open sewage overflow pipe in old basement?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by OL, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. OL

    OL New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    New York
    Hi all - I've really appreciated this forum as a newish homeowner, especially as different parts of my house were built at different times (1870s, 1910, and 1969). In the old (stone foundation, very unfinished, basically crawl space) part of our basement we have what seems to be an open pipe connected to the septic/toilet plumbing. It wasn't pointed out by the home inspector and had assumed it was blocked off/inactive/not a

    However, we just discovered that it seems to be overflowing/leaking. Nothing too crazy, there is no smell I can detect, and the basement down there is already pretty dank - but there are little bits of toilet paper around the pipe. I guess it is still connected after all, and wonder what should be done with this? We replaced the septic tank/field a year and a half ago, and I'm having the septic tank pumped tomorrow. I will also call a plumber, but wanted to get some advice/opinions so I know what I'm dealing with. What is this pipe for? Should this be a closed system? Can this be capped off or would this just move the blockage upstairs (where we -really- don't want it)? We are tight on funds right now and really can't re-do all the plumbing/piping in the basement.

    (I've posted a photo as well.)

    Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. Sean Beck

    Sean Beck Plumber

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    There will be no smell because the layout of the piping has created a trap. If it overflows, then there could be a partial blockage in the drain ahead which you will need to look into. If its not in use, then I would plug it where it enters the cast iron.
  3. SHR

    SHR Member

    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I agree with Sean Beck, for now cap the end of the pipe with a rubber Fernco cap of the correct size. Measure the outside diameter of the pipe and go to your plumbing supply store to get the right cap. After that is taken care of I would hire a plumber to clean out the drain pipes downstream from this old stub out.
  4. OL

    OL New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks to both of you! I capped the pipe as you suggested and as you suspected there was an issue with the downstream flow (outside, between the house and the septic tank). Seemed like things got disconnected due to settling of the 1.5 yr old septic tank and also some winter heaving. That's been dealt with now, so hopefully that's the end of it. Thanks again.
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