Drain Line for septic - DIY?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jbgies, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. jbgies

    jbgies New Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    I have recently bought a piece of property on the lake, and want to use it for recreation with my travel trailer.

    There was previously a mobile homes on the property that was connected to a septic system.

    I have dug around the existing drain line, about 18 inches "up from" the septic tank. It looks like 5 inch PVC. This is right at the clean-out.

    I want to cut the "PVC line" in half, abandoning the old pipe, then, install a 45 deg fitting and run up hill to the level spot where my travel trailer is located.

    Are the lines PVC? Do I use the same glue that I used to do some presure water work under my house?

    When I cut the 5 inch PVC line, will septic leak out?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    It is not likely to be 5" pipe. Water should not come out of it, but if the system is malfunctioning, then it could. We cannot see the pipes so we cannot tell you whether they are PVC, ABS, or something else altogether.
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  4. Mike Swearingen

    Mike Swearingen New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Independent Real Estate Broker
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
    PVC comes in a variety of colors, but it usually is white plastic for drain pipe.
    ABS is black plastic. PVC requires PVC primer and PVC glue. ABS requires ABS glue.
    Yes, you should be able to cut it (recip saw, hacksaw, etc.), sand it, and prime and glue a connecting coupling onto it and run a line uphill so that your travel trailer can gravity flow to the septic system.
    Make certain that you're cutting into the intake side of the septic tank, and not the outflow discharge line to the distribution box. Your tank should be pumped at least every five years, so that might be a good thing to do with an old system to start with, and have it professionally inspected while they're at it. A 1,000-gallon septic tank clean-out around here runs about $265. I have it done in all years that end in a 5 or a 0 to keep it idiot proof. LOL
    Good Luck!
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Nov 23, 2006
    disabled-retired industrial fabricator
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    What you are planning is fine, but you need to use the septic system as a dump station rather than as a permanent connection. An RV toilet "flushes" by merely dropping the waste down into a holding tank, and the waste will not flow right on through the holding tank and out into a connected drain. So, you will need to close the gate valve and only open to dump the holding tank after it is full, and you might also need to point a water hose down through the toilet to break up any clump of waste that might be stuck to the bottom of the holding tank. Again: The issue here is that an RV toilet does not use enough water during a flush to cause the waste wash on through the holding tank and on down the corrugated drain hose into a septic system.
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