30 year old house in Western Australia (presumably) built on a concrete slab on
top of sand .
The drainage pipe from the shower to the main clay sewer pipe suffers from
periodic slow flow and the visible end where it exits the house looks very rusty
(layers of rust peeling away). I suspect that the builder used galvanised
steel instead of plastic pipe and it's collapsing internally.
I have no idea how thick the concreate slab is, but the shower floor is recessed
5cm (2 inches) below the main floor level. The shower drain hole is 2.6m (102
inches) from the outside wall.
What would I expect to find if I tried to drill/cut around the existing drain
hole through the floor?
Would the existing pipe be totally encased within the concrete slab?
Is there a standard technique for doing this kind of pipe replacement operation?
Some plumbing is run entirely under the slab, some entirely within, and some
partially within, so you cannot predict that. You may be able to get some
idea by inspection at the visible ends.
As bad as it sounds, the best way to handle these things is generally to
break up the slab in that area. A concrete saw and jackhammer can usually be
rented. Replacing the concrete is no problem.
I would carefully evaluate the situation before deciding that the pipe had
to be replaced. If you can access the line outside the slab somehow, you can
get a better idea of the interior condition of the pipe. If you are unsure,
you probably should seek professional assistance.
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