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Build Your Own Home, Issue #014, Buried Piping and Utilities Diagram
November 30, 2005
Hello,

In this newsletter issue I would like to concentrate on some of the items that you may forget, or overlook during home building. Once the home building process gets in full swing it is easy to overlook items that will come back to bite you later.

One of the most important things to consider is a map or diagram of all the buried pipe and conduit etc.. on your property. What you need to do is take a copy of your plat (diagram or blue print of your property) and mark where each pipe, conduit or anything else you may ever need to find is buried. You need to do this early on in the process when the first piping or conduit is being buried.

Be as accurate to scale as you can. Start out by placing your house and outbuildings on the diagram to scale, and then place your buried items accordingly. Update this diagram throughout the building process and beyond. When you make improvement to your property later you can refer to this diagram and know where all your buried pipe and conduit are located, making digging and trenching a lot easier.

Back in Issue #9 I promised I would let you know what was going on in my septic system. If you recall my system was pumping out excessively and I attributed the problem to root infiltration, causing leaks in the seals on the tanks. Here is a link if you want to go back and review Septic System Advice .

Recently I had the time to start hunting down the problem. I started by digging around the inlet to the first tank. This is where my main drain pipe comes from the house and enters the septic system. I located the sewer line by using my handy drawing that I had made when the tanks and plumbing were being installed. I also used some pictures I had taken during construction. You can view one of these pics on the Septic System Page to get an idea of what I am talking about.

What I found upon inspection was the sewer pipe from the house had settled about an inch and the septic tank had not. This caused the last fitting on the sewer pipe to break. The line was leaking some sewer drainage out, and when we had generous amounts of rain the water was leaking into the opening causing the system to pump out excessively.

The moral of this issue of Build Your Own Home is have a good drawing of everything that goes in the ground and you will be happy when you have to find it.

Happy Holidays,

George


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