i cant find my sewer lateral MAIN?? can i trace it

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by brettybaby, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. brettybaby

    brettybaby New Member

    Messages:
    2
    i heard i could trace my sewer main lateral

    i dont have a cleanout and i have no clue where my pipe is underground.

    does anyone know how to trace a line

    i heard there is tracing metals i could flush or tracing fluids that i could use :cool:
  2. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Depending on their skill, some plumbers with cameras can be pretty accurate as far as tracing drainage piping....
  3. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Camera's are the best, if your not into the expence you can send a metal tape (electrical fish tape) down the line from the vent pipe or pull the toilet, and have a locate company hook to it and locate it. *IMPORTANT* straiten the end so that you don't hook every joint on the way back out.

    If your on the city they can usually tell you where your tap is and you can get an educated guess from that.

    If your on a septic tank you can flush a neat locater and it'll locate your septic tank (using the right equipment) and you can guess from that. your local honey wagon wrangler can do that for you.

    If you stand back you can sometimes see the ditchline that the pipe is in where the ground has settled.

    You can run a sewer snake down and sometimes hear and listen to the head bouncing around in the pipe....

    Mark what you think might be it in white (for locate)

    Mark what you know is it in Green.

    The camera is the best.

    Good luck.... you may need it.

    dances-with-pumps
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,258
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tap

    The tap location is usually indicated on the city's sewer maps. If you are trying to locate the line's route, then you do not need the expense of a camera. A simple transmitter on the end of a push rod will send the signal to a professional locator's equipment so he can tell you how it runs and how deep it is. This is much cheaper than a camera.
  5. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    If you're kinda smart and a real tight wad and have a very good idea where the line exits the house you might be able to follow it with a probe. My probe is a piece of 3/8 rod with a T-handle (made of 1" square tubing) welded to the end (the other end I sharpened on a bench grinder). By pressing it into the ground I can pretty well follow where a ditch was dug for a water line or sewer line. Soft stuff has been dug, hard stuff is either a rock, root, or undisturbed earth.... Once you get the feel for it then you can rough it out and, as mentioned before, can see a very slight depression in the earth where the trench was dug a zillion years ago.
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Does your pipe go out through the basement wall or into the floor.

    You may want to call the city. A few of them will come out and locate where the tap is and then you can draw a line from the stack in the house to the tap. They can also tell you how deep the tap is and that may help also.
  7. brettybaby

    brettybaby New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I like this idea. where can i buy a waterproof transmitter that i can trace.

    Honestly how is a camera going to tell me where the pipe is at? I dont understand the logic on this method!

    I called the city. They came out. They said no they dont know where the hookup is and they told me to hire some1 else they are too busy.

    If some1 can tell me where i can purchase a transmitter i can trace i will do that method. I like that method.

    m trying to tie in my backhouse toiled but the city said i have to attach on the lateral pipe and not to the house pipes
  8. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hire someone to do the tracing...
    The camera method works by knowing how far the camera is into the pipe, what fittings you have passed and what direction they went - it can actually be very accurate...
    The tracing method is quicker and cheaper though....
    It is not worth it for you to try to buy/rent the equipment - hire someone to do it for you....
  9. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Camra's send a signal out of the camra head. With a locator, most good oporators can pinpoint exactly where the head is, within a couple of inches (side to side and depth).

    dances-with-pumps
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,258
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    trace

    Most companies charge about three times as much for a camera as they do for a tracer. You can't afford the buy the transmitter and receiver for a single job. Call a professional locating company.
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