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Septic mainline broken...


I discovered my mainline from the house to my septic tank is broken. I looks like the iron pipe was connected with about 2 feet of tar paper pipe, which then connected with blue plastic. The blue plastic line runs the rest of the distance (about 14' to the tank). The break is in the old tar pipe portion between the iron and plastic. Can I use a piece of white pvc to replace the gap between the blue and iron? Is white pvc the same as the blue?

I'm guessing a full replacement is the "right" thing to do, but I have extra white PVC layign around from an old gutter drain project and thought it could save me a trip to the plunbing supply (if it's just the same).

A. Spruce
Re: Septic mainline broken...

My guess is that the blue color is to indicate what the line is to anyone digging in the area, so is it imperative that you use blue pipe, probably not, is it the best idea, yeah, it is.

Can't tell you why someone would stub out of the house with one thing, use two feet of another product and finally a third product for the run to the tank. IMHO, the house stub out should have transitioned directly into the blue pipe.

Re: Septic mainline broken...

The black pipe in this area was called ORANGE PIPE used for sewer and drain line.
It is nolonger used or manufactured.
It was made with strans of fabric inpregnated with tar.
Tree roots will grow thru it and it will also break down and fall in.
That part of your sewer line is mostly 50 years old.

A. Spruce
Re: Septic mainline broken...
Clarence wrote:

The black pipe in this area was called ORANGE PIPE used for sewer and drain line.
It is nolonger used or manufactured.

It was actually called orangeburg pipe, other than that, you are correct.

Re: Septic mainline broken...

While PVC pipe colors are not regulated for specific uses, green PVC pipes are often used specifically for sewage.
Because there is no regulation on PVC color you can use white to fill the gap. White is the most common color found.


Re: Septic mainline broken...

The green pipe is plastic, it's called 3034. That is a thin wall pipe. You will be far better of to replace the line from the steel pipe (which is cast iron) using SCH 40 PVC. Use a banded coupling to make the connection between the two. There is one made to go from 4" cast iron to 4" SCH 40 PVC.



Re: Septic mainline broken...

I'm with John on this one - I would waste no time and replace the entire mainline.

Out here we use black ABS for sewer lines. Strong, easy to work with and all connectors resist roots. Very similar in qualities to sch40 white pvc.

Re: Septic mainline broken...

"Orangeburg" pipe was named for the city is was made in 3 hours south of here. I see a lot of it in 40's and 50's homes here and it's all crap. You need to get rid of all of this stuff while you're working on the system. Also check to see if they used it in the drain-field and replace any there too.

Orangeburg was essentially impregnated paper shreds and fibers pressed into sheets and rolled into a tube and coated with a substance which was supposed to resist soil acids but didn't. It was originally designed for drain-field use only but was often used for the whole of the buried line before the tank too. Like so many engineering ideas what worked on paper didn't perform as well in real life, especially when used by people who don't always follow the instructions. Even is the best of cases, this old stuff will be barely holding on at this late date- replace it or wish you had.


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