What is this?????----Septic Tank Riser

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Giles, May 18, 2011.

  1. Giles

    Giles Retired tool & Die and Mechanic

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    N.W. Alabama--Florence--
    My new home is about 20 years old and I have lived here about two years. The PO told me that this was a "septic tank cleanout cover".
    I am not having a problem with the system, but out of curiousity, I removed the cap and I have no idea what this set up is.
    It appears that this is a "jack-leg--setup" and might cause problems. Should I just leave it alone or make further inspection??
    In the third and last photo, the tank cover can be seen, to the left. The entry sanitary "T" is open at the top as suds can be seen.
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  2. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm no expert on septics, but for my sewer the cleanout that was brought up to the yard was PVC and had a traditional screw on cap to cover when not in use. It looks like someone used this corrugated pipe as a tunnel of sorts to get to a cleanout located a few feet underground.

    I'll let the pros chime in but I have to imagine from what I can see having a tee of that sort open underground isn't a good thing. I would think if it is infact a cleanout that maybe it can have a 4" or whatever size pipe that is extended up to the ground level and then properly capped.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,820
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    That tee is a "baffle tee" and is installed EXACTLY the way it should be. The black pipe extending to the surface is to access the tank through that tee. It is NOT a cleanout per se except to pump the tank. You could with great difficulty, get a snake to enter the line at the side of the tee, but it would be a time consuming process.
  4. Giles

    Giles Retired tool & Die and Mechanic

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    N.W. Alabama--Florence--
    I was wondering why I had no response and then discovered I do not always receive an eMail notification. I have the option activated and I review and post in the proper spot.
    Thanks for the replies--I know it is hard to tell from the photos but my concern is the visible part of the cover. I am guessing that the installer made an opening in the tank cover just smaller then the black riser. Otherwise dirt would fill the tank!!!!!
    Now--do you suppose that the dark area surrounding the inlet "T" is just scum at the top of tank?
    And BTW, I was concerned, when I considered purchasing the home that the whole house, including the inlet "T" is no larger then 3", serving three full baths. I would have preferred 4".
    I have owned and serviced many septic tanks and I have installed two new systems over the years, but I have never seen or dealt with this type setup.
    Since I stated I was not having a problem, should I just leave it alone?
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,820
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The installer did NOT "make an opening in the tank cover". It was there when the tank was constructed, he just removed the "square" plug and put his pipe in, or over, the opening. In any case there should be cement around it to seal the dirt out. In other words, "just leave it alone". It is the "type of setup" I do whenever I have to access the openings on a septic tank so I do NOT have to dig it up a second time.
  6. Giles

    Giles Retired tool & Die and Mechanic

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    N.W. Alabama--Florence--
    THANKS --that makes me feel a lot better. I am a strong believer in prevenitave maintenance so I don't totally agree with "If it ant broke--don't fix it"!
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If we are looking into the entrance chamber and tee of the inlet, the installer did a pro job and left you a visual and mechanical access for pumping out the tank and checking the sediment level with a rod. You should have another at the outlet side, actually.

    Both chambers should be pumped when the scum cap and the bottom sediment reach a certain level. Usually this is done during a normal house sale.
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
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