Household Drains Backing Up

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Dannie Boy
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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by Dannie Boy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:56 pm

404cameljockey wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:19 pm
General reply:

In most housing developments (I don't know about private houses) I believe that toilet waste must be a completely different system to other household water waste. My toilet waste from 3 bathrooms goes to 2 septic tanks which can be pumped out cheaply yearly (every 6 months if 4-5 people or users of a lot of toilet tissue :) ).

Someone who needs 'turd crunchers' has a different bowel system to mine, in 15 years in Middle East and Asia I've almost never had to resort to the 'coathanger' principle to clear the u-bend. :)

I do find that bum guns reduce the need for loo paper, although I've always worried about the 'atomised particles of sh1t' that result from using one, added to that created from the actual flushing process.

Thais using toilet paper and depositing it in in the waste bin instead of down the loo - I understand that this is a problem that's disappearing due to education, Thais travelling overseas, and the introduction of stronger flushing loos in modern public areas (although at places like Khao Tao beach bars you'll find you need to learn 'Thai-style').

Interesting to hear about sludge buildup in pipes due to bar soap/shaving foam use. Not had that so far, but will remember it.

Good thread, not afraid to get my hands dirty plunging into it....
Is it normal to have to have septic tanks pumped out regularly - ours have been in use for more than 5 years and we’ve never had to touch them?

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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by Nereus » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 pm

Is it normal to have to have septic tanks pumped out regularly - ours have been in use for more than 5 years and we’ve never had to touch them?
Only in Thailand! :roll:
People will tell you: "but the tank is full". Yes, and if it wasn't then it would not be working! It is what it is full of that is the point. Even for some of the regular posters on here that are full of it, a properly functioning system, depending on the tank size, should only need pumping out every 7 to even 10 years. And the use of paper has no bearing on it, but if "grey" water is being drained into the septic tank, then all bets are off.
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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by 404cameljockey » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:27 pm

Interesting. One of my tanks was full and very smelly, but no idea how long since it was last emptied. It was pumped by an independent guy (with a truck) at the suggestion of our housing management company around 6 months ago (I saw the tank was full) and it's been fine since. The guy said 'call me in 6 months', I figured on at least a year myself. I remember also the tanks used to be pumped out once a year in Dubai until our street was connected to the sewage system.

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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by 404cameljockey » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:32 pm

Nereus wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 pm
It is what it is full of that is the point. Even for some of the regular posters on here that are full of it.
Panties in a bunch, dear?

8)

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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by Nereus » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:44 pm

404cameljockey wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:32 pm
Nereus wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 pm
It is what it is full of that is the point. Even for some of the regular posters on here that are full of it.
Panties in a bunch, dear? 8)
Actually, it wasn't directed at you, more of a European character. However, if you feel the caps fits you by all means wear it. :thumb:
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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by 404cameljockey » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:53 pm

Nereus wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:44 pm
Actually, it wasn't directed at you, more of a European character. However, if you feel the caps fits you by all means wear it. :thumb:
:laugh:

Fair enough and apologies. Can you explain how a septic tank when full doesn't need pumping? I have no knowledge on them, and assume when full they won't be allowed to flow into the general house water waste. Do they just seep into the ground or something?

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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by Nereus » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:31 pm

The tank has to fill up, where else is all that water you keep flushing down the gurgler? So no, if it leaks into the ground it will definitely not function correctly. There is a baffle piece that divides the tank into two parts. The section where the process takes place will, after a short period of time, form a "crust" that floats on the top of the water, but the actual solids SHOULD remain at or near the bottom of the tank, where the bacteria do their thing, allowing the lighter processed water to rise to the top, while what remains is a sludge material in the bottom. The baffle holds back the crust but allows the treated water to flow over it. Some tanks have a large capacity in this area(better), and some just a small area, which acts as a type of secondary settling area.

I have never really understood just what the problem is with septic tanks in this country. One problem may be that very few systems are fitted with what we used to call a "stink vent". That is simply a pipe run from either the top of the tank, or a suitable fitting in the sewage pipe before it enters the tank. The process is anaerobic(does not require air), but there is hydraulic constriction without a vent pipe each time the toilet is flushed, and this MAY be contributing to some of it. The other possible cause is the way the sewage pipe dumps into the tank. The waste should not be simply allowed to dump onto the crust that forms thereby breaking it up, but rather it should enter the tank via a "T" shaped fitting where the straight long part of the "T" is vertical and extends down past the crust, and the inlet is the short part.


The treated water that remains then flows out either into a soak well / field, or in Thailand, into the storm drain.

Otherwise it all ends up a pile of ****!
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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by HHTel » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:47 pm

Good explanation, Nereus. Our main septic tank (we have 3( overflows into 2 other tanks for 'soakaway'. The other 2 have never been emptied since the house was built in 2005. I've not heard of a 'soakaway field' being used in Thailand where a system of pipes stretches under the 'field'.

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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by 404cameljockey » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:43 am

Excellent, thanks, Nereus.

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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by Nereus » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:46 am

I've not heard of a 'soakaway field' being used in Thailand where a system of pipes stretches under the 'field'.
I have not seen it here, but at home we used what was termed "agriculture pipes". A standard PVC pipe, usually 100mm, but with very fine slots cut into it. I made one here one time by just drilling small holes in a PVC pipe.

The other method is to dig a trench and fill it with course stone or gravel. Similar to road aggregate. It needs to have some "fall" on it, which immediately rules out any Thai that I know building one! It should be deep enough to be able to cover it over with soil so it cannot be seen.
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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by hin » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:06 pm

I have not seen it here, but at home we used what was termed "agriculture pipes". A standard PVC pipe, usually 100mm, but with very fine slots cut into it. I made one here one time by just drilling small holes in a PVC pipe.
We bought a couple lengths of that perforated drainfield pipe here in Hua Hin. Don’t remember where, long time ago.. We laid it above ground to distribute the swimming pool filter back-flush over a larger area of our garden.
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What little description we have seen of BB’s turd cruncher suggests to me that in actuality it is probably a grease trap. In many countries restaurant are required to have them installed in their drains. Thai Watsadu has 3 or 4 shelves full of them. They usualy look like a square plastic box and sizes about 20 to 50 liters. They have a collection basket under the inlet and there are 2 chambers similar to a septic tank, there is no electric anything and the top lifts off for easy cleaning.
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Our house was built in 2005. Of course the black water drains into the septic tank. It is vented, has never been pumped and there has never been any problem. But nothing goes into our toilets unless it has been eaten first. Biodegradable does not mean much if the degrading takes too long for the capacity of your tank. Even a piece of wood, before being made into paper, is biodegradable if given enuf time. But how much can your tank digest before it is overburdened..?

Our gray water drains into our curtain drain and is the one that had problems. A couple huge pots of boiling water down the drain can be helpful but wen it finally completely and hopelessly plugged I discovered that instead of a proper ‘P’ trap the builder had simply put an elbow, turned upward, on the end of the drain pipe where it empties into the curtain drain. Which means the pipe stayed full of water so soap residue and tiny bits of kitchen sink garbage just settled and stayed in the pipe and multiplied until it solidly plugged up. So on discovering that elbow I removed it and cleared the blockage with a ‘wet or dry’ shop vac on the discharge end. A really long solidly compacted cylindrical slug of sink garbage and soap, especially from the wash machine, came flying out. BUT BE AWARE - using a shop vac to do this can be severely dangerous if not quickly jerked away the instant you hear the drain is freed and cleared. Even if/tho rated as “wet or dry” the quick rush of a lot of water that will gush out of the suddenly cleared drain can immediately overfill the vac and electrocute you.

I did not put the elbow back onto the end of the drain pipe - replaced it with a proper ‘P’ trap, available at Home Pro or almost anyplace. A ‘P’ trap allows all the water to drain out of the pipe altho still providing a water seal to prevent rodents and insects and snakes from entering the pipe. And our wash machine is now fitted with a long drain hose that discharges into the garden, not into the house’s drain line. A hole drilled thru the wall for the drain hose is not difficult and the trees and flowers love it

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Re: Household Drains Backing Up

Post by Big Boy » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:09 pm

That sounds about right hin. You've done well working that out from my detailed technical description.
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