FAQ – Plumbing System

Sewer Drain

How to do Sewage Ejector Pump Maintenance?

  1. Keep a trash bin around. This prevents people from throwing things that do not belong in the sewer. If possible, place several bins so that the trash can be segregated properly.
  2. Maintain the cleanliness of the grinder pump so that the system continuously runs smoothly. This is done by flushing lemon juice down the toilet to help break apart clogs. It also removes unwanted odors.
  3. Annual maintenance by a licensed plumber will not only keep the system in tiptop shape, but also help you catch potential problems early on so you avoid expenses and headaches.
  4. Whenever foul odor from the sewage becomes apparent, call a licensed plumber immediately before things get out of hand.
  5. Every sewage ejector pump has a vent that connects to the pit outside. Check this regularly for problems and ensure that the vent is blocked so the odor stays in the pit. Take time to check the rubber seals that securely seal the lid. Do this for the discharge line as well.

How to Keep Main Sewer Line Clean?

What to do:

  • Place fats, oils, and grease in a container or jar with a lid and dispose it properly in the trash.
  • Always have a wastebasket in the bathroom where hygiene products can be thrown so they do not end up in the toilet or the sewer.
  • Plan your landscaping so trees don’t end up on top of sewer pipelines and make sure that regular cleaning is done to prevent unwanted tree root growth.
  • Make sure that surface water drains, storm water sump pumps, and similar things are not connected to the sewer system.
  • Engine oil, chemicals, pesticides, and medicines should be disposed of properly by bringing it to treatment plans and other agencies that have the ability to dispose of it correctly.
  • When in doubt, always consult a trusted licensed professional plumber.

How to Get Rid Sewer Odor?

  1. Pour a fourth of a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a cup of white vinegar and let it sit for roughly two hours.
  2. Pour a gallon of hot water slowly and after 15 minutes run the cold water continuously for 10 minutes. This will rinse the vinegar and let it flow down the drain.
  3. Get half a cup of chlorine bleach and put it into the drain to sit for two more hours. Rinse this down with a gallon of hot water by pouring it slowly. Follow this up with cold running water for 10 minutes.
  4. With enough water in the P-trap, you can now pour four ounces of mineral oil or just plain cooking oil down the drain. This will prevent water from evaporating too quickly as the oil remains on top of the water.

Keep in mind that you mixing vinegar and bleach is toxic.

How to Replace Drain Cleanout?

  1. Remove the old plug with an adjustable wrench. If it is difficult you may use penetrating oil and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Use an old toothbrush or wire brush to clean the female adapter portion. Apply solvent or compound on the threaded area, making sure the entire area is completely covered.
  3. Insert the new plug onto the opening and tighten it by hand before completely securing it with an adjustable wrench applying half a turn.

How to Replace Sewer Cap Cover?

For cemented end caps, make a marking about an inch away from the cemented end. Make a straight cut at this point and clean off all the burrs after removing the end cap. Put PVC primer outside and inside the pipe width and top it off with PVC cement before replacing the end cap. For ABS, primer is not necessary and use ABS cement.

If you have a threaded end cap, use an adjustable wrench to remove and discard the old sewer cap. Wrap the threads with a white sealing tape before screwing the end cap by hand. Tighten it securely with a wrench.

How to do Sewer Drain Pipe Replacement

  1. Cut the section to be replaced with an appropriate cutting tool. Make the cut as straight and clean as possible while observing proper safety precautions.
  2. Prepare the replacement pipe that is the same length and dimension as the original. Each end of the existing pipe must have rubber connecting couplings.
  3. Put in the replacement pipe and slide in the rubber couplings to create a firm connection. Tighten the compression bands accordingly using a screwdriver.
  4. Use strap or plastic pipe hangers to support the new installation. Space these about four feet apart while maintaining the slanted configuration required for sewer drains.

Remember to replace pipes not more than 10 feet at a time. Use the proper material to fit and fix the pipes. For PVC, use primer before applying glue. For ABS, an ABS cement is required.

What Are The Signs to do Sewer Line Replacement?

  • Signs to replace sewer line
    • Aging – piping materials are not meant to last forever so as it ages, the tendency to fail becomes higher.
    • Constant Problems – if you are experiencing constant and repeated plumbing problems, this may be an indication that you need to replace the sewer line.
    • Fixture Malfunction – backed up toilets and sinks are indications of potential sewer problems, especially if water backs up from one fixture to another.
    • Clogs – when proper maintenance is observed, but clogs remain persistent, then this may be the result of a sewer line problem.
    • Trees – the presence of huge trees in your property or next to it can be an indication of a sewer line problem that is about to happen; if it has not started yet.
    • Noises –gurgling, bubbling, and similar strange noises coming from your fixtures can be an indication of a sewer line trouble.

How to Replace Sewer Line Under The House?

  1. Use a video inspection tool inside the pipe to get an accurate view of the problem.
  2. Use an auger with a cutter head to cut through any blockage in the pipe, including tree roots. Make sure that you feed it down the drain slowly.
  3. In a bucket, mix two-part epoxy and pour it into the polyester pipe liner using a funnel.
  4. Distribute the epoxy evenly by feeding the liner between two steel rollers. Attach the liner to a two-part air chamber before turning on the airflow and feeding it into the pipe.
  5. An inflatable rubber bladder inside the previously installed liner can be replaced with a manifold before attaching a water hose. As cold water is forced into the bladder, the polyester liner begins to expand.
  6. The epoxy will be fully cured in about two hours with the polyester liner turning into a rigid pipe. You can now drain the water and remove the bladder.

How to Install PVC Sewer Line

  1. Determine the point where the leak or damage is. Signs of damp patches or rancid odor are often dead giveaways.
  2. Make a mark six inches away from the actual point of damage from both sides. This will serve as the cutting point for the line to be repaired.
  3. Use a hacksaw to make the cut as straight as possible on both sides. Measure the total length you need for the replacement PVC and its appropriate diameter.
  4. Apply primer on the old pipe, the new pipe, and on the interior of the couplings before connecting. Give it ample time to dry before pushing one end into the coupling. Apply PVC glue on all areas that have been primed. Give it a minute to stick completely and tighten with a screwdriver if needed.

How To Repair Sewer Line?

  • Find the Source – it is important to pinpoint the source of the problem. Usually this would be characterized by water spots because of what seeps out of the ground and emits foul odor. This will give you an idea whether you need to call on professional help immediately or do something on your own.
  • Clean – you may need to manually dig to reveal the damaged portion. This will allow you to clean away some of the debris inside the line using a plumber’s snake. Make sure that you have rubber gloves on before doing any type of cleaning.
  • Fixing – broken pipe can often be fixed by simply sealing the line. This would depend on the type of material used for the sewer line. This will also help you validate the need for professional help.
  • Replacing the Line – if the pipe cannot be sealed, then it has to be replaced. This should be done by a licensed professional plumber to ensure that it is done properly.

How to Install Vent Pipe Through a Roof?

  1. Identify the exit point of the vent on your roof. Mark the area with a pencil. To create a vertical exit point for a pitched roof, the hole should be oval shaped.
  2. Cut through the pencil-marked outline with a reciprocating saw.
  3. Take a tape measure to get the length of the roof shoe before loosening the shingles above the cut hole. Lift up the shingles and slide the roof shoe under it.
  4. The vent pipe should be slid up through the roof shoe from the attic side and must extend at least a foot outward from the roof surface.
  5. Secure the roof shoe to the plywood sheathing using roofing nails. Make sure that you tighten the shingles before connecting the vent pipe to the piping system.

How To Install Sewage Pump?

  1. Use half HP pump for up to three drains and a three-fourth HP one if you have more drains. A more powerful pump should be used if the waste has to travel a substantially longer distance.
  2. Find the appropriate location where to dig a pit that can hold the tank. Make sure that the inlet is at the lowest possible point to ensure that all drains will run into it. Fill the tank with water to keep it steady. The drain pipes should be connected to the tank before backfill and compacting of dirt. Cement the flatwork to prevent debris and other materials from entering the tank.
  3. Installation and connection of the pump should be done by placing it in a basin and connecting the discharge line. This should be aligned to the discharge port. A check valve must be placed at the horizontal section. The sewage tank lid should have two pipe openings to bring air into the tank and prevent a vacuum from happening.
  4.  Before testing the system, make sure that you adjust the float switch by pouring water into the sewage tank a couple of times to see if it automatically activates. Seal the sewage tank cover and properly vent it to complete the installation.

How to Install Backwater Valve

Retrofit installation with an exposed portion of the pipe extending 4 or 5 feet. There should be about three-fourths inch difference between the height of the inlet and the outlet of the mainline backwater valve. Adjust the grade accordingly to achieve a minimum 2% slope.

How to Install Sewer Line?

  1. Distance and Elevation – check how far the pipe should run and its elevation in relation to the specific fixture that it will be connected to. The interior point of the connecting pipe must be used for determination of initial and final elevation.
  2. Pitch – subtract the elevations and divide the pipe length with the result to get the drop of the pipe. Make sure that it does not go beyond a fourth of an inch per foot to ensure that water continuous to flow faster than solids.
  3. Trenching – open the trench to be able to apply bedding material if necessary to provide support for the sewer pipe as well as reduce sagging after back-filling. Avoid using sharp stones for bedding material to prevent damage to the pipes. Once the trench has been opened, observe all necessary safety precautions.
  4. Laying – the pipe can now be laid by starting at the lower end of the run going towards the higher elevation. Any bell end should be at the uphill side of the run to reduce leakage. The purple PVC primer should be applied first to clean the surface and allow the glue to cure properly. The male end can now be inserted and twisted into the female end while taking notice of the pitch.
  5. Final Run – installation of additional fittings including checking if pipe has been properly installed. Cover the installation with at least 10 inches of sand or gravel and compact the material to finish installation.


Basement Plumbing

How to Maintain Basement Sump Pump?

Every quarter:

  • Clean the inlet screen;
  • Dump a bucket of water to raise the sump float and check it automatically works;
  • Check power cord integrity.

Every year:

  • Remove the pump for cleaning and inspection;
  • Clean the sump;
  • Grease or oil the bearings.

How To Maintain a Basement Plumbing?

Keep a checklist of things to do like:

  • Regularly pour a bucket of water down the basement drain to ensure that the trap seal will be full;
  • Check all hoses for tears and leaks and replace if necessary;
  • Check septic tank every three years to ensure it is functioning properly;
  • Some components of basement plumbing need more attention than others like water heaters and meters for example.

If there is a problem, turn off the main water valve immediately and call a professional plumber.

How To Replace a Basement Sewage Pump?

  1. Know the appropriate size you need for your property and identify where the tank will be installed.
  2. Make a large enough pit that will hold the tank and place the inlet at the lowest level of all drains running through it. Make sure that everything is leveled.
  3. Connect the drain pipes to the tank before backfilling and compacting the surrounding area. Complete all necessary cement work and prevent any debris or cement from entering the tank.
  4. Install and connect the pump to the discharge line, making sure that the cover is airtight. Put in a backflow preventer on the horizontal discharge line.
  5. Make necessary adjustments to the float switch and test the system to ensure that proper venting is done.

How to Replace Basement Drain Pipe

  1. Assess the amount of work that has to be done before anything else. This includes laying out the plan where cutting will be made and the connection to the new sewer line.
  2. Turn off the water to prevent further damage. Remove the old pipes by cutting through the basement floor and clearing out any debris.
  3. Put in the replacement pipes and create the new connections. Backfill the trench and replace the floor slab in the basement.

How to Replace Basement Sewer Pipe?

  1. Turn off the water supply and locate the sewer line. Find the clean out, which is normally a couple of feet from the foundation.
  2. Use a concrete saw to cut two lines in the floor. Create a trench that is about a foot wide. Break the concrete to expose the sewer line and clear out the debris.
  3. Find the point where the line enters the basement floor, this will be nearest the surface. Make a cut four inches from the exterior wall, take care not to shatter the pipe section running through the wall.
  4. Make a cut on the other end of the pipe where the new line will be attached. Remove the old section of the pipe.
  5. Install the new pipe making sure to observe the fourth of an inch per foot drop. Connect the pipes using couplings before applying PVC primer and glue.
  6. Connect the new sewer pipe to the old vertical drain. Fill around the new pipe and pack it in. The level of the sand should be up to the bottom edge of the existing floor. Top it off with concrete and smoothen the floor.

How to Repair Basement Plumbing in RV?

  1. Turn off the water pump and locate the source of the leak. Check behind removal panels including bed storage areas.
  2. The leak will be on the water line spraying out water. This line would normally be made out of copper or plastic depending on the age of your RV.
  3. The extra slack of water lines allow you to cut out the part and rejoin the remaining ends. Use a compression union fitting to achieve a sealed and proper fit.
  4. Turn the water pump back on and test for any leaks.

How to Repair Basement Plumbing Behind Tile?

  1. Examine the condition of the tiles to see if there are any cracks, breaks, or deterioration. This can give you an idea on the location of the leak.
  2. Remove the tile and grout using a chisel or screwdriver. Clear any adhesives or sealants as well.
  3. Remove the damaged section of the plumbing including other materials that may have been subjected to water damage because of the leak. Fix damages first before doing any repairs.
  4. Repair the leak if you are capable of it, otherwise, call a professional plumber to do the work properly. Check that everything is clean, sealed, and dry.
  5. Reinstall the tiles and replace the grout in the spacing.

How To Repair Basement Plumbing Leak In Slab?

There are a couple of options you can choose from like:

  • Epoxy Restoration – very little digging or demolition has to be done because only two access points will be needed to do the repair.
  • Re-Piping – the common choice for multiple leaks, a new and stronger pipe will be put in place that will be secured by fittings to create a leak-free plumbing system.
  • Re-Routing – when most of the pipes are behind walls and floors, this is the most common method used. This would be ideal if only a couple of pipes have to be repaired or replaced.

How to Repair Broken Drain Pipe Under Basement Floor?

  1. Find the point where the leak is happening based on the dampness on the floor.
  2. Remove the small area of concrete slab directly over the portion where the leak is. This will allow you to reach the broken portion of the pipe to cut it out in preparation for the replacement.
  3. Inspect the old pipe if it is enough to simply replace the damaged portion or the entire pipe. When the pipe is corroded you will have to make a replacement of the entire line.
  4. You can talk to a professional plumber on options on how to replace an entire pipeline. Otherwise, put in the replacement for the damaged section and cover up the area of the basement floor you have dug into.

How to Repair Cast Iron Drain Pipe Under Basement Floor?

  • Trenchless Pipe Repair

No excavation or digging required, it uses cleanouts outside the home to clean through the pipes and get rid of blockage and debris. Video inspection will be used to examine the entire length of the pipe in preparation for the laying of polyester tube saturated with self-hardening epoxy resin.

The lining can then be installed in the pipe with the use of a rope or cable. The temporary balloon will be inflated to roughly 15 psi and in about three to four hours of curing time a new hard pipe liner is produced and the balloon can be pulled out from the pipe.

  • Pipe Bursting

A metal conical head is winched into the old pipe to allow a high density polyethylene pipe to be put in place. This method destroys all incoming pipe connections and have to be manually replaced by excavating through the floor. This can be difficult to do if the soil is extremely hard because the bursting head may not be able to pass through.

  • Excavation

This is the most intrusive repair solution possible because you will have to dig through concrete and replace it as well. It also takes a significantly longer time to cure and if the repair has to go through the entire property, then you can imagine just how much problem it can cause.

How to Patch Basement Floor After Plumbing?

  1. Level the bottom of the hole and slightly undercut the sides to get a more compact filling. Clean out the area with water and wire brush.
  2. Use concrete bonding liquid by mixing the concrete with water and scoop it into the hole. Make sure that you press it into the corners as well as against the edges. Continue by filling the hole completely while leaving ample space for the top mound.
  3. Level the patch and push down the aggregate as you do the final smoothing. Smoothen the surface again once it feels firm to the touch. Repeat the process until it cures and wait about 24 hours before walking over it.

How Much Basement Plumbing Cost?

On the average, the cost would be anywhere from $6,500 to $18,500 inclusive of drywall painting and installation of crown molding as well as flooring.

How to Rough Plumb a Basement Bathroom?

  1. Locate the main stack that connects to the bathroom upstairs.
  2. Plan the placement of the sink and toilet in the basement to get an accurate measurement of the PVC pipe you will need.
  3. It is better to use a 45 degree angle to attach the pipe to the existing one for better waste flow. Each setup will vary depending on the placement of the fixtures.
  4. Expose the concrete by removing any covering material and make an outline where you are supposed to make the installation.
  5. Break through the floor to get to the necessary sections of the plumbing system.
  6. Clear all debris and connect the pipes together based on your intended design.
  7. Fit the new PVC into the existing pipe line using an angle grinder. Make sure that you use band-seal couplings and clean the cast iron pipes to create a tighter seal.
  8. Rebuild the floor and smoothen out the concrete.

How to Plumb Basement Bathroom?

  1. Find the right location by making checking if it’s possible for gravity to do the work instead of relying on an ejector. Ensure that the drainage lines are appropriately sized for the toilets and showers.
  2. If you do need to put in an ejector, you have to dig a pit for it. You can use a jackhammer to cut through the basement concrete. Put up a plastic wall around the area to contain the dust.
  3. Once the plumbing is in place, you can start backfilling the excavated area. Do not use the same dirt that you excavated from the area. This is because you will have difficulty in compacting it.
  4. Use gravel instead to allow groundwater to seep through without putting any pressure on your floor. If the job becomes too complicated, it is time to call a professional plumber.

How To Install Basement Sewage Ejector Pump?

  1. The basin should be mounted to the floor before attaching the pump. Ensure that it is steady and securely in place to prevent cracks or leakage.
  2. Properly setup the float switches with the trigger pointing downwards. The switch should turn the pump on automatically once the water reaches the proper level.
  3. A four or three inch drain pipe should be the right size for the side inlet. Check that the toilets drain properly without causing flooding in your yard.