I have a problem that is mind boggling. I bought a house and am now just getting ready to put a toilet in the basement, which has a cement slab. I just took the cover off the rough-in expecting the sewer smell, but to my surprise I got a drain full of poured cement, YES IN THE DRAIN.

What do I do with that? Why anyone would fill the drain with cement is boggling my mind!

  • Um, this sounds bad. I wonder how much concrete got in there. If it got far enough it could be blocking other sewer drains as well. – Hank Jun 8 '13 at 20:49
  • I have heard rumors that the use of Drano at incorrect water temperatures can cause it to harden (and will look like cement). – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Oct 2 '13 at 19:54

Since the ultimate solution may be to open floor and cut out the affected drains, lets hope it was only a poorly sealed cap.. Its worth a few experiments:

  • Screw in a wedge anchor in center (of cement in drain) and use several pry bars or jacks to lift slug out
    enter image description here

  • Drill a few inches down with a 2" coring bit (rented with a SDS max rotary hammer at local orange big box). Repeat across the face of drain, being careful not to drill through drain. Try chisel and point bits to see how deep it extends. Shop vac pieces as you go, in case you breakthrough (think positively).

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  • Call emergency hotline on the extended home warranty policy (its in with the mortgage papers)
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Sometimes pissed off sellers/foreclosures will do this to ruin the plumbing. I doubt this was an accident. Given the situation I would be very careful drilling the concrete.

You could make the situation worse if you drop a big chunk of concrete in your main line out to city. I would carefully try to get something very thin in to see how thick it is - like a metal coat hanger.

If it isn't "deep", I would jackhammer the area up and cut below the concrete line. And then replumb from there.

If it is deep you need to get at least to the first elbow and see if you have concrete there.

This isn't a terribly expensive thing if you DIY. It requires a jackhammer or sledgehammer, shovel, hacksaw, and corresponding replacement PVC. This isn't rocket science but you need to make sure you aren't dropping huge concrete chunks in you main line. I have been helping flip houses before and this was my biggest early mistake. I made a 4 hour job turn into a 20 hour job.

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