Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Septic Tank and Thanksgiving

1st Try


When you think of Thanksgiving you probably don’t think of a septic tank in the same thought. I hope I won’t ever again, but I have my doubts.


Wednesday we were getting ready for Thanksgiving. The plan was to cook a turkey in our Big Easy oil-less fryer. We have done this often enough to know what to do, which is just as well since I lost the instructions. Anna was working on the dressing preparations upstairs for cooking next day, and I was downstairs looking for the fryer instructions. I heard the commode flush upstairs and saw water gush out of the washing machine drainage pipe. I ran up stairs and reported it appeared our septic tank had problems. A second flush confirmed the situation. Shit! I mean, real SHIT! This was an emergency! The bathrooms were unusable and anything going down the drain was sure to come back up. We couldn’t ask our ten Thanksgiving guests to put up with that. The septic tank had to be pumped.

I called my 90 year old widow neighbor and told her about it and told her I was just going to dig a hole over her septic line and put one of those outhouses for sale on the side of the road near Cleveland, Georgia.


We called a septic company to send someone out. He had a very hard time backing his tank-truck and back-hoe down our driveway and finally gave up, parking on the street. That should have been a warning bell right away. The young man could not say enough good things about himself. He was there to save us, more or less. Before even taking a look at our system, he said he would take us out of danger – in so many words saying he was our savior. He reminded me a lot of the Stanley Steamer commercial carpet cleaner that takes his job a little too seriously. He continued to reference his new born baby at home. Good for him and his wife!
He took his back-hoe off the truck and had us sign approval, saying it would cost $150 more for that service. What? They offered a marked down come-on price of $198 to pump out the sludge, but it would cost $150 to use his equipment to do it? He told us he was going to give us a quick 101 Septic Tank Course which involved him telling us the numerous problems that could cause the tank to upchuck the stuff instantly.

When we told him to just pump it out, he said he could see that money was no object to us to get it fixed right that day. Don’t know where he got that! “Money no object”? Another alarm went off. Then he began to say the gas company would have to come out and paint the grass where the gas line was. He called them and left a message.

He told us that after he pumped it out he would get it repaired, even if it took all night. When asked how much that would cost, he proposed between $3000-$5000. Full Alarm! We were dealing with a shyster!

Anna said she would do without a septic tank before she would pay that much without shopping around and said just pump it out. After that, he stuck around maybe five more minutes and said he couldn’t wait around for the gas man to mark the yard, so he left. He wasn’t gone but 5 or 10 minutes when the gas man arrived who clarified since the meter was on the side of the house and the septic in the back, there was no danger. He said the septic man should have known that. So, we didn’t call him back.



Anna called her mother and arranged to divert our dinner to her house. We even had to go take a shower at her Mom’s. You just don’t know how to appreciate the conveniences we take for granted. Our daughter-in-law Sabrina stepped in, preparing the balance of the meal. What a life-saver! The next morning we cooked the turkey and the dressing and carried it to my mother-in-laws for a delicious Thanksgiving meal with our family.


Wednesday after the man left, Anna did research on the internet and found what proved to be a reliable septic tank company through Service Magic with good reviews through Kudzu.com. Friday the new septic tank man and his helper came, dug the hole, pumped it out, and looked at the setup, saw that the T section was damaged, which they repaired. Cost $1900, which is much cheaper than $3000-$5000.

The second septic tank man had a pot belly like I do. Denim pants have a tendency to slip down and rest at your ass crack, which necessitates pulling them back up from time to time. I think that is called plumber’s cleavage. When I first met the man, we both first pulled up our pants before we shook hands. It was like a ritual.

Once he had to stop work and sit down. He turned his boots upside down and shook them, explaining that his son likes to put pennies in them.


We thought it was all clear until Sunday water came back into the basement after washing clothes. So, we called the septic people out again Monday.


After digging up the yard again, he hooked up his pump to the house and sucked with all he had. Apparently there was a blockage that finally let loose. We hope it is clear this time. Keep your fingers crossed!!


2nd Visit

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

zhit happens.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something similar happened with my mother's house. Mr Plummer offered to replace the broken line between the house and the sewer connections for $4250 which included a senior discount. She called me and I said, don't have him do. We got 3 bids, the 2nd lowest could start tomorrow and the lowest couldn't start for a week. The 2nd lowest was $1750 from Dupree Plumbing. They fixed it fast without any further problems.

Mike D

11:07 AM  
Blogger Hayden john said...

It is so easy to forget your Septic Tank Maintenance when it is buried out of sight and out of mind, somewhere in the back of your house. To, it is, it is a complete and creates a problem or otherwise foul malfunctions.

3:35 AM  

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