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Thread: Tapping new PVC sewer line into old existing clay line

  1. #1

    Default Tapping new PVC sewer line into old existing clay line

    Hello all - I am needing to run a sewer line from a newly remodeled outbuilding (in which I'm adding a bathroom) to an existing clay sewer line that runs from my house to a septic tank. I believe the distances and slopes will work. My question primarily is - what's the best way to cut into the clay line? (I've searched these forums and read about diamond cutters on angle grinders, saws-alls, and chain cutters.) The clay line looks to be about 6" on the outside, but after looking at the rubber clamp-on adaptors at the local hardware store it looks to me like nominal 4" clay is almost 6" on the outside - is that correct? I'm assuming I can cut into the clay line, use two of these connectors, put in a 4" PVC "T" connector, and be okay - , but I would appreciate advice from more experienced hands. Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default connection

    Us experienced hands would tell you that you cannot use a tee, and would wonder if the rest of the project is going to be done correctly.

  3. #3

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    With advice from places such as this and more knowledgeable friends, I hope so, and plan on doing so. I have no interest in doing a hack job. I put in a septic system many years ago on a house I built, including tying in a line from a second building (a mobile home where my dad lived) and it was all inspected and all was good.

    I typed "T" even though I knew it wasn't going to be an actual T, but I wasn't sure whether it should be a 45 degree or the type where the line comes in via a curve - forgive me for not knowing the terminology. I do not pretend to know the answers - that's why I'm here. I would greatly appreciate any help on both the method of making the connection and the pieces involved - I am just getting started on figuring it out. Thanks for any help, and all best to all.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    www.fernco.com makes the coupler you'd need. Not sure if you'd need a Y or a sanitary T...or if either of those are correct.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5

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    Thanks, Jim - I've checked at the local hardware store and they carry the fernco connectors, so I think I'm okay there. Any info on cutting the clay pipes, and also recommendations on the best connectors to use would be much appreciated. Thanks to all -

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I use a chain snapper on vitrified clay. Never had a problem with it!




    A k-12 with a diamond blade will also work.

    Last edited by Redwood; 10-16-2008 at 10:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I'm trying to sell my Ridgid snappers like that. Make the two cuts where you want to take the pipe out, then slide the snappers to the middle of the "take out" piece and loosen the chain so you can tilt the snapper to make a diagonal cut. After it cuts you should be able to drop the piece out.

  8. #8

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    Thanks much, HJ and Redwood, for the replies - I'll rent the chain snapper. Should I use 2 45 degree connectors to make the connection? Thanks again to all - DR

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    As in a wye and street 45? I'm not sure what you are asking.

  10. #10

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    I'm coming in at a 90 degree angle, basically. What connecting fittings are best - a 90 degree sanitary T or a 45 degree wye and then another 45 degree bend? Forgive me if I am too ignorant to properly ask the question, and thanks again for your help.

  11. #11
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Sewer being involved, I shudder at the likelihood that this is done up to code.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    seeing as you are talking about entering a horizontal run a wye and 45 el would be appropriate.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Or a combination Y-1/8 bend, but NEVER a sanitary tee.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsotall View Post
    Sewer being involved, I shudder at the likelihood that this is done up to code.
    I know I sound like a frigging idiot, but truly I'm not, or truly I intend on doing a good job. As I mentioned earlier, I built a passive solar adobe house back in the '80's, and I did all the plumbing, both septic system and household, and I did a good job and everything worked. It's just been a long time, and when I started thinking about this project, it was like I couldn't remember a darn thing. But once I stood in front of the bins of plumbing stuff at the supply store, I felt like it was coming back - of course its a wye. But I still need some serious refresher work from some books and advice from places like this - and I'll get them.

    One thing I've noticed - if you want to gain a deep appreciation of almost any trade, try doing it yourself. I make most of my living as a recording engineer, and I often work on projects that people started at home, as home recording gear is very easy to come by. But then people often wonder, "Why does my music sound like you know what?" And then they either spend a lot of time figuring out what to do to make it sound better, or take it to someone who's been doing it for 30 years that can help them.

    And so it is with so many things - I'd love to hire someone to do this who really knows what they are doing, but I'm at the tail end of a new recording studio building project, and the bucks are a little hard to come by, so here I am, gaining a fuller appreciation for plumbers!

    But anyway, thanks so much for your input and help - I may post back here with some q's about interior plumbing soon, if you all can put up with more stupid questions. But I also believe that, for me, the only thing more stupid than a stupid question is not asking it. Thanks again for the help, and all best to all!

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    and I did a good job and everything worked

    Who said you did a good job? And "working" is all that the typical handyman or DIYer worries about, not whether it is done properly.

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