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Old 10-25-2009, 10:07 PM
3 posts, read 9,650 times
Reputation: 12


I purchased a home in may and began to have issues with my septic tank almost immediately. To make a long story short my tank backe up into my basement and has ultimately led me to trying several things to remedy the problem including having the tank pumped and a camera run through the cleanout. After surmising that the problem must be in the field lines we had a septic tank contractor come out and start digging to see if he could locate the problem. What he found was rather interesting. My septic tank has no field lines. A piece of plastic flex pipe runs down to a pit filled with gravel right next to the tank. This "pit" could never possibly handle the amount of effluent coming from a 3 bedroom house. We had to have a septic tank letter when we bought the house. Has this method ever been acceptable, and if not, who is responsible? The previous homeowner? The county inspector who came out and said I had a properly installed septic tank? The house was built in 1979.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:02 PM
Location: Memphis, Tn ~ U.S.A.
1,355 posts, read 3,647,107 times
Reputation: 678
(^^^LOL, Sorry about caps out of place, to lazy to fixit)
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:44 PM
Location: East Memphis
845 posts, read 1,971,468 times
Reputation: 429
The way I understand it, to have septic tanks in a development instead of connecting to the sewer system the lots in the development have to be a min. of 2 acres. I personally think the party responsible for your situation is the home inspector. Is the septic system not on his inspection punch list?
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:26 PM
3 posts, read 9,650 times
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My lot is 3.5 acres. The septic tank was on the home inspectors list, but it states that he is not responsible for things that can't be easily seen with the naked eye. When we first looked at the house prior to purchase, and when the home inspector inspected the house, the clean out cap was off of the clean out pipe. We now understand why, the basement didnt flood until I put the cleanout cap back on, leaving nowhere for the backup to go except for the lowest point which was my basement toilet.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:57 PM
3,381 posts, read 11,410,346 times
Reputation: 756
Did you get a home warranty? This sounds like something that would definitely be covered under the warranty.

If not, go to your realtor and have him/her help. I'm sure this type of thing happens a lot, something goes wrong and no one knows who to blame. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:08 PM
3 posts, read 9,650 times
Reputation: 12
One thing that I've learned with a home warranty is that it's hardly worth the paper it's written on. I won't say any names (AHS) but the company that I bought my warranty through has "exclusions" for just about everything that can go wrong. For instance, the drain pipe for my pool has broken underground, under the concrete. I called them and the told me that they would be happy to pay for the broken section of PVC after I paid a $60 service call fee, however they didn't cover access to the pipe which entails breaking up the concrete and digging down to the pipe. Nor do the cover filling it back in and repouring the concrete. They also stated that "improperly installed equipment or systems" are not covered. Sorry to rant but the warranty I bought has cost me more money than if I had fixed the broken things around here out of my pocket. My home inspector was blatently negligent in doing his job. I found ductwork blowing into the attic, dead power recepticles, etc. etc. etc.. I'm at my wits end with being stuck with things I paid to be checked and found in proper working order before I bought the house.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:34 PM
Location: Memphis, Tn ~ U.S.A.
1,355 posts, read 3,647,107 times
Reputation: 678
I've never purchased any extended warranty. They are usually always a rip off.
Sorry to here about this very unfortunate incident. Things will work themselves.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:45 AM
70 posts, read 264,323 times
Reputation: 30
Septic tanks are like this...

When you read this, think of the song: "The neck bone is connected to the head bone" from day care...

Vent Stack
Field Pipes
Septic Tank
Distribution Box
Drain Field

Somewhere in this ^ is where someone short changed you.

And yeah, the inspector did not have x ray vision, I guess.

I would look and see how old the system is. Google the make and model of as much of the set up as you can find out about.

Someone might have just rigged up a septic tank system in order to circumvent some major plumbing issues. Or someone might have gotten a raw deal on the septic tank system without even knowing any better.

I would assume that your vent stacks are too short and not far reaching enough. That is the piping which starts off the journey of the "business" to the field pipes and then the septic tank and all of that. I assume (nothing more than that) that the vent stacks are too short because your drain field seems to partially lay in your basement, from what you posted. Far out. That would mean that someone was cutting major corners, because your vent stacks should be long and lean and clean and the field pipes should be what just humbly carries off the "business" to its final destination. Vent stacks do not come cheap, but the work behind rigging up the field pipes costs a lot because of labor and stuff.

Your home inspector should have noticed a thing or two with your septic tank, but I guess his x ray vision was failing him.

With your pool it is different, because it is winter (kinda) and so you can put that on the back burner for now. But your septic tank is very much a cleanliness issue which might get out of hand really quickly. I am not trying to scare you, but you need to see what you can do in the here and now while the weather is nice outside and stuff.

I think that MLGW has some sort of inspection program for a thing or two. Is there not an environmental audit of some sort that MLGW does? Shelby County has an environmental court and maybe you could see if there is someone you can contact.

Last edited by philbert_wormly; 10-28-2009 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:58 PM
Location: Memphis, Tn ~ U.S.A.
1,355 posts, read 3,647,107 times
Reputation: 678
Wow philbert_wormly thats a totally awesome answer, you really know your septic system
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