dimanche 5 mai 2013

The septic tank pump saga

Well I managed to remove the cracked part of the septic tank. On arrival at the main drainage retailer in the area i t became apparent that the connection on one end of the pipe was not standard. Whilst we could make up most of the piece (various bends and a one way valve) from standards off the shelf bits, the final connection was impossible. After calling the fabricator they told us that the design had been changed and they no longer made that part. They promised to track one down by lunchtime, and if they had one, they courier it to the wholesaler. It had to arrive in 24 hours because the following days my tenants move in and it was a bank holiday! Whilst waiting for the call I decided I needed a plan B. I got a price for hiring a pump from and hire shop and went to see if my insurers would cover the cost  - no chance.

By 12.00 still no call from the fabricator, so I headed for Pont as there was still lots to do and to try to find a Plan C. I had a plan to move the pump in the tank and make a whole new connecting pipe. After bailing out more "grey water" or should that be "brown water" I discovered another detachable connection and this was standard - so it would be possible to make up a relacement part from standard items!! I called the wholesaler and although the fabricator had by now found the part, it was ridiculously expensive, so plan C it was.

Next morning I collected the pieces, and had soon assembled and installed them in the tank. Now for the test. I ran all the taps in the house and slowly the tank filled. But when it got to depth that triggered the pump it whirred but no water moved. I quickly realised that the pump had an air block and need to be inverted. Only problem was that the pump was at the bottom of a two feet deep (60cm) tank filled with "brown water". Nothing for it but to roll up my sleeves and take the plunge. YUK - truly disgusting but I had no alternative as time was running out and bailing out the tank would take me past closing time of the wholesalers if another part was required.

Fortunately it worked, but despite washing immediately with bleach and soap, the smell on my arm didn't go for another day.

It was a long day's work (and the following morning) to get everything done in the house and to empty all the outbuildings, but finally it was done and with only minutes before the new tenants arrived. I hope they prove to be reliable!

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