Use Clay pipe or cast iron pipe for overhead sewer (50-60ft underground in yard)??

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by bnbhoha, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. bnbhoha

    bnbhoha New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Illinois
    Considering getting an overhead sewer installed due to basement flooding through floor drain during heavy rain storms (once a year). In any case, I'm getting estimates done for flood control valves and overhead sewer. I'm trying to save money but also want something that will last. My plumber is suggesting I go overhead sewer with clay pipe instead of cast iron, if I want to save money.

    My concern is that my house is a little over 60 years old and currently has clay pipes under the house for the sewer. I was told that if I used a plug to plug the drain hole/or a stand pipe, that it will cause cause pressure in the clay pipes during a sewer backup and that may cause them to burst or cause my floor to buckle. So if I choose to go with the the overhead sewer, the stack would be cut and ran out through the side of the house and under ground where it will connect with clay pipe to the sewer line (roughly 50-60ft). Wouldn't the clay pipe still be under the same pressure and crack/burst as the same way as if I was using a plug to plug the drain hole? I know water levels itself out, but I'm thinking it's the same pressure but now it's outside the house than inside the house. What's the difference? Would it be better to use cast iron pipe then?

    extra credit: what is the cost difference between 10ft of clay pipe vs iron pipe? cant seem to find this info anywhere online. Thank you.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,000
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've been plumbing since 1974, and I've never seen clay pipe installed in a home above the slab.
    Choices have been cast iron and plastic, either ABS or PVC

    The story about pipes buckling a concrete floor, that's classic. Is that kind of like the boogie man to scare you?
    I suppose you while you are at it, you could just cut the drain outside the foundation and cap it there.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If that is what the plumber said you need to find a new one...
  4. bnbhoha

    bnbhoha New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Illinois
    I live in Chicago and the by code it's either cast iron or clay (no pvc except inside the residence ground level or higher only). The plumber actually is a retired plumbing inspector for the city lol. Is it really that unusual?

    Again, he would cut the stack, use pvc to run it outside the house (maybe an eight foot run) from the pvc, it would connect to clay and go approx 3 feet, I believe, into the ground. The clay pipe would run along side of the house and eventually to the front and connect with the main sewer pipe which is 7 feet deep. (This is just in a nut shell, the upstairs kitchen will tie into the stack via PVC and washing machine water in basement will be going into a pit where a sump pump pumps the water into the stack)

    As far as the floors buckling, I just read that online, so I don't know. So Terry, would it be "wrong" to do the clay pipes that way and would it cause any problems during a sewer/storm backup? Thank you.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,000
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Would it be wrong?

    I've heard from other plumbers on the net that they have their own way of doing things in Chicago. Maybe I'll stay out of this one.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Okay so the clay isn't going overhead in a basement...

    I didn't think that was done in Chicago...
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    When he connects to the clay pipe, he will cut off and seal the clay from the house, (actually he should seal it where it leaves the basement), so it will NOT have any pressure during a backflow. You have clay to the city sewer now, so using clay outside the basement will not be any worse than the rest of it, and will probably be better because it will be new and have better joints than the old stuff.
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