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Old 07-08-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


Question before the back story, what is this 3" pipe; why is it black when everything else is rusted to heck, and do you think it connects to the main sewer?

Info: There are 4 "drains" in one area of my crawl as you can see in the pic. The 2 small ones that wye together are 2" and one used to receive the washer and sink. When a 1/2 bath was added we connected the sink, washer, and toilet, and routed them into the center 3" black pipe and capped the old 2". Bottom line problem is that drain is plugged 99%. I tried a few liquids and foams to unclog it but I think all it did was break loose everything before the clog and make it worse.

The forground drain is has some type of cap on it and the small pipe that runs into it is from the furnace/AC. Strangely, the 4" and 2" pipes do not fill when the 3" pipe is backed up. The thought of a dry well came up, but this house has had city sewers since it was built in 1951. No problems for the last year and all the sudden its completely clogged. The pipe in question was there before they poured the concrete utility room floor when the house was built so it was cut off in the crawl in order to tie into it (see "floating pipe coming through the floor). It came up inside the utility room, similar to toilet distance from the wall but there is an entry door right next to it. Every neighbor I know shoves a rag in it and puts their washer or dryer over the top so it sits useless.

Should I continue draining into this, just snake it out? I'm part hoping that sitting unused for decades it just gummed up with hardened debris. Should I re-route the PVC to tie into the bigger drain and just cap the 3"? PLEASE HELP!!!
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Last edited by moneymgmt; 07-08-2009 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:22 AM   #2
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


Update: I tried the mechanical snake last night... drill motor behind the snake..... and it gets stopped about 2' down. If I push, it twists and goes flying everywhere. I went next door to look down the same pipe in his house (unused, and still with a rag shoved down it ) and it looks like there is a 90 bend at the bottom. I thought the snake could get around the "corner" if it is in fact one, is there something I'm not doing right?

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Old 07-09-2009, 06:25 AM   #3
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


Not sure I understand what you are telling us. What I see is a rusted trap that has been abandoned/capped, probably clogged. The white vinyl pipe above probably wen to that trap, but now there is no trap, that is a no-no. There needs to be a trap somewhere. The black pipe above used to go where the PVC now goes. Where did that come from, what fixture??? And a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 pipe running into a 4" main??????????? What is clogged????
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:36 AM   #4
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


Sorry, I'll try to clarify: The black pipe in the center used to go straight through the floor above; no trap, no fixture to it. Every house on the block has this pipe but nobody uses it. It comes up in the utility room and most houses have their washer/dryer over the top of it with a rag stuck down it. When we ran the bathroom drains from the second floor we brought them down the wall and into the crawl space, cut out 18" of the iron pipe, and tied into it with PVC. The 4" pipe is fine, I don't know what type of cap/reducer they put on it but all that runs into it is the furnace/AC runoff. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:07 PM   #5
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


The 4" cast iron pipe looks like an old pipe from a toilet drain that was discontinued. The PVC is 3" and is connected to a furnco. What is the furnco connected to? 3 or 4"? Maybe a remodel. You said a washer/dryer was put over the pipe upstairs. Is there a flange connected to the cast iron pipe.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:33 AM   #6
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


I gave in and called a friend of a friend to come out. No problem, one hour job he says. Two hours and one hernia later this is what we got ourselves into. So many joints connected together we cut it back at least 4' and completely re-built it all! Not exactly what I was planning on doing, but probably the best thing! 60+ years of build up had this baby nearly closed.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


Just found your post about the old pipes and clog - a good solution and great pics. Whatever works is the right way...........
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:34 PM   #8
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


OMG! That PVC would looks nasty! whats is with that roller coaster ride you are taking that 1 1/2" pipe on?? you made an s-trap in there. a Big no no. you will have cloggs in that at some point. that will be fun.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:14 AM   #9
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


hi, if the small line that you made the s trap for is a condensate drain, it will all work fine - that is the correct trap, even though it is a little large to drain a air cond. pan, or water heater pan. good work......
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:53 PM   #10
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Major drain issue... what is this pipe?


Make sure you have traps on all fixtures or you can get sick and it will be really stinky.

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