Questions tagged [sewer]

For questions regarding the underground pipes that carry foul or "black" water to a treatment works.

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16 votes
1 answer
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Is abandoned sewage pit hazardous?

I own a family house that used to until about 20 years ago have a sewage collector pit in use. It has been abandoned for about 20 years now. It has concrete walls and roofing and gravel on the bottom. ...
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13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Plumber got his sewer jetter hose stuck. Whose fault is it? [closed]

On Wednesday, a service plumber came to my house to jet the drain for my kitchen sink. He came around 9 a.m. and by 9:30 had pushed his hose beyond the clog. Then he spent 3 hours trying to get his ...
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13 votes
4 answers
4k views

Strange suction in toilet and sink, like a vacuum in the sewer pulling the water out

This is hard to explain.. But I was sitting in my bedroom when all of a sudden my toilet started draining, then the sinks in the bathroom started pulling air in, then when the water from the toilet ...
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10 votes
1 answer
10k views

When to replace a toilet's wax ring?

I just bought a new house that was built three months ago. I unfortunately flushed something big down the toilet and had to take the toilet apart, turn it upside down, and fish it out. When I was ...
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8 votes
5 answers
23k views

Do I have to periodically pour water down my basement floor drain to maintain the p-trap water seal?

There is a sewer smell coming from my basement. There are only a couple entries to the sewer in the basement: A laundry sink that acts as the drain for a water softener (which regenerates every few ...
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  • 225
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

Do drain pipes (house to sewer) freeze?

My basement drain is backing up a bit recently. Before I call a plumber, or rent an electric sewer snake from Home Depot, can sewer pipes freeze? It is January after all (and my house is in Canada).
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  • 986
8 votes
3 answers
40k views

Why is sewage backing up from this outdoor pipe?

I just recently moved into my first house this morning and when I went outside I noticed this: What happened? What should I do? I have no idea what that pipe even is. I don't believe there is a ...
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  • 81
7 votes
6 answers
3k views

What do I use for backfilling septic pipe leaving my home?

I have a 4" PVC septic pipe leaving my house on the cinder block wall about 4 feet below my house. There was a crack inside of the part where it leaves the house and I need to replace it (from ...
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  • 77
7 votes
5 answers
45k views

Can rock salt be used for sewer maintenance?

I have read that flushing a glass full of rock salt down your toilet every month is good practice if you have a cast iron sewer line. Reason being is that the salt will kill off any tree roots in the ...
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  • 434
6 votes
1 answer
9k views

How can I fix the sewer smell in my bathroom?

After several hours and no use, the bathroom accumulates some noticeable "sewer gas" smell, with kind of garlic. It is gone after a few minutes when the ventilating fan is turned on. The bathroom and ...
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5 votes
1 answer
825 views

Restarting toilet line after 50 years

I have a sewer opening in my basement for a toilet. The flange looks just fine, but that sewer line has probably not been used in 50 years. Is there anything I should do before starting to use it? Or ...
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  • 1,781
5 votes
3 answers
575 views

When snaking the main sewer line, how do you know when you've reached the street connection?

I've had good success clearing out a blockage but am wondering - how do I know when I hit the street line? What does it feel like? Right now I hit a seemingly impassable point (I didn't force it) ...
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  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

What alternative methods exist to correct a belly in a clay sewer line?

In the first 18 months of living in my house, I've already had 4 sewage backups in my basement. Luckily the basement is not finished and I've caught the backup each time before it became a large ...
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  • 27.1k
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Should I use glue or o-ring joints on a buried PVC waste pipe?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of both systems of joints for "non-pressure" pipes that are buried? O-ring joints are more expensive, but easier to do on buried pipes. Glue on the other ...
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  • 2,285
4 votes
2 answers
39k views

Persistent sewage smell coming from basement drain

I've recently purchased a house and am now learning all the ins and outs of home maintenance. This summer, I've noticed that I have a very smelly basement drain. Particularly, it smells like sewage. ...
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  • 429
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are these two Sewer Pipes Coming up Out the Ground?

We recently had the old terracotta sewer line replaced that comes out of our house to the main sewer line There are now two pipes in addition to the sewer clean along where the guys dug up I planned ...
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  • 221
4 votes
1 answer
508 views

How is a septic system different from a cesspool?

Here in New England many towns do not have public sewer systems, so homeowners have either a septic system or a cesspool. What is the difference between the two?
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4 votes
1 answer
293 views

Need help identifying weird sized sewer pipe in older house

My house was built in 1954, the waste pipes under the house are cast iron and galvanized steel, as are the fresh water pipes. I have a clog in the main sewer line running out to the street, as well as ...
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4 votes
1 answer
23k views

How many vent stacks should a house have?

I just purchased a 1948 pier-and-beam in Austin. The pest control guy came to deal with rats, and asked me to locate my vent stacks. We seem to have one for the washing machine, but none is visible ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Stinky dishes and cups from the dishwasher - but only after it rained

The house I live in is 14 years old and is connected to the municipal water and sewage system in the Toronto, Canada, suburbs. I am on my second dishwasher. The first one was a cheapo Whirlpool, the ...
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  • 222
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

Sewer odor from basement floor drain

I'm experiencing strong "sewer odors" coming from one of the basement drains. This is an old house (meaning the basement floor drains don't have an elbow bend and instead run straight down / there is ...
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4 votes
2 answers
324 views

Bathroom toilet install - path of least resistance

I want to install a toilet in my ugly old basement and am apprehensive about how to actually do it. Here's what I have: ...and here's how my house is plumbed: So I'm trying to put a toilet on this ...
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  • 41
3 votes
5 answers
13k views

Is cleaning out the main sewer line a regular scheduled maintenance item?

I just had to have my main sewer line snaked, and the technician said it should be done once every 2 years. Is this really the case, or was he just trying to insure he has job security?
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  • 128k
3 votes
2 answers
891 views

Weird problem with kitchen sink water flow

I've had this problem for years and have learned to live with it, but today I got an idea to ask it here. My kitchen sink has a problem where the water flows away from it slower than it flows into it....
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  • 636
3 votes
2 answers
621 views

Can I connect a 90 degree tee to my plumbing that goes straight down?

I currently have a kitchen sink on the first floor which leads to a vertical pipe (illustrated in black). I would like to connect a bathroom sink to the same vertical pipe (illustrated in orange). Can ...
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  • 151
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to seal these sewer clean outs?

I have these caps just outside of my house that I’m assuming are sewer clean outs. The problem is the pipe is all corroded and the caps are PVC that are just set on top of it. They don’t seal as there ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I stop veggie garbage from coming out of my basement storm drain?

I keep getting onion and tomato peels coming out of my basement storm drain after doing any sizable cooking and putting it through the garbage disposal. The kitchen is on the 1st floor, the drain is ...
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  • 6,611
3 votes
2 answers
331 views

In-place sewer cleanout tee replacement?

I had a contractor roll over a sewer cleanout with some heavy machinery. It looks like the contractor may have amnesia about the damage and reporting to his insurance, so I may be out of luck and need ...
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3 votes
1 answer
103 views

What's causing the sewer to back into the tub?

We've lived in our house for several years with no sewage problems to speak of. A few weeks ago, my wife was sick of the sinks not draining very well so she went online and learned about cleaning out ...
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3 votes
1 answer
8k views

How can one test a sewage ejector pump?

I have a sewer ejector pump in my basement but it's in a sealed well. There are two electric cords running into it. How does one test it? For maintenance reasons. Can this only be done by a plumber? ...
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  • 985
3 votes
1 answer
529 views

Sewage coming out of concrete in basement floor

My basement has been flooding a little (1-inch or so pooled around a ~20 square foot area) for the past week or so. Whenever I pump out the water, new water starts seeping back in from through the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
301 views

Move or remove a downspout inside brick wall

I just moved into 1912 townhouse in DC. It has cast iron drain lines for the gutter downspouts. One of the lines is clogged, but I assume it eventually connects to the sewer. At some point in the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
360 views

When is service connection completed for water / sewer for new construction?

Is it after Final Inspection that the lines are run from the house to the street? I'd like to hire a contractor for the service connection portion and need to know at what point in the process this is ...
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3 votes
2 answers
2k views

How often do sewer lines collapse?

I have the opportunity to add some coverage to my insurance that would cover a sewer line collapse (amongst other issues with underground services). Is there any rule of thumb as to how long they ...
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  • 729
3 votes
2 answers
18k views

How should I fill in a trench left by replacement of a sewer pipe?

I recently had my main sewer pipe that runs underground to the main pipe replaced, and I left it open for a few days to check everything is okay, and it seems to be. This is just a small run of pipe, ...
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Sewer smell in basement - missing venting or other leak?

I recently started detecting a sewer smell coming from the laundry room in my basement. I think I only trigger it (and not every time) when I run my whole-house fan. I've been running this fan (with ...
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  • 196
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Backwater valves, furnace drains, and vent pipes

I'm having a house built and I got a picture of the drain pipes in the basement prior to pouring the slab, and it looks like this: The left blue circle is a floor drain for the furnace, the right ...
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  • 31
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does the breaker keep tripping on a circuit with two rooms' lights and a sewer pump?

I have a circuit-breaker that is connected to lights in two rooms, and to a sewer pump in the basement. I had the sewer cleaned out and the pump inspected, and no problems were detected. I then had ...
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2 votes
8 answers
47k views

Can I cut or cover a sewer cleanout pipe in front of my house?

I have a PVC pipe sticking up in front of my house, in a flower-bed area. It's 20 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. As I understand, it is a sewer clean-out pipe. It's rather unsightly and I've ...
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  • 2,375
2 votes
4 answers
616 views

Can I Run Electrical Wire through sewage pipe/ vent

I'm trying to run new electrical wire from the basement to my 3rd floor apartment. There’s a cast iron vertical sewage pipe that goes in the exact route I’d like the wire to go. But there would be ...
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  • 125
2 votes
2 answers
10k views

What could be causing the low water level in my shower trap?

I have a tri-level home with a shower on the lowest floor. When I noticed that the bathroom smelled like rotten eggs, I shined my flashlight down the shower drain and saw that the water level was low ...
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  • 153
2 votes
2 answers
5k views

How can I hide a sewer 'Candy Cane'?

I'm in the process of buying a newly built house and today the builder had work done on the sewer. When I saw the house I couldn't believe that they placed the 3-4" high 'Candy Cane' smack dab in the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
142 views

Sewer line repair - most cost effective method?

Background So I recently had a bad clog to which I had a plumbing company come out and clear out. A part of the process is looking at the finished job on their sewer camera. Our sewer line is made ...
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  • 640
2 votes
2 answers
125 views

Which of these is the sewer cleanout

I’m trying to locate the sewer cleanout. I found a box that looks like it contains it but there are 3 separate plugs. Which one should I use? I also found this which I’m guessing is something else
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  • 55
2 votes
1 answer
6k views

How to get rid of this sulfur problem

I just moved to China about a month ago to live with my relatives in an apartment complex on the 16th floor. Now, there has been a sulfur problem near their washing machine, and sometimes their ...
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  • 143
2 votes
6 answers
4k views

How do I remove or cut a sewer pipe at edge of our basement slab?

What's the best way to remove the unused sewer / storm-drain pipe in the attached picture? It's coming up through the edge of our basement slab where it meets the foundation wall? We want to remove ...
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  • 129
2 votes
2 answers
120 views

What material to make a custom sewer trap access pit lid from?

Just had my sewer line redone in my basement and when they poured in the concrete it created a trapezoidal shape and the dimensions are not standard. This is similar to covering a sump pit in the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
196 views

Should I avoid running conduit above sewer line exit on basement wall?

The prior owner of our house had an epoxy repair made on the basement wall where the sewer line exits (see images). We've lived here for 20 years and this repair is solid; there have never been any ...
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  • 373
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Sewage smell from kitchen sink area

(An update is below the pictures.) We just moved to our house in November and had to buy a new dishwasher. We had installers install it for us. A couple of months ago, we started noticing a bad odor ...
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  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I cut cement sewer line to add cleanout?

I have a home built in 1950 with a cement sewer line. I have had to have the line cleared twice in the last two years. The last time they sent a camera down the line and the line seems root free with ...
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  • 21