Installing a septic tank may not sound like the most complicated process. But in actuality, many things can go wrong throughout the process if you don’t have an experienced and knowledgeable contractor to head off issues before they develop. And once the system is installed, any issues will involve a lot of digging and likely a lot of money.
Here are four potential problems with installation that an experienced contractor will know how to avoid.
1. Backwards Septic Tank
A septic tank may look nearly symmetrical, and the front end may be easy to confuse with the back end. But even with a single-chambered tank, a tank that’s in the ground backward can cause a world of trouble. In fact, a backward tank could even cause sewage to flow back up the sewer line to your house.
Septic systems are designed to use gravity as much as possible to carry wastewater to the leach field and distribute it through the soil. To make use of gravity, the septic tank lets the water in at several inches higher than the outlet pipe. This ensures that once the liquid level reaches the outlet pipe, it will exit the tank before flooding the inlet.
If your tank is backward, gravity will instead pull liquids back through the inlet pipe and towards your house rather than in the opposite direction.
2. Settled Pipes
To fit the septic tank into the ground correctly, your contractor has to dig a hole that’s a bit bigger than the tank. This leaves a gap between the tank and the surrounding soil. The contractor then fills in that hole. But if they don’t use a correct backfilling process, the backfilled dirt will settle a lot over time.
The problem is that your septic tank’s inlet and outlet pipes have to go through the backfilled area to connect your septic tank to the rest of the system. If the ground settles too much, it will place a huge amount of weight on these two pipes. In some cases, the weight may force the pipes to bend or collapse.
3. Inlet Pipe Clog
The inlet pipe enters the septic tank at the inlet hole, but if it’s a few inches too long, clogs could form. If your septic tank comes with concrete baffles, the inlet pipe will enter behind the baffle. An inlet baffle basically provides an extra concrete wall to guide wastewater downward into the tank.
If the inlet pipe is too close to the concrete baffle, the flow of wastewater can more easily become impaired. For example, if a large enough handful of toilet tissue tries to come through, it could get caught between the pipe and the baffle and start to build up a clog.
4. Uneven D-Box
Installing a distribution box (d-box) requires careful leveling. An uneven or off-kilter d-box can cause significant problems with your leach field. The d-box’s job is to send effluent evenly to all of your leach field pipes. However, it uses gravity for this distribution process. You can imagine how a tilted box would pull more effluent through one opening than another.
The installation process isn’t the only time a d-box can become uneven. Pressure from above (if you drive over the area later, for example) could have a similar effect. But either way, a significant tilt to your d-box is likely to result in overloaded leach field lines, which can, in turn, overwhelm the lines and lead to premature failure.
These are just four things that can go wrong with a septic system installation. Fortunately, a good septic contractor can help you avoid these and many other issues. For more information on the septic installation services we offer, get in touch with Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc., today.