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Plumbing in the Home/Slow draining septic system


Two days ago when I was in the kitchen I saw one of the sinks was filling up with water from the the drain. Plus water was starting to cover the floor. We live in a manufactured home so the plumbing is really poorly done. The washer shares the same drain as the kitchen sink so I immediately checked the washer and sure enough water was pouring out of the drain. Earlier that week I noticed a gurgling sound coming from the kitchen sinks. The bathroom sinks are running slow also and the toilets are draining a little slower too. Our septic system accommodates a three bedroom home. It's a gravity system. We haven't had any nasty back flow into the house yet. I went on line and found a product that is a shock treatment with 600 trillion bacteria that can not only take care of the septic tank problem but also get rid of the bio mat blockage in the leach field. I also found a product that says it can kill tree roots in the leach field. Are these products any good or are they just a marketing ploy? The local septic drain company wants $500 to do the job  We live on only Social Security so we  don't have much to spend. Is there a less expensive do it yourself way to get the system running. It hasn't been drained in 10 years but I use 2 septic care products a month. When I do wash now I have to drain the washer into a big bucket and dump it outside and 30 gallons of water is a lot for a 61 year old disabled woman to do every few days. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Hi Kat,
I have very little experience with septic systems since I live in an urban area. When inspecting homes, I usually defer those to the experts.

I have no idea if the "additives" actually work or would be effective in an "emergency" situation.

As for the washer...I would look into making a "grey water" drainage system.  There is lots of info about these on the Net. Since the washer discharge is pumped it should not be too hard to extend the drain hose outside somewhere. It could be drained into a "dry well" which is simply a big hole filled with crushed rock.  That way it will not accumulate on the ground and create a mess. Here are a few links to get you started:

Having the kitchen sink and washer on the same line is pretty common. Not the best idea but common.

Good Luck,

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


Retired, Licensed General Contractor with Plumbing license. Active Home Inspector, Litigation Consultant and Infrared Thermographer, Online Marketing specialist.

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