Repairs to an Underground PVC Pipe

Old 10-30-01, 10:43 AM
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I had a contractor come out today to pump out my tank. We had trouble finding the tank and he accidentally ripped a 3' long hole along the top of a 4" PVC pipe that runs from the septic tank to the drainfield. He said this happens occasionally, and to repair it, he took a piece of 4" PVC, cut it down the middle to make a half-moon part, and then snapped the part over the top of the existing pipe, thereby covering up the rip. I asked him if he should cement the patch on, and he said no. Was this a good way to repair the pipe? I am worried about possible tree root intrusion, sewage leakage into the soil (less than 20' from the house), and maybe rainwater intrusion into the drain line.
Old 10-30-01, 10:44 AM
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I am Talking About My Septic Tank

Sorry - I didn't make it clear - the PVC pipe is buried underground and runs from my septic tank to the drainfield. It has a patch piece on top of it now.
Old 10-30-01, 12:14 PM
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It should be allright.
IF it ever causes any problems, you will notice sewer water on the surface, and you can unsnap it, hose it off, dry it, and PVC glue it, IF ever necessary.
Anything beyond the tank should be just water only, usually in the bottom half of the pipe anyway.
I wouldn't worry about it.
About the only maintenance that is needed for a septic system is to pump the tank out at least every five years.
If you have trees or plants over or near your drainfield, you might want to flush a cup or two of copper sulphate blue crystals down the toilet every 3-4 months as a root-killer. Costs about $7 bucks for a 3-lb bag.
Good Luck!
Old 10-31-01, 10:05 PM
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To be really anal about this, that repair is in violation of the plumbing code. Will it affect your system, probably not. I would feel better if the guy glued the patch onto the existing pipe. To be really square the entire damaged section should be removed and new pipe should be spliced in with either fernco or glue couplings. If there are no trees anywhere near this then I would worry less about it. If you feel you need to use copper sulfate then be aware that it will kill all of the bacteria in your septic tank that eat the solid matter. I dont reccommend copper sulfate for septic systems.
Old 11-01-01, 05:45 AM
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Trees Aplenty - Another Question About Repair

There are many trees on either side of this pipe, and we cut through many roots while digging there. I won't be suprised if if roots get under the patch and into the pipe.

I will get after the contractor and see if he will come back out and fix it right - otherwise if I want to do it right I'll probably wind up doing it myself.

If the broken section should be taken out and replaced, how can you use glued couplings? I am starting with a buried pipe, and I can uncover the broken section and cut it out of there, but how do you fit glue coupling if you can't move the left or right section of good pipe. How do you get the clearance to insert the patch piece into the couplings?

Would you have to unbury the whole thing to some point where clearance can be made?

I really like the idea of just gluing a cap on to the thing.

The kicker on all of this is that my drainfield is sick - that's another story - bought the 13 year old house last year and I have never had septic before.


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