We changed our privacy policy. Read more.

Hot answers tagged

46

Do not enter the pit. Without proper ventilation, old septic tanks (and this sounds not enough different to matter) are prone to collect gasses that will kill you (without you noticing. And the people who go in to try and help you, until one is smart enough to use a self-contained breathing apparatus to recover the bodies that died before them.) It should ...


19

Even if someone was "working on the sewer lines with a vacuum" properly sized and functional vents would keep the traps from siphoning. So, you have vents which are not functioning as they should, whether from being built improperly in the "new addition" (since the problem is limited to there) or from some sort of blockage (animal nest in ...


16

You only have to replace the wax ring if the toilet leaks. It's wise to replace it whenever you remove the toilet, though. It's not a matter of age, but the fact that a wax ring is intended to be a single-use item. They squish into place when you set a toilet, and that can't happen very well more than once. It's certainly possible that you achieved a ...


11

You are correct that floor drains do need to be monitored and occasionally the trap refilled with water. So the first thing to check is that your floor drain actually has a trap. The way to do that is to slowly pour water in to the drain. You should notice the water level rise and stay there. If the water disappears quickly then it's likely you don't have a ...


10

You can use something like the non-toxic RV antifreeze which evaporates more slowly than water; Or wash the basement floor occasionally. A touch of mineral oil (the stuff sold for putting in people) may help to prevent evaporation by forming a surface film, but don't overdo that.


10

I'd use pea gravel, sand, or flowable fill. You want to avoid settling which could cause stress on the pipe and possibly break it or cause it to leak. So fill materials that need little to no compaction are best. The dirt that you took out will not compact well and it will settle over time. I'd only use it on top of the fill that covers the top of the ...


9

You could make someone happy and have it video inspected and/or snaked (where "someone" is the guy who gets paid) but there's plenty of 100 year old waste plumbing still in service, and not being used does not harm the pipe. Dump 5 gallons down there and see if it leaves promptly - if not, then spend extra money on it.


8

They are probably additional clean-out-points - my local inspector wants one every 50 feet (15 meters) along the line. But my comment that you should ask the people who put them in, who would know, stands as the correct way to figure that out. If so, they should remain accessible, but be protected from sunlight, as they appear to be PVC. You can paint them ...


7

Drain pipes are generally run below the "frost line" for the region, and should never freeze in anthing resembling a normal winter.


5

Your problem is the sewer, not the "fresh" water. Activity on another floor is almost certainly sucking water out of the sewer trap at your laundry and/or bathroom sink. The dry trap then has no resistance to rising sewer gas. Doing laundry fills the trap back up. Here's what it might look like in the wall behind your laundry machine. For proper ...


5

Cutting it off is a bad idea. Aborting the "process of buying" that you're in might be worth considering if it bothers you that much. Relocating it significantly would probably require significantly relocating the septic system, which is very expensive - so you might consider it a "deal-breaker." As for the location in the center of the yard, simply change ...


5

It turned out to be that there was no wax seal on the toilet. I hired a plumber who noticed that the toilet was wobbly and believed that a bad seal was the problem. It’s been a few weeks since he installed a new seal and we have not noticed the sewer gas smell once, so I think that was it! There were other clues. The previous owner had caulked the hell out ...


5

Check your roof vent for obstructions (leaves, acorns, animals) by running a drain auger (snake) down the vent. If it's clear (open) it may be an undersized vent or one that isn't located properly.


4

Concrete chainsaws can be rented. They would do all the cutting from above and simplify the excavation. Industrial sized hydraulic ones cut open doorways in poured concrete walls. Another option would be a flexible saddle tap..,which installs by drilling the concrete line with the proper coring bit. Fernco makes a wide line of drain fittings


4

Thanks everyone for the feedback and tips! Turns out I was able to get a clear answer by calling the sewer company: 1) They looked at their recent scopes and confirmed that our property does indeed have two sewer laterals. They also observed some corrosion and decided to come out and take a look. 2) They brought a truck out to our house and performed a ...


4

It could be Orangeburg (bituminized) pipe, which was used for decades up to the 70s. I'd remove as much as you can, and then use a shielded Fernco adapter (clamping steel and rubber), sized to the outside diameter. Be careful not to crush the old stuff. Disclaimer: I have no idea if this meets code.


4

First, you can try to douse the area liberally with a penetrant to remove any rust and corrosion then grab the screw with a pair of locking pliers and twist it out. Rather than pliers, you can try to use a screw extractor bit (easy-out), but that almost looks too small for that to work. If that fails, the screw can be drilled out and the hole can be ...


4

Pipe replacement is the most costly, but it's also the most permanent. There are (at least) two ways to replace the pipe, and you may not have considered the second method I'll mention. The traditional method is an open trench stretching the full length from the house to the sewer main, probably somewhere in the middle of the street. This is both slow and ...


4

Your undersink setup is quite unusual. Normally you wouldn't see three independent P-traps. What's happening is that as your dishwasher drains its siphoning water out of the other traps. This allows sewer gasses to rise through the sink drains. To correct this, have your undersink area replumbed to have only one P-trap with the other drain sources ...


4

A common approach is a rubber coupling (also called a "Fernco®" for the same reason adhesive bandages are called "Band-Aids®") Counter-intuitively, the last time I read the instructions carefully the ones with a stainless steel reinforcement (sheilded) were not recommended for burial and the plain rubber ones (unsheilded) (with stainless ...


4

The answer is NO: electrical wire has to be used in an approved manner. UF is approved for direct burial and use in an approved wireway or other listed methods. a sewer pipe is not an approved method in any of the articles associated with NEC 340.10: used permitted for underground feeder type UF. the answer is NO it is not permitted.


4

Can't be guaranteed but it probably will fit using your existing plumbing fittings. You have tons of space and plenty of vertical drop to the wall drain. Everything you have there is compression/slip joints that have some room to slip in and out and rotate. The new unit is 3/4" wider so you'll rotate it and the trap to a position where they line up, ...


4

Use two 90 degree sanitary tees for this, one for each sink. You'll never be able to unclog the drain with a tee as you've got it shown. If space is limited, you can use a double fixture fitting like the one below.


3

You could just leave it alone... I got fined $1500, and had to dig it up and replace it... for cutting mine down below 42 inches.


3

If the pipe itself is in good enough shape, you could just use a compression cleanout plug (sometimes called a mechanical cleanout plug) or a pressure testing plug: There are quite a few different styles of these, but almost all of them work by compressing and expanding a rubber gasket inside the pipe. 2.5" might be hard to find at the big box stores, but ...


3

I don't have an explanation why one pipe is used over the other, but in all my days of running jobs, Sch 40 pipe is the only pipe used, no other kind of PVC. Cast iron is code too, but your question was not including that. I only mentioned it because that is the only other accepted material.


3

If you were to cut this down, it may not only be bad for yourself, but your neighbors that are on the same sewer system (assuming this isn't for a septic tank). Your options include landscaping (plantings in the middle of the yard are common, particularly with a focal tree or flower bed), fake rocks, concealing inside of a bird bath or sundial stand, ...


3

You are thinking about this way too much. If you aren't using it anymore and the concrete is coming up the people doing the french drains won't think twice about taking care of it for you (for free) if they are reputable. It is literally one whack with a sledge hammer that they will have available. There is no use sawing through it or whatever if it is ...


3

Yes they can, especially in exposed areas. I've heard of sewage pipes freezing in the winter and backing up into apartments in NYC, with disastrous consequences, though the more likely culprit is something that was poured down the drain. You could always pour some boiling water down the drain to see if it would help.


3

98% of the time the answer is no. It is a straight line from the bottom of your main stack. The drain hole is a branch off your main stack. This can vary though but this is the norm in the US.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible