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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got off the phone with an old, cranky man who wanted me to snake his lines. He has a washing machine that won't drain, and now the bathtub and toilet won't drain.

"are you on a septic tank?" -yes.

"have you had it pumped in the last 5 years?" -no, I don't remember the last time we had it pumped.

Well, I explained to him mulitple times in detail that if the septic is full, no amount of drain-cleaning will help the situation and he still has to pay for the drain-cleaning.

Well, he insists I come out anyway, and I priced him on the phone to pull the toilet and cable the line, and reset the toilet (with no guarantee on the sewer) and he said, OK!:eek:

I hope I clear it, but I am curious what the look on his face is when it still backs up because the septic tank is full...:cry: :laughing:

I am heading there right now, I'll tell what happened when I get back.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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772 Posts
Did you price him over the phone hoping he would see your point?:laughing:
People always amaze me.
Let us know the scoop.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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residential service
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1,948 Posts
Run a camera to show him the main line is clear. Park it at the entrance to the tank. Run water to show him it is entering the tank. Continue to run water and keep watching the camera. When he sees it back up into the line from the tank he will understand.

In my experience septic tanks virtually never need pumping because the problem is a faulty field line system not a full tank (the tank is always full of something but it should be mostly effluent and not sludge). Unless they have massively abused the beneficial bacterias through the use of chemicals, bleaches, drain cleaners, anti-bacterial soaps etc., they will digest organic material at an acceptable rate. If however the field lines are partially or completely slugged up then the systems capacity to remove effluent is drastically reduced to the point where the inflow is greater than the out flow and things begin to back up.

Now having said all that, I should point out that I have never pumped a septic tank (although I had mine pumped once years ago) nor do I have any desire to do so, so I'm sure some septic pumper guy will tell me I'm full of it and don't know what I'm talking about.

Let's put it this way, I've lived in a 64 year old house w/septic tank for 14 years. I have pumped my tank once a little over 10 years ago which was a complete waste of money since the problem was a collapsed clay drain rather than the septic tank (I was a green apprentice plumber at the time and didn't know any better) and I have never had a bit of trouble out of it ever. Now just because I haven't doesn't mean someone else hasn't but don't be too quick to blame the septic tank and if the man wants you to cable his lines then explain to him that it may not help and why and then cable his lines.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He was right! The septic wasn't full, it was roots which I completely cleared with 90' of 7/8" cable and the saw-cutting spiral blade and K-60. I also setup a free inspection on Tuesday, to look into installing a sediment filter on his well, repair his toilets, and upgrade his waterheater and recirc. pump!:thumbup:
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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772 Posts
:thumbup::thumbup:
WTG!

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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Ridgid tool user
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4,909 Posts
I use a c cutter if I know there's a septic tank. The spiral blade can get hung up on the inlet pipe.
 

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residential service
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1,948 Posts
He was right! The septic wasn't full, it was roots which I completely cleared with 90' of 7/8" cable and the saw-cutting spiral blade and K-60. I also setup a free inspection on Tuesday, to look into installing a sediment filter on his well, repair his toilets, and upgrade his waterheater and recirc. pump!:thumbup:
Excellent!

Now I have to ask, who installs a septic tank 90' away from the house :eek:!!!

I'm sure it could happen but around here they put them as close to the house as they can get them.

Not doubting you at all but are you sure it was 90' away 'cause as you probably already know I'm sure, the very last thing you will ever want to do is get 70 extra feet of cable tied up in knots inside a septic tank that's only 20' away.
 
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