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I Forge Iron

Joys of bein a home owner

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So my wife decided she didn’t like the linoleum In the bathroom an laundry room, an wanted to get some of that new wood laminate flooring that snaps together and redo that part of the house,

I said sure sounds great! Whatever you want!

well she calls up her dad to give her a hand since I’m in the middle of busy season in the shop, 

an he says sure that he’d come down an it should only be about a two hour job! 

I moved the washer, dryer, cabinets ect.. an cleared everything outta their way, an they got started,

it all went down hill from there… 

first hiccup was when they pulled up the linoleum they found the toilet had been leaking,

so I came in an started pulling up the floor and it was toast…

thankfully our old house has huge oak floor joists so they were pretty stable an didn’t rot out,

while messing around in there I noticed a

1-1/2” pipe that was goin an on direction and I stuck my head under the floor to have a look with a light and seen it dead ends and is dripping under the laundry room

so I start pulling up linoleum in there an find mildew on the osb, so I pull that up an surprise surprise floors rotted out there too,

an there’s a lake under the house!!!

so I’m goin back an looking at the plumbing trying to figure out what on earth is goin on, 

long story short, my kitchen sink, my dishwasher and my bathroom sink have been draining upteen thousand gallons of water under my house since 2012 when the house was supposedly remodeled, we bought the house in 2013,

So now that little two hour flooring project has became a 3 day plumbing, demolition, construction project and we still ain’t half way done, let alone put her new fancy flooring in lol

So that’s what we’re up to in peavine Oklahoma this week, fair warning to anyone buying a “remodeled” old house, always check someone else’s work,

I always wanted lake front property but I didn’t want it under my laundry room lol

also before someone asks, no I haven’t found any cave fish… yet!


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And you expected any less? Lol

i would recommend against the shop together laminent for wet locations, the vinyl plank looks just as good, almost as easy to put in and as the backing in a lot like the back side of tire patch it makes a solid water proof sheet.

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  Yeah, I'm going through somewhat similar with the house we just bought, not as bad, and it had 2 inspections.   I'm smelling a rat.

  Good thing about basements is you catch all that stuff real fast, especially if you have a shop/lair in it that you use regularly.  Crawl spaces are a phenomenon I never heard of until we moved.  Beware of mold issues.


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Yeah we ain’t even got a crawl space, no way to get under the house an not enough room to crawl even if you wanted too,

only way to work on something is to cut through the floor,

I just got back from the hardware store and the coop,

im gonna dump a load of lime under where the water was to kill off all the funky stuff

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And my contractor coffee shop friends told me I was crazy for putting the house on a daylight basement, our eaves extend 30" from the house, the walls are 5 1/2" of r7.7/" urethane foam, etc. etc. Heck, I overbuilt everything and managed to not get too excessive about it. Missed a couple things but. . . Code is minimum spec. intended to stand up to average conditions. Good for contractors and repairmen. 24 years here and only minimum issues.

Our plumbing is pretty visible except what's in the floor upstairs. The upstairs plumbing is in a soffet in the kitchen so everything is accessible with minimum sheet rock repair. I need a ladder to reach most of the plumbing in the basement. :)

Frosty The Lucky.

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The Old House Journal called that the "mushroom effect"  you start with a small simple job to do and end up with needing to replace the plumbing, foundation, roof, electrical, etc.  During your busy season!   I guess we shouldn't expect you at quad-state this year and I'll plan to stop by on our way back.  Do you have an electric dryer plug you could hook the big fan to to blow dry the crawl space?

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  I remember wiggling around under the mobile home back on the farm to fix things.  Spiders, salamanders, snakes...  Then a battle with a skunk that eventually crawled up in the insulation and died, but I told that story before.  A basement is a valuable asset.  The house in town had a big one.  

  That could be called a "money pit effect" as well.  

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we got the floors all ripped out yesterday an just got done rebuilding them,

I had to add an in line vent under the kitchen sink this morning, and I may have to add another one under the bathroom vanity but won’t know till everything gets hooked back up,

 so for now we can start putting down her new flooring now,


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 I’m still fighting the plumbing, i installed auto vents under the vents but it’s still not draining right,

I got aggravated this morning and made a trip to the hardware store and dropped another $100 on supplies and came home and started digging up the yard looking for the gray water line that runs off down towards the hollar, 

im working on bypassing everything now, imma patch into the big 4” line that drains the washer machine,

so I can get the kitchen back online,

I’d like to have a word or two the the feller that did the renovation but he kicked the bucket a couple months ago…


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I have a septic system for the black water from the toilet, it’s never backed up but I’m not sure I wanna risk plumbing into to it an causing problems,

the washing machine an laundry room sink Drains off down a gray water line across my southern field towards the hollar, with no trouble that’s why I’m hooking the sinks into it,

I’m no plumber an don’t know what Oklahoma code is but I can say that most everyone with a old house across this county has gray water lines running off somewhere,

ive even seen homes with gray water ponds that drain off the sinks, showers an washing machines,

actually my old boss owned a laundromat where all the gray water ran into a pond an then we had a huge pump and sprinkler system that sprayed it over his fields, and it had to have a state inspection every year since it was a massive amount of water

I think all these old houses were built before code so they were grandfathered in or something like that, because new houses aren’t built like that anymore, 

either that or people ignored code a 100 years ago lol

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I totally get not wanting to risk running grey water sinks and such to the septic tank. My house has similar issues tho I have a full basement. 

The sinks, shower and laundry used to run to a road drain. It got damaged in a road rebuild and now I have to pump it out. Life is grand with old houses. 

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That’s another thing im worried about down the line, 

even though I live way out in the middle of nowhere, the state of Oklahoma in all their infinite knowledge has decided to rebuild hwy 59 right in front of me, and they will be cutting into my property,

im terrified they are gonna hit one of my lateral lines or one of the five zillion other lines out in my yard!

i Swear my luck is I could move five miles from the closest piece of civilization and some politician would come along an wanna build a bypass through my house…

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Sorry to hear about the worm can opening. Got the interlocking floating floor in the living room, it looks like real wood but your not supposed get it to wet. This house I'm in was remodeled 30 years ago, an even back then the contractor said the grey water had to be plumbed into the septic. 

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The house we built in Vermont has everything going to a septic tank and a leach field. Of course, everything would have worked much better if my dad could have bothered to get the honey wagon to come visit. Ever. 

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That’s interesting maybe it’s just around here that people did that then,

The house was built around 1950 I dunno what’s all original an what they added during the last “remodel” if i could call it that..

my wife’s been getting claustrophobic in here the last few years and now with max even I admit it’s getting to be a little crowded, we’ve talked about finding another house that’s bigger,

I’ve been dragging my feet with the idea but now after finding this stuff I’m starting to think we might be better off lol

But we still got about 2 years left before we got the mortgage paid off here, so I’d like to get that loan paid off before getting another one,

this was our first house that either of use had bought, so we didn’t know any better about getting inspections or what to look for,

I’ll make for sure the next go around to get a couple of inspections done next time,

and I’ll personally crawl around an look at the wiring, plumbing, roof, floor ect.. an then I’ll call up some experts to come double check everything again lol,

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I don’t think any jeristiction allows untreated gray water to be surface distributed. Now being Oklahoma their are wide swatches where their is no inforcemet. 
I used to work for a septic pumping outfit, thus I know a little bit about septic and gray water systems. 

Ideally kitchen sinks and toilets should go to the one septic tank, and if one is using a gray water system you should have a tank for that. Reed beds and shallow distrabution lines for sub soil irrigation are ideal. These don’t have to be fancy. 
know the kitchen sink and it’s grease are problems, especially with out a tank or grease trap. They plug up leach fields faster than biofilm.
another issue with older homes is schedual 20 pipe, the stuff is so thin it gets crushed. 
another issue is maintaining 1/4 in 10 drop for black water and as a minimum for gray water. Don’t allow any sags or bumps. 
soap, body oil and hard water also cause hardening of the arteries, so power snaking and enzyme cleaners might be in order.




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Well after digging up half the yard and finding two gas lines, three water lines, an one power line I finally found this big underground pot / bucket lookin thing, It has a steel line comin out from underneath the house hooked into it, I checked an that comes from the washing machine drain, 

the odd thing is I found a relatively new pipe coming out the top that starts around the backside of the house, I have no clue what it’s for because there’s nothing back there to drain off, 

An the big 4” main drain pipe runs south down hill an it’s way deep under ground, below the underground bucket thing, so I don’t know what that one pipe was for it just runs to nowhere an it’s not very deep underground, 

I cut an T’d into the drain lines under the house,

dug a trench along the house an made sure to taper it so the pipe gradually went down hill,

i ran a line to that underground pot thing the washer drains into,

I now have the sinks draining good again!!!

Probably wasn’t the right way to do it but it worked, and it’s not dumping water under my house like those morons had it setup so imma call that a win for now,

we haven’t had use of the sinks or laundry in days so I had to get something goin, 

been moving stuff back into place, trying to get the house half usable, both me an ash gotta get back to work tomorrow so we will slowly be re situating the house a little at a time all this week,

 I’ll take your suggestion Charles an I’ll look into getting a second septic tank for the gray water an run all the gray water lines to it, 

Im gonna leave the current black water septic tank alone because I’m afraid if I go monkeying around with it I’ll mess it up and end up with more problems


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This is the first place I've ever lived that has well and septic.  I've previously always had municipal water and sewer.  I've learned that sepric systems should be pumped about every 3-5 years.  We had ours done this spring and the operator said our system is all A-OK.  Depending on your soil the leach field may need to be replaced/relocated about every 20 years or so.  When we were approving new rural subdivisions for the county we made sure that every lot had enough room for a replacement leach field at least 100' from their well.  

One situation we ran into is when someone wanted to split off and sell the old hired hand house as a seperate parcel.  However, it was often a case when a dwelling unit was added that they would plumb it into the existing septic system and/or well.  If you want a situation all set for future conflicts between neighbors a shared well or septic is the ticket.  A shared driveway is bad enough.

And I have seen situations where, when drawing the lines for the proposed new lot the septic system's leach field for lot one was located on lot 2.  In a case like that we would tell them to go back and start over and keep everything for each lot on that lot.

Billy, it soulds like the big pot thing may be some sort of a french drain for the gray water.  I'd be uncomfortable not knowing where the big drain was going.  You may be able to trace the ultimate end by whether the vegetation in the area is greener than that surrounding it.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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We only use our wells to water the garden and livestock it’s not plumbed into the house, we got rural water for that,

I know where that line ends, it’s a couple hundred feet across my goat field before ya get down to the holler, I found it several years ago by accident, that’s how I know it’s really deep an that it’s a 4” line, 

I was down there with a tractor and accidentally uncovered it, it only drained when the washer or laundry room sink ran that’s how I knew what it was for, 

I recovered that line an ive made sure for years to keep everything mowed down so no tree or bushes grow anywhere near it an clog it up with roots,

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