The Big Dig

First I have to introduce one of my favorite people here in Cincinnati, Ronnie Zins.  He owns a plumbing business in Northside and I’ve known him for over twenty years.  This man is golden…  A great story teller and amazingly generous.  He’s one of the reasons I love Cincinnati.

The Man himself

The Man himself

The decision to call Ronnie to look at the Chase house was very fateful: he knew the previous owner, Laura, and the house well.  Before he even stepped inside he said, “Yup, the sewer pipe under this house has big problems…” He informed me that I was the proud owner of a house with a “whole-house” trap, also known as a “Cincinnati trap.” Nothing but troubles. His company would auger out the trap a few times a year.  You never know what you’ll find once you open things up and the news was, needless to say, disheartening.  Had I hired asked another plumber, good chance I’d never experience the problem, but due to the disclosure clause, I had to either fix it or acknowledge the problem…. better fix it!  And a cutting and a shoveling we go!

 

On your mark, get set, GO! Note the condensation pipe from the furnace, I HATE when it's plumbed directly on the floor.

On your mark, get set, GO!
Note the condensation pipe from the furnace – I HATE when it’s plumbed directly on the floor.

I use a dedicated circular saw with a diamond blade and lots of water!

I used a dedicated circular saw with a diamond blade and lots of water!

I work closely with my subs, I know I can save money if I do the grunt work such as cut the concrete and digging. I get it ready for them

I work closely with my subs.  I know I can save money if I do the grunt work, such as cutting the concrete and digging.  I get it ready.  Plus, I get to make cool shapes!

The problem was different then I imagined. We used a specialized camera to view the condition and everything from the front of the house to the street looked great. This surprised me considering the weight of the concrete front porch.

The problem was different than I had imagined.  We used a specialized camera to view the condition, and everything from the front of the house to the street looked great.  This surprised me, considering the weight of the concrete front porch.

Rob did most of the fitting of the PVC plastic piping.

Rob did most of the fitting of the PVC plastic piping.  Note the pipe by his foot – we lined the existing 5inch clay pipe with 4 inch plastic.  It worked great!

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You can see three of the four openings in the floor, with the far one being the front of the house.

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This opening allowed us to tie in the other second floor bathroom drain and helped in the re-lining process.

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The big problem was the drain pipe sloped backwards, so waste would collect at the front of the house by the ‘whole house’ trap.  We fixed it by digging almost four feet beyond the inner foundation wall to connect where the ‘fall’ was good.  By using a very slick offset 4″ to 6″ transitional fitting, it allowed us to raise the 6″ pipe almost 2 inches, allowing for the proper fall. Whew!

Another shape that I've used elsewhere.

the ‘big dipper’ filled in with concrete

I love the look of exposed aggregate. I worked the cement 'cream' to the top then the next morning wire brushed it off to expose the pea gravel.

I love the look of exposed aggregate.  I worked the cement ‘cream’ to the top, then the next morning, wire brushed it off to expose the pea gravel in the cured concrete.

At the base of the stairs where you first step onto the basement floor.

at the base of the stairs, where you first step onto the basement floor…  a “welcome mat” of sorts

 

 

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About mdejong11

Residential contractor/artist
This entry was posted in Projects/Process, Sub contractors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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