Friday, June 2, 2017

septic tank issues

So.  We have had the first sign of trouble with the new place as of yesterday, and brother is it a doozy.

The imp decided he wanted to go down and play in the pasture.  I have NO problems with this, provided he stands still to get sprayed down with OFF before he runs off.  Because ticks: we has them.  I also insist that he has to have a bath after he's had a day playing out in the weeds with OFF sprayed all over him. 

And we had to do a load of laundry for Odysseus to have work shirts for today. 

And that's when the trouble started.

When the washer started draining, drains all over the house started gurgling.  And backing up a bit.  And then, the tub started draining.  And the toilets overflowed, and soapy water backed all the way up into the bathroom sink. 

Odysseus stopped the washer, cleaned up the mess (thankfully--he was able to do it a lot faster than I would have been able to), and took off for Walmart, for a new work shirt, and an auger.  He thought he cleared the drain, and went ahead and finished the load of laundry (needed a rinse and spin cycle). 

This morning, he said the shower drained better and faster than it had been (I wouldn't know--I can't see the shower drain between my feet, since I don't wear my glasses in the shower).  And went ahead and started the laundry.

The laundry drain backed up, and started overflowing.  I paused the rinse cycle, and checked the toilets.  They, thank God, are not regurgitating.  Just the washer drain, and the bathroom sinks. 

I think it's time to call the septic experts.  Hopefully, they can find the tank, because we don't know where it is.


  1. Before you spend a lot of money, pick up a bottle of septic tank line cleaner at Home Depot. No telling when the tank was last treated. That's not just normal "Rid X " type stuff, it's specifically for cleaning out the drain field lines.

    If that doesn't work, find the clean out access on your line. At some low point in the system, there should be a pipe looking thing, like a man hole cover, sticking out of your main line. Mine is in the laundry room, which is on the lowest level of the house. Take a 30 foot plumbers whip, you can get a good one for about $40.00, and ream out the line from there. That may solve your problems.

    1. We've tried both already (and the Rid X). Didn't solve it.

    2. Damn. That's bad news. Having the tank pumped can be cheap, or ruinously expensive, depending on how hard it is to access the tank, and your local conditions. I hope it works out ok.

    3. Tank cleaned: $250

      Drain issues addressed: $1500

      The septic system wasn't the issue. The issue was that somebody didn't know what they were doing when they were plumbing in the drainage. There was twice as many linear feet as needed, and none of it was well done. There were dips and rises in all of the drains, except for the toilets. And one of those had a leak.

  2. Bet the tank is full of solids.
    Going to have to find the tank and lid / inspection port to check.
    But about all outfits that pump out septic tanks are pretty good at finding those.
    About $500 +- for a pumping out of the solids.
    If it is not the solids in the tank, then there are expensive fixes looming.
    Or a less costly cause, a crushed / plugged pipe that feeds the tank and or the drain field.
    If it is solids in the tank, mark the spot where the tanks inspection port is, that way you can check for solids yearly. The pumping people should be able to show you how and to build a sh*tty stick to do the solids check.

    1. It was more that the house sat empty with the septic unused since the death of the previous owner in '14. Her husband had passed the previous year. Stuff had solidified in the lines leading from the house to the tank. They cleaned everything out for about half what you quoted.

      They said if there are further problems, to call a plumber. We still need to find one, since our previous one has passed on.