Posts Tagged ‘battleground’

Grease down drains on Septic

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Just a friendly reminder to never put grease down your drains. Especially if you’re on septic. Believe me, there’s not enough water in your hot water heater to melt this grease. Not that you would want to anyways, the next step from here is the drainfield. Imagine what grease would do to dirt.

Save your money, we would rather have normal, routine, septic pumping jobs than this. This really does create a lot more work. More work and harder the job, the cost increases. Plus with our treatment plant rules and regulations, this load cannot go to them. It will be rejected, and we’ll have to truck this load all over 2 states to find someone who’ll accept it.

Thanks for reading,

Ronnie

Tree Roots in Septic Tank Removal

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Hello there septic system owners.  This blog post is about trees and what they do to your septic system.  But in this case it’s just the septic tank that stopped working.  They can do all sorts of damage.

This client has been warned for many years.  10 years ago roots had started infiltrating the seams of the septic tank.  At that time the client was told it would be a good idea to cut the trees down by the septic tank.  But client saw “Root Kill” for septic systems.

So here’s a little education on septic systems and root kill additives.  Root kill additives are meant to be put directly into the drainfield.  Flushing them down the toilet, into the septic tank doesn’t do any good.  None of the additive will reach the drainfield.  It’s even on the package to add it directly to the drainfield.  And it does work when applied to the inlet line going to the drainfield, from the septic tank.

 

So for over the next 10 years this client added Root Kill into her septic system by flushing them down the toilet.  The roots continued to grow without the client knowing.  Until one day the system stopped working. Below we tried to break up the roots a little bit with tool called the crustbuster.  Of course it didn’t work, but I was willing to try anything to not have to go inside this septic tank.  But it did mix up the sludge on the floor so the vacuum truck to suck it out, and I wasn’t wading up to my knees in sewage.

 

Now the client wasn’t backing up just yet.  But was selling their house.  During a real estate inspection for the buyer, we removed the lids and saw the root damage.  The buyer could see that these roots couldn’t possible be good for the septic system, and could see that the roots have stopped the whole tank from working as it should.  Buyer decided that he wasn’t going to purchase the home until the problem was fixed.  Now here’s a little lesson on Real Estate Transactions.  Once a problem has been discovered about anything, the seller and the Realtor must disclose this condition to any trying to buy the home.  So needless to say, most people would not buy a home with a septic system in this condition.

 

So now comes time for the repair.  We had to take a shovel and chop a hole through the roots to get a hose to the bottom of the tank.  The pumper sucked out the best it could and then it’s time for “Confined Space Entry”.

We have the canopy set up as it’s raining pretty bad.  We have a tripod set up.  This is what lowers me into the septic tank and pulls me out.  I wear a harness that connects to that tripod.  I have blowers pushing fresh air down to me, and I wear an air monitor that monitors the air I am breathing.  Anything goes wrong the guy manning the tripod would crank me out of the hole.

Once lowered in you can see the damage it created.

I was down there for two hours.  Cutting roots with shovels and pretty much wrecking my sawsall.  But they needed to come out.

About half way during this procedure I did need a break.  This job is the worst root job I have had to this date.  I spent over 2 hours down there, and it was exhausting.  I can feel it in my body now about 18 hours since this job happened.  I am sure to be sore.

So when your septic technician let’s you know that you should remove plants/trees/shrubs, he/she is trying to save you money.  Because even though this is a “Job”, or maybe even “Job Protection”, it’s one that none of us want to do.  We are also trying to save you money.  This expense.  This tree root removal job cost the client about $1,600.00 and could have been avoided by simply removing the trees.  And make no mistake about it, if they don’t remove these two trees, we’ll be back.  Because the trees know that there’s free water right there and fertilizer.

 

Most important is that this is a job none of us want to do.  It’s really gross to be wading around sewage with creepy crawly worms and stuff, spiders, and everything else you can image.  I for one came out a different man then when I went in.  I may need therapy to help me forget this job.  It was a nightmare.

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

Groundwater intrusion by heavy rains and high groundwater solved

Friday, February 10th, 2017

 

This homeowner did not want to divert water by digging rain drains and ditches. Super nice yard, didn’t want dug up.

One option is to trench the water to off of the tanks and direct water downhill.  Frenchdrains work great for this too.  But in this case, the homeowner’s yard would have been destroyed to his house as that’s where the raindrains are, down hill.

So we chose another alternative means to divert groundwater and rainwater off of his septic tank.

This is another option, put in a dry well to a pump. This is a rough backfill, because the area is super soppy. It will need cleaned up better when dryer weather is back.

This system just sits plugged in and waiting. Costs nothing to run when water levels are low. But when water levels come up and it starts raining hard, the pump will kick on and send the water away from the septic.

 

 

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

Septic Tank Additives

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

This is  a great video.

Now I did start recording a bit late.  But here’s how the story goes.  This is a home with two people living inside.  This tank is only 3 years old.  They use a commonly known septic tank additive every month.  They have been using it religiously.

So they started backing up in the home.  They were confused and called us to find out what was wrong.  The septic tank was completely full of solids and toilet paper.  I asked her what she thought the “additives” did.  She said that it breaks down the sewage in the tank leaving a tank full of clean water.  Just like the commercials.

I then showed her the septic tank. She was completely shocked and in awe that there was anything even in there.  This tank was full, and bad.  I asked her what she thought it was doing after she saw the contents.  She said it best.  “Nothing at all.”

She is correct.  We showed her the back of the bottle.  Everyone reads the front, but no one reads the back.  It clearly states that this does not replace regular septic pumping maintenance, and septic tanks need to be pumped every 3-5 years.

She then said, “What’s the point of using this stuff then?”  I said, “Exactly.”  Save your money.  Just clean your tanks.  Remember, septic systems have been around for more than a 100 years.  Those companies have only been around for 30 years.  They were working just fine before them, and in my experience, they don’t do anything besides eating a whole in your purses/wallets.

The second video below this one is what it looks like when the septic tank is all cleaned out.  The sewage crushing machine has liquified the entire septic tank, and is now vacumming out the contents.  This is how it’s done, in case you were wondering.  🙂

 

httpv://youtu.be/UmR5xX-lHYQ

httpv://youtu.be/aiGiplh2E9s

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Happy Memorial Day 2012

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Happy Memorial Day.

I have been knocking this idea around for a few days. I want to show my appreciation for those who serve. But didn’t want to do one of those cheesy Memorial Day Specials. I really want to make a difference in a Senior Veteran’s life. My way of saying thanks for their, and their family’s sacrifice.
With that in mind. Please forward this post. Someone knows of a Senior Citizen Veteran, on septic, that needs serviced. First Call Septic would be honored to service them, entirely, for free. Just one though. I wish I could help everyone. But I cannot afford to lose my business. So with that in mind, I ask my facebook fans to find a senior citizen, in the Clark County Area that desperately needs septic work. My company is willing to do this entire service for free. Inspection/pumping/labor/discharge fees/filing fees/sales tax for absolutely nothing more than some old military stories and coffee. Heck, I’ll even bring the coffee.
Please let this post spread like wild fire. Post it on every wall you can, until we find a Senior Veteran.

Thanks so much, and God Bless,

Ronnie

Warning signs septic tank needs cleaned or pumped

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Good morning. This week I have a great project. I will try to document and take all kinds of pictures. It is a septic system that has just started to back up. It’s in the plumbing of the house, but hasn’t backed up into the showers yet. For those of you who don’t have “alarms” and sophisticated septic systems there are warning signs to not ignore.
1. toilets are flushing really weird. Not normal at all. A huge sign the septic is starting to back up.
2. Funny gurgling sounds in the pipes as you drain a sink. Another huge sign the septic is starting to back up.
There are two things going on. The pipes are not draining into the septic tank as designed and are flooded.
Now remember. These pipes under your house are not designed to have waste water sit in them. It’s a weight issue. They are designed to carry your waste water to the tank. And remain empty. This plumbing can get really heavy under all this weight and break under the crawl space of your home and cause your septic tank to back up in your crawl space. Which is extremely difficult to remove and expensive.

Do not wait for this to happen. Keep the septic tank clean. It’s the easiest and the least expensive solution.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Septic Tank not serviced correctly in 20 years by competitor

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-rkhiq5HaI&feature=youtu.be

The above video is from a customer that was referred to start using First Call Septic Services.  I am sure that she thought all septic service is the same, and the only difference must be price.  She couldn’t be further from the truth. She had one riser installed from my competitor for ease of access.  They have been servicing this tank for over 20 years.

2 compartment septic tank

2 compartment septic tank

She called us.  When I came out to pump the tank, I saw a “compartment wall” from the first hole.  I knew that there had to be a second lid and second compartment.  That is what we are trained to know.  I dug up this lid, free of charge, and pumped out the second compartment.  It had never been pumped and was completely full of sludge.

But the story gets worse. Now the competitor knew what size of septic tank this was.  We are all trained.  It was a 1250 gallon septic tank.  But I need to educate you about how the wall works.  It divides the septic tank into 2/3’s first compartment and 1/3 second compartment.   So needless to say, the first compartment holds about 830 gallons and the Second compartment holds about 417 gallons.

Now the competitor had charged her for the full 125o gallons of emptying that septic tank.  But let me work this out for you.  This is why a cheaper competitor is actually more expensive.  So the bill for 1250 gallons works like this.  1250 gallons at .38 cents per gallon is $475.00.  Now not all that money is my money.  I have to pay for discharge fees.  Which is currently at .235 per gallon.  So it will cost me $293.75 to discharge this waste leaving $181.25 for the company to pay wages, fuel, insurance, and wear and tear.  Remember it costs about $60 in fuel per tank we pump.

Now let’s work the numbers the way a crooked septic guy would make.  Now we know that he didn’t pump all 1250 gallons.  He only pumped out 830 gallons.  So this is his discharge bill.  $195.05.  So he charged her for the full 1250 gallons so now his profit is $279.95.  He get’s to make another $100 in profit for taking advantage of a homeowner’s lack-of-knowledge on how this all works.

And on top of that, he put her septic system in jeopardy, and allowed the sludge levels to reach a level that can contaminate the drainfield.  And if it does contaminate the drainfield, then he’d put in a new drainfield.  Making even more money on his crooked business practice.

This is why First Call Septic has not gone forward in going into the septic install business.  It’s too much of a conflict of interest.  It is our goal to get you the most out of your septic system as possible.

I really hope this makes sense.  If not, send me an email.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie