Odd trap / drain depth question.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by RPN, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Well, this whole "malum in se versus malum prohibitum" thing has been going on literally for thousands of years, so it ain't gonna be solved here today. I do have to say though that I consider the plumbing code to be iussum quia iustum, and it does protect us from ourselves as well as from others.

    What is actually incredibly-heartening to me is the amount of honor and respect the licensed professionals who post here display towards their licenses and the fundamental tenets of their profession. There are wormy apples in every profession, but as someone who takes my own oath and responsibilities seriously, I'm really proud to be around a bunch of professionals who do the same.

    These guys aren't willing to participate in half-assing the thing. They know that there is more than one way to do something right, and they also know that some things are unequivocally wrong.

    And they are not willing to accept your premise that "If you can't show me that it is certainly going to kill my family, then it meets MY own personal plumbing code." Oddly, even when someone indicated a plausible risk to your family, you decided that it wasn't a sufficient risk to concern you.

    The purpose of requiring licenses and doing things to code is not just to prevent potentially-fatal hazards; it's also to keep things from happening that are a simple as what happened to the unfortunate Mom, new to Chicago, who spent $9000 on a bathroom, only to discover that there was no p-trap under her now-sewer-gas-laden tub.

    It's harder always to do everything right, but it's also easier always to do everything right.

    As to your description of your own installation, somehow, I'm getting a mental picture of old schoolbusses buried in the backyard and a sense that authorities come on your land at their personal peril. Yikes. Pretty sure that the place I am thinking of wasn't to code either.

    Anyway, kudos to my fellow professionals (in a different profession than mine) for treating their profession with pride.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,128
    Location:
    Maine
    Thank you. The code is there to protect the health and safety of the public. Nobody sits down to write codes just for the sake of making up silly rules. Every single paragraph in the code it there for a specific reason and does not and will not require someone else to make a decision that is contrary. As I suspected the cost is more than the individual is willing to pay so we have established just how much his integrity is worth. This particular discussion has NOTHING at all to do with speeding or seat belt laws or any other law for that matter. It has to do with integrity. Just because there is no one around watching you is not a reason to break the law. Any law. As I said before. If I encountered someone trying to do something (anything) similar in my neck of the woods I would have the state inspector out there with a cease and desist in a heartbeat and I'd make damn sure the guy knew exactly who turned him in. I have too much time, sweat and money into my license and plumbing skills to ignore ANYONE that is not playing by the same rules that I HAVE to play by.

    And yea, you already hacked in your solution so the thread no longer has any reason to exist other than to highlight the lack of honesty and integrity that is all too common in the DIY community.
  3. RPN

    RPN New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    MO
    Hello wj, welcome to the party. :D


    I do not believe plausible is the correct word regarding the risk that was mentioned.

    Do you really believe that it is plausible that my family will be killed by H2S because the house is too close to the septic tank?


    I almost laughed out loud, but it is nothing like that. It is just your usual farming community where people are not too trustful of strangers. We have too many meth heads around here stealing copper and other metals (to sell for money to buy drugs). My cousin chased a couple of at gun point that were preparing to steal a neighbor's gate. Law enforcement is pretty scarce here and you are mostly on your own. Dialing 911 might get a deputy out in 30 - 40 minutes.


    I have no problem with somebody wanting nothing to do with a project. Just don't come into my thread whining about how society is going to collapse because I am going to willfully violate the code.
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,128
    Location:
    Maine
    [/QUOTE]

    How about you don't come to "OUR FORUM" looking for advice on how to get away with doing something illegal? Dooooohhh
  5. RPN

    RPN New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    MO

    What did I ask for advice on that was illegal?

    Edited to add: "Our forum"? Are you a moderator or the site owner?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Access to the septic means someone needs to pull the lid off for pumping. Is that going to be doable?
    Could the septic tank be move farther away from the structure?
    Are there other options?
  7. RPN

    RPN New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    MO
    Sure it does - unless you are saying that plumbing code is on a higher pedestal than any other law.


    How so?


    But you said "This particular discussion has NOTHING at all to do with speeding or seat belt laws or any other law for that matter."


    I absolutely believe you would. And you would never work around here again once word got out. Yes, I know, you would have your pride to keep you warm.
  8. RPN

    RPN New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    MO
    Hello, Terry.

    Yes, there will be approximately 24" beween the solids-side access port and the concrete floor above it. Not a fun job, but I could do it pretty easy. If it needs pumped, we will probably uncover the entire tank just to make access easier.

    I truly wish the tank could be moved. The house is on a flat spot on the side of a ridge. 20' past the tank, the land drops off again. I don't know what the original builder was thinking, but the next best place for the tank is about 50 yards uphill where a level pasture starts. At that point the tank would be higher than the house.

    Please my accept my apologies for the ugliness of this thread. If you feel that you need to delete some of the posts (or even the entire thread) to uphold the image of your forum, please do so.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    RPN,
    The plumbers feel they need to take a tough line here. One of the things that separate countries is the building codes. When the Soviet Union collapsed my older sister was there. She spent a few weeks there during the turmoil of that time. She said that after seeing the poor construction techniques there, that there was no doubt that this was not a country that posed a threat to us.

    When I travel, I'm very careful about the food and the water that I take in. Most of those places have the plumbing on the outside of the buildings, and it's pretty much all done wrong. It's not a surprise looking at it, that you wouldn't want to drink their water. There are too many cross connections. I've even been in some nice homes there that had some pretty bad smelling plumbing. Nice tile, large soaking tub, bidets, and somehow they still messed up the plumbing in the walls.

    On some DIY sites, it is more tolerant. But then that's like asking the guy on the plumbing isle how to do a reconstruction of a broken foot.
    Tom Sawyer (not his real name) does get a bit grumpy. I'm sure that if he had to use a real name, and company name, the answers would be toned down a bit.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  10. RPN

    RPN New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    MO
    Terry, I understand completely. Thank you so much for the forum.


    For the morbidly curious, here is what we are doing with the tank and foundation situation. I am not asking for advice about it. I am merely including the drawings in hopes that my earlier remarks might be made more clear.


    Screen shot 2012-10-05 at 4.08.35 PM.jpg

    Screen shot 2012-10-05 at 4.09.35 PM.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Just so you know, I turned down a job this Summer where I would have had to crawl under a patio slab to work on the connection of the house sewer to the septic tank. The ground had settled and the connection had broken and was leaking water and sewage there. I let someone else crawl in there on their belly and did the top out.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,491
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I cannot understand why a septic tank would have to be moved 100' if the existing one is under the house.
  13. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,128
    Location:
    Maine
    Nah, I'd still be grumpy. I was born grumpy :cool:
  14. RPN

    RPN New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    MO

    If it has to be 25' from the house, there is no place to move it and still have room for the field.

    Exit the back door, take two strides, and you are standing on the tank. Take six more strides and you will fall straight down about 10'. It isn't straight down after that, but it is very steep.

    Standing at the back door, to the right of the tank is a postage stamp sized yard that I believe is the lateral field. To the left is hillside. (The house is set into the hill on two sides.)

    If you go up the slope far enough, we have a good sized pasture on the ridge top. We also have a couple of pastures in the opposite direction, but the pipe would have to cross a deep ravine.

    It is a beautiful place. Lots of deer, turkeys, foxes, raccoons, and way too many coyotes.
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