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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It was a crazy weekend... Attached you'll see a before/after images of of my project. I appreciate any advice!

Before pic - My cast iron drain started overflowing alot from the washer drain inlet a couple weeks ago. I opened the rubber cap at the end of the sewer line and did by best to clean it out, but I didn't see a clog in ~10' of pipe I saw. The pipe itself still had water in it and took forever to drain towards me. Poorly pitched pipe 8 feet under by driveway all the way to the road?... But, it's worked for 100 years no, so I had to assume there was a blockage in the house trap. After the local rental store said they had no drain snake that could do house trap bends, I rented the cast iron pipe cutter instead.....

After pic - I removed everything and rebuilt a couple days ago. This included a few big changes after getting recommendations from workers at Lowes - Get rid of the house trap/vent because all fixtures are trapped, and use 3" instead of 4" because we just have 1 full bath, kitchen sink, dish washer, and washer. I also added a 90 to the clean out, so in the future I wouldn't have to deal with as much sewage running toward me.

EXD Sewer Hub / Temp Connection pics - It's still incomplete because the cast iron hub at the wall didn't work with the service weight ferco 4" x 3" donut I had... I should have an extra heavy duty weight donut tomorrow that I hope fits! For now I left a couple PVC connections unglued, and put a bunch of plumbers putty around the 3" PVC, which fit inside the 4 inch sewer pipe surprisingly well (I think I have it stuck in there about a foot.

Results - I could be happier. As expected the plumbers putty isn't holding back the drain water for showers/baths... so it will leak heavily from there if we attempt one. What lead me to posting here is after I attempted a shower I found water in the washer P trap with suds/water residue toward the very top of the pipe!.... :crying:

That must mean the pipes are still backing alot, right?... even with a poor connection to the outgoing sewer, and the improved pitch of the PVC.

Sorry to write so much before getting to the point, but here are my questions...
- Could the current backup have to do with removing the air vent that existed between the washer drain and house trap before?
- Do you think it must be a clog 10'+ down the sewer drain away from the house?
- If so, would it be better to work on/snake out the sewer dry before I officially connect the fernco, or flooded through the cleanout after the 90 degree bend?

P.S... After cutting the house trap in half... I only found a little sludge.


Anyway, I don't seem to be out of the woods yet. I'd be happy to hear any feedback or answer any other questions about the project you may have. Thank you!
 

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I disagree with what they told you at lowes. You do need a vent going up through the roof imo. House trap no, but vent, yes you do need it. Very important to the dwv system to function properly.


I agree with you, it's possible there could still be a partial blockage further down the line. Scoping first, then snaking. With 100+ year old cast iron be careful with the snaking. Could be very brittle it spots.
 

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If there is still cast iron underground connecting to the main municipal sewer system that may have failed as well.

After you hook the vent back up, if you are still having trouble with blockages/draining/backing up, etc., have your main sewer line scoped to the road where it hooks up to the municipal main sewer line to be sure there are no other problems further down the line. Just a suggestion.
 

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Cast iron rots from the inside out and becomes very brittle. As you have mentioned, your cast iron is over 100 years old and probably original to the house. Only way to know what shape it's in is to have it scoped.

Plumbers will be along shortly to help you out with advice.

Hope you get it figured out soon and everything goes good for you rbaldwin.
 

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You definitely need a vent, it allows air to draw in. Without a vent, water rushing down the drain will pull air anywhere it can get it, mostly through your traps and will suck the water out with it. Old houses I've been around are rarely vented very well, often just a vent on the main line, any branch lines are kinda on their own.

The pipe leaving the house probably does not stay as cast very far out. It likely changes over to clay tile or orangeburg. Tile can break or shift, roots can work in between joints and clog the line. Orangeburg is a man made fiber pipe, it's known to collapse over the years. My bet would be you have some kind of problems further downstream. Definitely shouldn't have water flowing back toward the house, that means a clog or restriction of some sort.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for your replies! I should have probably mentioned... there is definitely already a vent through the roof at the top of the pipe all the way to the left. I looked right up while I had the cast iron out and saw clear skies, so I know that's not clogged. Although ending in the 4" PVC you see, it changes over to cast iron about 10' up.
 

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Regarding the sewer line... Definitely sounds like scoping is a good idea. As much as I like DIY work, I think I'll make some calls.

Do you know if someone scoping and snaking the line would rather have the new 90 degree clean-out off so they can have more visibility? Or are there more benefits to having it under water?
 

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Your washer needs a vent. You went from 4 inch to 3 inch?? Now we funnel the plumbing. I hope your not planning on selling the house in the future. Getting that fixed might cost about 5 grand.
 

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Ok, I'll look into the vent. We haven't attempted to use the washer drain yet... but you're saying the additional vent between the washer drain and house trap was allowing the washer water to drain before?... or that it's been broken for years, and still is?

Not sure what you meant with the funnel comment?... Are you saying the 4" to 3" reducer is causing an unwanted funnel effect?

We aren't planning to sell the house any time soon, but I am interested in keeping it to code. From what I understood the house trap/2nd vent were obsolete as far as CT code goes. I was hesitant about going from 4 inch to 3 inch, but heard 1.) 3 inch is good up to 3 toilets and we just have 1... 2.) thought it was okay to reduce on a vertical after a decent drop... 3.) Learned after cutting the cast iron out that the inner diameter in some places was already the same size of the I.D. of the 3" PVC. I'm sure many of these points are often argued either way. I'm no expert, but given this, thought it made sense to go with 3".

When you say cost 5 grand, I assume you mean digging up the driveway to replace the sewer line? Yes, that's what I'm really hoping is not the case. Since it came on somewhat suddenly I do fear it's a broken pipe... but I'm still hoping it's a clog.

Thanks for your input everyone!
 
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