Keeping It Clean

Welcome to this week’s newsletter, brought to you by former Force Recon Marine, Chris Graham’s 30-10 At-Home Pistol Training Program–Guaranteed to put you in the top 10% of all shooters in the next 30 days.  Learn more now by going >HERE<

It’s rare when a movie gets it right when trying to portray the reality of grid-down.  In most post-apocalyptic movies, the actors looked like they just stepped out of the shower, blew their hair dry, and their pearly whites are. . . well, pearly white.  Rarely is dirt embedded under an actor’s fingernails and if the men have beards, it’s a rugged (but never scruffy) one-day stubble. The women, no matter how bad things get, find the time to put on makeup, their hair is always perfect, and their manicures and long nails are as realistic as the perfect hair.

To complete the overall picture, I might as well move on to the clothing.  The protagonists clothing, after having fought off the bad guys, or having been forced to sleep under the stars for nights on end may have a strategic smudge here and there, but they don’t have funk on them to the point they could stand up on their own without having to be hung up.  Yet, we never see anyone showering, brushing their teeth or hand washing laundry.

In the real world after a few days of grid-down, showers and bathtubs aren’t going to be delivering water. Sinks will be dry and toilets aren’t going to flush unless you’re set up on a septic system and have the extra water to use the bucket method to get them to flush.

For this reason, investing in a free-standing washtub for bathing is a good idea.  My favorite is a Tuff Stuff tub because they can handle being exposed to the elements (both freezing and hot temperatures) and don’t crack–I should know, I’ve had a couple stored under my cabin for years now and they’re no worse for wear.  I looked online, and a 50 gallon size is $76.32 on Amazon.  A solar shower would  be another item to have on hand. Looking around, I found REI’s Sea to Summit Pocket Shower that received good reviews and sells for $29.95.

(David’s note:  If you’re cheap or unprepared, you can make a pretty good solar shower out of a black plastic construction grade garbage bag.  Don’t overfill, poke holes near a corner with nails, and clip it shut with a chip clip when you want to turn it off.)

Unless you’re on a septic system, you really need a camp toilet or two.  Years ago, when I moved to the wilderness, I purchased several Luggable Loo’s at Cabela’s.  They have a seat that sits on a 5-gallon bucket and a lid–no frills, but at $20.99 each, they came in handy when the pipes froze under the exposed portion of the cabin.  That’s been rectified, and there’s now an outhouse for when it will be needed for our large group, but I would still recommend them.

If you have the property to build an outhouse, even if it’s against building code now, it’s likely they’ll be allowed in a long-term crisis and they’re well worth the small investment.  Putting the lumber, plywood, and roofing material aside now, when it’s available, is worth considering.   You’ll find How To Make an Outhouse at wikiHow that gives step-by-step plans to build an outhouse, along with several excellent tips on maintaining an outhouse.

Laundry will require laundry soap, water, and a stand-alone tub, and unless you plan ahead for a manual agitator to get laundry clean, it’s going to take a whole lot of elbow grease to get the job done.  If you’re on a budget and like a Do-It-Yourself approach, check out the article published in Off-Grid 101, titled DIY washing machine and homemade laundry soap.  To make one only requires a bucket, a lid, and a new toilet plunger with holes cut out to agitate the clothes.  Amazon carries the Wonder Wash that operates manually with a hand crank which has a 5 pound clothes capacity for $39.90.

If you’ve never tried it wring out sopping clothes by hand, I can tell you from experience that it’s best done with two people, and even then, it’s a thankless job. Better add a wringer mop bucket or an antique wringer/washer to the list. If you prefer a stand-alone clothes wringer, they’re available at Amazon for $159.39.

Once the laundry is clean and wrung out, you’re going to need clothes line and clothespins.  If you have the room, a wood clothes drying rack will come in handy for rainy days when hanging them outside would be counterproductive.  They cost anywhere from $19.00 to $80.00 (yep, Amazon again), depending on the size and maker.

Dishes will need to be washed, even if you’ve bought Costco out of paper plates if we find ourselves in a protracted crisis.  Besides, there is bound to be silverware, cooking utensils, drinking glasses and pots and pans to wash, and once your supply of paper plates runs out, it’ll be back to regular plates.  A couple of smaller tubs are a must, as is plenty of dish soap–check the dollar stores for both.

Note:  Knowing how to plug your sewer line will save you grief should a grid-down outlast the the emergency power backup of municipalities.  Go here for instructions; How to Plug Your Sewer Line. 

I’ve put together a few lists, separated by category, that you can check against what you already have in place.

Bathing & Hygiene Products

Body Soap

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Dental Floss

Shampoo

Cream Rinse

Body Lotion

Moisturizer

Razor

Shaving Cream

Washtub for Laundry & Bathing (Tough Stuff sells a 50 gallon size for $76.32)

Camp Toilet/Materials to Build an Outhouse

Laundry 

Laundry Soap*

Clothes Line

Clothespins

Washboard or Manual Agitator (Check Lehmans & Amazon)

Washtub (see above)

Wringer-Style Mop Pail/Antique Wringer-Washing Machine/Manual Clothes Wringer

*Years ago, I discovered the Duggar Family (19 Kids & Counting)  recipe for laundry soap, which was a huge relief.  It doesn’t take up the space that store-bought laundry soap does, it can be made as you go in a 5-gallon bucket, and it’s cheap to make! I’ve found all of the ingredients called for in the recipe at Wal-Mart which can be ordered online.

The Duggar’s Favorite Recipes: Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups – hot tap water

Fels-Naptha soap bar

1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1/2 Cup- Borax

  • Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.  Stir continually over medium-high heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
  • Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
  • Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of the way with water.  Shake well before each use. (will gel!)
  • Optional: You can add 10 – 15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons.  Add once soap has cooled.  Ideas: Lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
  • Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

Dishes & General Clean-Up

Dish Washing Tubs

Dish Soap

Scrubbing Pads

Dish Drain

So, do you have any favorite movies that you feel realistically portrays life after the grid goes down?  Any favorite multi-use items like baking soda or vinegar?  And if you have any favorite tips for bathing, or doing laundry or dishes during grid-down please share them by commenting below.  

And, if you didn’t see Ox’s speed shooting videos with a subcompact Glock or his training tips for integrating dry fire and live fire training, as well as smoothing out and speeding up your drawstroke, transitions, and learning how to train your eyes to focus on the front sight faster, check out his articles >HERE< and >HERE<

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I would think that if you have a tub in a second floor bathroom, you could plumb it to the outside and run it out (to your garden?) as gray water. Vinegar is a great hair rinse that has many other uses. Stinging nettles leaves, dried and made into tea, makes great hair rinse for dealing with dandruff. We are stocking up on cat litter to dump over waste in a 5 gallon bucket. You can also use wood ashes, if you have a supply, for bucket or outhouse. Someone referred to this: Get a few packages of cheap sanitary pads to use on wounds (the old style with “tails”). If you soak one in a 10% saline solution and wrap it around a bad wound, changing frequently, it will draw out infection. It won’t heal pretty, but could save your life. So, obviously, a good supply of salt is important, for many uses. We learned this from a veternarian when he treated a bad wound on our horse’s knee. If TSHTF and things stay bad indefinitely, we will need extra pairs of work/snow boots and snowsuits. Goodwill is perfect for this. Paper plates are really cheap and can be reused as firestarters. When you run out of space for toilet paper, each person can have their own “rag” to use and wash out nightly (or as the need arises). We are on a river, so stocking up on water isn’t such a big issue, but we have a Berkey water filter system with backup filters. I can’t imagine what will happen to those who live in the dessert south west.
    This is a great site and we will come back for more articles.

    • left coast chuck says:

      I have used Epsom Salt for wound treatment for over 50 years. I first noticed when I was young if I had a bad cut and went in the ocean (which was much cleaner 50 years ago) that after a day in the ocean water the cut was practically healed. 50 years later I wouldn’t dare go in our local ocean with a bad cut and I doubt if the water was as clean as 50 years ago whether I would still heal as fast. However, based on my ocean experience I started using Epsom Salt as a drawing/healing agent in hot water, but not too hot. Soak for 30 minutes four times a day and it will go a long way toward healing an injury. A 10% solution in a bandage sounds pretty good. Another medicine I use on infections is ichthammol ointment. In fact just within the last two weeks I used it to clear up a stubborn pimple that had become infected. I use 20% ointment. It is available at Walgreens and other drug stores. For sponge baths witch hazel provides a more refreshing sponge bath than plain water. It is better than alcohol because it refreshes without drying the skin. You can use it on private parts without it burning unlike alcohol. Walmart has the best price on witch hazel that I have found. They carry it, you just have to be persistent because most of the clerks don’t know what you are talking about when you ask for it.

  2. EastCoastShiksa says:

    Great information here. With regard to personal care products, (I detest chemicals invading my body, personally), you can eliminate many of them with a just few essentials: COCONUT OIL (organic, of course) is AMAZING – and a MUST HAVE for everything, not just cooking. It’s a wonderful moisturizer, hair conditioner, lubricant, and it’s superb for maintaining oral health as it is a natural antibacterial (see Ayurvedic oil pulling). You can also mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste to make a healthy toothpaste. I also recommend stocking up on ESSENTIAL OILS. They store quite well and have an indefinite shelf life. And because they are so concentrated, a drop or two is all it takes. Essential oils kill BOTH bacteria (external surface of cells) AND viruses (the harder-to-exterminate inside of the cell). Check them out and use them in the delivery method of your choice (oil, water, etc.). I would not be without:
    LEMON (cleaner and disinfectant); sterilizes when there is no alcohol; add to honey to cure a sore throat; add to water to detox the body. Citrus oils penetrate petrochemicals.
    MELALEUCA (first aid); wonderful anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-bacterial.
    OREGANO (natural immune booster): IMPORTANT: Kills PARASITES, VIRUSES, BACTERIA!
    FRANKINCENSE (anti-viral, antiseptic); dress wounds, sores; has been known to kill cancer!
    LAVENDER (regenerative, calming) great for bee stings, bites, bruises, open sores, sunburn.; calms headaches. Use in a diffuser or add to water and use in mister.
    PEPPERMINT (cools and invigorates); calms headaches when used with lavender, add to water and use in a mister, use with lemon and water for a mouth rinse.
    And if you can get your hands on it, get Manuka Honey. The medicinal one is called Medi-Honey and for wounds, it’s incredible. IMPORTANT: It is known to kill MRSA!
    In a disaster situation, staying safe and HEALTHY are priorities! A strong, healthy immune system can get you through anything. Peace, friends. And God’s blessing to you all.

    • Steve Bramschreiber says:

      Great info!!!
      I have used peppermint for a while with my drinking water. love it!!
      I have a lady friend who sells this kind of stuff and will get with her to “stock up”.
      THANKS for sharing !!!!!
      SCB

  3. Del David says:

    Washing cookware: Use a cast iron dutch oven to cook food. After eating all food and wiping out Dutch oven, put 1/2 cup water in oven and bring to boil. I use a bamboo vegtable brush to clean the oven with the hot water, dump it out, wipe with paper and because it is hot, it dries immediately. Done!

  4. Regarding human manure on vegetable gardens: NOT a good idea, no matter how long you let it break down. Medicines and other drugs (nicotine for example) do not “disappear” and will be absorbed by your plants. Thus you are eating contaminated food. Best to till in, or cut in, the vegetative plant matter from the current years garden into the soil immediately after harvest is done. It will be decomposed by the spring planting season. All natural, assuming you do not use chemical fertilizers to begin with nor pesticides for insect abatement.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Arlene,

      Thank you. In all honesty, I haven’t been able to get past the idea of human waste enriched garden soil to investigate the idea, although I’ve heard of it occasionally. It makes perfect sense that medicine would be included in waste. . . now I’m officially off the hook for that idea next time it comes up : )

    • R.D.Baker, M.D. says:

      Human parasites potentially can create a cycle of “fecal-oral” contamination by the use of human fecal waste on vegetables to be used for human consumption. This happens from time to time, and gets noticed in the media when workers in the (crop) fields defecate among the crops…In such cases there may be (if we are lucky!) a public health warning about certain foods imported from countries where this (disgusting) practice has occurred. Lest we forget – parasitic infections are much more prevalent in less-developed countries – because public health measures are not enforced.
      Historical note: When the Spanish conquistadores arrived somewhere off the coast of California in their ship, the “Trinidad”, for the first time, they met natives who lived near a lake. The natives seemed to be a thriving bunch. Ergo, the Spanish presumed it was safe to drink the water from the lake as did the natives.
      They did. They died. Some individuals can acquire an immunity, some can’t – but this may take time and also, natural selection kicks in. Don’t try this at home… or elsewhere!

  5. I found this on youtube awhile back and am gonna have son build one for me.
    The ladies channel is also packed with helpful information.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyRMuQ_8oj0

    • Survival Diva says:

      Lindalee,
      This is awesome! Lehman’s sells a manual Laundry Hand Washer with wringer–uses pendulum motion, but they’re $729.00! If your son ever decided to sell something like the one on You Tube, he’d do well. A person could barter laundry for. . . whatever.

  6. Sue the Frugal Survivalist says:

    When All Hell Breaks Loose, a book by Cody Lundin, covers hygiene in great detail. It also includes disposal of dead bodies. I found his solutions very down to earth, practical, and entertaining ! You can tell he’s had some first hand experience with this stuff. He notes that ,if you have to, you can do a good job of cleaning clothes by hanging them in bright sunlight for a day or two, and then shaking them out. I’ve had experience with this method as a child, and it does do a good job of removing body odor, flakes of dead skin and greasy stuff. Clothes really do feel fresh and much cleaner afterwards. I’m guessing the rest of his methods work equally well.

    • left coast chuck says:

      I was just reading an article that said the chairman of Levi Strauss never washes his jeans. The article said he turns them inside out and hangs them outdoors. He is reported to have several pairs that are several years old and they have never been washed. From the article, he avers that washing jeans weakens the fibers and wears them out quicker. On the other hand, I suspect that the chairman of Levi Strauss doesn’t do any barn work where he gets horse, cow and pig manure on his jeans. He probably doesn’t get under his car and change the oil and he probably doesn’t get horse sweat and foam on his jeans from riding a horse either, so be guided accordingly. One probably can stretch the interval between washings with a good airing out in the sun, but if you fell down in the pig sty, I don’t think sunlight is going to help much. Or if you are spreading what we used to call night soil when I was in the Far East on the field, hanging in the sun won’t be much help either.

      • Survival Diva says:

        Left Coast Chuck,

        Chuckling over the thought of the chairman of Levi Strauss mucking out the pigpen.

        • R.D.Baker, M.D. says:

          I doubt he ever gets invited to a soiree – at least not twice.

          • Survival Diva says:

            Ha! It brought to mind James Herriot, the English vet who arrived to several soiree’s a bit “fragrant”. LOVE his books, especially All Creatures Great and Small. Whish he was still with us, writing more. But I Digress. Thank you for the important input you’ve shared today!

  7. Have a showerhead (with a shut off valve, available at your local hardware store for about $7.00 ) in your shower? Have a large heavy duty garbage bag?
    Remove the showerhead from the shower, tape to a hole just large enough in a corner of the garbage bag, and you can rig a portable shower.

  8. justin case says:

    I don’t remember the name of the film, but Vitto Morgenstern was in it. Very dark, and oh yeah, those actors/actresses looked more than a little dirty. I’m glad I couldn’t smell how they looked.

    and on an unrelated note, recently I was house-sitting while a friend was on vacation, and during that time I was able to catch up on episodes of “Doomsday Preppers”. Some of them were genius, (One guy created an entire economy based on rabbit), and, (another guy hired a team to “assault” his position to drill his team & check for leaks) I don’t have that kind of money to spend on that kind of detail, but I was glad to see that I’m not alone, and that this is more than a hobby for the paranoid.

    I don’t think that the Russians will be here anytime soon, but what could possibly be wrong with probability based preparedness?

    • Survival Diva says:

      Justin case,

      The movie might have been The Road. Probability based prepping covers things quit well, from Mother Nature to an economic meltdown.

  9. One book I haven’t seen mentioned so far is: “Where There is No Doctor”. This is a handbook used in third world countries. It is available in multiple locations and in multiple languages.

    • Survival Diva says:

      cooperdc,
      The book “Where There is No Doctor” has been mentioned several times. It’s my favorite because it addresses handling medical emergencies when medical supplies are difficult or impossible to find, therefore many times and alternative is recommended. The “Where There is No Dentist” is also good to have on hand. Thanks, also for the recommendation of humanurehandbook . . . I struggle with using it to fertilize the garden, but that could change when things go south : )

  10. for a toilet replacement, check out
    humanurehandbook.com/
    I have an old copy of the book. it makes sense. and it makes great garden vegetables after 1-2 years composting.

  11. Joseph-Lee Morehouse says:

    Good Article .
    Our solution to toilets is the dry toilet type that you can set up in any part of the house or garage ,with some adjustment solids will be separated from liquids with a 2 container system.
    We will compost the solids and use the liquid with some adjustments use as a fertilizer.
    Bathing for a large number of people we have decided to use 2 person bucket method – one pours on the other person – it has some draw backs , lack of Privies , still it will be away of controlling water uses.
    Since my group have 11 woman you should mention women personal needs that can be stock up in advance .
    Thank you for some new ideals.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Joseph,

      You’re right. I thought about adding it to the list (pads can be used for deep wounds and lacerations as well), but didn’t because it’s listed in the post “Getting Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies”, survivethecomingcollapse.com/1506/get-started-with-life-saving-medical-supplies-for-50/ . Having a supply is critical. As for sharing water for bathing, it’ll be necessary! Up until the 30’s, many households didn’t have electricity or running water and families shared bath water.

      • Joseph-Lee Morehouse says:

        Thank you – response very helpful.

      • left coast chuck says:

        In Japan, folks still use the same bath water for the whole family. The way it works is you sit on a small stool in front of the faucet. You wet down using a small bucket, soap up the light towel called a tenugui and scrub yourself down. You then rinse off using the same small bucket. When you have completely rinsed off all the soap, you soak in the tub. They probably don’t do it now, but 30 years or more ago if the water in the tub didn’t appear too dirty with loose hair and it was still clear, it got used over and over again until it started to lose a little clarity, The tub was drained, scrubbed down and refilled with clean water. For some reason, it seem easier to clean oneself by sitting on a small stool than it is standing. I am sure it is completely psychological but that’s the way it seems to me.

      • Soap and bathing. When we were growing up in the 40s we were not one of those families that had running water. Mama would sit one of the washtubs out in the yard in the sun to warm the water all day, and then all of us kids took a bath in it. For some reason, the girls went first, before the water was totally decimated by the boys! During rain or bad weather we just got a pan of warm water from the stove, went into our rooms and took a “pan bath”. I think we were some of the cleanest kids around, as my mother was a fanatic about cleanliness!

        As for soap, we have made our own laundry detergent for a long while now, and we do have a clothesline and pins in use. We were volunteers for years at national parks where we did various things including making lye soap. In case of real emergencies, we can still make our soap in my old washpot. Red Devil lye is no longer on the market, but we do have some stored in plastic so we can make our own soap if necessary, having saved enough animal fat to do so. Making your own lye water requires a lot of ashes, a hopper with a small drain, bucket to catch it in, and we sometimes ran it back through the hopper to make sure it was strong enough. We occasionally make some just because we have people who want it. A good scrub with lye soap, let it dry on your face, rinse good with warm water and immediately follow with a Witch Hazel pat is an excellent remedy for acne.

        I am enjoying these posts, and the knowledge garnered here is valued and appreciated.

      • R.D.Baker, M.D. says:

        The ideas on this site are very ingenious / enlightening. We live in a semi-rural country area. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn’t. The “cistern” concept may be appropriate for some folks. When we get a fairly heavy rain, a lot of it cascades off certain portions of the roof and can be collected in the 5-gallon plastic containers sold at Home Depot. As these get filled, they (of course) are heavy, but can be carried up to the second floor (or wherever) for storage in the 55-gallon “container(s)” you just happened to have bought earlier… You can use a siphon/ stop valve arrangement with a hose from the (second) floor to use for showering purposes outside the house.
        OK – so it’s cold in the winter… it’ll separate the men from the boys, the quick from the dead, etc. Besides, women have a thicker subcutaneous layer of fat (really) than men. Just don’t go on a diet.

  12. Danny Preston says:

    David and the S. Diva, Great article. I’m fairly new on the prepper scene and am greatly impressed by your articles. So far, my family has started vegetable gardening, food canning/freezing and acquisition of weapons and ammo. (.22 long rifle, by the way, is almost impossible to find in this area of the Southeast—my local gun suppliers haven’t got any, even Wally World doesn’t have any, or at least they say they don’t have any—I’ve heard that their employees buy it first and sell it at garage sales/flea markets).

  13. left coast chuck says:

    Witch hazel is a low cost way to refresh oneself without using a lot of water. It is sometimes used to give sponge baths to the bedridden. You don’t need to use a lot of it to feel really refreshed. It will not sting private parts. In fact, it is recommended as treatment to help sooth hemorrhoids. Use a spray bottle to lightly spray on your skin and then a thin cloth to spread the witch hazel further. The best price I have found so far is at WalMart. It generally is in an out of the way corner in the pharmacy department. A small amount of hand sanitizer used after toilet will help conserve water and will help defeat fecal borne disease. Again Wally World has the cheapest price that I have found in my area, although I noticed the other day that Lowe’s carries it. I have to compare Wally World’s price against Lowe’s which I haven’t done yet. Don’t buy hand sanitizer that has less than 63% ethanol in it. CVS’s hand sanitizer is presently 65% ethanol but it is more expensive than Walmart’s on a per ounce basis. I anticipate that CVS will drop the ethanol content of theirs in order to compete price-wise more effectively.

  14. The Road does a fairly accurate job of describing a total grid down/collapse/SHTF/WROL scenario.

    Another one is a History Channel documentary called – After Armageddon – A SHTF scenario.
    youtu.be/Eym4PwHmUvI?list=PLU9Apt3956uUZIHHzPeuaPWs-NfPFBDch

    • Survival Diva says:

      Tim,
      Thanks for the FYI about The Road. One of my favorites is Red Dawn, but it doesn’t show the reality of living without plumbing. Just watched the Jericho series and that WAY underscored hygiene issues, but I’d watch it again : )

  15. Great article! ….. Will definitely try the laundry soap..
    We have an Artesian well and a septic system so are covered in that area….
    We have an old Maytag wringer washer powered by an internal combustion engine that will run on most anything. We don’t really watch movies so I cannot comment on that.
    We try to keep several cases of hand soap bars and toilet paper (Costco). We usually get to town once a month to stock up. Tooth paste is another item to consider or Baking Soda will work..

    • Survival Diva says:

      Jade,
      A septic system is GOOD to have. Keep an eye on it, though. I once offered to housesit for a friend in Alaska. The day I arrived, the basement was filled with sewage. Her septic had been ignored, overfilled, and froze–no way for the septic guys to fix it until spring. That was a valuable lesson that’s stuck with me ever sense. Just watch the septic level to avoid the same issue. Most septic’s will go for years without an issue, but if SHTF and a septic is nearing capacity, it could become an issue.

      • One other quick septic lesson…”flushable” wipes aren’t. We got an education on this mid/late winter when our drain lines slowed down and our septic started backing up into our house.

        Your diet and whether or not you take prescription medications will influence the health of your septic as well. Eat a lot of Splenda/sucralose (yellow packets) and it probably won’t work as well as you want. Eat a lot of real sauerkraut, drink kombucha, and consume other fermented items that add bacteria to the system and it’ll probably work a lot better.

  16. May I just ask why a tuff tub – outdoor tub – would be needed? Could one not use the tub in the house? I was assuming I could do this. Am I wrong?

    • Survival Diva says:

      Joanna,
      People with septic systems will be able to use their tubs and sinks–UNLESS their septic gets full. A full septic can back up into a house, typically in a basement if you have one. If you’re on municipality sewer in a town or city, sewers are likely to back up, but that will vary for some, because being on an uphill incline can help a back-up scenario. Even when there is no sewage backup into homes, tubs and sinks will not drain, and toilets will not flush when using the bucket method. That’s why something like a tuff stuff stand-alone tub is important to have on hand.

      • R.D.Baker, M.D. says:

        “School of hard knocks” dept. A lot of folks have a regular septic system that works on gravity to empty into the “drain field”. However, we are on a septic system, but our main tank must be PUMPED (the operative word) up a small grade to a holding tank from which it can enter the “drain field”. Problem is, that the pump requires electric current – (a generator, e.g.). In such a case, our system will sound an “alarm” if the primary tank is too full to operate.
        A backup will occur if we ignore this. So, we have an alternative power panel arrangement that lets us cut out the regular circuit box and use a generator.
        Find out what kind of septic arrangement you have beforehand. Blessings.

  17. Wow! One of the best I’ve received from this site so far,….and there have been some good ones! Thanks!

  18. M. Tucker Brawner says:

    As always, excellent advice.
    One tip – TSP(trisodium phosphate) is an excellent cleaner; powder diluted in water. Outlawed by US and Canada due to phosphate damage to environment, you can still get small packages of it in the paint department of Home Depot to keep on hand.

  19. Great Grey says:

    Plugging drains above the ground line will probably be a waste of effort. because it will come out the manholes first and then you may need to leave for health safety.

Speak Your Mind

*