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Thread: Odd trap / drain depth question.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member RPN's Avatar
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    Default Odd trap / drain depth question.

    As I noted in a different thread, a licensed plumber will be plumbing (at least DWV) a bathroom addition for me.

    In the drawing below, there is a soon to be poured concrete slab (in green) and also a soon to be poured foundation (in white).

    In order to maintain access to the second port of the septic tank, there has to be a slight "crawl space". As it happens, the shower drain will also need to run through this area.

    When we pour the foundation, we will need to provide an opening in the foundation for the shower drain to meet up with the tub drain.

    My question is: What is a good distance (vertically) from the bottom of the shower to the port in the foundation?

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  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Your plumber will know what to set grade at.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    WHY is the shower drain "outside" the foundation? Is the septic tank going to be under the house?, If so, that is a No-No. If the foundation went straight there would not be a need for a shower drain "port". The drain system installation will determine the shower drain height, NOT the other way around. Trust your plumber to install it correctly.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member RPN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Your plumber will know what to set grade at.

    Yes he will. But he won't be out there for at least another three weeks and we need to pour the foundation next week. I would try to explain it to him over the phone, but he and I would both be confused before that was over. He isn't exactly high tech or I would just email him a drawing.

    I am thinking about just making a couple of 4" ports. He can use the one he wants and I will plug the other one.

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    DIY Junior Member RPN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    WHY is the shower drain "outside" the foundation? Is the septic tank going to be under the house?, If so, that is a No-No. If the foundation went straight there would not be a need for a shower drain "port". The drain system installation will determine the shower drain height, NOT the other way around. Trust your plumber to install it correctly.
    hj, the septic tank will extend about halfway under the addition. One port of the tank will be easily accessible. The other port will be under the addition about 30" past the outside of the foundation. When the plumber originally looked at it, he said we could either make a U around it or pour straight across it. This was with the understanding that if we placed the foundation across the tank, it would be very expensive were an issue to occur with the buried end of the tank.

    He didn't know (neither did we) at the time that we would want to put a shower on top of it.

    Is it a good solution? No. However it is the only one that will work with the site. There is no other place to add on to the house and moving the tank is really an option at the moment. Access through the foundation to the port will be approximately 24" high and 24" wide.

    Edited to add: The shower drain will be in the way if some needs to get to the tank port. However, PVC is cheap. We will probably seal the 24"x24" access with a 3" concrete panel or something else suitable for ground contact.
    Last edited by RPN; 10-04-2012 at 07:04 AM.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I may be wrong here but I believe there are codes concerning how far away from the house a septic tank has to be. I believe that there is no way it can be under the house. IIRC 25' minimum is how far the tank needs to be from the dwelling
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member RPN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I believe that there is no way it can be under the house.

    Yeah? Hold my sweet tea and watch this.



    There is no code enforcement here. Even if there was, the code enforcement officer would have to drive back into the hills until he heard banjos. Then, he might run a risk of getting shot at because he would almost have to drive through the yard of our neighbor (1/2 mile away) to get to our locked gate (which is still 1/4 mile from the house).

    My point is: I respect the code. When I do electrical, I wire to the code or better. My wiring practices are better than most licensed electricians. However, in this case we are trying to make the best of a bad situation. We didn't build the house. We didn't place the septic tank 8' from the house. If I was convinced that there is a specific health or safety issue with what we are doing, we wouldn't do it.

    We may build a new house in two or three years. If that happens, the current house will probably become a workshop. Even so, you can't live your life based on what might be.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=RPN;357483]Yeah? Hold my sweet tea and watch this.



    There is no code enforcement here. Even if there was, the code enforcement officer would have to drive back into the hills until he heard banjos. Then, he might run a risk of getting shot at because he would almost have to drive through the yard of our neighbor (1/2 mile away) to get to our locked gate (which is still 1/4 mile from the house).

    If there is no local code enforcement officer then the state board will take care of permitting and inspections. Lack of a local code officer does not absolve you of inspections or following the code

    My point is: I respect the code. When I do electrical, I wire to the code or better. My wiring practices are better than most licensed electricians. However, in this case we are trying to make the best of a bad situation. We didn't build the house. We didn't place the septic tank 8' from the house. If I was convinced that there is a specific health or safety issue with what we are doing, we wouldn't do it.

    Obviously, you do not respect the code as you are aware that what you want to do does not meet code and yet you have decided that your circumstances are different than everyone else that does follow the code.

    I have a suspicion that you do not have a licensed plumber doing this work either because I can't imagine any licensed plumber risking his license and or a fine doing something as illegal as what you are proposing.

    Putting the septic tank under the house or the eventual garage or any building on the site for that matter will make selling the house near impossible too

    Not having the money to do the job right is NEVER an excuse for breaking the law.

    If I knew where you lived and saw what you were doing I would report you to the state board and the AG's office. I and every other licensed plumber in this country HAVE to follow the code. Not just what parts of the code we like or are convienient or cost less money. The code is law. We don't get to pick and choose and neither do you.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 10-04-2012 at 10:38 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member RPN's Avatar
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    TS, I have to assume that you never, ever speed and that you pay local use taxes on all of your out of state and online purchases.

    Lack of a policeman does not absolve you of obeying the speed limits. Lack of a tax collector does not absolve you of paying taxes on purchases from Amazon.

    There are dozens of examples. The fact is, people selectively obey the law based on some internal decision making process that cannot really be defined.

    I do respect the code. Yes, I also believe there should be exceptions based on circumstances - as long as the exception does not pose a threat to life and limb.

    Give me a good reason why it is dangerous and I will listen to it.

    Yes, he is a licensed plumber. What is he doing illegal?

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I'm not going to argue with you. You can equivocate and justify to your hearts content. By your twisted reaoning we should do away with all laws and rules. If you get a chance to stand before a Judge you can explain your reasoning to him.....good luck. As for a reason, I'll tell you what. You do some research on septic tanks, sewer gas, waste disposal and then tell me.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    TS, don't quit now! Did the speeding and taxes remark hit too close to home?

    Regarding laws, even at an extreme stretch you cannot possibly read "we should do away with all laws and rules" into what I wrote.

    I am very interested if you can give me a real reason (other than "because it's the law"). My family's safety is of great importance to me.

    You also didn't explain what the plumber is going to do that is illegal. I would like to hear what you have to say as I certainly wouldn't like to see him get into trouble.

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    #1 Most important Hydrogen Sulfide Gas ! Please Google this most
    important for living will "kill" like cyanide or carbon monoxide !
    #2 The solid side of tank with inlet baffle is where tank must be pumped from to properly maintain septic action
    #3 As noted above the state "health code" does not allow for housing
    over a septic tank,

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Your logic seems to be that you only have to obey the laws when someone is "watching you". The rest of the time, they are just "Suggestions".
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    How many times has someone posted that there is no inspector, or the inspectors are all idiots, or my plumber says I don't need a permit or inspections. I get real tired of the same old excuses. The truth is that these guys don't respect the law or the codes and they think they are smarter, better or the rules don't apply to them. Then they come here expecting us to solve their problems for them but they don't want to play by the rules or they get pissy when we point out their stupidity.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member RPN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    How many times has someone posted that there is no inspector, or the inspectors are all idiots, or my plumber says I don't need a permit or inspections. I get real tired of the same old excuses. The truth is that these guys don't respect the law or the codes and they think they are smarter, better or the rules don't apply to them. Then they come here expecting us to solve their problems for them but they don't want to play by the rules or they get pissy when we point out their stupidity.

    TS, the problem I asked about was what was a good height for the shower drain to run through the concrete wall. If I had said the wall was needed for some structural oddity (and not mentioned the septic tank), you might have actually given a helpful answer.

    Ironically, we have rearranged the bathroom layout (no tub or shower unit, added a large corner curbed shower). No drain will need to run through the inset area now, so my original question is unneeded.

    You still didn't answer my question about speeding or taxes on internet or out-of-state purchases. I would just like to know the answer to that just make sure it we aren't dealing with a case of "I can violate the law in the areas want to, but you can't."

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