Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Does anyone know what this urn-like thing is - sewer pipe in closet

steam2pipe Member Posts: 59
The sewer pipe located in a basement hallway closet has a large hole (covered with black tarp right now) that needs repair. See attached photo. However, plumbers can't get under this slab of cement and a cast iron pipe covered with cement and connected to this urn-like thing/cement attached. I've attached a photo if anyone has clue. I wondered if it was an old 'pit latrine' serving residents that lived here in 1860 when the building was built. The pipe is very old and plumbers do not know how to remove the cement without breaking the cast iron pipe. Any and all suggestions are welcome because right now the broken pipe needs to be repaired asap.


  • steam2pipe
    steam2pipe Member Posts: 59
    PS Here is a photo of the other end of that sewer pipe covered with a tarp for now. The plumbers need to get at that end to replace with PVC.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 920
    looks to me like it might be a closet bend with some sort of plug in the opening. the vent for it is to the right.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,892
    master trap? With a cleanout opening on top.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,388
    edited July 2022
    Wild guess...a running drum trap or cleanout.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,404
    I"m pretty sure some care with a chisel and hammer will take the concrete/mortar off without breaking the cast iron. Clay could be a a different story.
  • steam2pipe
    steam2pipe Member Posts: 59
    Thanks, everyone, for your comments.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,790
    Might as well plan for the worst of it. It will probably break. It is also repairable so no need to be too concerned. It looks like an old cleanout exiting the building, or a clean-out serving a house trap.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,404
    Perhaps it is a drain for something in the attic that comes out the eave and that is a trap.