Do septic tanks go bad? - Posted by LeonNC

Posted by Mark on February 06, 2001 at 09:02:01:

Leon ,Most tanks don’t go bad unless they are steel.Look around the yard for wet spots or grass that is growing a lot better than the rest of the yard.In most cases that I have found the leach bed lines have became stopped up or were to short to start with.

Try this ,locate the very end of the leach bed and dig down and find the pipe.Next hire someone with a steam Jenny or High Pressure washer,back flush the line to the tank.You should be abe to tell if the line is blocked and at what distance.Most of the time backflushing can and will stop the problem.
If the line is less than 100 feet from where it comes out of the tank you will need to extend it a little more. I know this is long but hope it helps, Mark

Do septic tanks go bad? - Posted by LeonNC

Posted by LeonNC on February 06, 2001 at 07:50:45:

I’m working on this house/junker I bought and the previous tenant of 18 years comes up, walks in the house like they own it, and start talking to me. I thought this might be a good time to find out what’s REALLY wrong with the house.

Lesson #1: When the seller tells you the house is on city water and sewer don’t believe them! Call the city.

The house IS on city water but has a septic tank that smells up the neighborhood on occasion. One neighbor two houses down confirmed it for me. Can anyone tell me what my next step with this septic tank should be? I really don’t WANT to replace it. My house has a septic tank so I’m some what familiar with them. Does it just need to be cleaned out? Can they be repaired or what? How much?!?



Lesson for All - Posted by Rich(WI)

Posted by Rich(WI) on February 07, 2001 at 10:44:22:

I had a sfh deal where the septic smelled a little.

Upon inspection (from a licensed septic inspector at the cost of the seller) I found out that the septic system was failing and needed to be replaced. So I called around for prices. Estimates came in between $5000.00 & $6000.00 for replacing the same system. Which was o.k. for the buy price. Luckily I knew a little about septics and also had a soil test done (also at the sellers cost) and found out that the septic field was saturated and could not take any more water. So for a new system (completely different than just a new concrete tank) it would now cost $15000.00. A bit of a difference between $5000.00 and $15000.00.
This could have been a real loser!

So make sure your estimated cost to replace the septic is your true cost.


YES… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on February 06, 2001 at 14:31:50:

steel tanks can rust and leak, concrete tanks usually don’t leak, the pipes connnecting the house to the septic tank and the septic tank to the drainfield sometimes break. poor installation, settling soils can rupture the pipes, sometimes even running over the pipes, tank, and drainfield with a car or heavy machinery can break a pipe. Here, Pa, the state recommends 3 year pumping. And most mortgage companies require a septic certification for each sale or refinance.

Oh yes they do. - Posted by Jack KY

Posted by Jack KY on February 06, 2001 at 09:05:19:

I know a little about septic tanks and drain fields. The tank itself is just a tank. No moving parts. The ways in which the systems go bad generally involve poor maintenance and/or poor installation.

A septic tank collects solids and allows liquids to flow to a drain field where the liquids leach into the surrounding soil. If the solids are not periodically (every 8-10 years–your mileage may vary) removed by a “honey wagon,” the solids move into the drain field and seal up the system. Now you have trouble. The only solution is a new drain field, preferable located down hill to avoid the need for a pump.

This is the only way to “fix” a septic system, once it has failed. Failure is manifested by outbreaks of sewage on the ground surface accompanied by associated odors.

Check with your local health department for more information.

Good luck.