1st week of ownership- plumbing issues

This is day 6 of us being park owners and we are experiencing plumbing issues. I’ve searched everything on the forum I could possible think of but now hope to get more specific advice.

We originally received a call Wednesday night that there was a water leak. Thursday morning a plumber went out and said it was actually sewage overflowing from the lift station. We had a plumber and someone to pump the wet well set upthis morning but everyone canceled due to heavy rain. The plumbers don’t know if it is an electrical problem( the alarm didn’t go off) or the pump. Being that it is raining and going into a three day weekend is there anything more I should be doing besides trying to get in contact with plumbers. If it is sewage is that a major problem that I can do anything about?

Get the wet well pumped asap. Sewer on the ground equals fines… health risks, bad publicity. Every wet well needs to have redundancy two pumps, with a generator if you lose power. Canceled because of heavy rain is not an option. Unless you have a hurricane get a septic pumper onsite! Get an electrician / or pump guy onsite asap figure out why the pump is down.


@Clinton , as per your post:

  • “Thursday morning a plumber went out and said it was actually sewage overflowing from the lift station.”

First of all “Congratulations” on being new Park Owners.

As per your question:

  • “If it is sewage is that a major problem that I can do anything about?”

Yes, sewage is a major problem.

If any government agencies become aware of the issue, it could really balloon on you.

I would ask for recommendations from the Old Owners for Contractors for the Plumbing and Lift Station.

I would also contact other Mobile Home Park Owners for recommendations.

Normally, I do not like large companies in terms of fixing issues. However, we have had a good response from Mr. Rooter Plumbing. As per their website (www.mrrooter.com):

  • Upfront, Flat Rate Pricing
  • Never An Overtime Charge
  • Courteous, Uniformed Professionals

My Husband and I feel your pain in terms of plumbing.

We have gone through a lot of plumbers including the Plumbing Company who came out on a Friday night; took some pictures; and left us with a water geyser from our main line. I am not a plumber, but I could have most certainly done those tasks.

We wish you the very best!

DEQ fines are by the day for sewer on the ground issues.

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You need to be at your NEW park and see first hand what is happening and then have a better understanding and who you are confident to deal with the issue. If it is sewage and is visible it needs your uninterrupted attention, PERIOD!!! When your were doing DD were these areas checked out and were you given a maintenance report of such and who serviced them. If you have sketchy records or reports on this lift station I believe you need to prepare for some more problems since these are areas that needed checking out and usually a backup plan if a motor etc. fails.

I had a similar issue when I was new to the business. At that time I naturally panicked. Now after so many years and many issues I no longer panic.
If your lift tank has two pumps as it should then you have one of several possible problems. It could be in the electrical control box but with two pumps this is not too likely. It could be a problem with your floats. It could also be that you had a defective pump and the second pump has now failed shutting down the entire system. If this were the case your high level alarm should have been on due to the first failed pump. Check to insure your high level alarm is working.
If you have satellite lift tanks have a septic pumper in to keep them and the primary lift tank emptied as you work through the problem.
First thing to do, assuming you have a manual setting on your pumps, is to turn it to manual and see if they pump. If not your pump(s) or electrical are the problem. Have a electrician check your electrical. If it tests OK your pumps are the problem. If the pumps run on manual the floats are likely the problem. Over a period of many years I have had all these problems. It is simply a routine matter of diagnostics and repair.
You need to do the initial investigation yourself or have a competent manager do it.
Whom ever you ultimately hire will simply resolve the problem through a process of elimination.
I do all my own electrical, septic and water repair/maintenance myself so can not advise as to whom to hire.

Everyone here wants to know how this turned out!

I didn’t see anyone mention this, but if you want to stop sewage flowing (overflowing) then you have to shut off the water. That is what the city will do / did to us. It is a big deal probably making the park uninhabitable by legal definition and you will be liable for everything that your tenants have to suffer plus the cost of cleanup. In our case we gave everyone 2 weeks free rent and no-one had to move out so no hotel fees etc.

The next step is to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. If worst comes to worst, I assume I could get pumper truck scheduled there on a regular basis. In our case we rigged up an overground bypass with a rental pump while the problem was addressed.

From our experience DEQ will not turn their head the other way and ignore the situation. With their ability to shut parks down and forever being on record of a spill, when selling potential buyers are giving a big field of negatives. The point is, IF any sewage is on the ground DO NOT IGNORE IMMEDIATELY

TAKE INTELLIGENT ACTION. If ever in doubt have a qualified backup person on good terms with DEQ to minimize the situation!!!

Thank you all for the great advice and I apologize for the delayed response.

Everything turned out fine. It ended up being that the pump in the lift station as well as the alarm burnt up.
It was a perfect storm of stress for me being that it was the 6th day of ownership, record rain fall causing most people to be flooded in, and heading into a three day weekend. Several hours later we finally coordinated with a plumber and septic truck that could get out there and fix the issue. Everything was fixed before anything major happened.

With your advice as well as going through such a learning experience I will be better prepared if this were to happen again. Thanks again for all of the help.

Im glad you were able to resolve the problem before it got crazy. Welcome to the world of lift station drama :slight_smile:

After being through the issues myself many times I now have spare pumps on site as backup in the case of a failed bump. I replaced all my working pumps and kept the used ones as emergency back up. It is a little expensive initially, I have three different HP pumps, but it does make resolving issues easier and faster down the road. This way when a pump fails in the future I swap in the used spare till I get a new replacement, re swap and again have the used pump as backup.
I have also done the same with my well pump.
Cost is less important to me than having the community back in service asap. I also do all my own water and septic maintenance work myself which greatly reduces down time.