The joys of home ownership

So, remember back when the front deck collapsed?  One of the things we did afterwards was put gutters on the house.  At least part of the collapse was caused by water damage, so it was worth it.

When we put the gutters on the house, everything that wasn’t tied into rain barrels was instead tied into a drainage pipe put in place by the former owners.  That should have been a warning to me, you, and everyone else right there, but yah……

So half the house’s gutters drained down a pipe, that exited over a corner of the leach field.

We had the septic tank pumped late winter/early spring 2016, it needed it.  We’ve always had some issues with water backing up into the tank, but nothing to serious.  But then last summer was so dry that we had no issues at all.

Till fall.

By early winter not only was water backing up into the tank, but the tank was backing up into the house.  Mumbling rude words about things that break we had the septic folks back out to pump the tank and do some quick trouble shooting.  The general consensus was that come spring we needed to have one of their guys come out and run a scope down the leach field, since that was the most likely cause of our sudden problem.

Except come spring I couldn’t get them to talk to me.  Long story I won’t bother to get into, but after 2 phone calls, an email, and a missed (by them) appointment I finally started calling around to find someone else to come out and look at the leach field.

Found someone to come out, we didn’t get things scoped, but they didn’t charge us either.  The resulting conversation basically decided two things.

1: old system, likely grandfathered in, and since the former owners had only put in a new tank, not a full new leach field they’d TECHNICALLY been legal.  However the whole leach was so far out of code that they weren’t going to be willing to do any repairs, it was going to need to be replaced completely, and due to the high water table, and low soil permeability it was likely going to need a raised bed system, which means an engineer…..

2: the likely cause of our current sudden problems was likely the extra water from the gutters.  Had a massive duh moment over that one.  Thankfully despite the monsoons we’ve been getting we’ve not had anything backing up into the house this spring/summer.  So far anyway.  But that water from the gutters needed to be diverted.

Our original plan had been to rent a trencher, and put in additional drainage pipe.  But with everything thats been going on that wasn’t going to happen.  So yesterday I spent a couple hours digging out the end of the drainage pipe, digging a level trench from it out to where it exited the little hill the house is on, and fitting on 30feet of additional drainage pipe.

Its makeshift as heck, it’ll have to be moved every time we mow, but maybe just maybe it’ll divert enough water to keep things from getting worse!

Speaking of which, this is a photo of the end of the buried pipe:

I didn’t dig up enough to read any markings on it, but it looks like a thin walled PVC.  But its also not any (current) standard size.  This is a closeup of the measurement of the diameter with the tape on the outside of the pipe:

Just a hair under 3 1/4 inches for the inside diameter.  I have no idea where they got the pipe.  I can’t find it anywhere.  3 inch fittings are too small.  4 inch are of course to big.  I finally jut bought the standard 4 inch flexible drainage pipe and dug up enough of the pipe in the ground to slide the 4 inch pipe over it enough to stay.

I don’t suppose anyone recognizes it?

4 Comments

  1. Comment by Don Tulloch:

    You might try a mobile home parts supplier. Trailers often use odd-ball plumbing sizes.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      Wouldn’t shock me. And these folks were really good at “repurposing” stuff, which I wouldn’t mind except it keeps causing us issues…..I’ll have to dig when I have more time, nothing jumped at me from a quick search.

  2. Comment by Rain Frances:

    Hi Ruth, I’m sorry you’re having those problems…we inherit previous people’s mistakes don’t we? Part of me thinks it would be better to start from scratch, but it’s just not in the budget to build.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      No, building is prohibitively expensive. Though we looked at putting a prefab house on a lot for a while. Which is closer to being in the budget. But yah, the things you learn the hard way!

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