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Crap. *Septic tank back-up. Repair advice?

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  • Crap. *Septic tank back-up. Repair advice?

    Hear my son say at 6:45am this morning, mom there is 'water' in the basement. Awesome. *

    Breaker is fine. *Go outside and the pump is plugged in. *I unplug the float arm plug-in from the pump plug-in, and then plug the pump plug into the electric receptacle. *Pump starts pumping, so I know that the pump is working.(lol try saying that three times!)

    Any ideas or advice on how to repair the float arm? *I'm going outside right now to pull it out of the tank to look at it, but I have only replaced a whole septic pump in the past, not the actual float. *So i really have no clue if the whole thing has to be replaced or not. *I'm hoping it doesn't because they run around $400. *And on top of that it is bloody cold out right now!

  • #2
    Get someone reputable out to look at it. I've wanted to hang myself on several occasions when faced with what, to me, looked like it could be a very ugly repair. Then almost collapsed with relief after a reputable repair person came out & told me otherwise.

    If you don't have a reputable repair person, try to avoid picking one out of the phone book. Ask neighbors &/or phone a repair person (from any genre) you do consider reputable & ask them if they can suggest someone.


    • #3
      reason #5432 why I live in town.


      • #4
        Well, since your floats and pumps aren't hard-wired it shouldn't be too difficult to change the float out.
        Is the float attached to the pump, or on its own bracket hanging from the side of the tank?
        If it's attached to the pump, you'll have to de-thread the pump wire off the pump, and then re-thread the new one on the same way. Mark the length of tether from the old float so you know how much lead to put on the new float. If it's on a bracket, loosen the grommet holding the float onto the bracket, and de-thread. Follow above replacemtn instructions.
        While you're buying your replacement float (I see there's an EMCO not far from you in Stony Plain/Edmonton), buy a 2nd float and a "Tank-Alert" high-level alarm, and set that, on a separate plug, about 1/2 way between your float "On" position and the outlet from the tank. That way, if the float or pump ever acts up again you've got a warning before it backs up into your house (or worse).
        If that's too much for you, here's a list of certified maintenance providers in the Edmonton area: http://www.aowma.com/locate-a-pro/maintenance/. Any one of those people should be able to switch the float for you at not too much costs.
        Hope that helps!


        • Original Poster

          Wow fanfare! Thanks for the tips!

          My float was hard wired into the pump itself, but I got off super lucky and all it needed was a new switch on the float plug-in! I always like trying to see if it is something I can fix myself, because farm calls out here, for anything run about $100 and up!

          And I actually did go to Emco! Bonus was that an old friend of mine works there and he scored me a discount

          But I do have the septic guy coming out on Monday to pump the tank, it hasn't been done in almost two years and is defiantly due.

          Thank you fanfayre and barcadi1 for the help, and threedogpack for the laugh! I felt that way as I was mopping up gray water*gag*


          • #6
            Glad everything worked out for you, and at a discount, too!!!
            It's my job to pass along those kind of tips- I'm in the wastewater industry in BC.


            • Original Poster

              ^^ No way! I actually was as well. But I was on the water/wastewater chemical analysis side.

              I am going to make a bookmark of your pump tips for future reference. So thanks again, very much appreciated