Ejector Pit inlet pipe problems

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Derek-VA, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Derek-VA

    Derek-VA New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hello,

    I am installing a basement ejector pit system in a basement that was already roughed in for one. Inside the pit there was a 4" PVC pipe with a cap for the sewage inlet. I cut the cap off and lo and behold it appears that there was a three inch PVC pipe inside the 4" pipe and I cut through both pipes and now there is a 1/4 gap all the way around between the two. This is bad, when it rains, groundwater comes in the pit through this gap and gets sent to the septic via the pump.

    Apparently, the hole in the pit was sized for a 4 inch pipe, so the rough in plumber put a 4" pipe in the inlet, then ran the 3" drain pipe though the center of the 4" pipe and used some fitting that I have never seen before to seal the three inch pipe to the 4 inch pipe and cap the whole thing off. Had I known, I would have cut the seal off the end of the pipe thus opening the 3" drain. Hindsight, and lesson learnt. However, how do I now fix this? The pipes stick out from the pit wall about 3/4" and of course the 4" and 3" pipe are flush and concentric.

    The only fix I can think of is to put some type of epoxy in the gap between the pipes. There must be a better way though... If not, any epoxy suggestions? I need help...

    Thanks,
    Derek
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The two pipes should have been joined together, (to do it properly have used a reducer on the 3" and attached it to the tank directly), AND SEALED OUTSIDE the tank, and NOT stuck through the tank wall in the first place. In fact, I cannot see how he shoved the pipe into the tank, because the proper inlet connection has a "stop" to PREVENT the pipe from entering the tank. The proper fix is to dig down outside the tank and make the correct connection to it, unless he just drilled a hole in the tank wall and stuck his pipe through it.
  3. Derek-VA

    Derek-VA New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia
    Current fitting is a hole with a grommet. No water ever leaked around that seal, just between the two pipes.

    hj you're absolutely right, it would have made more sense to use a reducer to fit the 3" PVC into the 4" PVC and then had the grommet seal against the single pipe. I have no idea why they did it the way they did, and now it is a headache. However, cutting the concrete, digging down and redoing that seems a bit extreme at this point (might even need to cut into a wall depending on space). Any other options?

    When the pump is unplugged the water only goes up about an inch over the pipe and stops. At that point the water level is to the point that it enters the sump pit and doesn't go any higher. That said, whatever fix will only ever see about 6" water pressure at most.

    Thanks,

    Derek
  4. wraujr

    wraujr Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    MD
    Modify a 3x4 Adaper/Reducer

    Try this:
    Get a 3x4 Reducer Hub
    Sand down the "stop" that limits the 3" depth so that it now slides onto 3" pipe.
    Cut 4" pipe shorter. You can leave 3" pipe long.
    Slide on reducer and mark where 3" edge of reducer ends.
    Clean and prime both 4" and 3" pipe.
    Apply PVC solvent glue to both 4" pipe and 4" hub
    Apply PVC solvent (be generous) to just 3" pipe (this is if you left 3" pipe long)
    Slide on reducer and give the ole' quarter turn.
    If you decide to trim 3" pipe to be flush with edge of reducer, then go ahead, trim first and apply glue to both pipe and hub.

    You could do same thing with 4x3 bushing. (Charlotte 4 x 3 437-422)
  5. Derek-VA

    Derek-VA New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia
    wraujr, that's a good idea, I was thinking something similar along those lines. However, then I stood in front of the PVC fixtures section for a long time at Home Depot and really figured out what happened.

    The rough in was a 4x3 flush reducer through the ejector pit. This is what was capped and this is what I cut through. So, picture a 4x3 reducer cut in half, groundwater leaks though that... I can add a length of 3" PVC no problem since that would slip through reducer, but then what's left is sized for 4" ID...

    Maybe I can extend the 4" pipe and then extend the 3" pipe a little longer and do as you suggest.

    Thanks,
    Derek
  6. Derek-VA

    Derek-VA New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia
    of course, there is already the 3" PVC inside the reducer, so I'd have to use a 3" extender to go on the ID. Any problems with clogging due to the lip on the extender inside the 3" drain pipe?
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Unfortunately, what you are describing makes no sense. There is no fitting that fits onto a 4" pipe and also connects to a 3" pipe inside it. Bushings, reducers, etc., ALL have a hub and stop to make sure the pipes DO NOT slide through them. A picture of what you cut off might tell us more about what you are working with.
  8. Derek-VA

    Derek-VA New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia
    hj,

    you're right, what happened was the following:
    1) the grommet in the pit is sized for a 4" pipe. No 4" pipe was used (mistake in first post)
    2) rough in plumber put a 4x3 reducing bushing in the hole (same OD as 4" pipe) and capped it inside the pit
    3) rough in plumber then inserted 3" drain pipe into bushing until it hit the stop.
    4) I look in and see what I thought was a 4" pipe capped, cut it off, cutting through the bushing... Now there is a gap in the bushing that allows the groundwater to flow.

    I think the best option is to
    (A) insert a 3" extender in the center of the 3" pipe still cemented to the bushing
    (B) attach a 4" repair coupling to what remains of the OD of the cut bushing
    (C) remove the lip stop from a 4x3 bushing as suggested by wraujr and slide it over the extended 3" pipe and into the 4" coupling and be done.

    Concerns, (1) I need to make sure I don't extend the inlet drain too close to the pump or solid waste could fall onto and prevent the float from rising. (2) is there a chance the lip from the 3" extender will cause clogging in the drain. I have never used an extender or seen one in person before.

    Thanks,

    Derek
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Again, I still cannot visualize HOW he did what you describe and still made a good seal with the pit. ALL of the things you describe SHOULD HAVE BEEN outside the tank, NOT inside it. ANd we also are not sure WHAT you now have or how to correct it.
  10. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I would cut an 18" square in the floor next to the basin and fix the line the way it should of been in the first place.
    A bag of cement is cheap compared to the problems that might come with a botched repair.
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