Hot answers tagged

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 ...


9

I was able to find a reference to this in chapter 22 of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Household Solutions. Though honestly, I've never heard of this approach until now. I'm no expert on the corrosiveness of salt, but I would imagine the levels of salt in the sewer would not be high enough to rust the pipe. I'm also skeptical that the salt levels would be ...


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.


9

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.


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

Sounds like you are smelling sewer gases. Two common ways those will come up drain lines are from a dry trap (make sure water has run in each drain within the past several months) or a failing wax seal under the toilet (you may notice water damage under the toilet when this happens, but not always). The other issue could be a blocked vent line which would ...


5

If your shower (or any drain) is draining to your sump pit, you are overworking your sump pump and shortening it's life span. If you have a radon mitigation system that uses the sump pit, you are also creating a situation where radon can potentially enter your house. The only water that should ever be in the sump pit, is ground water. Aside from that, here ...


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

It is obvious to me that the main sewer line is restricted somewhere between the house and town line. In areas that allow storm drains to be coupled to sewer lines, it is important that these lines run freely. If yours is backing up with kitchen waste, there is only one solution. You need to have the line checked with a camera. you could have a simple ...


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 ...


4

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that that pipe is where the downspout used to attach to the sewer system. Until very recently, downspouts used to connect directly to the sewage system. Many municipalities have passed laws mandating the removal of these connections because the treatment plant would often overflow during a storm, leading to the dumping ...


4

I have never done this. The first thought that comes to mind is an auto from the "rust belt" where rock salt is used to treat icy roads. the result is corrosion. I would think that the pipes would be damaged. If you don't have municipal sewerage I don't see it being healthy for your septic system.


4

Gurgling indicates a blocked or improper vent somewhere. It could be a blockage where the vent goes up immediately after the shower trap. It could also be an improper vent that is installed too far from the trap, and the sump hole could easily be too far away. For example, if you flush the toilet and it goes down the same drain as the shower, it will be ...


4

Most homes will merge the vent pipes as they go up the walls so that you only have one vent exiting the roof. All vents need to slope upwards, so the guest house couldn't run the vent underground to use the vent stack in your home. That said, if you notice that drain lines are gurgling after the water goes down (indicating suction) or are slow to drain but ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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.


3

Clear PVC does exist and you might be able to locate some from Commercial Industial Supply (for example). With regard to gluing wire (insulation) to PVC, a copious amount of epoxy or silicone should work. Luckily, the pressure should not be extreme. The most important instruction is to drill the hole just large enough to slide the wire though without ...


3

You want to make sure that all your traps have water in them. If your floor drain is dry, it will leak sewer gas. Also, if you have natural gas or propane, check to make sure that there are no leaks. Natural gas can smell like sewer gas.


3

The pipes were sealed with lead. Prior to pouring the lead a packing material ("oakum" not sure on spelling) was packed into the joint. This material can be cut out with a screwdriver, trying to heat it would make a big mess. In most cases when I need to open a cast drain I will cut a small section out at least the diameter of the pipe but usually slightly ...


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