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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Cleaning out a DIY septic tank

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wopachop

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Posted: 09/19/19 09:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Air pressure is NOT going to 'clear' any clogs ----it will just force sludge out ANY opening there is
Wouldnt that be the openings drilled into the barrels?

I cant say for sure if its metal or plastic. Seems like I've dumped more than 100 gallons before. The (2) 50 gallon drums might not even be true.

Will try air pressure. Start low and slow and see how it goes.

wopachop

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Posted: 09/19/19 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rdhetrick wrote:

I don't think the air will do anything. If there's a single open hole near the top, you will loose the air out that hole before any real pressure builds.
I agree. Might end up hooking a hose bib adapter to it.

maillemaker

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Posted: 09/19/19 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Why aren't you dumping into the sewer?
Can't be to cheap to have a sewer.


If this guy is somewhere where he can construct himself a home-made septic tank out of 55 gallon drums, my guess is he's out in the sticks and there is no sewer service.


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wopachop

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Posted: 09/19/19 01:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Turns out the darn thing is 15 years old. The fella who installed it carved 7/04 into the concrete.

The clog is recent. Didnt seem to happen gradually. I hear what people are saying about a metal drum rusting away. But if that was the case wouldnt the liquids absorb into the ground after a month? Its in very very loose sandy soil. Maybe he used plastic drums.

magicbus

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Posted: 09/19/19 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is your "loose sandy soil" is packed with poop and paper and you need to open it up and power wash and vacuum it. If it was me I'd build a new one not too far away and fill that one with sand so it doesn't collapse when the cans finally rust out.

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agesilaus

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Posted: 09/19/19 02:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you do this again, use plastic barrels. Buy them on Craiglist. If you want to interconnect them use PVC pipe. It won't rust out but it will fill up


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Posted: 09/19/19 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wopachop wrote:

Turns out the darn thing is 15 years old. The fella who installed it carved 7/04 into the concrete.

The clog is recent. Didnt seem to happen gradually. I hear what people are saying about a metal drum rusting away. But if that was the case wouldnt the liquids absorb into the ground after a month? Its in very very loose sandy soil. Maybe he used plastic drums.


You do not really have a true "septic system" which IS the problem.

Barrels with holes drilled to allow liquids escape in is nothing more than what is called a "dry well". Works fine for LIQUIDS ONLY, cannot put SOLIDS in it.

Septic systems however are a hole nuther thing, they have a tank which can be divided in two or two tanks connected in series (out of first tank goes into the second tank). First divider or tank takes in liquid and solids, mainly liquid should got into the second part or tank. THEN the tank MUST have a DRAIN FIELD to allow the liquids from the second part or tank to run off and be absorbed.

The main difference is a real septic tank holds a certain amount of liquid to allow microbes to digest and convert not just liquids but much of the SOLIDS into a form which now drains out of the tank. This is important because without that microbe action ALL of the solids will not get broke down enough to drain out. Without the microbe action, the result is a clogged tank full of solids (which is what you now have).

EVENTUALLY however with a septic tank system you DO have to have the remaining solids which were not digested left in the tank pumped out. How long you can go before pumping depends on how much the system is used and how large the tank is.

You "tank" needs to be "pumped" OR you will need to make a new "tank" in a NEW location.

You basically have nothing more than a fancy "outhouse" or "privy", dig hole put outhouse over then rinse and repeat once that hole is full (yeah, I had an Uncle when I was a kid that would constantly be moving his outhouse around the yard every few years).

You ARE lucky you got 15 yrs out of it putting solids in it, with no solids most likely would work for 50 yrs more as long as the barrels don't collapse.

fj12ryder

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Posted: 09/19/19 06:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"You basically have nothing more than a fancy "outhouse" or "privy", dig hole put outhouse over then rinse and repeat once that hole is full"

Yeah, that was my thought too. No septic tank about this, just a outhouse gettin' fancy.


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John&Joey

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Posted: 09/19/19 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You’re illegal if you’re in a first world country !!!

Call your local government zoning/sanitation department and ask them what they would do. Thinking you’ll find out the correct answer in a heartbeat.

Otherwise a YouTube link would be great.

TBammer

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Posted: 09/19/19 08:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All this leads me to the conclusion that that the greatest invention of all time is a flush toilet and modern sewer systems. Never get angry at paying your water and sewer bill. We are healthier for it.


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