How to Replace a Septic System D-Box


Replacing your distribution box can be a grueling job, but knowing where the clogged or damaged distribution box is located will make the job much easier. If the inner walls of the distribution box have uniform lines, you may only need to adjust the outflow to fix the problem; however, if the leach field is flooded, you may have to replace the whole system, not just the distribution box.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Distribution box
  • Level
  • Plumbers putty
  • Ask the former owner where the distribution box is located. If he does not know, ask the town for a copy of the plans or call the local septic pumping companies.

  • Dig to the bottom of the distribution box and at least a foot around it. Dig around the pipes, exposing three to four feet of the pipes. This will help when you need to wiggle the pipes into the D-box.

  • Remove the damaged distribution box. Simply wiggle the box toward the leach field pipes until the inlet pipe from the tank comes loose. Pull the box back toward the removed inlet pipe to remove the pipes going to the leach field.

  • Level the ground, where the new distribution box will go. Place it into the ground. Slide the distribution box to the pipes coming from the leach field until the pipes are inside, far enough so the pipe from the septic tank is able to go into the hole on the other end of the distribution box.

  • Use plumbers putty on the inside and outside of the box where the pipes come through. The putty will seal the holes to prevent leaks from around the pipes. Install the cover.

  • Push dirt under the pipes to prevent sagging and cover the distribution box and the pipes with dirt. Spread grass seed and hay to promote grass growth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask a friend for assistance removing the D-box.
  • You can break apart the old distribution box with a sledgehammer to remove it in smaller pieces. Scrape any cement, putty or glue off the pipes; thus, the pipes will slide easily into the new distribution box.
  • If pipes are glued and cannot be freed up, cut the pipes with a reciprocating saw. You will then need to use couplings to connect the pipes to the new distribution box.
  • Check local codes before beginning. You may need a permit from your town to replace the distribution box.

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  • Photo Credit Digging in the garden image by dquinnan from
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