I'm planning a hardware store run to repair my sump drain line.

Currently, there are two PVC pipes in the back yard. Near the surface of the grass, there is an exposed Fernco-style fitting between the two. This looks sloppy to me. More importantly, the far end of the drain pipe is above surface either due to long term buoyancy or surface erosion.

The pipes are slanted but at different angles, so I'm thinking about picking up a length of pipe and at least 2 of the 22 elbows to help get the right angle and depth where the pipe won't be exposed anymore.

Is there anything I'm missing in this repair plan?

  • Just for clarity, 1) the Fernco and the entire length of pipe that you want to repair are underground? 2) What do you mean the "far end" of the pipe is above the surface? If it is actually the end of the pipe it should be exposed obviously. How, exactly .. depends. You need to clarify the problem.
    – jay613
    Commented May 17 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


The Fernco-style (rubber) coupling allows opening it up there for cleanout purposes, which a pair of glued elbows won't.

That might be a factor in why that was used.

In general neither type should be left exposed to sunlight. Once it's not exposed to sunlight, the Fernco-style fitting stops looking like anything but grass (or an access box cover, depending on the potential need for access to take it off and clean things out.)

Lacking any picture in the question it's hard to say what option would be the better fix here. But there's nothing inherently wrong with a (properly buried, or protected in an access box) Fernco-type fitting in this application.

  • Good to know. I'll get a bunch of fittings to help lengthen and bury the pipe, and re-use the Fernco if possible. Commented May 17 at 17:56
  • Just be sure to let it drain to open and not close the discharge end into dirt or other buried impediment to free flow. Your question/comment isn't clear if you're just burying it during the run and it will still discharge to the open, or if you are planning on burying it all the way to the end.
    – Milwrdfan
    Commented May 17 at 18:11
  • Epilogue: The pipes should've been at different angles but weren't. When I dug out the far pipe I saw it was bent like a spring and popped out the rest of the way. Found a non-welded PVC coupler in there, so the pipe had been longer and failed. Dug a new trench about 8" deeper so the pipe would rest at its natural angle. The Fernco coupler was easy to work with so I kept it and buried it. Welded a new length of pipe at the end so it discharges in a nice spot. Commented May 17 at 22:05

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