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Old 03-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Duct tape plumbing fix


I bought my house back in July of 2007. There were a bunch of repairs needed that were worked in to the contract before closing, and would be completed before I moved in. A few days before moving, and AFTER we had already closed, the homeowner said they had some plumbing clog up. They had a big name "rooting" company come out and snake the line, ultimately finding roots that would need to be addressed. The homeowner took the hit, and just added this in to the work that was already being done on the house.The contractors dug a trench around a large birch tree in the front yard, and rerouted the sewer line to fix the root issue... or so they thought.

After a year and a half, I had a sewer back up so bad that I had to make an insurance claim to replace all of the flooring and trim downstairs. And even still, no one could figure out the problem or seemed to care all that much. After another year and a half (and several more minor backups) I had enough, and was prepared to start breaking up concrete to find the source.

Before ripping into the slab of my house, I decided to take a shovel to the front yard as a last ditch effort. I dug up the dirt area between my walkway and front porch, and guess what I found!!!!!!!!
Duct tape plumbing fix-ground-location.jpg
That's right, DUCT TAPE for a patch in the sewer line!!!!!!!!!!!

The new piece of pipe had been set in place, and then one or two wraps of duct tape around each joint... barely enough to hold it in place let alone make a waterproof seal.
Duct tape plumbing fix-closeup-ground.jpg

I worked as a superintendent for a construction company for a couple of years, and still have all of my old sub contractors phone numbers. I immediately called my plumber who came out the next day and replaced it. After they cut out the "repaired" piece, I finally got to see what was causing me so many headaches for 3+ years.
Duct tape plumbing fix-cut-out1.jpg

All of the waste water and sewage from my house had to make it through THIS!!!
Duct tape plumbing fix-cut-out2.jpg

The plumbers replaced it with a new piece primed and glued correctly, and even added a nice clean out in case something ever happens again.

After seeing this, I am terrified of what else the previous homeowner "repaired" in the house!

-Sean

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Old 03-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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Wow! Thanks for sharing your experience with the forum. It is truly amazing the corners people will cut to save a buck or two. Let's hope u don't find anything else like.

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Old 03-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #3
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Duct tape plumbing fix


Dang! When I read the title I thought you had found a fool proof way to seal up plumbing using duct tape. I guess its back to soldering for me.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #4
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This is a good example of why we need the death penalty.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:21 PM   #5
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Duct tape plumbing fix


Is that duct tape rated for ground contact? :-)
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
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Well to give you a bright side at least it was only buried 12 inchs down imagine where I live and things being at least 42-50 inches down.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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Dang! When I read the title I thought you had found a fool proof way to seal up plumbing using duct tape. I guess its back to soldering for me.
Hahaha. I figured there might be someone out there thinking that Duct Tape might actually work for a plumbing fix, and that they would happen upon this thread during their research.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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This is a good example of why we need the death penalty.
No kidding! If this is what I found in my yard, I can only imagine what idiotic things others have done... At least it was chewing gum holding it together!
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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Well to give you a bright side at least it was only buried 12 inchs down imagine where I live and things being at least 42-50 inches down.
I make rubber gaskets for a living so I can understand the importance of a good seal underground. Some of the stuff we make will be for a pipe connection 40'+ in the ground!
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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...no one could figure out the problem..I had enough, and was prepared to start breaking up concrete
They make snakes for the main. Wouldn't that have worked?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:52 PM   #11
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You mean to tell me that a soil pipe only needs to be down a foot in SC? How deep do your footings need to be??????
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:09 PM   #12
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They make snakes for the main. Wouldn't that have worked?
I had the main snaked several times by a big name company, and all they would say is "I can't find a blockage" and then charge me a bunch of money. They were snaking from a hole drilled in the main about 5 yds. down from where I found the clog, and towards the street. They never snaked back towards the house or they would have found it in no time. I was less than pleased, and I was going to have someone come in with a camera to snake from the downstairs toilet out to the road before I started busting up the concrete.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:15 PM   #13
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You mean to tell me that a soil pipe only needs to be down a foot in SC? How deep do your footings need to be??????
What are footings???????

Hahaha just kidding. This pipe is deeper than 12" it just doesn't look like it in the picture. Also, I've already ripped off half of the back porch roof (it was added by the previous homeowner, and didn't have enough slope), found a receptacle wire that ran out of the panel - drilled through the sheathing and siding - and ran to the back porch for an outlet - none of the wire was in conduit, and replaced the downstairs vanity where the sink was just an old steel bucket with a hole drilled in it for the drain so it would look "rustic" or something. I've spent so much money just trying to fix the upgrades and repairs that were done improperly by the previous owners, and trying to make sure everything is to code before I put the house on the market in a few months.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:37 PM   #14
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The picture of your duct taped sewer line just leaves me speechless.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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You mean to tell me that a soil pipe only needs to be down a foot in SC? How deep do your footings need to be??????
In eastern SC along the coast (low Country), there is never any frost in the ground. Fottings are often hand dug to undisturbed earth (a foot or 2).

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