Septic box

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Old 09-21-16, 07:29 PM
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Septic box

So I was digging in my yard and ran into something unexpected. It's black, heavy duty plastic, and smells like crap. I figure it is some sort of distribution box for the septic. As you can see, I managed to crack the side of it. Maybe a little more than a crack. I am also wondering why there are corrugated pipes coming out of it? It that what a septic system uses...just cheap plastic corrugated pipes? I managed to not damage the pipes. They seem to go straight to the wood line, but perhaps there is a bend in there. I can't imagine why they would lead to the woods. The house is fairly new, built in 1999. How should I fix this? I was thinking of using some fiberglass to mold a new side. I also have this fancy new tape called FiberFix....I've just been waiting for a reason to use it. Thanks!
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Old 09-21-16, 07:34 PM
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additional pic

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Here is a little better picture of the damage. Thanks
 
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Old 09-22-16, 04:07 AM
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Yes, it appears to be a Dbox and the pipe, although dated, is what was used back then for a drain field. I would remove the lid, and clean the inside and outside where the break is, clearing at least a few inches around the break, and use fiberglas mesh with resin to rebuild the corner. The rebuild should be complete, even across the top, so you will be working in 3 planes, top and two sides.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 04:21 AM
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It would be a good idea to rough up the 'plastic' with some coarse sandpaper before you start the fiberglass repair. Your local health dept may have the original plans for you septic system which would show both the location of the tank and the drain field.

Drain fields often use corrugated pipe as it's a good bit cheaper than PVC. The biggest advantage with PVC is if it gets driven over [never a great idea] it's less likely to get crushed.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike12
". . . So I was digging in my yard and ran into something unexpected . . ."
May I ask why the digging . . . . and what kind of equipment crushed this component when it ran over it ?

PS: Anyone whose home is dependent upon a properly functioning on-site septic system needs to know where it's located and avoid these surprises.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 09-22-16 at 05:23 AM. Reason: Added Post Script
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Old 09-22-16, 05:32 AM
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Thanks for the replies and help. All that makes sense. I was trenching irrigation lines with a ditch witch. The D-box was only about 5-6" down at the top, which was a little unexpected. Although it looks like the lines that come out of it are much deeper. When I trenched the rest of the yard, I didnt run into any gravel or pipe....so that part is good I guess. I have not looked into how to take the top off and didnt see any screws yet. Just snaps on? Also, should it stink like it does? I thought the crap and all was in the tank, and this was just the water after it decomposed in the tank. Maybe I need to have it pumped, as it's been 3 years.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 05:42 AM
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What happens inside the tank is just part of the septic equation, the rest relies on the effluent being filtered thru the earth via the drain field. It's been a long time since I messed with a D box but if I remember correctly they snap together. Once you dig out around it you should be able to figure it out.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 06:02 AM
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thanks. I'll head out there and do some digging now.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 06:38 AM
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It looks like you might have a Tuf-Tite brand distribution box. If so the lid just pushes into place. But it looks like you've damaged the lid and it's sealing surface. The proper fix is to replace the box. A leaking lid can let mud & dirt into the distribution box and eventually out to clog the leach field. A simpler fix would be to use some flexible roof sealing tape and tar or roof cement. Fiberglass will not stick well to the polypropylene tank but the adhesives in the tape and roofing tar can stick pretty well if you clean the tank off well. Make sure that your repair does not seal the lid closed.

And, while you have it uncovered it's a good idea to mark it's location. I often set bricks in the ground on end so the brick face is flush with the ground. One brick marking each corner of the box. Or, rebar stakes driven at each corner and flush with the grounds surface so a metal detector can locate it. Whichever you choose you can mow over them but when it's time to find the box they make it much easier.



Look over your trenches carefully. Look for bits of plastic, crushed stone (I know you said you didn't see any) or foam packing peanuts. Any of that in your trench or dirt pile could indicate that you cut through something important and it's much easier to fix now while you have a good idea exactly where the damage occurred.

I'm not trying to be a bung hole but since you seem ignorant of septic systems I suggest doing a bit of reading. It's a vital system to the value of your home. Repairs to it and especially the leach field can be very expensive. Without a working septic system your home is almost worthless so it ranks right up there with water for importance.

There are things you can do to keep your system working properly and there are things you can do to harm it. Knowing what is good and bad will go a long way towards keeping your system in good working order with minimum expense.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for all the info. That looks like my box! I now know why the top looked bowed like it does. It's part of the design. As soon as I get this more uncovered I will clean it up and see about repairing/replacing it. You have some good ideas and I really appreciate your time
 
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