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Old 03-27-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
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Belly in sewer pipe


We've had a troublesome toilet that repeatedly clogs up. About 3 times in the past year. Finally there was a clog that I could not unclog. Hired a plumber and he struggled with clearing it, but with a camera, he looked and discovered 2 bellies about 15 ft away from the toilet. This is in the master bath. Obviously, fixing it would involve demolition of a section of tile, and jacking the foundation to get to the pipe.

I'm not sure i can afford to pay for this repair right now. Not sure what caused the belly. But if we simply don't use the toilet, it won't get any worse, right?

Any other options? I got an estimate from this plumber, but will probably seek others.

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Old 03-27-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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Belly in sewer pipe


Okay.... I'll bite..... Jelly Bellies? Pork Bellies? What?
Never heard of 'bellies' in a drain line..... but I'm not a plumber either.

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
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Belly in sewer pipe


Why would you have to jack the foundation?
They way we used to check for deflection was with a pig?
What is the pipe made of?
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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Belly in sewer pipe


The only way to fix a belly or low spot is to replace the pipe on proper soil. Bellies can be deceiving, it may actually be a hump in the line that water can't get over. Either way, it needs to be repiped to fix it. You use the drain, but minimize the solids and paper! Schedule a maintenance program to stay ahead of the problem.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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Belly in sewer pipe


it is a 3 inch PVC pipe. it is under some tile in the bathroom. I guess my main question is can we hold off on repairs indefinitely? If we minimize use, or perhaps even turn the water off? What risks do i take by holding off?
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:28 PM   #6
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Belly in sewer pipe


There is 0 wisk if it's not used.
If this is a slab it was run through and it was not run correctly in the first place with not enough slope or a low spot there's few options.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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Belly in sewer pipe


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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Okay.... I'll bite..... Jelly Bellies? Pork Bellies? What?
Never heard of 'bellies' in a drain line..... but I'm not a plumber either.

DM
As long as you don't have a sewer pipe in your belly. . . . .
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:04 PM   #8
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Belly in sewer pipe


I had a piece of orangeburg pipe fail at my rental.


The house kept clogging up, but I had them flush 2 toilets at once while running water down the kitchen sink and that seemed to be enough water to float the solids past the delaminating pipe.

Your situation is similar, but you don't have a rough surface for solids to catch on, just a low spot. Run tons of water down the other fixtures in the house when you go #2.


Make sure it is running when you flush, and you should have enough water to carry the potentially clogging "items" away.


To go one step further, if there's a cleanout outside, you can get someone else from your household (or a neighbor) to be a spotter for you and pull the plug while you flush and watch down the pipe to make sure the solids make it down the line.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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Belly in sewer pipe


Depending on how much water the line is holding... sometimes depending on the camera the bellies may not be as severe as it seems, in most cases you can live with this situation. As mentioned by Eplumber stay ahead of the stoppages. Also keep your toilets properly flushing get as much water in that line as possible, usually these stoppages are timed. Here in Florida 5 out of 10 homes have bellies within the sanitary system.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:10 AM   #10
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Belly in sewer pipe


Bellies (dips) in a drain line have a tendency to hold solid material depending on how much vertical curvature there is. Depending on amount of solids, the solids may decompose sufficiently over time to continue on as not too heavy sludge with the liquid flow.

Liquid passes through with no problem if not obstructed by solids.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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Belly in sewer pipe


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Originally Posted by dcwcat97 View Post
We've had a troublesome toilet that repeatedly clogs up. About 3 times in the past year. Finally there was a clog that I could not unclog. Hired a plumber and he struggled with clearing it, but with a camera, he looked and discovered 2 bellies about 15 ft away from the toilet. This is in the master bath. Obviously, fixing it would involve demolition of a section of tile, and jacking the foundation to get to the pipe.

I'm not sure i can afford to pay for this repair right now. Not sure what caused the belly. But if we simply don't use the toilet, it won't get any worse, right?

Any other options? I got an estimate from this plumber, but will probably seek others.
If it's 15' away it's probably not under tile in the bathroom unless you have a huge bathroom. How many bathrooms do you have? Is this one furthest upstream or furthest downstream? When was the house built? Is there a cleanout outside the foundation?

I'm assuming then your home is built slab on grade. (i.e. no crawl space)?

Did the plumber locate the belly's in the line? Were you watching when he ran the camera?

Are you sure the low spots aren't outside the house? If it's slab on grade, the line outside would be fairly shallow in which case you may be able to fix it yourself.

If it is in fact under a concrete floor, as Eplumber mentioned, it may be best just to proactively maintain the line.

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