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46 votes
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Is abandoned sewage pit hazardous?

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 ...
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  • 137k
20 votes
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Strange suction in toilet and sink, like a vacuum in the sewer pulling the water out

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 ...
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  • 137k
16 votes
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When to replace a toilet's wax ring?

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 ...
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  • 106k
14 votes

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

WOW! So you got a plumber to unclog a drain, he screwed up and got his hose stuck, then wanted to cut pipes to find it, then wanted you to pump the septic tank to see if they could find it there. WOW,...
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12 votes
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Persistent sewage smell coming from basement drain

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 ...
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  • 19k
11 votes
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Do I have to periodically pour water down my basement floor drain to maintain the p-trap water seal?

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) ...
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  • 137k
10 votes

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

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 ...
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9 votes
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Restarting toilet line after 50 years

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 ...
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  • 137k
8 votes
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What are these two Sewer Pipes Coming up Out the Ground?

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, ...
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  • 137k
8 votes

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

I do not think there are any lawyers here. But you have the evidence (the photo) IMHO: With it you can ask the plumber to pay for repairs and getting it out. Unless it is some cowboy, he has a license ...
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  • 1,991
8 votes

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

Unless they roll over when you tell them to pound sand (they should!) I'd try to get a quick consult with someone versed in the laws of your area. Maybe get a strongly worded letter from them on ...
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7 votes

Do drain pipes (house to sewer) freeze?

Drain pipes are generally run below the "frost line" for the region, and should never freeze in anthing resembling a normal winter.
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  • 16k
5 votes

How can I hide a sewer 'Candy Cane'?

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 ...
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  • 137k
5 votes
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Sewer gas smell in replumbed old house

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 ...
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  • 333
5 votes

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

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.
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  • 10.8k
4 votes

How can I cut cement sewer line to add cleanout?

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 ...
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  • 12k
4 votes

Mystery pipes in basement - where do they go?

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

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) ...
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  • 46.2k
4 votes
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Need help identifying weird sized sewer pipe in older house

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 ...
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  • 106k
4 votes
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What's causing the sewer to back into the tub?

It turns out that there was a partial blockage in our drain between the DWV and the main sewer line. Because it was a partial blockage, some water could drain, but when there was a lot of water, and ...
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4 votes

Snapped off screw on sewer vent cover

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 ...
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  • 26.6k
4 votes

Sewer line repair - most cost effective method?

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 ...
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  • 20.3k
4 votes

Sewage smell from kitchen sink area

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 ...
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  • 8,633
4 votes

How to seal these sewer clean outs?

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 ...
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  • 137k
4 votes
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Can I Run Electrical Wire through sewage pipe/ vent

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 ...
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  • 98.3k
4 votes
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Can I connect a 90 degree tee to my plumbing that goes straight down?

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 ...
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  • 55.4k
3 votes

How can I hide a sewer 'Candy Cane'?

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 (...
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  • 42k
3 votes

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

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.
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  • 31
3 votes

How can I repair this sewer cap?

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 ...
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  • 6,825
3 votes

What Type of PVC pipe is required for a septic tank inlet?

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 ...
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  • 31.3k

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