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  1. #1
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    Default Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Client asked the question and I'm not sure of the answer. The cabin is constructed on a steep incline(lakefront). The waste pipe exits the home through the foundation at the back of the house and under the deck before it goes underground. It is the type of system you would see under a manufactured home so my guess is that the method is OK however a manufactured home is required to have skirting. Any help here is appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Does it freeze in Spokane?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    From the 2006 IRC

    P3001.2 Protection from freezing. No portion of the above
    grade DWV system other than vent terminals shall be located
    outside of a building, in attics or crawl spaces, concealed in outside
    walls, or in any other place subjected to freezing temperatures
    unless adequate provision is made to protect them from
    freezing by insulation or heat or both, except in localities having
    a winter design temperature above 32F (0C) (ASHRAE 97.5
    percent column, winter, see Chapter 3).

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    From the 2006 IRC

    P3001.2 Protection from freezing. No portion of the above
    grade DWV system other than vent terminals shall be located
    outside of a building, in attics or crawl spaces, concealed in outside
    walls, or in any other place subjected to freezing temperatures
    unless adequate provision is made to protect them from
    freezing by insulation or heat or both, except in localities having
    a winter design temperature above 32F (0C) (ASHRAE 97.5
    percent column, winter, see Chapter 3).
    ............that being said, there are thousands of homes with waste lines running through unheated crawls with no problems. Of course you can't have traps in areas subject to freezing. The only time they are troublesome is if there is a slow trickle of water flowing down the drain - then ice can bulid up to the point of blocking the line. Saw this happen once in a 3" waste line when the homeowner left the water on to prevent the supply from freezing during a really cold spell.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    And...

    P2603.4 Pipes through foundation walls. A pipe that passes
    through a foundation wall shall be provided with a relieving
    arch, or a pipe sleeve shall be built into the foundation wall.
    The sleeve shall be two pipe sizes greater than the pipe passing
    through the wall.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ............that being said, there are thousands of homes with waste lines running through unheated crawls with no problems.
    "No portion of the above
    grade DWV system other than vent terminals shall be located
    outside of a building, in attics or crawl spaces, concealed in outside
    walls, or in any other place subjected to freezing temperatures"

    Generally, crawl spaces are not subject to freezing.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "No portion of the above
    grade DWV system other than vent terminals shall be located
    outside of a building, in attics or crawl spaces, concealed in outside
    walls, or in any other place subjected to freezing temperatures"

    Generally, crawl spaces are not subject to freezing.
    .......... vented, non-conditioned crawls in my part of the world, most assurredly are routinely subjected to freezing temperatures.......Greg


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    .......... vented, non-conditioned crawls in my part of the world, most assurredly are routinely subjected to freezing temperatures.......Greg
    Yet. even though the crawl is subject to freezing

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    there are thousands of homes with waste lines running through unheated crawls with no problems.
    I presume you were speaking about your part of the world.

    Never the less, what was shown in the OP was wrong.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Yet. even though the crawl is subject to freezing



    I presume you were speaking about your part of the world.

    Never the less, what was shown in the OP was wrong.
    .........you're right - it's wrong . Wrong for several reasons, but none to do with freezing


  10. #10
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    Question thread drift warning

    Why are there homes built with crawlspaces in freezing climates? If your frost line is, let's say 3 feet down so you have to dig your footings three feet are you still going to leave it as a crawl or dig another 6 feet and make it a basement? Same for slab on grade in northern climes.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    About 35' of the drain line from my mother-in-law apartment is only 18" deep to the septic tank. I was very worried when I put it in about freezing as it gets plenty cold here and can easily freeze down more than 18". But seven years later, that line has never frozen enough to interfere with the flow.

    My unconfirmed assessment is that the large flows of warm water from tubs, showers, washers, etc, keep the ice build up to a minimum even on long runs like the one from my apartment.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    .........you're right - it's wrong . Wrong for several reasons, but none to do with freezing
    Really, "none to do with freezing", are we reading the same code?
    Or are you just arguing for the sake of argument itself?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Really, "none to do with freezing", are we reading the same code?
    Or are you just arguing for the sake of argument itself?
    ..........not arguing - just talking real-life, common sense. There are thousands of HUD code homes, with perimeter skirting enclosing crawl areas that routinely are subjected to freezing temperatures. As well, there are many, many site built homes with the same conditions (I have owned several over the years). I don't cite code without thought to real-life situations and in my area your dogged insistance of that particular code reference would be inane..........Greg


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ..........not arguing - just talking real-life, common sense. There are thousands of HUD code homes, with perimeter skirting enclosing crawl areas that routinely are subjected to freezing temperatures. As well, there are many, many site built homes with the same conditions (I have owned several over the years). I don't cite code without thought to real-life situations and in my area your dogged insistance of that particular code reference would be inane..........Greg
    Greg
    Read the OP, look at the photos in the OP.
    Now read my first post. I asked " Does it freeze in Spokane?"
    I asked this because the photo shows the sewer pipe outside the crawlspace.
    I then posted the code which said not allowed if subject to freezing.
    I think the pipes in the photo are subject to freezing.

    Thats when YOU brought up crawlspace

    If you have a question, I will try my best to answer it
    But if you disagree with the code on weather or not a crawlspace freezes, well thats between you and and the people that write the codes.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Greg
    Read the OP, look at the photos in the OP.
    Now read my first post. I asked " Does it freeze in Spokane?"
    I asked this because the photo shows the sewer pipe outside the crawlspace.
    I then posted the code which said not allowed if subject to freezing.
    I think the pipes in the photo are subject to freezing.

    Thats when YOU brought up crawlspace

    If you have a question, I will try my best to answer it
    But if you disagree with the code on weather or not a crawlspace freezes, well thats between you and and the people that write the codes.
    ..........I don't expect you to take my word for it - but having lived and worked my entire life in areas with frost depths greater than 42", the piping depicted in the OP is in no danger of not functioning due to freezing, even though it is subjected to freezing temperatures. As far as to whom first mentioned crawlspace, take a look at post number 3 where you quote a code reference mentioning crawlspace . As far as my disagreeing with the code - it's never been a problem for me or any of the many AHJs that I have interfaced with over the years, because we elect to use real-life experience as an interpretive guide - not code referenced by rote. And if I do have a question, I probably won't be seeking an answer from yourself. Finally, as I think you were pointing out earlier, to argue for the sake of argument is nonsense - so I'm done with this topic.........Greg.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    And if I do have a question, I probably won't be seeking an answer from yourself..
    That's probably best
    It seems there is little, if anything, I can say that you are able to gain any benefit from

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 03-29-2013 at 12:49 PM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    Hmmmmm ... let's see if I can provide an answer which causes some thinking and realization as to what is meant in the code.

    The code says, basically, that if the piping ... ANY WATER PIPING, ANY VENT PIPING, and ANY WASTE/SEWER PIPING ... is not within the thermal envelope of the house (not within the insulated barrier around the conditioned space) - then that piping IS REQUIRED TO BE PROTECTED FROM FREEZING by one of two, or both, methods: a) insulation; b) heat tape, c) both a) and b).

    It does not matter what was constructed when, the older codes may not have yet recognized the problem with pipes freezing and bursting, but the modern codes have. More likely is that the older codes actually did address this problem, but the AHJ deemed it 'not a big enough problem here to worry about', and in those cases it is the AHJ that *I* "worry" about - apparently *they* *know* (or at least think they know) more than what others know.

    So be it.

    The ICC codes (and many of the older codes) recognize a line, what I call 'the freeze line' as an imaginary line below which things *never* freeze and above where things *always* freeze (my general summarization of code). I the real world, areas below that "freeze line" DO freeze some of the time and should be protected and areas above that "freeze line" DO freeze some of the time and should be protected.

    The "freeze line" basically runs from Jacksonville, Florida, west following I-10 to Tallahassee, to Pensacola, across into Alabama, Louisiana, and into Texas - in Texas the line starts to curve upward some and continues on over to Southern California (in Texas and across to California the freeze line varies a bit from I-10 in places, quite a bit in some of the places).

    One can view a map of the Southeast, find the Florida-Georgia border, look down just a little and find I-10, then follow it westward ... if your area is ABOVE that I-10 line you really need to be protecting the pipes from freezing.

    If your area is below that line ... well, even though the code does not require protection from freezing you really should be protecting the pipes from freezing. Some people are non-believers because pipes in their area only burst from freezing "now and then" --- ONCE is too many times, would not have happened if the pipes had been protected from freezing.

    While I lived in Gainesville, Florida we had several very cold winters (they still do have them), and in the winter of 1983-84 I got to rebuild a lot of apartment buildings from the pipes in the attic bursting during winter break and the students came back to find everything inside their apartments have been ruined - I advised the owners of the apartment buildings that they really needed to insulate the piping in the attic or relocate the piping out of the attic ... between them and their insurance companies they decided 'not worth the additional cost' - no problem.

    During the winter of 1984-85 I got to do the same thing all over again to those very same apartments, again I recommended they insulate the pipes in the attic or relocate the pipes - this time the answer was 'DO IT'.

    Keep in mind that Gainesville if a quite a bit south of that freeze line, and, like projected paths of hurricanes, weather systems are very poor map readers and end up going where they want to - they *are* the proverbial "800 pound gorilla in the room" and it does go "wherever it wants to" I am, of course, referring to the old saying 'where does an 800 pound gorilla sit ... a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e it wants to'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Do sewer pipes need to be underground at the exterior?

    In the areas that I have worked that has been the call of the agency responsible for overseeing sewage disposal; the county health department for septic systems or the sanitary district for public sewage systems.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

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