07:22PM | 06/02/07
Member Since: 06/01/07
4 lifetime posts
greetings homefolks!...we live in an old farmhouse in the country (wellwater and septicbed) that was never built standard or to code. We always have problems in the spring with our toilet flushing properly. We notice that it usually clears up when the ground dries up and the runoff in ditches is empty.

So, it's June and the toilet is still slow. No matter if we flush, or if we pail it, the bowl fills and trickles slowly down and then "burps", leaving a cup of water at the very bottom of the bowl that "breathes" a bit, after the flush.

We also notice that when the dishwasher, kitchen sink, or bathtub drain, the toilet "burps" and seems to "blow" big bubbles of air. Sometimes we notice an odour, afterwards, like septic gas.

My hubby snaked the toilet and found no clog. We do have a weird "jimmy rigged" vtr that runs from the iron waste pipe, in the basement indoors, up thru a foundation hole and outside. The pipe is about 2" pvc and it goes up, from the foundation outside, a couple feet (with an elbow joint on the top).

Any ideas what we can do to fix things, other than digging up the antiquated septic box (if there is one!)paying a kazillion dollars for a whole new septic system?

blessed be


09:33AM | 06/03/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
1- The vent though the roof (VTR) should be 4" diameter to prevent hoarfrost one does not arbitrarily pick a 2" diameter pipe and say this size should suffice.

2- A VTR is totally useless if you are missing a fresh air inlet (FAI) normally located within 4 feet of the buildings main trap is applicable

3- Seeing as this is chronic condition during the wet months, you may want to consider renting or hiring a plumber who owns a video camera to see if you have a higher then normal water table or water infiltration in your waste system or just to make sure you have proper pitch.

Once you know what is causing the problems then you can address it properly.

The FAI should be 3" or half the size of the buildings main sewer which ever is larger.

The VTR should not be located near any openings like a widow or where the fumes can be drawn back into the home and should terminate at least 2 feet above the roof, if this roof is used as a promenade deck then the VTR should be 7 ft high

Also it is not the greatest idea to have PVC exposed to direct sun light.
9289 tieger plumbing


02:42PM | 06/03/07
Member Since: 06/01/07
4 lifetime posts
thanks tiegerdude...our vtr does not actually go "through" the "roof" goes thru the foundation, about 6 inches from the dirt outside the foundation of the house, and then it runs about 2 feet up. (It is almost outside our livingroom window and we do smell sewerstink now and then thru that window). Is there a way to increase the size of the pipe to 4" from the 2", that the previous folks put in, and should we put pipe way up toward the roof and away from the window?

We are also puzzled about your suggestion for a FAI...there already are several "vents" that look like "caps" with holes in them (plastic and painted silver thru the drain pipe (stack?). One is attached to the pipes under the kitchen sink, behind the "u shaped" loopy pipe trap thingy. There is another pipe, in the basement the runs up from the main drain pipe. The silver cap thingy is stamped "AUTOVENT" on the top.

I have pictures, if that helps. This one shows the main pipe the toilet drains into. The smaller pipe, that runs parallel to the ground, is the drain pipe that all the other appliances etc. drain into. The small pipe painted yellow and parallel to the big, iron pipe is where everything drains into the iron pipe. the small, unpainted part (to the left of the big waste pipe, is the vtr that goes thru the foundation to the outdoors. My husband often empties dribbles of water from that part of the pipe.

Thanks again for all your advice.

blessed be
9294 reply to tiegerdude


02:48PM | 06/03/07
Member Since: 06/01/07
4 lifetime posts
Here's a picture of the "AUTOVENT" cap that is on the main drain pipe, six feet away from where it links into the big, iron waste pipe.

blessed be
9295 another pic


02:54PM | 06/03/07
Member Since: 06/01/07
4 lifetime posts
This is a closeup of the big, iron pipe and the main drain that links into it. You can see the "t joint", which is gray, and the black pipe, which is the "vtr" part of the system.

blessed be
9296 and another pic


05:52PM | 06/03/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
That black pipe with the hose clamps and gray barbed fittings is PE (polyethaleane) pipe.

AFAIK it is only approved for external underground usages.

It is commonly used for well piping and irrigation.


07:11AM | 06/04/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
The pipe outside you mentioned

""thanks goes thru the foundation, about 6 inches from the dirt outside the foundation of the house, and then it runs about 2 feet up."

This sounds like the fresh air inlet and it is normally 3" or 4" diameter

The so called AUTO vent I would find a garbage pail and place it in there.

The original cast iron piping going through the wall unfortunately was installed wrong as there should have been a long turn tee Wye installed not a sweep (elbow)(see picture of them below)

A long turn tee Wye also known as a Boston TY is a combination of a Wye 1/8th bend and a clean out on the run.

In other words every change of direction greater then 45 deg should have a clean out and also at the base of each stack or leader.

someone added fittings that were not up to code or even basic decent plumbing practices.

Personally I think you should hire a licensed plumbing contractor and have them correct all the add ons that kind of screwed up a decent system.

Looks like someone just bored a hole through the side of an elbow (1/4 bend or short sweep) and installed another pipe.

RE picture:

Notice the longer radius and the cap on the run to allow for easier snaking?

Good luck
9303 sylvan tiegerlmp
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