Drain tile or not?

Users who are viewing this thread

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
I opened up a pit that is used for sanitary waste in the basement but discovered some clay lines running into it. Ran a camera through the clay lines and discovered they were dry and filled with what looks like gravel about 16ft into the line. I'm wondering if those lines are original drain tile?

I also discovered it doesn't have a bottom. It's just dirt. I do remember now that the pump does turn on during rain, but it might be filling in from the bottom?

I plan on getting this fixed but need to know if rain water drains into it? Why would there be gravel 16ft into the line?
 

Attachments

  • 20171231_112006.jpg
    20171231_112006.jpg
    118.7 KB · Views: 173

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
Agreed. I'm getting priced 3,100 to convert to standard sewage pit, plastic basin, etc.

However the biggest question is if those clays lines are drain tile, then I need a second pit, a sump pit. That's priced at 8,200 to fix the first pit and make a second one.

That's where I'm not sure if those clays lines are drain tile?
 

Cacher_Chick

Test, Don't Guess!
Messages
5,458
Reaction score
213
Points
63
Location
Land of Cheese
All drainage used to be done with clay lines. They could be drain tile from under the floor or footing drains. A lot of old buildings had cisterns where the roof drains were piped to the cistern for water storage. It is pretty hard to inspect the lines if you cannot get a camera through them. I usually find a buildup of clay in the tiles, not gravel.
 

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
All drainage used to be done with clay lines. They could be drain tile from under the floor or footing drains. A lot of old buildings had cisterns where the roof drains were piped to the cistern for water storage. It is pretty hard to inspect the lines if you cannot get a camera through them. I usually find a buildup of clay in the tiles, not gravel.

Where do you suppose the lines that I have go to? Nowadays drain tile would go around the perimeter of the house. I would have thought the same back in 1959 when the house was built?
 

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
Can you wait for rain and watch it? i.e. did the clay lines dump water into the pit.

You're right. I'm gonna have to do that to know for sure where that rain water is coming from. Either clay lines or up from the ground or both
 

WorthFlorida

Clinical Trail on a Cancer Drug Started 1/31/24. ☹
Messages
5,755
Solutions
1
Reaction score
995
Points
113
Location
Orlando, Florida
I opened up a pit that is used for sanitary waste in the basement but discovered some clay lines running into it.

You do not have a sanitary pit. It would have sealed lid (bolted down) and a vent pipe to the roof plus a discharge pipe and wire for the pump all sealed at the lid. The gravel you see may be collapsed pipe. This is an old house so the tile drains were pumped to the main sewage line. Newer homes its pumped out doors. A previous owner probably added a waste pipe to it to add a bathroom or laundry sink. Newer home tile drains are around the outside of the foundation but a home I had built in 1987 in Syracuse NY area, pipes were laid under the basement floor in about 6"of stone. During heavy rains water pressure under the floor pushed the water into the drains line into the sump pump. It worked great, never had water nor did the floor crack from hydrostatic pressure. That was before radon gas codes.
 

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
With that information, those clays lines must be sitting under the slab in a few different directions to take in water?
 

Cacher_Chick

Test, Don't Guess!
Messages
5,458
Reaction score
213
Points
63
Location
Land of Cheese
With that information, those clays lines must be sitting under the slab in a few different directions to take in water?

It's not an uncommon practice. My own home has clay drain tiles snaked about in patterns under the floor with a poured base of stone over them, in addition to interior and exterior tiles around the footing. My interior tiles drain to the sump pit, and the exterior tiles are piped out to daylight at the edge of the property.

It is possible for tiles to break, which could allow the stone into the tiles. If your access is decent, you might experiment with a shop-vac to see if you can suck stone out of the area you found blocked. Fasten the multiple hoses together so you don't lose any inside the pipe.
 

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
I've been waiting for rain to see if those clays lines drop water.

If those lines are clogged with rock I wonder if water still goes through?

I've been here for 9 years and have not had major seepage problems
 

Cacher_Chick

Test, Don't Guess!
Messages
5,458
Reaction score
213
Points
63
Location
Land of Cheese
I've been waiting for rain to see if those clays lines drop water.

If those lines are clogged with rock I wonder if water still goes through?

I've been here for 9 years and have not had major seepage problems

Every place is different, and you might not see water except when the rains have been heavy for multiple days.

I don't know about Chicago, but some of the far-northern IL rivers have been at flood during the previous week, and are still very high. It's that time of the year when the ground is saturated and the rain has a limited ability to percolate through the soil.
 

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
So I got a Chicago plumber with good reviews online and with BBB for $8,100 to:

Fix current pit to make it into a legitimate sewage pit and dig a 2nd pit as a sump pit.

Is that priced about right?
 

WorthFlorida

Clinical Trail on a Cancer Drug Started 1/31/24. ☹
Messages
5,755
Solutions
1
Reaction score
995
Points
113
Location
Orlando, Florida
It's a hard to answer since rates, supplies, permits and alike different throught the country. For the City of Chicago it maybe the norm but also considered electrical work must be performed for the new additional pump and maybe the old one also. Be sure to ask who does the electric and you want to hear "licensed electrician". For this price insist permits are pulled, plumbing and electrical. The contract may have a clause that permits are additional. Why permits? The work will be inspected and performed to code, plus if someday you want to sell the home, there would be no issues.

Check if there are clauses for the what ifs? The floor get broken up to install a pit and something is noticed that could occur additional charges, etc. What if the electrician states that there is no room in the panel for the additional pump. There may not be any problems with the new work but should there be, you just to need to know what to expect.
 

Gootz

New Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Chicago
What would happen if the pit is converted to sewage pit and the clay/sump lines are capped and not used?

Sorry for the amateur question but how would rain water get into the basement?
 

Cacher_Chick

Test, Don't Guess!
Messages
5,458
Reaction score
213
Points
63
Location
Land of Cheese
What would happen if the pit is converted to sewage pit and the clay/sump lines are capped and not used?

Sorry for the amateur question but how would rain water get into the basement?

A basement is a hole in the ground, just waiting for the opportunity to become a swimming pool.
 

WorthFlorida

Clinical Trail on a Cancer Drug Started 1/31/24. ☹
Messages
5,755
Solutions
1
Reaction score
995
Points
113
Location
Orlando, Florida
A lot has to do with where you’re located. That part of the world with clay soil it holds a lot of water and it doesn’t drain well. If the local water table gets high after heavy rain events the water will push up on the concrete floor. If there are old cracks water will creep into the basement. No cracks and the floor will crack. Being an old house the water table will usually be more stable than a new development. But if you’re close to Lake Michigan or the Chicago River no guarantee. A leaky basement is worst than a leaky roof. The roof you can patch, not the basement.
I had a home in Algonquin, Illinois and even after eight years water still percolated in the sump pit. A lot of it came down the outside foundation wall because when the clay dried out, it pulled from the wall and allow water to run down it. The tile drain was only on the outside of the foundation at the footing.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks