Toliet won't flush
Well, for starters, with a septic system you want to AVOID pouring anything caustic down the drains. They only wreck havoc on a system. If you're a family of 4 (including, say, 2 small children), then depending on your living habits, you may need to have your system cleaned at least once per year. A lot depends on what your family uses for soap, shampoo, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, and what goes down the disposal. You may already know what you're suppose to do (and not suppose to do) when it comes to septic-living, but for perhaps your benefit (and that of others that might be interested), it's BEST to 'educate' yourselves on how to live w/a septic system.
The fact that your system was OK a year ago, as you've already read, it's VERY easy to get behind the 8-ball. Now, let's agree to get past that ...
Yes, it sounds like the blockage is in the line somewhere's between the toilet and the septic tank. What you need to do now is remove the toilet from the floor. Be VERY careful when working w/the screws and such that hold the toilet down. Over tightening can break the porcelin; Under tightening may cause a leak. (You'll need to buy a new Wax Ring when you put the toilet back.)
Now that the toilet is off, assuming you have a 3-gallon tank, pour 3 gallons down the drain, carefully but steadily. Have a mop handy. After that, pour a 2nd bucket down there, carefully but steadily. (Have 2 3-gallon buckets w/you pre-filled because, assuming the 1st one goes down as you say w/no problem, we want to see how much water the piping will take before you see if fill to floor-level. See what I mean?)
Assuming that something like 5 gallons goes down before the water fills up to floor level, that will give you an idea of how far down the blockage is. And by watching the water 'leach down', you might have an idea of how LARGE the thing-that's-causing-the-blockage is. From there, you need to find what's known as a Clean Out. Remove the clean out and use a Pipe Snake to try and 'push' or 'pull' the blockage.
If the piping takes both buckets, and then some, then the blockage may be way down the line. Again, try to snake the line, from 1 clean out to the next, each time insuring there isn't anything in the piping. If you're UNCOMFORTABLE w/all this, call a Pro and have him fix the problem and give your ENTIRE system a check-up. It will be money well spent. He may have info on how to 'use' your system. Your Municipality should have hand-outs too. The WEB is certainly FULL of info on what should go down the pipes.
Consider this a lesson (for lack of better words.) EVERYONE in my Township wants OFF of their septic systems! They prefer the out-of-sight, out-of-mind, system (i.e., public sewer.) You're not alone.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: Don't continue pouring 'stuff' down your pipes. For sure, you'll cause more problems than you're trying to solve. This is why I'm suggesting you have it cleaned, serviced, AND INSPECTED again (to start over.) Again, it's money well spent ...
- 15 Old House Features We Shouldn't Abandon
- 13 Lazy Cleaning Tricks for a Spotless Home
- Laundry Room Ideas to Knock Your Socks Off
- Insanely Easy 60-Minute Home Improvements
- 12 Sheds You Could Live (or Work) In
- Assembly Required: 15 DIY Kit Homes
- 7 House Sounds You Never Want to Ignore
- 10 Surprisingly Simple Woodworking Projects
- Worth It: 8 Renovations That Pay You Back
- Organize Your Life with 12 Dollar-Store Buys
- 9 Totally Amazing Mobile Home Makeovers
- Don't Make These 7 Mistakes in Small Spaces
- 20 Sneaky Storage Ideas
- 15 Totally Unexpected DIY Flooring Alternatives
- 7 Easy Budget-Friendly Backyard Makeovers
- 10 Closet Cures That Cost Less Than $100
- 11 Easy DIY Projects to Declutter Your Home
- 10 "Zero Dollar" Garden Hacks
- 10 Killproof Plants for a No-Effort Landscape
- 9 Insanely Easy 1-Hour Backyard Projects