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Plumber talk

Yinzer Moto

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We have quite a few people around here who are experienced in plumbing. Sometimes we get stuck or run into a weird problem, post up your questions.

My current issue is a sewer that will not flow well through the house trap. The house trap is 6” in diameter and new. I had it replaced about 9 months ago because the old one was collapsed. I have to stop over once a month and use one of the inflatable bulbs that go on the end of the hose, to force it clear. The plumbing company who did the project is a little stumped why and how to solve the issue. They are saying the water is loosing velocity as it approaches. The sewer serves 5 apartments. I don’t know the grade but it is shallow. The sewer is near floor level at one end of the building, 35 feet later, it is about 12” below the floor. Any ideas? Unfortunately, our county requires a house trap. Otherwise I would have it taken out.
 

Yinzer Moto

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Am I reading the IPC 2018 correctly? It says house traps are prohibited.


Unfortunately our county code says the opposite.

 

skibum69

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How wacky do you want your plumbing? :lol3
IMG_2600_heic-XL.jpg
 

gpounce

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We have quite a few people around here who are experienced in plumbing. Sometimes we get stuck or run into a weird problem, post up your questions.

My current issue is a sewer that will not flow well through the house trap. The house trap is 6” in diameter and new. I had it replaced about 9 months ago because the old one was collapsed. I have to stop over once a month and use one of the inflatable bulbs that go on the end of the hose, to force it clear. The plumbing company who did the project is a little stumped why and how to solve the issue. They are saying the water is loosing velocity as it approaches. The sewer serves 5 apartments. I don’t know the grade but it is shallow. The sewer is near floor level at one end of the building, 35 feet later, it is about 12” below the floor. Any ideas? Unfortunately, our county requires a house trap. Otherwise I would have it taken out.

How is the air venting on the outlet side of the trap? Maybe air pressure affecting the water moving up and out of the trap?
 

Yinzer Moto

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How is the air venting on the outlet side of the trap? Maybe air pressure affecting the water moving up and out of the trap?

There is none, the vent is on the inlet side of the trap.

It looks a bit like this, except there is no down stream clean out.

10BFAA78-5EA0-4DE6-AA97-E941FAC2E542.jpeg
 

gpounce

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Agreed- so I was wondering are you sure the downstream plumbing is venting- I suppose it should be, in the main and all that. If there is something similar that could be turned into a vent, to check, that might be worth an experiment. OTOH sawing out a section of the 6" pipe just for that would seem like a not-great idea...
 

Yinzer Moto

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Agreed- so I was wondering are you sure the downstream plumbing is venting- I suppose it should be, in the main and all that. If there is something similar that could be turned into a vent, to check, that might be worth an experiment. OTOH sawing out a section of the 6" pipe just for that would seem like a not-great idea...

There is no convenient way to check that but your theory is good. I own the building next door, I had the house trap replaced at the same time and it is an identical setup. No problems over there. The difference is, there is a downspout tied into that sewer. I could tie a downspout into the problem sewer but I feel that is playing with fire. If it backs up during a rain, it could be a big mess.
 

gpounce

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It'd be a bit of a project to saw out a section and fit the usual load of junk so as to put in a tee, just to test a theory. If it is a venting thing then at least you could choose a convenient location for the tee. Ugh, I had to do a bunch of that when we put in the downstairs bathroom- cutting into the cast iron pipe to do it. Lots easier with pvc, but not a lot cleaner :rofl
 

Yinzer Moto

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It'd be a bit of a project to saw out a section and fit the usual load of junk so as to put in a tee, just to test a theory. If it is a venting thing then at least you could choose a convenient location for the tee. Ugh, I had to do a bunch of that when we put in the downstairs bathroom- cutting into the cast iron pipe to do it. Lots easier with pvc, but not a lot cleaner :rofl

Sawing out would be the easiest part of it, it is buried under the basement floor.

Cutting cast iron sucks. Most of my experience with cutting it is in close quarters, where it is positioned against studs. I did 2 bathroom remodels recently, where the cast iron went up through a basement, then 1st floor bath, 2nd floor bath, attic and out through the roof. I removed all of the cast iron to install ABS pipe. It was one of the worst steps of the whole project.
 

gpounce

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Ugh yeah.. but for my part beating my head against cast pipe is still better than painting I <<hate>> painting. Thankfully my cast pipe drama has all been horizontal.
 

Yinzer Moto

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Ugh yeah.. but for my part beating my head against cast pipe is still better than painting I <<hate>> painting. Thankfully my cast pipe drama has all been horizontal.

I don’t mind painting that much except for highly detailed projects. I did a long handrail painting project for a customer, lots of details and spindles. It took forever. I ended up with tendinitis in my elbow after that and it took nearly a year to clear up. I painted an entire 1 bedroom apartment recently, every single room, in about 3 hours. Just mask the windows and outlets off and spray it all, it took longer to mask it than it took to paint it.

This was a fun painting project, 12’ high concrete block walls. I had to hold a 3mm tolerance because the stripes are to calibrate sensors on self driving cars.

FED519C6-B9C2-47B9-AA49-8EE851531728.jpeg
 

plumper mike

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Am I reading the IPC 2018 correctly? It says house traps are prohibited.


Unfortunately our county code says the opposite.

The PA code reads like a house trap is not required...only fixture traps. If there is a trap, I would say there needs to be a vent. But the information you posted says nothing specifically about a house trap.
It goes against the golden rule. Shit flows downhill. Don’t chew your fingernails. Payday is on Friday.
I’d cut it out regardless of what the code reads.
 

gpounce

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Yeah theres code and theres code where the inspector doesn't look :jack the gratuitously sketchy crap that goes on sometimes....
 

ZoomerP

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Yeah. I have concerns about meeting code and resale of the property, but a functional sewer is probably more important.
I wouldn't want that to go bad, either. If traps are upstream and no one is complaining about smelling sewage, you're probably fine.

I wonder if your plumber is in the position of tire shops with people that don't want to dick with TPMS sensors. They don't want to say you don't need the trap, even if that's what they think.
 

Yinzer Moto

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I wouldn't want that to go bad, either. If traps are upstream and no one is complaining about smelling sewage, you're probably fine.

I wonder if your plumber is in the position of tire shops with people that don't want to dick with TPMS sensors. They don't want to say you don't need the trap, even if that's what they think.

Yeah, every fixture has a trap, trust me, when I open the clean out, the smell in the house line is awful, possibly worse than what is in the main. If there were any issue with traps in the units, I would have heard about it.

I don’t know about the plumber. I hope talk to him more this afternoon.
 

Oldtrialer

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Yeah, every fixture has a trap, trust me, when I open the clean out, the smell in the house line is awful, possibly worse than what is in the main. If there were any issue with traps in the units, I would have heard about it.

I don’t know about the plumber. I hope talk to him more this afternoon.
You could have a low spot in the line before the trap that is slowing down the flow. If there is a cleanout at the base of the stack, run a sewer machine and listen for the cable sloshing in water.

If a project is financed by FHA, they require house traps. At least they did in the 70's.
 

plumper mike

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From the UPC codes....
Building traps shall not be installed except where required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Each building trap where installed shall be provided with a cleanout and with a relieving vent or fresh-air intake on the inlet side of the trap, which needs not be larger than one-half the diameter of the drain to which it connects. Such relieving vent or fresh-air intake shall be carried above grade and terminate in a screened outlet located outside the building.

My other thought was a possibility that it was not an actual trap and perhaps made out of elbows, which would change the trap weir.
 

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