Hot answers tagged

15

You only have to replace the wax ring if the toilet leaks. It's wise to replace it whenever you remove the toilet, though. It's not a matter of age, but the fact that a wax ring is intended to be a single-use item. They squish into place when you set a toilet, and that can't happen very well more than once. It's certainly possible that you achieved a ...


11

The two most common sources I've seen are dried out traps and a failing wax seal under the toilet. A failing wax seal may also result in water damage appearing from beneath the toilet. The dried out traps are simple to fix, just run a little water into each drain every few months. For a, more rare, problem at a PVC joint, you'll need to find the offending ...


10

You are correct that floor drains do need to be monitored and occasionally the trap refilled with water. So the first thing to check is that your floor drain actually has a trap. The way to do that is to slowly pour water in to the drain. You should notice the water level rise and stay there. If the water disappears quickly then it's likely you don't have a ...


9

You could make someone happy and have it video inspected and/or snaked (where "someone" is the guy who gets paid) but there's plenty of 100 year old waste plumbing still in service, and not being used does not harm the pipe. Dump 5 gallons down there and see if it leaves promptly - if not, then spend extra money on it.


8

I was able to find a reference to this in chapter 22 of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Household Solutions. Though honestly, I've never heard of this approach until now. I'm no expert on the corrosiveness of salt, but I would imagine the levels of salt in the sewer would not be high enough to rust the pipe. I'm also skeptical that the salt levels ...


8

You can use something like the non-toxic RV antifreeze which evaporates more slowly than water; Or wash the basement floor occasionally. A touch of mineral oil (the stuff sold for putting in people) may help to prevent evaporation by forming a surface film, but don't overdo that.


7

Drain pipes are generally run below the "frost line" for the region, and should never freeze in anthing resembling a normal winter.


5

It is obvious to me that the main sewer line is restricted somewhere between the house and town line. In areas that allow storm drains to be coupled to sewer lines, it is important that these lines run freely. If yours is backing up with kitchen waste, there is only one solution. You need to have the line checked with a camera. you could have a simple ...


5

Sounds like you are smelling sewer gases. Two common ways those will come up drain lines are from a dry trap (make sure water has run in each drain within the past several months) or a failing wax seal under the toilet (you may notice water damage under the toilet when this happens, but not always). The other issue could be a blocked vent line which would ...


5

If your shower (or any drain) is draining to your sump pit, you are overworking your sump pump and shortening it's life span. If you have a radon mitigation system that uses the sump pit, you are also creating a situation where radon can potentially enter your house. The only water that should ever be in the sump pit, is ground water. Aside from that, here ...


5

Cutting it off is a bad idea. Aborting the "process of buying" that you're in might be worth considering if it bothers you that much. Relocating it significantly would probably require significantly relocating the septic system, which is very expensive - so you might consider it a "deal-breaker." As for the location in the center of the yard, simply change ...


4

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that that pipe is where the downspout used to attach to the sewer system. Until very recently, downspouts used to connect directly to the sewage system. Many municipalities have passed laws mandating the removal of these connections because the treatment plant would often overflow during a storm, leading to the dumping ...


4

Gurgling indicates a blocked or improper vent somewhere. It could be a blockage where the vent goes up immediately after the shower trap. It could also be an improper vent that is installed too far from the trap, and the sump hole could easily be too far away. For example, if you flush the toilet and it goes down the same drain as the shower, it will be ...


4

Most homes will merge the vent pipes as they go up the walls so that you only have one vent exiting the roof. All vents need to slope upwards, so the guest house couldn't run the vent underground to use the vent stack in your home. That said, if you notice that drain lines are gurgling after the water goes down (indicating suction) or are slow to drain but ...


4

You didn't mention if the drain pipe is accessible from under the floor. Assuming it does not pass directly through a concrete slab, the only safe way to terminate and seal the pipe from backwash and septic gas is to cut it off and glue the proper sized cap on with primer and PVC cement. If and when you need to reinstall the drain, simply cut off the pipe ...


4

I have never done this. The first thought that comes to mind is an auto from the "rust belt" where rock salt is used to treat icy roads. the result is corrosion. I would think that the pipes would be damaged. If you don't have municipal sewerage I don't see it being healthy for your septic system.


4

Your problem is the sewer, not the "fresh" water. Activity on another floor is almost certainly sucking water out of the sewer trap at your laundry and/or bathroom sink. The dry trap then has no resistance to rising sewer gas. Doing laundry fills the trap back up. Here's what it might look like in the wall behind your laundry machine. For proper ...


3

I don't think it's common for this to be a regular occurance unless something is wrong with the sewer like a collapse, a belly, roots intruding or incorrectly sized. If there is something wrong with it, then this is not regular scheduled maintenance but a workaround for a larger problem. If you have any doubts the only real way to know is to have a camera ...


3

It depends, if the sewer is well designed, well built and does not have any issues, and you don't put a lot of fat down it will be ok for a very long time with no maintenance. However if it "has issues" then you may wish to have it snaked before it gets blocks and becomes an expensive after hours service call. The problem is you wont know until it gets ...


3

You will need PVC cement and primer, and a female pipe adapter (available at your local or big-box hardware store; measure your existing plug -- it looks like 4" in the photo). Dig out around the pipe to get enough room to saw it off near ground level (any sharp hand saw will work). De-burr the edge with a piece of course sandpaper or a file, and follow ...


3

I suspect you are getting an air bubble in the drain. I've seen the same effect in a bathroom sink with the stopper that can be lifted out. When it runs slow, lifting the stopper up results in a quick bubble followed by the water rushing out.


3

If the pipe itself is in good enough shape, you could just use a compression cleanout plug (sometimes called a mechanical cleanout plug) or a pressure testing plug: There are quite a few different styles of these, but almost all of them work by compressing and expanding a rubber gasket inside the pipe. 2.5" might be hard to find at the big box stores, ...


3

I don't have an explanation why one pipe is used over the other, but in all my days of running jobs, Sch 40 pipe is the only pipe used, no other kind of PVC. Cast iron is code too, but your question was not including that. I only mentioned it because that is the only other accepted material.


3

Concrete chainsaws can be rented. They would do all the cutting from above and simplify the excavation. Industrial sized hydraulic ones cut open doorways in poured concrete walls. Another option would be a flexible saddle tap..,which installs by drilling the concrete line with the proper coring bit. Fernco makes a wide line of drain fittings


3

If you were to cut this down, it may not only be bad for yourself, but your neighbors that are on the same sewer system (assuming this isn't for a septic tank). Your options include landscaping (plantings in the middle of the yard are common, particularly with a focal tree or flower bed), fake rocks, concealing inside of a bird bath or sundial stand, ...


3

Yes they can, especially in exposed areas. I've heard of sewage pipes freezing in the winter and backing up into apartments in NYC, with disastrous consequences, though the more likely culprit is something that was poured down the drain. You could always pour some boiling water down the drain to see if it would help.


3

98% of the time the answer is no. It is a straight line from the bottom of your main stack. The drain hole is a branch off your main stack. This can vary though but this is the norm in the US.


2

You have a couple of options. If this does not happen often, you can likely put a stopper in the drains which backup in the house, and just wait until the sewer is no longer clogged. To do this, you can purchase a "test plug" for each drain that is experiencing the backup (if you also get backup in a toilet, you will need to pull the toilet to install ...


2

I'm not sure exactly what kind of pipe that is, but they make runner plugs that you put inside the pipe, and then tighten a wing nut to expand it to seal. After you cut it off, try that. If that doesn't work, maybe just put a regular cap over it with the correct cement for that kind of pipe.



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