Repairing Clay Drain Pipes

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Old 05-09-09, 08:52 PM
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Repairing Clay Drain Pipes

I just discovered a leak in my drainpipe leading out of the house to the septic tank. I have located the leak and it is in a joint between two sections of clay pipe. The leak is slightly larger than a dribble, but this pipe carries all the water (shower, sink, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and yes, toilet) to the septic tank. I am uncertain how to repair.

Someone somewhat facetiously suggested cement. Another more promising response was silicone. I am open to other suggestions, particularly from someone who is familiar with, or has experience successfully repairing this situation. Thank you.
 
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Old 05-10-09, 03:12 PM
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Clay Sewer Pipe

More info. is that a 6 or a 4 inch line? are the existing joints made with cement? how bad is the leak? is the pipe cracked?
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Old 05-12-09, 11:13 AM
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Cool More Information . . .

Thanks for your response. The information I have is recollection as I am at work right now, however, here is what I have:

1. I believe the pipe is six inch.
2. I do not see any cracks in the pipe. The water seems to be leaking from the joint.
3. I do not see any cement around the joint. There is some cement underneath the pipe that may have been used to fix the pipe, or perhaps just prop it up, however it does not cover the joint.
4. The leak is a bit more than a dribble. However, when we have the shower going, the laundry in full swing, and the dishwasher operating, the fluid comes out fairly steady. It would be like turning on your bathroom faucet on a very low setting. I hope that helps.

Anything you can suggest would be helpful.

ONE MORE THING: I dug up the area around the joint last weekend, but evidently did not use the correct appearal. I ended up with a rash on my forehead (from wiping off the sweat) and my underarm (from laying on some of the contaminated ground evidently). Anything you would suggest I wear when doing this.

Again, thanks for your input.

Theophilus
 
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Old 05-12-09, 11:54 AM
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not sure about the repair since most clay pipe in my area has been replaced but cutting out the joint and replacing with a piece of pvc and some shielded couplings would work.

are you sure it is considered 6" or is that just the o.d. measurement ? plumbing pipes are measured by their i.d. so for some reason i am thinking we would consider this 4" pipe if you subtract the thuickness of the pipe wall.

the rash sounds more to me like a heat rash. you get those when you sweat alot
 
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Old 05-12-09, 12:19 PM
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Smile Right On!

I think you are probably correct on both accounts. I was estimating the size based upon o.d. (and it was an estimation), so you are probably correct at 4"od.

The rash theory makes sense as well. I did not experience it anywhere else (THANK GOD!!! Beer 4U2).

I was trying to avoid cutting but there are others that are recommending the same. I was just trying to avoid purchasing another power tool (my wife gets concerned when I go out to purchase tools ).

Thanks for the recommendations. Very much appreciated.
 
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Old 05-12-09, 04:03 PM
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i know what you mean about the tools purchasing. i cant go anywhere tools are sold without buying one if i am by myself.

you dont have a sawsall at home? if you dig it out enough you could always just get a couple abrasive blades for a grinder or circular saw to cut it with
 
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Old 05-12-09, 04:48 PM
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Clay Pipe

I'm still not sure what you have, but I'll give you some ideas.

When they were using clay pipe years ago the minimum exterior size was 6 inch, could be someone cheated on the size?

The joint thats leaking, is there a space between the pipe and the bell that it goes into, maybe an inch?, if so you have one of the older joints that was connected with a cement joint, that can be repaired with some oakum and portland cement.

If you have to cut the pipe out you will have a hard time with a sawzall, clay pipe is extremely hard. the easiest way is to rent a pair of snap cutters. they work like a charm.

Make sure you have the diameters correct if you buy Fernco or Mission couplings, the type pipe and inside dia. is what you need to get the correct one. Luck.
 
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