Repair and maintenance of a septic tank

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Repair and maintenance of a septic tank
Repair and maintenance of a septic tank

Reasons for the failure of septic tanks. Sewerage rules, how to carry out maintenance of sedimentation tanks? Elimination of defects in cleaners. Cleaning and repairing a septic tank is a set of measures to ensure the uninterrupted and correct operation of the cleaning device. Such operations are inevitable during the operation of the settling tank, but the need for them can be delayed. What to do if a septic tank breaks down can be found in our article.

Causes of septic tank breakdowns

Clogging of the septic tank with inorganic
Clogging of the septic tank with inorganic

Septic tanks are designed to solve the problems of waste disposal from home in suburban areas. The device and the principle of operation of the product is strikingly different from the sewage system, which is used in the city.

The purifier is an autonomous system of one or several interconnected containers, which receive wastewater. The specificity of the structure lies in the presence in modern products of special microbes that decompose organic inclusions and disinfect reservoirs. Solids that are not recycled fall to the bottom.

Violation of the operating conditions of the product and poor-quality maintenance leads to the death of microflora and improper operation of the cleaner, as well as mechanical damage. Therefore, all family members need to study the rules for using the sump so that no emergency situations arise.

The septic tank easily recycles such waste:

  • Toilet paper;
  • Dirty water from washing machines;
  • Kitchen waste;
  • Waste water from the bathroom.

The device quickly fails for the following reasons:

  1. The remains of vegetables and fruits, waste after cleaning forest mushrooms, medicines, alcohol, acids and alkalis, fuels and lubricants are thrown into the septic tank. All of these substances destroy aerobic bacteria.
  2. Non-degradable objects entering the sump - plastic bags, packaging materials, cigarette butts, construction waste (cement, sand, etc.). Inorganic substances interfere with the function of the device.
  3. Use of personal care products that should not be thrown into the cleaner. For such a sewer system, it is allowed to use only products labeled "for septic tanks".
  4. Drainage of water from filters into the system, which was purified with substances based on potassium permanganate and other oxidants.
  5. Accumulation of large quantities of pet hair in tanks.

Failure to comply with the rules for the operation and maintenance of the septic tank, as well as the installation technology, leads to mechanical damage to parts and assemblies of the device.

Most often it is necessary to repair purifiers in such cases:

  • Breakdown of the pump. The pump can be damaged by solid waste that has accidentally entered the tank.
  • Prophylactic inspection of structural elements - utilities, drainage pump and other parts - was poorly performed. If maintenance is carried out in good faith, defects can be detected at the initial stage of destruction and the creation of an emergency situation can be prevented.
  • As a result of improper installation, forces act on the walls and pipes of the septic tank, which lead to their deformation. Unplanned loads significantly reduce the service life of the device. Under the influence of bending moments, the pipes are depressurized - they burst or separate at the joints. The problem arises if, when installing the body, the bottom of the pit was not poured with a cement-sand screed.
  • If the piping is not assembled correctly. Connecting live pipes can lead to their destruction.
  • Reservoirs made of concrete rings and bricks often leak from construction damage. Sometimes the upper part of the septic tank collapses with poor-quality insulation.
  • With prolonged operation of the septic tank, sludge and other solid deposits accumulate in the pipes. The situation may worsen even more if large fragments fall into the reservoir, which clog communications. To return the device to working condition, you will have to dig up the pipes and change them.
  • Failure of mechanical systems due to flooding of the site with flood waters. The consequences can become very dangerous if the liquid gets to the electrical components of the device.
  • Airlift clogging occurs when a large amount of inorganic waste is discharged. In this case, the liquid cannot move to the next compartment, it stagnates, and an unpleasant odor appears.
  • Low-quality equipment installed on the product quickly breaks down. The problem appears when you want to save money and buy cheap equipment. Inexpensive mechanisms can be defective, which becomes a problem for organizing the smooth operation of the device. Treatment plants do not respond in the best way to frequent shutdowns, and unplanned shutdowns are guaranteed to disable the septic tank.
  • Long time intervals between filter washing. Severe clogging makes it impossible to clean them, the part will have to be replaced.
  • Operation of sedimentation tanks with non-working pumps. Most often this happens when there is a power outage. If the pumps are not running for a long time, the sediment at the bottom of the receiving chamber will thicken and seriously impair the water purification already in the storage tank.
  • The septic tank was operated for a long time in an overloaded mode, which is not allowed by the operating rules of the device. If you are planning a large wash, stretch it out for a few days.
  • Serious damage to the product can be caused by its repair by non-professionals who do not know the design and principle of operation of the sump.

Features of maintenance of septic tanks during operation

Live bacteria for a septic tank
Live bacteria for a septic tank

Such complex equipment as a sewage treatment plant requires regular maintenance, which will exclude the occurrence of emergencies in the sewer system. To do this, it is not necessary to seek professional help; you can take care of the system and repair the septic tank yourself.

The list of procedures is given below:

  1. Be sure to visually inspect the product once a month to determine its condition. Often in this way, parts that have served their life are determined. For example, an air compressor has to be changed every 3-4 years.
  2. To keep the septic tank in working order, a large number of anaerobic microbes must be present in the tanks. Over time, they die off and precipitate, so they are periodically added to the tank to maintain the maximum efficiency of the purifier. To do this, a biomaterial is poured into the toilet in the form of a powder, which then enters the reservoir. The increase in bacteria will recycle most of the organic solids and eliminate unpleasant odors from the drain.
  3. Even the presence of very active microorganisms in the products does not allow to completely recycle all the elements and remove them with water outside the tank. Over time, a layer of silt forms at the bottom - an insoluble residue of biological sediments. It reduces the volume of the septic tank and reduces the efficiency of the device. Therefore, periodically (once every 3-4 months) check the level of waste accumulation and, if necessary, remove them. Average productivity equipment is cleaned once every six months. Larger devices can be serviced less frequently. There are three ways to clean a septic tank - mechanical, biological and chemical. Each option is intended to be used in specific situations. The mechanical method is usually used for accumulators and cesspools and is carried out using a sewer or fecal pumps. Biological - for stations with aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Septic tank care chemicals can be used in all cases, provided that the safety of microorganisms is ensured. The last two options make it easier to service the device, because in them, solid inclusions are processed almost completely and are removed to the outside with water.
  4. Also, the pipes of the sewer system are cleaned and its elements (filters, etc.) are washed. To do this, they are dismantled and, after cleaning, return to their places.
  5. Some of the microbes are excreted along with the sludge. To quickly restore the number of microorganisms, do not remove all sediment from the tank, leave 20% for biomass growth.
  6. Periodically disinfect the septic tank with special agents as recommended by the manufacturer of the device.
  7. Keep the sump acidic by adding citric acid, vinegar, and baking soda.

Septic tank repair manual

Repair of a purifier depends on the complexity of its breakdown and the specific situation. Do-it-yourself structures made of concrete rings, monolithic concrete, bricks are easily repaired on their own. Factory-made cleaning stations have a complex design, and in case of a serious problem, it is recommended to invite specialists who know their device. Let's consider how the repair of different types of sedimentation tanks takes place.

Factory-made septic tank repair

Factory-made septic tank repair
Factory-made septic tank repair

To restore the performance of autonomous cleaning stations, it is often necessary to perform the following work:

  • Replacing filters that are out of order due to foreign objects entering the cavities, and rinsing the installed filters.
  • In devices installed long ago, all nodes that have served their time are changed.
  • Excavation work is being carried out to eliminate problems related to the location of the reservoir in the pit. In this case, they dig a new hole under the tank or dismantle the existing one, and then fill the bottom with concrete mortar. You also have to dig holes to replace the inlet and outlet pipes.
  • The reservoir is additionally attached if there is a need to improve the reliability of fixing the septic tank in the vertical plane. The sump can be anchored using synthetic belts or filled with a cement-sand mixture, having previously filled the tanks with water to avoid deformation of the body.

Homemade septic tank repair

Homemade septic tank repair
Homemade septic tank repair

During the operation of home-made septic tanks, it is very often necessary to restore the tightness of the tanks. Usually the problem occurs 10 years after the installation of the device. Let's consider the method of eliminating the sump leaks using the example of repairing a septic tank from concrete rings.

The main reasons for the leakage of a homemade septic tank made of reinforced concrete pipes are shown in the table:

Defect Cause Remedy
Leakage at the joints of the rings Damage to the ends of the rings during the installation of the septic tank Installation of an additional plastic insert inside the septic tank
Flow through the body Use for making rings of concrete with low water resistance Installation of an additional plastic insert inside the septic tank
Flow through cracks in the walls Damage to rings due to high groundwater levels, lack of concrete base, non-insulated septic tank External waterproofing of concrete rings, concreting of the bottom of the pit, insulation of the upper part of the sump

To eliminate leaks, septic tanks are waterproofed from the outside or from the inside. It must be remembered that protective compounds are applied only from the outside, because they are destroyed by sewage.

To eliminate leaks from the inside, use plastic inserts with a wall thickness of 5 mm, with stiffening ribs around the perimeter of the rings. On the construction market, you can find finished products of all sizes that allow you to close the mine in one piece. Many manufacturers make custom inserts. When sizing, it is necessary to provide a gap of 50-100 mm between the plastic and concrete walls.

There are modular structures on sale, which are sold in separate parts with a height of 1500 mm and a diameter of 950 mm. The weight of one element is 25-30 kg.

To create a protective shell for a septic tank, perform the following operations:

  1. Completely empty the tank of sewage with a vacuum truck.
  2. Rinse the walls with pressure water.
  3. If the insert rings are modular, assemble them near the shaft. Connection methods can be different - welding, screwing or using grooves. To seal the joints, install a rubber gasket between adjacent elements. For sealed septic tanks, the lowest module should be with a bottom.
  4. Additionally, seal the joints with silicone mastic on the outside and inside of the structure. Coating is necessary at the initial stage of the settling tank operation, until the walls are covered with silt.
  5. Fill the bottom with 150 mm concrete.
  6. Make sure that the pipe leads in the concrete rings do not interfere with the installation of the product. Trim them if necessary.
  7. Install the assembled structure into the cavity of the concrete rings. The operation can be performed manually if the septic tank is shallow. Lower heavy structures with a crane.
  8. Cut holes for drain pipes in the modules in place.
  9. Fit the outlets of the drain pipes through the walls of the insert. Use cuffs, rubber gaskets and silicone to seal the joints.
  10. Fill the gaps between the concrete rings and the insert with a 5: 1 cement-sand mixture. After filling the gaps to the middle, begin to compact it with a long pole. It should be kept strictly vertical so as not to move the rings.
  11. Install the upper part of the plastic insert - a headband that will protrude from the surface.

An alternative to repairing a concrete septic tank with a plastic insert is external waterproofing constructions. This method is used in the case of a high groundwater level at the site. The liquid penetrates into the pores of concrete and in winter, when it freezes, destroys it.

To protect the walls, perform the following operations:

  • Dig a hole around the septic tank to its full height, 1 m wide.
  • Remove dirt and old deposits from the surface. Clean the joints from debris.
  • Leave the shaft open for a few days to dry out.
  • Fill the gaps between the rings with a cement-sand mixture mixed with water glass. The mixture is prepared in a 1: 1: 3 ratio. Level the surface with a spatula.
  • In the same way, seal all the cracks in the septic tank.
  • Treat the outer surface of the tank with a primer such as bitumen and gasoline.
  • Cover the walls with heated tar.
  • Wrap the surface with roll-bitumen material in 2-3 layers.
  • Fill the dug trench with crushed sand backfill. It reduces the likelihood of soil heaving around the structure.

How to care for a septic tank - watch the video:

The cleaning station is a complex structure, and respect for it guarantees the continuous operation of the device for a long time. Therefore, it is so important to follow all the recommendations for maintaining a septic tank, which are listed in our article.