Drainage access chamber

3 Jan 2011
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United Kingdom
Hello all - new here. Hope I've found the right forum for this.

We have recently moved into a new house (bought). On the patio at the back is a drain which I thought was just for rain water run off. Sadly after finding our drains were blocked I found out it is actually the head of the access chanber to the drains. It's immediately at the bottom of the waste pip from the loo. The house was built in the 30's and has old style porcelain pipe drainage. The trouble with this access chamber is that I could lift the lid and remove the frame with my bare hands and then stick my hands into raw sewage that had backed up the pipe. I wouldn't obviously do that, but we have small children and they might consider it. Not a good combination!

I want to replace this access point with something that will screw down, but so far all I can find is units that will fit modern plastic drains. The current unit is about 25cm across.

Has anyone got any ideas? I'm a bit of a DIY novice sadly.

Please shout if you need photos or anything - can be provided.

Many thanks in advance for your help and advice.
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If your access chamber is a standard 450mm x 600mm then screw down covers are available.
You can buy any suitably sized modern cover and then just set this in concrete around the existing pipe/chamber

If need be, you can use some roof tiles to oversail the existing chamber edges so that the new frame is supported

Or cast concrete around the existing and just buy a bigger cover and sit this onto the concrete

Look for item 12847 on the screwfix site
Thanks for the replies.

Out of interest here are the photos of the current situation.




That hole is about 250mm wide at the moment so would have to increase to 300mm to fix as suggested. :(
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The picture shows a floor gulley, which is plastic anyway so some adaptor from plastic to salt glazed drain is under there! Could dig it out and change it to a bottle gulley with a fixed grating, this involves extra work though.

To be honest, drains shouldnt block on a frequent basis, if they do then that is a sign of an underlying problem. Under normal circumstances there shouldnt be any sewage in the gulley, just water sitting it the bottom to seal off smells from the sewer.
Thanks for the answer. Sadly there's nothing to dig out. The grate doesn't connect up to the drain. The drain has been hacked open, and then the sides of the hole under the grate have been cocreted.

The drains on our street seem to be a bit dodgy. The neighbour says his go a couple of times a year at least. He's had a camera put down and there are no problems, so short of having them redone he's a bit stuck. The bathroom is at the back of the house and the waste has to do a 90 degree turn under the drive. I suspect that the waste isn't picking up enough velocity to sling it round the corner.

I don't have the cash to relay the drains. That's one for another day.

The best option so far is to stick a heavy plant pot over what's there to prevent little fingers!
Just thought I'd update this. I worked out the problem was that the hole that had been made in the salt glaze drains was too close to the bottom of the soil pipe. This meant that the detritus bounced up into the cavity and hit the back wall of it before slowly sliding down back into the pipe. Over time bits got stuck and the build-up made things worse.

I cut an old ceiling tile to size to lay over the hole in the pipe and that pretty much solved the problem for the short term. We've just started an extension though and part of that is rerouting the drains as the extension will be going over the old pipe. Hopefully that will sort the problem out more permanently!!

Thanks for all the input.

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