Project Hutchinson: Septic trouble

DIY Home Remodeling, General

Well! Louise and I were unable to use the water in our house for about two weeks. We had trouble with the septic tank; it was backing up somewhere from the cleanout by the house to the tank itself. This could have been real bad, as that pipe is directly underneath our new driveway.

So, we called Roto-Rooter, for better or for worse. $315 later we still had the same problem, and the guy figured we needed to have the tank pumped. So, I dug up the tank cover, which was a pain in the ass and a lot of work. In addition, since I work during the day, I dug it up at night. But I didn’t want to open the top.

The pumpers: Honeybucket Septic. I called the Honeybucket guy and they came out the next day. I could tell because they ran over the edge of my new driveway and broke some pieces off of it, and left marks where they drove right up to the tank. I called them to see what they did. I didn’t get a call back, so I called again the next day. Frustrated that they weren’t calling me back, I decided to open the tank and see if they pumped it. So, I opened it (it wasn’t so bad), and either they pumped it, or it didn’t need to be pumped.

I called rotorooter back again, since they said they’d come back for free. They came out on Monday, and before the guy got there Honeybucket FINALLY called me back! 4 or 5 days, geeez! He said they did pump it and freed up the clog (which was a lie — it was still blocked). I have yet to get the bill, but I’m sure it will be $400+. Rotorooter poked around and figured it was a broken pipe by the tank or somewhere under the driveway.

So, the guy left. That night, I started digging. I dug up a TON of dirt. I discovered that the pipe that enters the tank had dropped down about 4 inches, and was full of roots. So I cleaned it up and dug more dirt out to fix the problem.

The next problem – cast iron steel pipe! I dug enough of it out to where I would need to cut it. The next day, I called around and of the people who I talked to, I got ONE quote (I called five or six places — of which, I left several messages with people or machines and only got one call back the next day). The quote was $700..screw that, as I already am in the hole $700 and nothing was fixed.

So, what to do? I rent a pipe cutter the next day, at lunch, for $20. I start the process of cutting it, and the damn pipe just falls out of the dirt! Apparently, it was already broken about two more inches into the ground. If i had only dug a little further! So, I didn’t need the cutter, and dig out the rest of the stuff.

the rest of the story: I bought pipes, lego’ed it together, stuck my arm in the tank to remove old parts, and now it all works!

Here is the piece of pipe that I replaced with some black ABS 4“. You can’t tell, but the whole is deep. It is like 3-4 feet in some spots! It took hours to dig it out. I still need to finish tossing the dirt back on.

Img 4938

Here’s the old piece of cast iron, along with the part that was in the tank that I replaced:

Img 4940

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Boy, what fiasco

Good job – you need to contest the bill from the pump people and deduct for damage to the driveway

Subscribe to new posts:

You'll get an email whenever a I publish a new post to my blog and nothing more. -- Corbin

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

(c) 2008-2024 Corbin Dunn

Privacy Policy

Subscribe to RSS feeds for entries.

69 queries. 0.183 seconds.

Log in