wierd hole found in basement??

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by possum, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. possum

    possum New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    western pa
    I found a hole in my basement under a block wall. I shinned a light down into it and there was about 6" of water in it. The hole is about 24" round and I could see teracoto pipe running out of it. Is this the old sewer line?? I ran all sinks and flushed all the tollets repetedly and there was no increase in the water leveles. late at night there is a sh*tty smell that comes out. Any suggestions on what to do the house is 80-100 years old.
  2. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Is there any reason to be concerned with it? If you're just curious you could run dye here and there to see if anything is connected to it...and if it connects to anything. Possible old plumbing just left connected to sewer???? If it were me I'd put some nice air tight lid, cap, or plug on it...then get some sleep and not worry about it. It might just be a clean out.
  3. possum

    possum New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    western pa
    it makes my house stink some time there is no way to cap it the only opening i can see is a cracked out block at the bottum of the wall that leeds to the hole could i fill it with something? thanks for the reply.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    This sounds like a sump to me. It is used to remove ground water from under the house to help keep things dry. They are often installed when the house is built, but depending on conditions, may never need a pump installed to drain it. Check the level in the spring or after a big rainstorm or snowmelt event - the water may rise.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    hole

    If you were in one of Chicago's South suburbs, that hole would be a place to insert a large wooden sledge hammer-like device to stop, or minimize, a main sewer backup during a storm.
  6. Entropy

    Entropy New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Port Perry, Ontario, Cnd.
    sounds like an old sump.
  7. possum

    possum New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    western pa
    I have been watching it for 6 months through late summer to now and the level has not changed i can only fit my arm in the hole so i used a stiff peace of 10/3 wire to masure the depth it was about 6" full of water I check it during and after all the rain and snow storms and there is never no change in the depth. should i sill it or fill it? any suggestions will help
  8. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Possum,

    I got what sounds like the same deal in my house, which is about the same age as yours, also. I had several plumbers, and a contractor out to look at it, same problem as yours. Well, I was told, that it was the main drain to my house and, the terracota was cracked and it is on the agenda come spring to deal with it. I think I may have to sell my first born to fund it, lol. Good luck. I was not told it was a sump.
  9. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Possum,
    Do you think you could possibly post a pic?

    Would like to compare things, and see. Thanks much.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    hole

    If you feel lucky fill it up. If it is part of the main drain system, you will know very quickly when nothing drains any longer.
  11. possum

    possum New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    western pa
    the house had a new addition put on it5-6years before I bought the house witch included a new bath and kitchen I think there was a new sewer line ran because the main line from the second floor bath and laundry room ran into the stack that looks like it has been redirected to go towards the kitchen and bath witch are on ground level so I cant see where it goes when I put a new tolite in the flange and pipe looked to be rather new it was black pvc.
  12. bakechad

    bakechad New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Illinois
    I believe "black PVC" is actually ABS which makes it at least 15-20 years old, I think (disclaimer - I am not a plumber :) )
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    It's ABS alright, but ABS is still a popular material for drain pipes, so the assumption about the age of the installation is invalid.
  14. bakechad

    bakechad New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Illinois
    Gary,

    Thanks for the correction. Here in the Chciago area, you don't see it at the home centers anymore so I assumed it was long out of code.

    Chad
  15. zimmee66

    zimmee66 New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    could it be an old strm drain leader connection?

    Without a picture I'm totally guessing here...but since your seeing no change in water levels with sewer use I wonder if it isnt a storm drain leader connection or sump.

    As you may know, in the old days (roof) gutter leaders went straight into the sewer sytem (hence water quality problems after storms in city rivers everywhere!)

    Around here anyways, they connect with the sanitary sewer. But I wonder if they weren't sometimes independent up until the lateral to the street?

    I would think you could be looking at brackish nasty water that pools from those.

    Shot in the dark...
  16. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    I ain't not never seen anythin that sum sorta cap couldn't bee made fer. Gitchew some stuff, bilt a form, set that there form on the ground or a hard place. Put some plastik unner it or line it wif plastic. dump in a couple buckets of concrete...throw in some wire or scrap iron if ya want to.. Voila...gotcha a cap... Kiver dat hole wif some tar paper or plastik... then plop on that there concrete cap.... shovel a little dirt round it and wet it a bit and tamp... will help seal out that stinky smell.
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