And so Randy rigged the washer to drain outside. A long pipe now runs from the washer out a window to the backyard. You must be a redneck if your washing machine drains into your backyard... At least I was able to wash clothes. Thank goodness I have no neighbors. There were no other plumbing issues other than the drainage of the washing machine. Toilets all flush fine, showers don't back up, dishwasher doesn't back up.
Our house is a few hundred years old. Who knows when the septic tank and plumbing was installed; it wasn't built with the house but installed "aftermarket". All we know is that it has probably never been cleaned and now it was due for a good cleaning. We looked all around the house for the septic tank, of course there were no drains, no nothing symbolizing a tank was there. We heard many stories - people told us we'd see the outline of the tank in the grass, the grass wouldn't grow well overtop the tank, or the grass would grow very well in the area. So we looked for areas with lots of green grass or little green grass, for an outline of the tank in the grass. There was nothing like that- the grass was even in the entire yard.
So we called a septic tank specialist - he advertised that he specialized in locating lost septic tanks. He looked in the basement where the plumbing pipes run underground. We determined they run directly underneath the back porch, then, who knows where they go. He walked around the backyard with a drill with a very long, very big drill bit, and drilled all around. An hour later he gave up on locating the lost septic tank. He explained it could be anywhere in the backyard, even in the woods. He said the septic tank was probably installed by the homeowners and neighbors at the time. He recommended we start digging up the backyard with a tractor to find it. Great.
So, we started digging in our spare time after our work was done at our jobs. Now that the sun sets so early this meant digging in the yard in the dark. We didn't use the tractor, just a shovel. We started digging small holes all around the back porch, looking for pipes or the tank itself. Eventually we found a plumbing pipe about 2 feet down. Then we had to follow the pipe, and it led to the discovery of the missing septic tank! Yeah!! The tank is made of concrete, and luckily it has a small lid that can removed for cleaning out the tank. We didn't unearth the entire septic tank, just enough to expose the lid. We called the septic tank specialist back; he was excited to hear about the discovery of the missing tank and is coming out tomorrow to clean it. I guess we'll have to mark the area where the lid is located for future cleaning.
And tomorrow I will hook up my washing machine again. Who knew that getting a new washing machine would lead to such work. Such is life in an old house. Next I'll have to tell you about how the well ran out of water one day a few weeks ago...