleanout, which can add to the expense if you do not have the proper snake to do it yourself.
  3. pbgmimosa

    pbgmimosa New Member

    Messages:
    3
    thanks hj for for replying. i was just wondering if a backup was more possible with this 90 on there. and i figured since the tee makes it more possible for the gas to emit properly and as i am a rookie twice over in this case i was getting worried. i felt like the guy i called would have just said that it would be better to go ahead and go get the tee. itll cost you at most fifty dollars more for my time and i would be better off. he gets 225 to pump out the tank i i saw no problem charging me 75 bucks to dig out the pipe. i do appreciate that he felt i could handle the rest of the project. and i really could and did. just a simple misunderstanding . i also understand that if there was a real problem like alot more chance of a backup into my house he would have told me then. i dont mind paying the extra 75 and another 10 bucks to put a tee on the next time it needs pumping. he didnt seem too worried but of coarse its not his home and you never know about people and money these days. i dont know why he told me to turn it sidways. have any ideas? maybe it would act sort of as a tee? less chance of a clog? gas emission? less chance of backup? ease my mind please!
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The tee is better because as HJ says it gives you the means to clear out a clogged inlet. It also provides a means of venting for the tank, and a bypass if the down pipe clogs.

    If the elbow was pointed straight down I'd say you could just take a hole saw and cut a hole in the top of the elbow. I'd say rip it out and put in a tee and downpipe.

    [​IMG]
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,296
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    elbow

    One question that comes to mind is how you were able to access that pipe to install the elbow. Normally it would only be possible if the lid was removed or you were inside the tank, neither of which seems reasonable.
  6. pbgmimosa

    pbgmimosa New Member

    Messages:
    3
    yes hj and redwood

    yes hj i would hafta call someone back out and lift the lid. its an old tank with a four by four concrete lid. no way me and all my buddies could do it! reaching in the tank and sawing the elbow and putting the tee on would be fairly easy. thats why i said in my second post which im not sure you read that a maximum of 30 minutes more time it could have been done the way its is supposed to be. this is my first experience with a septic tank and my fault that i wasnt listening better. i am only guessing that i should trust this guys judgement about turning the pipe and getting the job done. i have asked my neighbor friends who have had some experience installing tanks. they say its gonna be ok. and im planning to have the tank pumped again say in a few years as they say for regular maintanance. so i guess i will hope for the best and when the times comes to have it pumped again i will do the tee then. and thanks to you redwood for your reply. i know doing it right is the only thing to do! thats why im here! i am the only one in the home and dont put things down the drain that im not supposed to. i dont think that i will call this same guy back only because he wasnt willing to wait till i could run to the store and get the tee and get it done right! my main concern is having the septic crap coming back into my house because of this. would that elbow make it more possible rather than the tee? and redwood i am dumb it this i admit! thanks again guys!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Well we'll just edumicate you!:D
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,296
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tank

    Is 4x4 the size of the tank, or just one part of the lid? Even the smallest "legal" tank is about 4'x10'. I call a tow truck when I need a cover pulled off. Cheaper than a crane or a backhoe.
  9. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    They accually have dicunary for this language.:eek:
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