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105 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 ...
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  • 5,498
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 ...
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50 votes
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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 ...
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  • 26.6k
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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 61.1k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 1,001
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, ...
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  • 2,082
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, ...
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  • 53.3k
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 ...
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  • 20.7k
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; ...
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  • 33.4k
28 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 ...
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27 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 ...
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  • 95.5k
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 ...
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  • 133k
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. ...
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  • 912
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 133k
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:
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  • 1,153
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 ...
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  • 19.5k
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 ...
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  • 104k
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 ...
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  • 19.6k
21 votes
Accepted

How to create a hidden plug for PVC pipe

Given all the ideas, the obvious solution would seem to be don't use sand. Instead, fill the bottom pipe with cement. Or fill it mostly with gravel with a few inches of cement or silicone sealant ...
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  • 12.1k
21 votes

Must these old pipes be replaced?

Top image is a pipe rusted through, bottom image is a pipe with calcium deposits The lifespan of old galvanized pipes depends on water balance. If the water is alkaline over 7 pH the pipes will ...
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20 votes

What is causing these water heater pipes to rust/corrode?

Looks like minor leaks, compounded by mixing galvanized pipe and copper/bronze valve without using dielectric couplings between dissimilar metals. Honestly, any plumber installing NEW galvanized pipes ...
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  • 133k
18 votes

Is all copper pipe pretty much the same?

There are different grades and types of copper pipe that you of course should be aware of. However I think your question is whether copper pipe is really a commodity type product - whether there's a ...
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18 votes
Accepted

There is a pvc pipe that goes into my floor next to my water heater and central ac unit and its overflowing..but why?

Though a photo might help, from your description, this is most likely a drain, as you surmised, meant to take the flow from the water heater, should the over-pressure valve pop open or leak, and ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Should I run the tap while dumping boiling water?

April 13, 2016 Purpose: There is some disagreement as to whether boiling water can be poured down a residential kitchen sink without damaging the drain pipe. It might be assumed that if the pipe ...
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  • 6,064
17 votes

What is this mysterious pipe in my back yard?

This could be part of a larger yard drainage system. It could let water from the screened end of the pipe drain out into some buried drain field. It could also drain onto a deep buried french drain ...
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  • 61.1k
17 votes

How do I nicely cover this floor pipe in the basement?

I would switch it out for a flush cleanout plug and paint it to match as close as possible. You should not cover or hide it because it is probably for sewer clean-out purposes.
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  • 33.4k
17 votes
Accepted

How can I stop water flow in a pipe if the valve isn't working?

If you remove the blue handle, then there should be a shaft with two flats or a square end. Turn that with a suitable spanner or adjustable. Some will suggest pliers but then you can end up rounding ...
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  • 20.7k

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