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Side Sewer Repair


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Originally posted by randynavarro

I know we don't do anything with underground sewer stuff in our work.

I have a friend who needs some help with this sewer line repair.

For those versed in sewer stuff, does the repair look ok?

The white sections of pipe are actually ductile iron.

If that's a rubber combination wye, it shouldn't be used underground; it'll collapse.

If that's an ABS combination tee, howcome it's got pipe clamps on it?

Looks like bubba work.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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OK I'm the new guy here but I'll comment anyways. It's kind of hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like the new elbow is of a smaller diameter than the iron piping. As such wouldn't that be a prime backup location. If the pipe's aren't the same size then the interior walls are not smooth and may even have a lip that things can get caught on.

Kurt....if you put an extension on that and brought it to ground level, it's mower food no? When I was building my patio in back, I found a clean out that was about 5-6" from the side of the house that had be eaten by a mower then covered with dirt. Of course the entire pipe was full of dirt and I had to clean out the clean out, then fix the cap. Also, depending how far from the house it actually is, having a clean out cap sticking out of the ground in the middle of the yard (where kids run and play) is a trip hazard. Now if you placed a sewer utility box type thing over it so it could be accessed and not damaged, that might be better.

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It's not rubber; it's flexible PVC. At least, if it's a Fernco hub, it's flexible PVC. I never thought to ask if it was a Fernco hub, because that's the only thing that ever gets used here. Hopefully, it's Fernco.

Flexible PVC is inert & essentially impervious to soil conditions, sewer waste & sewer gas, chemicals, fungus, and just about everything. It can handle immense soil loads. It's PVC. It'll only last about 4 million years, but by then, folks'll have figured out how to not shit anymore, and we'll all be living in space pods.

It's interior hub is constructed to provide multiple seals to allow for irregularities in pipe surfaces.

There may be local prohibitions against burying this stuff, but it's fine buried. They bury it in Chicago, and if Local 130 says it's OK, it's OK, because they manage to keep everything that makes life easy & simple out, and concentrate on keeping things expensive & complicated in. If they use it, at minimum, you can be sure it works.

Go here; if it's Fernco (which I hope it is), this should satisfy...


They make hubs for iron to plastic, plastic to tile, iron to tile, and just about any combination thereof.

If folks are worried about the stainless steel clamps rusting out, they will. Compare that to the seal provided by a gasketless bell & hub joint on 100 year old sewer tile. The flex PVC joint will work fine.

If it's rubber, it's total garbage, and the installer should be flogged. Make sure it's Fernco.

I can't tell from the photo about size transitions, or much anything else, but if the pipe is the same size, it'll work fine. If there's restrictions, it won't.

Yep, surface cleanouts are lawnmower bait. No argument, but it beats digging.

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