Posts Tagged ‘yacolt’

Septic tank backed up due to a clogged filter

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Here is a friendly tip if you’re backed up in an emergency.  This home has a 2 compartment septic tank and an outlet filter that screens the effluent going to the drainfield.  This filter should be cleaned annually.  There is diaper wipes in this tank, so we pumped it out the same day.

In the video I pulled the filter out and put it back in right away, didn’t want to send too much unscreened effluent to the drainfield.  I forgot to video the portion where we wash it off with a garden hose.  It’s simple, just hose it off and put it back.

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Septic Tank Baffle Inspection

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

This is a Septic Tank Baffle Inspection:  Does not include the rest of the sludge and scum measurements or anything like that.  I was working alone today, and saw that this was a great opportunity to video this part.

These are the baffles that are located within a septic tank. These happen to be made of concrete and the outlet is rotting badly. The outlet baffle is the component that separates liquids from solids. The drainfield can handle water, nothing more, and that is the function of the outlet baffle. This tank needed pumping and you can see how soft the outlet baffle is. It is going to crumble during pumping. It was replaced today with new ABS Plastic baffle, with has no reaction between Hydrogen Sulfide gas and itself. It’s inert. So the repair is a permanent repair. Sorry, I was working alone today, and could not film the repair. But here’s the video.

 

Thanks for Reading,

 

Ronnie

Removing a clog from Septic tank inlet baffle

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Below is a video of a clogged inlet baffle.  This homeowner called us out for a pumping and thought his septic tank needed cleaned.  It did need cleaned, but for other reasons.  The tank was backed up due to a clogged inlet baffle.  And this advice could save you money in a case of a backup.

Just a reminder, this video is not an inspection.  A true inspection will involve sludge and scum measurements, second compartment (if applicable) inspection, and outlet baffle inspection.

Once unclogged, contact your local approved septic inspection contractor for an inspection.

Thanks for reading,

 
Ronnie

 

septic system homeowner inspection video

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

This link is the best video, by far, I have seen for homeowner self inspection.  Just in case you are one of those that want to share in the joy in septic work.  If you have 25 minutes, please watch this video.  If you don’t wish to participate in your self inspection, at least you will see what we are looking at when inspecting your system.

Now this is filmed for those needing explanations at nearly every step.  But this includes Gravity, Pressure Distrubution, Sand Filters, and Sand Mounds.  This video does not include Aerobic units or Proprietary Septic devices.

One thing to note, it did miss a necessary and mandatory test which is called a “Draw Down” test of all pump chambers.   This tells us two things, 1. how the pump is performing, and 2. how the next component is accepting the effluent.

Slow draw downs are not good.  It can mean the pump is not performing at a rate good enough to scour the lines, and keep the pipes clean, and/or the next component could be plugged and need cleaned.

There is a lot of good stuff here.

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Septic tank under deck access hatch

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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Septic Tank under Deck Hatch Cover

All to often we see a septic tank in the back yard.  And the homeowner would like to add a deck.  A large deck that extends over the septic tank.

That does create a huge problem for the septic contractor.  We need access.  Not just a few boards removed.  If we can only remove a few boards, we are limited in our cleaning ability.  We need room to remove all the waste from the tank. Liquid and solids.

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Septic Tank under Deck Hatch Cover

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Septic Tank under Deck Hatch Cover

Here we can see a deck access hatch cover installed by a general contractor.  It is not a good idea to use a septic contractor to do these types of projects as we are “Specialty Contractors” and are not licensed nor insured for this type of work.  This is why we always refer Bob Putnam for this type of work in our area.  In case the link doesn’t work on your browser his website is http://www.rputnamconstruction.com/.  His email is rputnamconstruction@gmail.com and his phone number is 360-901-0821

 

He has years of experience doing this and other types of work around the house.  He comes with First Call Septic’s highest of recommendations.  He is honest, fair, and does each job with the highest of precision.  Work with him and you’ll see, that there is a difference in General Contractors.

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie Tamez

 

Septic alarm and what it means

Friday, May 30th, 2014

This is a working model of a basic septic systems pump and alarm for a pressure drainfield, sand filter, or sand mound.  Geogrpahically, these two yellow float switches are located in the tanks with the wastewater.  The light signifies the pump.  When I raise the lower float switch, you must imagine my hand as wastewater.  This is what will trigger the pump to turn on.  The light comes on.  When the lower float is lowered, the light goes off.
Now if something goes wrong with the pump the water levels will reach higher than normal.  When the upper yellow float is raised, it sounds the alarm.  When the water level goes down, the alarm will silence itself.

Now if the alarm is randomly going off, and appearing to reset itself, is an indicator that a pump is starting to go bad or a component is starting to plug up.  I have seen people think that the alarm is malfunctioning and unplug it.  And later cause themselves a very expensive bill.

I hope this demonstration helps those looking at the problem.  And as always, if you have any questions, please email or call me.

ronnie@firstcallseptic.com

360-686-0505

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Real Estate Transaction Buyer Beware Septic Service

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Here comes another story of, “I just can’t make this stuff up”

Scenario. Buyer and buyer’s agent call me to inspect a septic system of a house that they are going to purchase. I note that
1. There is an electrical problem that needs an electrician.
2. The alarm float has become detached from the float tree and needs to be reattached.
3. The solids levels in the tank show that the tank does not need pumped; however, there is severe diaper wipe contamination and should be pumped out before putting back into service. Garbage cannot be in septic systems.

*Note: I can only pump the tank and fix the alarm. I am not an electrician. Cost for pumping this tank and fixing the alarm. About $300.00

Okay, pretty straight forward. Right?

Wrong. Seller is a flipper in this county. Buys and sells home that are old drug houses and puts on a coat of nail polish and sells them. Listing agent works for this builder and will protect builders interest at all costs.

Listing agent calls for another septic inspection.

This is the actual notes this septic inspector put into the comment section of his inspection. Also note, he never mentions the diaper wipe contamination.

***Alarm float was installed using a loop method ( unattached ) which is an approved method — BUT I agree with previous inspector attaching alarm
float is better method.
This septic tank is listed on drawing as being a 1000 gallon septic tank on as build drawing, not 1250 as reported on previous report.
Accumulations in septic do not warrant pumping this septic tank as they are at about 30 % of county pumping requirements.
Pumping a septic tank prematurely destroys the bacterial environment within the septic tank requiring the bacteria to regenerate. The only benefit
to pumping a tank prematurely is it helps keep as pumpers in business.
Property owner has electrician scheduled to come repair circuits for alarm and pump chamber***

So lets break this down.
1. Alarm float was installed using a “Loop Method”. I have contacted installers and septic designers. No one has ever heard of this “approved method”
2. He notes that the size of the septic tank is 1000 gallons as per asbuilt and not 1250 gallons as I have noted. Asbuilt is wrong, tank is 6 ft diameter, 6 ft operating depth. After match its 1250 gallons. I can’t argue the math.
3. He noted that the tank should not be pumped as it will destroy bacterial environment. Um, this one loses me. It has garbage in it.

So let’s speculate now. We Don’t pump the tank. 6 months to 1 year later, diaper wipes enter the pump station and clog up the pump. This has happened, just go back in my timeline. I have pictures of pumps eating diaper wipes and sending some out to drainfields. The last time this happened it cost the homeowner over $1,600.

So again, fast forward one year. Buyers are living their lives, following all the rules of septic. But some of these wipes make it to the pump. Call me. I come out and tell them that the tank sent diaper wipes to the drainfield and burned out the pump. And then the next thing happens all the time. They tell me that they don’t use diaper wipes and would never flush those. And I have to tell them that they should have pumped the tank when they moved in.

But that is why they hired me. To tell them what they are getting into. I am not telling them to not buy the house. Just letting them know that their septic system should be pumped out because of the garbage contamination.

I have never got into the politics of my business. I just want to go to work and go home. But now I am getting tired of this type of behavior.

Question that comes to mind is, “why is this competitor not mentioning the diaper wipe contamination in his notes? Is he protecting the “builder/flipper” from spending another $300.00

And in case anyone is wondering…..this competitor is the same as the competitor who made homeowner dig up her own tank, and charged another client for a dead goat removal from her tank.

So here we are. I have been doing this for eight years. And in those years, I have had zero complaints filed with my company. And I have files zero complaints of anyone else. But I feel like I have to do what’s right. I can’t allow my voice to only complain on facebook about these guys any longer.

I am filing a legitimate complaint with the Clark County Health Department today. And let them take it from here.

I really hope that the clients of mine, that he has burned, remember, as the Health Department will be contacting them soon. Don’t lie, don’t embellish the truth. Just tell it like it is.

He’s gotta be stopped.

Sorry so long, and thanks for reading,

Ronnie

For updates on this post, please follow the link to my FACEBOOK PAGE and read all comments.  It gets a bit technical, but if you can follow this, you’ll see the outcome.  Send me an email if you have any questions about this.

Interesting business plan from competitor

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

This goes under the heading of: “I can’t make this stuff up”

This story is unbelievable.

Client purchases a home.  There is a deficiency marked on their septic system from competitor.  “Outlet Baffle is broken”

Client calls my competitor who wrote up the deficiency and asks them to repair it.

Competitor tells homeowner that they need to dig up the tank first.  (This is outrageous to me, for one, I know exactly where to dig.  It takes me all of five minutes.  Plus I have to imagine the homeowner dug up the entire tank.  Because they don’t know any better.)  I don’t even charge for digging but to have a client do it, is well, I can’t find the words to describe what it is.

After Client digs up their own tank she calls the competitor that its ready.

Competitor tells her for $50 bucks he’ll tell her where to buy the repair parts and she can fix it herself.

She called us and booked the appointment.  After finding out we would have dug out the tank for free as it would only take us about 5 minutes.  And it took her all day, as she dug out the entire tank, and not just the access lid.

I will post pictures of this project when it is done.  She is scheduled for later this week.

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

What does it cost to pump a septic tank

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Customer uses First Call Septic because our rates are clearly posted.  Visit the Rates Page for more details.

Yesterday I received, what I call, “Tire Kicker Call”. You may wonder what that is.

Person calls in checking prices, but has a million other questions about price. This usually happens when a customer has been burned by another in my field.

Example: What if the tank has lids that need opened? What do you charge now?
Or What if the lid is hard to get off, or is heavy? What’s the charge now?
What if you need to dig up the tank? What’s the charge now?
What if you have to clean the filters and screens?

I don’t get these calls often, but I directed them to my Rates page. I told the homeowner that my rates are clearly posted on my website. Which is a legal document if someone decides to take me to court over a charge.

We are the only Septic Company, in our area, that clearly posts rates on the website.

And I was correct, the homeowner called around, trying to get other companies to “Stick” to their price. Come to find out, there was a hole bunch of possible “Other Charges.”

I told him that as long as he was sure about the digging depth of his tank, he could write the check out now, and put it on the counter. The price will not change.

Now that he’s booked, I am sure the price will change. But he will be shocked as it will be $10.00 less. As he sounds to be senior citizen. I also don’t “Make” Senior Citizens “Ask” for a senior discount. I just apply it at time of service.

Thanks for reading,

Ronnie

Best Customer Callback Ever

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Best customer call ever. He called me this morning wanting a price quote. I told him that we charge 38 cents per gallon and sales tax and that’s a flat rate. He asked what that was. A flat rate? I said that there is no other fees. I’m not going to be upselling you magic chemicals or anything else. As long as your correct on the gallons you can write the check out now and put it on the counter.
He continued to call around and asked a lower priced competitor. Are there any other fees besides gallons and sales tax. And then they stumbled all over themselves and said that there’s a $75 uncover the tank fee, and then he’ll have to buy a 195 dollar bottle of enzymes or there’s no warranty on their work and a penny per gallon per extension hose they’ll have to use if there tank is far from the road.
He was shocked. And then he couldn’t get them to quote any price. Just a whole bunch of fees.
Those who know the game choose us. No funny business. Just good honest work.

Plus to add.  My prices are clearly posted on our website.  Which is a legal document I might add.  You can print it and take us to court.  Which is why some of our competitors won’t post their prices on their website.  Betcha didn’t know that.

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie