Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:41 pm

Just researching it now but is anybody using one with septic? We had one in the old house with city sewage for 25 years and it's like losing a good friend. :P

Doing a little research on it and I'm getting conflicting results. One thing pointed out is you won't have any large particles going down the drain which is a good thing but you're also putting more waste down the drain. I see they have one specifically for septic systems that will inject presumably a rid-x type solution. Haven't looked at the cost of the cartridges.

Not sure about the tank size but it was replaced in 2006. The other issue is we have some mystery pipes, two sewage pipes and two gray water pipes are separated and all exit the house independently. There's a strong possibility we have two separate systems because each pipe even has it's own vent going out the roof. We're going to dig around in the Spring where they exit the foundation to see if the all enter the same pipe outside or what the deal is...
Richard S.
 
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Sytems

PostBy: Sting On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:00 pm

Not a problem

Just expensive

figure on having the tank pumped about 4 times a year and it will be fine :P

Its then Just like changing your oil every 3 months
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:20 pm

I would research pro's & con's on that rid-X --I would never use it in my septic--but enzymes have everything to do w/ that--yes, we have a high enzyme level in Freetown :lol: That disposal surely chops things up much smaller then a good morning dump so I can't see it being a problem with a regular unit ;) You may have a grease trap or dry well of sorts for your grey water--I know I do--we have probably the most efficient disposal unit in the world--on the rare ocassion nobody around has any pigs, I just take it down to the hedge row & dump it--them coyotes make short work of what ever it may have been
Last edited by freetown fred on Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: lincolnmania On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:25 pm

the old timers used to route the grey water directly to the drainfield, or a french drain..........in the neighborhood where i grew up the grey water from the houses used to go to a common drain (6 houses per french drain) around 1990 the state came in and did road drainage improvements and took our drain away and in turn we had to install a new septic tank and proper drainfield cause we had no place to go with all the grey water which exited the oppisite side of the house as the toilet into the septic tank
i would not use a garbage disposal with a septic tank, i'm even careful as to what brand of toilet paper i use.
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:15 pm

I tend to agree with sting and the others, a garbage disposal and septic don't go together. No matter how small you grind the stuff, it is still very hard to break down solids and could damage the leach field eventually.

It is not uncommon for older homes to have a dry well or such for gray water.
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:20 pm

There's been some actual studies done...here's a couple of links if you feel like reading.

The bottom line: Garbage disposals are OK in your septic tank as long as you pump the tank as needed.
(personally, every 5 or 7 years).

Bottom line: Some septic tank additives are bad. The second link has a list of ones "that do no harm". Rid ex is one that does no harm.

If you ask me, the worst thing you can do is have your washing machine go into the septic tank. It deposits a huge amount of soap that isn't good for the bacteria. Many places around here have a desperate "hole" for the washing machine. I don't like it, but my washer does go into the septic. I use Rid ex a couple times a year & pump the tank every 5 or 7 years. 16 yrs so far .... it's still working.

http://www.askthebuilder.com/septic-tan ... -disposal/



http://www.askthebuilder.com/safe-septi ... dditives-/
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:33 pm

My opinion is no garbage disposal. The less you put into the septic system the better. Grease and undigestible solids are the enemy of a septic system.
Here I have a pit cesspool that the bathroom drains into. The laundry and kitchen drain into drywells.
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: mozz On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:02 pm

We have the model they are talking about in the link Freddy provided. INSINKAERATOR. I buy the blue Bio-Charge replacements on Amazon, i think it was $12 for 2 or 3 of them? The have also refilled them with Roebic K87 soap digester because my old cast pipes had a large buildup of soap and grease from previous homeowner. Washer and sump pump dump into the yard. I had to buy the roto-jet kit for my 3100psi pressure washer and you would not believe what 40 years or more of buildup came out. My tank is era 1930 stone slab lid we calculated its way over 2000 gallons 4 bedroom house. Snow melts there first so i know its working somewhat. It has been pumped twice since installed as you have to dig down and remove a 8ft by 2 ft by 4 inch thick slab to get a hose down there. If you have pipes just going outside and you do not know what they do, my advice is leave well enough alone if they are fairly old.
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:31 pm

mozz wrote:If you have pipes just going outside and you do not know what they do, my advice is leave well enough alone if they are fairly old.


Well I think what we're going to do is first find out where they go when they exit the house. Second thing is to find out if they empty into the septic tank, just run some water and see if it ends up there. Glad you mentioned the snow melting. Just went and looked and what do you know, one spot about 2 feet across in the area we though it was. :D It's at least 8 inches surrounding it.

Freddy wrote:If you ask me, the worst thing you can do is have your washing machine go into the septic tank. It deposits a huge amount of soap that isn't good for the bacteria.


We've been careful with that, no anti-bacterial soap or bleach.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:31 pm

It's always fun figuring stuff out on a new house. It took me years before I realized where my sump water drained to -- and that I didn't even need to run a pump! It drains by gravity! 8-)

When I bought this place in '03, they told me the tank was pumped in '00. I just had it pumped for the first time this past July ('10), just for the hell of it. It's just me & the wife here, so I expected it wouldn't need it -- and when I pulled the lid, I was right. Everything was working as it should .... and there were some NASTY worm-like critters in there eating all that yummy poo ... which is a good thing. :lol:

I have strict rules for my tank that I had to really drive home with my wife. She grew up in the city & had never even seen a septic tank before, let alone use one. She was flushing cat litter & all kinds of trash when we first moved here!! :shock: I freaked out on her .. then she started to cry & I felt bad ... so I had to sit her down & explain how the system worked.

So the do's & don'ts that I practice here are:

    No garbage disposal -- garbage goes in the woods. (I wanted one too, but after reading about it, it sounded like a bad idea)

    NOTHING goes down the toilet but pee, poo, & TP .... and the occasional vomit ... :whistle:

    No grease down the sink drains.

    No hair (I pull it out of the drains & toss it, instead of washing it down - wife has really long hair).

    Laundry goes outside - mostly so bleach won't kill the good poo-eating things living in the tank.

    And on the above note: easy on the bleach/cleaning products.

Whether this is right or wrong, it has worked for me for the 7 years I didn't pump the tank. That time will probably be the last time I ever pump it again, unless I have a backup.

Never once added anything to the tank.


The other issue is we have some mystery pipes, two sewage pipes and two gray water pipes are separated and all exit the house independently. There's a strong possibility we have two separate systems because each pipe even has it's own vent going out the roof. We're going to dig around in the Spring where they exit the foundation to see if the all enter the same pipe outside or what the deal is...


Weird how there's 2 sets of pipes there. I can't imagine what for, other than there's 2 septic tanks because a very large family lived there before???
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:43 pm

Putting my voice in with those that state no-go unless the disposal unit is dear enough to you to pump more frequently. If you need it, read up on how to measure your sludge and scum layers. Once you get the hang for how often you'll need to pump and pump when the measurements say to, you shouldn't have any problems if you can afford the frequent pump-outs. A 1,000 or 1,200 gal. tank still has to settle or the solids get flushed out of the tank an plug the field/laterals. A higher daily solids load on the tank make them easy to stir up. With an over load of water usage, solids are carried to the leach field. Even with enzymes, only the carbon content is consumed, the minerals remain to plug-up the works.

I live in a newer subdivision that has systems built to NJ's regs that require a double sized leach field. Too many pipe-poopers moving into the country side that do not bother to learn about maintaining a septic system. Even with double sized leach fields, I've seen three fail already; for lack of pumping and over stirring the tank with HUGE parties.

One of the failed systems belonged to my neighbor with a garbage disposal. They did not monitor nor pump out. In three years their leach field was plugged resulting in the usual stink and sogg That's with a double sized field, three adults and no children:shock:
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: whistlenut On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:55 pm

You cannot have a garbage disposal in any State of NH approved system. This has been true for over thirty years. Don't risk your investment....here a typical field for a 3 bedroom house will spoil 15K to 20K, and that is not a pump system. 1 to 3 years on pumping is MUCH safer, since most owners don't even do that. In the discharge end of the tank, you should at least install a Zabel or equivalent filter, that is easily cleaned when plugged, but alerts the owner that the solids are building up enough to pass solids to the leach field. Only about $120.00 and you can retrofit them yourself. There are more, but this can save you thousands of dollars....and extend the life of the field for a very long time. With the possibility of offending many, you are a complete IDIOT if you do not install a filter as soon as possible when weather permits, and you will say 'Thanks for the tip' many times. Here, we are now required to add a second tank in line with the first, and have discharge filters in both tanks.
Laugh if you want, but if you have 15K to blow, and enjoy your fine landscape destroyed, then have a nice day.......
Ask you local septage hauler or sewage treatment plant...you'll get the same advice. This one is for FREE!!! :idea: :idea:

You can easily live without one....old timers did just fine, and we sure can learn from them. If you are all 'crunchy', the compost pit is your 'very special friend'.

http://www.zabelzone.com/
https://www.thenaturalhome.com/septicfilter.htm
http://septicfilters.com/
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:04 pm

SMITTY wrote:It's always fun figuring stuff out on a new house. It took me years before I realized where my sump water drained to -- and that I didn't even need to run a pump! It drains by gravity! 8-)


No sump pump, it has drains in the basement. :shock: A couple of other mystery pipes, there is about 4 or 5 of them. They disclosed that the basement got a little water during heavy rains but the only water we saw during any of the heavy rains last year was in one corner. That was easy fix, the down spout was just going out on the ground on that corner and because of tree growth it was pitched in slightly where it was going. We ran a piece of PVC so it goes out away from the house. Permanent fix will be this summer.

Image

Another mystery was the down spouts in the front of the house all went into the ground, the neighbor solved that for us because he new where it came out. Hard to see it because of brush but It goes out to the road, it's such a long shot you would have never expected it. The hope is the basement drains are hooked to that too. It goes off to the left, behind the trees there is little hill down to the road. It has to be at least 200 feet run.

Image



Weird how there's 2 sets of pipes there. I can't imagine what for, other than there's 2 septic tanks because a very large family lived there before???


AFAIK the original owner didn't have a family and owned it for maybe 10 or 20 years. I'm thinking when he had it built he wasn't messing around. If you're going to lay 200 feet of pipe for rain water? Just to mention a few other things there's a little screen room out back that has it's own fireplace and it's a nice fireplace. The one 4X4 post by the door has an electric switch mounted flush. :lol: There's both water and electric 100 feet out in front of the house in those trees....

Image


Check out the I-beam in the garage.

Image


That's the kind of stuff we keep finding, the second owners had no kids to the best of my knowledge. When the house was purchased it was in great shape, everything was just old, not beat up old though. Walls were perfect, nothing banged up like you'd expect from kids. When we pulled the carpets up there was only one area with slight stain on the hardwood.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:31 pm

Wood'nCoal
 
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Re: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:34 pm

The easy way to trace the pipes is with a tracer and a beacon on the end of a plumbers fish tape...
If you are to use a disposal a tank filter is a must...
But the composter is the easiest way along with a good kitchen basket strainer...
Helps keep the grease out of the drain by composting also...
The lint from the washer is a septic killer too...
Special filter for the washer will trap that stuff...
Pump early and pump often...
If you like dippin' the tank you can go longer than every 3 years...
But if you have a disposal I would be checking the tank every year...
Just one high flow event can plug the field...
I have drain chambers instead of pipes so less likely to plug and easier to 'fix' when needed...
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