Plumbing and septic: bubbling and backing up



There are different types of septic systems.

I'm going to assume that your's is standard with a 1000-gallon septic tank with a short line to a distribution box, and drainfield lines coming out of the d-box.

About the only "maintenance" required for a septic system is pumping out the tank every five years.

Septic system problems usually are related to the drainfield, which can eventually clog up with sludge or roots.

The roots can be zapped with root-killer. There are temporary solutions to the sludge, but the only real solution is to add a line or replace the drainfield, if the drainfield is failing.

From your description, though, it sounds like you have a problem at the tank. Is that where the septic water is bubbling up? On top of the tank, and not the drainfield? That could be a simple plugup at the tank or at the d-box.

You need to get an environmental technician from the Health Department to come out and inspect...

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bubbling toilet on septic tank


Sounds like you will hve plenty of work ahead of you - my bet is that the leachfield and piping need replacement.

I had similar problem (long story) and had to rplace both the septic tank and drain field. Fortunately I was able to get half of the cost out of the previous owners (50% of cost is better than 100% of nothing).

In my case the soil had high clay content and rocks, so a pressure mound dispersal system had to be installed. This takes up space above groound and on a small lot, would be a bit of an eyesore. In my case not too bad as I am on 120 aces.

The total cost for my system was $25,000 and took about one week to install.

In your case it might pay to get the 'D' box checked out - if that is blocked, then little will pass through it. If the D box is clear and pipes good, then your leach field ill probably need...

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In rural areas where houses are spaced so far apart that a sewer system would be too expensive to install, people install their own, private sewage treatment plants. These are called

septic tanks


A septic tank is simply a big concrete or steel tank that is buried in the yard. The tank might hold 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of water. Wastewater flows into the tank at one end and leaves the tank at the other. The tank looks something like this in cross-section:

In this picture, you can see three layers. Anything that floats rises to the top and forms a layer known as the scum layer. Anything heavier than water sinks to form the sludge layer. In the middle is a fairly clear water layer. This body of water contains bacteria and chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorous that act as fertilizers, but it is largely free of solids.

Wastewater comes into the septic tank from the sewer pipes in the house, as shown here:

A septic tank naturally...

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Residential Septic Pumping: The Importance of Maintaining Your System

Even though you can’t see it, your septic tank is a very important part of your daily life. It controls the drainage system and sorts out all the waste from it. Residential Septic pumping and maintenance are very important so that you can enjoy a smooth functioning system in your home.

At Liberty Plumbing and Septic, we provide you with a wide variety of services at a fair price. We make use of the latest technology and procedures to ensure that all your plumbing needs are met. Call us at Liberty Plumbing to set up your appointment today.

Working of the Septic Tank

All the waste that goes down your drain at some point converges into a single pipe that leads them to the septic system. Here, it breaks down slowly and separates, forming septage.

The heavier part of this septage sinks to the bottom of the tank and becomes sludge. The sludge comprises of all the heavier stuff right...

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When your plumbing backs up and into the house, it can be hard to tell if you should contact a plumber or a septic maintenance provider. Although plumbers and septic maintenance providers may seem to deal with the same type of septic system problems, the truth is these two businesses do not overlap; a plumber does not have the knowledge required to fix septic systems, and we are not equipped to resolve plumbing issues.

Here’s a quick video from Chad with some tips on how to know when to call a septic system maintenance provider like Van Delden or a plumber when your plumbing begins to back up.

If you are experiencing septic backup, try checking the septic system’s cleanout. The septic systems cleanout is the short PVC pipe with removable cap that sticks out of the ground between your house and the septic tank.

If you do not see any backup in the septic cleanout, we recommend you contact a plumber, as this is an indicator that the...
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When homeowners hoist a wrench to install or repair sinks, tubs and toilets, they risk more than leaks. They risk their sanity, finances and general mechanical disaster. Here are 10 essential principles to avoid plumbing disaster.

1. Don't go galvanic.

You often see copper and galvanized steel plumbing mixed in residential water systems with nothing separating them other than a little thread sealant or Teflon plumbing tape. The galvanic connection (copper to steel) can be trouble-free for years or the steel plumbing can begin to corrode almost as soon as the connection is tight.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What to do: Use a plumbing fitting called a dielectric union to connect copper pipe to galvanized steel. The fitting uses a steel collar on the steel side and a copper collar on the copper side and isolation bushings to keep the parts separate.

2. Flow out, not back.

Back flow occurs in municipal water systems (or...

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I live in a studio apartment with one bathroom.

The toilet has been making bubbling noise for a while (on and off). I placed a work order for the toilet making the noise but no one came.

It was bubbling again this morning so I flushed the toilet, and the water backed up, flooded, and tub filled. At first, the water was clean because there was nothing in the toilet, but all of sudden I saw dirty water backing up.

This happened like an hour ago, and the toilet and tub are all drained. The toilet and pipes have been making noises the past hour but they are all quiet now.

I called the maintenance, but they are slow at getting things done and no one came yet. Is this plumbing issue common? Has anyone experienced the same thing? This is the first time I'm experiencing this, and I don't know what to do. It's disgusting but can I still use the toilet and shower? I'm scared that the same thing would happen if I flush the toilet.

Please help....

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Have you ever heard your toilet making strange sounds and look in to see bubbles coming up through your toilet? This is usually a sign that your pipes are not draining properly and a backup in your septic system may occur soon. There are a few things you can check by yourself before calling a plumber.

First, Check the air vent on top of your roof. If a bird has built a nest or something is covering the hole it will not allow the sewer gases to vent properly and will cause them to find other options of escape.

Second, There may be a clog in your plumbing system. Try to run water down various drains and flush the toilets to see if there is one drain that is draining slower than the others. Also, watch to see if the toilet bubbles when a specific part of the system is used. For example, when the washing machine is used does it cause the toilet to bubble.

Third, Buildup in the plumbing pipes, such as from soap scum, could also restrict free flow and cause the...

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A toilet bubbling in Belleview, FL could be a precursor to a bigger problem, so let us handle it.

Unless you live near a waste processing plant, the chances are good that you have a septic system on your Belleview, FL property. If you do, you need to keep an eye out for signs that your septic system needs to be cleaned or repaired. One of the most common indications of a problem with a septic system is a toilet bubbling or backing up.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize that a toilet bubbling could be an indication of a bigger issue. In many cases, a bubbling toilet is the result of a clog in the plumbing. When your plumbing becomes clogged, water cannot pass through the system fast enough, and the pipes become backfilled with water and sewage. Eventually, the whole system could overflow.

If you don’t address a problem with toilet bubbling promptly, you could end up with a much bigger problem on your hands a few days or weeks down the line. You need to...

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How House Construction Works

Rough Plumbing

by Marshall Brain

Let's say you want to put a toilet in a house. Two-hundred or 300 years ago this was not an option -- everyone used outhouses. If you visit the governor's mansion in Williamsburg, VA, you will see that in the 1700s even England's high colonial governor used a pair of three-holer outhouses located at the back of the formal garden. Eventually, public water supplies and pressurized well systems allowed people to have indoor plumbing, and this allowed for the addition of indoor toilets. A toilet has to flush somewhere, so sewer systems evolved.
Why can't you run the sewer line from a toilet or a sink out of the side of the house so it spills on the ground? That certainly would be easy and inexpensive, but people learned fairly quickly that human waste spilled on the ground smells bad and leads to incredible disease problems. Septic tanks and sewer systems take care of...

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So, you’re enjoying your morning shower when all a sudden you hear a bubbling noise from your toilet.
What the heck?

There are two possible causes:

Clogged sewer drain lineBlocked vent stack

Let’s explore each of these issues and how you can fix them.

Cause #1) Clogged sewer drain line

Check out this image:

Source: Corner University

See that drain pipe in the bottom left? If there’s a clog there, water will back up into the lowest drain, in this case that drain your toilet. That backing up of water is causing the bubbling/gurgling noise.

Causes of a clogged sewer drain line include:

Tree roots (trees planted over the drain line love to invade nutrient-rich drain lines with their roots)DebrisOdd items flushed down the toilet

How to fix a clogged drain line

Unclogging a drain line depends on what’s causing the clog and how far down the clog is.But you can try a few things before calling a professional...

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The “Du All Sewer & Drain” plumbers of South Florida provide full service plumbing maintenance and repairs as well as clogged drain cleaning, including septic tank pumping in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties as well as water leak detection and repair. Du All has more than 37 years of plumbing experience.rnrnCall Palm Beach County’s Du-All Plumbing at 800-481-4100 to have your septic system professionally pumped or repaired. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and our same-day service. Visit our website to learn more about our company or to review our plumbing services.rnrnrnrn

A septic tank in good order will filter and safely release sewerage without issue. A backed-up septic tank, however, can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. You can prevent serious issues with your septic tank by keeping an eye out for these signs and symptoms:

You Smell Pungent Odors
One of the most obvious signs of a backed-up septic tank is the smell of...

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What is a Septic System?

A septic system is a small scale wastewater and sewage treatment system common in rural areas where connection to city sewer lines is minimal or non-existent. An anaerobic bacterial environment, that is, one existing without the presence of oxygen, causes decomposition of the waste discharged into the system. The septic system is designed to remove, and treat, then slowly release wastewater over an area of land to be absorbed by the soil.

System Features & Functions


All substances disposed of via any drain in the home will flow through the plumbing to the septic tank.

Septic Tank

The septic tank is a solid holding tank usually constructed of concrete, fiberglass, steel, or polyethylene, designed specifically to...

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We have been in the Plumbing and Septic business for many years, it is not only our livelihood, but it is our life, we love what we do! We both live in the Dallas, Ga. area and we just want to give something back to our community. We do this by hiring honest, friendly, clean, drug-free professionals that you would welcome into your home. Our service trucks are fully prepared to handle all your needs; we do not want to take any more of your time than we have to. Your time is very important to us. Our mission : To treat each customer as if they were family. To be responsive to their concerns and needs. To take time with each customer and fully explain the solution in terms the customer will easily understand.

To be professional, friendly, and treat their home as if it were our own. Our 100% guarantee. Having a plumbing problem does not have to be a terrible and expensive experience! Twins Plumbing and Septic stands behind our Mission Statement; we also back our work with a...

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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Blocked drain or drain backup diagnosis: caused by drain blockage versus caused by septic system failure: here we explain how to determine if a blocked or slow drain is due to a problem inside the building or outside in a sewer line or failing septic system.

When a building drain or main sewer line is clogged or slow, or when there is a septic system backup, it's important to determine where the problem lies, since the repair steps can be quite different and costs can vary widely.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

DRAIN vs SEPTIC - Is the slow drain problem due to indoor plumbing or the septic system?

Is it a Plumbing Problem or a Septic System Problem - A First Look

Sewage odors, wet areas on the property, slow fixture drains, gurgling...

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As you know each time you turn on a faucet, flush a toilet, or do a load of laundry, the water and waste travels out of the house and into the Septic Tank. Some of the waste sinks to the bottom and some of it floats. As more water goes into the Septic Tank, an equal amount gets pushed out to the Drainfield.

From the first Septic Tanks until 1992 there was no real baffle installed in the tank to hold back the sludge from getting close to the outlet end of the tank. On these old style tanks when the water enters the tank, it stirs up the sludge and can push it out into the drainfield blocking the flow of water entering the Drainfield lines.

In 1992, installation of the baffle made a great improvement at keeping the sludge away from the outlet therefore the stirring affect has been kept to a minimum. This does not mean sludge cannot find its way to the outlet. Only regular Septic Tank pumpouts help prevent sludge from getting into the drainfield.

Where does all...

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Since 1994, we have provided superior 24/7 service and Atlanta plumbing service to our commercial and residential customers, assisting them with solutions to all their plumbing needs.

RooterPLUS! offers comprehensive septic solutions to help you avoid expensive repairs. Together with a septic system inspection, we will answer all your questions regarding your tank and field lines.

We have technicians all around the Metro Atlanta area that can handle any commercial or residential drain cleaning need you may have. We also repair and replace damaged sewer lines.

Rooter PLUS – Plumbing & Septic Tank Services in Cumming, Alpharetta, Duluth, Roswell, Atlanta & Marietta, Georgia

No one looks forward to a plumbing problem in their home. Yet, these things do indeed happen, and they occur more frequency than you may think. When disaster strikes your home, who do you call? We are a quality company that serves individuals in various areas including the...

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I have a question regarding a septic system.

I was in my basement and heard our toilet bubbling a little bit. At the same time someone upstairs flushed a toilet and someone else just finished a shower about 15 minutes prior. So at the same time our drain near our laundry area released some water up through it.

Basically it was probably about 2-3 cups of water coming up from the floor drain when the upstairs toilet flushed and the downstairs toilet started making a bubbling sound.

My wife said the same bubbling sound came from the floor.

I noticed a few weeks ago a little dampness so this problem may have been going on for some time now.

It's currently 22 degrees outside. Could that have something to do with this?

I also want to mention that our septic system outside is about 30 years old and probably needs replacement.

Can you tell us what we should do and what the risks are right now (like backing up into house...

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You might dig up the septic tank yourself and remove the hatch and look inside yourself first. If the liquid leve is right up to the top that means either rain water is getting in and/or the leach field is so soaked with rain water that it is no longer accepting outflow from the septic tank.

Normally the water level in the tank is about 6 inches below the top of the tank.

If you don't remember when the septic tank was last pumped and it has been several years, then you might as well have it pumped out now. While the tank is empty you might be able to see whether rain water is entering via the inlet pipe, backing up from the outlet pipe, or seeming coming up from nowhere which may suggest a leak in the tank.

The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will...

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Septic systems dispose of a home's wastewater when the house's sewer line is not connected to a municipal system. Understanding how the system works, detecting minor problems before they become serious issues and otherwise taking good care of the system minimizes the potential for extensive, costly repairs. Septic systems commonly fail or experience problems because a septic tank is full or a clog exists somewhere in the line. Some of the earliest signs that a septic system is struggling are first spotted indoors.

Indoor Plumbing Warning Signs

Some indications of septic system problems, such as clogs or a full septic tank, include slow-flushing toilets; slow drainage or water backing up into sinks, showers or tubs; gurgling drainpipes; or even sewage backing up in toilets and sinks. Unpleasant odors around the house are another obvious symptom of septic troubles.

Take It Outside

Inspecting the area around the septic tank and the drainfield can yield...

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Look for evidence of a leak along the base board of walls near the location of your plumbing fixtures.

Pipes that contain water under pressure can become corroded, develop loose fittings, or crack because of freezing, allowing a continuous loss of water until repaired. Mildew or mold, darkened surfaces, or even puddles of water may occur below leaks. If the problem is inside the wall cavity, it may be necessary to remove the paneling, plaster, or wallboard to correct it.

Pipes also may sweat when cold water passes through them in warmer interior air-spaces in the home, and this water condensing on the surface of pipes may drip, causing moisture problems to appear where no leak...
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IS...a unique blend of all natural bacteria and enzymes used to eliminate waste buildup in plumbing and septic systems. Our enzyme concentration is the most powerful on the market and is delivered to you in powder form to retain potency and maximize effectiveness. Unlike liquid treatments which usually only contain 1 or 2 types of enzymes,


powdered form contains 4 different types! This allows it to treat the 4 types of waste (protein, grease, carbohydrates, fibre) found in every system.


is non-poisonous. It creates no heat, no fumes, no boiling. It does not attack live tissue nor inorganic materials, only organic wastes like grease, hair, food particles, paper, cotton & sewage. This makes


safe for people, plumbing and the environment.


changes the waste particles into water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash which run harmlessly out of your waste system. These elements are then available for plant...

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Recent Job Requests for Pump Out a Septic Tank Contractors in Atlanta, Georgia:

Project Location: Atlanta, GA 30327

Date: 09/06/2017

Is this an emergency?: No

Request Stage: Ready to Hire

Desired Completion Date: 1 - 2 weeks

Comment: 1500 gal tank. Park truck 160 or 175 feet from tank Steep driveway

Project Location: Atlanta, GA 30338

Date: 09/06/2017

Is this an emergency?: No

Septic System Problems: No problems, time to pump

Request Stage: Ready to Hire

Desired Completion Date: Within 1 week

Project Location: Atlanta, GA 30327

Date: 08/2017

Is this an emergency?: No

Request Stage: Ready to Hire

Desired Completion Date: Within 1 week

Property Owner: Yes

After Business...

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