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dcapps
septic tank
dcapps

I have a house on concrete slab that at some point years ago cement was poured over the front compartment of the septic tank that is cement leaving no excess to pump out the solid compartment . I would like to make the whole thing right but could use some advice

A. Spruce
Re: septic tank
A. Spruce

What advice is there to give, if you want access to something that is obstructed, don't you have to remove the obstruction?

The concrete obstruction will need to be cut/jack hammered and removed. The lid of the septic tank should be a few inches under the soil and protected, however DO NOT assume this, work extremely carefully until you know what the real situation is, adjust your methods accordingly, you do not want to damage the septic tank.

Clarence
Re: septic tank
Clarence

You may look at core drilling a hole in the top cover large enough for the clean out hose than install a plug that can be removed for later clean out.

ed21
Re: septic tank
ed21

Maybe I don't understand, but do you need to gain access to the septic tank from inside the house.
It sounds like multiple building and health codes were ignored.
I'm going out on a limb here, but abandoning the septic under the house and installing a new system is the only thing to do.

dj1
Re: septic tank
dj1

Quote: "do you need to gain access to the septic tank from inside the house."

- The way I understood it: the access to the opening of the tank for the purpose of pumping (most likely outside the house) was covered by new concrete sometime in the past. The poster is asking how to restore access.

Spruce's idea makes sense.

Quote: "It sounds like multiple building and health codes were ignored."

- you put it mildly.

Quote: "I'm going out on a limb here, but abandoning the septic under the house and installing a new system is the only thing to do."

- we don't know that, the poster didn't say the the tank is under the house. I think it's fair to assume it's in the yard. He also didn't say anything about the age and condition of the tank.

johnjh2o
Re: septic tank
johnjh2o

There should be a second opening on the other end of the tank.

dcapps
Re: septic tank
dcapps

there is a 2nd opening on the tank but the only excess is the hole in the tank wall that goes to the 1st compartment and can not get a 4in hose through it at some point yrs. ago they poured concrete on top of the 1st compartment excess lid

ed21
Re: septic tank
ed21

Still trying to understand. Why mention house slab? The slab that covers the tank access is there why? How big is it? Why can't that slab just be removed?

Mastercarpentry
Re: septic tank
Mastercarpentry

Open up the hole in the tank wall to accommodate the pump-out hose. That will not significantly affect the tank's operation since that hole is at the top of the separation wall. You may have to remove the entire lid over the second compartment to do that.

Also look into who covered the tank and when- if it was the last owner (or they knew about it) they can be made to pay for relocating the tank as it is a major code violation to do that. And now that you know about it, you cannot sell the house for purposes of habitation until it's moved or uncovered. Isn't home ownership a lovely dream?

Phil

Jack
Re: septic tank
Jack

Not sure about your area, but here the pumping company has to have access to the tank for inspection when pumping. Part of the process is to make sure baffles are in place and in good order. I would say you need to remove the concrete.

Jack

Mastercarpentry
Re: septic tank
Mastercarpentry

There's best practice and there's what you can get by with. My suggestion gets you by the problem for now (or until the tank needs pumping again) but eventually you're going to have to do a proper fix. If your first choice of pumping service won't go without a lid removal look for a cheaper one- there's usually a few around who will just pump it however they can and run. Some here do what we call "weekend pumping"; no permit and unlikely that the inspector will drive by asking questions. Not right but sometimes it's the better option for now.

My Mom's house came with a septic tank. years later they ran a sewer line down the street, but it was not required that you hooked in. Even more years later they changed the requirements so that you can no longer have a tank serviced; you must hook up to the sewer instead and now that cost is astronomical. Plus the sewer rates were rasied over this timeframe by over 400%- something they promised would never happen. Her system is OK and when it needs pumping I know who to call; we're not going to pay to tap in to the sewer as long as there's nothing wrong with the septic system. Thus it stays grandfathered in for the next buyer to deal with however they see fit. And it's now an asset as it keeps the water-sewer bill way down from what the neighbors who tapped in from the start have to pay. They can't go back to septic but they sure wish they could!

Phil

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