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Thread: re: Weeping tile pipe towards interior. where does it go?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member gramps's Avatar
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    Default re: Weeping tile pipe towards interior. where does it go?

    Hello,
    I just recently excavated the exterior of my home to install a drainage mat and damproofing membrane. When the hole was excavated, I hired a drain company to scope the weeping tile. During the excavation, I found a clay pipe that attached to the weeping tile that went into the house. As you can see from the photo below, this pipe is slightly lower than the weeping tile. We scoped that clay pipe, but the camera could not get past the elbow, the drain guy said that the section had "shifted". (old post WW2 house,)

    The reason for this waterproofing job was to find out the cause of one particular damp area after heavy rain events (as shown in the drawing). It has been determined, that it wasn't the wall that was causing the area after the rain events, but something else (possbibly the shifted clay pipe).

    I have also noticed, that when taking a picture of the basement floor drain, I felt a "breeze" where air was entering or exiting the floor drain, but had no odor. The floor drain did have a horizontal pipe facing the exterior foundation wall. I think this horizontal pipe is in addition to the P trap, but I am not sure. I don't know where it leads. Unfortunately the house cleanout (if it exists) is covered by the sub-floor, which i am prepared to tear out if necessary. the distance between the inlet to the house to the floor drain is about 10 feet.

    The question is, what is the purpose of a pipe that is attached to the weeping tile system that enters the house? and what direction is the water supposed to flow? (if it flows out, i would consider installing a back water value). Could this pipe be connected to the floor drain (have you heard of such a thing)
    Is it connected to the sewer or stormwater system?
    I am going to hire a company to deal with this ultimately, but I am asking the questions here becuase i had the impression that the scope guy was as puzzeled as me.


    thanks
    -g

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    This picture was inserted wrong (turn your head 90 degrees clockwise)



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    Last edited by Terry; 10-08-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Where I am there are a lot of houses with drain tile on the inside of the footing. Where the water table is near floor level, it was not uncommon to run drain tiles crossing from side to side in shallow trenches backfilled filled with crushed stone before pouring the slab.


    The drain can be another issue. Airflow is not coming out of the ground. In a perfect world one's drain tile could gravity drain to daylight somewhere lower than the footing- then there would be no need for a sump pump.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member gramps's Avatar
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    I don't believe there is a sump pump in this house

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Have you found your sump? The perimeter tiles and that floor drain probably are intended to feed the sump, and then you have a sump pump in the sump.

    Could your wet spot be the covered-up sump?

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    DIY Junior Member gramps's Avatar
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    the wet spot is in the middle of a concrete block interior load bearing wall. Does every home have a sump? why would a drain feed a sump? i am a bit confused.

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    It would connect to a sump if not connected to a sewer.

    You would not have a sump in the middle of an interior load bearing wall. I expect my suspicion about a sump was wrong.

    So if we assume then that your drain tiles go to the sewer, we could assume your floor drain would also go to the sewer.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member gramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    It would connect to a sump if not connected to a sewer.

    You would not have a sump in the middle of an interior load bearing wall. I expect my suspicion about a sump was wrong.

    So if we assume then that your drain tiles go to the sewer, we could assume your floor drain would also go to the sewer.
    if this is the case, what is the purpose of a pipe that goes the weeping tile go inside the house?

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; So if we assume then that your drain tiles go to the sewer,

    That would be an idication of a "handyman job" because if the sewer backed up it would flood the ground around the building and under the floor. Definitely an EPA violation. As for whether "these pipes could be connected" without checking them ANYTHING is possible.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; So if we assume then that your drain tiles go to the sewer,

    That would be an idication of a "handyman job" because if the sewer backed up it would flood the ground around the building and under the floor. Definitely an EPA violation. As for whether "these pipes could be connected" without checking them ANYTHING is possible.
    I know you have a lot of experience in a lot of areas, but maybe not a lot of experience with floor drains in basements for houses built circa 1950. When sewer repair work is required now (replacing root-infested clay tiles with PVC typically), the drain tiles are generally disconnected from the sewer. In a good job, they are re-connected to a sump from which water is pumped either to the yard or to a storm sewer. In a bad job (I don't mean "handyman"), the tiles are not connected to anything, and the basement suddenly floods on the next big rain.

    In that era, sewage and storm water were dumped in the river downstream of the town that got its drinking water upstream from the same river. The EPA was established in 1970 by executive order. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reorganization_Plan_No._3

    Regarding "if this is the case, what is the purpose of a pipe that goes the weeping tile go inside the house? ", I was just speculating possibilities. The reality will be interesting. Anyway, if you don't have a sump, I suggest you dig or get one dug. It can go in the basement typically, but it could be outside with due consideration to freeze prevention. The water can be pumped to a pop-up in the yard, or a storm sewer if you have access.

  10. #10
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The drain tile must go outside to daylight or a storm drain if there is no sump. If there were no connection to the outside, where would the water go? Unless another "known good" drain can be established, the normal solution would be to install a sump pit and pump.

    The pipe going to the inside could have been an overflow from a former cistern. In some places people collected rainwater from the roof in a cistern in the basement.
    Last edited by cacher_chick; 10-09-2013 at 09:27 AM.

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    I interpret you had already removed the existing "weeping tile" when you took the picture, and I expect that you will be putting in a new foundation drain system once you deal with that existing clay pipe.

    If you put a lot of water down that floor drain with a hose, does it accept the water and does the water appear somewhere that you can see? Do you feel wind from the clay pipe while in your trench? Smoke would show the direction of air flow, and it might even show the path.
    Last edited by Reach4; 10-09-2013 at 10:21 AM.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member gramps's Avatar
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    I interpret you had already removed the existing "weeping tile" when you took the picture, and I expect that you will be putting in a new foundation drain system once you deal with that existing clay pipe.
    Yes, everything exposed was replaced, the clay was removed.

    If you put a lot of water down that floor drain with a hose, does it accept the water and does the water appear somewhere that you can see? Do you feel wind from the clay pipe while in your trench? Smoke would show the direction of air flow, and it might even show the path.
    Smoke test performed, it appears that air is entering the room, and not exiting, i am too scared to fill the hole with a bucket. However the condensation pipe from the furnace empties into this drain, so it should hold water. the airflow is a mystery.

    That would be an idication of a "handyman job" because if the sewer backed up it would flood the ground around the building and under the floor. Definitely an EPA violation. As for whether "these pipes could be connected" without checking them ANYTHING is possible.
    I was told by more than one person that locally (toronto) the city is strongly encouraging homeowners to install "Mainline" back flow preventers for such a rain surge. I just spoke to a drain guy today who told me that it was common to connect the weeping tile to the floor drain. During the construction boom of the 50's this seemed to be a common practice where i live. He belived with certainty that they were connected, so the water does end up going to the sewer. He seemed to think that replaceing the pipe with new plastic would solve my problems, and I believe him, becuase it seems to make sense.

    I know you have a lot of experience in a lot of areas, but maybe not a lot of experience with floor drains in basements for houses built circa 1950. When sewer repair work is required now (replacing root-infested clay tiles with PVC typically), the drain tiles are generally disconnected from the sewer. In a good job, they are re-connected to a sump from which water is pumped either to the yard or to a storm sewer. In a bad job (I don't mean "handyman"), the tiles are not connected to anything, and the basement suddenly floods on the next big rain.
    We had two horrific rain storms this year which have ruined many basements. Many of the homeowners that had sump pits/pumps, and during the rainstorm and the electricity knocked out for most of the city. Many basements flooded because their sump pump wasn't working. It is a shame. The city is spending millions over the course of the last decade or so to deal with storm problems and reduce the combined sewer overflow near the lake. yup they combined it in old parts of the city to save $$ many years ago.
    Last edited by gramps; 10-09-2013 at 01:41 PM.

  13. #13
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Sending storm water/groundwater into the municipal sewer system is illegal in most places, and has been for a number of years. A few large cities try to treat all of their stormwater, which is sometimes a futile effort which results in sewage being dumped into our lakes and streams.

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