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Bubba

Jan 29, 2007, 2:55 PM

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Toilet Paper

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The toilet paper thing is a holdover from the past when toilet paper was not up to today´s standards. The top quality paper that one buys at Chedraui (for example) in San Cristóbal readily disintegrates and does not clog the city´s sewage system. The problem has been old fashioned toilet paper and old fashioned in-house plumbing.

If I´m wrong it won´t be the first time. After six years the water flows fine past my house in Ajijic.

Oops! I guess we are off on a tangent but this forum is about living in Mexico.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Jan 29, 2007, 10:57 PM)



sfmacaws


Jan 29, 2007, 7:24 PM

Post #2 of 30 (9673 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving at Night

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It's your choice obviously, but your house is in an old colonial city. Much like Mérida which is the city this article was written about. http://www.yucatanliving.com/...can-fosa-septica.htm

Are you sure you don't have a fosa septica? Are you sure that your new, modern TP won't mean problems down the road for you, the next owners of your house, somebody down the block? I think your theory about new, modern TP is blowing smoke from you know where. I do agree that most Mexican TP is so flimsy and bad that I refuse to use it. I don't have to worry about using the thick, soft stuff though because I don't put it down the toilet. Your choice.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Bubba

Jan 29, 2007, 8:25 PM

Post #3 of 30 (9665 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Driving at Night

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Jonna asks:

It's your choice obviously, but your house is in an old colonial city. Much like Mérida which is the city this article was written about. http://www.yucatanliving.com/...can-fosa-septica.htm

Are you sure you don't have a fosa septica?


Quite sure, Jonna. Houses in the urban zone in San Cristóbal are all on modern municipal sewage lines more or less like in what your referenced article called gringolandia. I am not familiar with their effluent treatment techniques but, judging by the look of at least one local creek, something is not being treated. Toilet paper would quickly be recycled in that agua negra. In fact, they are quite proud of their sewage disposal system and the fact that, according to our architects, the water from the tap is potable. Septic tanks of any kind are relegated to rural properties or properties on the edge of the city. I imagine that the surrounding slums I discussed elsewhere use outhouses but that is not an issue with my house.

Interestingly, we know some people who live just outside of San Cristóbal who recently had a problem with their fosa septic which, shall we say, became full and started backing up into the house. They tried to find a septic pumping company only to find that the only one in town was not operational because its pump truck was in need of repair. They hadn´t bothered to fix it since there was so little business.

I should point out that I always respect hotels and homes requesting disposal of toilet paper in the adjacent basket since many older homes and sewage systems have antiquated piping. I urge everyone reading this to do the same out of respect for their hosts.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 29, 2007, 8:34 PM)


jennifer rose

Jan 29, 2007, 8:32 PM

Post #4 of 30 (9661 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving at Night

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Godwin's law states "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

Among foreigners discussing Mexico, the probability of a discussion leading to flush or not to flush approaches one.


Bubba

Jan 29, 2007, 8:35 PM

Post #5 of 30 (9660 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Driving at Night

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Jennifer:

I was wondering where you were.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 29, 2007, 8:36 PM)


Papirex


Jan 29, 2007, 9:13 PM

Post #6 of 30 (9655 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Driving at Night

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Jonna, modern, properly formulated TP has been designed for many decades to disintegrate in water. Take a few pieces of it and put it in a pan of water. Swish it around a bit with your hand. See what you’ve got after that. It won’t disintegrate completely, but it will be in very small pieces, very quickly.

It does complete the process of disintegration into nothing but small short fibers when it enters the sewer pipes in rather short order. The solids in sewage do not remain solid for very long either once they enter the sewage pipes.

There is no problem anywhere with TP in sewer pipes. The problem is getting it into the pipes in the first place. The size of the pipes here has nothing to do with that inability. The almost universal lack of vented plumbing systems is responsible for that. The lack of venting slows the flow of water when a toilet is flushed, breaking the siphon, resulting in a stoppage in the toilet.

I have written about this before in the Construction Forum. I don’t post there much anymore, it seems like most people would rather continue to believe in folk tales rather than think about the science in construction. There has been a lot of scientific, and engineering research to develop a modern plumbing system. You must understand many of the laws of physics to be able to design and install a safe plumbing system.

Early in my career in construction, I was a plumber. I had to go to school at night for five years, coupled with five years of on the job experience to qualify as a Union journeyman, and pass a state test to get my personal plumbers license in California. An annual test is administered by most counties and cities there to get a personal plumber’s license to work in their jurisdictions in addition to the state license too. That was not a contractor’s license, but a personal license, like a driver’s license. Without one, it is a criminal offense to work for remuneration, or on any commercial project as a plumber in many states.

Every time a building inspector comes on the job to inspect the progress of the work, if he doesn’t recognize a person doing electrical or plumbing work, he will ask to see your license. If you don’t have one, the job will be red tagged, and shut down.

Any work done by an unlicensed worker will be carefully inspected, and possibly it will need to be removed before the red tag is lifted and work on the project may resume. No responsible contractor will risk hiring an unlicensed worker.

There is a lot of science involved, and it is not often obvious to a layman. Without the training, most people don’t realize they are installing a dangerous system that is risky to public health. Your plumber can kill you just as dead as your electrician can.

I have enumerated some of my qualifications to make the point that I really do know what I’m talking about. If your toilet will flush Toilet paper, don’t worry about it. A tip: flush the toilet more than once when using it and it will seldom stop up here.

TP in septic tanks is a big question here. I doubt that many septic systems in Mexico have been properly designed, engineered, or sized here. A septic tank must be sized according to the number of occupants in a dwelling, the number of bathrooms and types of fixtures in a house, garbage disposals, automatic clothes washers, dishwasher, etc. The drain field must be tested to determine the absorption rate of the soil to determine the size of the drain field, etc.

They are still installing plumbing systems in Mexico using the same methods that were in use over 125 years ago.

Rex








"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Bubba

Jan 29, 2007, 9:30 PM

Post #7 of 30 (9648 views)

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Re: [RexC] Driving at Night

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That was most impressive Rex, whereas the rest of us were just guessing. It´s too bad this discussion of plumbing systems and toilet paper is piggybacked onto the night driving thread. Many people planning to live or retire here would benefit from what you said. I know that when we worked with our architects in San Cristóbal we insisted on proper venting in the remodeled house and it was not a given that that would have happened had we not insisted on it.
Is there any way to break off these last posts into a separate heading just so people will be alerted to Rex´s excellent and informed post?


sfmacaws


Jan 29, 2007, 11:05 PM

Post #8 of 30 (9636 views)

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Re: [RexC] Driving at Night

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OK, Rex. with all your training, are you saying that the basics of the article on the Fosa Septica that I quoted above is incorrect? Is there some flaw in its logic? I'm really just wondering because I took it at face value as accurate.

I need no instructions on testing TP. As an RVer, I read all the RVing 101 stuff about putting the TP in an old mayonnaise jar, adding water and shaking to make sure it would dissolve in your tanks. I read all that and thought phooie! I own a place in Mexico, I live there part of the year, I don't feel the need to flush the paper. So, we've never put paper in our RV tanks either. That way I can use whatever feels good on my tender bum - paper towels if I wanted to, baby wipes, whatever. It just isn't that big a deal where it goes. I don't understand this gringo obsession with flushing the TP. Oh well, I won't eat grasshoppers so I guess we all acculturate how we can.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Papirex


Jan 30, 2007, 1:33 AM

Post #9 of 30 (9631 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Driving at Night

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Jonna, Just about everyone in m wife’s family flushes toilet paper down the toilet. They are all Mexicans. They know that many people don’t flush paper, but they don’t understand why.

The article you cite is full of inaccuracies. I would put no faith in it. It was obviously written by someone that believes many of the folk tales regarding septic systems.

Did you read the comments following the article? There were some comments by apparently educated people challenging some of the assertions in that article.

When you start thinking of building a septic system, you are going into some very heavy engineering territory. When I was first doing the piping for septic tanks in the 1950s, the state of California had a manual we went by to size the tank and drain field. We simply followed the specifications in that manual to size the tank and drain field.

Later, standards were improved, and engineers designed each septic system. Several holes of a known diameter were bored in the area where the drain field was to be located. A wooden stake was driven into the ground next to each hole, which was then filled with water. The engineer would then measure up from the surface of the water and place a mark on the stake.

Every day thereafter for several days, the engineer or an engineering aide would return to the site at the same time each day and measure the distance from the surface of the water in the hole to the mark on the stake. With those measurements, the absorption rate of the soil would be calculated, and the size of the drain field needed could be determined.

There is no advantage to using a plastic tank except for cost and convenience. All the tanks that I installed in those days were made of reinforced concrete; they were formed and poured in place. The only alternative in those days was prefabricated metal tanks, they were illegal to use because eventually they would rust out and fail.

This is all fairly simple stuff for a civil engineer, but if you don’t have the education, you are back to guessing.

Theoretically, in a temperate climate, a septic tank will never need to be pumped out. As a practical matter, they will need to be pumped out about once every 20 years to get rid of the sludge that will gather on the bottom of the tank. In colder climes, where there is snow on the frozen ground, they will usually need to be pumped out annually.

The myths about toilet paper in RVs are many. I bought my first travel trailer in 1958 or 59; I replaced it in the late 1960s with another travel trailer. I bought a Winnebago motor home in 1972. I sold it in the late 1980s and bought a smaller class C motor home, I kept that one for about 6 years.

Some of the state campgrounds in remote areas in Alaska are pretty primitive. No water or electric hookups, and just a central septic pit to empty the holding tanks. You hang the sewer hose over the edge of that pit to drain your tank. You can see everything that comes out of the tank when you drain it. All you will see if you have been driving with a nearly full tank is brown water. There won’t be a trace of a solid, and certainly no paper.

The biggest scam is the special toilet paper sold in RV stores, specially formulated for use in RVs. We never bought any of it, or used it.

The average building tradesman or architect (contractor) in Mexico is so inexperienced, or undereducated in modern methods that usually when you ask them about something they are inexperienced with, like septic tanks, vents for a plumbing system, or electrical ground fault interrupters, they will give you one or more of these answers – They don’t work – those aren’t needed in Mexico - or we never use them here. You are expected to stand there like a dummy and say “Oh, OK.” Most of those guys would not be qualified to carry the tools of a real tradesman.

The registros used by the plumbers down here are the stupidest things I have ever seen. The only reason that I can think of for using them is because the “plumbers” down here don’t know how to make sewer connections efficiently using pipefittings.

There are a very few well qualified builders here, they are the guys that build the modern stores, high rise buildings and engineering heavy structures, but I’m sure you remember the high bridge that collapsed half way through the construction of it in southern Mexico a couple of years ago.

We have a nephew that is an independent contractor. He only does fine woodwork. He is very well qualified; he is a real artist in wood. He only works in churches. A couple of years ago, Doris asked him why he only worked in churches. He said, “Because they are the only SOBs that always have the money.”

Another one of our nephews is one of the highest paid engineers at Pemex. His specialty is black water treatment. A few years ago, he and I were talking about the building methods used in The US. When I was telling him about the building code requirements up there, he asked me, “Tio, if you don’t do it they way they want you to, how would they know?”

He was absolutely flabbergasted when I told him that our building inspectors come out to the construction sites for at least three or more inspections. If anything is found to be below standards, it must be corrected before work can continue. In Mexico, nobody checks anything.

You really are on your own down here. If you are going to have any kind of a project built it would be prudent to get some advice from a professional not from another amateur that thinks they know what they are talking about. Finding a qualified professional in Mexico could be a daunting task.

Rex








"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Bloviator

Jan 30, 2007, 5:34 AM

Post #10 of 30 (9610 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving at Night

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I agree completely. This is a very important discussion and should be clearly labeled. My brother-in-law is an architect and is visiting at present. We have been discussing this topic and I have displayed my abysmal ignorance of the topic by telling him that someone told me they do not have leach fields here that things just disintegrate and disappear. He pointed out that there is still liquid to get rid of so I am totally wrong. How do I answer. Am I wrong and do septic systems have leach fields or does the effluent magically disappear - into the lake no doubt?


bfwpdx

Jan 30, 2007, 6:21 AM

Post #11 of 30 (9597 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Toilet Paper

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This topic has come up before and was dealt with at some length. Of course I don't really remember what was said then :-) I just remember the discussion started the same way (about whether or not to flush toilet paper)...

The traditional way of handling septic waste in the area where we are building (lakeside) is a septic tank with no leach field. The septic tank is sort of perforated and is positioned inside a subterranean dry sink constructed of brick. The system works quite well I am told. Why is it people think anything modern and flashy and high tech MUST be superior to traditional knowledge?

(rhetorical question so please don't answer)


esperanza

Jan 30, 2007, 7:29 AM

Post #12 of 30 (9569 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Toilet Paper

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OMG, toilet paper is a sticky!

<falls on the floor laughing>


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









morgaine7


Jan 30, 2007, 7:36 AM

Post #13 of 30 (9566 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Toilet Paper

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Quote
OMG, toilet paper is a sticky!
<falls on the floor laughing>

Right down there with you ... :-)
Now I won't feel quite so silly posting my tech support question!

Kate


Bubba

Jan 30, 2007, 8:05 AM

Post #14 of 30 (9557 views)

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Re: [RexC] Driving at Night

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Rex, thanks again for your excellent posts. After reading your posts, I became suspicious that we and our architects in San Cristóbal might be having a miscommunication problem arising from cultural differences in construction techniques. Understand that we know nothing about plumbing.

She told the architects that we wanted to be sure the plumbing in our new home was properly "vented" to prevent the foul odor that is emitted in the shower and toilet in the apartment we are renting down there. They responded that they had installed a "trap" that would stop the smell and that was all that was needed. As we are still in the process of refurbishing the house, perhaps you could tell us what all this trapping and venting is about in lay terms.

What confuses us is that our other home in Ajijic, which was built and plumbed in the 1970s, never gives us any problems either with sewage odors or toilet paper clogging. In the older apartment building in San Cristóbal, there is an annoying odor from the shower primarily and if you try to flush toilet paper, the toilet will back up on you for sure.

Your advice would be most appreciated before it´s too late to rectify any deficiencies.


Papirex


Jan 30, 2007, 10:52 AM

Post #15 of 30 (9535 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving at Night

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Bubba, a vented plumbing system means that every fixture has a continuation of the drainpipes up through the roof and open to the atmosphere. Lets say it is the pipe that drains a sink, instead of using a 90 ° elbow at the sink to connect the sink trap, a drainage tee is used, the pipe then continues up 9 to 12 inches above the roof.

Generally, every fixture must have it’s own separate vent. They can be connected together in the wall and a single pipe may be used to vent them all through the roof, this is called re-venting. Venting a fixture when the drain piping is all under the floor, such as a toilet, sometimes requires that the vent be connected to the horizontal drainpipe, when there is not enough room to stack a tee in the vertical riser pipe to the fixture. If a fixture is vented in that manner, the vent must be connected above the centerline of the horizontal drainpipe, the top of the pipe is the preferred connection point.

Sometimes, the drain for one fixture is used as the vent for a lower fixture in the building. That is called a “wet vent”. Wet vents work very well usually, but sometimes they are a disastrous mistake. For that reason, most plumbing codes prohibit the use of wet venting altogether, except in The State of Texas, where the codes actually encourage wet venting. At one time, I held a Master Plumbers license (plumbing contractor) in Texas.

Since venting an existing toilet down here would require the breaking up of the concrete floor, it would probably be best to not attempt to add a new vent to an existing toilet, but to depend on the other new vents on the other fixtures to act as wet vents for the toilet. There are no gaurantees, but it will probably work OK.

To get a plumbing contractor’s license in most if not all states, you must pass a very comprehensive test to prove that you are qualified to do plumbing work. It is a public health and safety issue. If you don’t know what you are doing, you can poison a whole town, or cause great damage by gas or water heater explosions, etc.

Vents prevent pressure from building up in front of liquids bring drained, or a partial vacuum from forming behind water draining, that will slow the rate that the wastewater will drain. The lack of vents is the reason that many toilets down here do not flush efficiently enough for paper to go down the drain. Vents also dissipate the foul odor of sewer gas. It’s pretty simple really.

Sewer gas is always noxious, sometimes toxic, sometimes flammable, and sometimes inflammable. Flammable and inflammable are not synonyms. A flammable substance will burn if it is ignited. An inflammable substance is an unstable substance that may self-ignite, in other words; it may explode. You don’t want sewer gas in your house.

Traps are used to prevent sewer gas from entering the house, but they exacerbate the problems in a non-vented plumbing system. The traps used here in Mexico often depend on a mechanical part to hold the gas back; usually those parts look something like an inverted cup or bowl. Those parts are often missing, that is probably why you can smell the gas in your shower.

Traps that depend on any mechanical part to function are illegal to use in every jurisdiction I have ever worked in, in the USA. There are some special use exceptions, but the only types of traps usually approved for use up there are P-traps, drum traps, and sometimes S-traps. They depend on the water they hold in them to seal the plumbing system.

You might want to try a Google search for “plumbing codes”. Some of the codebooks have illustrations in them, if you can find one that does; it will be very helpful to see how a properly installed plumbing system looks.

I discarded my last codebook when we moved to Mexico. I wish I hadn’t done that now. It had been many years since I worked as a plumber; I had changed my specialty in the pipe trades to pipefiitter, with a specialization as a process control technician. After several years of education and experience working as a plumber, I have forgotten none of it.

A big part of the problem with getting a proper plumbing system installed in Mexico is that I have never seen any drainage fittings in any hardware store or plumbing wholesale house anywhere in Mexico. That includes the much-vaunted Home Depot stores.

Drainage fittings are very different than water fittings. They have and arc, or “sweep” built into them in the direction of the water flow. That is important. There are also many different degrees of drainage elbows, which I have never seen down here. There are 11 1/4°, 22 ½°, 45°, 60°, 72° and of course 90° elbows which are often required, in a soil pipe system elbows are called “bends.” A soil pipe system is any drainage system that handles human waste.

The closest fittings that I have seen for use in drainage work here are wyes, and 45° elbows, that really puts a limit on connecting a pipe to another when they are at unusual angles to one another. I think that explains why the blockhead “plumbers” down here build and use those registros to connect pipes in the patio.

The registros by their very nature are an insanitary condition. Yes, insanitary is a word.

Installing a vented plumbing system in a home in Mexico is probably beyond the experience of most, if not all homebuilders here. It would require a great deal of pre-planning, and a massive change in construction methods to accommodate the pipes in the walls. To retrofit an existing house with plumbing vents would require a massive amount of chipping away of the masonry walls, and a weakening of the structural bond beams where the vents will need to pass through them.

If the bathrooms, and other plumbing fixtures are located at an outside wall, a more practical, although uglier solution would be to locate the vent pipes on the outside surface of the wall, and extend them above the roof line. The pipes will be visible and not attractive. I have done this on older homes in Napa when a second bathroom was added.

Good luck with your project, Rex






"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on Jan 30, 2007, 11:08 AM)


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Jan 30, 2007, 3:00 PM

Post #16 of 30 (9505 views)

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Re: [RexC] Driving at Night

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And, as far as the TP issue, if all else fails, a macerator pump can be utilized. This pump will reduce solid waste to 1/8th inch particles or less for disposal and can usually pump waste 4 or 5 feet uphill if necessary.
Getting older and still not down here.


sfmacaws


Jan 30, 2007, 4:26 PM

Post #17 of 30 (9498 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Driving at Night

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Yup, we have one of those too! RVing really gets you in touch with all the basics of life.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




patricio_lintz


Jan 30, 2007, 4:39 PM

Post #18 of 30 (9495 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Driving at Night

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In Chapala, Chapala Haciendas and Vista Del Lago, for examples on lots with no sewer lines, seepage pits are used rather than leach fields. This is actually a better solution for the rocky lots than leach fields which are good for lots with sandy soil or shallow water tables.


Cynthia7

Jan 30, 2007, 6:31 PM

Post #19 of 30 (9480 views)

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Re: [patricio_lintz] Driving at Night

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Has anyone had thoughts of the sanitation and germ situation when you have a waste basket full of soiled toilet paper? I have never gotten used to going in a bathroom in a restaurant or public place and being confined in the bathroom with all that "soiled" paper. I am not a squemish or overly partiular person but having a waste basket full of paper does not appeal to me. They say leaving the toilet seat up and not closed causes your toothbrushes to collect the germs from just that. Of course, we are lucky in Mexico to get a seat..let alone a cover to the seat. I have a friend who uses one of those Diaper Genie's for the soiled paper. Just wonderin about the sanitation part of it. ???


Rolly


Jan 30, 2007, 7:13 PM

Post #20 of 30 (9476 views)

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Re: [Cynthia7] Driving at Night

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I have the same thoughts. It's enough to gag a maggot.

Rolly Pirate


sfmacaws


Jan 30, 2007, 8:08 PM

Post #21 of 30 (9469 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving at Night

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Clearly you never lived with diapers and diaper pails.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Papirex


Jan 31, 2007, 5:59 PM

Post #22 of 30 (9428 views)

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Re: [patricio_lintz] Driving at Night

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Patricio, Your post is inaccurate. I believe you have posted another folk tale or two. You are partially right in that a seepage pit is probably the only thing that will come close to working in a small lot here. That does not mean that it is a good method to use, anywhere. Most of the lots with houses on them here are too small to accommodate a functional drain field for a septic system.

I have often thought that the rocky, volcanic soil here is probably the only reason that effluent is successfully disposed of here by those pits.

You are in error about a drain, or leach field, being best suited to sandy soil, or with shallow water tables. Drain field and leach field are nominal terms, they do not describe in full the way they dissipate liquids.

Drain fields dissipate the liquid effluent by two methods, percolation, and evaporation. Some of the effluent percolates down into the underlying soil, and some of it rises to the surface of the soil by capillary attraction, and evaporates. Capillary attraction is just one of the many laws of physics that a qualified plumber must know and understand.

All of the septic systems that I installed were in The Napa Valley in California. The Napa Valley is just about 100% adobe soil. Adobe soil is a type of clay; it is nearly impermeable.

The City of Napa has an elevation of 12 feet, as measured at the old train station downtown. The Napa River is a tidal river; sometimes there are tides of as high as 10 feet. When that happens, you have a river that is in effect only 2 feet deep, the water table will also be 2 feet deep at those times too. The deepest the water table there will ever be, is 12 feet.

When a house is built with the intention of using a septic system, the plumbing system must be designed and installed as shallow as possible, with minimum grade for the slope of the pipes, the septic tank also must be installed as near to the surface as possible so the pipes in the drain field will be as close to the surface as possible to aid in the evaporation process.

With no sandy soil, and a high water table all the systems I installed worked just fine. My advice to anyone is to go by the laws of physics, and engineering research, and forget about relying on things you “hear.”

I don’t know why I am still posting on this forum, in the past, every time I listed some reliable facts, someone would post some nonsense that their “plumber, or contractor” told them. The contractors here will always tell you a story to justify the way they build things here. The amazing part is that they evidently are often believed.

Rex




"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Rolly


Jan 31, 2007, 8:09 PM

Post #23 of 30 (9420 views)

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Re: [RexC] Driving at Night

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Rex, please don't give up posting. Your posts are the reason I made this thread a sticky.

Rolly Pirate


sfmacaws


Jan 31, 2007, 9:06 PM

Post #24 of 30 (9410 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving at Night

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No, Rex don't stop posting. Whether we like it or not your information is invaluable.

Rolly, come on. You made it a sticky because you couldn't resist sticky toilet paper! Just kidding!


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Bubba

Feb 8, 2007, 7:24 AM

Post #25 of 30 (9347 views)

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My thanks to RexC for his excellent post on proper plumbing venting. We were able to communicate this information with our architects in Chiapas and the plumbing at our remodel of that 100+ years old house in San Cristóbal´s historic center will be up to the standards advocated by Rex.

Sometimes these threads come in very handy.
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