Broken Outlet Baffle

Hello Everyone:

Broken Outlet Baffle
Broken/missing outlet baffle

Here is a great shot from one of my customers.  He had a digital camera setup onto a post and was able to get this priceless shot.  You can see the hole leading out the tank.  Now solids float, you can take my word for you, you don’t need to look.

Anyhow, it’s not really rocket science here.  But solids will float right on out this tank and into the septic drainfield, or whatever component happens to be next.

Now this repair was not easy.  The septic tank was 9 feet down under ground.  With a nine foot access riser installed above the tank.  It was 14 feet to the bottom of the tank, and there was no access to the outlet baffle from the outside the tank.

There’s only one way to fix this problem.  Pump the tank out.  Enter then tank, and repair the baffle.

Now I know what you are thinking.  What a glamorous job, and how do I get started in it.  ha ha.  Let me just tell you, I ruined my clothes this day, because I simply forgot to suit up.  Slight oversight.  Oops

Repaired outlet baffle
Repaired outlet baffle

Here is the outlet baffle repair.  It is a sanitary tee, with 14 inch extension going down into the tank. This is where the tank will be pulling it’s water from.  Now see, solids float and hit the tee, and cannot move through the system.

It is equally important to remember this.  If your system has an alarm, it means your system is going to flood out.  If it floods out, you will lose the functionality of the outlet baffle and solids will float up and in the tee.

Oh, and there is a polylok extend lock on this tee as well.  Without this this repair would have taken hours to match pipes and what-not.  I don’t want to spend that much time in this tank.

I need to be fast and efficient.  I am 14 feet down in a tank, I just emptied.  It’s kinda dangerous down there, my truck is running supplying me with fresh air to breath.  I think I was down there for maybe 5 minutes.

Safety is key here, in and out.  You can ask the owner of this tank.  As he stated, I was a “bulldog” in and out, and get it done.  Now his outlet baffle is working, protecting his drainfield.

Thanks for reading,



  1. alright anyone shed some light on this situation, I had my tank pumped on a home i purchased in december, didnt think anything of it until ti backed up again last week, there seems to be a tree in the line of the leach field, although the pipe to the tank seems to be level-almost slightly up hill to the tank, who knows what under the house looks like since its under the slab of the basement, do i need to dig up part of the drain field and make sure that its draining water to see if the problem is there or before the tank. I have come to my personal problem situations, there is water always inthe cleanout, which means either the drain field is clogged.. the drain field does do decline and therefore doesnt get rid of the water, or there is not enouhg decline between the house to the tank and the tank to the drain field which doesnt allow it to get rid of the water in the lines, so when the septic matter flows through the pipes, it hits water still int eh pipe and the solids stop in teh pipe, which eventually causes a clog and requires to be snaked out

    any ideas on what i should do first??

  2. Michael,

    The first thing I would say, is something is wrong with the drainfield. Water is not leaving the tank as it should. Did you make sure the outlet baffle was in place? This baffle is the most important component on your system. It is designed to separate liquid from solids and make sure your drainfield only takes liquids.
    Second, removing the obstruction. It can be a tree root, but I need some more information. What kind of drainfield do you have? Is it made of washed river rock and pvc piping? Or is it made of concrete pipe, or terra cotta pipe?
    All three types require different treatment methods. Chances are you may need to involve a septic professional in your area certified to do the work.
    Your Distribution Box may be rotted and collapsed and needs replaced. This is a component found on many septic systems between the septic tank and drainfield.
    then the drainfield may need to have the inlet and outlets exposed and jetted out clean.
    It is hard to diagnose a system over internet or phone, but you can always contact your local health department and ask for a list of certified septic repair contractors.
    Don’t take the phone book as certified. Fact: if you give a phone book company $200 bucks, they will put you anywhere you want. Call the health department. It can save you thousands of dollars.

    I hope I helped you in some way, if you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to keep on writing. I will continue to help you.

    Thanks for reading,


  3. I dont know what kind of septic system I have and will need to call a professional for sure but wanted to get an idea of what I was in for
    I know the health department has a diagraham of the septic system and i think it says it has 150-175-or 200 ft of line, the dome lid things I think, I cant remember what they told me back in december
    the company that pumped the tank I would not hire to do work, they guy didnt seem to have the ability to do real work, but he didnt clean some kind of filter that the thing had on the liquid side of the tank and I would assume that if something was wrong with the baffle that he would have said something
    Is the best thing to do to hire a company to come viedo the drain field and see what it looks like? they would have dig up the outlet I assume to do this or go back and dig up teh 2nd lid on teh liquid side again
    I believe after it was pumped that it was draining into the tank ok but we did not try to fill up the tank as that would have taken forever, but he cleaned both side of the tank and sprayed some kind of plastic looking filter that was in the baffle i believe, other than that I guess there was not alot else for him to do
    thanks for your relpy

    1. If you have a diagram of the system, can you email it to me? I can then help you get a better understanding of what’s going to happen during this repair. email it to I will respond as soon as I am able. Please understand that I am in and out of service all day long.

      Thanks for reading,


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  7. I have an old brick and mortar round setic tank. the baffle is no longer there. It looks like the original outliet was 3″. Someone has since attached 4″ pipe with a fenco to go out to the leach field. My question is I’m afraid to remove the remaining 3″ pipe (appears tro be black iron or orangeburg). Can i use a piece of 1-1/2 to 2″ pipe for a baffle?

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