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Old 10-26-2016, 06:04 PM   #1
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broken opening on cast iron clean-out


I have a 4 inch clean-out on the main sewer line in my basement, just before the line goes outside. The clean-out is buried in the concrete floor and the opening is just barely above the level of the floor. It's also in a wall, but there is a panel providing relatively easy access. The house was built in 1965. At some point in the past, someone managed to break the lip at the opening on the clean-out that has the threads in it. They attempted to repair this by sticking a test-plug in the opening. The problem is that the test plug is just barely deep enough to get past the broken lip. This does a decent job at sealing out odors, but it is not water-tight. See the attached picture.

A short time ago I had a clog in line outside the house and black water backed up into the basement. Water managed to get around the test-plug and soak some carpet. Fortunately it was cheap ugly carpet anyway. It looks like this has happened before because there is some rotted wood and other evidence of water around the clean-out.

The outside clogged pipe problem has been fixed by installing a new main sewer line. With that work, we also installed a new clean-out on the outside, that happens to be about 5 feet, in a straight line, from the old broken one.

So I have a few ideas on how to repair this. Could someone with some experience tell me if I'm way off-base.

1) cut off the thin threaded lip at the opening so it's all level. Insert a new test-plug that fully engages the sides of the pipe. This option might be somewhat complicated by how deep the clean-out is buried in the existing concrete.

2) somehow solder a short extension in so an actual threaded plug can be used (probably have to pay a pro for that)

3) somehow just seal it shut and forget about it since I have a new one outside. (This seems like as much work as #2, so probably not worth it)

4) break up the concrete and cut out the whole cast iron assembly, to be replaced with plastic pipe. (I really don't want to do this one)

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:17 PM   #2
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Re: broken opening on cast iron clean-out


Ayuh,.... I'd go with #1,....

Cut/ grind it flush with an angle grinder, 'n get a new test plug,....
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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Re: broken opening on cast iron clean-out


My suggestion would be to replace that wing nut with a regular nut. Then cut off the bolt flush with the nut. Brush everything with a wire brush to remove any loose material. Then cover everything, hub and plug with bondo.
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:09 PM   #4
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To follow-up. I found a mechanical test plug that fits fully inside the pipe. It would seem to solve the problem nicely.
I'm a little concerned that the rubber seal will degrade over time, but this should last me several years.
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