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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSPECTION
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 BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Septic drainfield location: how to probe pipes, make measurements & use electronic or other buried pipe locating tools to make a precise location of septic drainfield components. This article series and our accompanying septic system location videos explains how to find the precise leach field or drainfield portion of a septic system.
We include sketches and photos that help you learn what to look for, and we describe several methods useful for finding buried drainfield components. (Septic drain fields are also called soil absorption systems or seepage beds.) Also see How to Find the Septic Tank. A septic pumping system will be needed. More videos on septic system location & maintenance are at SEPTIC VIDEOS.
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Guide to Finding Septic Drainfield Componentss - Part 6
At the end of the day, if you must locate an exact leach field trench and if there are absolutely no visual clues (such as visible parallel settlement lines marking a sewer pipe or drainfield trenches) then proceed to find the buried drainfield trenches & piping as follows:
This is the most heavy-handed "tool" to locate septic components, but is often what's really needed.
But often some careful digging by hand can locate key drainfield components without causing damage to the ground surface and components buried below it.
So when do we use a backhoe to dig up septic or drainfield components?
Test holes to confirm exact drainfield line locations and drainfield line condition are discussed at EXCAVATE to LOCATE DRAINFIELD
How do electronic utility locating devices work?
Some pipe locating tools work entirely above ground and rely on magnetic field sensing or radio frequency and density measurements. But the most popular and precise buried utility component locating equipment that is used for nonmetallic piping (such as plastic drainfield lines) may combine a signal wire inserted into the buried piping from an access point and an above-ground sensor.
In between these two and used for locating buried gas lines, water lines, and cables, a transmitter may be clipped to an exposed setion of the buried line and an above ground receiver then scans the property surface to locate and allow marking of the precise location of the utility.
Where to Buy or Rent Buried Pipe or Utility Locating Equipment
In most communities, local plumbers, some well drillers, some septic system excavators, and (if present) local gas or electric or water companies all have and make regular use of buried-utility locating equipment & systems. It is also possible to rent this equipment from local construction equipment rental companies, or to buy it from the manufacturer's outlets.
Other pipe finder products & brands
Watch out: for bleed-over problems when using buried pipe or cable locating equipment. Making a mistake can be catastrophic if you hit a gas line or high pressure water line. In Fishkill N.Y. we watched a backhoe opertor hit a high pressure gas line. A white plume of natural gas shot into the air as we and everyone else ran like mad. Luckily an explosion was avoided.
At another occasion we needed to locate a buried well pipe at a New York Property. Working in freezing conditions we rented a jackhammer to open solid frozen ground adjacent to a building where a prior owner told us the well was located. First, because we knew there were nearby buried gas pipes, we called Central Hudson Gas & Electric to locate and mark the gas lines. The technician clipped his transmitter to an exposed gas line in the building and, using his pipe locator, he sprayed red paint on the "exact" location of the buried gas line.
Banging away two feet distant from the red gas line markings we worked carefully - luckily, as we found (and did not damage) the yellow gas pipe was exactly where we were excavating - a bit over 24 inches away from the "precise" red paint stripe placed by the tech.
Why did this happen? Later excavation found that at this home, built in the 1920's, there were two other old steel water lines buried in parallel and close to the gas pipe. The combination of multiple metal pipes close to one another can confuse pipe locating equipment.
Pipehorn  and other buried utility locating experts have suggestions for avoiding inductive bleedover, including
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