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Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: January 23, 2022 08:46PM
Toilet A is by my bedroom and toilet B is the main house toilet. They are back to back and about six feet apart. B is by the outside wall and about 12 feet from the septic tank. The vent stack has s OK.

A. B. SEPTIC TANK

B is the main problem. It overflows every few months. Now it won’t swallow when you pour a bucket of water in it. A still does. B will gradually go down to normal after several minutes. They both gurgle at times. I flushed B this last time but I couldn’t feel where I busted through. I’ve googled a little and it seems it may be the septic tank. It hasn’t been touched since the salt 80’s except the powdered enzyme treatment haphazardly.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2022 08:50PM by Dennis S.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 23, 2022 09:02PM
Might be time to call a plumber unless you don't mind getting dirty.



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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: GeneH
Date: January 23, 2022 09:48PM
Do you have any trees close to the septic tank? LIke within 20-30 feet? That might be your problem, a big problem unless you're good with a shovel and an ax.

But mattkime might have the right answer for this one.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: January 23, 2022 10:11PM
There’s no tree close. The plumber has COVID.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: testcase
Date: January 23, 2022 10:54PM
Gurgling drains usually is a sign of a blocked / clogged vent pipe(s). On the roof, critters may have (or tried) to build a nest in the main vent pipe(s). There may also be another vent pipe for the septic system. Could a household member or guest have flushed something that should NOT have been flushed? Think "flushable" wipes, feminine hygiene products, small children's "experiments" etc. At the very least, I would add a bio-safe product (think Green Gobbler or Rid-X) and give it as much time as possible to work. I think home centers rent plumbing snakes. Snaking a pipe is not rocket science but, if you decide to try snaking, watch a YouTube video or two before you rent (or buy) a snake. If you do laundry at home, washers drain a LOT of water in a full cycle. You might opt to use a commercial laundromat until you resolve this issue.

If you'll be staying in the house, come Spring, I'd have a professional check the entire septic system.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: January 23, 2022 11:06PM
The vent stack is OK. My brother checked it out. We don’t flush wipes. There are no kids toys. I don’t know if any vent for the tank itself. I might buy a snake. I’m pretty sure it’s much less than 25 feet to the tank. How do you ascertain it won’t scratch the commode.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 23, 2022 11:36PM
You might be able to rent a larger more powerful one from Home Depot.



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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: Don C
Date: January 23, 2022 11:47PM
To avoid scratching the commode you could remove the commode and snake through the hole in the floor.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 24, 2022 12:16AM
Has the septic tank been pumped out ? That needs to happen every few years.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: January 24, 2022 01:13AM
Quote
cbelt3
Has the septic tank been pumped out ? That needs to happen every few years.

It’s weird. The house was built in 1973 and we had it replaced and new lines dug about 10 years later. Since then it hasn’t been touched and hasn’t caused any trouble. So it hasn’t been pumped in close to 40 years.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: JoeH
Date: January 24, 2022 02:05AM
Quote
Dennis S
The vent stack is OK. My brother checked it out. We don’t flush wipes. There are no kids toys. I don’t know if any vent for the tank itself. I might buy a snake. I’m pretty sure it’s much less than 25 feet to the tank. How do you ascertain it won’t scratch the commode.

For going though a toilet without scratching they make a toilet auger. It will have a curved end, usually covered in rubber or plastic to protect the porcelain from scratching. One limitation will be that most toilet augers have a snake that is less than 10 feet in length.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: January 24, 2022 05:02AM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
cbelt3
Has the septic tank been pumped out ? That needs to happen every few years.

It’s weird. The house was built in 1973 and we had it replaced and new lines dug about 10 years later. Since then it hasn’t been touched and hasn’t caused any trouble. So it hasn’t been pumped in close to 40 years.

GET IT PUMPED.

Pumping it too removed solid buildups that have settled in the tank. The cost likely won't be much different than a plumber (who will likely tell you to get it pumped out). Mine cost $175 last year. Hopefully, the lines going into your drain field aren't clogged as well, but after 40 years I wouldn't be surprised.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: wurm
Date: January 24, 2022 07:28AM
Jeebus. Yeah, I'd say get it pumped. Even if it's not causing your specific problem, it's good maintenance. We get ours pumped every few years just because it's cheaper than having to replace a septic system. Think of it like a routine oil change for your car every 5k miles. And yes, I know there will be many others here who say they've never had their septic system pumped, or that they do it every 20 years. Fine. I choose not to take the chance for the $200 it costs every few years.
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: ArtP
Date: January 24, 2022 02:00PM
What's the temperature outside?

Outside wall -could pipe possibly be frozen or partially blocked by ice?
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Re: Trouble with overflowing toilets
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: January 24, 2022 02:06PM
No. Ice this has gone on in spells for months but never got bad until this week.
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