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How to find the septic tank: to start your outside search, locate point at which the main sewer line leaves the building. The main waste line exit point at a building often points to the direction and sometimes right to the septic tank. But there are exceptions, as we explain here. Septic tank location guide: this document provides suggestions and procedures for finding a septic tank.
FIND MAIN WASTE LINE EXIT - How to Find the Septic Tank by First Looking Inside the Building
When the septic tank needs to be pumped, a regular
maintenance task, the cost of that service will be less if the property owner found the septic tank location and perhaps even uncovered the
septic tank pumping access cover.
Other reasons to find the septic tank include inspecting and testing septic systems
when buying a home or for safety, to assure that the septic tank cover is in good condition.
This article tells us how to locate a septic tank when it's placement is not already known or when the location of the septic tank is not visually obvious.
If there are no obvious clues outside that clearly mark the location of a septic tank, we can find some critical
clues about septic tank location by looking inside the building. Here they are:
Find the main waste line exit point
Look in the lowest level of the building such as basement or crawl space to see where the Main waste line exits the building.
The line from house to tank begins outside the house wall at this same point.
Main Drain Single Exit Point
Usually, inside the building the waste drain lines run to a single exit point at the building wall or in the
building lowest level floor or crawl space. In the photo above you can see the main sewer line leaving the building low on the wall near the basement corner.
In the photo at the top of this page we have located a sewer line where it leaves the basement wall. Just outside we would expect to find this same sewer pipe. From that point the buried main drain line connects the building to
its septic tank.
Particularly for sites where there are not obvious outside clues, this is where to begin
your search for the septic tank - inside the building, following its drain lines.
Outside Septic Waste Line Vents Can Point to the Septic Tank Location
At some buildings you may see a 4" to 6" diameter vertical pipe rising from the soil near the house
wall, often with a mushroom-shaped cap on top, or you may see such a pipe protruding horizontally through the building foundation wall
and extending for a few inches, covered by a cap or by a perforated cover. Sewer line vents are often vents installed on the main waste line.
one of these sewer line vents in a building wall or protruding from the soil outside is another way to spot where the main waste line is exiting the building.
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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Builder's Guide to Wells and Septic Systems, Woodson, R. Dodge: $ 24.95; MCGRAW HILL B; TP;
Quoting from Amazon's description: For the homebuilder, one mistake in estimating or installing wells and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars. This comprehensive guide filled with case studies can prevent that. Master plumber R. Dodge Woodson packs this reader-friendly guide with guidance and information, including details on new techniques and materials that can economize and expedite jobs and advice on how to avoid mistakes in both estimating and construction. Chapters cover virtually every aspect of wells and septic systems, including on-site evaluations; site limitations; bidding; soil studies, septic designs, and code-related issues; drilled and dug wells, gravel and pipe, chamber-type, and gravity septic systems; pump stations; common problems with well installation; and remedies for poor septic situations. Woodson also discusses ways to increase profits by avoiding cost overruns.
Country Plumbing: Living with a Septic System, Hartigan, Gerry: $ 9.95; ALAN C HOOD & TP;
Quoting an Amazon reviewer's comment, with which we agree--DF:This book is informative as far as it goes and might be most useful for someone with an older system. But it was written in the early 1980s. A lot has changed since then. In particular, the book doesn't cover any of the newer systems that are used more and more nowadays in some parts of the country -- sand mounds, aeration systems, lagoons, etc.