Posts Tagged ‘riser’

Poor Septic Riser Installation

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Here is an example of a very poor riser installation.  Now this homeowner saved about 100 bucks when he put his riser installation out to bid.  Without asking why this bid was about 100 bucks cheaper he simply assumed all septic work is the same, and only the price is the difference.

Leaking septic tank riser

 

This company didn’t use a proper custom seal for the area between the septic tank and the abs riser material.  Remember, these are unlike materials.  They don’t weld or glue together at all.  We have to use a 2 part epoxy designed for septic installations, remember the gasses, and for the unlike materials.  But then we also have to use a custom seal.  For that we use bentonite clay.  That clay puts a barrier around that seal that’s clay.  It never gets hard, brittle, cracks, or breaks.  It’s clay.  Now this stuff isn’t that cheap, but multiply 7 risers and inlet and outlet pipes and it adds up to about a 100 bucks.  Hence the 100 dollar difference.

 

But now the bad news.  The septic system is taking on so much ground water, that the drainfield is backing up sewage and ground water all over the place.  Ground water is above the septic tank, but below the riser.  So you can’t see it, until you look into the riser and down into the tank.  Also that tank seal is about 6 feet down.  It will now need an excavator to redig it back up, under water mind you, so we’ll be pumping the water out to reseal it under water.  I cannot explain to you how difficult and expensive this is.  To redig these seals will be around 800 bucks.  Now consider that the next time three companies shoot bids.  Their could be reasons that the lowest bid is the lowest.  But in this case, it was the most expensive, cause now we have to dig it back up and reseal.  And that competitor is out of business.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Septic Riser upgrade installation

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Here is a series of pictures.  Beginning to end of a riser installation.  If you ask, “what is a riser.” Let me explain and then the pictures will show you.  First.  Septic tanks are placed under ground, and access lids are cut into them.

Beginning of riser installation upgrade.

Beginning of riser installation upgrade.

For an inspection or pumping service, the lids must be located, dug out, serviced, and then backfilled.  And in this case, the homeowners have cute dogs that would get all dirty every year after their inspection.  Now these tanks were shallow enough that there was no charge for the digging.  But they were tired of having the mess in the back yard every year for their inspection.  Plus they could see me struggle to remove these very heavy concrete lids.  Now honestly, I think they chose to have the system upgraded cause they didn’t want to see me hurt my back.  And for that I thank them immensely.  Lifting those old concrete lids are back breaking work.

Septic tank exposed.

Septic tank exposed.

Now there is a concrete lid on a concrete riser and you can see the electrical outlet for it.  This is the pump tank.  Or sometimes called a dosing tank.  This is where water is stored to be able to send out a dose to a sandfilter, sandmound, or drainfield.  But they didn’t like the concrete lid as it was not secure.  Any child could open the tank and have a look inside, and the risk was too much.  Just think about it for a second.  Wondering where your little Timmy went, and seeing the tank lid off.  It’s not even worth thinking about.  So she wanted that concrete riser and concrete lid replaced with a secure abs riser and lid.  They are secured by screws and have an airtight and watertight gaskets and seals.

Now the only thing that First Call Septic couldn’t do was put the electrical box inside the pump tank riser.  Now this is possible when done by an electrician.  But I strongly suggest against it.  It is much harder to diagnose pump or switch issues when the electrical box is inside that tank.  Plus, remember, when sewage is breaking down it creates a gas called hydrogen sulfide gas.  Then a bacteria moves in to feed on that gas, and it’s by-product is sulfuric acid, and it eats all metal electrical connections, and creates problems about 15 years into service.  Now sometimes that’s a risk a homeowner wouldn’t mind taking, as they really don’t want to see the electrical box.  And that’s okay, I just want the homeowner to know all the details, and they can make the decision that better suits their family.

Now in this case, leaving the electrical box on the outside made more sense.

Risers installed on the septic tank

Risers installed on the septic tank

Here are the pictures of the risers installed and welded down with 2 part epoxy.  We also use bentonite clay to ensure a water tight seal.  We absolutely don’t want any rainwater or ground water to enter a septic system.

 

Now for the moment of truth.  The finished product.  As you can see it nearly looks like the beginning photo. There is no more concrete lid.  The electrical box remains.  We put a light dusting of bark dust over the lids so they don’t have to look at them.

Septic riser after installation

Septic riser after installation

I actually don’t mind the look of green lids, but now just a broom and then you expose the lids.  Two screws, and you’re in.  It’s great in case of an emergency, and to have a quick look inside.  That is good for when you don’t know if you need to call a plumber, or the septic guy.

 

Now it took four hours from beginning to end of riser installation.  Now this customer was so happy with our work and installation, that she asked to have her name and email address posted on this page.  Her name is Carol Stiff from Brush Prairie, Wa and her email address is kck@turbonet.com.  Thank you Carol for you business, and God bless.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie