When You Should Think About Replacing the Distribution Box On Your Septic System
If you have a stand alone septic system servicing your home, you probably do not think much about it and you remain confident that all is functioning as it should. At least until something goes wrong and you find sewage seeping back into your home through the drains. Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar scenario for septic system users. The good news is it all can be avoided by simply having it inspected regularly so that events like replacing the distribution box or other problems can be avoided.
What are Distribution Boxes?
These can very likely be one of the most important components of septic systems today. It lies between the septic tank and the drain field and is responsible for channeling the liquid wastewater out into the network of pipes that lead into the drain field. If placed properly when the system is installed, it should never be a problem but if it should ever become clogged, then replacing it should prevent a regularly maintained system from ever breaking down again.
When the system is installed, the distribution box should be placed on only the original, solid ground, and not any portion that has been raised by adding fill soil. If you place it on top of fill soil, there is the risk that at some point over the years it will begin to settle from the weight of the waste water passing through it and will make the passage of water through it more difficult if its elevation should change. If you need to add fill to the ground under it, then use gravel and not loose soil. Level gravel will still keep it from shifting around and losing its elevation. The pipes leading into the distribution box can be at a slightly higher elevation, but those leading out from the box to the drain field must cant downward to provide an even flowing out into the field.
Signs of Backup Beginning
Regular septic maintenance should keep the tank from becoming too full of solid matter and only water should be passing through the distribution box. Should you notice a foul smell coming from the drains or water moving slower than normal when you drain a sink or tub or flush the toilet, it may be time to have the box checked for leveling or replacement.
Testing and Replacing
When the septic system is installed, the distribution box should have water run through it, so as to make certain that it is at a proper level and incline to allow water to flow through, into the pipes, without anything remaining inside of it. If it does not, adjustments will need to be made before the entire system goes on line.
Going through the motions of replacing this can be a messy ordeal. Utilizing trained and experienced personnel to accomplish this is your best bet. In fact, doing it yourself can be quite costly, since the septic system will have to be dug up to accomplish the replacement. Make sure that whoever does it checks the level of the box and drain pipes before replacing the backfill or you will have to go through it all again a lot sooner than necessary. A properly leveled system should last for years before having to replace anything, as long as you keep the tank pumped out regularly and have proper septic maintenance done by professionals.