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Save yourself some misery...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by titan, Sep 25, 2007.

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  1. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

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    Well, a couple nights ago my better half and I were watching the tube in the basement when I start walking through water on my way to the beer-fridge.Looking down,I'm greeted with a hardwood floor full of grey water and semi-solids from my sewer line.Turns out it came back up via the drains for my unfinished basement bathroom.We clean it up in between the odd gag attack and call a plumber I know to help me out in the a.m.Next day, he shows up with the "power-snake" and we start feeding the lengths out through my main clean-out.....at 85' out the auger grabs something and we haul back a mass of what looks like cotton.The plumber asks me if we flushed a towel!Upon deeper inspection this big clog looks like the "biodegradable-flushable" kids wipes my daughter uses during her "toilet-training".Needless to say,there are no longer any of these "flushable" wipers in the house.I chalk it up to another learning experience when my Wife (the phone nazi) calls me at work today to tell me that she spoke(read-screamed,swore-at,abused)with customer service reps@"Pampers"to discuss her dissatisfaction with their product.Not only are they issuing me a check to cover the plumber's bill,but asked for photos of the flooring if it should move or"cup" as it dries.Makes you wonder huh?The moral of the story is:don't flush anything but toilet paper(no matter what it says on the box), and don't force my wife to clean kaka off her hardwood floors!

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  2. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    :coolsmile: YOU ARE WRONG FOR POSTING THIS THREAD!!!!!! :lol:

    Those things are the best----
    They are "flushable".

    Did it make it thru your toilet without you having to plunge? YUP
    The real question is?

    Is your sewer line open enough to handle them? I have seen new construction homes back up because of these things. Good for business for the Roto-Rooter man.

    I was Roto-Rooter for 2.5 yrs. Those things are GRAVY.
  3. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

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    :smirk: My sincere apologies to plumbers everywhere.....I hope you can still cash your kickbacks from the manufacturer! :gulp:
  4. kwburn

    kwburn New Member

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    when we moved into our house 11 years ago i had the septic tank pumped out. not a week later the pipes were overflowing into the basement whenever we would flush or run the water,etc. not knowing any better i called the septic tank guy and even though we both agreed there was no way for the tank to fill up that fast with solids he pumped it out again (and i paid him again). of course it backed up again. so the septic guy got a snake and snaked the line from the house to the tank. paper towels were clogged in the line. when i mentioned what happened to my dad he apologized profusely and said it was he who flushed them down once when he was at our house and after he did it he got nervous that maybe he shouldnt have. he's lucky he's way too nice to get mad at over anything.

    thanks for the poopee story while i sit here eating my bowl of ice cream.
  5. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Word to the wise folks...

    If you have a septic system don't take that "Safe for septic systems" labeling as gospel.

    If you do...your septic guy might have a few choice words for you and a slightly inflated bill. They probably do break down (after 100 years) but more often than not those disposable 'baby wipes' just mat together in the first chamber.

    Least thats the jist' a friend of mine (who pumps tanks for a living) told me just recently.
  6. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Yeah..I'll call and arrange first thing tommorow for a 'feces camera' inspection to be done on my sewer line...NOT!

    You know for the $400 they charge (How much extra do they charge for a VHS copy of the video BTW???) for a camera inspection... I'd probably be better off building one from a cheap camera.

    Can you imagine that?? "Honey wanna make some popcorn let's sit and watch a movie tonight...got one right here titled "Your Sewer Line"...lol
  7. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Hey, the grass is always greener over the septic tank... especially the clogged ones.

    -- Mike

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  8. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    I was also told at the pumpout facility that those things are hard for them to process also. I also have a buddy that INSISTS on using them.. The freebie work got old, so I am finally charging him. I keep telling him over and over, but they just wont listen. It's not his wife or kids btw, it's him and his brother- 2 very large 6' plus guys with soft behinds!

    I love new construction- don't have to deal with stuff like this...
  9. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Yikes, my daughter uses those, and has since training a few years ago. Even just two in a flush can sometimes require the plunger, which I guess is a hint. No sewer problems yet here in MD, but in MI we have a septic tank.
  10. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Disco,
    also depends on the toilet itself. The first generation 1.6 gal toilet were just that, needed some tweaking. unglazed trapway, less surface area, etc. The decent quality 1.6 gal toilet will have a glazed trapway, larger water surface area, and larger flush valve opening.

    They do work, and they do save water, but using my house as an example:

    Built in 1954
    Cast iron, lead joint inside the crawl space, clay thru the foundation to orangeburg, with a cast iron cleanout tee in the yard, clay to the main in the street. Once whatever you flush gets thru the toilet is where the problems begin. Roots penetrate weak joints, orangeburg is an asphalt infused paper type pipe, and natural settling and shifting of the ground can cause a "belly" in the line, where solids can collect, decomposing into muck. The muck line is no fun to clear, with cables poking thru the blockage, but not breaking it.

    Another contributing factor is the garbage disposal. Most people do not run the water at the sink long enough for the waste from the disposer to clear the line, and older model disposers do not gring up the food particles small enough not to cause a problem.
    Insinkerator did develop a 3 blade disposer, I have installed a couple, no complaints so far.

    Basically, if you didn't eat it, don't flush it. Use a fast degrading paper such as scotts or marcal, and minimize use of a garbage disposal.

    Just my opinion,

    Bob
  11. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    That was always my mom's approach to septic-tank homes. She would put up notes by all toilets and sinks about acceptable items, and never used her garbage disposal. We all made fun of her, of course.

    I'm sure you're on target with the toilet - this house has the cheapest parts money can buy, and the 1.6 gal toilets are at least 9 years old, possibly up to 25 years old.
  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Hey, I resemble that description ;), and yes I use them when theres a "fire" down below LOL.
    But I use TP and just finish up with the wipes. I tossem in the trash which gets burned :)
  13. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Orangeburg (cringing)...ouch. Can you say "nightmare"????

    Funny thing about orangeburg though... it weeds the DIY'ers out real fast! Sewer clogged?? Go rent an auger???

    The result??

    Bring back the auger with a busted 'head' (try getting your money back on that one...lol) Call the rooter man' "Ohh you busted the head... you probably have orangeburg..." If they do come out at that point??? No guarantee the problem will clear (and you still gotta pay)...

    Last phone call... usually to an 'excavator'... "Yeah Hi...Wanna come out and give me an estimate on replacing my sewer main??"

    Yup...fun stuff.

    When I bought my house I made a stipulation for the closing to the seller "You either put 3K in an escrow account or pay for an inspection to be done certifying the condition of the sewer main...if there is any orangeburg we're back to a 3K escrow"...

    Today...here in G-vegas it costs 3K just to "open up the street" for water or sewer.

    Contrast???

    My sisters' house in Oklahoma had an orangeburg sewer main. She found out a hard lesson.

    SHe was telling me all about buying a new house...I tried to give her some helpfull advice. Most importantly not to be impatient(see if you can figure out why below)...

    I had driven down from Colorado for thanksgiving. They had just bought the house and were still moving in. The first thing she says "the drains are running kinda slow". Later that night I'm outside having a cigarette and I hear a strange noise and go to investigate. A 'stream' of cloudy water is shooting 3 feet in the air from the outside cleanout.

    Okay now what do you do???

    She called the city works...they sent out the Vactor truck...they blew the city main clear 100' upstream and 700 feet downstream...

    Try finding a rental store open on thanksgiving day...anywhere. HTF did I get roped into this. Sis is handy but dangerous...brother in law??? He's a lawyer...need I say more???

    Kinda funny driving around...found one. First tried a hand auger...back to the rental place. Got a power one. Tried to auger it (carefully)...SNAP.

    I knew what was next and thought of how to break the news to sis. On the ride to the rental place I tried to tell my brother in law how to break the news... I knew what she was in for, the only "saving grace" was that the city sewer main ran under her front lawn so she wasn't gonna get her cheeks parted too badly. Worse came to worse I told her the following weekend I would take some leave and help her replace it. "How much do you think it's gonna cost??" I figured $350 if we did it...around $800 for a 'local to do it'...

    Luckily she found a local to do it..for $795.00 :)

    So what happened???

    Seems the owners of the house weren't too kind to the college students living in the house...suffice to say "get out"..okay...smart college students??? What do they do to "get even"??

    Yup...Flushed a pair of sweat pants down the mighty old 7 gallon flush american standard toilet. Given the fact the sewer line was clogged with roots (sure the owner knew it as well as the tenants...why else would they have thought of how to 'sabotage' it...I knew it trying to 'auger' it...course I always keep things in perspective.)
    Made a nice "housewarming" present for sis'...and a lousy time to visit...and on 'Thanksgiving to boot'....

    I still laugh about it though "What do I do until I can get it fixed???" my sister asked. "Same thing as always...I'll just leave the plug off the cleanout in your yard...just don't throw any parties in the meantime...and I would start looking around for a good gas station when you really gotta go...otherwise you're gonna have a lot of 'compost' to rake up...look on the bright side though...you ain't gonna have to water the lawn for awhile...and your grass will be pretty green in the future..." :ahhh:
  14. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I gotta say though...The folks in Norman Oklahoma have a great water & sewer dept. though... they responded within one hour and did a fine job. The city worker was a rather nice guy given the fact he got called out on thanksgiving day.

    Course he was probably just happy to get "four in the door at holiday pay" (Union lingo...four hours pay for responding on 'standby')...

    So for those wondering what a 'Vactor' truck is??? It's a "hydro-jetting machine". Basically it's a "pressure washer on steroids" coupled with a large vacumn cleaner. Makes sewer work a little easier. Course what that tank truck carries... I wouldn't want to be around if it spills out. :ahhh:

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  15. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    I've used this stuff regularly in my drains and have had zero issues.

    [​IMG]
  16. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Ah, Key... that's just a little baby!!
  17. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Oh, life in the honey wagon- NEVER AGAIN!
    It's bad doing septic, horrible doing grease traps, and the worst part of the day is backin' her into the facility, and throwin that valve on the back of the truck to empty her out.

    LESSON 1. Check wind direction.
    LESSON 2. If you have a helper, let him do it.
    LESSON 3. ALWAYS ROLL UP THE WINDOWS BEFORE BRINGING UP THE IDLE AT DISCHARGE AREA!
    LESSON 4. Make sure helper knows what he's doing, and hop into truck to"finish paperwork" :coolsmile:
  18. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Ahhh yes it's not worthy(lol)... I couldn't down load a pic (with the boom extended in use) but I did find a good pic on a PDF file.



    Then again...considering... what you guys have(mobile sludge presses tug boat style dredgers) etc......everything is "not worthy". :ahhh:

    As far as pumps go... yeah I think this one is somewhat impressive(can't remember where I saw it..lol) :coolsmirk:

    (Beer Bottle 'inserted' for scale reference):

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  19. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Okay... Is this a little better?? lol

    'wastewater' is such a "colorfull world"

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  20. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    M-Z...??

    What's one of those (25lb ???) tubs go for $$$ wise BTW??

    What's the active ingredient?? Is it similiar to using baking soda and vinegar on a smaller scale (i.e. like the kitchen sink)???
  21. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    "Can I get an AMEN to that brother"...lol

    ...The 'honey wagon' That is one term that could never have been 'coined' better in the business.

    Working for 'rooter'...Did you guys have any of the small 'trailer rig honey wagons' for grease trap work by any chance???
  22. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Keyman-
    Yea they had a portable jetter mounted on the back of a pickup. Did not pump out, and to this day still don't. I was not a franchisee- owning a territory, I was an independent, Owned the truck and everything in it, working on a percentage. I didn't particularly fit in with the "program", so when jet jobs came into the office I was skipped for one of the "favorites". Then they stopped in house dispatch, went to central dispatch out of the Baltimore Md. and things evened out. I just can't rob people- and with their prices and their policies, that is what it is.
  23. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    Here you go: http://www.bioguardplus.com/index.php
  24. VTVt

    VTVt New Member

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    Funny seeing this post... I just recently had the same problem! I have a large building used to me an inn/tavern, and in the ten years I have been here, NO plumbing problems at all..... well, suddenly, one room had backup coming in shower and up under toilet when room above flushed... GREAT! SO, used a manual snake, NOTHING..... rented a power snake, 75 feet..... after a lot of hard work, Success! OR WAS IT??? We pulled the snake out and out came HUGE GLOBS OF.... well, what is it? OK, gloves on, open up a glob and ...... WIPES! It almost looked like a few kinds, maybe some paper towels mixed in, all still intact... HUNDREDS of them! Ok well.... no one had been using that sewer line for a month or two.... BUT you guessed it, the last person living in that space, my daughter and her new born and a 10 yr old..... SO she claims to NOT have been flushing the wipes but for sure someone was..... we said LETS SNAKE IT AGAIN AND MAKE SURE.... well we had the septic open outside and my son was watching to see if it broke free (we stuck a hose down the toilet drain (removed toilet) and also stuck the snake down there..... so suddenly he yells OH MAN U GOTTA SEE THIS.... I go out and TONS .... HUNDREDS.... of globs and globs of solid packed WIPES! It went on for 20 minutes or longer .... water.... WIPES...... water... nothing..... WIPES..... unreal..... we figure we had 20 or 40 feet of pipe SOLID PACKED with wipes and or paper towels .... BUT of course NO ONE DID IT! And famous last words of my daughter .... I DO NOT FLUSH THEM.... BUTTTTTTT..... they ARE flushable! YEAH OK..... that is why we never had a clog, even operating as a hotel (this bldg) for 50 yrs..... we are here 10, and no troubles, until.... BUTT WIPES. SO I SAY THEY ARE NOT flushable.... I do not care what the company says..... i think they are thin and flexible and tend to hang up along the pipes maybe on any rough spot, or they are too lightweight and stick to sides, and then buildup.... the chunks we had looked like 100 wipes were all rolled up and tangled up together.... and must have been in there for months... and yet NO sign of degrading... still totally intact... no good. SO I agree with the original poster SAVE YOURSELF OUR MISERY DO NOT FLUSH BUTT WIPES, cleaning wipes, baby wipes, polish wipes, NO WIPES..... and no paper towels.

    TRUE TOILET FUNNY ONES.... relative dropped phone in friends toilet, flushed, saw it at last moment too late.... clogged toilet, homeowner removed toilet and removed phone caught in the toilet S pipe.... and the toilet was cracked! Her phone broke it.... she had to buy them a new one! And of course her phone was garbage.... costly boo boo.

    Ok so my sister moves into new house.... toilet wont flush.... snake, no help.... husband decides toilet no good... removes, replaces..... helper lays old toilet on truck bed..... and what rolls out of bottom of toilet? AN ORANGE!!!! Parents ask children HOW THE HECK DID AN ORANGE GET IN TOILET???? OHHHHHHh says son, THATS WHERE MY ORANGE WENT! He had placed it on the back of bowl to wash hands before eating orange and turned around it was gone, apparently rolled into bowl and someone flushed!

    OK so then she buys a house down the block.... redoes it, moves in, rents other house....... shortly after, poor drainage in new house.... call plumber.... who says call and have septic pumped.... they do.... water backflows into septic.... guy says IT IS YOUR LEACH FEILD.... call roto rooter... they do.... guy cleans leach lines.... holds out handfuls of PLASTIC BAGGIES and says HERE IS THE PROBLEM there was TONS AND TONS Of these in the pipes blocking the drain holes and such..... apparently, the prior owners someone had a drug problem and was flushing the little baggies (so spouse would not know) for quite some time.... the guy said he sees it often!

    SO u just never know!
  25. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    LOL- nobody can say that you guys don't know $#!t- because you do.

    Some imagery there, VT.
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