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myredracer

Langley B.C.

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Posted: 06/15/19 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would use a 4" pipe with a 1/4" per foot slope and call it a cleanout.

Pipe dia. is normally dictated by the plumbing code and is based on the total number of "fixture units" in a residence connected to the pipe (sinks, toilets, bathrub, etc.). See this table for example. Largest no. of fixture units for a single fixture is for a toilet and a 3" dia. pipe is okay. Note that a toilet is 1.6 gal/flush. Plumbing fixtures normally have a P-trap and a vent pipe is required to prevent a trap from being sucked dry (and to prevent odors from coming out). A p-trap isn't really needed for an RV inlet and you won't need a vent pipe.

An RV dumps 30-ish gallons in a short period of time (way above a toilet at 1.6 gal/flush) and the code doesn't have a figure for RVs and could be why an inspector would just ignore it and consider it a cleanout. A 3" pipe could potentially be overwhelmed with the high flow rate/volume.

As for slope, the min. allowable is 1/8" per foot and 1/4" is what's usually used (excepting a vertical stack). Too little slope reduces the no. of allowable fixture units. Too much slope can result in the liquid and solids being separated and the solids being left behind in the pipe. I have a toilet in my workshop at home with a 3" pipe at 1/8" slope just under the slab. Couldn't get more slope but it works just fine.

Having said this, figuring out what to do isn't rocket science any anyone working as a plumber (and on permitted worksites) should have no problem deciding what's required. If hiring someone off CL who claims he/she's a plumber, you're opening yourself up to potential problems.

If you can't get a cleanout near where your RV will be parked, consider using a macerator pump.


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Cummins12V98

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Posted: 06/16/19 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have literally 125' of 3" pipe from my threaded opening to septic tank and I dump 100 gallons or more at a time FULL BORE at my RV pad with several years of Summer use with ZERO issues.


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WTP-GC

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Posted: 06/16/19 01:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cummins12V98 wrote:

I have literally 125' of 3" pipe from my threaded opening to septic tank and I dump 100 gallons or more at a time FULL BORE at my RV pad with several years of Summer use with ZERO issues.

^^Exactly
A properly functioning septic tank is always full of water up to the bottom of the drain field piping. The drain field consists of no less than 3" pipe, and if it's a traditional system, probably multiple runs of 3" pipe between 100 and 200 lineal feet. 100 feet of 3" pipe will hold about 30 gallons. If the drain field is percolating correctly, you will have no issue at all.


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Cummins12V98

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Posted: 06/16/19 09:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WTP-GC wrote:

Cummins12V98 wrote:

I have literally 125' of 3" pipe from my threaded opening to septic tank and I dump 100 gallons or more at a time FULL BORE at my RV pad with several years of Summer use with ZERO issues.

^^Exactly
A properly functioning septic tank is always full of water up to the bottom of the drain field piping. The drain field consists of no less than 3" pipe, and if it's a traditional system, probably multiple runs of 3" pipe between 100 and 200 lineal feet. 100 feet of 3" pipe will hold about 30 gallons. If the drain field is percolating correctly, you will have no issue at all.


My comment was directed at how well the 3” drain pipe works for my RV dump.

My drain field is all perforated 4” pipe.

Eric&Lisa

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Posted: 06/17/19 01:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WTP-GC wrote:

OP, as a contractor, I would not like that you hired me to do a job and then went onto a random Internet forum to verify the quality of my work or choice of materials. If you came to me (the professional) and told me that a faceless, nameless internet somebody said that I was doing it wrong and suggested a better way of doing it, I'd walk off the job. The nature of questions you're asking suggests that you don't know anything about the work taking place, so be mindful of that when you offer advice to your contractor. There's an old saying...if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, then baffle them with your BS. It would in your best interest to let the contractor do their job without telling them how it should be done...in this case.


Nicely written, and a good point made. However....

Within the ranks of any demographic, 10% of the people are simply jerks. Contractors are no exception. It is wise for anyone engaging any services to educate themselves. This is not to throw it back and say "The Internet says do it this way". This is to be able to validate that they got the good contractor in the 90% ranks, and not the 1 in 10 that are jerks. A jerk, in any profession, will straighten up when they learn that the mark (errr, the customer) knows a thing or two about the situation.

In my opinion, part of the contractor's job is to explain they 'why' behind what they did. The contractor should be able to say something like "Yes, the Internet says to use black PVC, but in XYZ county we are approved to use white PVC, and here is the specific code regulation." I know I am working with someone who knows their stuff and is willing to stand behind the decisions they made.

More communication with the contractor and more education by the customer avoids distrust and dissatisfaction later. I would avoid a contractor who is afraid to take my questions and unwilling to defend their decisions. You wouldn't need to walk off the job as you would have already been thrown out for taking such an arrogant and condescending approach towards the customer.

Oh goodness, I got derailed and didn't address the OP's topic! I put in a RV dump in. I matched the pipe I already had for size, color, etc. I gave it a gentle slope. Some hacksaw here, some glue there, and it works just fine. Don't overthink it. Make it look like everything else and remember that gravity will move the 'stuff' where it needs to go.

And pulling a permit?? Are you kidding me? To put in a Y-fitting, a few feet of pipe, some couplers, and a screw down plug? Just do it and be done. The 'poop gods' (as they are known in my county) only care about adding capacity (more toilets) to an existing system. An RV has temporary capacity that is typically only used when the home systems are not being used. Therefore it is a zero sum game. No additional materials are going in the system that wouldn't be provided should you have stayed at home instead.

-Eric

* This post was edited 06/17/19 01:37am by Eric&Lisa *


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JRscooby

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Posted: 06/17/19 05:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cummins12V98 wrote:

WTP-GC wrote:

Cummins12V98 wrote:

I have literally 125' of 3" pipe from my threaded opening to septic tank and I dump 100 gallons or more at a time FULL BORE at my RV pad with several years of Summer use with ZERO issues.

^^Exactly
A properly functioning septic tank is always full of water up to the bottom of the drain field piping. The drain field consists of no less than 3" pipe, and if it's a traditional system, probably multiple runs of 3" pipe between 100 and 200 lineal feet. 100 feet of 3" pipe will hold about 30 gallons. If the drain field is percolating correctly, you will have no issue at all.


My comment was directed at how well the 3” drain pipe works for my RV dump.

My drain field is all perforated 4” pipe.



Dumping 100 gallons thru a 3 inch pipe would take a little longer than if the pipe was 4 inches. But what happens when that 3 inch stream hits the tank? A 100 feet of 4 inch pipe will be half full of what was the top water of the tank. Around here, this year, that could make a yard look like a spring.

WTP-GC

FL

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Posted: 06/17/19 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cummins12V98 wrote:

WTP-GC wrote:

Cummins12V98 wrote:

I have literally 125' of 3" pipe from my threaded opening to septic tank and I dump 100 gallons or more at a time FULL BORE at my RV pad with several years of Summer use with ZERO issues.

^^Exactly
A properly functioning septic tank is always full of water up to the bottom of the drain field piping. The drain field consists of no less than 3" pipe, and if it's a traditional system, probably multiple runs of 3" pipe between 100 and 200 lineal feet. 100 feet of 3" pipe will hold about 30 gallons. If the drain field is percolating correctly, you will have no issue at all.


My comment was directed at how well the 3” drain pipe works for my RV dump.

My drain field is all perforated 4” pipe.

I understood your comment, and I was adding commentary to confirm it.

WTP-GC

FL

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Posted: 06/17/19 11:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric&Lisa wrote:

WTP-GC wrote:

OP, as a contractor, I would not like that you hired me to do a job and then went onto a random Internet forum to verify the quality of my work or choice of materials. If you came to me (the professional) and told me that a faceless, nameless internet somebody said that I was doing it wrong and suggested a better way of doing it, I'd walk off the job. The nature of questions you're asking suggests that you don't know anything about the work taking place, so be mindful of that when you offer advice to your contractor. There's an old saying...if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, then baffle them with your BS. It would in your best interest to let the contractor do their job without telling them how it should be done...in this case.


Nicely written, and a good point made. However....

Within the ranks of any demographic, 10% of the people are simply jerks. Contractors are no exception. It is wise for anyone engaging any services to educate themselves. This is not to throw it back and say "The Internet says do it this way". This is to be able to validate that they got the good contractor in the 90% ranks, and not the 1 in 10 that are jerks. A jerk, in any profession, will straighten up when they learn that the mark (errr, the customer) knows a thing or two about the situation.

In my opinion, part of the contractor's job is to explain they 'why' behind what they did. The contractor should be able to say something like "Yes, the Internet says to use black PVC, but in XYZ county we are approved to use white PVC, and here is the specific code regulation." I know I am working with someone who knows their stuff and is willing to stand behind the decisions they made.

More communication with the contractor and more education by the customer avoids distrust and dissatisfaction later. I would avoid a contractor who is afraid to take my questions and unwilling to defend their decisions. You wouldn't need to walk off the job as you would have already been thrown out for taking such an arrogant and condescending approach towards the customer.

Oh goodness, I got derailed and didn't address the OP's topic! I put in a RV dump in. I matched the pipe I already had for size, color, etc. I gave it a gentle slope. Some hacksaw here, some glue there, and it works just fine. Don't overthink it. Make it look like everything else and remember that gravity will move the 'stuff' where it needs to go.

And pulling a permit?? Are you kidding me? To put in a Y-fitting, a few feet of pipe, some couplers, and a screw down plug? Just do it and be done. The 'poop gods' (as they are known in my county) only care about adding capacity (more toilets) to an existing system. An RV has temporary capacity that is typically only used when the home systems are not being used. Therefore it is a zero sum game. No additional materials are going in the system that wouldn't be provided should you have stayed at home instead.

-Eric

Some of the best contractors I know are jerks! I've worked around jerk contractors that I trusted far more than those that please me with their "nice-ness"...sometimes. Don't confuse confidence with arrogance.

The reason why you walk off the job when the customer suddenly knows more than you is because you will never be right in that customer's eyes. You might get the job done, but the punch list will never end. Such a customer cannot be pleased and will hold your money until the bitter end, making you come back day after day with a new list of problems.

And you live in a dream world if you expect that a quality contractor should be able to easily spout off the code and/or statutory number for each part of their work. We all know certain parts of the code and regulations, as we've seen fit to learn them out of necessity. But a document that comes in a 4" thick binder, pages front and back in 10 pt font is not something I've committed fully to memory. But what I do know is that "the inspector has passed this material/method for the last 5 years at every place I've worked", so it must be right. And, "I've been doing it this way for the last 30 years" has a lot more value than "I read an interesting thread on an RV forum that says..."

myredracer

Langley B.C.

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Posted: 06/17/19 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not that it's gonna matter much here to anyone, but I would add that our septic system at home is a pressurized mound type with a pump chamber next to the main tank. A sudden flow of 30-something gallons could result in the pump chamber overflowing depending on what the chamber's level happened to be at and/or the RV inlet/cleanout backing up. The pump simply couldn't pump it out fast enough.

JRscooby wrote:

Cummins12V98 wrote:

WTP-GC wrote:

Cummins12V98 wrote:

I have literally 125' of 3" pipe from my threaded opening to septic tank and I dump 100 gallons or more at a time FULL BORE at my RV pad with several years of Summer use with ZERO issues.

^^Exactly
A properly functioning septic tank is always full of water up to the bottom of the drain field piping. The drain field consists of no less than 3" pipe, and if it's a traditional system, probably multiple runs of 3" pipe between 100 and 200 lineal feet. 100 feet of 3" pipe will hold about 30 gallons. If the drain field is percolating correctly, you will have no issue at all.


My comment was directed at how well the 3” drain pipe works for my RV dump.

My drain field is all perforated 4” pipe.



Dumping 100 gallons thru a 3 inch pipe would take a little longer than if the pipe was 4 inches. But what happens when that 3 inch stream hits the tank? A 100 feet of 4 inch pipe will be half full of what was the top water of the tank. Around here, this year, that could make a yard look like a spring.


WTP-GC

FL

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Joined: 12/22/2015

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Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 06/17/19 01:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric&Lisa wrote:


And pulling a permit?? Are you kidding me? To put in a Y-fitting, a few feet of pipe, some couplers, and a screw down plug? Just do it and be done. The 'poop gods' (as they are known in my county) only care about adding capacity (more toilets) to an existing system. An RV has temporary capacity that is typically only used when the home systems are not being used. Therefore it is a zero sum game. No additional materials are going in the system that wouldn't be provided should you have stayed at home instead.

-Eric

I would add to this that you and I are generally of the same mindset when it comes to getting a permit for something like this. Quite frankly, I would find it hard to believe that any plumber worth his salt has the time of day to get involved with a project of this nature. Nonetheless, I've been in places where even the site of a service truck in a driveway is like a beacon to the local building department. Plus, you got nosey neighbors that stroll by and see a shovel in the dirt, and that's enough for them to call the building department or HOA.

Way out in the woods, maybe skip the permit. In a place where letting the grass grow a quarter inch too much causes a ruckus...maybe at least call the building department. Information is free...

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