Leakage around sewer pipe


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Old 08-26-17, 11:56 AM
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Leakage around sewer pipe

Hi - new home owner. Want to start finishing our basement this winter but before I do I want to repair a very slow leak we have into the basement when it rains heavily. It appears to be rain water (no sewage smell) leaking in around where the sewage pipe passes through the foundation. It looks like the prior owners tried to fix from inside with hydraulic cement. All they did was create a big gooey mess around the pipe. I dug down on the exterior and exposed the pipe. From what I can tell, the coupling appears to be in tact, although the large side is obscured somewhat by cement (maybe another attempt by last owners?). Although not a plumber, seems strange the coupling is so tight to the foundation, there is no pipe at all I can see, the couple directly abuts the foundation. Is there a quick fix to this now that I've dug it up, should I try rubber seal, or is it better at this point to excavate the entire thing and chisel away some of the cement? Sorry the "test" of filling the hole with water hasn't entirely drained out in this picture.
 
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Old 08-26-17, 12:22 PM
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It sounds like you have two separate issues. First is that your foundation isn't fully sealed around the sewer pipe. Second is that the sewer pipe seems to be leaking.

With the two issues, I would probably start from scratch and cut out the bad pipe. Redo the connections correctly and then reseal the foundation correctly around your new pipe.
 
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Old 08-26-17, 01:20 PM
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How big is the pipe in the home?

Is this pic outside?

I see and issue with large pipe going into a smaller pipe..

I would dig more and replace the pipe through the wall with PVC.

Then think about sealing, tar, etc..
 
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Old 08-27-17, 11:03 AM
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Thanks,

The photo is from the outside. I am trying to attach a photo from the inside but haven't no luck, getting an error, I will try again in a bit. I have a plumber coming to look at it this week, possibly Wednesday. The leak is so slow - in fact is is essentially non-existent in normal rainfall, it is only when I completely submerged the hole in water that I got any moisture on the inside - that I am hoping there is some quicker fix than spending thousands on having the entire pipe dug out and replaced. Nonetheless if that is the best option I will do it.
 
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Old 08-27-17, 11:20 AM
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Its PVC outside is fine.. Im concerned about what that reducer fernco attaches to.. It looks like large diameter pipe which is unusual coming out of the home.

You just dont reduce like that..

Something is wrong there for sure..
 
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Old 08-27-17, 11:30 AM
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Old 08-27-17, 12:47 PM
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Just to be clear, it looks like 4" PVC running outside and tying into a larger pipe, most likely 5" or 6" clay. Does that sound about right? If so I'd remove the ferno (one way or another -- it might slide up the PVC) to assess. You may have to dig further and find another piece of clay to connect to. The clay pipe that I've seen comes in 3' sections that are mortared together. The pipe is great but the mortar joint will fail in time, and tree roots will find their way in. If there's been any settling, the short sections of clay pipe can start to resemble a roller coaster,

If you're getting rain water into the basement (not sewage) and you want to finish the basement you should address that independently of the building drain. You could look into a french drain (probably pretty pricey) or alternatives (google "water in basement").
 
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Old 08-27-17, 12:51 PM
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Whoa -- on closer examination I see something that looks round in the upper right of the larger side of the fernco coupling. If that's the clay pipe (and it's hard to tell for sure) then the PVC is not connected to it at all. More digging is probably in order.
 
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Old 08-27-17, 01:00 PM
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This is my best guess. I believe a larger PVC is through the wall with a smaller pipe running the sewage going through. It is hard to tell for two reasons - 1. they put so much hydraulic over the inside portion its hard to tell what the hell is there. On the exterior, the coupling is essentially touching the house. What you noted in the upper right appears to be cement - it seems like they connected the pipe and then cemented over it partially? The brown touching the larger side of the coupling is the foundation of the house, its that close. Pipe-wise it all seems like PVC, no clay anything.

I appreciate the responses, even though a plumber I trust is going to come and assess, the OCD in me likes to know as much as possible before speaking with him.
 
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Old 08-27-17, 03:25 PM
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Ahhhh its 4 " leaving the house. And probably 4" outside too..

I think that rubber coupling was installed as a way to stop the water. Becuase there is probably a sleeve. That fernco I would say goes around the sleeve.





I would dig more, remove coupling, expose hole and see what you got. Remove all that hydrolic cement.

Your going to have to seal the sleeve where it goes through the cement..
 
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Old 08-27-17, 03:28 PM
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I would replace the sleeve with a longer one...( If this is indeed the case, which I think it is...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsFktoexbQ8
 
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Old 08-27-17, 04:17 PM
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Thanks. Tomorrow I am going to dig it out even more and try and chisel out some of the cement around the coupling. If the house doesn't fall on me or my wife doesn't bury me while I'm in the hole I'll post an update.
 
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Old 08-29-17, 10:11 AM
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Updated picture. I have another that is zoomed out but its not loading.

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Last edited by lawrosa; 08-29-17 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Posted picture ...
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Old 08-29-17, 12:31 PM
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Now I'm confused (not for the first time). The large end of the fernco coupling is the house end and the white PVC is heading out to the street (or septic)? So the large end would be coupled onto a sleeve (like Lawrosa said)? I'll be interested to hear what the on-site plumber says.
 
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Old 08-29-17, 12:45 PM
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Water is either getting into the fernco, or its getting in around that gape you see where the sleeve penetrates the wall...
 
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Old 08-29-17, 01:10 PM
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Maybe it'll seal up when another stainless steel sewer clamp is installed on the Fernco?
 
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Old 08-29-17, 01:56 PM
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Correct the large end is on the house-side of the equation. Now that I've cleaned it out it is very precarious. Not only is it directly abutting the house but it is essentially concave to the rest of the foundation - if you were plumb an imaginary line down the foundation the large end of the fernco would actually be underneath the house, if that makes sense.
Something happened here, the cement around it looks like patch work. My question is is this the type of thing where we need to reinvent the wheel and blow out the whole thing and replace everything, or can I chisel away the cement covering the strap and try and seal everything with a rubber seal.

Finally figured out the image problem, sorry for the confusion, max image size was hampering upload
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Old 08-29-17, 03:50 PM
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Again, you can do what you want. Its best IMO to get a sealant around the pipe where the fernco clamps compress. As stated in that vid I posted.

Last because of the cement hack job, I would cut the waste line out so I can remove the sleeve. I would chip clean away the added hydrolock cement and start new. Add a new sleeve and make the sleeve longer. Like 2 ft away from the foundation.

Then cement that sleeve better from both sides. After cement has dried, we would then use tar around the sleeve to make the seal to keep water out. ( Im not sure they practice this art today). And years ago we never sleeve PVC as it wasnt required by code. Only steel pipe and copper.

Then repipe and add the fernco. Buty and be done with it...
 
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Old 08-29-17, 04:23 PM
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I want it done correctly, just wondering if it is something I can do myself or something I should put in the hands of the plumber. I have zero plumbing skills outside of installing a toilet and unclogging a drain. Not averse to trying anything just don't want to create a bigger issue.
 
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Old 08-29-17, 08:48 PM
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Earlier you stated that "a plumber I trust is going to come and assess" and you also stated that "I have zero plumbing skills". Calling the plumber would probably get it fixed with a minimum of fuss.

But... if you loosen the clamps on the fernco (with a 5/16th nut driver or socket) you should be able to slide it forward on the PVC and get a better idea what's going on. Hopefully you would be able to restore it to it's present leaky condition w/o much fuss. If you do slide the fernco forward, please post an image.
 
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Old 09-19-17, 05:40 AM
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I know it's been a while - my original plumber bailed on me, two others told me this project is better served for a mason, mason told me to seek a plumber (good lord), finally someone recommended a Pioneer Basement to me. I was a bit surprised but the manager from Pioneer thinks we are better served by clearing the hydraulic cement on the interior of the house around the pipe, then rewrapping the pipe and tiring it into the gravity pipe that runs underneath my foundation. He attached the following photos as an example of another client that had the same issue

Thoughts on this approach?
 
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Old 09-19-17, 10:11 AM
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Yeah... you're stuck with a multi-trade project.

I like the sealing work done by the basement person... but it doesn't really solve your initial problem of a possible leak. You're diverting the leaking water nicely, but when you dug down and have a puddle of water - makes me think that you actually have a leak in your pipe, not just in the foundation.

I really think you need to get a plumber to replace the pipe through the foundation. The cement work is easy afterwards and could probably be done by the plumber, handyman, yourself, or a mason. I would start there - and if you're still getting a foundation leak, go with the sealing.
 
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Old 09-19-17, 10:47 AM
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I apologize the water in my initial photos was actually from me filling the hole to confirm there was a leak of rainwater, as it was so minor that unless we have torrential rain I never noticed it. The prior owners disclosed the leak when I bought the house a year ago, that was my only knowledge of it. I do not believe the pipe itself is leaking, it's sewage so I'd imagine it wouldn't be pleasant, but I am going to contact another plumber to get their opinion on replacing the point, one of the earlier pros I called that punted to a mason did say he thought it was overkill to replace it, but that's also a person who admitted they couldn't do the work, so his opinion might be dubious.
 
 

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