Message Board Thread - "Locating Septic Tank"

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Locating Septic Tank bigboy 12/5/2006
I have a client whom I am trying to help locate his septic tank. After visiting the property twice, I realized that I must wait for a relatively cool day/evening with little or no wind. Otherwise, the daily temperature (and the ground)here in the Space Coast of Florida is too warm to detect what I believe will be a relatively small temperature difference anyway. Does anyone have any experience with this in particular or scanning the earth in general? Thanks.
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank Intertec 12/6/2006
Try using Ground Penetrating Radar(GPR), a local engineering company in your area should have one.
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank bazza 12/6/2006
Why dont you locate where the effluent pipe leaves his building then use rods to follow the pipe until you find the tank?
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank bigboy 12/6/2006
bazza wrote:
t you locate where the effluent pipe leaves his building then use rods to follow the pipe until you find the tank?
The house is on a very shallow crawl space; owner says he can see pipe from a hole in the floor in laudry but cannot access the pipe its self from the crawl. So we know generally where the pipe is in the crawl but do not know where it exists the building. Thanks though.
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank Lady IR tech 12/6/2006
bigboy wrote:
The house is on a very shallow crawl space; owner says he can see pipe from a hole in the floor in laudry but cannot access the pipe its self from the crawl. So we know generally where the pipe is in the crawl but do not know where it exists the building. Thanks though.
You should also be able to go where ever records are keep in your state on the building of the house. Look at the Orginal house plans(drawings) and that will tell you where the pipe comes out of the house at and the area the tank is Suppose to be in. Normally this is the local recordors office or planning and zoning. Some where the house had to be inspected and passed by the local building inspectors.
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank bigboy 12/6/2006
Lady IR tech wrote:
You should also be able to go where ever records are keep in your state on the building of the house. Look at the Orginal house plans(drawings) and that will tell you where the pipe comes out of the house at and the area the tank is Suppose to be in. Normally this is the local recordors office or planning and zoning. Some where the house had to be inspected and passed by the local building inspectors.
The house was built in 1901. The owner has been all over the typical places searching for any record he can get his hands on. Believe me, there are no records kept as far back as 1901! What I was hoping for out of this message board were some possible tips using IR! Thanks for all the other suggestions however.
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank bazza 12/6/2006
Is the site dead flat? If not you ve effectively halved the area you need to look at. Dont know where you are located or if theres much grass in the site.
Have you noticed any grass that is growing better than else where. This may co incide with increased nutrient levels due to treated effluent.

A mini digger running along the footpath might be easiest way of locating pipe to tank
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank JKEngineer 12/7/2006
bigboy wrote:
a client whom I am trying to help locate his septic tank. After visiting the property twice, I realized that I must wait for a relatively cool day/evening with little or no wind. Otherwise, the daily temperature (and the ground)here in the Space Coast of Florida is too warm to detect what I believe will be a relatively small temperature difference anyway. Does anyone have any experience with this in particular or scanning the earth in general? Thanks.
If you have highly varied ground cover, it will be problematic.

I would suggest scanning the area at night. If it is not apparent initially, do it in conjunction with running water through the system at a temperature other than the surrounding ground temperature. You could use cold or hot water. You are looking for a signature of the tank, or the pipe, or the outlet leach field. The leach field, if wetter than the surroundings should show up by itself.

Let us know how you make out.

Jack
Jack M. Kleinfeld, P.E.
Kleinfeld Technical Services, Inc.
Infrared Thermography, Finite Element Analysis, Process Engineering

Bronx, NY 10463

718-884-6644
866-884-6644 toll free
212-214-0919 fax and voice mail
Skype: JKEngineer

JKEngineer@aol.com or JKEngineer@KleinfeldTechnical.com
come see what we can do for you: http://www.KleinfeldTechnical.com

 
Re:Locating Septic Tank Rick Munne 1/7/2007
bigboy wrote:
a client whom I am trying to help locate his septic tank. After visiting the property twice, I realized that I must wait for a relatively cool day/evening with little or no wind. Otherwise, the daily temperature (and the ground)here in the Space Coast of Florida is too warm to detect what I believe will be a relatively small temperature difference anyway. Does anyone have any experience with this in particular or scanning the earth in general? Thanks.
Have your client run hot water down the drain for at least 15 minutes, go outside and have fun. Remember that septic tanks are usually found in line between the bathrooms and kitchen either in the front yard or the back yard and at least 8-12 feet away from the wall. You should be able to find trace readings and locate the out going line after about 5 minutes of hot running water depending on groung frost or densinty conditions.
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank Top Gun 1/8/2007
I like Rick Munne's suggestion and will add more detail. Run hot water down the drain for the 15 minutes or more. Do it in the morning before sunrise; this would be the coolest time of day, preferably on a clear morning. After the water has been running for about 10-15 minutes, look for heat trails in the crawl space first to get a direction if possible. Maybe you'll see something outside. Make sure all vegetation near the house is mowed down, close to the ground. That will allow ground heat from the water to show. It is possible that with a house built in 1901 that there is a huge underground vault built that will be hard to find. Otherwise, the pipe may drain directly into a nearby swail, stram, or river. If one of these is nearby, check them out for warmth after 20 minutes. Also, check the county records to find previous owners who may have a clue. Good luck!
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank Aubrey 1/12/2007
Most water heaters have a hose bib on the bottom that you can attach a garden hose to and run the other end to a nearby sink. You can get a great flow for a while.

Aubrey
 
Re:Locating Septic Tank jamesatGIV 1/2/2008
If the house has a laundry sink or another trap that is easy to access.Remove the trap,snake a 1/4 inch piece of copper tubing down the drain pipe as far as you can.Seal the opening and tubing with duct tape.Connect tubing to a 30 gal.tank of liquid N2,open valve 1-2 turns.In 10-15 min.,find the black line in the soil.

If there is a house trap,you'll need to inject the N2 in the outlet side.But if there is a main trap you will already know where to start looking.
 


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