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Fosse/pipework problem


mogs
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The toilets on the ground floor are backing up slightly, the water/waste does drain away but slowly.

The fosse chamber 1 has solid mass almost to the top, but when giving it a stir with a big stick underneath all the mass there is liquid. I believe that the bulky stuff should be underneath the water? The 2nd chamber only has about 1/3 liquid in,

The drain pipes outside the toilets are full, and after giving them a prod with the plumber pipes, it just churns up some tissue and the water still doesn't drain.

It's only 2 1/2 years since the 3000 litre tank was last emptied and we don't have massive usage of showers or toilets as a lot of the time I'm in the house by myself.

A friend seems to think that the fosse doesn't need emptying because both chambers would be full, and not as I describe.

Any ideas?

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Mogs, I have no experience of septic tanks since we had one in the UK, which had to be pumped out because the pipework became blocked with hanky type tissues. These had occasionally been used instead of toilet tissue, as we were unaware that they would not disintegrate sufficiently well.

If you Google "septic tank" you will see a wealth of information and diagrams, which should give you some idea of how it works, and possible problems.

It seems likely that the passage or pipe joining the two chambers is blocked, which would account for the difference in the two levels.

I think that "giving it a stir" may just add to your problems, by dislodging parts of the scum, which might contribute further to the blockage.

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mogs wrote : The drain pipes outside the toilets are full, and after giving them a prod with the plumber pipes, it just churns up some tissue and the water still doesn't drain.

Although we are on main's drainage we have just recently had the same blocked up pipes/slow drainage scenario.

Our plumber could not solve the problem in spite of his best efforts .. but he did give us the number of a reliable déboucheur.

This person sorted the situation magnificently in less than an hour .. even though 1/4 of that time was trying to find a hidden regard/inspection chamber so that he could access the pipework from outside. He used high pressure water jets to break up the the blockage and clear the pipes.

Ours was a bad blockage .. so don't leave yours too long.
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Unfortunately OH is away until the end of the month otherwise he would have tried to sort it out. A neighbour tried to help today thinking it was just a simple blockage. She tried flushing with the hose down the pipes to no avail.

The fosse was last emptied August 2016 and before that June 2014. I've heard some people never need to empty, or at least about every 10 years. I think we must have a problem as I'm in the house alone a good part of the time.

But then, OH says I'm full of s*** 😂

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mogs wrote : A neighbour tried to help today thinking it was just a simple blockage. She tried flushing with the hose down the pipes to no avail.

We, like you, tried to sort matters ourselves .. and it didn't work. Meanwhile I called our trusted plumber who, in his turn, brought his expertise to our problem.

Unfortunately our blockage was more serious than we all believed so a déboucheur was needed.

I'm sorry your OH is away until the end of the month but, IMHO, you might well need professional help before then.
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Mint's thought is good : our plumber used the term déboucheur i.e. unblocker .. but perhaps 'nettoyeur de canalisations de fosse' might be more appropriate for you.

The young man who came to sort us out said he cleared out fosse pipes too so it must happen regularly.
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To update, I poured about 12 sachets of eparcyl in the actual fosse, gave it a good stir, saw a lot of gurgling then put another few sachets down the toilets. It's so messy that stuff isn't it.

Anyway, the toilet and drains seem to be better, although I think still blocked somewhere but I'm keeping fingers crossed it will be ok until Wednesday when OH can take over.

After being away for 5 weeks, poor lad is going to have a busy 5 days before away again.
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Your Fosse is supposed to have a crust on the top , that `s how the system works ,anaerobic digestion in the tank and aerobic in the drainage field .( hope you have not now blocked the latter ) there should be a filter on the out let of the tank pouzzolane or cinder type this is more likely the problem if the inlet is clear...in might even be on the inlet to the drainage field ..have a poke at that with a long stick

Dave
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If it is a realtively modern system there should be two concrete lids over "Regards" in the area where the drainage field is. The first one should be where the liquid comes out of the septic tank and over the pouzzane into the drainage pipes that sit over the gravel. If you can find this one, you could lift the cover and see if the liquid is indeed running out of the septic system into the drainage field. The second "regard" is usually at the base of the drainage field. If there is nothing coming out at the first regard, then you can try clearing the pipework that runs back to the tank.
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Not sure.

The fosse itself has 1st chamber which is the one I was stirring in the eparcyl.

The 2nd chamber has a filter that can be lifted out. This chamber had some dirty coloured liquid in but only at the bottom. It wasn't full.

I haven't a clue but does this sound about right?
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Sorry I cannot help, but I was wondering how often you put bugs in it??

I admit that when we got our first septic tank, I worried a lot about such an event, but we had our septic tank for 25years and never had it emptied, checked it from time to time and no problems.

I always put that down to using Bio7 regularly and was careful about toilet paper and cleaning products, although I did use bleach, that was ok for a fosse septic.

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[quote user="idun"]Sorry I cannot help, but I was wondering how often you put bugs in it??

I admit that when we got our first septic tank, I worried a lot about such an event, but we had our septic tank for 25years and never had it emptied, checked it from time to time and no problems.

I always put that down to using Bio7 regularly and was careful about toilet paper and cleaning products, although I did use bleach, that was ok for a fosse septic.[/quote]

Bugs? What sort of Bugs, never heard that before. We use natural yoghurt gone mouldy, eparcyl or tarax, and if we find any dead creatures (thanks to the cats) we put them in too.

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Bio 7 was what was recommended and what we used. I found it expensive, but I was always pleased with it, I think I may have tried eparcyl at one point, but didn't quite trust it to do the job.

And I used a super u or Carrefour type of

Javel that said something like, sans danger pour fosse septique, of convient fosse septique. As I said no problems.

If any of us had taken anti biotics, I would put extra bugs down the toilet.

However, we had a problem once, in early January 1985, when the temperature dropped to about -30c, (we had an outside thermometer), our pipework to the fosse froze, that along with the water pipes, and that was just unfortunate.
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Thanks Idun it's useful to know about the antibiotics, I've never even given that a thought before.

Our daughter who visits regularly has been constantly on antibiotics since November for one infection after another. Maybe that hasn't helped recently.

Anyway, a week on and it is flushing ok but I am not putting toilet paper down the toilet.

Does anyone use Lidl Floralys TP the 3 ply one in the blue packet? It doesn't actually say on the packet that it's ok for fosses, but the girl in the shop assured me it was ok?
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mogs wrote : Does anyone use Lidl Floralys TP the 3 ply one in the blue packet? It doesn't actually say on the packet that it's ok for fosses, but the girl in the shop assured me it was ok?

Can't help as regards Lidl .. but some leaves of 3 ply toilet tissue are thicker than others.

After our blockage - mostly due to toilet tissue but probably added to by my OH's habit of putting bacon fat down the sink - I swapped to a thinner leaved 3 ply from Super U and all seems good at the moment.
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  • 1 year later...
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