What is this thing in my yard?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-15-06, 11:11 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What is this thing in my yard?

There are two capped, large, PVC pipes that poke out of the ground, facing opposite directions about 4 feet apart in my yard. There appears to be some sort of leakage around the pipes. One even has a ziplock bag fastened over the cap (?). We recently purchased this house, but one appears to have been buried until recently. We have city sewer (just outside of town). I have a couple photos to share if anyone would like to see them and help solve this mystery.

Our water bill in this new house has been double what it was in our rental home (same town) and we're trying to figure out why - then noticed these pipes. Thanks in advance.

Tyler
 
  #2  
Old 01-15-06, 11:36 AM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,813
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
A picture would raelly help. You can post one by creating a link at a site such as Photobucket (free) and placing the link in a post.
My first guess would be that the pipes are clean-outs for your sewer lines and allow for augering in both directions. You didn't say if the caps were glued or screwed on. They may just be a cap slipped onto the pipe.
One thing you can check is leaking toilets. Pour a couple cups of coffee (liquid only, no grounds) into the tank(s). If the water in the bowl starts to discolor, you will have to adjust or replace the flapper(s).
If you have a water meter, most have a leak detector on the face of the dial. It is a small triangle that moves when water is flowing.
Check these things out and let us know. Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 01-15-06, 11:48 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
  #4  
Old 01-15-06, 11:49 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
  #5  
Old 01-15-06, 11:52 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
These are both "pipes" sticking out of the ground - One seems to have a zip lock bag around it -

Both seem to have slight leaking. Is this normal? I doubt it.

I've tried the coffee in the toilet tanks.....nothing yet in terms of discoloring in the bowl.

Now typically if I have city sewage - Would this be a concern of mine or the city? In terms of having it fixed?

Thanks again for any and all advice.
 
  #6  
Old 01-15-06, 11:52 AM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,813
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
YUP, I think these are clean-outs. The plastic may have cracked causing the leaks or the threads on the plug need some thread sealer (teflon tape or joint compound.) You may have to dig down to the pipe to see if it is leaking below ground level if the water is not coming out at the top.
 
  #7  
Old 01-15-06, 11:54 AM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,813
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry, I answered before your post (after the pics) came up. If it is a sewer problem it is yours if it is before the main sewer line at the street.
 
  #8  
Old 01-15-06, 12:00 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Appreciate your help - Thanks -

One follow up question - When you say these are clean outs....is that for the city to use??

My thought just being these look like they were recently (within the past few days) uncoverd or worked on / with - (last week, when I was probably at work).

Both seemed to have been recently "unearthed"....for lack of a better term. Possibly by the weather (windy and raining here lately)....but it seems more like a man made type job -

Thanks again -
 
  #9  
Old 01-15-06, 12:04 PM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,813
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
They are for your, or the plumbers, use to be able to unclog your pipes. Don't know why they just showed up. Can't imagine the city crews going into your yard to do anything. At least without leaving a note or something. You may want to call them and see if there was a problem.
 
  #10  
Old 01-15-06, 02:41 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One last question - So if these are "clean out" pipes.

Should they be leaking at all? Near the surface? Obviously not.....but what is that telling me?

I mean should there even be any flow coming up into them to begin with?
 
  #11  
Old 01-15-06, 03:09 PM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,813
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I was going to mention that the pipes look very new. Since you just bought the house, it is possible that the previous owner had drain problems and thats why they were installed. There should not be leakage at these pipes. What that tells me is there is a clog backing the water up in the pipe. Good news is that you now have a place to run an auger from without messing up the inside of the house. If possible, you could remove the plug and run a garden hose down into the pipe. see if it backs up.
 
  #12  
Old 01-15-06, 04:11 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by majakdragon
I was going to mention that the pipes look very new. Since you just bought the house, it is possible that the previous owner had drain problems and thats why they were installed. There should not be leakage at these pipes. What that tells me is there is a clog backing the water up in the pipe. Good news is that you now have a place to run an auger from without messing up the inside of the house. If possible, you could remove the plug and run a garden hose down into the pipe. see if it backs up.

After some further inspection I see the one pipe (with the baggy around it) has a crack in it....where the top screws on....thus why it is bagged).

But let me ask....when you say run a garden hose to it...(and turn the water on...correct)...and see if the water backs up or simply runs through to the sewer??

There is definitely some leakage near these two pipes (this I am certain of).....however at the same time I seem to have no problems with any of my toliets or water system within my house itself.

Thanks again -
 
  #13  
Old 01-15-06, 04:47 PM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,813
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
A partial clog (lets water through but slows it down) could be far enough away from the house that the size of the line (3 or 4") would handle most of your water without backing up all the way to a fixture.
Yes, I meant to put the hose into the pipe with the water turned on. You may also want to have someone flush all the toilets at the same time plus running faucets while you watch to see if the water flows back up the pipes.
If you have trees within 10 feet of the line, you may have root intrusion. This is hard to remedy even though there are chemicals that claim to kill roots. The holes in the line weaken it and eventually it will fail. Roots catch solids such as toilet paper and cause partial clogs.
Once you have an idea IF the line is clogged and WHAT may be causing it, then you can get a plan of attack. Let us know.
 
  #14  
Old 01-16-06, 07:23 PM
Bob Haller
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
rock salt is excellent and cheap root killer. avoid use in steel and cast iron drain pipe.

I put 20 pounds of rocksalt in my laundry tub, add very hot water and mix. when its mostly dissolved quit and dont use any water for the day.

the salt kills the roots but doesnt hurt the trees. dont use in septic systems

cheap too
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: