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104 votes

Can I pour concrete over a PVC sewer pipe without damaging it?

Move the hole. You know its in a bad place. If you break the pipe with your flag pole you will curse your own stupidity and hate the flag pole and that is how bad things start. If you do get away ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 6,593
51 votes

Is it a problem that my bathtub drains directly into the wall?

OK I am going to answer this like you are in the US. It doesn't differ much but to give a baseline. To sum it up - This is F'ing crazy as hell, unsanitary, and not code. So it looks like there is ...
DMoore's user avatar
  • 49.1k
50 votes
Accepted

What is this vertical metal pipe in my backyard? old well? septic?

Since the pole is so thick and there's only one of them, it could have been the base of a satellite dish - like one of the old 8' dishes (big, not sure of exact measurements). The height is about ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 28k
49 votes
Accepted

Why are the inside diameters of some pipe larger than the stated size?

1 inch pipe used to have an inside diameter of 1 inch. As the fittings attached to the outside, the OD had to stay the same for compatibility with the old stuff. The manufacturers fiddled with the ...
peter's user avatar
  • 456
44 votes
Accepted

Why does this pipe feeding a hot water heater dip down like this?

It is highly likely that that piping arrangement is made that way to facilitate the installation of a water softener. A water softener will have a need to accept a pipe with incoming hard water and ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65k
41 votes
Accepted

Why not put pipe dope on female thread?

The pipe dope on the inside threads would be mostly pushed out of the threads into the fitting. Now that blob ends up migrating to regulators and valves causing failures. If only applied on the male ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
41 votes

Adding salt pellets direct to home water tank

Ignorant advice from Home Depot - confirmed to be ignorant. And wrong. Water softener salt does not soften water. Water softener salt displaces the calcium (and other) ions bound to water softener ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
38 votes

Must these old pipes be replaced?

You're not an idiot because you asked an intelligent question! The problem with old iron/steel pipes is they rust on the inside which narrow downs the interior which results in reduced flow which gets ...
George Anderson's user avatar
35 votes

How can I cut this recessed PVC pipe?

When I had to do this for our basement I used an "Inside Pipe Cutter", a fancy bit that fits into your standard drill. Looks something like this: You chuck it in your drill, put the blade at ...
Jamie M's user avatar
  • 1,131
33 votes

Attempt to locate buried sewer line with melted snow?

I doubt that you could get enough heat into the sewer line to melt the snow on the surface. Even if it did, that would only give you a vague idea where the pipe run is, though it would be more ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
31 votes

Can I pour concrete over a PVC sewer pipe without damaging it?

Never, ever, mess with any pipe underground. No matter if it is any kind of plastic, steel, brass, copper, ceramic, concrete, whatever. No matter if it is used for sewer, water, gas, electricity, ...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 3,149
30 votes

What is this closed off pipe under my kitchen sink?

It is a drain cleanout. You can try turning it clockwise to see if it tightens enough to stop the leak. If not, have a bucket or pan to catch any spillage, turn it counter clockwise, remove the plug, ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 81.8k
30 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to use Category 1 80,000BTU furnace with 2 inch PVC exhaust?

HELL NO Whichever joker is installing an 80% furnace with a PVC pipe for the exhaust needs their license revoked pronto, because that's a patent CO hazard. Non-condensing appliances operate at flue ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

What is this humming machine in my basement hooked up to a pipe?

That’s a fan. It’s part of a radon mitigation system. It sucks gasses from under your foundation and vents them above your roof line, so that cancer-causing radon gas doesn’t build up inside your ...
nobody's user avatar
  • 6,731
28 votes
Accepted

Turn off hot water without hot water valve

My approach would be to turn off the water heater and the cold supply. Then open a hot tap below, or as close to the area of the leak, to drain the hot pipe. Then be prepared to catch the remaining ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 27.7k
28 votes
Accepted

A 1" T fits the pipe and a 1" valve does not, why?

That valve is for a different type of piping system called CPVC and the sizes and fittings are different. The difference is deliberate because CPVC is rated for hot water whereas regular PVC is not; ...
Jimmy Fix-it's user avatar
28 votes

What is this pipe

That looks like a gas line or black iron pipe. The shutoff valve is typical of gas it may be loose below I would use caution if you smell gas it could be leaking. If you have a gas service it could be ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
26 votes
Accepted

How can I temporarily repair a lengthwise crack in an ABS drain pipe?

Tape it. You are not proposing this kludge as a permanent fix. That's good. The wrap-tape products are good for an emergency bodge, and that's what you are proposing, on a temporary basis. The problem ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
25 votes
Accepted

What is this large pipe coming out of my roof?

Most likely an abandoned fireplace chimney, if evidence supports the theory that the bathroom under that area has been added recently. Otherwise they may have re routed a bathroom exhaust fan into it. ...
BigLake's user avatar
  • 972
25 votes
Accepted

What are these capped, metal pipes in our yard?

Even though 811 ignored them doesn't mean they are not a private utility. It is possible they are natural gas or waterlines, or were an electrical conduit however they are most likely just pipes ...
JackOfAllMasterOf2's user avatar
25 votes

What is an air bleeder valve, and how does it winterize pipes?

This is for an outside valve that can freeze. Frozen water can crack pipes and valves. Destroying them. An air bleeder will look like a small round knob sticking out of the side of the valve, under ...
crip659's user avatar
  • 25.1k
24 votes

Is there anything to help reinforce PVC pipe?

Either you glued them correctly (I prefer "cleaner, then primer, then glue" for the most reliable connections) or you'll need to re-glue them after the joints fail. Nothing you add to the ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
24 votes

How to temporarily catch leaks trickling down the outside of a pipe

Form a spout out of BluTack mounting putty (may be known by different names) and direct into a bucket.
HandyHowie's user avatar
  • 1,413
24 votes
Accepted

What makes a tee "sanitary"?

A sanitary tee has a subtle curve down, I suppose in hopes of keeping your waste going in the right direction.
Aloysius Defenestrate's user avatar
23 votes

What is this vertical metal pipe in my backyard? old well? septic?

My vote is that it is for a clothes line/rack. Water is just accumulated over the years from rain. Example 1: Example 2:
aaron's user avatar
  • 1,173
23 votes
Accepted

Does a drainage pipe need to be continuously sloped?

It's true that, so long as the exit is lower than the entrance, water will find its way through the pipe even if there are low points in the path. However, as others have noted, debris could ...
Greg Hill's user avatar
  • 30.8k
23 votes
Accepted

What is this spiral-textured pipe in wall cabinet?

That's flexible conduit, which protects the wiring for the range hood. It was apparently added after initial construction of the home. The first thing you do is switch off the breaker. Then disconnect ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
22 votes
Accepted

Can white bread be used to temporarily plug pipes for repair?

Yes, us old-timers have used this trick for decades. My father showed it to me in the 1980s. I did just a few months ago when swapping a water heater. The idea is that you plug the pipe with a gob of ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
22 votes
Accepted

Why are there loops of copper water pipe coming out of my concrete floor?

Sweated joints in copper tubing are not rated for soil contact. In contact with wet soil a sweated joint can corrode by electrolysis. In original construction copper runs under a slab are continuous ...
Jim Stewart's user avatar
  • 21.9k
22 votes

How to temporarily catch leaks trickling down the outside of a pipe

I used a cotton fabric wrapped around a pipe draped into a bucket - works well for slow flows.
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 27.7k

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