trapped in Alberta Canada


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Old 12-01-07, 08:35 PM
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Red face trapped in Alberta Canada

Hi folks! Heres the deal...I live in a mobile home with septic (leech) field. Its -28 and I have 2 large cracks in what I assume is my outflow (outlet) pipe. I have been living back in the 20's hauling every drop of water (toilet) etc. I have been trying to get plumbers to call me back but its the weekend so.........
Does anyone have any idea about what I could do or SHOULD DO? My husband up north on job and am at my wits end. I am a great believer and have always been a do-it-yourself woman but this is a new one. Any suggestions?
 
  #2  
Old 12-02-07, 04:16 AM
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Welcome to our forums stormlover!

It would be helpfull if we knew exactly what section of pipe these cracks are in, how wide the cracks are and how much liquid is leaking.

I might assume that it is occuring under the trailer and might also assume it could have been caused by freezing damage.

Without knowing more a possible temporary solution would be to wrap the leaking section with duct or electrical tape untill a permanent fix can be found.

If it was caused by freezing and you do get it flowing you should keep water running to prevent re-freezing.

If the pipe is a supply line which you would know if the leaking stops when you turn of the water supply then the only way to fix it is to replace the section(s) of damaged pipe.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 11:52 AM
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more info from Canada

first off thanks! I had noticed a "gassy" smell for the past couple months but was "ignored" until husband finally had to look under our trailer. I have also looked and this is best description I can give.
large pipe from end to end of trailor - 2 cracks that I can visibly see: N end main bedroom/bathroom - S end guest bedrooms/bathroom - septic field directly behind N bedroom
N----XX---------------XX---S THE XXX ARE THE CRACKS
now that it is so cold these cracks are visible because they each have a HUGE ICECICLES that hang from the pipe to the ground. My bathtub in the N bathroom seems to be where any water that gets away from me is finding a home. From what I see this pipe is insulated and wrapped but because of the ice I cannot see how large the cracks are. I was thinking of maybe take a blow torch to get ice away to get to the vital area and go from there?? Honestly dont know what to do - no plumbers around here returning calls - every contractor so busy they just pick and choose.
 

Last edited by stormlover; 12-02-07 at 11:54 AM. Reason: forgot an explanation
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Old 12-02-07, 01:17 PM
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Whatever you do do not use any kind of flame under your trailer.
It is very easy to have an accident and you do not want to be looking for a place to live............The drain problem is a piece of cake compared to a fire!

Honestly, I still don't have a good picture of what your problem is and why you need to haul water if the problem is with your drain.

Do you have water at your taps?
Is water from the leaks flooding the underside of the trailer?

All i can guess is that the drain may have cracked if it is the drain leaking because you do not have a proper pitch and water that has accumulated has frozen.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that because you are warm, likely have food, electricity and the water you haul you will be safe.
Don't fret over a minor inconvenience such as this.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 01:50 PM
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My read is that she has sewage pipes that run the length of the trailer connecting a bath at one end to the bath at the other, then somewhere along the way there is a drop to the underground septic. She has frozen sewer pipes under her house. Are these about 3" pipes?

It is simple enough to cut out the old part and replace with new. Then insulate your sewer pipes or put a skirt around your trailer to help prevent freezing. Also, be sure that your sewer pipes have a constant slope to the point where it goes underground.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 03:16 PM
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jill and her pail of water

Hey - yes it is about 3" sewer pipe running from end to end of trailor - one bathroom to the other! I have all the water I need no problem there - my problem is that my drainage pipe has two cracks - yes the pic like mdtaylor imagines.
And thanks Greg for the warning about the blow torch - i started thinking of that earlier this morning and kind of laughed when I pictured all the possible things that could go wrong - you are right - not good plan
yes........I have lived with this taking water out by the pail before and pride myself on not being a drama queen - what I think is getting to me is NO plumber around here will even return your call I guess my main concerns are that I am not damaging anything more before I can actually get someone out here.
I was thinking.........it is probably a half good thing that it did freeze up when it did - the clean up under there could be a lot worse I guess and I pray to God that it is only going to be cutting away the old, damaged pipe and replacing - I am actually surprised it took so long to happen - this trailor is not well put together - and the insulation is limited to say the least.
ANY HELP ON THIS ONE IS SO APPRECIATED - IT IS JUST A SCARY FEELING TO HAVE THIS GOING ON AND YOU HAVE NO CLUE IF YOU ARE CAUSING $1000'S OF DOLLARS DAMAGE MORE OR WHAT.
And even tho I am watching every drop of water there is definately "that smell" coming from my bathtub (which is the final resting place for any water that has been introduced into any drain). Thanks folks
 
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Old 12-02-07, 05:49 PM
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Hmm,

which is the final resting place for any water that has been introduced into any drain
Do you mean to say that when you use any drain that it winds up at the bathtub?
If so then the main drain line could be blocked by ice.
In this case the reason for the freeze up must be found.
Likely from a poor pitch on the drain line and/or the heat trace has failed.

If this is the case the pipe needs to be replaced and the cause of failure must be found.
The problem could even be a blockage in the septic line.

Maybe if you keep calling your local plumbers one will come.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 08:45 AM
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day 5

yup - thats exactly it "any water from any place that goes down any drain ends up in my bathtub.
Yeah I am going to keep on calling the plumbers!
Thanks.........and I noticed you are from my home province and I wish this was happening there where I at least have contacts and friends who are plumbers and this wouldnt have even been an issue.

Once again............thanks to everyone for helping me figure this out a little more
 
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Old 12-03-07, 12:21 PM
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Stormlover, I bet we are all wishing we were there to help you fix your problem. You sound like a gutsy lady - just the facts - no whining.

It sounds like the only issue is replacing a length of pipe that probably froze and burst although it is unusual for a drain to freeze. My guess is the drain isn't pitched properly. Make sure that whomever does the fix ensures that the pipe will drain.

And post back with an update.

OTOH maybe a move to warmer climes should be considered. Or you can wait for Arizona weather to get up your way as global warming progresses.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 02:12 PM
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I'll make a couple assumptions here:

a) The north is your primary drain, master bath and kitchen

b) The 'long' line with the leaks is only for the guest bath.


If your septic isn't froze up, (kind of early for that) and you don't have a plain clog to the septic I'd guess a water leak...dripping faucet etc.


Years ago I froze solid 20 feet of four inch plastic pipe because the float on my toilet wasn't adjust properly thus allowing a very, very small amount of water down the overflow tube. Seeing it was about -25 to -30F it didn't take long.

First I tried my trusty blow dryer......hahaha....yeah, that worked good.

What to do now? I taped 20' of heat tape to the top of the pipe. It took 4 days but it finally did thaw out.


I'd look for a small leak somewhere, espically in your toilets. Pour some food coloring it the tanks and see if it changes color in the bowl.


Baldwin
 
 

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