Today, we had a homeowner call us. Severely stressed out. Neighbor called him in cause they could smell sewage from his yard. He called me to see how much it would cost. I stated that without knowing what’s wrong, it’s hard to tell him how much it was going to cost to repair. He was open and honest. He stated that his system has been failed for over 2 years, and he has been living the septic nightmare.
You may ask, “What is a septic nightmare?” If you have to ask, thank God you never had one. His Septic system would back up in his toilets and bathtub almost daily. He would have to wait for hours as the septic system tried to accept the waste. Then there’s the cleanup. There was sewage in his yard. Right around where the septic tanks were. He knew he should get the septic pumped, but was scared he needed a new septic system.
I then told him, just because sewage was backing up in his yard, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s failed. It could mean a plugged or broken pipe.
I told him I’d have a look.
When I arrived, sewage had gone everywhere and had remained stagnant for years. Kinda makes your eyebrows melt.
I told him there is still no need to worry. He was wasting too much energy focused on a system failure, when we didn’t even know if that’s what we were looking at.
I dug open the septic tank and performed my septic inspection. Everything was flooded out. Outlet baffle on the septic tank was broken. (Note: an outlet baffle protects your drainfield from solids.)
It sure wasn’t looking good at this point, but we must keep digging. I could see the fear in his eyes. He was so afraid, and I stated, “I have seen this many times, Don’t fret. At least not yet.”
I dug open the Distribution box. (Note: this is a tiny tank that evenly distributes wastewater to the drainlines) The Distribution box was dry. He didn’t understand that this was a good sign. He was scared.
I simply unplugged the transport line and the system was back up and running. I had to replace the outlet baffle, in the septic tank, as well. The component needs to be there, or solids will infect the drainfield.
(Note: Septic Drainfield’s can accept water only, nothing more. So septic tanks need to be looked at frequently to be sure that these septic safety devices are still in place and have not rotted off) Doing frequent septic inspections will save money and a lot of heartache. If this was under an annual septic inspection program, this would have been caught years ago. And then he wouldn’t have ever had this problem. Septic inspections run about $125, and can save a lot of money and grief.
Now what is interesting is, it only cost $125 for me to unplug his system, which included the septic diagnosis and digging. Another $85 for the outlet baffle. It was under $250 and his system was back to running. He couldn’t have been more happy.
That’s why I stated, “There’s no need to worry, it could be something simple.”
Thanks for reading,