Septic Drain Field Failure
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Septic Drain Field Failure

    Well it looks like I am upon one of those major crossroads in life.

    I investigated into my septic system further this morning and the worst casr scenerio is apparent now - the drain field is plugged. Well at least the pipe from the tank to the drain field is which means the whole thing is likely toast.

    I had this vision of finishing off the mortgage (23 months to go) then start fixing the house up as we could afford it. Now it looks like I'm not going to make that. I hate going to the bank with a passion. Don't know why - just being stubborn I guess. But it looks like a home equity loan is in order now. Now have a lot of thinking to do - weather to borrow enough just for the septic system or go all out and get all things this house has sorely needed for many years like bathroom and kitchen redone.

    Grrrrr - and we were just about to see some light at the end of the tunnel......
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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Well it looks like I am upon one of those major crossroads in life.

    I investigated into my septic system further this morning and the worst casr scenerio is apparent now - the drain field is plugged. Well at least the pipe from the tank to the drain field is which means the whole thing is likely toast.

    I had this vision of finishing off the mortgage (23 months to go) then start fixing the house up as we could afford it. Now it looks like I'm not going to make that. I hate going to the bank with a passion. Don't know why - just being stubborn I guess. But it looks like a home equity loan is in order now. Now have a lot of thinking to do - weather to borrow enough just for the septic system or go all out and get all things this house has sorely needed for many years like bathroom and kitchen redone.

    Grrrrr - and we were just about to see some light at the end of the tunnel......
    You can get the drain field redone for a hell of a lot less than a new system.

    The reason I went with a new system was because the concrete tank started deteriorating badly inside.

    If the tank had still looked Ok, I would have just gotten the drain field replaced.
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    Neil

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cajun View Post
    You can get the drain field redone for a hell of a lot less than a new system.

    The reason I went with a new system was because the concrete tank started deteriorating badly inside.

    If the tank had still looked Ok, I would have just gotten the drain field replaced.
    OK - I didn't remember the detail on yours - just that you had the entire system replaced.

    My tank is fine as witnessed last year when I had it pumped out. The thing is I never had the notion to check the drain side of the tank then. Thought all was good being I had the tank pumped.

    So what I can figure is that it took a year to fill the tank and now I have the same symptoms as I did last year.

    Yeah - a drain field shouldn't be too awful bad - maybe 2 days with a backhoe and 2 guys plus the materials hauled in and out. Still a lot of money in my world.....
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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    OK - I didn't remember the detail on yours - just that you had the entire system replaced.

    My tank is fine as witnessed last year when I had it pumped out. The thing is I never had the notion to check the drain side of the tank then. Thought all was good being I had the tank pumped.

    So what I can figure is that it took a year to fill the tank and now I have the same symptoms as I did last year.

    Yeah - a drain field shouldn't be too awful bad - maybe 2 days with a backhoe and 2 guys plus the materials hauled in and out. Still a lot of money in my world.....
    With a decent excavator, shouldn't take a day to put in a new drain field.
    The price down here would have been $1500 - $2000 for just the drain field.

    Went with a new type of drain field, doesn't require perforated drain field pipe to be installed.
    This type is supposed to be a lot more efficient and trouble free.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails drain field 1.jpg   drain field 2.jpg  
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    Neil

    2019 4066R with cab (aka Cooterpiller), 2014 997 Z Trak
    Other equip: 1982 IH 274 diesel, 1957 Farmall Cub, Woods Billy Goat 5 foot rotary cutter, Ford three point hitch 6 foot dozer blade,
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    rear engine rider, 1984 30 inch cut Snapper rear engine rider.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cajun View Post
    With a decent excavator, shouldn't take a day to put in a new drain field.
    The price down here would have been $1500 - $2000 for just the drain field.

    Went with a new type of drain field, doesn't require perforated drain field pipe to be installed.
    This type is supposed to be a lot more efficient and trouble free.
    You're making me feel a lot better! And thanks for the info on the drain field - I like to be armed with as much info as I can.

    There is only 1 licenced plumbing business in the county. They have been in business for somethinf like 80 years. They are known to be high priced - but to the type of people around here anything above free is high priced. I had them sell me and install my furnace a couple years ago. They did a good job and I was able to do some haggling on the price. Now that I know the lead guy Jeff I will have him give me an estimate and work on him some. I want it done right and don't mind paying a reasonable price.

    10 years ago I could have done it myself with a rental excavator or backhoe - not any more.....
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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cajun View Post
    With a decent excavator, shouldn't take a day to put in a new drain field.
    The price down here would have been $1500 - $2000 for just the drain field.

    Went with a new type of drain field, doesn't require perforated drain field pipe to be installed.
    This type is supposed to be a lot more efficient and trouble free.
    This is a pic of mine being installed in ground, fixing to be covered.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails drain feild 3.jpg  
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    Neil

    2019 4066R with cab (aka Cooterpiller), 2014 997 Z Trak
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    home brew dirt and gravel grader, dirt scoop, choppers, Woods six foot belly mount sickle bar, home brew 3PH 25 gallon sprayer, 1992 33 inch cut Snapper
    rear engine rider, 1984 30 inch cut Snapper rear engine rider.

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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    You're making me feel a lot better! And thanks for the info on the drain field - I like to be armed with as much info as I can.

    There is only 1 licenced plumbing business in the county. They have been in business for somethinf like 80 years. They are known to be high priced - but to the type of people around here anything above free is high priced. I had them sell me and install my furnace a couple years ago. They did a good job and I was able to do some haggling on the price. Now that I know the lead guy Jeff I will have him give me an estimate and work on him some. I want it done right and don't mind paying a reasonable price.

    10 years ago I could have done it myself with a rental excavator or backhoe - not any more.....
    Same here, my days of climbing in and out of trenches are over with.
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    Neil

    2019 4066R with cab (aka Cooterpiller), 2014 997 Z Trak
    Other equip: 1982 IH 274 diesel, 1957 Farmall Cub, Woods Billy Goat 5 foot rotary cutter, Ford three point hitch 6 foot dozer blade,
    home brew dirt and gravel grader, dirt scoop, choppers, Woods six foot belly mount sickle bar, home brew 3PH 25 gallon sprayer, 1992 33 inch cut Snapper
    rear engine rider, 1984 30 inch cut Snapper rear engine rider.

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    We're going to have to have an additional septic system for the house addition. Down here, it is required to use an engineer to get a permit. His design uses Quick 4 Infiltrator Panels, which looks similar to OC's.

    We were lucky with our existing system. Didn't pump until last year - amazing 40 years with no problems. Then found main cement tank had crack but was able to find someone who used hydraulic cement to fix. The drain field tested ok.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by dianedebuda; 07-20-2017 at 01:32 PM.
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    The same thing was installed when my son moved a house-trailer in my back yard, back in '98.

    They ran ~80' of this. Being the outlet of the field was even with the bottom of the front drainage ditch, they added a sump & sump-pump to the tail. He moved the trailer out in 2006.

    I built a kitchen and bath in the back of my shop, and connected to the existing system. The house trailer I bought for my daughter and SIL was also connected to it ~2 years ago. Only had to replace the sump-pump twice since '98.
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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    coaltrain, we had a field line replaced in sometime around 2003. I'm thinking it cost us $1000/1200 dollars back then. Then in August of 2015 I dug it up and fixed it. It cost me 3 pickup loads of gravel. I had a grandson help me do it. Did it all with my tractor using the FEL to do it. Here is a pic of what I dug up and put back down. I'm getting ready to cover it up here.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It shouldn't cost that much to do. Probably cost as much to bring the equipment out there then to do the job. Don't let them snowball you. You're up against the wall only having one person that does it in your area. I'd be talking real nice and maybe even throw in a pie or two. Should have it done in 1 day. Good luck.
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