The term distribution box paints an image in the mind of a device or tool designed to evenly distribute septic wastewater across different pipes. This is exactly what it is.
This small component of a septic system evenly distributes effluent to discharge pipes that connect to the distribution box.
Distribution Boxes For Septic Systems
Here, we’ll be discussing a wide range of issues relating to this critical septic system component.
Such discussion will cover the types of distribution boxes as well as common issues affecting the normal functioning of distribution boxes.
We’ll also be looking at comparisons between concrete and plastic distribution boxes. Which of them is more durable?
If you’ve wanted to find answers to get a better grasp of how a septic system distribution box works, we urge you to read on for more on this.
Septic tank distribution boxes go by several names.
Other common names include splitter box as well as D-box. As our discussion progresses, these names will be used interchangeably.
Do All Septic Systems Have Distribution Boxes?
This is a great place to begin. It’s important to clarify how important distribution boxes are to septic systems. Most septic systems have a distribution box installed.
However, there are still some without such boxes. For those without D-boxes, a different design is adopted to ensure they still function efficiently.
How a Septic System Distribution Box Works
This is an important part of the leach field system that ensures the even distribution of wastewater into the drain field. For a septic system distribution box to work, it requires gravity which is never in short supply.
As effluent flows down a slope to the distribution box, it gets evenly redistributed into the several openings found on the box. There’s only one inlet that connects to the box and several outlets. Drain pipes or lines connect to these outlets and redirect the contents to the drain field.
Finding the D-Box
Sometimes, certain maintenance jobs will need to be performed on the system. As part of the septic system, the distribution box will have to be located. This will prove a bit difficult if you’ve only recently moved into the property.
When faced with this situation, all you have to do is read through simple instructions as you’re currently doing on ways to find such boxes. After finding the boxes, they’re inspected for possible issues and fixed when necessary.
Some distribution boxes may be structurally compromised and require replacement. First, you need to find the D-box, so where do you look? The positioning of the splitter box depends on how the system was installed. In other words, it depends on the layout of your septic drain field.
A couple of tips will give you a possible location for your distribution box. One of the first things to look out for is any sign of depression on the ground. Such depression should be anywhere between the drain field and septic tank.
You may also want to take a look at the site layout. Rectangular and level drain fields are likely to have distribution boxes close to the drain field edge. The easiest way to locate distribution boxes is by taking a look at the site plan. This pinpoints the exact location to find them.
Concrete Vs Plastic Septic Distribution Boxes
There are two main types of septic system distribution boxes. These include concrete and plastic boxes. Now, when it comes to comparisons, one of the most asked questions always has to do with picking the system that’s best among the two.
Before we proceed with further explanations, it’s necessary to know that both concrete and plastic D-boxes will serve their purpose. However, there are slight variations relating to matters of durability among other things.
When compared side-by-side, concrete distribution boxes tend to perform quite better than plastic D-boxes. This is mainly attributed to the sturdy nature of concrete. Concrete splitter boxes are also heavier than plastic.
This means that it won’t easily float to the surface under certain conditions such as buoyant force.
Both concrete and plastic splitter boxes don’t rust. Also, concrete D-boxes get stronger with time. Between the types of D-boxes, those made of plastic material tend to have developed issues during installation.
Extra caution must be exercised with plastic splitter boxes. They’re likely to give way when a car is driven over them. In other words, plastic splitter boxes won’t hold up much weight like their concrete counterparts.
Common Septic System Distribution Box Issues
After a long time of using your septic system, certain issues may arise. There’s no way of knowing directly where the problem lies unless an inspection is made. Sometimes, you may have a flooded drain field. When this happens, it’s a sign that the system isn’t working effectively hence the need to find the causes.
Misdiagnosis of the problem may point at a different issue as the source of the problem. To avoid the possibility of misdiagnosis, consider calling a professional plumber to take a look. The flooding of your leach field may be due to a tipped distribution box.
When in a tipped position, effluent isn’t evenly distributed, thus overloading certain lines over others. The problem can be detected and fixed by inspecting the splitter box and putting it back in its correct position.
Like most components of a septic system, distribution boxes play a crucial role in its smooth functioning. We’ve also mentioned that not all septic systems have this component. Based on their designs, certain septic systems are better off without splitter boxes.
If you use such systems, there’s no need to worry about the distribution box because it’s non-existent.
However, the opposite holds for those having this component. To avoid any issues from developing, you’ll need to take maintenance seriously.
When a septic system begins to develop issues, it’s better to call a qualified septic technician to inspect the problem and fix such where necessary. As mentioned earlier, problems may result from a malfunctioning D-box. This might be out of position which affects even the distribution of effluent.
The necessary adjustments will have to be made to restore the splitter box to its leveled position.
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