No seriously. This is a gross post.
Don’t read it if you don’t like disgusting photos or you like to imagine that you poop rainbows and unicorns. (whoa…that last one would be painful)
HERE IS YOUR WARNING. DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU GET VOMITY EASILY, GET SICK AT THE THOUGHT OF FECAL MATTER OR GET GROSSED OUT EASILY. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.
I wanna make sure I warn you guys because this is about something that happened in our house that happens to many folks out there…our toilet overflowed.
And this isn’t our first rodeo with the round bowl. It seems like ever since we started hosting our weekly girls group, we have had loads of potty problems. More use = more pooblems. (sorry had to). First, the first floor went kaput. Then the office bathroom (the one we used because the first floor bathroom needed addressing for…oh…about a month or three) also decided that it would have an issue. Well…lo and behold, the basement bathroom also decided that it wanted in on the action and yesterday in the midst of other issues, we noticed it waving the white flag (aka…spitting white toilet tissue all over). I am really not surprised this space decided to revolt. Afterall, when we girls meet together, we put all the kids in the basement with a couple babysitters and when you mix loads of kids on a weekly basis with one lone toilet, you are bound to have something go wrong.
Okay…so get ready for the gross. We are getting real here folks.
So Jeremy works from home about one day a week and during that time, he usually sequesters himself to the basement (it’s quieter and he can focus above and beyond the kids screaming and they can’t bug him to play, wipe their nose or whatnot). So yesterday Jeremy is in the basement and he notices on the way to the bathroom that there are little bits of toilet paper all over the tile floor.
Being the detective handyman that he is, he goes into the bathroom to discover that the toilet appears like it overflowed and then went back down. So he grabs the handy plunger and sees if that helps. Nothing. So he decides to flush and see what happens.
Good idea, right? We thought so.
Well, all of a sudden we see that the toilet is overflowing (yuck) and the shower right next to it, starts also having muddy looking water come up through the drain (yak).
We freak out. A little scream action. Panic sweat begins. I may have passed out in my own puke. Jeremy calls my brother who is a plumber.
He says to go outside to the line access pipe and unscrew the lid. Which we did…
Jeremy used a pair of pliers and out came a bunch of water, toilet paper and stuff. Basically this releases the pressure inside the main line to the septic tank.
Brad told us that the water would come out…so we made sure it had a place to go…
Brad briefly explained some quick and dirty bullet points…there are two possible outcomes here…
- one – the water doesn’t drain out of this pipe….meaning, we have a complete blockage in the pipe or the septic tank needs pumping. If this was the case, he recommended seeing if we could snake it ourselves, breaking up a blockage for $40. If we snaked it and then could not break it up, then we would have to call Roto-Rooter or a similar company to come out, dig up the pipe in the yard and pay for them to cut the pipe, clear out the blockage, fix the pipe and fix the yard back. If we never hit a blockage with a snake, it meant that we would have to call a septic tank pumping company to come out and dig up the septic tank, pump out the waste that was blocking the drainage with one of their giant waste trucks, and spend a few hundred dollars getting them to fix everything.
- two – the water drains…meaning, we have a partial blockage that we could possibly snake, go back to our normal flushing routine and avoid several hundred dollars of repairs.
That’s when I considered getting on my knees in the nasty sewage water and praying that we only had a partial blockage.
Slowly but surely over the course of the next five minutes, it starts going down little by little.
We figured that since it did in fact start going down (and nothing was coming up in the bathroom) that it meant that we had a partial blockage somewhere in the line to the septic tank. Since I had just put both boys down for a nap, I ran to Home Depot to get a snake. This is the one that they recommended for the job. (oh yes, if you are the random HD guy that helped me…while I simultaneously cried and yelled at you for not selling iPhone 5 chargers….I am really sorry. The poo hit the fan yesterday. Literally and figuratively in all areas of my life. And you did a great job of not slapping me.)
I got home and both Jeremy and I attempted to snake it.
Nothing. We basically couldn’t get it to go into the pipe that lead to the septic tank. This vertical pipe connects with another pipe that runs parallel to the ground out to the septic tank and for the life of us, we could not get it to go in that other horizontal pipe.
That’s when I told Jeremy that I literally was about to die without running water and that I needed to pee and that I wish there was a way to get that water out just so we could see the hole. Enter my genius….let’s suck out the poopy water!
Jeremy gave me the side eye and said “I ain’t putting my mouth on the other end of the hose from that!”…
I suggested the shop vac….I mean…maybe there was something that fell in this hole and was just blocking the septic line, right?
After one filled shop-vac load, Jeremy said that it was time to quit and call someone. It was a ton of water…and the level didn’t seem significantly lower. I however whipped out my fine negotiating skills and said “let’s just do it three times…three more times and dump out that water and see what happens.” And then I went upstairs to ‘let it mellow’ if you know what I mean.
Five minutes later, Jeremy came up and said “I think it worked!”
Basically he said that he was on the last ‘fill’ of the shop-vac and then all of a sudden, he heard a gurgle and a churging noise (that’s a word) and then all of the water drained out of the pipe. That’s when he decided to snake it again to see if he could feel anything.
Low and behold, he got the entire snake down the pipe.
That’s forty feet of snake. That’s all of it.
Just for a visual…this is thirty feet…
And now our toilet is flushing just fine…and the shower isn’t giving your feet a ‘treatment’ while you clean up. Thank goodness it only took a $30 purchase and a little ‘experimentation’ to fix the problem. On the flip side…now I have one heckova basement to sanitize. Maybe I could get the girls group to do that. It could be a theme….this week, wine and cheese night….next time, grab some Clorox and a mop! Nothing says a good time like rubber gloves, right?! Any takers?!
Omg! So nasty. The funny thing one of my girlfriends and I were just talking about pipes and snaking them as she has an old house (old pipes). She was told by a plumber that certain toilet paper causes blockages….like charmin. We also have a plumber friend and he suggested to always use dawn soap to clean dishes as it’s a natural degreaser and helps keep the pipes clean. Have fun cleaning! 😉
you are the bravest person i know. 🙂 but…is your shop vac broken now? i’m not even sure what one is, is it meant for water?
we had a toilet wasn’t flushing, and the snake was hitting something so we had to break down and call a plumber. He took up the whole toilet to find……one of the cow tractors from the movie “cars” in the bend. On the invoice he put “took up toilet, found tractor”. then he took my 120 dollars and was still laughing on the way out the door.
We’ve had this problem! If you notice your toilets are clogging a lot you probably need to have your septic tanks emptied. Ours need to be done annually, but most 4 person households need to have them done at least every 3 years. It usually costs us $380 for our two 1,000 gallon tanks. I consider that money well spent so we don’t have poo in the house!
The good news is that when the septic backs up it goes to the lowest openings in the house (in your case the toilet and shower in the basement) so you will likely never have to worry about this happening in your main living area.
Jana H. says
I am all too familiar with this nasty situation. The house I rented for seven years had septic tank problems. For the first five years I lived there every time it rained–and eventually every six months rain or not–it would back up and be all gross. Fortunately the landlord paid for the Roto Rooter visits but it was still disgusting that it took him FIVE YEARS to listen to them when they said there was a bigger issue than clogged pipes. Turns out the septic tank had caved in! So two years before I finally moved out, landlord replaced the septic tank.
Oddly enough, it was the cracked foundation that let mice in that finally convinced me to give up the cheap rent and buy a house. LOL
My brother said that as long as you are not throwing massive amounts of toilet tissue or other ‘solids’ (not waste), then your septic should be healthy and not have to be pumped that often…but he also said that it depends on your water usage and other factors…but I would be really concerned if it was annually. Do y’all have a lot of people in your house?
xo – kb
HAHA! Yes…our first floor toilet was blocked due to ‘Will cleaning’….aka, he took a little Clorox toilet bowl hanger thing and flushed it. $200 later, we have a new toilet in there.
xo – kb
Nope…shop vacs are usually meant for water and dry stuff…you just have to remove the filter.
xo – kb
Alicia M says
I’m so sorry about your misfortune Katie! I’m glad you guys were able to fix it yourselves. Maybe you need to invest in the product mentioned in this article, just in case it happens again! 😉
Be sure to read the product reviews here: http://bit.ly/1c3umWP
Did you ever get to see what caused the blockage? Im so glad you were able to avoid the $$$ of fixing that pipe.
Mary | Lemon Grove Blog says
Ah, yes, the joy’s of home 0wnership 😉 So glad you were able to avoid the dreaded roto-rooter visit!! We have friends that were recently quoted $10k to have their pipes redone. (OUCH)
We have used the shop vac (and broken it) a time before too with water. Ours was trying to get the nasty pool cover off the pool and we had to get that nasty water off the top of it without it getting into our pool. So out came the shop vac. Ours died on us mid way and then we actually found a really great, inexpensive pump at Harbor Freight with a long hose. We use it now to pump off that nasty water each year and if it breaks, well it’s cheap enough that we can just go buy another one at HF.
Our previous home had major sewer and water problems due to tree roots breaking into the old pipes. The neighbor refused to let us cut down the biggest tree on his lot (he didn’t care about the house, it was run down and we figured he wouldn’t care but he did) so every year, if not more, we had to pay the plumbers to come over and fix it. Thankfully we no longer live there and haven’t had similar issues in our house. But I’d totally freak and call my dad (who’s in construction) and make him come over asap if that was me! Good luck sanitizing, at least everything will be nice and clean now.
Nicole B. says
We don’t host too many get-togethers, but every year at my aunts house she puts up a little sign in the bathroom that says “Please throw t.p. in trashcan”. Whatever works, you know? I’m sure if it was #2 you could flush, but #1 isn’t too messy to just place in the trashcan anyway. Sorry to have just gone there, just trying to point out a maybe useful tip.
I’ve always heard septic fields should be pumped at least every 3-5 years, and around here (Chicago suburbs) those still having septic fields usually seem to be on a two-year cycle. Do you know when yours was pumped last? I’ve been told that if you can’t remember, and you’ve had an issue, call NOW to schedule.
And now I remember why I told my realtor I wanted city water and city sewage connections. But at least this didn’t happen on Thanksgiving to you! Good luck with the cleaning.
Oh, Katie!! Thank goodness Jeremy was home that day!! That sounds soooo stressful — I’m so happy for you that it was just a $30 fix and some ingenuity!!
Happy cleaning – and I definitely think it sounds like a girls group cleaning party—- Good luck with your negotiation skills getting that one done!!! LOL!
It depends on your design of septic tank. I’ve lived in a house where it had to be emptied approx every six months – it was a small tank and all it was designed to do was to HOLD waste. Then we moved somewhere else that had a septic tank that also drained into the surrounding soil. We had to have that one emptied once in maybe 5 years. So it depends on what type of tank you have, I think.
We had that happen about a year ago! It was terrible… And being pregnant and not being able to pee when I wanted to just made everything worse! We ended up calling two different companies, one said it was just a blockage and they “cleaned ” it out… I say “cleaned” because it did nothing! Less than a week later we had to hire someone else, one of our pipes had broken during a recent flood because the house wasn’t back filled correctly… $3000 later and a lot of Clorox and we were back in business. It was especially fun when we decided to run our washer after the first guys said it was fixed and it turned out it wasn’t. Gah! Glad it is fixed for you guys!
Ugh! What a headache. You poor people. I would really urge to find out when was the last time your septic tank was pumped and figure out if it’s time. Better spend a few hundred bucks than have an even bigger more expensive mess later. (We’ve had septic tank issues ourselves. )
We had this happen the day after Christmas last year. We had someone come out and pump ours and unclog it. My husband watched them as they unclogged it and now if it clogs again (I t has once more due to feminine products…. a big no no apparently) he knows how to unclog it without calling someone. We still have to have someone come pump it every 5 – 10 years they said.
Now we make sure that whatever we put down any drain is septic safe and we use rid-X once a month and have had no problems since.
We had a toilet out of commission for 6 months (holidays and birthdays and life make you prioritize what you pay for…) Someone finally came to snake it and found a tampon clogging the entire line. I immediately thought of that when you said it happened with your ladies group. Tampons (and their applicators) aren’t meant to go down the drain.
Thought I could add to your grossness post 🙂
OH I didn’t even know there was a septic tank that didn’t have a field! That’s crazy to me! I do know that the size helps determine how often and the number of people and some other factors but wow…never knew that.
xo – kb
Mary Kate says
I just had the plumber out to my house this morning to the tune of $220 so your $30 for a snake sounds mighty fine. Wish I had a plumber/brother or a hubby to help me with plumbing issues at my house.
So happy you are back in business with toilets etc.
Heather G says
You girls group isn’t flushing lady sticks right?! (ok awkward – how do you say tamoon without saying it? I just said it – so avoidance fail) We had this problem at our rental – turns our the girl was flushing lady sticks AND baby wipes! Sheesh!!
Hi Katie! A girlfriend of mine had this happen, and their plumber warned them about Ecoli. To throw away any towels that were used, not just try to clean them, because it is next to impossible to kill the bacteria. As well as not wearing the shoes that you wore down there anywhere else. I’m sure your brother probably warned you or knows better than I, since this is second or third or fourth hand info. But since you have little ones, just wanted to throw that info out there just in case.
Hope you have a great weekend!! Andrea
HAha! I remember my dad having ‘that talk’ with me and my sister…he said that because when they pumped his septic there were so many. I guess that’s the number one culprit!
xo – kb
Thanks! I am spending today with my favorite bucket of bleach and a good ole respirator 🙂
xo – kb
I don’t think so in the basement…
xo – kb
I knew someone that did that too! I always thought it was weird but when I was in South America, the rule was that nothing goes in the potty that doesn’t come out of your body!
xo – kb
I hear it is different in different areas and according to the number of people, water usage, size of tank, etc. Here I have heard that it’s 5-10 years depending on the ‘factors’ but I live in the country and they put a big ole tank here.
xo – kb
I saw a pump at Home Depot for things like this…emptying toilet bowls and such…I think I might go pick it up if we have this same issue.
xo – kb
No but hopefully it was just a giant wad of toilet paper. That’s what I imagine anyhow.
xo – kb
WOW! what a mess! I vote you hire someone to clean it up since you saved $$$ with the $30 snake…I used the “I am pregnant” and “I just have a newborn” excuse recently, and it really took the stress away.
Glad it worked out 🙂
We had a sewage backup in September. Such a shock. So gross!
That’s awesome! We just had out septic pumped in August (we’ve since moved- it’s a rental now) but the guy said our was in great shape and that it should be pumped every 5-8 years. I asked about those septic enzymes that are suppose to help break the *ahem* solids down and he said good old buttermilk will do the trick! Buy a half gallon, freeze them in cubes and throw 1-2 cubes down each month should do the trick! Also I don’t believe that about Charmin clogging because that’s all we used and he said our tank was in excellent condition. As long as it’s septic safe (which most are) and it basically dissolves when you run it under water it’s fine. Awesome job Bowers!!
I HAVE to share a gross story with you. We had similar problems for years until we finally bit the bullet and had our pipes dug up and replaced (ka ching). The final straw was when the plumber called me into the bathroom after snaking the pipes and unstopping the toilet for the hundredth time. As he was explaining what he had done, my eyes kept darting down to a piece of newspaper on the floor where he had displayed what looked like half a dozen dead mice. I’m sure you can imagine my horror as it dawned on me what they really were. Dead mice would have been preferable. I guess the plumber decided that only a visual would do when explaining that “flushable” doesn’t always mean “flushable” in a house with old plumbing. In addition to the feminine hygiene products lecture, he also explained the two flush system in great detail. Poop = one flush. Toilet paper = second flush. We got the pipes fixed after that…
Melissa Irvin says
My mom’s house (where I grew up) was built in 1976 and has never needed a septic tank pump/repair or anything like that.
Counting our blessings right now!!
Yikes! You might want to get your septic tank cleaned Katie… I think they all needed to be cleaned periodically!
Here is a link for all your readers explaining how the size of your septic tanks and the number of people in your family can help determine how often you should have your tank cleaned: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/science/wonderquest/2001-09-19-septic-tanks.htm
Do you guys use flushable wipes at all? We were using them for my potty-training son, and then I read an article about how they’re actually clogging up sewer systems, so we stopped using them.
We just bought our first house this last Spring, and we’ve had to snake the main drain pipe twice already. It’s no fun finding a drain back-up in your laundry room at 7 in the morning. We used a similar snake to yours. So glad you guys got it fixed!
Katie – I totally am with you on the toilet problems! I have an uncanny ability to mess up plumbing wherever I go. It’s really embarrassing. My then-boyfriend and I spent last New Year’s snaking the only toilet in his apartment. Sooo humiliating… we had to get engaged to keep it a secret. Glad I’m not the only one with plumbing issues!
I have been told to flush a couple of tablespoons of yeast down the toilet and it helps eat up solids in your tank.
We’ve had the same thing happen before (plugged toilet and water coming up the tub drain). Got it roto-rooted (every household gets two free roto-rootings a year here) and it’s been great ever since. One tip the plumber gave us was to NEVER use Charmin toilet paper (yes, it’s soft and thick and feels nice – but it clogs your drain up due to that!!) – and to never use a TP with the world ‘ultra’ on it (again, ultra soft, ultra thick, etc..) for the same reason, and he went even further to say don’t use TP with an animal on the package cause they’re usually worse too! So I said great – I use Purex – it has a flower on the package! – nope, apparently that’s not great either. Moral of the story – the shittier (pun intended) the toilet paper, the better it is for your septic system! If you look around you can find brands which have symbols and information on them explaining that they are easy on your system and break down easily, etc.
Amanda Warren says
Katie, you freaking crack me up!! So glad you got ur sh** together!
We bought our house in August of last year and 2 days later we had sewage leaking in our basement stand up shower and under our linoleum floor. $1ooo (rip off) to Benjamin Franklin plumbers later we learned our sewer line was collapsed. $4000 to a different plumbing company to replace it, we had to replace the bathroom and hallway flooring. It was a complete shock and headache. At least now we know our new line should be able to handle the job, so to speak. 😉
I’ve had a simliar gross story. This was back in college and I have no idea what happened, but one morning I woke up to the entire tub in our apartment filled to the brim with brown murky water. I fortunetly or unfortunetly had a really busy day and wouldn’t be home until late. I had to leave it all to my roommate to please call the plumber for an emergency clean up and I hoped and prayed that it would all be fixed by the time I got home!
Amanda S. says
I’m no expert by any means but growing up living in the country… And being in multiple houses throughout my childhood that had septic tanks… You definitely need to have professionals come out and do maintenance on your septic tank. Those are all classic symptoms of a full tank and snaking the line is only a temporary solution…. Particularly if you don’t know when it was done last.
Its the same rule in China. I totally get why its a rule in some countries – number of people vs infrastructure to deal with it; however, I must say I still twitch when I think of the public toilets in China. 😉
I hate septic problems! We had something similar happen last year, except we got the snake stuck in the pipe – without fixing the draining problem! We had to tear down our deck and dig up our yard and still couldn’t get the snake out, we almost had to dig up the foundation of our house! Thankfully we finally got it out and got the plumbing problem fixed, I hope we never have to go through that again.
Our first house had city water and city sewer…which backed up into our basement three different time, floaters and all. It was lovely. Gak! Then we bought a house with well and septic (not to avoid city water/sewer, just because we liked it the best) and haven’t had an issue with our septic in ten years of living here. Several times a year I dump this stuff in the toilet and flush it to feed the microbes that break down the waste in the septic and I buy super thin, cheap toilet paper. So far, so good. My pipes are gnarly from the manganese in the water that was untreated until we moved in (This is INDIANA…rare is the well that doesn’t need multiple filters and a softener) but no other problems and no floaters in the basement. Woot!
If I didn’t vomit from our own plumbing experiences pictures I would totally share them with you.. But I won’t… All I can say is our house is 105 year old craftsman with cast iron plumbing. Not only did I throw up when we had to break open a line to due plumbing issues but so did my husband (he’s a firefighter and has a stomach of steel but not this time) and my father in law. I feel your pain. I literally had to mop 5 times with bleach and ammonia before I felt like I could walk on the floor barefoot again! But at least you didn’t find a smurf toy in your lines like my sister in law did and it only cost her $1500 to get out!
Oh yeah, been there, done that. Came home to a poop filled bathtub–and then went to the basement and found about 2 inches of poopy water.
Called the landlord who immediately intimated it was my washer that had leaked the water–and I screamed at him “I DON”T POOP IN MY WASHER!!!!”
Turned out to be a blockage AND he had not had the septic tank pumped out in MANY years.
He did loan me his shop vac to suck the poopy water in the basement. He did not help me haul the rugs and other fabric-y items that were ruined up out of the basement and to the curb on trash day.
Snack Attack! I want to try those citrus chickpeas!
Snack Attack! Anything salty sounds good to me!
Bonnie K (BornInaZoo) says
Oh wow … flashback nightmares When my sewer pipe flooded part of my basement, it seeped into the box where a lot of my important papers were stored. I’ve been able to replace everything except my passport. I only used it once back in 1998 & is now expired, but want to do a nice vacation this spring. I was rejected for a new passport because I had one issued previously. They want to know how it was “lost or stolen”. I want to ask them if they had ever stood in 4″ of sewage in your basement. You are not thinking of what you are throwing out at that moment!
Yikes! I’ve never lived somewhere with a sewage tank, so this is a lot of new information for me. My toilet troubles have been very tame, although I did have major bathtub clogging issues this year. The rental office handyperson couldn’t fix it himself, so they had to call in a plumber. I’m pretty sure they had to replace part of the pipe. It was a hassle knowing they were in my apartment while I was at work and not knowing what I would come home to, but it’s so nice to take a shower and not be calf-deep in water by the time I’m done!
Kim A says
We lived in a mobile home when my boys were little. One day the toilet backed up and also came up in the tub also. Tried plunging and finally my hubby went outside and cut the sewer pipe that runs along the bottom of the meh before going down into the septic tank. In it was tp all tangled up with hot wheel cars. Asked my four-year old why he flushed it, he said it was broken anyway.
Melissa @ReThreads Charlottesville says
Wow, good job on negotiating with J and getting it to work out!
One note of caution: Please don’t use Clorox or any nasty chemicals while preggo (or even while not preggo). There are plenty of eco- and health-friendly options available that will sanitize. I trust Seventh Generation products, or Dr. Bronners, or good ol’ fashioned Vinegar and Baking soda. If you must use nasty stuff, have the hubby do it?
amy l says
When we potty trained our kids we taught them to flush after every 2 wipes. I also keep the thinner stuff around forvwhen we have lots of other kids in the house. I just change out the roll before they arrive then change back.
We have sewer problems about once every 6 months. We got ourselves a snake too and my mom gave us an air pusher thing that forces the clog out. It works AWESOME!!
I’m glad you could finally pee again!
Please make sure that the shop vac hoses and tank are sterilized ~ ecoli bacteria could be all through the hoses etc.
We were always told septic pumping is a must yearly but I would rather spend $200 annually than the $30k plus to replace our 60 year septic.
Brought back icky memories of our septic issues in a new house. After 3 occasions of having to snake out blockages, the builder finally sent a professional who was able to go below with a scope and discovered our issues–styrofoam and other building debri in our pipes and a wrongly positioned swear trap!! Happy to say there was no charge to us and in the end they did reimburse for the bushes and flowers damaged during the dig up of trap but many hours and destroyed home goods due to contact with waste, yuck, the memories. The possibility of “something foreign” being in your pipes is likely with small children but I laughed when the dispatcher on the phone when I called kept insisting “there could be a toy blocking the pipes.” I told her hardly, our kids are 10, 14 & 15 they typically don’t stick toys in the toilet.
Sewer trap not swear trap
Speaking of vaccumming poop, this story may help you laugh while you are cleaning up. A good friend of mine had a Roomba that did its thing while they were away at work. One day, their puppy managed to poo outside of her kennel on the carpet. When they got home, it had been spread over every inch of their carpet and the poor Roomba had kicked the bucket. Can’t blame the robot, I would have given up too!
Though the backed-up toilets definitely win as far as the gross factor, my SIL definitely wins the universe for worst plumbing clog ever. She boiled two pounds of spaghetti to feed her boys and their friends, but she forgot about the pot and it burned to the bottom of the pan. So, she dumped all two pounds of hot, gelatinous spaghetti down the garbage disposal. Unfortunately, she ran cold water in the sink as she ran the disposal, which immediately cooled down the hot spaghetti and made it clump together in the drain pipes. We tried snaking it for two days with no progress. Finally, we’d had enough, so we took a hacksaw to the pipes in the basement and found about 10 feet of pipe completely packed with spaghetti. Imagine one spaghetti noodle as big around as the inside of the pipe. Luckily, my husband, a plumber, came home from out of town the next day and put in a new pipe with a couple couplers.
Oh. my. noodle. That is crazy.
xo – kb
Yeah. I would too.
xo – kb
xo – kb
xo – kb
I’ve asked my doctor and he said that as long as there is proper ventilation and I am well protected, there should be no problem. Is there a study that I should know about? If so…please send me the link! 🙂
xo – kb
OH NO! That is a rip off. And I am soo sorry you went through that with a new to you house!
xo – kb
What a good tip!
xo – kb
GREAT! Thank you so much!
xo – kb
I hear that any thing non-waste is bad! But to answer your question…nope…no flushable wipes here.
xo – kb
Someone else told me that and I googled it and it said that it wouldn’t hurt but it really isn’t necessary if you have a healthy tank. I wonder if there is additional info about it…
xo – kb
That would make me blue too. Pun intended.
xo – kb
I’ll remember to do that before I stick the shop vac hose in our food 🙂
xo – kb
Awesome story. I love when you can fix something with just a little investigation and persistence:) Except the roles would have definitely been reversed in our house…me saying please call someone asap and him thinking of all the random things to try:)
HAHAHA! That Roo cracks me up 🙂
xo – kb
Kris B says
We’ve had several backups (too many to count) and finally have found that the backups are most likely due to the TP we were using. We now use Scott TP. The last time the backup happened, I called a guy that has a camera that goes down the pipes to look for a blockage. There was not any blockage, pipe looked great but there was a distinct scum line half way up all the way from the cleanout to the farthest end of the pipe.
There is likely a filter in your tank that should be sprayed off every year as stuff will accumulate on it and block the flow of yuckage out to the field and instead goes back into the house pipes.
We have a 1500 gallon tank and are required by the county to get it inspected and then pumped if it’s over 2/3 full every 3 years. We just had this done a few weeks ago and it was $210. We just get it pumped.
I highly recommend you switch to Scott TP, get your tank pumped every 3-4 years, spray off the filter every year and you shouldn’t have any more problems. Unless of course the boys decide to throw something down one of the toilets.
If i lived closer I would so come and help. I would be in tears if that happened. Glad it all worked out.
Been there, tried to flush that and wrote the check for $$$$$ to replace our side sewer. Our charming Tudor revival house was built in the 1920s … and so was the sewage pipe running from our plumbing stacks to the street. In our case, FOUR DAYS without toilets!
It could have been worse. Great job problem solving!
Holy Train Wreck! I work for a Home Builder and I am scared of all things septic (even though we have to do 100 of them a year)
SLIGHTEST bit of backup or slow flush and I am calling 9-1-1- d-a-d-d-y! (My husband is amazing, he is a Marine and manly and all of those things– but home improvement- not his forte, so dad still carries that torch)
I was hyperventilating with you during the post! Keep us updated!
I am amazed that you put actual pictures of actual poop on your blog – not in the good way (if there is such a thing.)
And you having a bad day, no matter how bad, is no excuse ever to take it out on innocent people. I highly doubt the HD staff member you yelled at reads your blog and if you truly meant it, you’d go back there and personally apologize.
Further, why in the world would expect a home improvement store to carry phone chargers?
I hope your children weren’t with you when you set such an unfortunate example.
The guy who pumped our tank said no. They do not dissolve and can cause a back up. I used them for a while, but stopped.
That is so interesting that you have requirements in your area. Are you in the burbs, city, country? Do you mind me asking you where you are located?
xo – kb
Hey Desiree…I tend to exaggerate….I don’t know if you noticed…but I do. I didn’t actually yell at anyone…out loud…but in my head I was. I save the yelling for my family 🙂 And funny thing is…my local HD does carry phone chargers…for the iphone 4…not the 5…first world problems 🙂
xo – kb
Plumbing issues stink (literally and figuratively) but what stinks more is working and having someone come in a lose their mind on you for no reason.
I hope you just got frustrated and didn’t actually cry and yell – they’re there to help you buy things to solve your problems within the scope of their store.
Pregnancy hormones don’t cover all sins. I normally enjoy your blog, but that was dissappointing to read. I’m sure some people will call foul and claim “Haven’t you ever been stressed or freaked out on someone? We’re only human blah blah blah.” But no – I’ve never cried and berated someone trying to help me, because I’m an adult and all that jazz.
Like I said in an earlier comment… No I didn’t actually yell or cry at anyone…I’m just a fantastic exaggerator 🙂
xo – kb
Oh, I’ve had this happen! It’s awful. And I only had one bathroom but luckily my parents lived next door so I’d walk over to potty until we got it fixed. 🙂
We’re new to a septic add of a few months ago and as we’re renting in terrified of mucking it up. What about food down the garbage disposal? Does your plumber brother have any tips or things to avoid?
Ahhhh man no fun! At the last house we rented we had to snake a clog ( I have NO idea how that should be worded, but you get the drift) and it was FOUL. I though my poor husband was going to vomit while I giggled and took his picture. The root of the problem was that the last person to live there apparently thought that toothbrushes were flushable…
Man I hated that house. ANYWAY – glad you got to the root of the problem – Sorry you have to clean that up.
That’s hilarious. I always am in shock at what people find 🙂
xo – kb
Basically Brad told me that anything besides human waste should not go down into your septic. Even toilet paper is not supposed to be great for it. He said that all food (especially anything that is greasy or coagulates) should be tossed in the trash. Basically what he told me is that it doesn’t hurt to have a garbage disposal but the best thing is to scrap all food in the trash.
xo – kb
Katie, this was really informative and helpful, thank you! I hope we never encounter this, but since we’re on septic for the first time I think this is good information to have. I would have been freaking out/sobbing for sure if I had two little kids, and was pregnant, and the toilets exploded.
People should not be berating Katie for this post. She gave fair warning not to move forward & even told us ahead of time what the posted consisted of. People can be idiots. Truth is that we have all seen poop & seeing whatever it is that’s in the pictures is part of real life & that’s what Katie is blogging about! Duh!
I think that you & Jeremy handled the situation very well. Thankfully you had someone to call for help. Anything to do with plumbing can be a NIGHTMARE! Hope it all stays where it should from now on. 🙂
Just getting caught up after Thanksgiving, so I’m a little late. I too have had plumbing problems in our 1951 house. We were getting “soft” blockages that only showed on a camera, maybe your brother can explain this to you 😉 Anyway, we now use different TP and monthly (or should if I could remember it) flush Roebic Main Line Cleaner to help keep everything moving smoothly. Also, just a word of caution about all the nasty stuff found in septic. Best Practices are to wear rubber gloves when handling anything that is coming in contact with the sewage, like your snake. Also, you will need to really clean and disinfect your shop vac now or just get a new one. Those corrugated hoses are really hard to clean well. Good luck with keeping your lines clear and with your clean up!