I have an unfinished basement in a 1920s house. This weekend we had our second stoppage that required someone to snake the sewer line that the kitchen sink, dishwasher, washing machine, and basement sink all drain into (all drain to one stack). The part that is stopped is cast iron and in the slab.


I was wondering what the pros and cons would be for running a new pvc (or equivalent) sewer line from that end of the house to the front of the house along the wall rather than tearing up the floor.

There is a toilet near the front of the house that is already tied back in to the sewer line. I will get rough dimensions and pictures tomorrow, but any initial advice will be appreciated. There is also no intent to finish the basement as it leaks in nearly every decent rainstorm.

  • Pros no more snaking the line (they only get worse once they start to fail). Con kinda expensive up front and a big trench in the yard to the main. Its worth it to replace with new pipe.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:17

2 Answers 2


I think that is a viable idea. I know that the cast iron pipe can present some serious issues, cracking, collapsing, etc. Quality control in manufacturing of pipe has improved dramatically over the years. That old cast iron pipe had thin spots. Also, I would be concerned about the original grade as in pipe slope; was it proper and or adequate. If I had two serious clogs in a relatively short period in a metal pipe nearly 100-years old, I would surely be looking for a better solutions than to call the rooter man again. Use a pump for the basement sink. Good Luck. P.


I just passed inspections on new drain and vent lines for a kitchen sink and laundry area (all in the kitchen) ... I cut a substantial part of the kitchen floor/concrete when exploring the existing cast drain system. I first ran 4" DWV PVC in the middle of the kitchen, tying into the existing drain system, and then woke up the next morning with a better idea ...

Instead of burring the majority of my new drain under concrete in the kitchen, i decided to go under the exterior wall/footing and to the outside, and tie into the main line from there.

I think you have the right idea, go immediately to the outside, it is much easier to work outside, in that you are just digging and then simply backfilling once complete.

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