How often should you empty your septic tank?
- Ideally, you should only need to empty or “de-sludge” your septic tank every 1 to 2 years or so. However, this can vary depending on the size of the tank and the number of occupants in your home.
Where are most septic tanks located?
Toe the Line. Your septic tank will most certainly be installed along the main sewer line that runs out of your home. Look for the 4-inch sewer that exits the crawl space or basement, and locate the same spot outside the home. Septic tanks are usually located between ten to 25 feet away from the home.
Will metal detector find septic tank?
If it’s Concrete or Steel, Use a Metal Detector. Based on your conclusions in Step 3, if your septic tank is likely made from concrete or steel, a metal detector can make the task of locating it much easier. But not just any metal detector will do.
How do you tell if your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
How deep is the septic tank outlet pipe?
After the solids settle out, effluent leaves the septic tank through the outlet pipe and flows to the drain field. The outlet pipe should be approximately 3 inches below the inlet pipe.
Can you use a metal detector to find sewer lines?
Using a Plumbing Pipe Detector to Locate Underground Pipes. As a property owner there will be times when, for a variety of reasons, you will need to locate underground metal objects. The best and easiest way to find below-ground objects such as these is with a metal detector.
Are septic tanks metal?
Steel Septic Tank—Steel septic tanks are the least durable and least popular tank option. Designed to last no more than 20-25 years, they can be susceptible to rust even before that. Steel top covers can rust through and cause an unsuspecting person to fall into the tank.
Are septic tanks made of metal?
The majority of septic tanks are constructed out of concrete, fiberglass, polyethylene or coated steel. Typically, septic tanks with a capacity smaller than 6,000 gallons are pre-manufactured. Larger septic tanks are constructed in place or assembled on-site from pre-manufactured sections.
How To Find Septic Tank Location: A Guide for Property Owners
The majority of individuals prefer to relax on their back patio or porch and take in the scenery rather than worrying about where their septic tank could be. When you know exactly where your septic tank is, it will be much easier to schedule routine sewer line cleanouts and repair appointments. Continue reading to find out more about how to locate your septic tank.
Follow the Main Sewer Line
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your property. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about down there. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or building. Keep a note of the position of the sewer pipe and the point at which the line exits your home so that you can locate it outdoors.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your home.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may have to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
Inspect Your Property
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your yard. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about in it. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or business. Recall where your sewer pipe is located, as well as where it exits your home, in order to locate it while you are out in the field.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your house.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may need to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
- Paved surfaces
- Unique landscaping
- Your water well, if you have one
- And other features.
If you are still having trouble locating your septic system, you might inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tank on their land. Finding out how far away their septic systems are will help you figure out where yours might be hidden in your yard or garden.
Check the Property Records
It is also possible to question your neighbors about the location of their septic system on their property if you are still having trouble locating yours. Finding out how far away their septic systems are will help you figure out where yours may be hidden in your yard or garden.
Don’t Try to Fix Septic Tank Issues Yourself
Septic tank problems should be left to the specialists. The Original Plumber can do routine maintenance on your septic tank and examine any problems you may have once you’ve located the tank. It is not recommended to open the septic tank lid since poisonous vapors might cause major health problems.
Getting trapped in an open septic tank might result in serious injury or death. While it is beneficial to know where your septic tank is located, it is also beneficial to be aware of the potential health dangers associated with opening the tank.
Schedule Septic Tank Maintenance
The maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis helps to avoid sewer backups and costly repairs to your sewer system. You should plan to have your septic tank pumped out every three to five years, depending on the size of your tank and the number of people that reside in your home. The Original Plumber offers skilled septic tank and drain field maintenance and repair services at competitive prices. While it is useful to know where the septic tank is located, it is not required. Our team of skilled plumbers is equipped with all of the tools and equipment necessary to locate your tank, even if you have a vast property.
We are open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system is a system for the management of wastewater. Simply said, wastewater will exit your home through pipes until it reaches your septic tank, which is located outside your home. Septic tanks are normally located beneath the surface of the earth. Solids and liquids will separate in the septic tank as a result of the separation process. Eventually, the solids will fall to the bottom of the tank and the liquids will run out onto your leach field.
How do I know if I have a septic tank?
Even if there are no obvious signs of a septic tank in your yard – such as uneven landscaping – there are a few techniques to assess whether or not your home is equipped with an onsite sewage system. Checking your property records is the most reliable technique to ensure that you are utilizing the correct system. When you acquired your house, you should have received a copy of the septic system map with the property documents as well. Checking your electricity statement is another way to determine this.
If you’re also using well water, it’s possible that you won’t receive one at all.
What do I do once I locate my septic tank?
Once you’ve discovered where your septic tank is, there are a few things you should do. It is critical to clearly mark the position of your septic tank. With our inspection, pumping, and repair services, you can save time whether you need a sewer line cleanout or a septic tank maintenance job completed quickly. Make a note of the location of your tank so that you can find it again if necessary. It should be heavy enough so that it does not fly away in windy conditions. A creative approach to accomplish this without having an unattractive flag or marking in your yard is to use garden décor or a potted plant.
This way, you’ll have it for future reference and will be able to quickly locate the exact position if necessary.
Then contact The Original Plumber to have your septic system maintained on a regular basis. Preventing worse problems and the need for costly repairs down the line may be accomplished via proper septic system maintenance. All of the heavy lifting has been delegated to our team of professionals.
How to locate your septic tank and your drainfield
Septic systems on-site are used for accepting and treating wastewater in homes that are not linked to the municipal wastewater management system. A septic system is comprised of three components: a septic tank, a drain field, and piping. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to properly operate and maintain your septic system in order to avoid system failure. For example, depending on the legislation in your area, you may be compelled to pump it on a regular basis. It is impossible to perform maintenance operations, however, if you do not know where the tank is located.
Steps to follow to locate your septic tank and drain field
The contractor that designed and constructed the septic tank on your property should have submitted an as-built diagram with the local health authority before starting work on the project. In the event that you have the contractor’s contact information, you can ask them for a schematic, which you can then use to pinpoint the location of your septic tank. If you do not have a copy of the schematic, you can request one from the local authorities. Depending on whether the installed system included electrical components, the schematic may be available at the regional building department offices.
- If you are unable to locate the tank using this diagram, you will need to do more research on the land in order to determine its position.
- This pipe is commonly found in the basement of a home, and it is a 4″ black pipe with a cleanout at the bottom.
- Simply look for possible access coverings or a structure that might be concealing it.
- These pumps are used to remove waste from the building.
- It is supposed to be connected to the sewage output pipe.
- It is possible that the sewer outlet pipe will serve as an excellent starting point for your physical inspection of the property.
- If the cleanout is behind a wall or in a closet, it is considered a hidden space.
- The basement may be equipped with a lift pump, which is used to remove waste from the building by pumping it out of the building.
Having discovered it, flush a toilet and listen to the pump to determine where the sewage is being transported. It is supposed to be connected to the sewage output pipe, right? By now, you should be able to see where the septic tank and drain field are located.
Tips for locating your septic tank
Septic tank lids should be visible from the outside. An underground riser may have been added, which will make it simple to find your septic tank in some instances. However, it is conceivable that the septic tank cover is buried underground, which is especially true for older homes. Following are some pointers to assist you in locating the septic tank in this and other similar situations.
- It may be possible to discover the septic tank lid underneath using a metal detector if it is buried. Prevent wearing footwear that contains steel or any other metal in order to avoid interfering with the readings of the detector
- Instead, you can use a flushable transmitter that is flushed down the toilet and then tracked with a receiver. When it comes to septic tanks, the strongest signal will be seen close to the intake region of the tank.
Depending on whether the septic tank is above or below ground, you may have to dig to get to it. Construction materials for septic tanks include concrete, fiberglass, or plastic, and their shapes can range from oblong to cylindrical to rectangular. The majority of modern septic tanks will have their lids positioned in the center of the tank, and the lid should be within three feet of the ground surface in most cases. However, depending on a variety of conditions, such as farming and other human activities on the property, it is conceivable that it will be significantly deeper.
Additionally, you may use a small steel rod to probe the earth in order to pinpoint exactly where the tank is located as you continue digging.
Inspecting the tank
Depending on whether the septic tank is above or below ground, you may have to dig to get at it. Construction materials for septic tanks include concrete, fiberglass, or plastic, and their shapes can range from oblong to round to rectangular. Ideally, the lid should be within three feet of the ground level, which is where most new septic tanks would have their lids positioned in the middle. But depending on a variety of things, such as farming and other human activities on the property, it is likely that it will be deeper.
Additionally, you may use a tiny steel rod to probe the earth in order to pinpoint exactly where the tank is located as you dig farther down.
You can identify your septic tank without assistance from a professional, but it is a good idea to have someone who is properly educated in septic tank maintenance examine and maintain your septic tank on your behalf. The effluent filter in your tank should be washed into the open septic tank rather than on the ground in your yard if your tank has one. It may also be a good idea to make a note of the position of the septic tank when it has been discovered. This will be beneficial to anyone else who may require access to the septic tank in the future.
Septic tanks release combustible and hazardous gases, and as a result, they must be located in an open area.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
It may seem impossible to imagine that one of the largest and most visible elements of your whole plumbing system is also one of the most difficult to locate, but when your property is served by a septic system, this is perfectly true. A strong explanation for this is because septic tanks are huge, unattractive, stink horrible and give off an unwarranted impression of dirt. Not only does burying them underground assist to prevent them from harm, but it also provides you with additional useable space on your property and conceals what would otherwise be a blight on your landscape.
This site is dedicated to assisting you in locating your septic system without the need for any time-consuming digging.
How To Find A Septic Tank: Step By Step
It is critical to maintain the health of your septic tank since it is responsible for securely storing and handling the wastewater that drains from your house. It is necessary to pump your septic tank once every 1-3 years, depending on the number of people living in your household and the size of your tank, in order to avoid septic tank repairs or early failure, which means you must be familiar with the location of your tank. It’s not often simple to identify your septic tank, and many plumbers charge extra for this service, which is especially true if your tank’s lid is buried beneath.
1. Gather Some Helpful Tools
Septic tank location may be made much easier with the use of several simple instruments and techniques. To locate your septic tank, you only need to know the following information: A soil probe is one of the most useful instruments for locating a septic tank. It is a tiny piece of metal that is used to puncture through the earth and detect anything that could be buried underneath. Start at the point where your sewage line exits your home and work your way straight out, inserting your soil probe every two feet along the way.
Using this method, you may also locate the cover for your septic tank.
While we highly advise keeping your cover clean and exposed in the event that you require emergency septic service, we recognize that this is not always the case.
2. Use a Septic Tank Map
If you are a new homeowner who is trying to figure out where your septic tank is, a septic tank map should be included in your inspection documentation. You can use this information to assist you in pinpointing the exact position of your storage tank. If you don’t have access to this map, there are a few of additional strategies you might employ.
3. Start Ruling Areas Out
The location of a septic tank cannot be constructed in specific areas due to the risk of causing major damage to your property or tank, as specified by local rules. Your septic tank will not be affected by the following:
- Immediately adjacent to your well
- Beneath your home
- Directly against your home
- For example, underneath your driveway
- Under trees
- And other locations. Structures like a patio or deck are good examples of this.
4. Inspect Your Property
If you take a hard look around your land, there’s a high possibility you’ll be able to locate your septic tank without having to do any probing whatsoever. In many circumstances, a septic tank may be identified by a slight dip or slope on your land that cannot be explained by any other means. Due to the fact that the hole that your contractors excavated for your septic tank may not have been exactly the proper size, they proceeded to install the tank anyhow. This is a rather regular occurrence.
When there is a minor divot or depression, it indicates that the hole was too large and that your contractors simply did not fill the depression to level the hole.
The likelihood of your septic tank being discovered in a few specific locations is quite high. Because of code issues or just because it doesn’t make sense, it’s highly unlikely that your septic tank will be located near any of the following locations:
- Your water well, if you have one (for a variety of reasons that are rather clear)
- Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a patio, sidewalk, or driveway unless they were added after the home was built and no one performed a proper inspection before it was built)
- Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a driveway, sidewalk, or patio unless they were added after the home was built and no one conducted a proper inspection before it was built)
- Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a patio, sidewalk, or driveway unless they were added after the home was built If there is any particular landscaping
5. Inspect Your Yard
A comprehensive investigation of your yard may be necessary to discover your septic tank considerably more quickly in some cases. The following are important items to check for in your yard:
- If your septic tank is overfilled, sewage can leak out into the ground and function as fertilizer for your lawn, resulting in lush green grass. A area of grass that is very lush and green is a good sign that your septic tank is just beneath it
- Puddles that don’t make sense: If your septic tank is seriously overfilled, it is possible that water will pool on your grass. Another telltale indicator that your septic tank is below ground level is an unexplainable pool of water. Ground that is uneven: When installing septic tanks, it is possible that the contractors will mistakenly create high or low patches on your grass. If you come across any uneven terrain, it’s possible that your septic tank is right there.
The metal soil probe can let you find out for certain whether or not your septic tank is located in a certain area of your yard or not. As soon as your metal soil probe makes contact with the tank, you may use your shovel to dig out the grass surrounding it and discover the septic tank lid.
6. Follow Your Sewer Main/Sewer Pipes
Following your sewage lines is one of the most straightforward methods of locating your septic tank. These pipes have a diameter of roughly 4 inches and are commonly found in the basement or crawlspace of your house. They are not dangerous. Following the pipes from your house out into your yard, using your metal soil probe every 2 feet or so until you reach the tank, is a simple process once they are located. Aside from that, every drain in your home is connected to your sewage main, which in turn is connected to your septic tank.
The likelihood that one of your major sewer lines is located in your basement or crawlspace is high if you have exposed plumbing lines in your basement or crawlspace.
If the line is labeled, it is usually made of plastic or rubber.
7. Check Your Property Records
Lastly, if all else fails, a search of your property’s public records will almost certainly reveal the location of the tank you’re looking for. Your builders most likely secured a permit for your property because septic systems are required to be installed by law in every state. In order to do so, they had to develop a thorough plan that depicted your property as well as the exact location where they intended to construct the tank. This is done to ensure that the local health department is aware of the tank and is prepared to deal with any issues that may arise as a result of its presence.
If you look hard enough, you may be able to locate the original building records for your home without ever having to get in your car or visit your local records center.
What to Do Once You Find Your Septic Tank
Upon discovering the position of your septic tank, you should mark its location on a map of your property. Use something to indicate the location of your lid, such as an attractive garden item that can’t be changed, to help you locate it. A birdbath, a rock, or a potted plant are just a few of the possibilities.
You are now ready to arrange your septic tank inspection and pumping service. Contact us now! If you have any more concerns regarding how to locate your septic tank, or if you want septic tank servicing, please contact The Plumbing Experts at (864) 210-3127 right now!
How to Find My Septic Tank Lines
Credit: Petegar/E+/Getty Images for the image
In This Article
- Septic System Fundamentals
- Identifying and Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property
- Conducting Regular Inspections
- Checking for Clean-Outs
- Identifying Natural Indicators
- Viewing System Diagrams
- Seek Professional Assistance
- Check the distribution box
- Understand the size and scope of the project.
Are you curious about the location of your septic lines? It is critical to know where the septic tank is located on a property in order to properly manage and preserve the system. For example, you don’t want to pave over the ground or grow trees too close together in a forest. It is possible to obtain a copy of the septic tank diagram of the drain field, which will give you a fair sense of where the pipes will go. If this is not the case, you may need to attempt some other methods of locating septic drain lines.
The solids and liquids are separated within the tank by a baffle or wall that is built inside the tank.
When pipes get clogged or when drain fields become too saturated with fluids, problems arise.
Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property
Begin your search for the septic tank lines at the residence first. Drain lines from the home’s plumbing should be traced to the septic tank, which is typically located 10 to 20 feet from the home’s exterior. The drain line connects the tank’s end, which is located opposite the house, to the leach field. Check the natural slope of the ground to see whether the leach field may be found there. It is never a good idea to look for drain lines using heavy gear, wrecking bars, or jackhammers. Before excavating, contact your local electric utility provider or gas company to determine the location of underground gas or utility lines.
Plunge the long, thin metal probe into the earth until you can feel it strike the tank and feel the tank’s edges.
Perform Regular Inspection
According to industry experts, you should examine your septic tanks and, if required, pump them out once every three years. If you are experiencing gurgling sounds in your house or water backing up after your system has been repaired, a saturated drain field might be the source of the problem. Drain fields that have been clogged or damaged are unable to be rectified. In order for the septic system to function properly again, you’ll need to have a new drain field installed. Find capped clean-outs that are a few inches vertically above the ground in the leach field itself, or check behind a wall or in a closet in the basement for capped clean-outs.
- You can visually trace the orientation of the pipe from the clean-out if there is no other information available.
- Credit: Kyryl Gorlov/iStock/Getty Images for the image.
- When you are looking for the lines, look for grass or vegetation that greens in stripes when the grass surrounding it browns.
- Putting hot water into your system might cause snow or ice to melt above the drain pipes if the system is not properly insulated.
- If you have a deep system, as is the case for homes with basements, you will most likely not be able to observe natural signs since the drain field is too deep to be seen from above.
- Unless the system was built without a permit, the blueprints or designs for septic system installations are kept on file with the local health authority until the system is operational.
- If your search does not provide any relevant results, you can request a record search based on your street address or the tax account number associated with the property.
- If the agency has a copy of the record, they will mail it to you.
- If you don’t have a drawing of the septic system, you need enlist the assistance of a disposal system contractor or a certified liquid waste transporter to find it.
Another option is to purchase a flushable transmitter from a plumbing or rental business, or you may contract with a tank cleaning firm. The signal from the transmitter is picked up by a hand-held receiver after it has been flushed down the toilet.
Check the Distribution Box
There are certain septic tanks that feature an extra distribution box that is located a few feet from the tank on the tank’s downstream side. Water is channeled into the trenches by ports and pipes in the box. It is recommended that, if your system includes a distribution box, the box’s top be designed to expose the orientation of the ports that connect to the drain field lines. It is feasible to locate the box with a probe, but extreme caution should be exercised. Avoid applying excessive force to the probe, since this may result in damage to the box.
In most cases, individual drain lines run perpendicular to the intake line, but they may also branch into an H-pattern or other patterns that are appropriate for the terrain.
Find the location of your septic drain lines so that you can safeguard the area in and around them with a little detective work.
Looking for Your Septic Tank? Here’s How to Find It
“It’s 9 o’clock, do you know where your septic tank is?” says the interrogator. Maybe this is a little over the top, but it’s a question that many of our clients have asked over the years. In particular, new homeowners who are unfamiliar with the inner workings of their home or who haven’t needed septic tank servicing yet should be aware of the risks involved. Knowing where your septic tank is located is essential for routine maintenance and when you wish to add additional landscaping to your property.
Why you need to know where your septic tank is located
If your house does not have access to municipal sewage services, it is almost inevitable that you have a septic tank to redirect and store all of your wastewater someplace on your property’s subterranean drainage system. While a septic system is trustworthy and cost-effective, it does not operate without some kind of upkeep. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a septic tank should be examined at least once every three years and drained every three to five years at the absolute least.
In either of these scenarios, you’ll need to know the location of your septic tank so that you can arrange for it to be serviced.
How to find your septic tank
- Inquire with your neighbors– If you have a septic tank, it’s possible that your neighbors have, too. Perhaps you’ll be fortunate enough to come across someone who knows where your tank is or who can assist you in narrowing down your search
- Obtain information from public records– It is possible that your local county or municipality has an existing septic tank map on file, which contains a schematic and the measurements of your property. Examine the home inspection report you received when you purchased your house to see if there is any mention of the presence of a septic tank and the location of the tank before going to your local records office. Start in the basement and discover the sewer pipe that leaves the house if you have to locate the tank by yourself. Pipe with a diameter of four inches is usual for this application. After that, go outside and around to the opposite side of the wall. Then, using a metal soil probe to poke small holes in various locations around your property, trace the pipe’s course until you reach the tank. When you strike the flat top surface of the tank with the probe, you’ll notice a distinct change. Consider your surroundings– If you have a huge property, locating a needle in a haystack might seem like a daunting task. To make your search more efficient, you can eliminate locations near structures, paved surfaces, the water well, and, ideally, regions with extensive trees or landscaping from consideration. Another possibility is that you may notice a patch of grass that is a little greener or that is growing more quickly around the tank. Locate the septic tank lid– Regardless of how you pinpoint the position of the tank, you may need to perform a little digging in order to expose the lid. You may use the soil probe to determine the perimeter of the tank – most tanks will be around 5 7 feet in length and width. As soon as you’ve outlined the edges, start shoveling in the middle and working your way around the perimeter until you reach the lid. However, unless you’re servicing the tank immediately away, there’s no reason to lift the top and let the noxious odors out into the environment.
After you’ve located your septic tank, make a note of the position on a map or mark it on your GPS device for future reference. This will assist you in avoiding the construction of structures or the planting of deep-rooted plants in the vicinity of the sewage line and septic tank.
When it comes to selling your house, a map or handwritten diagram may also be beneficial. If you want plumbing assistance in New Haven or Fairfield County, Rick’s Plumbing is the brand you can rely on. In order to obtain expert assistance, please send us a message or phone us at (203) 874-6629.
- The post was published on July 16, 2019 under the category Septic Tank System.
How to Find Your Septic Tank
Many folks have contacted me through e-mail (typically from across the nation) to inquire about the location of their septic tank. “I have no idea,” I generally say as a helpful response to the question. I really want to add something like, “It’s just off your driveway, near that bushy thing,” or anything along those lines. But, truly, even for the most experienced searchers, septic tanks are difficult to come by. The following are some strategies you might employ to assist you in locating your tank.
- Precaution should be exercised before you get started.
- So, proceed with caution!
- Please let me know if you have any queries or need assistance.
- Get to know the beast!
- tanks are normally buried 4 inches to 4 feet below the surface of the ground.
- You might be astonished to hear that someone knows exactly where it is hidden in plain sight.
- It is against the law to dig or probe in your own yard without first locating and marking the underground services.
You will receive the following tools to aid you in your search: Measurement tape, tile probe, and a shovel (if you are ambitious) The following tools are required: a metal detector (borrow or rent one since septic tanks often include iron steel rebar in the lids), and a hoagie sandwich (because locating sewage tanks makes you hungry.trust me on this).
- Examine the basement wall to see where all of the pipes join together and exit through the basement ceiling.
- If you don’t have a basement, walk outdoors and check for the roof vents on your house.
- Ordinarily, the sewage line that leads to the septic tank will exit the home right below this ventilation opening.
- On sometimes, the ancient proverb “The grass is always greener on the other side of the septic tank” is true.
Your tank may be located by probing or digging for it, and with luck, you will locate it. Keep in mind that not everything that seems to be a septic tank actually is! It’s possible that you came upon one of the following instead:
- Rubble buried in the ground (not to be confused with Barney Ruble)
- An old foundation
- In case you happen to live in a cemetery (which is spooky), you may use a grave vault to keep your belongings safe.
After a few hours of hopelessly digging about in your yard, it will be time to eat your hoagie and take a little sleep. Following that, it will be necessary to rent or borrow a metal detector. In the event that your next-door neighbor loves Star Wars action figures or has more than three unidentified antennae on his roof, there is a significant probability that you can borrow his metal detector. If you’re lucky, the metal detector will really assist you in finding your septic tank, rather than simply a bunch of old buried automobile parts.
- According to local legend, a pumper known as “Zarzar The Incredible” can locate sewage tanks using a metal measuring tape spanning 30 feet in length.
- Continue to press your commode (“commode” sounds sophisticated) tape deeper and farther down the pipes until he “feels” the bottom of the tank with his tape.
- I recently acquired locate equipment that can be used to locate septic tanks, and I’m excited about it.
- For further information, please contact me at 574-533-1470.
- After that, you may have a movie of the inside of your sewer pipes created!
- Related: Visit our Septic System Maintenance page for more information.
- Services provided by Meade Septic Design Inc.
- Both Clients and Projects are included.
- Send me an email!
How to Locate Your Sewer Cleanout in Case of Emergency
The drain cleanout is a direct connection to the main sewage line, which can be found either within or outside the property. If the trap is positioned within the house, it is referred to as the main house trap; if it is located outside of the house, it is referred to as the sewer cleanout. However, despite the little shift in terminology, the purpose of this cleanup remains the same: This addition to the home plumbing system is intended to provide plumbing professionals with an easy-to-access point through which they can reach clogs and sewage backup in the main sewage line that extends from the foundation of the home, under the ground, and out to the municipal sewage system, a private septic tank, or the portion of the main house drain piping downstream of the house trap, among other locations.
Only plumbing specialists should utilize the drain cleanout, but being aware of its presence during an emergency clog or backlog may save valuable time and money in the cleaning and restoration process, potentially saving thousands of dollars.
A drain cleanout pipe is commonly three, four, or six inches in diameter and white or black in color, depending on the manufacturer.
Some residences may also have drainage pipes made of brass or copper, though these are far less common. Keep in mind the type of material used in your sewage system as you follow these easy procedures to locate the main drain or plumbing cleanout valve.
Before You Begin
Before you begin, it’s crucial to understand that the overall placement of the drain cleanout varies based on the environment of the area where you live.
- Houses built to a standard in colder areas will often have drain cleanouts installed within the structure. People who live in colder areas and whose homes were constructed on a slab foundation may find an outside drain cleanout, or they may find it in a bathroom, garage, or utility room
- Therefore, people who live in this sort of property may need to explore both indoors and outdoors. Those in warm regions will often have an external drain cleanout in the yard
- However, homes in colder climates would not.
- There are drainage pipes running throughout the house, connecting every sink, toilet, and water-using equipment, such as the dishwasher and washing machine. Therefore, discovering a drainage pipe should not be a difficult task. Look for black or white ABS, cast iron, copper, or bronze drainage pipes that lead away from the sink, toilet, or appliance you’re looking to fix or replace. In most cases, following these drainage pipes will lead you to the main sewage line.
Look for a T- or Y-Shaped Pipe Fitting With a Cap or Plug
- Whereas when a drain cleanout is built within the home, it is usually found on the main sewage line, which is positioned immediately before the main line joins the foundation of the structure. Typically, the drain cleanout will be on a T- or Y-shaped pipe fitting, and it will be equipped with a threaded stopper and a square nut. It is also possible that a plastic cap will be placed over this nut. The drain cleanout, on the other hand, is not usually put on the main line. Depending on your location, you may need to check around for a black or white pipe with a threaded plug and an oval nut
- In certain cases, you may need to dig around to discover an additional entry point to the sewage system.
Check Bathrooms, Utility Rooms, and the Garage
- If the sewage cleanout is not located on the main sewer line, you will need to look for it in other areas of the house before determining its position. Take a flashlight with you to help you see better in low-light situations. It is common for the drain cleanout to be located near a collection of drainage pipes, such as in a complete bathroom with drains for the sink, toilet, and shower. Make a visual inspection of each bathroom in the house, searching for a capped ABS plastic drain line in black or white. As a last resort, examine the utility room or garage if you can’t find the drain cleanout where you think you might have put it. Occasionally, present or past owners may have made improvements that concealed the location of the main drain cleanout. As soon as you believe that this is the case, you should contact a plumber who will be able to identify and clear up the drain cleanout without causing more damage to your property.
Test the Drain Cleanout Plug
After locating the drain cleanout, it’s a good idea to test the plug to make sure it hasn’t been seized as a result of lack of usage. Make use of a pipe wrench or a big set of channel locks to tighten the square nut on the drain cleanout plug while wearing disposable gloves. Begin to crank the nut with the wrench in small increments until it is completely loose. After removing any accumulated filth from the threads, replace the plug with a new one. In certain instances, an expanding plug may be used to cover the cleanout, which may be freed by rotating a screw located in the middle of the plug.
- As soon as you begin to open the plug and notice water or feel pressure beneath the plug, it’s time to contact a professional. This indicates that the clog in the line has caused the pipe leading outside the home to get clogged. Depending on where you are in the world when you pull the plug, your drainage pit, yard, or house may get flooded by backed-up raw sewage.
Locating Outdoor Drain Cleanouts
- To locate an outside drain cleanout, you will first need to walk to either the septic tank, if your property is on a septic system, or the municipal sewer line, if your property is not on a septic system. It is possible to identify the sewage line by looking for the nearest manhole or by looking for a curb with a huge S stamped into the concrete.
Estimate the Direction of the Drainage Line
- Septic systems will often have the drain cleanout situated near to the residence, in line with the septic tank, in order to save space. Simply go back from the tank and towards the house, keeping an eye out for a plastic pipe protruding from the lawn or garden as you go. Similar to this, the drain cleanout on a municipal wastewater system will normally be located near to the house or other building. This drainage system should be connected to the municipal sewer system
- However, because the actual drainage line is not visible, you will need to follow a broad path around the yard in order to locate the drain cleanout pipe. Typically, the pipe is black or white in color, and it is sealed with a threaded plug that has a square nut on it and is branded S, C.O., or cleanout on the outside. Although, in some cases, this plug is protected by a plastic cap or a metal lid, this is not always the case. With this in mind, look for any things that may be used to cover or house a 3-, 4-, or 6-inch diameter pipe.
Move Lawn Decorations, Foliage, and Other Obstacles
- If you are still unable to identify the drain cleanout, it is possible that it has been accidently covered or intentionally hidden from view. The drain cleanout should be located adjacent to the residence in an area along the main sewer or septic line, which may be identified by the presence of drain pipe clusters in full or partially completed bathrooms. Begin by removing any lawn decorations that are blocking the view of the yard outside of the restrooms, gradually increasing the search area. Always keep in mind that a cleanup might be buried in a garden or hidden by overgrown vegetation. Overgrown grass may also be an issue, so you may wish to cut the lawn to make the hunt for a lost pet a little bit easier on yourself. Occasionally, the sewer cleanout is totally buried in the yard, in which case you will need to make an educated guess as to where the drainage line is coming from and use a long screwdriver to dig approximately 1 inch into the ground, probing for the pipe’s top. Nonetheless, because this approach is mainly trial and error, even with a strong informed estimate, you may want to consider hiring a professional to identify the drain cleanout
- However, this method is not without risks.
Mark and Test the Drain Cleanout
- After identifying the drain cleanout, mark the site with a metal stake and a brightly colored flag so that you have a fast reference point in the event of an emergency. In addition, the drain cleanout plug should be checked to ensure that it may be removed if necessary. Slowly loosen the nut from the pipe with a pipe wrench or a set of big channel locks to avoid damaging the pipe. In most cases, the nut should be easy to thread out
- However, if you notice any water or feel pressure in the line, tighten the nut again and contact a plumber to clear the obstruction in the line.
The house sewage system can be severely damaged by even the most expert do-it-yourselfers. This can result in sewage backing up into the septic system, onto the yard, or even into the house itself. It is possible to save time and effort while also saving possibly thousands of dollars in clean-up and home restoration costs if you only use qualified professional plumbers to remove blockages and perform repairs to the main drainage line and drain cleanout.
How to Find Your Septic Tank
Over time, all septic tanks become clogged with sediments and must be pumped out in order to continue functioning properly. Septic tank lids are frequently located at ground level. The majority of the time, they have been buried anywhere between four inches and four feet underground. In the event that you have recently purchased a property and are unsure as to where your septic tank is located, this article will give instructions on how to identify your septic tank. Noteworthy: While every property is unique, septic tanks are usually typically huge and difficult to build.
5 Ways to Find Your Septic Tank
1. Check with the municipal records. The most straightforward method of locating your septic tank is to review the building plans for your home that were approved by the local government. You should have received an application from the business that installed the septic tank, which should contain schematics and specifications that will help you to locate the precise location where the septic tank was installed. 2. Look for highs and lows in your data. The majority of septic tanks are constructed in such a way that they are barely noticeable.
- Almost usually, your septic tank will be constructed near where the main sewage line exits your property.
- Septic tanks are typically positioned between ten and twenty-five feet away from a home’s foundation.
- When you do, that’s when your septic tank comes into play!
- Look for the Lid.
- You will most likely find two polyethylene or fiberglass covers positioned on opposing sides of the perimeter of your septic tank if it was built after 1975 and installed after 1975.
- Those areas should be excavated in order to disclose the lids.
- Get in touch with the pros.
- Lifting concrete lids will necessitate the use of specialized equipment.
- A fall into an unprotected septic tank has the potential to be lethal.
- Produce your own diagram of your yard, which you may file away with your other important house paperwork.
That’s all there is to it! If you’ve been wondering where your septic tank is, you now have five alternatives to choose from, which should make finding it easier than ever. To book a plumbing service in Bastrop County, please contact us now!
COMMON PROBLEMS — JT’s SEPTIC
You should examine the sewer cleanout on the exterior of the home if you are hearing gurgling and all of the house fixtures are clogged. This is often a black 3-4 in color “inch ABS pipe with a threaded cap is available. Remove the cap (WARNING: BE CAREFUL! (WARNING: IT MAY CONTAIN SOME PRESSURE!) : Assuming the sewage line is completely dry, you will have a clog inside the home plumbing, directly in front of the cleanout valve. Make a phone call to a plumber and have them rooter the line. Sewer line cameras are available from several rooter/plumbing businesses.
- You have two options at this point: call your preferred septic provider or pull up the tank lids yourself and check the water level and solids content in the tank yourself.
- Most tanks erected after January 2001 include a filter that has to be cleaned at least once a year (we clean filters—please call us).
- We’ll even notify you once a year when it’s time to clean your filters!).
- It’s likely that you have a blockage in your sewage system.
Whenever you flush the toilet, the water gurgles, the toilet takes an unusually long time to flush, or the water in the shower turns brownish after you have done the laundry, you are receiving a subtle indication that trouble is brewing. In order to determine when the tank was last pumped, look through your records and then contact your preferred septic provider for assistance.
If you are experiencing unpleasant odors within your home, such as rotten eggs, it is likely that a trap or vent inside your home is not venting correctly. Call your plumber right away since these gases are harmful to both people and animals!
ODORS OUTSIDE IN THE YARD
At times, the smells emanating from the roof vents will seep into the yard due to meteorological conditions. Make use of a plumber to elevate the roof vents and/or to place a charcoal filter in the vents, as needed. It’s important to remember that your septic tank is vented via the roof.
SURFACING IN THE YARD
Immediately contact your septic service provider if you notice effluent surfacing in your yard. This indicates that your leach line has failed and requires immediate treatment.
HEAVY SOLIDS- OVERDUE FOR PUMPING
Contrary to common perception, you DO need to have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis. It is possible that your system will get overwhelmed with solid waste and eventually cause damage to your leach lines if you do not perform adequate pumping maintenance.
DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! This is an extreme example of a tank that is overflowing. There is sewage flowing from the tank access holes and into the yard!
grease build up in sewer pipes
Fats and grease should never be flushed down the toilet or sink. They have the potential to harden the lines and cause failure; they have the potential to generate an excessive buildup of the floating scum layer in the septic tank; and they have the potential to go into the disposal regions and adjacent soils and completely block the system off. A shattered lid can pose a serious threat to both animals and children. It is conceivable that they will fall through the cracked or broken lids and will not be noticed until it is too late to save themselves.
crushed or settled pipe
This is the second most prevalent problem we notice in septic systems that are less than 10 years old. In addition to blocking flow, loose fill soil surrounding the tank is causing a backup into the house since it is pulling the pipe with it as it settles. We have even observed instances when contractors installing new systems do not correctly pack the fill earth below the pipe, resulting in pipe settlement on systems that have not been utilized or have only been used for a short length of time (see below for an example).
SEWER OUTLET PROGRESSION
When it comes to modern septic systems, this is the most typical issue we encounter. Take note of the fact that the unsupported outlet pipe is being driven down by settling dirt. Watch as the water level in the tank rises, forcing the flow of water in the inflow sewage line to slow. This will eventually result in a clog in the inflow sewer line at some point. The solids flowing down from the house will not be able to enter the tank correctly because of the high water level.
examples of settled sewer pipes:
INSTALLATION OF A TANK AND/OR REPAIR OF SEWER PIPESTHE “POLY” PIPEIMAGES BELOW PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT PIPENOTTO USES WHEN INSTALLING A TANK AND/OR REPAIR OF SEWER PIPES However, despite the fact that this grade of sewer pipe is less expensive at the time of purchase, it might end up costing you a lot of money in the long run!
settled inlet sewer pipe on unused system:
Even if the septic system has not been utilized in some time, it is conceivable that problems will be discovered during the inspection process. Pipes might settle on unoccupied ground and in yards as a result of faulty installation and/or automobiles and/or ATVs running over the pipes without realizing they are there. It may be beneficial to all parties to have a skilled inspector take a look at the system and diagnose any concerns, even though the County does not require an examination on an underused system before transferring ownership.
Roots growing in and around the septic tank:
In addition to disrupting the system by clogging or destroying drainage and distribution lines, tree roots can also enter the tank, causing it to leak. Foul odors, poor drainage, and patches of vegetation in the leach field are just a few of the signs that you may have a root problem.
Solids are kept in the septic tank and away from the disposal area with the use of concrete baffles. Using baffles to reduce agitation of wastewater entering the septic tank and prevent particles from escaping the tank and entering the drainfield, baffles can assist avoid drainfield damage and extend the life of the drainfield.
If the baffles are broken, missing, or have never been placed, the drainfield’s life expectancy will be reduced significantly. Baffle repair normally entails the placement of a plastic tee at the end of the sewer pipes to prevent them from clogging.
orangeburg sewer pipes
Orangeburg pipe was made in Orangeburg, New York, from 1860 to 1970, and was utilized to plumb numerous septic and wastewater systems throughout Yavapai County during that time period. Orangeburg pipe is produced from rolled tar paper (wood pulp that has been sealed with hot pitch) and was considered a low-cost alternative to metal, particularly after World War II, because of its flexibility and durability. In fact, the pipe itself is so soft that professionals might cut it with a knife during the installation process!
Orangeburg, on the other hand, is known for degrading over time (it has a 50-year lifespan at the most) and deforming when subjected to pressure.
If the septic system is approved, Orangeburg will normally be stated on the permits as the material for the inlet and/or outflow pipe material, respectively.