Clay piping is commonly used in drain tiles among homes with basements, but it is vulnerable to environmental influences. Tree roots and shifting soils will create holes and cracks in clay pipe; when this occurs, it's a good idea to replace it with more modern materials such as 4-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) perforated pipe. However, whenever clay pipe is to be joined to PVC, there is a need to bridge the gap between the two dissimilar and differently-sized materials. Below is how you can install a flexible coupling between clay and PVC drain pipes:
Tools and materials needed
- Reciprocating saw with carbide or diamond blade
- Small spade or digging knife
- Clay to-PVC flexible coupling (quantity of 2) - measure the outside diameter of both the clay and PVC pipes, and purchase a coupling that will fit both ends.
- 4-inch PVC perforated pipe
- Stainless steel hose clamps (quantity of 4)
- Shop cloth
- Hack saw
- Measuring tape
1. Remove the damaged section of clay pipe - once you have located the specific area where the clay pipe has been damaged, the next step is to remove the bad section of pipe. You may need to dig under and around the pipe with a small spade or a digging knife. Make a clean, perpendicular cut across the clay pipe using a reciprocating saw equipped with a carbide or diamond blade. Periodically pause while cutting the pipe and check the clay pipe to be sure it isn't too hot. If it feels too hot, then allow it to cool down before proceeding. Remove the damaged section from the drain tile and discard it.
2. Measure and cut the PVC pipe - measure the distance between the two cut ends of clay pipe and use a hacksaw to cut a piece of PVC pipe in the same length minus two inches. With a piece of medium-grit sandpaper, remove rough edges and burrs from the PVC pipe.
3. Join the PVC pipe to the first coupling - before attaching the clay pipe to the coupling, the end of the clay pipe should be cleaned so that coupling will fit without leaking. Wipe dirt, sand or other debris away from the clay; it does not have to be perfectly clean, but it should be free of all substantial debris.
After cleaning the clay pipe, slide the larger end of the coupling over the end of the clay pipe you just cleaned. Fasten a stainless steel hose clamp to this end and tighten it until the coupling cannot be moved by hand. Next, slide the end of the PVC pipe into the coupling and also tightly install a hose clamp on the unit to hold it in place. Do not overtighten the clamp or you may break the clay pipe. When joining the clay and PVC pipe, try to make sure both ends are pushed as far as possible toward each other inside the coupling. This will minimize the risk of coupling failure in the event of shifting soils or other disruptions.
4. Attach the second coupling - at the opposite end of the PVC pipe where it is to be attached to the other end of the clay pipe, you will need to repeat the above steps and thoroughly clean the clay surface. Next, slide another coupling onto the clay pipe, but do not fasten it with a hose clamp yet. Push the coupling as far as you can toward the clay pipe, then attach the PVC pipe to the unused end of the coupling.
Slide the coupling back-and-forth between the clay pipe and PVC pipe until you find a good fit for both. Once it feels correct, tighten the hose clamps on both ends of the coupling.
Contact companies like Rite-Way Waterproofing for professional help if you need it or to see if they have tools you can rent or know of places you can rent those tools from.