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Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

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  • Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

    I am on a new construction job (110 modular duplexes) and I am doing everything but the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, and I am NOT a licensed plumber. The inside plumbing is already complete by the factory. About 3 weeks ago I was doing a punch list on one of the buildings and noticed the 3in sewer under the house had all of its slope in the first 20 or 30ft of it (70ft long house) and then the rest of it was just following the ground. There was a place towards the front of the building where the ground "humped" up and the sewer followed it. I called the plumber and told him that it didnt look like the line had slope and was going up hill. He told me that he wanted to wait a few weeks and see if it became a problem and if it did he would take care of it.

    Yesterday the tubs started filling up with sewage when you would flush the toilets (these houses arent lived in yet). I called the plumber and he said that someone must have flushed somthing they shouldnt have but he would look at it. When he got out to the job last night I got into it with him..... Evidently I didnt know that the slope of the pipe DOES NOT matter as long as the starting point is higher than where the line ties into the main. He is a licensed plumber and I am not, so he must be right?

  • #2
    Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

    simply put, a sewer line with a pitch problem WILL eventually block and backup. water, $hit, FOG, "flushable" items, etc will not flow uphill on its own

    steve
    In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

      I am not a plumber either, but a quick call to the local plumbing inspector should clear all of the smoke that is coming off of the BS the "licensed" plumber is trying to feed you.

      Everybody knows the old saying..........
      hot on he left
      cold on the right
      and shat don't flow up hill

      Is the drain line even in hangers?

      Did the plumbing inspector look at this work and sign off on it?

      G3

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

        Licensed or not, the plumber is a liar.
        The code states that horizontal drainage piping
        shall be installed in uniform alignment at uniform
        slopes. The amount of slope is determined by
        pipe size. The problem should have been caught
        by the building inspector and fixed prior to back fill.
        A humped or back pitched section of pipe will,
        in effect, act as a trap.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

          Good EYE ,and call! The Man has no conscious , at best! This a red flag,and a gift ,early on.
          LOOK AT THE REST OF HIS WORK! Better yet,bring in a good plumber to eyeball it all.
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

            water will seek it's own level. same principal as a water level you use with clear plastic hose. as long as the one end is higher and 1 end lower, the water will flow towards the low end.

            here's the problem. you're not dealing with strictly clean water. you're dealing with waste and solids.

            so you're 100% correct in your call.

            put the contractor on notice and inspect all the work they did with a real plumbing and building inspector. sounds like everyone is passing the buck.

            post some photos here and i'm sure they will find their way to the local building department

            good call and good eye

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

              Originally posted by futuresweets10 View Post
              I am on a new construction job (110 modular duplexes) and I am doing everything but the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, and I am NOT a licensed plumber. The inside plumbing is already complete by the factory. About 3 weeks ago I was doing a punch list on one of the buildings and noticed the 3in sewer under the house had all of its slope in the first 20 or 30ft of it (70ft long house) and then the rest of it was just following the ground. There was a place towards the front of the building where the ground "humped" up and the sewer followed it. I called the plumber and told him that it didnt look like the line had slope and was going up hill. He told me that he wanted to wait a few weeks and see if it became a problem and if it did he would take care of it.

              Yesterday the tubs started filling up with sewage when you would flush the toilets (these houses arent lived in yet). I called the plumber and he said that someone must have flushed somthing they shouldnt have but he would look at it. When he got out to the job last night I got into it with him..... Evidently I didnt know that the slope of the pipe DOES NOT matter as long as the starting point is higher than where the line ties into the main. He is a licensed plumber and I am not, so he must be right?
              The is no question you need the line (lines) repaired by someone else, inspect all of his other work and then back charge the first guy. The fact that he wants to see if it ever causes a problem is enough to fire him on the spot.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                You did the right thing to question him on his work...he's lying and lazy. Here in canada a 3" building drain must have 1/4" per foot grade and I would assume the same in the US.
                Plumbing shop supr.
                My plumbing hobby site - PlumbingHelp.ca

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                  But people still have house traps.

                  i.e. A professionally installed clog. Got to have job security.

                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                    Originally posted by PlumbingHelp.ca View Post
                    You did the right thing to question him on his work...he's lying and lazy. Here in canada a 3" building drain must have 1/4" per foot grade and I would assume the same in the US.
                    That is what Oregon plumbing code says well for 3" to 4"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                      I figured Id get these kind of responses, lol. To clear a few things up, the houses are on crawl spaces and the problem is under the house, so the inspection prior to back filling wouldn't matter. I was actually the one on site to walk through with the code enforcement inspector during the inspection and he didnt want to get dirty so he just passed it off with out looking under the house. I am pretty much incharge of everything on the job after the foundation work except for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. I am suppose to watch those things as they happen, but ultimitly the developer is the one who deals with the plumber. The developer doesnt seem to think its a big deal.

                      The plumber finally showed up this eveing about 2 hours ago and snaked the line. He didnt do anything other than snake it. He tried to say he found a T-shirt in the line, but in describing the shirt he contradicted himself and threw up a red flag the he was BS'ing about finding something in it. He also wasnt under the house long enough to be able to have pulled anything out of the line.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                        That sounds kind of sad for the future home owners and the seller of the houses. I can see this as future law suits to include the plumbing inspector for not doing his job. Pack your lunch since you will be a key witness and your partial testimony is on the web now.

                        Get the messed up plumbing fixed right and send your "licensed" plumber the bill. I would most definately take plenty of pics and video.

                        Might even call the inspector back for another look and get him on video not wanting to make the inspection that was paid for by your company, and how he handles himself on the tax payers dime.

                        Just thinking out loud a little.

                        G3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                          Originally posted by futuresweets10 View Post
                          I figured Id get these kind of responses, lol. To clear a few things up, the houses are on crawl spaces and the problem is under the house, so the inspection prior to back filling wouldn't matter. I was actually the one on site to walk through with the code enforcement inspector during the inspection and he didnt want to get dirty so he just passed it off with out looking under the house. I am pretty much incharge of everything on the job after the foundation work except for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. I am suppose to watch those things as they happen, but ultimitly the developer is the one who deals with the plumber. The developer doesnt seem to think its a big deal.

                          The plumber finally showed up this eveing about 2 hours ago and snaked the line. He didnt do anything other than snake it. He tried to say he found a T-shirt in the line, but in describing the shirt he contradicted himself and threw up a red flag the he was BS'ing about finding something in it. He also wasnt under the house long enough to be able to have pulled anything out of the line.
                          get someone to camera & record the line. that will show where the pitch issues are and will be hard evidence of the screw up

                          steve
                          In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                            But people still have house traps.

                            i.e. A professionally installed clog. Got to have job security.

                            J.C.
                            I have a rat trap
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Does a Sewer pipe really need slope?!??

                              Make sure you are on record as objecting to the as left condition of the line even after you pointed out the problem and it was not corrected.

                              When the Home Owners start taking the so-called "plumber", GC, and developer to court you don't want to be caught on the wrong side of the code. If the local PI does not want to do anything then he is probably in on it too. Call State Code Enforcement and tell them what is going on. Call the State Master Plumbers Association and report him. Call the State Plumbers Licensing Board and report him (some states have online reporting too).
                              ---------------
                              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                              ---------------
                              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                              ---------
                              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                              ---------
                              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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