I have had an issue that I have put off for a while, since I discovered it when the ground was frozen and there was snow on the ground.... we have been getting by with the laundromat for a few months now, fortunately I have 2 lines from the house to the septic tank, one on each end of the tank.
Every time that I had any time to dig up the line and check it out it seems it had rained and the ground was too soggy to dig. so I finally dug it up last weekend.
Today, I finally had a whole day that I could devote to this, in case I "ran into additional issues" like is common (and pretty much "expected") when dealing with plumbing/ I didn't want to be without my shower for more than a day.... I did succeed there.
On one line, is the full bathroom and the wash machine. On the other, the 1/2 bath, kitchen sink and dish washer.
Under the house my drain is all copper pipe.
The original problem was that especially after alot of rain, running the washer, and water would "bloop" up into the toilet and tub, never a problem with the drains that go into the other line and into the same tank. I rodded it out and looked down thru the cleanout with a strong light and it looked clear, as far as I could see. It didn't seem to help the slow drain issue at the time.
In trying to figure out the slow drains issue, right after the rod out, I had my son fill the tub with warm water and after I got down there to watch, and removed the cleanout plug, I had him pull the drain plug. and warm, clean water came out into the crawlspace around the pipe.
so I told them "showers only" on that end of the house, use the toilet in the 1/2 bath til further notice. (meaning/ until I could dig up and fix the issue)
I have had my septic tank pumped a couple times since I have been here, and the last time I actually had forgotten where the tank lid was so I started digging where I thought it was, and wound up digging up about 1/2 the line from the tank about 1/2 way to the house, traced that to the tank and eventually to the pump out lid. Ok, something strange here/// plastic pipe! Yet there wasn't any plastic under the house... Hmmm, where does the copper change to plastic?
I had (correctly as it turned out) figured that the copper corroded where it passed thru the foundation block. The plastic line is 4" while the copper under the house is all 3"... weird.
I found out that whoever put the plastic line in, had stopped with the plastic like 2' from the outside of the foundation, and they simply slid the plastic over the copper by about 16" and covered the hole. No coupler, nothing.
so, I went today and bought a stick of 4" and a stick of 3" PVC pipe, and a few fittings, so now the line going thru the foundation at that end of the house, is new 4" PVC. I attached it to the existing copper drain pipe under the house with a couple of Fernco couplers for now at least.
I had planned to simply glue the previously installed plastic pipe to the new one installed today by way of a standard PVC coupler. but here is the problem. Though both are "4-inch" pipe, the new pipe is standard white Sch 40 PVC, and the "old" plastic is some kind of gray plastic pipe. The PVC is thicker walled, and the gray pipe is too small (outside diameter) for a PVC coupler to fit like it should.
so for today, I attached new to old with a 4" Fernco. I really do not want to cover it back up in this configuration.
I am concerned that the old pipe, being slightly smaller, I have a "lip" at the bottom of the joint, that will catch drainings and start building up there to eventually clog at that point. so now I am going to have to dig out the rest of that line (again) to replace the whole rest of the way to the tank with the same Sch. 40 white PVC that I put in through the foundation block, so that there are no "lips" and it will drain properly/. What kind of pipe would that gray plastic pipe have been? Would there be any kind of "adapter coupler" available to correctly join PVC to what ever that gray stuff is?
I definitely know for sure, that this will solve the "drain back thru the brick" part of the problem, once I saw the pinholes in the copper bottom/ as I pulled it in from the hole in the brick.
I don't see how it would have anything to do with the slow drain part of the issue/ BUT within a week of telling my wife to start using the laundromat, the slow drain issue seemed to just "go away" We have used that toilet on that line sparingly since with no problem.
I am surprised that dirt, when it was "mud", didn't flow itself into that old joint of 3" copper pipe that the previous idiot just slip-fit into the 4" plastic and plug things up....
and, while I have never dug up anything near the line on the other end of the tank, being the same 50 years old as the one i replaced today was, I expect that side to do the same thing before long and leak back into the crawlspace like this one did.....
Edited by dodge trucker, June 26, 2016 - 07:18 PM.