Need plumbing & septic advice

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by medownsouth, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I'm gonna leave this to the pros. My take on stuff like this is: 1) I get paid for my professional advice, and I'm more than happy to pay other pros for their respective talents, 2) this is why I have a rainy day fund. I just felt kinda sketch w/ the first outfit that came out. I'm sure the nuclear option (digging out the tank) would work, but I'm wondering if there's not something else to be checked/tried first.
     
  2. Patton

    Patton Tele-Meister

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    It’s not a diss on anybody but most people just don’t care what happens to their drains until they don’t! I work with design engineers and my local health departments closely on engineered septic systems and all the basic concepts are the same. Soil makeup coupled with biological overload causes premature failures. Not overloading your system with more material than it is designed for, or in some cases poor installations, is the root cause for problems.[/QUOTE]
     
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  3. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    if its rained a lot and the water table is high, the soil is saturated slow draining is to be expected.

    we have to clean my moms out every 5 or 6 years. its drains slow in heavy rains and really isnt a tank problem but a soil saturation issue bec the water is not percolating thru the soil in a timely fashion.

    if you use a lot of toilet paper or cheap paper that doesnt break down easily is often the cause of most of the problems. you can add grease from the kitchen sink too.

    good luck :)
     
  4. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Have the line snaked from a toilet to the tank. Hopefully you know the approximate distance from house to the tank. A camera would be a great diagnostic tool. A sonde, while not as good as a camera, would locate your line to the tank. If the sonde can’t pass, then your blockage is there. Either way, excavating would be my last resort. And then it’s a end to a means.
     
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  5. Patton

    Patton Tele-Meister

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    Any and all “additives” are money in someone else’s pocket and a waste for your system. Every bacteria needed for a healthy septic tank function is present after you flush the toilet.
     
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  6. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    It’s been my experience that a variety of enzymes are good for the drain lines and septic tanks. Chemicals like Draino, Liquid Plumber, Hot Shot, Clobber, Mule Kick, muriatic acid, sulphuric acid, etc do more harm than good
    My clients use Roebic K67 (drain and trap enzyme), K77 (copper sulfate root killer), and the main line cleaners and I have fewer call backs. Enzymes don’t hurt anything.
     
  7. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    Do you have or have you gotten a record of the septic system? If it's only 4 years old some authority, state or local should have it. The record won't tell all but it will at least provide some clues, soils information, installation diagram including the location of the tank, etc.
     
  8. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, meant to mention that, though its less common.
    Once had a temporary tarp over the roof while replacing the roofing.
    Suddenly the toilet wont flush correctly....

    Duh! :eek:
     
  9. teleman1

    teleman1 Friend of Leo's

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    GOD, don't we love to hear sewer and rain issues.
     
  10. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of good replies in the thread. Not having ready access to a 4 yr old system seems outlandish to me. How could that be local code?

    After many many decades, and the last 10 yrs or so of nursing it along, our field gave out. We had a new mound put in in Nov. Costly, but we got multiple bids and the company was very good and now we're trouble free. Old house, old septic system. The only reason we were able to get by with the old system was that we learned how to maintain it and had a good, trustworthy company to pump, repair as necessary.

    Find a company you trust to help you out. One time we got ripped off, massively, on an emergency issue with our well. I never do anything without multiple bids now.

    20201104_105805.jpg
     
  11. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Friend of Leo's

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    And aliens.
    You forgot aliens.

    And lawns.

    It was twilight on a wet and cold rainy night.
    There was a commotion on the front lawn.
    Then a gentle knock on the cabin door.
    A little green creature with a huge head and unusually large dark eyes looked around as he cautiously asked...
    "Excuse me but we made a wrong turn on the south end of the milky way, and are lost...
    Could we possibly trouble you to allow us to use your toilet?"
    And that was when my pet raccoon appeared suddenly from behind the woodchipper and attacked his leg...
    This was the opportunity to make my break for the three cylinder Suzuki GT750 in the shed where I kept the generator and chainsaw beside two five gallon cans of gas treated with StaBil in case of emergency.
    I had no recollection of how I got there, but I woke suddenly in a strange hotel room and realized I was wearing linemans boots.
    But I dont even own linemans boots...
    It was then that I remembered seeing @getbent holding a gun at the edge of the woods...

    Its an off topic forum.
    Person asked a question. Theres quite a collection of knowledge here.
    There are some good answers and wise advise.
    I dont think thats a bad thing.
     
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  12. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    For my part, I appreciated the info - alot. There's obviously a large amount of knowledge, and info available from this group of folks.
     
  13. Phildog

    Phildog TDPRI Member

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    Back in October, I went to a celebrity's home to investigate a septic problem. While there wasn't a drainage problem (the actual problem was the washer drain was NOT trapped, so fumes were coming into the house), I did notice several cleanouts in case of a blockage. If you can find yours, you rent a snake and unclog the drain yourself. Plumbers ALWAYS want to suggest the highest price scenario. Good luck!
     
  14. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    My first thought was it's frozen, but that doesn't sound like the case here.
    Four year old system shouldn't be bad yet, but not impossible. Some of the "new and improved" drain field set ups, are just new and not really an improvement.
    There's also the possibility it wasn't put in right to start with. One house I had was only about two years old when I bought it. Couple years later I've got a "spring" at the bottom of the hill my kids used for sledding. Pretty soon the water in the "spring" starts to stink. I didn't know anything about septic systems then either but I knew it had to be coming from mine.
    My brother takes one look at it and knew what was wrong. They ran the drain field down hill, they're supposed to be flat.
    Fortunately I lost that house in a divorce and didn't have to deal with it.
    Hopefully you've just got a clog somewhere!

    And from what I've learned, septic additives are a waste of money. You literally crap more bacteria than you get in a box.
     
  15. PooTwang

    PooTwang Tele-Meister

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    With the four-year-old system It’s a possibility that you’ve had settlement underneath the distribution box or lateral from the house causing back pitching or belly in the pipe I would check the soils tank make sure it’s not full , Also they can camera the pipe and find a problem without digging up your whole yard. I have installed 100s of systems over the last 40 years
     
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  16. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    $2247 later we are back in business. To those of you who called it: yeah they cut some corners on installation (egress pipe from house, and egress pipes from septic to leach field were not up to code). Also, I paid the extra $500 to have risers installed, so I don't have to dig up half my yard again to service it in the future.

    Thanks for all the advice.
     
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  17. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    That’s not too pricey, in my book, plus you have the peace of mind knowing you’ll probably never have another issue. The risers to facilitate a proper draining is priceless.

    Congratulations
     
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  18. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    There are lots of things a plumber can do that do not involve digging.
    1. Snake the system. Toilets are good access points. And you will also have a clean out for the soil pipe somewhere, probably in your basement.
    2. Video. Not every plumber has this capability, but some do. They send a camera down to find the blockage. It is way cheaper than digging stuff up. 3. your septic tank will have an observation port that sticks up out of the ground. Someone can visually look and see the condition of its contents.
    4. If the problem indeed is the septic, problems can sometimes be solved by inspecting the distribution box. This will be close to the surface of the ground and can be dug up by hand with a shovel.

    My bet is on #1. Snake the house. Call Roto Rooter.
     
  19. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Agreed, I’m very pleased with the outcome.
     
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