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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Redbug's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Columbia, SC
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    Kubota L3830HST

    Default Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    We have been living in this house about 12 years or so now. I have been thinking that it is about time to have the septic tank cleaned out. We don't have a lot of waste...just the wife and I, but figure it is a good preventive measure to keep the drain field from clogging up. Everything works great right now.

    My question or three...when a pump truck comes out, do they dig the soil over the tank and lift the lid off and suck, or do they just run the pipe down the PVC end valve in the crawl space to the septic and pump out? It seems that all of the solids would be best gotten by taking the lid off and pumping out where the hose can be seen and controlled. If the lid must come off, I would rather do it myself, and peel the grass back with the loader, (so it can be put back), and lift the lid or a portion of it. I know some septics have lids in sections and don't know if mine is like that or not.

    What do you guys do, and what is the right way? Lifting the lid...are there any tips you have? Opinions? I don't have any knowledge about septics. Dirty comments, (pun intended), will also be accepted of course...
    Dave

    "If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Mar 2009
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    Arkansas
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    John Deere 4120

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    Redbug, I just had our tank pumped about 2 months ago. Our tank is rather deep (18 inches), so I dug out the lid myself and pulled the lid prior to the truck arriving. They WILL dig it out, and remove the lid for you, but I'm sure the charge will reflect the extra labor. They will DEFINITELY pump from the cleanout (hence the name). Your lid will expose two sides of the tank, the solids portion as well as the liquid. They will pump both, you would only get a very small portion out if they went from the input. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Lebanon,NH.
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    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    Also just my wife and I and we have our septic pump every two years.

    When time septic pump I remove the soil than middle cover of the tank,than he will lower suction hose down and suck away,than he'll have something like drill which has long rod w/blade on it and stir and stir inside the tank to loosen,than add water and suck tank again.

    If you should break cement cover most purchase least 1/4" plate steel and grease both sides for cover.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    Remove the septic tank lid and let them suction out the waste from the tank.

  5. #5
    Elite Member Mousefield's Avatar
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    2,519
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    Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC. Canada
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    2008 CK35 HST

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    They will want to suck any muck from the bottom of the septic tank. Best if you dig up and have lid ready to remove. I have lived in 3 homes with septic, only my wife and I so not as concerned about getting it pumped out every 2-5 years or so. We have been in our current house we built 10 years ago and have had the septic pumped once. We have pressures treated wood boxs and lids over the septic lids so they are not buried or lost.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -septiclid-001-jpg   -septiclid-002-jpg  

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    We just had our pumped after five years with two adults and two kids in the house. Pumper said it was time.

    He had a VERY nice truck I might add. VERY nice. And he kept it CLEAN. Cleaner than my truck.

    It cost $175 to pump which I thought was very reasonable.

    My tank has two lids. I only knew about one. I had buried rocks around one lid so it was easy to uncover...

    The lid I did not know about was a PITA. It was about 18 inches down and the three of us dug a while to uncover the lid. But at least I knew where it had to be located. Code requires an access to the liquid/filter side of the tank but NOT the solid size! Which is just dumb. He put in a riser to access the solid size of the tank for future use which was about $150.

    A dishonest man could have pumped the liquid side and I would never known...... Thankfully we picked a good guy.

    Later,
    Dan

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Mar 2009
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    Arkansas
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    John Deere 4120

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    Well, I guess I can admit that mine had not been pumped in OVER 15 YEARS!! I never had any problems, and for about 8 years it was only used on weekends. There was a thread here a while back about this and it got me thinking "hmmm, I've NEVER had this thing pumped!, maybe I should". Well, I didn't even know for sure WHERE the tank was. After hunting for it in my backyard, I dug up the cap. It took my tractor and a chain to pull off the lid! When I looked in, I was like "WOW!, looked like a dead COW!!" BUT, it hadn't filled up to the lid, and looked to be still flowing. The guy who came to pump it, said he had seen MUCH worse, but it did need it.

    BTW, when I called the guy to come, he said he would be there in about 30 minutes. So, I figured he would just pull around in the yard (he could get about 15 feet from the tank). Well, the truck this guy shows up in is a FULL SIZED Kenworth! I figured it had to be at least a 5,000 gal tanker. Nice, real nice WITH A SLEEPER! It too was cleaner than my own truck. I didn't have the heart to ask who would sleep in it, but the guy was REAL nice, and did a very thorough job. Well, he parked in my driveway which is a good 150' away from the tank, but he lugged out three sections of 4" X 50' hose and got to it. Probably the best $175 I've spent in a while.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Redbug's Avatar
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    Columbia, SC
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    Kubota L3830HST

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    Well, I dug the dirt off the top and called a suck truck. My tank I discovered does not have a lid across the top. It is solid with 2 square concrete plug doors at each end. The service guy took a pry bar and a pick axe and pried them out. It was not all that bad smelling inside, in my opinion. He said it was not filled up very bad, either. It had about 8 or 10 inches of solid material floating on the top of the liquid portion. That was mainly toilet paper. They broke the top solids up with a shovel and sucked the tank out from both ports. They back pumped liquids back in 3 times to loosen and mix the muddy materials on the bottom and sucked it down each time. I had always wondered about all the detergents from the washing machine filling the tank with solids but that was not the case.

    The suck truck guy said they have found all sorts of things when they go to dump the material. I guess they run it thru a screen. Rings, jewelry...sometimes even a credit card. It was an interesting experience. It does not take much to keep me entertained...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -house-septic-tank-4-14-a  
    Dave

    "If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

  9. #9
    Elite Member dex3361's Avatar
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    N. of Charleston WV
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    Kubota L4400-1 HST,FEL, 3x3 remotes, TNT. BX1500 54 mmm

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    We had our tank pumped after 21 years and the Septic service charged $175 and did a good job. I dug up all 3 lids (1st-grease trap, 2nd- main chamber, 3rd-solids trap) I had and issue with it draining and I thought it was the tank full. Come to find out it was the PVC exit pipe had sheared and would not let it drain. Fixed the pipe and were back in business. Just a family of 4.
    Randall



    1Timothy Chapter 2:
    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
    From: The HOLY BIBLE

  10. #10
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
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    east wells,vt
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    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: Question and advise about septic tank cleaning...

    Good Afternoon Dave,
    Im with Dan and some of the others...

    For $175 or $185 every 5 years, its a small price to pay for piece of mind IMHO ! Our kids have been gone for a number of years so its just the wife and myself, and I do it every 5 years now ! When the kids were home I did it every 3.

    Anyways you will sleep better now !
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

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