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Thread: Hole in septic tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NORTH Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Default Hole in septic tank

    I have had an ongoing problem with my septic system. The person who pumps my tank thinks I need a new system. It is about 50 years old, but a new system is financially not an option. Last year while exposing the lines for a plumber to snake the line I found the distribution box curshed. A plumber checke the lines and found no obstructions for 30 feet (the length of his snake). I had a company replace the distribution box but my problem did not improve.

    Yesterday I was digging to expsose the D box for another plumber, and noticed the pipe from the tank had no slant to it. Upon futher investigation I realized the pipe was seperated from the tank and had fallen below the output of the tank. When I uncovered and removed the lid, I saw that the exit port seemed to be ok, but there is decay of the cinder block/concrete around the pipe. The hole around the pipe is about 2" larger than the pipe. I know replacement is probably recommended, but it is not an option right now.

    Can I plug the hole with hydrolic concrete or something else the leak around the pipe, or is someting else suggested? The area is hard to get to, so is there a patch material which can be used in a caulk gun.



    Thank you for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    8,431

    Default

    Concrete does get eaten away over time in a septic tank. You can just go buy a bag a concrete or cement and fix it. Mix it up, place it around the pipe with your hands, and you're done.

    Make sure the pipe is at the correct height. Better too low than too high in the tank (it must be a bit lower than the input pipe, but it can't flow up hill to the D box). Also check your output baffle (this is basically just a TEE inside the tank with a short segment going up and a bit over a foot going down -- old ones were concrete, so it may be gone by now).
    Mark
    Kent, WA

  3. #3

    Default

    What were the symptoms suggesting you had any problem?

    If the baffle at the outlet was missing then grease (scum) would have made its way down to the leach field, causing damage leading to the need to replace or redo the leach field.
    How to restore power more quickly: Electric company does a hasty job and quickly moves on to the next job site, and, after hooking up individual affected homes, comes back to finish/dress things up. (2) Massachusetts eliminates the requirement for a police detail at the job site.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NORTH Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Default Hole in septic tank

    Thanks for the advise. I used hydrolic cement patch since I was working just under the water level. My problem was worse than I thought. In addition to a hole about 7" square around the drain pipe, I had several other holes and cracks. I have patched all but one hole which is giving me a hard time. It is about the size of my little finger and about 12" down. I have tried the hydrolic cement but it does not hold. I do not know if I am mixing it too thin, not holding it in place long enough, or if the hole is too small for it to work correctly. Can I plug the hole with plumbers putty and concrete over it, or do you have another suggestion?

    The symptions I had were a continuous back up of the sewer requiring pumping every two or three months, and water standing over the sewer and D box. When I dug up[ the area so a plumber could snake the field line to see if there were roots, I found the fill pipe disconnected and the hole around the drain pipe from the sewer. The plumber discovered that almost no water was entering the field lines. He snaked the lines about 80 feet out and found crucshed pipes in both lines. I am digging past that area to see if there are additional crushed pipes. There is now good flow for the first 80 or so feet.

  5. #5

    Default

    Provided that the leach lines (past the distribution box) are clear and water is being absorbed out there, it usually does not matter if there are holes in the line exiting the septic tank down to the leach field or holes in the D-box. THe important thing is that dirt not get into the D-box.
    How to restore power more quickly: Electric company does a hasty job and quickly moves on to the next job site, and, after hooking up individual affected homes, comes back to finish/dress things up. (2) Massachusetts eliminates the requirement for a police detail at the job site.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NORTH Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the information. I was able to patch 90% of the holes in the septic tank so no visable water was leaking. I had the lines routed and found two areas of cruched pipe. The less than 1/3 of the field was operable. Part of the field was crushed in 1975 when a water line was installed to what is now a vacant lot. I replaced the broken pipe and everything is working fine now.

    Thank you for all the good advice.

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