Plumbing in the Home/Spetic will not drain


Hello, I am the first time owner of a septic tank and live in the Atlanta, GA area. The septic tank is 1000 gallons with two chambers and buried about 4ft underground. It is concrete and in good shape. I had it pumped and inspected, no problems were found. When I first moved into this home 2years ago there were no problems. I also did not know anything about septic tanks. Well…For the past 4-5 months the liquid in the tank has not been going out. The drain field looks to be fine, no saturated areas, looks just like the rest of my property. I dug up both sides of the tank. The inlet looks fine, waste goes in fine. When looking into the outlet side tank you can see the liquid above the outlet pipe and baffle. I am planning on getting a filter to put in place of the baffle on the outlet pipe to keep solids from entering the drain field. I suspect solids (waste and other junk that got flushed) made its way into the pipe and stopped it up. However, when we have heavy rain, the rainwater makes its way into the tank. My question is how can the pipe be clogged not allowing water out if rain water is being caught in the system and flowing into the tank? Can there be a problem with the d-box or somewhere else I am not aware of? If I dig up the d-box how big should I expect it to be? What can I do to attempt to fix this issue without paying $$$$? I am a big dyi, please help! I have been put on a crash course of everything septic tank in the past 4-5 months!

Hi Terrell,
Sorry about the delay but Allexperts is not forwarding the emails for some reason.
The distribution box should be around 18 to 24"  wide and as long, rectangular in shape. It could be plastic or concrete.
Find the box and open it. If there is no flow, you may have a collapsed or plugged pipe. Often times moving trucks or vehicles drive over the feeder pipe and squash it. Try putting a snake in the line from the septic tank out let to the distribution box. Mark how far in it you can't get through and dig there. Another major culprit is tree roots. If that's your problem, buy a product called root destroyer made by Hercules and pour it in. Follow the directions on the bottle.
The design of the tank is such that when pumped regularly, solids should not enter the outlet. I would shy away from a filter.. they are maintenance intensive.

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Jay Nicholas


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40 years in the business, 35 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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