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Old 03-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #29
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If the septic system was unused for the last 10 years, the tank may be dry. Dry "stuff" does not pump.

It could cost you a lot of labor dollars for the septic service folks to find the tank. I suggest finding the tank clean out ports first.

Open the clean out ports (typically at the ends of the tank). If the tank is is full of liquid, call the clean out service. If it is dry, or the liquid is low, you can estimate (guess) how full of "stuff" the tank is. If there is plenty of room, this is an expense that you can delay for a year or so.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:03 AM   #30
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If the septic system was unused for the last 10 years, the tank may be dry. Dry "stuff" does not pump.

It could cost you a lot of labor dollars for the septic service folks to find the tank. I suggest finding the tank clean out ports first.

Open the clean out ports (typically at the ends of the tank). If the tank is is full of liquid, call the clean out service. If it is dry, or the liquid is low, you can estimate (guess) how full of "stuff" the tank is. If there is plenty of room, this is an expense that you can delay for a year or so.
Good advice on locating the tank access lids and uncovering them before calling the septic service. They'll probably charge you an hourly rate for something you can easily do yourself.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:50 PM   #31
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Having a modern septic tank that meets codes (has the pump out places, etc) may not be the case with whatever tank is in place there.

The old part of our house was built in the early 50's. When we moved in about 70 we did not even try to find the old tank, just knew it needed replacing. Now the rules here are different than they were in 70.

There could be a "cement" type stuff in there or dry as someone else suggested.

Try to find the tank, carefully dig around to find out what type of tank. I suspect our original tank had a thick oak top and I keep thinking sometime mowing the lawn we will fall through. We know about where our old tank is because there was a place beyond it that had a depression in the ground where drainage fed lots of weeds.

I hope your tank is the real type and that you can get it functioning. They should be pumped out every year to remove solids. We neglected to do this for many, many years (that is why I know about "cement").

We have never used any types of additives.

I wonder if any of the neighbors would have been around years ago and have some knowledge of what type of tank and where it is located. Out here where I live I do have some knowledge of what my neighbors have.

Good luck.

Nancy
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:26 PM   #32
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my experience in rural arkansas most are leach lines with no access. Your shower drains will get slower and slower to drain, then most folks call to get another leach line installed.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:50 PM   #33
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I didn't know the term leach line so looked for info. Found this interesting place that explains lots of stuff. Oops. We aren't suppose to have the salt brine from our water softener go into our system. Where exactly it is suppose to go does cause a problem.

Hope this link goes where I mean for it to go.

http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/emd/envhealt...ner_septic.html

Nancy

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:39 PM   #34
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We do know the septic was in good shape when Kirk's Great Aunt passed. She lived there alone, so it was not getting over used. I imagine it would be pretty dry by now. We do have an idea of where the tank is, so finding it shouldn't be difficult. This time around it would get minimal use if any at all. We will look into getting the tank inspected before the bathroom gets used full time. Thank goodness we have a coleman potty that can be our back up solution. We are getting packed up now and plan to roll out around 4am. Thanks everyone for all the advice!
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:03 AM   #35
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If all else fails to find the tank, they have a radio device (I call it the "flush bug") that they flush down the toilet and then start looking around with a directional antenna -- Invented by a realtor here in Washington who was tired of the location of the tank holding up sales completions.

Helped septic guys find a friend's tank after much fruitless searching, including with metal detector (Concrete lid had rebar in it) -- Complicated system and the lid turned out to be three feet down! After pump-out (guy had to climb in and chip some of the stuf out with shovel), they put an extension top on the tank to bring the lid up much nearer to the ground surface.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:03 AM   #36
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Ditto on spreading out loads of laundry, regular pumpings, etc.
A mix of brown sugar and yeast works well as a substitute for the septic system enzyme stuff
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:14 PM   #37
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Well, we are home! The house was still in pretty good shape over all. We got a bunch of the over growth cut back, and I cleaned some, but there is still a lot of work to be done to get it ready for living in. The floor is sagging a little, but nothing we can't live with until it gets fixed. Luckily the living room is wood instead of wall paper like the rest of the house, so it was in the best shape of all the rooms and the carpet in there vacuumed up nicely. We had the elec. turned on, and didn't seem to have any problems with the septic. We decided to wait until the next visit this summer, to turn on the water in case they have another freeze. Most of our work was done outside while the weather was nice. Here are a few pictures of the outside work we did...


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Old 03-10-2009, 11:16 PM   #38
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:18 PM   #39
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:53 PM   #40
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It is shapping up. Inch by inch it's a cinch! WOW! I noticed the iris's already up and green! We have 6 inches of snow still!
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:29 PM   #41
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Wow that looks so much neater! Makes my back tired just to look at it.

I'm glad it seems to have not gotten worse while sitting empty.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:43 AM   #42
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It is shapping up. Inch by inch it's a cinch! WOW! I noticed the iris's already up and green! We have 6 inches of snow still!
We passed up some snow on the way in, but it was not on the property. The iris's are all over the property, his great aunt used to have a flower bed full of them, I guess they spread around over time. I also noticed them growing wild along the highway and in other people's property. Our backs were pretty sore, but it was very satisfying getting so much done in just a few days.
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