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Discussion Starter #1
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
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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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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
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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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
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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.
 

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Old Pa-pa
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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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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.
 

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:bigthumb:


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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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.
0828151157a.jpg

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. :bigthumb:
 

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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.
I noticed the visual showed how the tank design allowed "effluent" to leach into the soil.........Is it that only the "affluent" have "effluent" or is it that only their "effluent" doesn't stink? :lolol::laugh:
 

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Thanks for all the examples guys. No sense guessing on my part now - will be calling for an estimate on Monday.

I know what a backhoe gets per hour with an operator, and what the plumber charges per hour per man. With a little math on my part I will be able to tell if I am getting a decent price. I did the same with the furnace. Once he knew I knew what I was talking about (after being in the HVAC business) we seemed to come to an understanding.

I just need to get over my stubborness and just get the ball rolling. We need to talk about doing other repairs to the house or not. We've been here 20 years now so I guess this is our "life" house even though I get to dreaming at times with my arm chair traveling.
 

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I noticed the visual showed how the tank design allowed "effluent" to leach into the soil.........Is it that only the "affluent" have "effluent" or is it that only their "effluent" doesn't stink? :lolol::laugh:
You pose some very deep questions there SulleyBear, but we have an expert in the effluent and affluent departments,
I will attempt to contact him,

"Yo Gizmo, ya want to handle this clown's dumba$$ questions?"

No need to thank me Sulley, it's the least I could do............:laugh:
 

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Thanks for all the examples guys. No sense guessing on my part now - will be calling for an estimate on Monday.

I know what a backhoe gets per hour with an operator, and what the plumber charges per hour per man. With a little math on my part I will be able to tell if I am getting a decent price. I did the same with the furnace. Once he knew I knew what I was talking about (after being in the HVAC business) we seemed to come to an understanding.

I just need to get over my stubborness and just get the ball rolling. We need to talk about doing other repairs to the house or not. We've been here 20 years now so I guess this is our "life" house even though I get to dreaming at times with my arm chair traveling.
I know here the guys that suck the tanks can suck out the leach lines.You would have to open the distribution box,then they put an elbow on the line and suck out each one.They can give you an idea how bad the field is or if it needs replacing by how much they get out.
 

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Sorry to hear the problem

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......
Sorry to hear that you've got issues. We had to do that about 6-8 years ago. I learned my lesson about not pumping the tank on a regular basis to make sure the solids never get into the drain field.

If you've got decent soil the new "doghouse" drain fields work well and go in very fast as the grade isn't near as critical. I've wished we had gone with those when we redid ours, but they were new in this area at the time and the contractor wasn't sure about them.

You could also think about a middle course. Fix the drainfield plus any critical issues around the house but not everything. However, it's not a bad thing to put large items on a long term debt if they will make your life significantly better. I hate debt as well but sometimes it makes sense.

Treefarmer
 

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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.....
Sorry to hear this. Do they normally rip up the old field and replace? Or simply put in a new field? In some NC counties they require the builders to leave room for an emergency field. Guess old lines would be considered a hazmat and need special handling?
 

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Sorry to hear this. Do they normally rip up the old field and replace? Or simply put in a new field? In some NC counties they require the builders to leave room for an emergency field. Guess old lines would be considered a hazmat and need special handling?
As far as I know...I can have the drain field replaced if need be in the same place without a permit. If I were to want to install an entirely new system I would have to obtain a permit, which would lead to a perk test, which would lead to a sand mound system. I don't want to go down that road.

I really don't think I have a problem with the drain field itself now.

After thinking on this more and doing some more investigation, I found that the line from the septic tank to the distribution box is 3/4 clogged. I was able to run my 3/4" sewer tape down the line until it stopped (around 30') so the line is partially open.

So as a last ditch effort I want to try to clean that line. I guess there is a possibility that this is my only problem and the drain field may be fine.

Thinking about how to clean that line, I found a kit that usues your pressure washer. This has a nozzle that has one forward facing jet and 3 rear facing jets.

Clog Hog - Sewer Jetters - Drain Cleaners for Pressure Washers

I fugure this is worth a try. I can also use this on my line that runs from the house to the septic tank.

As treefarmer said - this is due to never having the tank pumped out in the 20 years we have been here. Lesson learned - now all I can hope for is an easy fix - hoping that cleaning out that line and all will be good.

Or - I may call the septic pumper folks and see if they have a service like this. I may have to dig around with my loader to see if I can find the distribution box though.
 

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As far as I know...I can have the drain field replaced if need be in the same place without a permit. If I were to want to install an entirely new system I would have to obtain a permit, which would lead to a perk test, which would lead to a sand mound system. I don't want to go down that road.

I really don't think I have a problem with the drain field itself now.

After thinking on this more and doing some more investigation, I found that the line from the septic tank to the distribution box is 3/4 clogged. I was able to run my 3/4" sewer tape down the line until it stopped (around 30') so the line is partially open.

So as a last ditch effort I want to try to clean that line. I guess there is a possibility that this is my only problem and the drain field may be fine.

Thinking about how to clean that line, I found a kit that usues your pressure washer. This has a nozzle that has one forward facing jet and 3 rear facing jets.

Clog Hog - Sewer Jetters - Drain Cleaners for Pressure Washers

I fugure this is worth a try. I can also use this on my line that runs from the house to the septic tank.

As treefarmer said - this is due to never having the tank pumped out in the 20 years we have been here. Lesson learned - now all I can hope for is an easy fix - hoping that cleaning out that line and all will be good.

Or - I may call the septic pumper folks and see if they have a service like this. I may have to dig around with my loader to see if I can find the distribution box though.
One of those things you don't think about and the years flyby. Went 7 yrs in the last house and the tanks were almost solid. Septic guy advised pump every three yrs. And I believe him.
 

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One of those things you don't think about and the years fly by. Went 7 yrs in the last house and the tanks were almost solid. Septic guy advised pump every three yrs. And I believe him.
We had this same discussion here a while back and comments were all over the board. I've owned homes with septic systems for many years. Never had any septic or drain field problems but I also don't subscribe to the "Out of sight, out of mind" theory.

Every home I've owned I've had the tank pumped either annually or biennially depending upon the number of people living in the home. Kind of like I've also never had any power train problems with my vehicles due to regular preventative maintenance...........:hi:
 
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