Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALL REPAIR
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in BUILDINGS
SEWAGE CONTAMINANTS in FRUIT / VEGETABLES
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE LEVELS in SEPTIC TANKS
SEWAGE NITROGEN CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SMELL PATCH TEST to FIND ODOR SOURCE
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
ALTERNATIVE & WATERLESS TOILETS
TOILETS, DON'T FLUSH LIST
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Septic drop box or D-box leaks & flooding: this article explains the causes & suggests cures for effluent leaks, odors, or smells at the septic distribution box. If the D-box is leaking, smells, or is tipped, clogged, or otherwise not working this article describes how to diagnose & fix the trouble.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
I have septic water leaking out of my distribution box. I the lid suppose to be sealed or does it just sit on top?? My system is is pumped up hill to a distribution box - Robert
Reply: water leaking into or out of a D-box is a sign of trouble that needs investigation and repair;
Water leaking out of the distribution box
If you see "water" leaking out of the septic drainfield D-box it's a sign of trouble. I suspect one of two typical causes.
Water leaking into the distribution box
You don't want surface or ground water leaking into the D-box since in any quantity that water will flood the drainfield. If the D-box cover fits pretty flush and smooth atop the distribution box, the amount of water that leaks in through the top should be trivial.
If the top is quite uneven and leaky, and if you can't correct surface drainage to keep water away from the distribution box you might need to add a compressible rubber or foam gasket between the D-box lid and the edges of the distribution box itself to reduce leaks there. Don't cement the distribution box lid in place or you won't be able to open it for inspection, adjustment, or repair.
Reader Question: leaks & odors at the D-box
7/12/2014 matt with the d box leak! said:
New septic put in 6 years ago. I have a pump chamber after my septic tanks (twin 750 gals), the chamber pump (100 or 150 gal ) kicks on when the level gets high enough. The grey water is pumped to my d- box about 25 feet. The d box has 2 outflow pipes leading to a leach field with baffles etc. The d box seems level and the problem is no matter what we have used to keep the cover on the box ( a piece of blue stone 1 " thick as it sits in the middle of a brick patio ) the d box leaks.
Again on the 4th of July with 12 -15 folks over ( part of my problem???) , I heard the pump chamber kick on, 15 seconds later could smell it and then about 3 to 5 ounces of water came out. The leaks came from the corners opposite the inflow. I can't get it to stop leaking, every time the pump chamber kicks on.
This is the 3 time in 6 years that I am faced with a dbox with a cover ( modified cover since its blue stone ) that leaks. If we cement the blue stone onto the d box how can this keep happening? Can the water just "eat" the concrete seal over a year? pls let me know by email when there is a response to my question - - many THANKS! email@example.com
Reply: how to check the distribution box flooding condition for an effluent pumping septic system design
You could convert to a more-easily sealed D-box but I don't think that's the problem. I suspect that the D-box is too small AND that with the small size, the effluent (it's not graywater) is not being accepted into the drainfield rapidly-enough. The result is the pump is filling the D-box faster than its outflow rate, causing backup and odor complaints.
A much larger D-box, sufficient to receive and then drain by gravity into the drainfields the whole pump cycle volume would be one approach that may tempt you but I don't recommend it.
Rather, you need to look at the inflow capacity of the drainfield - it may be that the drainfield is under-sized, or worse, that it is poorly designed / installed and is flooding, or possibly the line balancing openings in the D-box that balance flow into different drainfield lines are too small.
In sum, if you watch the D-box when the effluent pump cycles you'll probably see that around 125 gallons of effluent are surging into the D-box and overflowing it because the in-flow rate is faster than the outflow rate.\
If the D-box overflows only at the very end of the pump cycle you could see if your pumping system rate can be adjusted to send effluent to the D-box more slowly.
Reader Question: Clogged D-box Repair Procedures?
I have a system with a pump station that pumps gray water uphill about 50 yards. Today I noticed water percolating out of the ground near my drain field. I started digging and found what I assume is the d box. It was packed full of roots and the plastic seal around the pipe coming from the pump had been pushed out by the roots. I removed the roots but I could not remove the seal from the box. It has 5 more holes in it which 4 are closed and the other has a pipe leading to another concrete box 4-5 feet further out.
The second box is much deeper than the first. It appears that the pipes T out after the first box. More digging tomorrow. I ran the pump after replacing the lid and packing dirt around the pipe but it just came out of the box instead of going through the system. The downstream pipe is open.
Can the seal be replaced around the incoming pipe or should the box be replaced?
Ultimately, presuming there is more than one leach line at your drainfield, there will be a D-box that distributes effluent among multiple lines - you'll want to find and check the condition of that device. The T-pipes you describe make it sound as if the septic installer forgot what the D-box was for but just stuck one in anyway. Too bad.
Continue reading at SEPTIC D-BOX COVERS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References