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Old 03-05-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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can anyone identify this mystery basement plumbing???


My house is a amall ranch with a full basement built around 1950. I have a small plug in the floor. I can't figure out what it is.

I was thinking perhaps at one point it was a sump pit that was sealed over. The cement has obviously been patched around the pipe about the diameter of a sump pit. Perhaps the basement was always dry so someone decided to seal it, and leave a plug in case they ever needed to drain the basement?? Maybe it connects to a perimeter drain sytem?? Someone suggested perhaps it was an old drywell which seemed odd to me but who knows. There are old water hookups in that area, and I believe at one point there was probably a washer and dryer there. Can't connect to a storm sewer as we don't have any. My sanitary sewer line runs out about 4' above the floor so it can't connect to that. It's about 4-5' from the end basement wall, and about 2-3' from the back wall (roughly).

I started to chip away at the concrete at one point but decided that might not be a good idea. Of course I've tried to remove the plug without success as well.

Pics below. Any Ideas??????



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Old 03-06-2009, 06:24 AM   #2
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can anyone identify this mystery basement plumbing???


My guess would be a cleanout for the sewer line. It is often necessary to destroy caps being careful not to damage the threads, then replace it later with brass or plastic.

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Old 03-06-2009, 08:17 AM   #3
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can anyone identify this mystery basement plumbing???


Thanks for the idea. However, my main sewer line exits the front basement wall about 4' feet off the floor. Prior to the sewers being installed, the house had a septic. that exited the house out the back at the other end of the basement. It's also 4' off the floor (it's still there capped off).

Since my sewer line is well above the floor, I don't think that could be it, although it sure looks like a cleanout plug.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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can anyone identify this mystery basement plumbing???


Probably a drywell was put in to serve as a basement drain/washer drain when the washing machine was down there.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:07 AM   #5
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can anyone identify this mystery basement plumbing???


sloped as it is, i agree... capped drain.
if that A/C unit is a good one, shouldn't it be stored upright, not on it's back? thought i heard that somewheres.....

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Old 03-06-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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can anyone identify this mystery basement plumbing???


One of my buddies suggested th possibility of a drywell also. It makes sense to me that it could be some type of basement drain.

My house doesn't have a sump pit/pump. Some of my older neighbors advised me that my house has historically always had a dry basement. Nobody was sure if it ever had a sump pit. The houses directly around me all have pits with pumps that run in times of heavy rains. I guess I was hoping that this might be an old sump pit that was connected to perimeter drain tiles.

Although my basement is not moist at all, and I've not had any problems with water coming in, we did have one huge storm that brought the water table right up to the level of my basement floor. I have radon remediation, and as the table was rising, I could hear the water sloshing in the sump pits below the radon pipes. I knew I was in trouble when it kept raining steady and hard until the sloshing stopped; the water was right at the base of the pipes. Within a minute or two, I started to see water coming in through cracks in the floor, just a small amount, but by some miracle the rain then slowed enough for the water table to lower a bit, and then the sloshing started again and the table steadily lowered as the storm ended. I should mentioned this was a heck of a storm that dramatically flooded parts of our state, but I'm confident if it kept up the intensity, even for a few more hours, my basement would have been flooded (half of it is finished). My neighbors pumps were all running for days after the rain stopped, the people across the street had a pump failure and got half a foot in theirs, and many people in my neighborhood got significant water in their basements (lots of basement carpets at the street for the garbage men that week).

In any event, I would like to be prepared in case we get a storm like this again and was debating putting in a pit with a pump. Ideally, I'd like to know if there used to be one there. If so I would presume my perimeter drain (if I even have one) would tie into it. My property is too level for a perimeter system to daylight. I'm thinking it should either tie to a sump pit, or drain to a drywell somewhere on my property. Then again, for all I know I don't have a perimeter drain, although I've been told they were generally used back around the time my house was built, constructed of small lengths of clay pipe butted together and wrapped with fabric.

My other thought was, when the water table did get to the basement floor, I saw water all over the basement. Small amounts, but in cracks on either end, the middle, both sides etc.. Seemed to me, that the water table rose up under my house very evenly, which makes me think the soil under my house is pretty porous, and maybe a pit/pump could be effective even without being connected to a perimeter drain system.

I've even thought about placing a T in the base of each of my radon remediation tubes with a cleanout type cap, so that in an emergency I could use a utility pump to pump the water out of the radon pits rather than putting in a sump. Their Just PVC, so it would be really easy to do. I'm not sure how big the pits there are, but I believe they typically dig down a fair distance and make them pretty wide. I know it's really half a$$ed option, but I would just like some option in case we have another huge storm.

I've been soaking the plug with PB blaster to try and loosen the rust. Hopefully I'll be able to get it out. Maybe I'll give it a shot with a big breaker bar.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:20 PM   #7
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can anyone identify this mystery basement plumbing???


Got the plug out. The pipe goes down about 6" before making a 90 degree turn towards the front of my house, or away from the wall it's closest to. It must not be part of any kind of "sealed" system because I there's a lot of vaccum from my radon remediation system being pulled through it with the cap off. It's about 10' from the closer of the two radon pipes. I still don't really know what it is, but I'm pretty certain at this point it's not an old sealed sump pit, otherwise I can't see why there would be a 90 degree bend to the pipe.

I didn't know that about the air conditioners, thanks for the tip. That area of my basement is like a window AC graveyard. I've got 6 of them over there, unfortunately they are all on their backs.

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