This fall's under the heading of "Should have done this years ago! " My home is a 90 year old cabin with numerous small add on's. Originally equipped with an outhouse that thankfully is still here still usable and even legal ! Grandfathered in ... The septic system was hand installed sometime in the 1950's. I purchased the ranch in 1986. I was handed a small crudely done map vaguely showing the location of the water lines and septic line ... I mean really vague !!! The original homesteader had passed away and the "map" was drawn by his widow, who had nothing to do with any of it. The kitchen sink was plumbed into a 55 gal barrel full of rocks... The toilet however was run to a tank. Thank goodness. Tank location however was not clearly explained ... no measurements from buildings at all !!! Ever try to find lines or a tank that you only have an idea where they are ? NOT FUN. The first time I was forced to locate the tank it took several days and a really good friend to hand dig until we found a line and followed it. That was in the 90's. After that I knew the location of the tank and lines. I did take measurements and make a new map for myself and anybody who comes after. I did not however do anything at the tank top at all. No access , no marking tape ... nothing (I was young & dumb ) In 2009 I had to expose the tank top to get it pumped for the first time... (not bad) After relocating apx where the tank was, I started digging & digging .. never measured how deep the darn thing was. Metal tank so I could not use a bar to dig , so it was all shovel work . Here is where I stopped thinking for a few years.. The tank really did not need pumping what it really need was the "log" jam unplugged at the inlet. We went ahead and pumped it out any way to confirm the tank was still in good condition. The next time this happened .. was 2-3 years later . At that time I put some danger tape under ground to warn me when I was getting near the tank. Same issue "log Jam" After the tank was open its an easy fix .. poke it with a long stick and walla a really bad looking/ smelling water fall into the tank and problem solved. Fast forward 2-3 years same thing, had it pumped again that time. I started getting a little smarter and took a partial 16 gal metal barrel and buried it underground , saving me a foot of digging near the tank.... some danger tape tape all the way to ground level should show me exactly where to dig... thing is lawn mowers like danger tape ... and snow plows like them as well... Fast forward to about a week ago. My wife is leaving the next morning on an overseas vacation.... takes a nice relaxing bath ... tries to drain the tub and ... you guessed it .. no go .. oh and no go on the toilet or the shower and if we ran the kitchen sink it would fill up as well !!! The next morning she is taking a sponge bath and washing her hair in a bucket... after her early morning hike thru the snow to the outhouse....After I returned from the airport... the next morning I assumed (ha ha) that it would be an easy fix just like ALL the other times... well it was .. sort of. Dig up tank top... open ... spot log jam ... unplug log jam ... dirty waterfall... bath tub drains , however the shower toilet and kitchen sink all refused to budge ... EGADS NO ... remove toilet Snaking , plunging , all to no avail... this is not what I wanted to do... another night trooping outside ... same in the morning ... more snaking plunging and this time water level had receded in the main line somewhat so I could pour boiling water into the system... Between that more snaking and the washing machine on the other line it finally cleared !!! WHEW ! The light bulb finally fully illuminates... I need instant easy access to the lid of my tank and every year BEFORE I plow 3' of snow on top I need to check for log jams !!! Every year!!! Finally after my small novel I get to the point of the story... My new access, $40.00 bucks was never more well spent. Home owning is an adventure no matter how new or old the house is . It still beats renting!
Have you thought about finding why a log jamb occurs?
Is there a broken joint?
Maybe open the pipe at the inlet and install a 45 degree and straight through fitting there and bring an extension to the surface.
This will enable you to poke the snake down without digging and may fix the issue permanently.
John Daley Bendigo, Australia
The Enemy of progress is the hope of a perfect plan
Hey John; I suspect that the slope of the inlet line is steeper than it should be ... letting the water rush by and leaving logs behind. By giving myself this access I will be able to check for jam ups several times a year , most especially just before snow fall... Digging up the whole thing is just to much like work ... Its not that bad, if I was getting 2-3 year each time ....I am semi retired you know ... Fish to catch, elk and deer to stalk and of course this spring i'll get new piggys. No more time for digging septic's....