DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Framing and Foundation > Finding your septic tank




Help Support House Repair Talk by donating using the link above.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-18-2017, 06:10 AM  
Rnichols22
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1
Default Finding your septic tank

I just bought an older house out on an acre of land. I was curious as to if anybody knows how I can locate where my septic tank and lines are?


Rnichols22 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2017, 06:33 AM  
inspectorD
Housebroken
HRT_ADMIN.png
 
inspectorD's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 4,465
Liked 257 Times on 202 Posts
Likes Given: 739

Default Ok

If you have a septic company in your area, they have tools to find it, and pump the tank to see its condition.
Otherwise, go to your area health department and they Might have a plan on record..otherwise its just a guess.
Good luck,


__________________
Just My
Made in the
inspectorD is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2017, 06:43 AM  
bud16415
Fixer Upper
HRT_ADMIN.png
 
bud16415's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Erie Pa, Pa
Posts: 4,321
Liked 1434 Times on 1098 Posts
Likes Given: 774

Default

I have searched and found a few in my day. The best way is to ask the previous owners where it is and what they did to maintain it. If the house is newer and there were building plans there might also be records that went along with the permitting applied for to put it in. Asking neighbors might give you a clue.

If none of that works start where the pipe exists the house and 9 times out of 10 the pipe will be a straight shot. Look for a low spot in the yard or where the grass might look different. If done correctly the lid or lids will only be a few inches under the soil. With a piece of rebar and a hammer you can go around driving it in the ground looking to hit something solid. Most of the time in older homes they took advantage of the natural grade of the land so look down hill from the point it exits the house.

Sometimes you have to dig down near the house to get a feel for direction and depth.

That’s all the tricks I have maybe others will suggest something more modern that I don’t know about.

Good luck.
bud16415 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2017, 08:54 PM  
slownsteady
Administrator
HRT_ADMIN.png
 
slownsteady's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Newton, NJ
Posts: 6,360
Liked 1130 Times on 936 Posts
Likes Given: 1846

Default

I haven't had to do it, but using Bud's tricks to get a starting point, I've seen guys go around with a wooden pole thumping the ground. You can usually hear the hollow spot.
__________________
Learn something every day
---
SnS
slownsteady is offline  
nealtw Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 02:10 PM  
Sparky617
Member
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Cary (Raleigh), NC
Posts: 755
Liked 255 Times on 203 Posts
Likes Given: 158

Default

Back when we had one it was probably 12-18" below the ground. They will generally be a straight shot from where the pipe exits the building and probably between 15 and 20 feet of the building. Start at 10' and drive a rod into the ground until you hit the tank if you go more than 24" without hitting it pull it out and move a foot further from the building, repeat as needed until you find the tank. Usually, they won't put a bend in the pipe without a riser coming up to the surface to allow cleaning of the line. Roto-rooter type equipment won't do 45 and 90-degree elbows but can handle a sweep. As I follow my sewer line out of the house every time it takes a turn they installed a vertical pipe to allow me to look down the to see if the line is blocked and to insert a roto-rooter auger down the pipe to clear any clogs.
Sparky617 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 04:21 PM  
bud16415
Fixer Upper
HRT_ADMIN.png
 
bud16415's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Erie Pa, Pa
Posts: 4,321
Liked 1434 Times on 1098 Posts
Likes Given: 774

Default

When you do find your lid and if it is more than a few inches below grade I would go buy a extension ring. And get it close to the surface. I moved mine at my old house to come flush with the ground for no digging. After you dig a deep one up a few times you will know what I mean. I found every year I got older the lid was another inch deeper or at least it seemed. 30 years had it pretty deep.
bud16415 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 04:45 PM  
Gary
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 238
Liked 160 Times on 98 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

I know this is hard to believe, but stripping some 12 ga. wire out of romex and making divining rods may work. I was digging a drain line for a scout camp a few years ago, and asked the guy there where the line was he wanted to tap into. He used divining rods. I had to laugh thinking it was just a trick. But he gave them to me and I'll be if it didn't work. I still have them in the office and take them out to try it on our water line, Works every time. As a matter of fact once I had the line dug up and located, I tried it again, several times and the rods crossed at the exact spot of the drain line. I brought the divining rods home and both my Son and Wife tried it and it didn't work for them. But it does for me for some unexplained reason. I can even walk across the room in the house and they'll cross right where the hot water lines run for the heat registers. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't tried it myself.
Just bend the wire in an "L" shape (stripped of all insulation) loosely grab the wires in your clenched fist with the wires pointing forward and walk. Wires will cross when you cross a water source. That is unless you don't have the gift like my Son & Wife. lol.

Last edited by Gary; 06-19-2017 at 04:49 PM.
Gary is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 04:56 PM  
bud16415
Fixer Upper
HRT_ADMIN.png
 
bud16415's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Erie Pa, Pa
Posts: 4,321
Liked 1434 Times on 1098 Posts
Likes Given: 774

Default

I knew an old water well driller that witched every well he drilled. Always hit water right were his witching rods crossed. People would always have him drill where he said there was water because he was so good. The funny part was after seeing him do this quite a few times I started noticing his wires always crossed at a spot that was easy to back his rig into. I mentioned it to him and he smiled and said I always hit water don’t I?


bud16415 is offline  
nealtw Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Septic Tank Aerator - Need Some Advice slim05 Plumbing Forum 4 06-02-2016 12:16 PM
Serious Septic Tank Issue thegogetter222 Plumbing Forum 3 04-04-2013 06:15 AM
Septic Tank Problems Shawner Plumbing Forum 1 08-05-2012 04:42 PM
Septic tank options nopilot Plumbing Forum 10 08-17-2009 11:46 PM
Finding Septic tank wolfenstien Plumbing Forum 3 06-10-2008 11:39 AM



Newest Threads