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  1. #11
    Expert

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    A friend that installs & repairs septic systems says gel soaps, anti-biotic soaps, non-septic safe TP & flushable wipes have made him a crap ton of money (pun intended).

    First they use the sticky/fatty soaps that leave the gray sludge in pipes and on everything else,
    And it's usually anti-biotic so it kills off the tank floria,
    Then they try to clean drains with caustics & acids, further killing the biology in the tank,
    Then they plug up tank and leach field with 'Paper' products...
    Great wads of paper that isn't designed to biodegrade.

    There is ONE way to get around the septic problem issues with much older houses, and on small lots...
    And, you guessed it, it costs more.

    Replace the tank, it's a 'Repair', and only the tank has to be up to code.
    This is a good thing since a lot of them older tanks were nothing more than oil drums and the like...
    A WHOLE LOT of old home heating oil tanks out there for 'Septic' tanks.
    Then have the leach field upgraded at a later date, again a 'Repair' and doesn't have to meet the current stringent standards for new, full replacement installs.

    My septic system was the one thing here I had to have county/state approval on, and the county inspector wasn't having any of what I wanted.
    I had to hire a guy from 4 counties away to do inspections and sign off on it for the county/state, since he was the only one around that understood what we wanted to do.
    The entire thing has to be easy to unclog/clean, and I used heavier walled pipe, lots of clean out plugs, gentle angle bends so the drain snake won't have issues, etc and the local guy just couldn't grasp it.

    Knock wood, 15+ years without issues and we had up to 7 people living here at different times...
    They ALL got a lesson in septic systems because I don't want that particular job, even if it is much easier than the average system.

  2. #12
    Grandmaster Gluemanz28's Avatar

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    I’m on a 2 year pump plan. Is it overkill maybe, but like others have said with the modern soaps detergents and food disposal I consider $90 a year cheap insurance and lots less than city water and sewage bills.
    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  3. #13
    Grandmaster ghuns's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhitleyStu View Post
    Several of my neighbors and two excavating contractors have told me that our 15 year old septic system is one of the few in the area that is not is some way tied into field or county tiles that eventually drain to old man made drainage ditches...
    My system, installed in 1942, has never been pumped.

    It also has a 0% chance of meeting modern code.
    Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

  4. #14
    Master Sniper 79's Avatar

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    Pump ours every year. When spring rains hit the yard is like pudding and stinks to high heaven.
    I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on.

  5. #15
    Resident Dumbass II GLOCKMAN23C's Avatar

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    When a septic system is functioning properly, there is zero need to pump the tank.



    Quote Originally Posted by churchmouse View Post
    Get outta my damn yard.......
    Quote Originally Posted by db1959 View Post
    The wind likes to blow my balls around.
    I will not give, not one more inch. No more compromise. From my cold dead hands.

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  6. #16
    Sharpshooter

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    The size of the tank matters, a 1200 gallon tank will hold more than a 500 gallon tank. The bacteria in the tank should eat lots of the contents, so killing that bacteria with bleach from the washing machine etc. is one way to keep it fro working well. In our old house in the country we had a seperate drain for the washing machine and the sinks and it didn't go into the septic. I am sure it was a small tank and we didn't pump it for 20 years, who knows how long before that.

  7. #17
    x10
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    For Morgan, brown, Johnson, Bartholomew Counties the guy to go to is
    Setser septic service 317-691-6245



    I've know Chad Setser for most of my life, you won't find a more honest person in the business
    Tomorrow’s winds will blow tomorrow

  8. #18
    Plinker

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    Thanks for the education on this thread. I’ve never had a septic system but we are now looking to get a place and several that we’ve looked at are on septic.

  9. #19
    Expert russc2542's Avatar

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    What it comes down to is consistency and contents. What goes in should only be what goes through the body already and water. Some soap's OK, as others have said, anti-bacterial is a hard no. After that, consistency. If you like going on long vacations or having a house full of visitors it'll hurt the system.

    The whole premise is that it's self-sustaining. Think of it like a living thing cause it is. The tank shouldn't be emptied and filled, it should stay mostly full and the bacteria eat the solids and the liquids drain to the leech field. If the field stinks, something's wrong. If the tank's "full" something's wrong (what you're feeding it, built wrong, or broken). You shouldn't have to pump it every year or even every 5.

  10. #20
    x10
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    That's what everyone was brought up to believe, but they have found that the balance is hard to keep.

    Your tank should be full of water up to the outlet and with about a foot of "solids" (that are being digested) But all it takes is a rainy season, a dry season, Somebody accidentally flushing a bunch of bleach. Baby wipes, Ect.

    Face it nobody wants to inspect their tank every couple months and then try to figure out what's going right or wrong, Tank maintenance is around $300 every 2 years, and a new system is 15k or more,

    Many systems now have grinders on them and that helps, But also the variability in your leech field also comes into play, Sand/clay/loam, good drainage, high water table, like so many things there isn't just one answer. Some systems are in the sweet zone and work perfect, but most slowly fill up with solids that don't get digested. It's probably 5 years or more before it's a problem. Again no one solution.

    Get it pumped, and then you don't fret when the sister in law that's lives in the city dumps baby wipes down your system.




    Quote Originally Posted by russc2542 View Post
    What it comes down to is consistency and contents. What goes in should only be what goes through the body already and water. Some soap's OK, as others have said, anti-bacterial is a hard no. After that, consistency. If you like going on long vacations or having a house full of visitors it'll hurt the system.

    The whole premise is that it's self-sustaining. Think of it like a living thing cause it is. The tank shouldn't be emptied and filled, it should stay mostly full and the bacteria eat the solids and the liquids drain to the leech field. If the field stinks, something's wrong. If the tank's "full" something's wrong (what you're feeding it, built wrong, or broken). You shouldn't have to pump it every year or even every 5.

    Tomorrow’s winds will blow tomorrow

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