Septic Line Clean-outs


Recently I had a plugged drain pipe to my septic tank: plug was within 5 ft of the tank. When I went to use the clean-out plugs to snake the lines, I found that 3 out of the 4 clean-out plugs had leaked big time. Noticed that the caps on the clean-outs were only on finger tight. House was built 8 years ago and have been that way since. (This may explain the slight sewer smell sometimes present in the basement.) End result is ruined carpet. Moral of story; inspect your clean-out caps!
My question is: how to seal these 3 inch caps? Only one of them has an O-ring. The others are just a plastic-on-plastic seal (black PVC or ABS?) with no way to put on an O-ring. Would Teflon tape on the threads do the job? Or if the caps are screwed on very tight, will they still leak? Is there another solution?
Thank you!
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I always use Teflon tape -- the thickest you can find for 3" or 4" plugs. To be effective with such coarse threads I find that I need to wind on 4, 5 or 6 turns on the start of the thread. When tightened firmly with a wrench they should not leak and yet still be easy to remove when needed.
<DIV><FONT size=2>Recently I had a plugged drain pipe&nbsp;to my septic tank: plug was within 5 ft of the tank. When I went to use the clean-out plugs to snake the lines, I found that&nbsp; 3 out of the 4 clean-out plugs had leaked big time. Noticed that the caps on the clean-outs were only on finger tight. House was built 8 years ago and have been that way since. (This may explain the slight sewer smell sometimes present in the basement.)</FONT></DIV> <DIV>End result is ruined carpet. Moral of story; inspect your clean-out caps!</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>My question is: how to seal these 3 inch caps?</DIV> <DIV>Only one of them has an O-ring. The others are just a plastic-on-plastic seal (black PVC or ABS?) with no way to put on an O-ring. </DIV> <DIV>Would Teflon tape on the threads do the job? Or if the caps are screwed on very tight, will they still leak? Is there another solution?</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT size=2>Thank you!</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Treetops wrote:

My plastic pipe clean outs are 20 years old. They have never leaked and I have one for the kitchen sink/dishwasher/water softener drain at eye level about 5 feet from where I am sitting right now. They are not hand tight, though. The few times I have had to use them, I had to use a pair of pump pliers, pipe wrench, or a large crescent wrench to remove them. I used the same tool to retighten them. They don't have to be torqued, just a quarter or half turn more than finger tight. There are no o-rings or teflon tape on the plugs.
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Yes, a tight cap will make the fitting gas tight. The tape will help the seal, as well as make it easier to remove in the future if needed.
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Thanks to all for the input.
Have now Teflon'ed the caps. My guess is that the finger tight seals were OK for 8 years but once pressure built up due to standing water in the vertical drain pipes from the blockage they leaked significantly.
Now for the ubiquitous septic-country signs in all bathrooms " Do not put sanitary napkins or any paper other than single ply toilet paper in toilet"
One question that puzzles me is why the downstairs toilet didn't overflow when sewage backed-up in the drain pipes. Any opinions???
<DIV><FONT size=2>Recently I had a plugged drain pipe&nbsp;to my septic tank: plug was within 5 ft of the tank. When I went to use the clean-out plugs to snake the lines, I found that&nbsp; 3 out of the 4 clean-out plugs had leaked big time. Noticed that the caps on the clean-outs were only on finger tight. House was built 8 years ago and have been that way since. (This may explain the slight sewer smell sometimes present in the basement.)</FONT></DIV> <DIV>End result is ruined carpet. Moral of story; inspect your clean-out caps!</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>My question is: how to seal these 3 inch caps?</DIV> <DIV>Only one of them has an O-ring. The others are just a plastic-on-plastic seal (black PVC or ABS?) with no way to put on an O-ring. </DIV> <DIV>Would Teflon tape on the threads do the job? Or if the caps are screwed on very tight, will they still leak? Is there another solution?</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT size=2>Thank you!</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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