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pit in garage?


Brandon Whitmore
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Does anyone have any idea what this pit would be used for in the garage. It appears to be some type of drainage pit/ sump. The driveway slopes in toward the garage and there is a driveway drain at the base of the garage door. There is a pipe the same size that enters this pit. The sewer pipe runs from the basement into this pit as well. I tried to dig into the base of this thing, but it was full of muck and my screwdriver drove to the hilt. House was built in 1909

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We have some drains and catch basins around houses here that are designed to capture runoff and disperse it gradually below grade into drywells. When they fill up to overflowing the overflow is shunted into the sewers. Perhaps when it fills up the overflow drains to the sewer.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Does anyone have any idea what this pit would be used for in the garage. It appears to be some type of drainage pit/ sump. The driveway slopes in toward the garage and there is a driveway drain at the base of the garage door. There is a pipe the same size that enters this pit. The sewer pipe runs from the basement into this pit as well. I tried to dig into the base of this thing, but it was full of muck and my screwdriver drove to the hilt. House was built in 1909

I see those every so often in NE Portland. They're just catch basins.

One time, the realtor, the buyer and I were huddled around one of these things while I explained what it did. There was a long, skinny thread-like thing hanging out of one of the pipes. The realtor said, "What's that?"

I recognized it immediately as a rat's tail. Grabbing it firmly, I yanked it out and held aloft a wriggling rat of medium size and foul temperament.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

One time, the realtor, the buyer and I were huddled around one of these things while I explained what it did. There was a long, skinny thread-like thing hanging out of one of the pipes. The realtor said, "What's that?"

I recognized it immediately as a rat's tail. Grabbing it firmly, I yanked it out and held aloft a wriggling rat of medium size and foul temperament.

You're terrible person. Keep up the good work. [:-angel]

Brian G.

Never More Envious of Another Inspector [:-slaphap

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

One time, the realtor, the buyer and I were huddled around one of these things while I explained what it did. There was a long, skinny thread-like thing hanging out of one of the pipes. The realtor said, "What's that?"

I recognized it immediately as a rat's tail. Grabbing it firmly, I yanked it out and held aloft a wriggling rat of medium size and foul temperament.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

If I'd been there, one of two things would have happened; either I would have had a coronary and croaked on the spot, or you would have seen me break Carl Lewis' record as I ran to my vehicle and burned the rubber off all four of my tires to get out of there.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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So from what I am understanding, this is a catch basin that just allows water to permeate into the ground beneath the garage? Seems a little odd to me that they would install a catch basin directly beneath the slab(living space directly above garage). There was only one visible pipe that appeared to come from the driveway slab and then the sewer line that ran in there- am I missing anything?

I did not see any pipe installed that would prevent overflowing if the moisture could no longer seep into the soils below. Does anyone know of any site I can go to that will let me study up on these?

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Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

So from what I am understanding, this is a catch basin that just allows water to permeate into the ground beneath the garage? Seems a little odd to me that they would install a catch basin directly beneath the slab(living space directly above garage). There was only one visible pipe that appeared to come from the driveway slab and then the sewer line that ran in there- am I missing anything?

I did not see any pipe installed that would prevent overflowing if the moisture could no longer seep into the soils below. Does anyone know of any site I can go to that will let me study up on these?

No, I think you misunderstand. There's usually a pipe that's turned down as it enters this box. That's the drain. As water fills the box, it flows out that pipe to a dry well or storm sewer. The box serves as a settling pit so that debris doesn't enter the dry well or storm sewer. You're supposed to clean out the muck every so often.

At least that's how I understand them to work.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I understand how newer systems work, it just appeared to me on this one that the only open pipe entered from the driveway drain (could be wrong). This one looks more like a drywell to me, but probably wrong again. The pipe entering the catch basin appears to slope downward into the basin.

Thanks for all the explanations, I think I will just have to assume that the drain I am seeing is for water to exit vs. enter. I wish I had a hose on that job to run water into that drain in the driveway to be sure.

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  • 1 year later...
Originally posted by hausdok

Yes,

I probably should have explained that I thought that the pipe coming in from the right was the overflow. D'oh!

OT - OF!!!

M.

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted ask a similar question. I have a similar pit, but there are no pipes going to/from it. It's just a concrete pit about 30" deep, 4' long, 3' wide. I want to just fill this in and cover it with concrete. But I'm a little worried that there's still 3" of water in it. So it seems water does leak into it from the outside walls. I'm at the top of a hill, and the house sits up and back from the garage. So it might be used to catch and pool underground water. I just wish I knew what it was really used for. Then I can decide if filling it in is a good/bad idea. If anyone can let me know. thanks

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I know this is an old thread, but I wanted ask a similar question. I have a similar pit, but there are no pipes going to/from it. It's just a concrete pit about 30" deep, 4' long, 3' wide. I want to just fill this in and cover it with concrete. But I'm a little worried that there's still 3" of water in it. So it seems water does leak into it from the outside walls. I'm at the top of a hill, and the house sits up and back from the garage. So it might be used to catch and pool underground water. I just wish I knew what it was really used for. Then I can decide if filling it in is a good/bad idea. If anyone can let me know. thanks

Back in the "olden days" when a car had only a few moving parts in the engine, folks did their own repairs like changing oil and transmission fluids. Folks had these pits in the garage to access the under side of the car. Sounds like what you have there. Don't fill it, use it. Why pay Jiffy-lube when you can do it yourself in your own pit.

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Originally posted by ghentjr

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted ask a similar question. I have a similar pit, but there are no pipes going to/from it. It's just a concrete pit about 30" deep, 4' long, 3' wide. I want to just fill this in and cover it with concrete. But I'm a little worried that there's still 3" of water in it. So it seems water does leak into it from the outside walls. I'm at the top of a hill, and the house sits up and back from the garage. So it might be used to catch and pool underground water. I just wish I knew what it was really used for. Then I can decide if filling it in is a good/bad idea. If anyone can let me know. thanks

Back in the "olden days" when a car had only a few moving parts in the engine, folks did their own repairs like changing oil and transmission fluids. Folks had these pits in the garage to access the under side of the car. Sounds like what you have there. Don't fill it, use it. Why pay Jiffy-lube when you can do it yourself in your own pit.

Thanks for the quick response. But I don't know how someone could stand in this pit and still fit under a car, even an old one. Maybe sitting they could, but it's a tight fit. I'd rather not use it. I change my oil in the small driveway that I have anyway. Is there a potential problem if I do fill it in? Could there be a problem with water under the garage if I cap it with concrete? Also what's the best way to fill it (gravel, etc?). thanks again.

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Originally posted by sirwig

. . . Could there be a problem with water under the garage if I cap it with concrete? Also what's the best way to fill it (gravel, etc?). thanks again.

If you want to fill it, use round river rock to within 4" of the top, then cap it with concrete.

The round rock doesn't settle as gravel does so you won't have to worry about compacting it. Any water that enters the pit will move through the rock as if it weren't there. It'll also be easy to undo if you ever need to.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by sirwig

. . . Could there be a problem with water under the garage if I cap it with concrete? Also what's the best way to fill it (gravel, etc?). thanks again.

If you want to fill it, use round river rock to within 4" of the top, then cap it with concrete.

The round rock doesn't settle as gravel does so you won't have to worry about compacting it. Any water that enters the pit will move through the rock as if it weren't there. It'll also be easy to undo if you ever need to.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Jim,

Thanks for your help. I like the idea for the river rock instead of gravel. I think that's the way to go. Many thanks!!

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