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Old 07-23-2008, 12:39 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
909 posts, read 2,864,241 times
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The 1000 gallon tank is in good condition, the leach field is 38 years old and in fair condition. The inspection report said that because it has already outlived it's life expectancy, they could only comment on its condition, but they couldn't guarantee how much longer it would hold up. The inspector told Dh to get it pumped every year and that would prolong its life. Our realtor told us to use Riddex (sp?) every month and that would take care of it. 4 inches of water were found, which the report attributed to possibly the water softener, which backwashes into it. We will change it so that it backwashes into the sump pump instead.

IS Riddex a recommended product around these parts, or is it something that depends entirely on the system? I am thinking that at 38 years chances are we will be stuck replacing everything eventually, which I know from the last septic thread is expensive. Actually I'm about to hunt up that thread again. Also, it's my impression that only 2 people were living in the house from '91 until 4 years ago, and since then only 1 person has been living there. The report couldn't guarantee what would happen once 4 people started living there. Would the doubling in the number of people have a huge effect on the longevity of the system? Or is it more the way you use it?
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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Don’t bother with riddex. Just using a septic system provided it with all the bacteria it requires to operate. With only two people the system should continue to function. Excess water and non-sanitary (toilet) contamination generally harms septic leach fields.
Switching the water softener back flush to the sump pump depends on where the pump discharge is located. Back flush water contains a lot of calcium and magnesium. In any case the back flush water should not go to the leach field.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Mountains of NH!
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Get it pumped every year! We do. Our system is 20+ years old and in need of replacement with 4+ people living in the house, but we're holding off cause we don't have the bucks and pumping every fall is helping extend the life.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Madbury, New Hampshire
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Ridex is money down the toilet (sorry..)

A good working system shouldn't need annual pumping. However, at around $150 per pump service it's not an outrageous annual expense.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Just moved to NH
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Quote:
Would the doubling in the number of people have a huge effect on the longevity of the system? Or is it more the way you use it?

Both. Adding more people means more waste. The solid waste goes into the tank, but all that additional water from the toilet, shower, laundry, etc. goes into the leach field. If I were you, I would get an estimate for making another leach bed and put that money away because you will probably need it in the next few years.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:02 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Water is not the enemy to your septic system. It is the residue of soap, shampoo, detergent and all the additional solid matter which is "allowed" to enter the leach field that is the culprit.

These minute partials block the water filtration action of the leaching sand, which surrounds the actual pipe/stone of the system. As this layer or "mat" of material builds up, less and less filtration is archived. Once water usage becomes more that what the system can filter, failure starts to occur. This can be seen as puddling or "ponding" on the surface of the system. Or, it can leak from the side of the system, which is referred to a "blow out".

Water, as long as it is clean and not over taxing the system, causes a flushing action to take place within the system and tends to help break down the mat and carry away these partials further away from the system.

Yet, alas, most water is not clean and gets the bum rap. This is why periodic pumping of the system (removal of solids) is recommended for system longevity.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:26 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
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jthibodeau, I was hoping you'd weigh in. So, is Riddex a waste of money, harmful to the system, or of some help? Also, we generally use water and vinegar, baking soda and liquid castille soap for household cleaning, but we bought a bottle of Mr. Clean (not the non bacterial) multi-purpose for while we're in temp housing. Can that be safely used with private septic?

Finally, I've been seeing commercials on TV for 3 different cleaners (during daytime TV), one for rust, lime and calcium, one for floor, and one for septic. They are supposed to be certified as EPA design for green or something like that. Anyone know what the septic "cleaner" is for?
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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I would suggest that you try & renegotiate with the Seller of the property. If there is excess water that may be a sign of the leach field failing, is there plant life growing in the leach field? (other than grass) Trees, shrubs etc.. can cause damage to a leach field.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:07 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
452 posts, read 1,509,111 times
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Septic systems require bacteria to break down the solids. Most of this action takes place in the septic tank where the solids are "liquefied" and allowed to pass the tank outlet baffle and enter the leaching bed. There's only two things you can do. Help promote bacteria growth within the system or hinder it. Let's face it. We all need soap and detergents to live our lives. Most of these products hinder bacteria growth.

As far as septic system additives goes, read the label. Bacteria needs three things to grow and prosper, just like you and me. It requires water, food and agreeable temperatures. I've always recommended simple yeast. Yeast not only feeds the existing bacteria but, it adds to their population, which usually isn't up to par due to what we also send down the septic pipe. IMHO, if the product says not for human consumption, I doubt it will do your septic bacteria any good either.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
909 posts, read 2,864,241 times
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jthibodeau, are you talking about the yeast you get at the grocers for making bread? How much of that do you put in and how often?
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