Septic Repair Services
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Sanitary Tee & Effluent Filter in Statesville, Mooresville and surrounding areas
Your septic tank is an important part of your septic system, but your Sanitary Tees — Baffles & Effluent Filters play a very important role — in fact, missing tees and clogged filters can cause serious damage to your system.
So what is a sanitary tee? It is a device which helps the flow of wastewater in and out of your septic tank. They can be made of clay, concrete, or PVC pipe and are typically 4” – 6” in diameter.
The Inlet Tee
The inlet tee directs the flow of wastewater into your septic tank, and prevents the scum layer in the tank from being disturbed. It also can help prevent solids from backing up toward the house if you should experience a septic system backup.
In most cases a missing inlet tee doesn’t affect the overall work ability of the system, but it is extremely helpful to be there. Inlet tees and baffles are not a required component by environmental health department in our area.
The Outlet Tee
The outlet tee or baffle IS a required part of your septic system, and is very important. It must be present for your system to function properly and be up to code.
The outlet tee directs the flow of effluent (wastewater) from the tank to the drain field; it prevents the scum layer from exiting straight into the outlet pipe and causing drain field clogs and premature system failure.
Sanitary Tees are a relatively simple repair that can save homeowners a significant amount of money. Future drain field failure can easily be avoided by performing regular maintenance on your septic system.
What is an effluent filter?
Septic Tank Effluent Filters filter solids down increasing the life of your septic. Effluent Filters are designed to extend the life of your drain field by preventing solids from leaving the septic tank.
These filters operate efficiently for several years or more before requiring removal and cleaning. It is suggested that the unit becleaned every time the tank is pumped or at least every three years.
Lentz Wastewater offers a variety of effluent filters for both residential and commercial applications.
If your septic system becomes clogged and you frequently have to clean the filter, you might be tempted to simply remove it.
Septic tanks work by allowing waste to separate into three layers:
scum (fats, oils, grease, etc)
The solids settle to the bottom and form sludge, where microorganisms decompose them. The scum, composed of waste that’s lighter than water, floats on top. The middle layer of effluent exits the tank and travels through underground perforated pipes into the drainage field. There, gravel and soil act as biological filters to purify the wastewater as it sinks into the ground.
Your state health code requires an outlet effluent filter, so keep it in place. Removing the filter could create a far worse (and expensive) problem. Without the filter, waste particles could pass into the drain field and clog them. It would require extensive digging to clean and unclog the system.
However, your filter should not need semiannual cleaning. Most filters don’t have to be cleaned until the tank is pumped, which is typically every three to five years. If your filter is requiring more frequent cleaning, chances are you’re putting filter-clogging materials down your drain, such as grease, fat or food scraps.
The use of a garbage disposal is a common mistake. A disposer won’t break down food particles enough to allow them to pass through the septic tank filter. It can increase the amount of solids in the septic tank by as much as 50 percent. Flushing plastic materials, disposable diapers, paper towels, non biodegradable products and tobacco will also clog the system.
Septic Tank Tee or baffle plays an important role in the septic system.
Odors around the drain field might be due to loss of the septic sanitary tee in the septic tank. Of course such odors may also be due to a failing drain field, so further diagnosis is in order. Checking the presence and condition of the septic tank outlet tee is done at the septic tank and should be done during routine pumping. If the outlet tee is lost it should be replaced, but you should also assume that the drainfield has a somewhat reduced future life. Failing drain fields may have been caused in part by a previous loss of the septic tank outlet tee. Older tees or baffles frequently deteriorate over time.
The purpose of the inlet sanitary tee is two fold: to direct flow from the house sewer downward into the tank to create a longer detention time for the sewage to allow settling of solids, and to keep the floating scum layer from plugging the inlet pipe. The outlet baffle also has two functions: to prevent floating scum or debris from passing to the drain field, and to ensure the effluent moving to the next part of the system is from the clear effluent zone. Tees we use today enhance the first function through the use of effluent screens to keep large floating solids or debris from passing downstream.
A replacement tee is typically 4- 6” diameter and is the shape of a “tee”.
Your septic tank is an important part of your septic system, but your sanitary tee plays a very important role — in fact, missing tees can cause serious damage to your system. So what is a tee? It is a device which directs the flow of wastewater in and out of your septic tank. They can be made of clay, concrete, or PVC pipe. The inlet tee directs the flow of wastewater into your septic tank, and prevents the scum layer in the tank from being disturbed. It also can help prevent solids from backing up toward the house if you should experience a septic system backup. The outlet baffle directs the flow of effluent from the tank to the drain field; it prevents the scum layer from exiting straight into the outlet pipe and causing drain field clogs and premature system failure.
We often open a septic tank to discover that one or both tees are missing or damages. This can only be determined by looking in the tank, and in some cases the tank has to be pumped first, in order to see inside. When we see a tee is missing, we look at the bottom of the tank when it is pumped to see if the tee fell off. If a tee is missing but it’s not laying at the bottom of the tank, then it’s a safe assumption that it was never installed. If you pump your septic tank regularly, the pumping technician should be checking the baffles. Lentz Wastewater can replace and install sanitary tees.