12:24PM | 09/01/05
Member Since: 06/16/05
140 lifetime posts
I had a plumber come over and he

thinks that the main cast iron septic pipe may have a leak somewhere. The places where I smell the septic center around this pipe area Also at the elbow there is this

black tar (?) that seeps out. So hopefully this is the source of the smell. So how involved is this to replace part or all of that pipe? Whenit is warm outside I really smell septic inside. Supposedly the smell is to vent out the roof but I dont think it goes out the roof. The plumber said I have a crack somewhere and it is not going out the roof. There is a closet off of my bathroom and when I moved in there was a sludgy substance inside, sticky. I guess I do have a cracked pipe. The plumber said he would have to remove some wall. WOW. That is probably the source of the funky smell in my house. Also the plumber said that my washer was not vented. HOw do you vent a washer? I did not understand what he meant. He wants like 1800 dollars to fix this leak. WOW


04:54AM | 09/08/05
Member Since: 08/29/04
227 lifetime posts
First, every fixture that has a trap and a drain that takes the water away from the fixture and out to the septic also has a vent that runs up to the roof to equalize pressure and to break the siphon that develops in a trap. When you put any water in the plumbing system it has to first push the air ahead of it. Both air and water have volume. When you drain a sink the water goes from the trap into the wall and goes down to the branch drain. As it goes into the tee that has a vent sitting on top, it breaks the siphon that develops in the pipe. If it didn't break the siphon, then most of the water would be emptied out of the trap. The water is what prevents bugs and sewer gas from coming up into your home. Without this water seal, your house will stink from the sewer gasses.

Every vent has to tie back into the main vent going out the roof, which is typically behind the toilet up in the attic. To get it there, a plumber has to fish a pipe up inside walls and floors and then cut a tee into the main stack or drill a new hole in the roof and set a new roof cap.

Any time you cut a section of cast iron and install a fitting or make a repair, you have to strap the cast iron so when you cut a section out, the entire system doesn't fall. Cast Iron pipe is very heavy and a plumber will have to support it with riser clamps and hangers, otherwise it will break someplace else. Its not an easy job. $1800 seems pretty reasonable to me.

Good Luck

Raymond VinZant Plumbing Prof.
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