3 posts / 0 new
Last post
roots in waste pipe

I've told you all in many replies about having roots in my waste line outside the house.

Well Eddie dug around the pipe where it connects to the house and found that not only did the roots get in through the joints but there's a crack in the collar. So we're going to have to replace that length. It's 4" pvc

Does any one have suggestions about how to go about this? We only have 16-18 inches of pipe coming out of the slab to cut on, and we need to compensate for the slope. Is there a 5-10* elbow out there? I really don't feel like making a trip to EO or the like.

We are going to do this ourselves because with the 2 clean outs in the last few months, our plumbing budget is shot for the year.

Re: roots in waste pipe


There are 11 1/4* ells available, although you may have a hard time finding one.

We usually make something special such as you describe on-site by bending a straight piece. Several ways to accomplish this and all of them require heating the pipe to the point of plasticity.

One way that may work for you without speciality equipment:

Buy two end caps when you pick up a piece of pipe. You'll also need enough sand to totally fill the piece of pipe you're gonna bend.

The process requires that the pipe reaches plasticity temps.....and in this instance....the sand will have to reach that temp as well. So.......since this is a large pipe...maybe preheat that sand by putting it in a metal pan or can on your grill. Get it REALLY hot.

Then temporarily shove one cap on the piece you intend to bend. Next, fill that piece totally with super-hot sand. (wearing HEAVY/insulated leather gloves, of course) Maybe use some kinda garden trowel or the like to shovel the hot sand into the pipe.
Then place the other cap.

When the PVC is hot enough, you'll see the surface of it turn kinda glossy. You may well have to heat the outside of the pipe for a while with a good heat gun in addition to having the hot sand in there. Depends. But once it gets hot enough, it'll become like putty in your hands, so to speak. Will bend like a piece of licorice. That's what the sand and end caps are for. Without them, the pipe will deform and kink.....which is not what you want. With it packed full of sand and the end caps on, it'll keep its circular shape while you bend it........and will remain pliable for a couple minutes or so.

Have a hose at the ready so when you have the angle you need, spray it/cool it...... and it'll set to the new shape. Have a helper there to spray it while the other person holds it at the desired angle/shape. Then take the caps off and dump the sand.

PS- Rather than trying to bend the exact length piece......bend one that's extra long. You can easily enough cut it to length after the fact.

Use either a pair of Fernco fittings or PVC repair/slip couplings to afix the new piece.

Re: roots in waste pipe

Thanks Goldie, Eddie has a pair of welding gloves. We'll give that a try. Not this weekend though he's taking the older boy trout fishing.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.