Archive for November, 2011

Septic Approved Toilet Paper Scam

Monday, November 28th, 2011

3 Face prison time Florida based Septic Tank Company.

In short.  Septic Service Company in Florida scams people into buying their “septic approved” toilet paper.  They sold one customer enough toilet paper to last him 70 years.  You have to watch for this everywhere.  You cannot believe the ads the come to my house, wanting me to, “increase profits,” on a per job basis.  By up selling this garbage.   I get from highly known septic treatment companies, that if I sell their product, studies have shown, customer’s will pump their tanks more often.  The want me to up sell their special, “BUGS” to go into the septic tank, and pump it more often.

With that being said, keep this in mind.  We are not the least expensive septic company out there.  But I know what it takes to run a company, and what our rates must be.  Before I apologize for our rates, I won’t apologize for trying to up sell our good customer’s this garbage.  Now, we are also not talking a difference in 100’s or thousands in difference here between companies.  We are talking 20 to 30 bucks difference.  That’s what it takes to run a septic service company in Clark, Skamania, and Cowlitz Counties.

Sorry about getting on my soap box this morning, but I thought this was a great article to post.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Thanksgiving November 24, 2011

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Friends,

Yesterday we had three emergencies and one today.  Pretty good.  But one to note was yesterday, we had someone who poured all their cooking grease down the kitchen sink.  I feel so bad for someone when that happens.  See the homeowner didn’t pour the grease down.  They have never done that in the past.  But a family guest was helping in the kitchen and has always heard that, “chase the grease with a lot of hot water.”  Remember there is not enough hot water in a 50 gallon hot water heater to raise the temperature in the septic tank even one degree.  Simple, all grease goes into a can, and get’s put under the sink to harden.  Then, it goes into the garbage.

 

Thanks for reading,

Ronnie

 

I hope everyone has a great Turkey day, and has an extra helping for me.  Safe travels,

 

Thanks a million, and God bless

 

Ronnie

Update on Competitor wrote up system failure

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Here is an update from the “competitor wrote up system failure.”  You can see in the picture that the water levels are at the appropriate levels in the septic tank.  The discharge line to the drainfield is on the left.  The water level is on the lower side of the outlet pipe.  This is the static level of this septic tank.  This is where it should always be.  It has not been functioning for over a week since the drainfield repair.  We went out about a week ago and made sure it was full of water and the drainfield was taking on effluent.  It has been taking on effluent ever since.

Update competitor wrote up septic failure 11-11-2011

Update competitor wrote up septic failure 11-11-2011

Now the old “top” of the septic tank was made out of wood.  This is not a water tight, nor an airtight seal.  Which is needed for septic systems to be septic.  We are placing the order on Monday for a new septic tank lid, with access holes precast into it above the compartments of the tank.  We will put risers in and easier access for future maintenance.

 

This homeowner has to be especially greatfull.  He was looking at about $13,000.00 for replacing the system.  I think he will be under $1,500.00 for the entire repair.  I will keep pictures coming.

November 24, 2011,

Heavy rains have stopped us from completing the repair at this time.  Keep checking in.  Remember, although our trackhoe has tracks on it, it does not float.  It will sink and get stuck.  If we need to, we’ll buy plywood to complete this repair sometime in the next two weeks.  With the record rainfall we’ve been having, we just have to hang on tight.  The replacement lid has been poured and cured, and is sitting here in the truckyard waiting installation.

Again, thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Happy Veteran’s Day November 11, 2011

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Happy Veterans day everyone. If you are a veteran, we are greatly in debt. I thank you all for our freedom and your service.

In honor of our vets the First veteran that calls us for an inspection will receive that inspection for absolutely free***. I will pay all applicable sales tax and filing fees with the county. This offer is available in Clark County Only. So if you are a veteran, please call the office to schedule 360-686-0505. This offer is also available to one veteran. Sorry, It’s not that I don’t appreciate each and every one of you, but I’m not rich, and it is expensive. If you aren’t available, just send this info to a veteran you know, (on septic of course ha ha). Have a great veterans day.

 

And please don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Servicing septic tank too rarely

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

This blog post is about the frequency of septic service.  Now this doesnt mean just pumping services.  This means annual maintenance for those of you that have pumps involved.

Neglected septic system solids contaminate pump tank, screens, and filters

Neglected septic system solids contaminate pump tank, screens, and filters

Just a little background on septic tanks.  They have many functions, but the most important, and obvious is to separate liquids from solids.  Now this applies to those of you with pumps or without.  All septic tanks are the same for this purpose.  Now drainfields and pumps can handle water.  Nothing more.  Solids plug up everything, it is extremely difficult to remove and clean.  Which usually translates as expensive.  And for that we truly feel bad.  I don’t like having to tell someone some bad news that their system could cost up to $2,000.00 to clean and repair.

You can see in the pictures that “goo” is covering everything.  This has to be one of the worst jobs we’ve seen so far.

 

High head sewage pump out of a neglected septic tank

High head sewage pump out of a neglected septic tank

 

 

 

 

 

And this system was one of those that the homeowner’s just “knew” that everything was okay.  And this is where it’s hard to educate people.  No one can just “know.”  Just like you don’t know how much oil is in your engine of your vehicle.  You have to open the hood and pull the dipstick from time to time.  Hopefully you do that at least once a week for your car.  But back on track, your septic tank should be checked every three years.  To “check” the levels of your solids in your tank. And trust me, no one just “knows.”   There’s only one way to know how much solids are in the septic tank.  Someone has to open it up and take measurements.

 

Here we start to clean the sludge off the septic pump vault screen.  This is the final bit of protection for your pump and the drainfield.   What’s really scary is that no alarm sounded.  The pump simply was able to push these solids out until it started to plug the drainfield.

 

It’s so hard to say it.  This homeowner is wishing he’d heard of my website years ago.  It’s only about $125.00 bucks to inspect a tank on a yearly basis.  I would have seen this years ago and recommended cleaning before it got to this degree.  That’s about $10.00 per month.  A car wont run forever on “Not” changing the oil.  And the septic tank needs cleaned.  There is no special chemical that can make solids disappear either.  Be careful, there are those that try to sell that stuff too.  It’s kinda like snake oil.  There’s no special chemical that one can put in a gas tank to get uber great mileage.

This was the nightmare we were dealing with today.  We got it done.  First call wins again, and another septic system that appeared to be failed, is now back up and running.  Thanks for reading.

sludge on a septic pump vault screen

sludge on a septic pump vault screen

Starting to clean the sludge off the septic pump vault screen

Starting to clean the sludge off the septic pump vault screen

licensed, bonded, and insured

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

This whole page is dedicated to helping clients and prospective clients check our license, bonding, and insurance.

1.  Washington State Department of Licensing.

2. Washington State Secretary of State

3. Insurance contact info for bond and business insurance.  360-892-5363.  We are insured and bonded through these kind folks.

4. Better Business Bureau  We have no complaints that have ever been filed with the Better Business Bureau.  We have not joined them, for we have NEVER had a complaint.  And it costs a lot of money to join.  Trust me.  And if I had a complaint, trust me that they’d want me to joint to “clear” my companies name.

Competitor pumped this tank many times? Picture says a thousand words.

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Here is a picture of a house, clean out pipe, and a small garden shed.  This homeowner used our competitor to pump this tank for over 15 years.  It was pumped out 4 times.  He has receipts for it.  Now the homeowner wants to sell the house and needs me to certify the septic system.  The other septic company is not certified to sign off on real-estate purchase septic inspections.

Here’s where things get bad.  The garden shed was installed when the house was brand new.  Homeowner has hired for septic pumpings 4 times since new.  Homeowner states that the septic company was able to “hook up” their hoses to the little black pipe at the house and inspect and pump the tank from there.

Septic tank under shed, competitor claimed to have pumped 4 times from clean out pipe at house

Septic tank under shed, competitor claimed to have pumped 4 times from clean out pipe at house

Note: that little black pipe is called a “clean out.”  It is just a sanitary tee and the septic tank is 10 feet directly away from the house.  There is no physical way to pump the septic tank from cleanout.  It cannot be done.  Plus you cannot inspect the septic tank from there.  Physically impossible.

Now that he is trying to sell the home, I have to have him remove the shed.  At this moment he is livid.  He cannot believe he was taken for such a ride like that.  He has tried to go after that company, but they had no bond or insurance.   Nothing at all to go after.  Never take the phonebook’s words.  We, the company, can pay to put anything in there.  Licensed/bonded/insured.  It is unfortunate that the homeowner still has to look up these things.  Try Washington State Department of Licensing to check to see if the company really is.  My Insurance agent is Kathy Landers with State Farm Insurance, and proof of insurance is available upon request from me or her office at 360-892-5363.  You can find our us at the Secretary of State website as well.

Now this homeowner is going to have to remove the shed, and chances are it will need pumped for it hasn’t been pumped for over 15 years.  It will be full.  Guaranteed.  A septic tank is merely a garbage can and will get full.  And hopefully nothing is broken inside.

Now one may ask, why would a company do such a thing?  Why would a company just pump air?  Here’s the reason.  If the septic tank is documented at the county that it is a 1250 gallon septic tank, then charge for 1250 gallons.  It’s all profit.  There is no charge to discharge 1250 gallons of air.  Now 1250 gallons of waste water is going to cost us about $300.00 to discharge.  If we don’t pump anything, than that $300.00 get’s added to all profit.  A very dishonest and crooked way to conduct business.  It will catch up with them.  Trust me.

Competitor wrote this system up as a septic system failure

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

We were called out for a second opinion on this property just last saturday.  You will never believe what had happened.  There was smelly water and soggy ground in the backyard.  Our competitor charges $85.00 for a service call.  We charge $125.00

Again, one would think that all septic companies are the same, and the only difference is the price.  Nothing is further from the truth.   Here is what these homeowners got for their $85.00.  I copied and pasted this from their report they submitted to the Health Department.

 

We were called because drains werent working properly. On arrival we walked around house and found sewage surfacing badly ( standing 2-3′ deep ) by a large tree. Probeing the area we determined this to be the drainfield area. We then called the owners son and informed him that we felt any work we would do would be a waste of their money and advised them to contact Ek or evergreen (These two referenced here are septic design engineers) to replace the system. We were assured that this would take place soon. We have found that no response was taken to replace the drainfield. This system originaly served a home that has been removed or fallen down and the transport pipe is now routed from a mobile home. Renters do have small children that could have access to surfacing. Due to the need to address the drainfield issues we did not do a tank inspection

Now the competitor even stated that they didn’t dig up the tank.  They assumed that the soggy spot was the drainfield.  They simply failed the septic system, and reported it to the health department.

Clogged drainfield competitor failed the system and called the local health department

Clogged drainfield competitor failed the system and called the local health department

This is where we came in.  We were called by the homeowner to give a second opinion.  I told them that the area that was soggy and wet, was not the drainfield, but in fact the septic tank.  I exposed the tank and found that it had not been pumped in over 20 years.  It was so full that “solids” went out to the drainfield, and plugged up the pipes.  It cost him $325.00 to jet out the drainfield, and problem was solved.  The tank did need pumped out too for about $440.00.  The  Septic system is working as designed.  Now this case is not too rare.  Our competitor has done this twice this week.  In another case it was roots had clogged the transport line between the septic tank and the drainfield.  Giving the illusion of the septic system was failed.  In both cases proper diagnotics were not completed.  The competitor’s technician simply showed up and without digging, told homeowner that the system will need replaced and they need to write a check for anywhere from $6,500.00 to $18,000.00.  In both cases First Call Septic Service was able to complete repairs.  And save the homeowner a lot of money, heartache, and grief.  Oh, and the cost of the roots in the transport line repair was under $600.00.

So be careful when hiring a contractor that’s the cheapest.  Their might be a reason for it.  For $85 dollars, this homeowner got no work performed by the contractor at all.  For $85 they got a letter of failure givin to the health department, trying to scare the homeowner into hiring them to install a new septic system for up to $18,000.00.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

 

 

 

 

Competitor’s Riser Job

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

A septic owner called us to see if there was anything we could do to fix this riser installation our competitor performed.   This owner was tired of having the riser stick up out of the deck, and was tripping over it.  The other two

Competitor's Septic Riser Installation

Competitor's Septic Riser Installation

risers were all tilted and not vertical.  I just had to take pictures.  See these risers are able to be cut at any length.  We cut them to grade and replaced the wooden deck with a wooden deck hatch.  I am sorry that we didn’t take a picture of the completed product.  This septic owner was using the least expensive installer as they thought we were all the same, “The only difference between all of us contractors must be price?”  That was the furthest from the truth.  She spent her hard earned money to have these installed, and then for me to take them out.  Cut them to appropriate length.  Reinstall properly.

Also need to note.  The risers were adhered to the septic tank with “Foam Sealant.”  We all know the stuff.   It is not for septic systems.  There is a potential for it to swell up and make passages for ground water to get into the tank.  Concrete to Plastic requires us to use epoxy designed for these unlike materials.   We also use clay sealants to guarantee a water tight, and air tight seal.  Nothing ruins a barbecue quicker than septic odors.

So before hiring your next contractor, keep in mind how much it may cost to have it redone right.  Keep these things in mind.  Also, ask your neighbors, and check the better business bureau and your local health dept for complaints.  As of today, First Call Septic still has zero complaints with both.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie