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Master Brian 05-23-2009 06:40 PM

sewer line
The question is....should I replace my cast iron sewer line outside with PVC?

Here is the story....

Building a pond directly above the line. The pond will be almost 3' deep, the line is 4'+ below grade. The house was built in 1915 and I'm sure the line is original to the house. The cast inisde has, and will be, all new PVC to 4' outside the foundation wall to a PVC cleanout.

The cast taken out of the house looks like some of it has started to corrode through, but the inside walls aren't horrid. I have exposed about 4'-5' of the cast that will be under the pond, because I wanted to see what it looks like. The part exposed looks very good. No visible cracks or rust. There is a small playground/deck area along the back 25' of my lot, so I can't replace that, which leaves about 30' of possible line to replace. Some of which is under a HUGE Silver Maple.

I should also note that when I bought the house from a foreclosure last April I had to have it snaked within 30 days of buying the house and 45 days later, I had to have plumber out again to get another backup taken care of. The 2nd time all they did was use a bladder to clear a clog. We then put root killer and something else down the drain and haven't had any issues in the last year.

So with all of that and given that I will be within about a 1'-2' of the line for 16' of the line, should I just do the extra work and dig it out and replace it while I'm there or just leave it alone and not fix what isn't yet broken? Even though the cast is about 100yrs old. I've had 4 people say they wouldn't mess with it, but none of them are experts or plumbers. One is a neighbor who lives 4 houses down and just opened his line up to tie into it for a garage and said his was clean.

Thanks for any input here, I don't know what to do. I don't mind the digging, but don't necessarily need the extra work.

hayewe farm 05-23-2009 06:58 PM

Better check with local building dept. and health dept. In this area you are not allowed to pond over a utility.

Master Brian 05-24-2009 09:36 PM


Originally Posted by hayewe farm (Post 277546)
Better check with local building dept. and health dept. In this area you are not allowed to pond over a utility.

I hadn't even thought about that. I actually have decided to move the pond to a different area, that way, I don't have to worry. So the question still is out there....replace or don't replace the cast with new PVC? It'd be about 40-50' of digging, which actually has been going pretty easy to this point.

Or do I wait until a problem exists? The pond won't be over the sewer, but I will have stone patio, and a small garden/plant area.

JDC 05-25-2009 12:53 AM

If it were me, I'd replace it before anything was put over it. My thinking is if I go to all the trouble to have a nice patio and garden area and I may have to destroy and rebuild them both should there be a problem....well why not eliminate the problem before it happens. There are some who will argue that you should leave well enough alone and thats not an entirely bad way of looking at it. If a problem did develop in the future there is pipe bursting or pipe lining available, but usually at a premium cost.

Like I said, if it were me I'd replace it now while you've got the project adrenaline running. You know the old ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Good luck!

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