Sewage clean out cap issue


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Old 10-12-10, 06:07 PM
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Sewage clean out cap issue

Hello- While outside today, I noticed the area around my sewage clean out cap was sinking (it's down about 4-5" evenly all the way around the pipe). This is a new development. I dug a bit to see if it was wet, but it was only damp. We did have 6" of rain about 10 days ago.

*Could I have a potential leak where the sewage pipe is exiting the house, causing soil to collapse around this clean out pipe?
*What should I do? I was going to dig down to see if there's anything obvious going on. I know I'll have to go about 3.5 feet down since I can see where the pipe exits through my poured concrete basement wall.
*There is also a cleanout on the interior of the basement wall. Should I look in there to see if there's anything going on? what do I look for?
*How will I know if there isn't an obvious leak? Will I smell sewer gases as I dig? Is there any test I can do to figure out the cause before hiring a plumber?

Thanks for any and all help! I appreciate it!
 
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Old 10-13-10, 02:58 PM
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How long ago was the clean out installed. If it has been in the past couple years it could be just normal settling in which case you can add some dirt to level out the area.

If the clean out has been there a while and the settling recently appeared then I would suspect a leak. There is no good or cheap test for a leak other than the shovel. You can dig down around the clean out and inspect the pipes for cracks, holes or leaks. Have someone inside the house flush a toilet while you are outside looking at the pipe and a leak should be obvious.
 
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Old 10-13-10, 06:15 PM
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Update on sewage clean out issue

Hi Pilot Dane-
Thanks for the response. You guessed correctly! Just came inside from digging. There's a leak-- a crack in the Y-connector on the street side of the line. It was glued, so I imagine the vertical pipe and a section on either side of it will have to be cut out and replaced? Also, it doesn't line up exactly with the pipe coming out of the house--maybe 1/4" off--so I guess the new pipe section will have to be a few feet long to make the adjustment and line the pipes up again??

Any guesstimate on how long it will take a plumber to repair this? I'd do it myself, but I'm a little sketchy and worried about the repair lasting in case I don't do it just right. Also scared about cost!
 
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Old 10-14-10, 04:48 AM
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Home improvement and plumbing supply stores sell the parts you need and they are reasonably inexpensive.

It sounds like the ground has settled, cracking the pipe and taking the sections out of alignment. You have a couple options. Hire a plumber which will probably be $50-75 for the service call then add materials and possibly labor, or you can do it yourself. If you DIY it's really not that bad. Digging the hole is the hard work.

Since the pipes are not aligned you can dig out the hole larger so you can use longer pipe sections to accommodate the misalignment. This will work but it is difficult to glue all the connections and get the pipe sections and "Y" in place. An easier route is to use a rubber boot/coupling connection. They slide over the outside the pipe and tighten with hose clamps. Since they are rubber then can handle a lot of misalignment and are easy to install. One rubber coupling with a short section of pipe on either side of the "Y" with the boot slid all the way over the pipe (retracted). Then lower the assembly into the hole and slide the rubber boots out to connect to the existing pipe.
 
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Old 10-14-10, 06:51 AM
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I agree, you've already done the hard part (finding the leak and digging for it). If you want to post a picture or two, someone I'm sure can give you even more specific instructions.

If you do go the plumber route, explain your situation on the phone and see if he'll work with you and give you a good price since you've dug it up already.
 
 

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