Author Topic: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix? UPDATE #10  (Read 1038 times)

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jpcher

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Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix? UPDATE #10
« on: February 28, 2013, 06:47:21 PM »
I don't know what it's called, it's the clean-out access thingy that's in my front lawn where plumbers open up the pipe so that the pipes can be rodded out. This thingy sits about a foot away from the edge of my driveway.

We've had about 3-4 inches of snow, and because my snow removal service came out, there's close to 2 feet of snow on the side of my driveway.

When I got home from work today, I noticed a round hole in that pile. I looked down and was able to see all the way down to the bottom of my sewer pipe. Somehow the lid for that thingy disappeared.

I was able to fit a plastic bowl down the snow-hole to cover the pipe thingy as a temporary fix.

Is this a good enough temporary fix to last until Sunday?*

Or is this something that I should call a plumber out to get fixed right away?



*Today is Thursday (for those reading this thread later ;).)  It's dark, cold and changing between rain and snow right now. Sunday it's supposed to be sunny and warmer. I figure I could go out to the local ACE and get a new lid, but I need to dig out the snow around the pipe in order to see what, if any, damage was done.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 09:42:28 PM by jpcher »

wheeitsme

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 11:48:18 PM »
I don't see any problem with it as a "quick fix".  I've seen heavy plastic cleanout covers...

Virg

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 03:44:20 PM »
As long as your fix covers and seals the hole, you shouldn't have any problem with it until a pro can assess a permanent fix, and I'd suggest having a plumber check it because the most likely thing I can think of is that your snow removal service hit it with a plow or blower and bottlecapped it, which means a new cover probably won't attach correctly.  Assuming you have city sewage, having the cap disappear won't damage the system beyond functioning but it'll stink unless you get it fixed.

Virg

Erich L-ster

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 04:33:10 PM »
If it's not large enough for something horrible to happen, such as a child or someone's pet falling down there, your temporary solution should be fine. If it's in a place where someone could conceivably step into it and hurt their leg you might put a stick there to block anyone from stepping there.

jpcher

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 04:43:25 PM »
Thanks, all. I kinda figured that a temporary fix would be okay for a few days, but I wanted to make sure.

The bowl I put over it seems to be a pretty snug fit from what I could tell through all the snow, plus I put a brick over it.

The hole is only 8-10? inches, but putting up an "alert" stick is a good idea.


As long as your fix covers and seals the hole, you shouldn't have any problem with it until a pro can assess a permanent fix, and I'd suggest having a plumber check it because the most likely thing I can think of is that your snow removal service hit it with a plow or blower and bottlecapped it, which means a new cover probably won't attach correctly.  Assuming you have city sewage, having the cap disappear won't damage the system beyond functioning but it'll stink unless you get it fixed.

Virg

Bold above -- that's what I'm afraid of. I can't think of any other way the cap could have been removed. I'll have to dig it out a bit more before calling in the plumbers so I can see what is what.


Thanks! ;D

Hexteacher

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 04:44:51 PM »
I think what you are talking about is called a rodding eye in the UK, (due to the oval shape).  Usually these things have 2 bolts holding them down.  As a temporary fix what you have seems adequate, but I would put a fair bit of weight on top of it to be sure.  Also I recommend chucking the plastic bowl away.  I am more concerned that the original disappeared, this shouldn't happen, I would recommend a thorough check to see if your drain has collapsed or if there is similar damage.  In these cases professional help is a good idea, if only to look it over to get a "Yup, you need to buy a new lid".




Edited because a bowl was used not a bowel.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 04:28:01 PM by Hexteacher »
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 04:51:59 PM »
For water services up here, there are two types:  One has a cover over a tube into the ground and the valve is actually down below ground level by quite a bit.  The valve turning wrench fits down the hole.  The other type actually has the valve right at the surface.

It sounds to me like yours is the former.  I'd call the city crew to come in and see if they can still access the valve down at the bottom and the tube hasn't shifted with the impact.  (It would be the city where I live - I'm pretty sure the EPA rules are similar to ours so it is likely the same for you.)

If it was the latter, you'd probably be seeing signs of a leak.

This is all predicated on the fact that your services are the same, though.

Either way, I think your temporary fix is a good idea - you don't want dirt to get down there because it could either block the valve at the bottom of the hole or enter the piping if there is a leak.  Not so crucial if it is definitely a sewage line but not so good if it is a water line.
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Ontario

jpcher

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 05:53:28 PM »
It's definitely the sewage pipe flowing from inside to outside of my home into the city drainage system.

I would recommend a thorough check to see if your drain has collapsed or if there is similar damage.  In these cases professional help is a good idea, if only to look it over to get a "Yup, you need to buy a new lid".

Thankfully, No. The pipes haven't collapsed. That happened about 5 years ago and they replaced the old clay pipes with PVC pipes. What a mess that was!

I can clearly see down to the bottom of the cross pipe. It seemed pretty clean.


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 06:13:32 PM »
I would definitely check with the city.  They usually want to fix their own equipment, at least where I am.  You have to fix from your side of the valve to the house but from the valve to the street, they like to take care of it.

They'll let you know if you need to call a private company.
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Virg

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 04:24:45 PM »
Outdoor Girl wrote:

"I would definitely check with the city.  They usually want to fix their own equipment, at least where I am.  You have to fix from your side of the valve to the house but from the valve to the street, they like to take care of it."

It's a sewer line.  There's not going to be any valve on it.  The cover that got broken isn't a valve cover, it's a cleanout access, and I've never heard of any municipality that would service a sewer line before the street junction so calling them won't matter.

Virg

jpcher

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix? UPDATE #10
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 09:41:11 PM »
UPDATE:

We've had about 3-4 inches of snow, and because my snow removal service came out, there's close to 2 feet of snow on the side of my driveway.

Truth needs to be told at this point. It was not my snow removal service that did the damage. It was a friend of mine that does snow removal on business properties. She doesn't normally do private driveways, but it was just happenstance that she was driving by at the same time that DD#2's car was stuck at the end of the apron. We got DD#2's car unstuck, Friend plowed out the apron area then insisted on telling me to move my car into the street and she'll do a quick-plow on the driveway. I told her that I have a service, she really didn't need to do this. She said "No problem! It will take me 5 minuets, then your service can come in and finish the clean up."

When I originally posted, I didn't see a difference between "my snow removal service" or "my friend that did me a favor."

(My snow removal service uses snow blowers.)

I strongly apologize for my misnomer, however, at the time of my OP, I didn't think that it was an important factor. Someone removed the snow from my driveway.

As long as your fix covers and seals the hole, you shouldn't have any problem with it until a pro can assess a permanent fix, and I'd suggest having a plumber check it because the most likely thing I can think of is that your snow removal service hit it with a plow or blower and bottlecapped it, which means a new cover probably won't attach correctly.  Assuming you have city sewage, having the cap disappear won't damage the system beyond functioning but it'll stink unless you get it fixed.

Virg


Yeah. Now that the snow is melted? I see that there is a considerable amount of damage. While my plastic bowl fix is still tightly holding firm, there are jagged edges on the pipe. The lid and pieces of the pipe were found about 6 inches away. I do need to call out a plumber in order to fix this properly.

If it was, in fact, my service people that caused the damage I wouldn't have any qualms about calling them and expecting them to pay for the damage.

Since the damage was caused by a friend doing a favor?

What would you do?




Minmom3

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix? UPDATE #10
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 10:25:40 PM »
Get a quote and let your friend know.  She assumed she knew what she needed to know to do your driveway properly.  Aaaand, she was wrong, and did damage.  You shouldn't have to absorb the costs, because it sounds like it may be a few hundred dollars to repair that damage.  Let her know and give her the chance to offer to pay for the repair.  But what ever you do, make sure she knows her favor caused damage.  I'm sure she doesn't have to be cautious of such things in her commercial snow removal, but this is a house and this is different, that difference should NOT cost YOU....
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Virg

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Re: Plumbing question . . . quick temporary fix? UPDATE #10
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 01:38:54 PM »
What I'd do is find out how much the repair is going to cost, and then put that against how close I am to my friend.  For a close friend, you'll be fine to tell her that she hit the cover and damaged it, and it cost this much to fix, because a close friend will want to make it right.  For someone less close, it may be tougher and at that point it really depends how much it is to fix.  In any case, be sure to document the damage with photos before the repair so you have something to work with.  For example, if your friend decides that she can file a claim with her business insurance to pay for the repair, she might need the pictures for the claim.

Virg