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Thread: Sewer Pipe Leak at Joint in Basement Wall

  1. #1

    Question Sewer Pipe Leak at Joint in Basement Wall

    I have an apparent leak in my sewer pipe drain (PVC) where it exits the house in the basement wall and connects to the drain pipe leading to the septic tank. The basement wall under the pipe is wet. To rule out rain water causing the wetness, I dug outside where the pipe is exiting the house down to the top of the pipe and the ground is very dry. Iíve opened the cleanout to visually inspect the inside of the pipe and the only possible point where it may be leaking (that I can see) is at the horizontal joint between the two PVC pipes (the pipe leading to tank and cleanout tee).

    Iím not a plumber by any means, and I tried calling one but never received a call back. While Iím waiting, I thought I would try something myself. I cleaned and caulked the joint with silicone II (as best I could as it was somewhat hard to reach Ė it's about 18Ē from the cleanout). I put a fan on the wall yesterday and had it pretty dry last night, but unfortunately, I donít think the silicone did the trick as there's another wet spot this morning. RATS

    Iíd like to remodel my basement and put up walls, but until this leak is fixed, I canít cover up the block wall. What are my options here? I hate the thought of having to replace the PVC sections since it would require busting out the concrete surrounding the pipe exiting the house, and digging down under the PVC in the ground. A big ugly expensive job. One more note, I donít think this is a new leak since I just moved a work bench away from the wall and noticed how wet it was from the pipe all the way to the concrete floor.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Jerry

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Your best bet is to find a plumber that will respond. There is no way to seal a bad PVC joint, so the joint must be redone. You and I could repair it by breaking out the wall, but a plumber probable can employ special tools and techniques that would avoid that.

  3. #3

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    Thank you for the response. I was hoping for a different (easier and cheaper) solution. Oh well. That's the way it goes. Without seeing it, how much of the pipe (leading to the tank) would you guess should be replaced? Just a foot of so? thanks, Jerry

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Strictly a blind guess, but I would suspect the problem is that the coupling did no get enough cement when it was assembled and if that is the case very little pipe would have to be replaced. The expense of this job will not be in the material used, PVC pipe and fittings are cheap.

    Here's a question for you. How is the hole in the wall where the pipe goes through sealed? What I'm thinking is if you can remove the sealant (caulking) around the pipe, then you could cut the pipe off on each side of the wall and slide the leaking portion out. Put a coupler on the sewer side, slide a new piece of pipe through the wall from the inside, then connect that pipe to the drain on the inside. You'd have to either get some movement on the inside drain to be able to slip the end into a coupler or use a no-hub connector.

  5. #5

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    Good idea, but unfortunately the pipe is surrounded by concrete. It looks like the only way to remove the pipe is to bust out the concrete around it. I wish there was some way to slide some sort of sleeve inside of the pipe and seal it, but that's pretty far fetched I guess. thanks for the ideas.

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