Poor Septic Riser Installation

Here is an example of a very poor riser installation.  Now this homeowner saved about 100 bucks when he put his riser installation out to bid.  Without asking why this bid was about 100 bucks cheaper he simply assumed all septic work is the same, and only the price is the difference.

Leaking septic tank riser


This company didn’t use a proper custom seal for the area between the septic tank and the abs riser material.  Remember, these are unlike materials.  They don’t weld or glue together at all.  We have to use a 2 part epoxy designed for septic installations, remember the gasses, and for the unlike materials.  But then we also have to use a custom seal.  For that we use bentonite clay.  That clay puts a barrier around that seal that’s clay.  It never gets hard, brittle, cracks, or breaks.  It’s clay.  Now this stuff isn’t that cheap, but multiply 7 risers and inlet and outlet pipes and it adds up to about a 100 bucks.  Hence the 100 dollar difference.


But now the bad news.  The septic system is taking on so much ground water, that the drainfield is backing up sewage and ground water all over the place.  Ground water is above the septic tank, but below the riser.  So you can’t see it, until you look into the riser and down into the tank.  Also that tank seal is about 6 feet down.  It will now need an excavator to redig it back up, under water mind you, so we’ll be pumping the water out to reseal it under water.  I cannot explain to you how difficult and expensive this is.  To redig these seals will be around 800 bucks.  Now consider that the next time three companies shoot bids.  Their could be reasons that the lowest bid is the lowest.  But in this case, it was the most expensive, cause now we have to dig it back up and reseal.  And that competitor is out of business.


Thanks for reading,



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