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Category: Plumbing

This is a reader’s experience of finding dodgy plumbing including leaks in sewage pipes and joints when he moved home. Gildas contacted us with his experience – which is a cautionary tale about finding the right tradesmen to work in your house. Read his murky experiences below.

Three months after moving in to my house raw sewage started leaking into my basement. After a few more months, I was removing a full bucket of sewage a day…

I believed at first the piping was leaking there, but in fact, the sewage was dribbling along heating pipes for about 3m before dripping onto other pipes.

A white PVC 100 to 80mm bend was forced into the lead piping. The “sealing” was done via semi flexible foam (looks like PUR7).

Damaged lead drainage pipe

Lead Sewage Pipe Damage Leads to Leaks

This was done with all the delicacy of a drunk Geordie (editor’s note other drunken people are equally unable to carry out plumbing effectively) – deforming the three way Y lead junction (see image above), splitting it badly at the back. As you can see the split is about 2 inches long and the part was very deformed.

Damaged sewage pipe

Reducing Plastic Waste Pipe was forced into a Lead Fitting

Consequently the 90° clay bend below was smashed. But it retained some of it’s shape. This allowed most of the liquids to escape into the earth and retaining the solids. The excrement and toilet paper paper accumulated and slowly congealed.

And because more is always better, the first 50cm of the straight pipe was also split, leading to more congealed poo. The only way to remove this mess was to dig under the foundations, break the first 90° bend outside, break the concrete of the drive, put my arm up the congealed pipe and pull out the blockage. I replaced everything with new PVC. The PVC to Clay junction was done with hydraulic cement (temp job until I renovate the whole house).

This could have been avoided if the “plumber” had know how to join the PCV part directly to the clay one. The two lead down-pipes could have been crimped over PVC etc

Sadly this is not a one-off, in the bonus picture below, you can see a pipe hanger driven into a down pipe. This was repeated four times in one room.

Hanger into downpipe

Pipe Hanger Driven into a Down Pipe

Because of this pattern of shoddiness, I’m not even attempting a repair on the waste piping I have decided on changing the whole lot from the roof vent down.

Fortunately for me I had the luxury of being able to let the earth dry out for three months before starting my repairs.

Gildas contacted DIY Doctor after finding us on You Tube. We have over 11 thousand subscribers to our channel, proving we hope that our Home Improvement videos are helpful to everyone undertaking a building task.

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