We have a mystery pipe here which we really need to locate. It is an
unused 2" electric svs pipe (grey) that goes from our panel inside the
house to "somewhere" outside. It goes under slab and is at least 50
feet long, as we put a snake down it and ran out of snake! We assume
it exits somewhere logical for a planned extension, but short of
digging down 2ft deep all the way round the house there appears to be
no way to locate it. The builder is long gone..weve tried tapping with
a mallet on the slab and listening, tapping on the pipe inside.. were
at a loss..
Any tricks here? We could really use this if it is found to be
Any help appreciated.
You need a plumber or drain guy with the right equipment. When I had a
break in my sewer line, they put down a snake with something on the end and
used a receiver to follow it above ground. Something like that should work
for your line also. In my case, they pinpointed the transmitter about 80
feet from the house and within inches of the location.
Long shot- Connect a carry tank of compressed air to it.
If the exit end isn't very securely sealed off, you may be
able to hear the thing whistle.
If it acts like it's not tightly sealed, but still can't hear
anything, inject Mercaptan or other odorant into the compressed
air stream and go sniff for it.
The usual procedure is what Edwin Pawlowski posted. Call a cable
locator service. You could purchase a cable locator, but they are
kind of expensive to justify a one time use. You will have to insert
a metal snake or fish tape into the pipe and connect the transmitter
to the fish tape, then walk around with the receiver until you find
it. Short of that you may get some results by digging a trench a
couple of feet away from the house in the area where the pipe should
exit the house. Once you find it you should be able to determine what
direction it's going, then walk out 50 feet in that direction and dig
a trench perpendicular to the pre-determined direction. It may be a
straight shot. You might get lucky.
I'd be careful, though. It's unusual to install a spare conduit that
large in new house construction. Stranger things have happened, but a
conduit that large could be connected to an energized equipment, like
a transformer. You don't want to be pushing a metal fish tape into
Another possibility, if you have fiber optic in your area is that the
conduit goes to a fiber optic utility J-box and got brought up into
the electric panel by mistake.
Knowing what will happen, I will post it anyhow.
You could try asking around for a dowser. I can dowse but never trust
my results. If I were in the area my attack would be to advise you
that it may or may not work, dowse it out to whereever until (if) it
exits your property and then dig down to confirm. Only if it were
found upon digging would I believe my results.
house? Possibly for central AC, planned gazebo, shed or garage,
accessory water pump, or just a run for possible addition to the house?
You might try the original building permit for the house, as it could
have a drawing. Our old condo does. How old is the house? Any chance
of finding previous owner?
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