Posts Tagged ‘alarm’

Service Call Fee for Septic Bids

Saturday, April 1st, 2017
Here’s another story for the “I cannot make this stuff up file.”
 
Let’s talk fees for a second. Our “Service Call Fee” is $125.00. That fee get’s our truck on site and starts working for emergencies. But then we go by the hour plus parts until we are done.
 
There are other guys out there that’ll do a $75.00 service call.
 
We lose some work to this problem over the phone. One needs to understand the difference.
 
So let me set up this senario that happened yesterday.
 
Client calls up a service call by competitor. It’s $85, super cheap. But when they show up to replace a 2 foot section of pipe underground was bid out at $1,200. And it’s only 24 inches underground.
 
Client didn’t call me because that’s something I don’t really do. It’s the pipe between the house and the septic tank called the “Transport Line”
 
Client calls me up and asks if I do this type of work, I say no. Not really. But he tells me the bid, and my jaw drops. That can’t be right, I must be missing something.
 
I told him I would do it. But be prepared it could cost $600-$800 dollars. I’m shooting from the hip here, as I am not there looking at it.
 
I arrive. Service Call is $125.00 to get there. I dig out the line, 1.5 hours of labor. 2 fittings and a section of pipe and bentonite clay, was about $50.00. We used the client’s own gravel to bed the pipe.
 
His bill was under $400.00. Still far under my “Over-the-phone-shooting-from-the-hip” of $600-800.
 
And way super less expensive than the $1,200 bid from competitor.
 
Food-for-thought. $125 service call isn’t that bad anymore.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Ronnie

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

High Water Alarm

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Last night I was with my friends at Rusty Grape Winery. I received an emergency call from a homeowner. Obviously since I had a drink, I could not respond to the emergency of my customer. The emergency was her “Septic High Water Alarm” started sounding off.
Now, what does that mean? Simply, it means the septic system is experiencing a “Higher Than Allowable” water event. A sewage pump must b

e acting up, or failed all together.
I instructed her to stop running all water. That she was on “Code Yellow.” She didn’t know what that means, and that is the cause of this post. If you’re on Septic and if you ever call your septic guy, you need to know what these terms mean.

Code Yellow – Another term for the old saying, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, If it’s brown flush it down.” Code yellow means you can run a small amount of water. No laundry, No dish washing. Really fast showers, and hand washing. We use this term when one experiences a high water alarm.

Code Brown – Or sometimes Code Red is used. When a homeowner starts backing up inside their house. Usually sewage is backing up in a bathtub or toilet that stops flushing altogether. The system needs immediate attention, and “ALL” water usage must stop. Place kitchen mixing bowls in all sinks so people can wash hands and not put Any water down any drain. Throw it outside. And Absolutely no toilet flushing. Any water being run or flushed will just keep backing up. The Septic System will stop backing up if all water is shut off.

If this doesn’t make sense or needs further clarification, please post.

Please share on your Facebook pages for those friends of your’s that have septic systems may know what to do when these events occur.

I have two emergencies today, so everyone have a great Sunday. 🙂 and Thanks for Reading

Sunday emergency in Camas

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Today I was planning on posting the pictures I have gathered from a system that was completely clogged up full of roots.  But I received an emergency call in Camas, WA last night at about midnight.  Customer’s backing up takes pri0rity to pictures.  I am going to get this out of the way and post the pics another day.

So today, I get to get an alarm in Camas.  Then drive up to Yacolt and check on a customer attempting his own repairs to save money.  But I don’t mind checking.  I get to go on my motorcycle today.  An excuse for a ride.  🙂

Have a great day and thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Holiday Blues:

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Good Day everyone.

Now I am sure you are thinking, how can he title his blog title Holiday Blues? Is he having a bad holiday?

Answer to both questions are no. I had a great holiday, and I truly hope yours was just as well.

The answer to the questions is quite simply. Holiday Decorations.

Usually when I get a call about a septic alarm going off. I tell the homeowner to check circuit breakers first. And then check for tripped GFI’s. Reason. I hate charging a service call for turning a breaker back on. I feel guilty for doing so. But service calls are what they are.
But now that doesn’t enter into the holiday blues theme. But two calls this year were from homeowners unplugging their pumps to plug in their holiday lights.

It’s kinda of comedic, and pretty darn funny. But I still feel bad for having to charge homeowners for plugging their pumps back in.
Both times the owner was happy to pay and was happy that there wasn’t any real damage done.
But here is a reminder. Sand filters and Sand media components are Aerobic Treatment Units. Which means that they need oxygen to survive. They are in-fact air breathing organisms. So if someone is to unplug their pumps they risk flooding out that component. And if that component goes under water, it only has three days to live. In some cases the component dies. Or fails to recover. So please heed your septic alarms warning and call someone straight away.

I hope everyone had a great holiday. And may 2011 be great for everyone.

Thanks for reading,

Ronnie