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Old 02-23-2016, 08:51 AM   #16
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Old clay sewer pipes under basement


Do not keep pushing your back. Mine takes about five minutes of standing, before I have to sit down, because I pushed it too far from picking up and moving stuff that was heavy.

You can pull a sample and take it to the local Public Health and they can test. If you leave it open for a while, keep in mind that anything in the dirt like mold, fungi, etc will become airborne. I would place plastic over and roll some bricks up on the edges to make a seal, until you can get down there to work if your back will hold out.




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Old 02-23-2016, 09:24 AM   #17
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Probably a good point, although the system was mostly dried out from sitting unused for about 8 months before I opened it up and most of the water is from the cutting operation. Hopefully it's a little less of a risk than it would be in a normal lived-in house.

At this point, my fiancÚ has an offer from her parents that they'll pay for it and she can pay them back once the house sells. I'm just waiting to get the proposals back and we'll turn somebody on and have the job done by the end of the week. I was told that the work I've done will cut a thousand or two off the cost.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:27 AM   #18
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Here's some pics, mostly of how far I got
Attached Thumbnails
Old clay sewer pipes under basement-1456241103030.jpg   Old clay sewer pipes under basement-1456241132473.jpg   Old clay sewer pipes under basement-1456241171790.jpg   Old clay sewer pipes under basement-1456241207327.jpg   Old clay sewer pipes under basement-1456241222481.jpg  

Old clay sewer pipes under basement-1456241233150.jpg  
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:30 AM   #19
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I would caution you against abandoning the clay. I would still tie it in because you never know what is upstream.
It was common for old homes around us for the gutter downspouts to empty into clay drain tile, which ran beneath the house and tied into the lateral sewer line. I have worked on a couple old homes in Huntington Woods that had a cast iron sanitary line, and a clay storm water line, each with their own separate cleanout where they exit the home. It sounds like that may be how this home was originally configured.

If that is indeed the case, I would still consider the possibility of water entering that clay drain line somewhere upstream of where you are working (even if the downspouts now kick out away from the home). If any water finds its way in there by seeping in through the joints or whatever, now it will run down the point where you abandon it and it will have nowhere to go.

I know you are planning to sell the house soon but I would hate to see anything done that could create issues for the next guy.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:10 PM   #20
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Well on a previous Royal Oak house I went through some q and a with the building department supervisor and they will disallow connection of storm systems to sanitary systems on any permit work that the connection is worked on so if I understand, any connections of storm drain system to sanitary would be disallowed and not grandfathered.
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:41 AM   #21
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Well, here's the bottom line on this... I don't have enough exposed to know the whole story, and as far as the storm system I'm not sure I'd understand it well enough as a lay person. I haven't put a plumber on contract yet, but I do feel pretty sure one of the plumbers I'm most likely to go with. These guys are going to come out and dig a little more so they can get an accurate plan in their contract, and they're trying to understand if the iron pipe is something they can tie into and what needs to be done so the storm is still connected correctly. These guys have been in business since 1925, 4th generation family owned, if you know plumbing in the area you probably can guess who it is.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:53 AM   #22
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Argh. Not the end of the story yet.

So this morning a couple of techs came out to get a look to get more information for the quote. The operations manager has always been the one to come out, he's been moving a little slower this week because he pulled rib muscles or something, and apparently now he's out the rest of this week.

They saw that the old iron pipe was backfilled with coal gravel. As this tends to be corrosive to iron and to PVC the whole iron pipe will need to be replaced and the coal gravel removed, and now their price is $7000. This price tilts the business case towards selling to a developer, or DIY.

So now I'm back to leaning towards doing this myself. Her decision really.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:54 AM   #23
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After a little more digging out to expose the iron pipes for things like getting a soil pipe cutter around it, I shoved a hose up the iron pipe as far as I could get it to see if I could blast out the blockage. This was a useful exercise because with more iron pipe exposed, I was able to see water coming out the bottom of the pipe where the pipe was rotted away along the entire length that I exposed.

I did speak with the operations manager, he's out because his rib muscle thing turned out to be a broken rib. Their price wouldn't be more than the original estimate guidance of $950 + $160/foot X 24' and he said it would come down from there since I had already broken some of the floor. But we have another estimate based on the same details at $2450 so we're going to get them started. It's another company my parents had used for a similar job.

It does leave me to replace the clay storm drain pipes I had removed (this is the case with either company) which should be a reasonably straight forward project.
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Old 02-29-2016, 03:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillK View Post
But we have another estimate based on the same details at $2450 so we're going to get them started.


... Except that this same company - the first one that pointed out the coal gravel in the backfill for the old pipe - informed me that because they're going to need to replace the entire pipe (after they quoted that they'd have to break the floor and dig out the remaining 10-15 feet of pipe - stated in writing in their quote) and because they didn't know when they wrote the quote that there was coal gravel (like I said, after they were the first ones to point it out to me)... They informed me it would be 5000-6000 to do the job.

So I'm back to doing it myself except now I lost a weekend and I'm out of town all week during the week this week and next.
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