Umm, where does my soilpipe lead?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Stuart Melvin, Feb 9, 2024.

  1. Stuart Melvin

    Stuart Melvin Member

    Hi all,

    I've been getting help on another thread with moving a soil pipe outside. But today I've tried to find the foul water pipe and sewer it connects to and am stuck...

    Basically, Ive opened the nearest manhole (almost 15ft away directly perpendicular from where the soil pipe is inside - see pic). There is a public sewer pipe running about 2m deep across all our gardens, with a branch off inside the manhole (that branch heads toward the corner of the house and the sewer map suggests there is a loop of sewer pipe around my house - only my house - not sure why). Then about 50cm deep there is an open end of pipe spilling into the sewer pipe below. That pipe points back to a drain/drainpipe which is about 18" to the right of where the soilpipe runs down inside. I've dug that up and that pipe does just connect to the drain so I assume it is just a soak away? I've then dug 50cm down roughly in line with the soil pipe and can't find anything. But moreover, because I can only see that one soak away pipe going into the sewer I'm a bit confused where the foul water pipe would be going? Should I just dig deeper? Sewer map only shows that one sewer and house is 1960s. Any help appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  2. BuildingMad

    BuildingMad Well-Known Member

    Are you seeing water flowing through when someone runs off water or flushes.
    You probably have a tumbling bay with a backdrop.

    Herts P&D likes this.
  3. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    I suspect you've got a bodge there without the backdrop installed.
  4. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Yes, it’s a bodge job.
  5. billysloke

    billysloke Active Member

    I am assuming that gulley is a bottle (trap) gulley discharging into the sewer. I certainly hope it's not feeding a soakaway given the state of it! I think this is a case of you using the wrong jargon but it helps to be clear.

    You mention a soil pipe looping (presumably you mean less than a full loop!) around your house. I don't think that's unusual. As I showed you in the other thread it's the same situation at my dad's house. It really depends on the lie of the land and how many connections the house (and potentially adjacent house/s) needs.

    As BuildingMad says you really need to make some observations whilst somebody uses the facilities.
  6. Stuart Melvin

    Stuart Melvin Member

    Thanks as always folks.

    @biklysloake You're quite right re the lingo. What you're seeing in that picture of the drain is a bottle trap gully fed from the gutters via drainpipe. Then a pipe runs from near the top of that gully and pokes out 50cm down into the 200cm manhole. Also, re the "loop" I realise now that I was being an idiot. See the picture attached which shows the sewer map. I realise now the red line around my house (37) is just indicating my boundary! I thought it was showing a sewer cos it's the same colour. My bad!

    Re the bodge/backdrops: Yes I think this is right. If I understand that correctly, the pipe that pokes into the manhole 50cm down should be capped and the backdrop pipe should come into the manhole at the bottom at the right depth/angle to connect with the sewer pipe? There definitely isn't anything coming in at the bottom (the sewer pipe that branches off diagonally seems to connect with the waste for my downstairs WC round the side of the house).

    I will test flushing etc in daylight tomorrow. But at present I cannot see how/where the internal soil pipe could be connecting with the manhole (the only pipe coming in is the one from the drain) or the drain (which as I say appears to just be a bottle trap gully with only that same pipe leaving it). So I am super confused where our soil pipe goes!

    I'll report back after flushing etc tomorrow. Thanks again so much all!

    Attached Files:

  7. billysloke

    billysloke Active Member

    That is hysterical. I can see why you were confused about your subterranean **** moat and hope its loss doesn't grieve you too much.

    Maybe in theory but despite your saying it is from the gutter, it looks to me as though it is probably from a kitchen so probably not discharging vast quantities of water; certainly the concrete doesn't seem to have been eroded too much

    I am assuming your soil pipe comes in here, but I don't really understand why it would be to the right of other pipe, since you say the soil stack is to the left of the gulley, but it does not strike me as outside the realms of possibility that you could have a mistaken grasp of how the inside of your house relates to the outside.

    The logical alternative interpretation would be that the branch is from the house upstream, meaning yours might do something comparable in the garden downstream (with any luck not under what appears to be their rear extension), but my inkling is that that would be highly unconventional for practical reasons.
  8. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    The high level pipe is plastic the channel looks like clay. The top pipe has been badly bodged the benching is neat, The green branch you've ringed is nothing to do with the top pipe which is clearly a later addition for some reason.

    Have you had an extension at some point. SW from new work should go to a soakaway even where you are on a combined sewer so this could very well be a bodged bodge.
  9. billysloke

    billysloke Active Member

    Yes I can see that. OP wants to know where his bathroom soil pipe leads to, hence green circle.
    OP says gulley (plastic pipe) is to drain gutters but 1) I have never seen a 1 1/2 in fallpipe from gutters 2) it appears to be a bottle gulley so I am suggesting this is actually serving a kitchen (especially given fatty deposits)
  10. arrow

    arrow Screwfix Select

    The plastic tumbler is an absolute bodge, carried out a lot later than when the manhole was built. They have kangoed through the concrete manhole rings carrying out the cowboy job destroying them in the process.
  11. Stuart Melvin

    Stuart Melvin Member

    Thanks all.

    @billysloke So the flush test has shown you are right and the bathroom soil pipe somehow leads to the clay pipe you ringed in green. You are also right the gulley serves the kitchen sink (which I knew, not sure why I said gutter, I think I just forgot when I was typing inside). Despite my other errors on here suggesting otherwise lol, there are definitely no mistakes re inside/outside. The soil pipe comes down just to the right of the bathroom window (from outside) and to the left of the kitchen sink/pipes. So now I need to figure out how/where it meets up with the pipe you circled.

    I can only see two options:

    1. It comes out and crosses under the plastic bodge pipe before joining up with your circled pipe.

    Or 2. It doesn't come out at all and instead passed back under the house to the side WC which also discharges into that same circled clay pipe.

    On the attached images green X are drains, blue X are soil pipe/WC, red are clay pipes (black box is manhole), yellow is plastic bodge pipe and blue lines are my suggestions of where the soil pipe must go.

    Does anyone think it likely it goes back under the house? I think I'm a bit screwed if it does ...

    Attached Files:

  12. Stuart Melvin

    Stuart Melvin Member

    Re the bodge pipe; do I need to be concerned at all? I mean, it seems to be doing it's job ok?
  13. BuildingMad

    BuildingMad Well-Known Member

    You sure of measurements.
    You say rodding eye is at 0.5 & manhole is 2.0.
    The manhole breakthrough is rough & needs making good.
    The pipework may be as diagram above & perfectly OK.
    The base looks plastic & not a salt glazed slipper.
    Capping rodding eye may cause syphoning problems.
  14. billysloke

    billysloke Active Member

    Are there any other houses on your road built to the same design? Number 49 appears to be a very comparable shape so you might find it informative to have a chat with the occupant(?)
    Is there any inspection chamber outside the cloakroom? There ought to be one at every junction and change in direction.
  15. billysloke

    billysloke Active Member

    As another possibility, depending on the age of the house, you may be able to find the original plans on your local council web site.
  16. billysloke

    billysloke Active Member

    Btw. I am a little confused by the situation with the kitchen gulley. Since it seems to be broadly accepted that this was a bodge, is it not surprising the culprit went to the bother of doing laborious earthworks when the soil stack runs straight through the kitchen in a most convenient and tempting place*? In any case I suspect he was replacing an earlier gulley that had failed in some respect so wonder if that might indicate a problem with the buried drainage.
    *I take it you can in fact hear the telltale signs of the pipe's presence when you are in the kitchen and somebody sends the water company an offering?
  17. richwain24

    richwain24 New Member

    Before doing anything else I'd definitely suggest having a pipe / drain specialist see to it? Looks like a very dodgey job. When I was renovating my house I used a company called DASA which were great but not sure if they would be near you?
  18. Jaycal31

    Jaycal31 New Member

    I been having issues with my stack pipe for over a year. Kitchen flooring was flooded with sewage from bottom of inside stack pipe. Gully drain outside was overflowing with human faeces and tissue. Toilet upstairs started getting blocked and leaking from bottom. Luckily council property so reported issue. Council first unblocked gully drain outside under my kitchen sink. My washing machine and kitchen sink waste empties into this gully. The sewage waste was backing up into this and was so high it covered that small pipe. Back up continued inside from stack pipe and outside in gully. The council then tried unblocking toilet with the most loudest equipment and spent hours doing this. Could not fix so put into hotel for night. Next day they dug up patio in garden as had no cover for them to access stack pipe. The pipe had collapsed and was blocked solid. They said must have been like this for years!!! They then replaced pipe but said had to knock part of wall out because needed to raise pipe. Finally months later was completed and all was ok apart from damages and smell left inside house. All left to myself to replace. I was informed the fault was not something I had caused. Management tried saying I caused this with baby wipes. However I was so lucky to have such amazing workmen who informed management they found no baby wipes at all. Year later its started again. Apparently pipe not laid correctly so its coming back to house slightly. Told to keep calling for repairs as will cost so much to replace pipe and connect to sewage line properly. Attached pics so you can see for yourself how bad it was. They didnt even box back in the inside stack pipe. So I understand your frustration completely.

    Attached Files:

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