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Fosse/pipework problem

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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Re: Fosse/pipework problem

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.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Some may not like his views, but what a prediction!
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Re: Fosse/pipework problem

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.
Computing - it's another world
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Re: Fosse/pipework problem

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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Re: Fosse/pipework problem

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.
Computing - it's another world
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Re: Fosse/pipework problem

Is a debauche an unblocker plumber? What do I look for in pages jaune?

Thanks Sue
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Re: Fosse/pipework problem

Mogs, if all else fails, ask at your mairie for a recommendation for someone to do the job.  That's what I would do were I in your position.

Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: Fosse/pipework problem

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.
Computing - it's another world
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