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Old 10-22-2008, 06:47 PM   #15
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Gusher

A few years ago, I was next in line with a big, old motorhome piloted by an ancient couple. He took the cap off and was greeted by a gusher of sewage up to his knees. Fortunately, the slope took it away from me.

I had just enough space to back upo a few feet and get out from behind him. Even more fortunate there were two sections of the state park and each had its own dump station.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:40 PM   #16
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A few years ago, I was next in line with a big, old motorhome piloted by an ancient couple. He took the cap off and was greeted by a gusher of sewage up to his knees. Fortunately, the slope took it away from me.

I had just enough space to back upo a few feet and get out from behind him. Even more fortunate there were two sections of the state park and each had its own dump station.

yep he did what I did, forgot to close the gate valve after the last dump .

When I dump at ZION NP i forgot to close it and put the cap on.... Combined black and grey on our friends Trailer we borrowed.. Only the kids going pee, and some hand washing on the way home.... But his gate valve leaks a little, so when we go home I parked right infornt on the front door on the driveway and drained the water lines and HW tank because it was getting really cold at night.. Well I thought I better take that cap off incase there was a little water in there from the leak that might freeze...

SURPRISE. not a lot about 2 gallons off pee, water, and tp landed on my paved driveway... just missed my foot... Some of the tp is still there, won't come off..... It was quit funny at the time.. I still laugh about it now
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:43 AM   #17
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Septic tank system etiquette....

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We have a septic system at home and it looks like there's a couple clean-outs. Does that mean we can just dump right into one of those?
You must be new to your house! Those are clean-outs and the pumping service must be performed on a regular basis depending on the size of the tanks and the number of people that use it. Only two of us left here so it is once about every five years. Tank pumping is many times cheaper than having the system rebuilt.

Look in the Yellow Pages under septic cleaning or pumping and discuss w/ them the frequency of pumping before you need them on a holiday Sunday at midnight!

As to your question, use the cleanout pipe (usually pvc w/ a cap on more modern systems) closest to the house. My system has two tanks w/ two chambers in each. As the first one fills, the solids sink and the water goes over the top to the next chamber and so on. The idea is that there are no solids to make it to the lateral field--very important in my system as it is pumped uphill!
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:39 AM   #18
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You must be new to your house! Those are clean-outs and the pumping service must be performed on a regular basis depending on the size of the tanks and the number of people that use it. Only two of us left here so it is once about every five years.
Soil condition and system type make a big difference. Our family was one of the first to build in our neighborhood twelve years ago. No one on our street has had to have their system pumped yet. Only one house in our neighborhood has had their tank pumped so far and that was several years ago. I know we are all on borrowed time perhaps, but my parents lived in their house in south Georgia (sandy/clay mix) for more than 15 years before they had theirs pumped.

Larry's advise to check locally to see how often it needs to be done is good advise. You should also check with your county health department and neighbors to see how often others have had to have it done. If you call a professional, they will tell you the minimum frequency and if you call the health department they will give you a more realistic range. Your neighbors will give you a more practical time frame.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:13 AM   #19
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Keep that yeast going down the lines, AND DON"T USE ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP... It kills all the little guys that eat all your poop..!!!!

If you take care of it you don't have to have it pumped that often....


My grass is so green over the septic field....
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:27 AM   #20
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I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Tom. The soil type has nothing to do with how long you can go before pumping. You NEVER want ANY solids to go out into the drain field. Once it is plugged, you are looking at $10k minimum around here, since they require engineered systems for any repairs. The frequency depends on the size of the tank, how many people are in the house, whether you have a garbage disposal, how much bleach and other chemicals go down the drain, and whether your laundry is hooked up to the tank. I am a firm believer in what Larry said, it is better to spend $150 to get it pumped than to risk the alternative.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:18 PM   #21
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Last year, after our last trip, I figured I could do the final cleaning of the tanks at the last RV campground in Utah, but they had closed down some of their system and I couldn't do a good job. No problem, we could do it right at the Colorado Welcome Center in Fruita on I-70. When we got to Fruita, we couldn't use the dump station because they were paving around it. There wasn't much in the black tank, but I got a couple of lovely bucketfuls once we got home.

We'll be going out for one last trip this year to Capital Reef NP in a few weeks and then may go to Goblin Valley SP. I think there's a dump station at Capital Reef, but I don't know about Goblin Valley. If not, I figure we can use the dump station at Fruita because the area is well paved now.

Because I want to flush it thoroughly with the Flush King, I hope there's no line because it takes about 20 minutes to do it right.

Funny thing about septic tanks. Depending where you are, the honeywagon guys tell you different things. When we lived west of Denver in the mountains they said we should do it every year and the charges were around $130-150. They would sell a gallon of stuff for around $20 with what they called enzymes in it to promote the breakdown of the sludge. I have no idea whether that was necessary. Out here in western Colorado they charge well over $300, so people avoid getting it pumped for many years. Some never do, some wait 6 or 7 years. I'd dump the black water in my septic tank except I can't get the lid off.

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Old 10-28-2008, 04:30 PM   #22
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My Holding Tank Procedure

I've found even an empty and flushed tank will emit a lot of odor. To combat the odor, I always put a charge of chemical in the tank with a gallon or so of water after dumping, especially if the trailer will be setting for a while. It does solve the odor problems.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:39 PM   #23
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On a related subject, this has never happened to me on any trailers I have owned, but I have always been fearful of having the steel operating rod pull out of the plastic gate valve blade leaving the blade in the closed position.

I wonder if that ever happens, and if it does, how the heck can you deal with the situation in order to then open the valve in order to dump the tank and install a new gate valve?

Be nice to know how to deal with it in case it ever happens! Maybe you'd be able to screw something in to the hole where the rod pulled out of the valve and be able to coax it open?

Anyone ever have this happen?


Brian.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purman View Post


My grass is so green over the septic field....
The late Erma Bombeck wrote a book entitled, "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Lines". Loved her sense of humor.


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Originally Posted by sander17 View Post
You NEVER want ANY solids to go out into the drain field. Once it is plugged, you are looking at $10k minimum around here, since they require engineered systems for any repairs. The frequency depends on the size of the tank, how many people are in the house, whether you have a garbage disposal, how much bleach and other chemicals go down the drain, and whether your laundry is hooked up to the tank. I am a firm believer in what Larry said, it is better to spend $150 to get it pumped than to risk the alternative.
I think it is more a matter of how long it takes the soil to reach a saturation point where the soil can't process the leach faster than the household consisting of the variables you mention can fill the tank. It is the liquid that seeps up through the ground that lets you know you have a problem not the solids. At least that is how it is around here in the north Georgia clay soils we have here. It is also a matter of the area of your leach field.

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On a related subject, this has never happened to me on any trailers I have owned, but I have always been fearful of having the steel operating rod pull out of the plastic gate valve blade leaving the blade in the closed position.

I wonder if that ever happens, and if it does, how the heck can you deal with the situation in order to then open the valve in order to dump the tank and install a new gate valve?

Be nice to know how to deal with it in case it ever happens! Maybe you'd be able to screw something in to the hole where the rod pulled out of the valve and be able to coax it open?

Anyone ever have this happen?


Brian.
This is when you dig really deep into your pockets and take the Airstream in to the dealer for this repair...it's not a do-it-yourself job unless you are practicing for a guest appearance on "Dirty Jobs".
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:54 PM   #25
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Every leach field fails someday. The cost is very high. I have blotted out from my memory what it cost me at the house before this one. Maybe $7 or 8 K. Blasting wasn't cheap (maybe $1,200), the "engineering" firm that had to produce the report the county required, the same report they provided for everyone and the "engineer" they sent out who couldn't find anything and had trouble with his high tech 100' "tape measure" were about $500. Then the excavator (maybe $6,000, the cheapest one I could find), the septic tank ($1000 or maybe I'm confused with the gallons), pipe. That's about $9,000. It still hurts.

And that handle to open the tanks—I've wondered about that too. Sewers are very corrosive places. What parts are in the tank and what are metal—something's gotta rust or rot. Seems like a good idea to treat that handle gently.

Gene
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:07 PM   #26
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Gene, I put our septic system in the house we built in Trinidad... It cost me just over $3500 including renting a backhoe... That was for everything.. Although there was no need for it to be engineered.. The county came a did a perk test and said Use this many Infultrators... I like these better than a leach feild... Infultrators never seem to fail. They hold ton of liquid before it even to to perk into the ground... Here in Delta county you have to pay someone to do it because the county just doesn't want to deal with it....

It's not hard to figure one out.... Take your perk and then make it big enough.. you can get the info from the people who sell the stuff... Everyone wants a buck....
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:45 PM   #27
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Arrow Murphy's Brown Law *

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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
this has never happened to me on any trailers I have owned, but I have always been fearful of having the steel operating rod pull out of the plastic gate valve blade leaving the blade in the closed position.

I wonder if that ever happens, and if it does, how the heck can you deal with the situation in order to then open the valve in order to dump the tank and install a new gate valve?

Be nice to know how to deal with it in case it ever happens! Maybe you'd be able to screw something in to the hole where the rod pulled out of the valve and be able to coax it open?
Anyone ever have this happen?
Brian.
(emphasis added)

Quote:
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And that handle to open the tanks—I've wondered about that too. Sewers are very corrosive places. What parts are in the tank and what are metal—something's gotta rust or rot. Seems like a good idea to treat that handle gently.
Gene
Boy I never thought about this possible dilemma. But changing a valve with a partial tank load behind it would possibly be the ultimate Black-Tank-Blues event of a lifetime.
A real OSM !!! (Oh S#it Moment)

*Murphy's Brown Law = If you mess with mess long enough you're gonna get covered with mess.
(might think of this next Tues. Nov.4th IYGMD).

Seriously, you could I guess, remove much of the sewage from above thru the toilet. Can you imagine what a task and a misery that would be? But you sure wouldn't get it all. So.....this becomes a great question. (thanks Brian, I needed something else to worry about).
So I anxiously await some expert thinking on this. If that is not forthcoming here maybe a sepearate thread is in order.
Hello Inland Andy...any thoughts on this?

Is there a "Cadilac" valve out there? Maybe all brass ? or would that be worse?
I don't ever want to face this problem..do yall?
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:21 PM   #28
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(emphasis added)



Boy I never thought about this possible dilemma. But changing a valve with a partial tank load behind it would possibly be the ultimate Black-Tank-Blues event of a lifetime.
A real OSM !!! (Oh S#it Moment)

*Murphy's Brown Law = If you mess with mess long enough you're gonna get covered with mess.
(might think of this next Tues. Nov.4th IYGMD).

Seriously, you could I guess, remove much of the sewage from above thru the toilet. Can you imagine what a task and a misery that would be? But you sure wouldn't get it all. So.....this becomes a great question. (thanks Brian, I needed something else to worry about).
So I anxiously await some expert thinking on this. If that is not forthcoming here maybe a sepearate thread is in order.
Hello Inland Andy...any thoughts on this?

Is there a "Cadilac" valve out there? Maybe all brass ? or would that be worse?
I don't ever want to face this problem..do yall?
To keep things simple, what year and length Airstream do you have?

Andy
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