Thursday, February 20, 2014

A bit of an odd question but humor me, please...




It's been a little while since we've moved from the city to a small town and things are going well but...

...does anyone know if it's *bad* if your stink pipe is buried under mountains of snow?  I mean that candy cane shaped thingy (which I decorated for Christmas in red and white FYI) that off-gases your septic system? (Or I'm assuming that's what it's for? Not that we need off-gassing or anything like that here...no siree bob...but, well, you know how it is.)

I cannot find it. Seeing that I haven't lived in the sticks for all that long and am not "septic savvy" I was wondering if any of you knew the answer to my question?

I googled it but couldn't find the answer anywhere. I'm wondering if I have to go on a search, find and shovel (No do not insert the word that just popped into your brain...begone satan, this is a Catholic blog! Shoo!) mission or if I am all set.

This post will self-destruct as soon as I get an answer.




23 comments:

  1. Doesn't anyone have one of these? Despite my "birdie apocalypse" comment I am serious.

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  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drain-waste-vent_system

    It's needed to let O2 into the tank for metabolism of the bacteria and lets waste gases out so they don't back up into the house. I'd say as long as you haven't noticed any unusual smells inside you should be ok especially since we're heading for a warm spell so it might soon re-emerge from the snow banks on it's own.

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  3. My guess is that if possible you need to find that pipe and clear it of snow - e.g. hot water to melt snow. You are right in saying it is to let gases from the tank escape into the air. In the UK pipes from the toilet leave the house through the wall and go DOWN towards the sewers to take flushed debris from the toilet. However, there is also another pipe linked to the exit pipe which goes up above the roof of the house like a chimney. It is to let the gases that may build up in the downpipe and seweres to escape.

    It is important not to let such gases build up in your septic tank, or in sewers. A quick search for the pipe end and clear it of snow should do the trick. Hope this helps.

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    1. Are you serious, Victor? The roof is full of snow too!

      What exactly are you saying? Barring a birdie apocalypse that is. Don't turn on the stove until the pipes are uncovered? Lol. Well, maybe I'll see if I can figure out where it is just to be on the safe side...

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    2. Mary,

      Look at the diagram on the right in the link which Michelle Young posted. This is a typical UK house. The GREEN pipe takes the effluent from the toilet (horizontal green pipe) and takes it DOWN to the sewers. It also takes dirty water from the baths and sinks (white horizontal pipes). However, the GREEN pipe also goes UP to the roof and is covered by a small net to stop birds building nests there. The UP GREEN pipe takes the gases out into the air.

      In your case, I guess the tank is somewhere in the garden, hence the pipe sticking out of the ground in the garden. this as we said should be cleared of snow to allow gases from the tank to escape.

      You say there's snow on the roof. You are now talking about a different pipe or chimney which takes smoke from the stove or your fireplace or whatever out of the house. Chances are the exit of such pipes/chimneys are clear because the very heat from your stove would have melted any snow blocking the end (assuming this happens). The smoke out of your stove up that pipe is very often warm if not hot. If the end were blocked you would have had smoke down the pipe/chimney into the house by now. I wouldn't worry about your chimney unless you can smell any smoke back into the house.

      If you have a gas fire, it is dangerous if the pipe/chimney is blocked because the carbon monoxide created if the gas is not burning properly would get back in the house. This is lethal, especially since carbon monoxide does not smell so you would not notice it.

      What exactly is the stove/fireplace burning - gas, oil, wood, coal?

      NOTE In the US you say gas for the fuel you put in a car. I don't mean that. I mean gas (UK term) for the gas that comes in pipes and is burnt when you switch a gas fire or stove on.

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    3. Oil, but that vents out of a different pipe on the side of the house. I asked Randy to check that one yesterday and it was fine. We had a carbon monoxide scare last year here and I'm very careful about that. We had to replace the outtake vent. It happened during the night and I am so grateful for carbon monoxide detectors! It took three hours for the fire department to air out the house sufficiently for it to be safe. The carbon monoxide levels were extremely high in my daughter's room especially. It totally freaked me out.

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    4. Great ... so the stove burns oil and vents out of a different pipe which is clear.

      What are you worried about that's on the roof? Is it a fireplace?

      Glad you sorted out the carbon monoxide problem.

      God bless.

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    5. Thanks Victor,
      After reading the whole link I decided that I am going to get the top uncovered
      at least. The last thing I need is toilet woes. Who knew that a toilet could erupt like Mount Vesuvius?! Maybe the ancient Romans were onto something after all with their public piddle tubs...

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    6. No, there's a pipe on the roof not far from the chimney. I think it's also a vent but we have had snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm and I can't see it.

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    7. We have a roof rake though so I'll ask Randy to check it out. There's an ice dam that needs to come down anyway.

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    8. Glad all is now OK. Toilets can erupt like Mount Vesuvius if one has eaten beans. That's why the Romans ate pizza instead. That was going to be in my next history lesson.

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    9. Better to clear the roof pipe to be on the safe side.

      Sorry to hear you're all snowed in. Here we've had plenty of rain with great flooding damaging homes, businesses and the economy.

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    10. Sorry to hear about your "bean troubles", Victor ;)

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    11. I guess rain can cause as much trouble as snow. I'm sorry to hear about the flooding and the damage it has caused. The weather has been weird all over.

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  4. How did you find that Shelly? I googled and searched page after page looking for that information!
    Well, no smells out of the ordinary as far as I can tell. I DO have two passive aggressive dogs that makes it kind of hard to notice stuff like that...

    You'd think the snow would melt there rather quickly, wouldn't you? Lol. Thanks for the answer :)

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  5. Mary, we have a couple of these in our yard where are septic lines are. They get buried in the snow every year for days at a time. I am guessing that's okay, but it's only for a few days at a time.

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    1. That's good to hear, Monica. Obviously you're still alive so I'm guessing there's no huge rush ;) Shelly said the same thing too so it doesn't sound like it needs shoveling ASAP. Thanks!

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  6. Mary, I have no answer to your question, and I suppose that no one does either since this post has not self-destructed, but, I just want to thank you for the smile today. Your sense of humor slays me!

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  7. (Sheepish grin)
    The truth is that the question was a real one but the picture of the bird bath stink pipe cover sent me into fits of giggles and as soon as "birdie apocalypse" flashed through my mind it was all over for me.
    Pray that I'll grow up? I mean, Peter Pan syndrome can be hard to bear at times...

    Thanks for bearing with me, my friend!

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  8. I wish I could help, sorry. But I did enjoy the humorous comments throughout.

    Until you find the answer, please post frequently so we know you are ok :)

    God Bless.

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  9. I agree with Michael on this.
    :)

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    Replies
    1. Lol...glad I still have friends ;) Thanks for putting up with me!

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