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 Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: mstruttm (FL)

Just had my very old septic system inspected and pumped. Turns out the concrete baffles have rotten and fallen into the tank. It's not really feasible to use PVC tees as new baffles because the tank is so old that it has two clay outlet pipes. I was thinking about building some baffles out of stainless steel similar to the old concrete baffles and fastening them with tapcons to the septic walls. Is this a good idea?

The outlet baffle looked like this \_/ if you were looking from the top down into the septic tank, with the outlet pipe in between the opening. It probably went down about two feet. The inlet baffle seemed to just be a wall that went from one side of the tank to the other, but I'm not sure how far it went down.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: Dunbar (KY)

Those baffles go to the bottom, and are designed as such to allow the first bay to take on most of the solids, second bay to settle waterborn particulates, third bay to be the finished "clear" effluent that safely distrubutes to the finger system of leaching fields.




I haven't seen John Aldrich "Septic Tank Yank" here in a long time. Anyone know of his whereabouts? His last post was around 318,000 and we're at 383,000 on this thread.

Right about the time I stopped getting emails from him. I hope all is well.

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Always be aware of cross-connections in your potable water systems---They could one day harm you and your loved ones.



Edited 2 times.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: PBwrencher (WI)

Tank Yank would be the best source for this question however; from my limited experience this person is looking at replacing that old thing, you could image what the rest it of looks like, it's lived it's life and now a new one is needed.:)

10-22-08, 8:18am

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A bath a day will keep you healthy in every way.

Safe plumbing brings life and health giving water into our homes, businesses, hospitals and takes away death and disease causing waste.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: hj

The outlet baffle is to prevent grease, etc., on top of the water from exiting through the outlet. The inlet baffle goes down to a point a foor or so above the floor to give the influent time to separate.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: mstruttm (FL)

I understand that the system is very old and will need replacing, but it is still functioning and I would like to get as much life out of it as possible. Now isn't the best time to be forking out $5,000-$10,000.

After the tank was pumped, I could see the outlet baffle at the bottom of the tank and it definately was not long enough to go all the way to the bottom. The pump guy said it only runs down a couple of feet. He told me I shouldn't really be concerned with the inlet baffle and it was the outlet baffle that was important. I'm just thinking something will be better than nothing so I can get some more life out of the system.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: dlh (TX)

this isnt a car. i have never heard of anyone repairing a septic tank.

i have found it is much better to bite the bullet now than it is to wait. waiting almost always means a larger bill in the end.

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: yonson (NJ)

My septic guy told me the same thing when my exit collapsed (the exit is most important). He placed a "t" type port at the exit, but mine was PVC. An easy fix.

:cheers:

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

Do you have a scrap or 12" diameter pvc pipe ,two feet long?cut it in half use half at each end tapcon it with the top, at the top of the inlet hole and the outlet four inches or so higher than that.Old culvert pipe .Dead propane cylinder.If you use metal it may decay faster but should give you five years to save up.Good Luck with any rig.You need a new tank.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: mstruttm (FL)

Ok, I know the tank needs replacing, but it's not going to hurt by rigging it to last a little longer since the entire system will need to be replaced anyway. I am not doing any more damage by not replacing it now.

So, the 12" PVC sounds like the best idea yet.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: PBwrencher (WI)

"There is nothing so permanent then something so temporary.":)

The plumber I served my apprenticeship under would say that when we were called in to make the correct repair after a handyman or homeowner only did a temporary fix that would last sometimes for years.:think:

Be honest, it will never get fixed until the system completely craps out.:think2:

10-23-08, 7:18am

- - - - - - -

A bath a day will keep you healthy in every way.

Safe plumbing brings life and health giving water into our homes, businesses, hospitals and takes away death and disease causing waste.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: yonson (NJ)

"it will never get fixed until the system completely craps out"

Pun intended???

:clap:

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: mstruttm (FL)

I also plan on constructing new concrete lids. Is this ok to do with quickrete conrete mix and rebar? I want to make sure that there is no danger of the lids breaking, which there is with the current lids.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: hi (TX)

Hello,
You may still be helped..

The exit T and the baffle are placed to keep solids and greases out of the leach field which will plug the pores and render the leach field inoperative and result in effluent finding its way to the surface.

You have a two chamber tank that has made itself a one chamber tank with the collapse of the baffle wall. This is not an infrequent finding during septic inspections done properly.

Your best (most effective and cost effective) fix is to place a PVC Tee on the outlet to the box. This keeps the floating solids out of the field. It needs to be fit solidly and leak free to be effective and long lasting.
If possible also place an inlet T to force "incoming" waste to go to the bottom rather than float across to the exit of the tank.

If the repair exposes the exit of the tank you may also want to include an effluent filter to trap solids before they go to the field. This is a newer design that further reduces material that can plug up the leach field.

Be careful with the tanks as they can collapse and may not have enough oxygen to support life inside! Safety is Most important!!

Here is a article discussing your exact question. The website contains a "wealth" of septic info..

[www.inspect-ny.com]

Here is another (scroll about 3/4 way down and see the part about the baffle deterioration and repair...)
[www.ces.purdue.edu]

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: mstruttm (FL)

I mentioned in my first post that using tees is not feasible at the outlet due to there being two clay outlet pipes. I guess I could try to use two tees, but how would I secure them to the clay pipes?

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

You might be better off wrapping the old ones ,with rewire making the joint on top then adding a 2" layer of topping mix.Good Luck.Unless you intend to pour the lid's six or more inches thick ,smaller stone or sand type should be used.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: PBwrencher (WI)

Don't you have plumbing codes in Florida where the concrete tank and top must be made of Monolithic Concrete and must have the strength of 2000lbs per sq inch or more so it does not cave in on a poor sole years from now:?:

10-25-08, 8:20am

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A bath a day will keep you healthy in every way.

Safe plumbing brings life and health giving water into our homes, businesses, hospitals and takes away death and disease causing waste.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: redwood (CT)

Things are a tad bit lax in Florida IMHO

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: mstruttm (FL)

Quickrete says it is 4000 psi.

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 Re: Old Septic System Baffle Repair
Author: rca411 (OK)

Can't you just dig it up some behind the tank, then stub PVC back into the septic tank and glue on a sanitary tee for a new baffle?

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