Clay vs Iron Building Sewer in Chicago

Discussion in 'Illinois Plumbing Code Questions' started by ChiTownBlues, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. ChiTownBlues

    ChiTownBlues New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Location:
    Chicago, Il
    Hi All,
    I have a question about what is proper and what is code as it pertains to a building sewer repair in Chicago, and can use the forum’s expertise. I just had sewer work done in my basement for a renovation three years ago and I am already having problems with the sewer line, namely leaking water at the floor connection.
    Backstory: My clay building sewer had long been partially separated just below the floor at the 90. As you know, the bill to constantly cut roots out along the whole 125 year old line is substantial so the plumber proposed we replace the first 8’ feet of clay below concrete floor to replace worst (loose) sections and to chop out 5” root trunks from the dirt around pipes. He also spec’d out a 6” pvc clean out to rise above the floor to get 6” cutters for future maintenance. In terms of material he used clay to match existing clay sewer and this was extended up through the foundation and transitioned to pvc at floor level. Seemed all good to me at the time. Except a year later waste water began leaking through cracks in the clay spigot end (between mortar and spigot). Bad.
    Plumber removed mortar and found the spigot/bell part had cracked. Maybe the Hvac guys bumped it while replacing the furnace weeks earlier? I don’t know. Anyways this seems like a poor design to have such a fragile joint for such an important function. Furthermore, I found he had made seam between clay and pvc with oakum and mortar. The male pvc sitting on top of clay spigot. Seems like another questionable thing as well don’t imagine pvc is made to fit into clay without some sort of special adapter.
    This seam was replaced twice since and still continues to leak. Once with mortar (lasted 6 months) and most recently with epoxy (lasted 9 months). Thoughts?
    When I questioned the design (using clay) he said he was following the strict Chicago municipal code. Thanks for weighing in here.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    This adapter looks kinda special to me. I am not a plumber. It think it is made to adapt to cast iron rather than clay, however. Clay sewers are not good IMO.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. ChiTownBlues

    ChiTownBlues New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Location:
    Chicago, Il
    Hey Reach4, thanks for replying. There is actually no adapter. The pvc male end is sitting like an 1/8” above the clay spigot end. The clay spigot as you can see is damaged. First a minor crack and then compounded when plumber removed and replaced leaking mortar joint.

    Anyone else have a common on what is proper here? Should the clay building sewer have transitioned to iron? Obviously iron won’t fail in the manner clay did in this case. And I’m guessing the transition to pvc should use an adapter (and not rely on a cement joint)?
     
  5. ChiTownBlues

    ChiTownBlues New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Location:
    Chicago, Il
    @SewerRatz - Hi, can I ask you to weigh in here with your expert opinion? Thanks.
     
Similar Threads: Clay Iron
Forum Title Date
Illinois Plumbing Code Questions City of Chicago Plumbing Code - Clay Sewer Pipes Feb 26, 2019
Illinois Plumbing Code Questions Clay pipe in Chicago basement Jun 9, 2017
Illinois Plumbing Code Questions Hi Everybody....Quick Question on Code For Old Cast Iron Waste Lines Jan 13, 2017

Share This Page