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A service tech said to me you never let your snake reach the septic tank, specifically because it would mess up the "entrance" into the tank. I just don't remember specifically why. Explain please?
 

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A service tech said to me you never let your snake reach the septic tank, specifically because it would mess up the "entrance" into the tank. I just don't remember specifically why. Explain please?
Did you ask your master? What did he say?

Good question though. Usually tanks will have a tee sometimes a santee and some times a regular tee that you won’t usually be able to snake past (it most certainly can and does happen). However, if you were to break off that tee and/or pipe, that would be a problem that you don’t want to have to fix.

The bigger issue (IMO) is getting your snake tangled. When a snake is in a pipe, it is contained, and under most circumstances will stay with the pipe (if you tangle one in a pipe, its bad; more stuff to fix). A snake in the inlet chamber of a septic tank could be a disaster if it tangles.

Another thing to never snake in to is a backwater valve.
 

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Always ask the HO where their tank is. If they don’t know, which is not uncommon, take a look outside and take a guess where it might be in the direction of where the main leaves the building. Cable till it opens and no further. No warranty.

The very first question you should ask is when was the last time they had it pumped. The septic company I use says every 3-3.5 years. Of course depends on the size of the tank and how many people live there. I can’t tell you how many times that the issue. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve cabled a septic main where the tank hasn’t been pumped in 30+ years and got it open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you ask your master? What did he say?

Good question though. Usually tanks will have a tee sometimes a santee and some times a regular tee that you won’t usually be able to snake past (it most certainly can and does happen). However, if you were to break off that tee and/or pipe, that would be a problem that you don’t want to have to fix.

The bigger issue (IMO) is getting your snake tangled. When a snake is in a pipe, it is contained, and under most circumstances will stay with the pipe (if you tangle one in a pipe, its bad; more stuff to fix). A snake in the inlet chamber of a septic tank could be a disaster if it tangles.

Another thing to never snake in to is a backwater valve.
Thanks so much! But yeah that technician told me about the septic several months ago when i was at a different company, non-union. And my current journeyman is on a temporary leave right now because he just suffered a mild stroke recently AND has covid. So haven't been able to ask him lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Always ask the HO where their tank is. If they don’t know, which is not uncommon, take a look outside and take a guess where it might be in the direction of where the main leaves the building. Cable till it opens and no further. No warranty.

The very first question you should ask is when was the last time they had it pumped. The septic company I use says every 3-3.5 years. Of course depends on the size of the tank and how many people live there. I can’t tell you how many times that the issue. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve cabled a septic main where the tank hasn’t been pumped in 30+ years and got it open.
Will do. Thank you.
 

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End of one winter I was snaking from a toilet flange that was right above theain leaving the basement. Ran out 80' of cable multiple times and couldn't get it flowing. 2nd time out of 5 or so tries I pulled back a plastic disposable shopping bag, the kind people put in bathroom garbage cans. The plastic bag had remnants of napkins/paper. It was then I remembered the u/s of the house was boarded off for heat. Flew like a bat u/s expecting to find a hole in the side of a toilet, nothing....a relief but a mystery.

Cable it a couple more times to 80' and figure the tank must be overfull and ~70' from the house in the middle of the yard. I call my manager as the homeowners were away and apprise him of the situation. He happens to be just down the road so he shows up right when I am done getting the snake in the van. We go around the house to find a deck just outside the bathroom and garbage strewn accross the partial snow cover. Snake marks all over where it had been whipping around! Turns out there was a 500gallon steel Sears tank just outside the house under the deck and the top had collapsed. Animals had made a home under the deck and dragged garbagd under it.

Basically I had ~65' of cable just flopping around outside for ~90mins while I am working on my biceps.

The best part of that story is when they got the new septic system. The day after they finish install the homeowner calls us and says the line's clogged, toilets won't flush, must be the old cast iron in the house clogged up. First thing I check is the brand new septic tank. I pull the end lid closest to the house and find a septic filter, weird. Pull the other end lid and the tank ain't even half full. I go back to the filter and notice it looks funny, pull it out and here comes the deluge! I call the installer up and he says he never put the filter in, left it out so the homeowner could just stick it in his garage. Some guys don't like septic filters. So who put it in??? Turns out inspector was there earlier, found it lying on the ground and put it in the wrong tee!!!!

Moral of that story is don't run your snake into the septic tank or you will break the septic filter! 🤣😂🤣😂
 

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End of one winter I was snaking from a toilet flange that was right above theain leaving the basement. Ran out 80' of cable multiple times and couldn't get it flowing. 2nd time out of 5 or so tries I pulled back a plastic disposable shopping bag, the kind people put in bathroom garbage cans. The plastic bag had remnants of napkins/paper. It was then I remembered the u/s of the house was boarded off for heat. Flew like a bat u/s expecting to find a hole in the side of a toilet, nothing....a relief but a mystery.

Cable it a couple more times to 80' and figure the tank must be overfull and ~70' from the house in the middle of the yard. I call my manager as the homeowners were away and apprise him of the situation. He happens to be just down the road so he shows up right when I am done getting the snake in the van. We go around the house to find a deck just outside the bathroom and garbage strewn accross the partial snow cover. Snake marks all over where it had been whipping around! Turns out there was a 500gallon steel Sears tank just outside the house under the deck and the top had collapsed. Animals had made a home under the deck and dragged garbagd under it.

Basically I had ~65' of cable just flopping around outside for ~90mins while I am working on my biceps.

The best part of that story is when they got the new septic system. The day after they finish install the homeowner calls us and says the line's clogged, toilets won't flush, must be the old cast iron in the house clogged up. First thing I check is the brand new septic tank. I pull the end lid closest to the house and find a septic filter, weird. Pull the other end lid and the tank ain't even half full. I go back to the filter and notice it looks funny, pull it out and here comes the deluge! I call the installer up and he says he never put the filter in, left it out so the homeowner could just stick it in his garage. Some guys don't like septic filters. So who put it in??? Turns out inspector was there earlier, found it lying on the ground and put it in the wrong tee!!!!

Moral of that story is don't run your snake into the septic tank or you will break the septic filter! 🤣😂🤣😂

What's the U/S? Underside?
 

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What's the U/S? Underside?
U/S = Upstairs
D/S = Downstairs
O/S = Outside
C.O. = Cleanout
F.H.P = Feminine Hygiene Product

I have a few more I use frequently which I can't recall at the moment.
 
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