Don't konw about your situation, but I see a possible similarity with
a n'hood I walk through a couple times a week. The n'hood I'm
thinking of has city sewers, but it is about 10 years old and each
front yard has a 4 inch white plastic pipe vertical in the yard. Some
are even with the ground and not really visible because of the grass.
But others are up to 6 inches (not 3 feet) high, and look really ugly.
I think for many of the owners it is their first house, and they don't
have nerve enough to do anything. If I lived there, I'd figure they
cut the pipes without knowing where they woudl go or how high the dirt
would be, and I'd cut the pipe off as low as the lowest one in the
In your case I'd do what you're doing, ask what it is for, but if it
is for an air vent, I don't know why it has to be anywhere near as
high, or as big a diameter. Or why it would have to hook over, when
one could cut V's or U's in the end edge of the pipe and then attach a
cap a little bigger than the pipe, and it would vent through those. I
am not a plumber.
But I'd also ask the builder, or the builder's plumber.
I don't know why it should go higher than the traps in the house,
unless one was trying to avoid siphoning water through the septic from
the pipes in the house, which I don't think could ever happen anyhow.
I would ask again what it is venting. I can sure be wrong--- just
ask my wife-- but I've not seen a septic tank with a vent other
than the roof top vents normal to the house. Is there a chance it
is something to do with a radon system? The candy cane is a great
illustration to use, and it sure is typical of some form of vent.
Speedy Jim could perhaps indicate whether or not a Studor type
vent would be adequate under the circumstances.
Does it lend itself to being buried in a decorative rock berm with
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Yes! I like the decorative effect!
No, a mechanical vent would defeat the purpose in this case;
the vent allows air to circulate and, maybe more important,
to permit large flows of water (toilet flush/washing machine draining)
to push the air ahead of it without restriction.
I read the whole thing hoping someone would mention that. I have
never seen a septic sytem with a vent. And one in front of the house
makes no sense. Who in their right mind wants to walk around their
yard smelling crap. Yes, any vent to a tank will smell of crap 24/7.
It appears to be a vent for something but for a septic tank it ain't.
Mine runs through a dry well before it goes into the drain field.
Capped with a concrete cover but even from the few cracks that are
under the cover I can smell it.
First off, you need to be absolutely certain if you have a septic
system or are connected to the municipality sewer line. IF its a
septic system, you better have some documentation showing the tank's
location and the extent of the drain field. Since you probably
didn't get any of that at closing time, you are most likely
connected to a sewer system. Call them and ask them what the pipe is
for and why it is there, and what your options are. I've seen
something like this in the back yards of a housing tract that we did
some work in. They were connected to the sewer system, but I didn't
find anyone who knew about them.
One thought just came to mind here. It may be that high because it will not
vent if snow covered. Not knowing where the OP lives I can't say if that
would be the case. If up north where it is common to have a few feet of
snow on the ground it may be raised to compensate.
Why couldn't they just bury a pipe and run it back to the side of the
house and up 3 feet? Or the OP do it? It might cost a few bucks but
it is better than a white plastic candycane in the middle of the front
lawn. Unless you're a dam' white reindeer.
To chime in with Ed, I would make damn sure I knew what this thing was, and
what function it performed. If it is a vent, and you cap it off, the gas
will escape somewhere else, maybe in the house. That would be fun. Or a
raw sewage backup in the house. Six weeks of strange odors. Digging
through the snow, into frozen ground, redoing it back the way it was.
Call up your local municipality, or find someone who can give you the answer
to what it is. Opinions here are free and worth twice that. Someone in
your area can give you some real time info.
I have not seen one in my part of the country, but I am not so stupid as to
say that they are not necessary in yours. It could have to do with water
table levels, soil compaction, some special septic tank vent, percolation
rates, or many things that if you go changing, might come back to bite you
hard in a sensitive place.
Find out what it is. Then do whatever you think is appropriate. If it is
necessary and functional and has to stay, make it look like an antique pump
or some lawn ornament. If it is not necessary and functional, you won't be
capping something that's going to cause your house to back up with sewage
while you're away for the weekend.
Get the facts first, then act.
I think I finally recall seeing a 2 or 3 of these over the years, and
they weren't in anyone's yard. So maybe it has nothing to do with his
house. I have the most vague recollection one being near long
distance gas lines, but I could be wrong or that could be a
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