Thursday, March 21, 2013

Plumbing in the campo


As a child I loved Winnie the Pooh, and I loved to play Pooh sticks, which is when a few of you each throw a stick in a river or stream at one side of a bridge and run to the other side and see whose stick comes out from under the bridge first.


Today I have been playing not Pooh Sticks, but poo sticks. The downstairs toilet was blocked and all attempts to unblock it failed. So we dug up the garden and discovered that the pipe just stops in the middle of the garden and doesn't go to the septic tank. There is another pipe for the septic tank at right angles, buried under the soil here in the picture, although you can just see the end of it and a gap of a few feet between the two pipes.



I suggested that we get more pipe to stick the two pipes together but was firmly told that was not necessarily as the gap between the two pipes was supposed to be there. I was also assured that the poo would come charging down the pipe from the toilet, bounce off the concrete block opposite the end of the pipe, like a billiard ball off the side cushion and head straight down the other pipe into the septic tank.

I decided to put it to the test and as no one was able to provide the necessary for the experiment, I used a piece of freshly made dog poo. It did shoot down the pipe, it then hit the wall, but did not bounce into the other pipe, it just broke up and sat there in the hole.  I will spare you the photographic evidence.

I was then assured that it would not be the same with human poo. I will test that later.

However I did some internet research and it appears that husband was right, and there has to be a manhole between the two pipes for cleaning access, and air apparently. And it looks like the pipes are at a right angle too. However I think the hole should be concrete and not just mud, so tomorrow we will buy cement and build the manhole.



At the same time, there was a snake in the open pit between the two pipes. The snake would have had two options, go down the pipe to the septic tank, or go up the pipe into the toilet.

The snake being held up - the green thing on the ground is the hosepipe not another snake!


I know which one I would choose if I were a snake, and am now concerned about having my bottom bitten by a snake shooting up from the depths of the loo. Happy days.

14 comments:

  1. OMG. I would be petrified to go to the loo knowing there was a snake that might pop up! I would also expect the pipes to be connected, but what do I know about plumbing?

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    1. Exactly re pipes to be connected. But it appears that there has to be a gap. Most strange. Something to do with a need for access and a need for air. It was only a little snake!

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  2. Un. Believe. Able.

    But I know you couldn't make up this shit if you tried.

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    Replies
    1. Nope I couldn't although there are some who think I do!

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  3. ha ha , pardon the pun eh Crazy Rita. If a woman were to design this I'am SURE the pipes would connect, cause that is common sense. The shooting out the pipe, bouncing off the wall and shooting into the other pipe just seems so unlikely....to me....

    Sherry Nova Scotia Canada

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    Replies
    1. It did to me, but I managed to get detailed plumbing information from a very unlikely source this morning - my mother. She lives in England and she too has a septic tank and she says you have to have the little hole and gap in the pipes in the middle. Bouncing poo is apparently normal.

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    2. Lindsay, no disrespect to your Mum, but I think she's wrong. The couple of septics I've seen at close quarters have an air-access pipe of some sort, if I recall, but those were on the other side of the septic tank. The idea of a "bounce" between sewerage pipes is mad.

      One thing to remember: you mustn't have a T-junction anywhere along the route, for any reason.

      There's quite a lot of stuff on this topic on Google.

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    3. I did google Gordon, and not only do you need air, you also need this little space in the middle which is used for access to clean out blockages as well. I assume as the pipes are too long otherwise. If I didn't have it I would have a T junction so maybe that is another reason. All working well though now.

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  4. Ouch! I remembered about TV from Canada about 1 or 2 decades ago following a snake came up to toilet in the residence in there. Maybe, United States, too? You should ask some Plumber Experts to give their advice to you about how to block a snake to come up to the toilet. What do you think?

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    1. Good idea Hisel. There must be a way to stop the snake sneaking into the toilet.

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  5. I think there's a one-way flap thing you can put in the pipes to stop snakes coming up. Rats are a bigger problem as they love running up and down pipes. I was talking to the rat man in London and he said that a lady on the 9th floor of a tower block had been on the toilet and then 5 rats jumped out of the toilet, she got bitten and had to go to hospital.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for that Jonathan. Something else to look forward to.

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