Septic Tank Distribution Box Clogged

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If you own a septic system, you know that it is crucial to keep it well-maintained to avoid costly repairs and damages. One of the most common issues that homeowners face is a clogged septic tank distribution box. A clog in this crucial component can cause sewage backups, unpleasant odors, and even septic system failure. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about septic tank distribution box clogs, including their causes, signs, and solutions.

Understanding The Septic Tank Distribution Box

Before we dive into the topic of clogs, let’s start by understanding what a septic tank distribution box is and what it does. The septic tank distribution box, also known as a D-box, is a crucial component of a septic system that distributes the effluent evenly to the drain field. The effluent is the partially treated wastewater that exits the septic tank and enters the D-box through the inlet pipe. From the D-box, it is distributed evenly to the drain field through a series of perforated pipes.

Causes of Septic Tank Distribution Box Clogs

There are several reasons why a septic tank distribution box can become clogged, and some of the most common causes include:

Root Intrusion

One of the most common causes of a clogged D-box is root intrusion. Tree roots are attracted to the moisture and nutrients in the septic system, and they can infiltrate the pipes and the D-box, causing clogs and damage.

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Clogged Filter

The filter in the D-box is designed to trap solids and prevent them from entering the drain field. However, over time, the filter can become clogged with solid waste, reducing its effectiveness and causing clogs.

Non-Biodegradable Waste

Inlet and outlet pipes can become clogged by non-biodegradable waste, such as condoms, tampons, flushable wipes, cotton swabs, and other debris that should not be flushed down the toilet.

Signs of a Clogged Septic Tank Distribution Box

If your septic system is experiencing a distribution box clog, there are several signs that you should look out for, including:

Preventing Septic Tank Distribution Box Clogs

Preventing septic tank distribution box clogs is much easier and less costly than dealing with them after they occur. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid planting trees and shrubs near the septic system
  • Do not flush non-biodegradable waste down the toilet, including condoms, tampons, flushable wipes, cotton swabs, and other debris
  • Use septic-safe toilet paper that breaks down easily
  • Have your septic system inspected and pumped regularly by a professional
  • Install a septic system alarm to alert you to any issues with your system before they become major problems

Septic Tank Distribution Box Clogged: FAQs

The septic distribution box should not be completely full of water. The level of effluent in the distribution box should be at the same level as the effluent drain field pipes level. If the level is higher than that of the drain field, it’s an indication of a clogged or saturated drain field that can’t take any more effluent. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the level of effluent in the distribution box to prevent any problems and avoid costly repairs.

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The cost of septic distribution box replacement typically ranges from $600 to $2000. The actual cost will depend on various factors such as the size of the distribution box, the material, and the complexity of the installation. It’s important to have a professional assess the situation and provide an accurate estimate for the replacement cost. Delaying the replacement of a damaged or malfunctioning distribution box can lead to costly repairs and potential health hazards.

The septic distribution box should be installed at a minimum distance of 6 feet from the septic tank.


Dealing with a clogged septic tank distribution box can be a messy and costly affair. However, by understanding the causes, signs, and solutions of distribution box clogs, and taking preventive measures, you can avoid this problem and ensure the smooth operation of your septic system.