What is this pipe?
September 20, 2018 6:07 PM   Subscribe

I toured a house today (looking to buy). There is a pipe in front of the house. I don't know what it leads to. The realtors don't know either. Do you? Images below the fold.

Two images of the pipe: here and here.

The pipe appears to be some type of plastic material. It's not metal. The cap definitely says it is PVC.

Any tips, hints, ideas, guesses, or suggestions are helpful. Thanks in advance.
posted by mr_bovis to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
Looks like a feed for an underground sprinkler system.
posted by JamesBay at 6:09 PM on September 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

Based on the location I’m assuming it’s a capped sprinkler head or capped water feature head (waterfall?).

Too small and low to be outflow overflow for sinks or toilets, and poorly placed and shaped wrong for ac unit outflow (unless up north you cap them in winter).
posted by tilde at 6:10 PM on September 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm inclined to agree with the others. My other thought was perhaps a fill or vent pipe for a heating oil tank, but AFAICT those are usually made of metal.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:12 PM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I thought irrigation as well. Is it near an exterior faucet?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:13 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it's a stub of polyethylene irrigation pipe that somebody stuck a PVC plumbing cap on. If the house has in-ground irrigation, it's part of that.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:17 PM on September 20, 2018 [9 favorites]

It's odd to have a pipe like that next to the foundation. If you are serious about the house, the realtor should get an actual answer.
posted by theora55 at 8:41 PM on September 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

This probably isn't it, but I lived in a house where the cedar tree in the neighbors' yard destroyed the sewer pipes. When they were replaced, a piece like this sticking above the ground was put in so it would be easier to access or snake the pipes if needed again. It wasn't this close to the foundation, but could it be something like that?
posted by centrifugal at 9:40 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Conduit to somewhere else on the property or through the wall? Schedule 40 maybe?
posted by iamabot at 10:54 PM on September 20, 2018

Vent for a septic tNk?
posted by SLC Mom at 11:05 PM on September 20, 2018

Thanks, everybody, for the answers. I'll definitely be looking into the issue further with the realtor, but the idea that it's *probably* not a heating oil tank puts me more at ease.
posted by mr_bovis at 5:04 AM on September 21, 2018

That would be awfully small for an oil tank vent (older ones are 1 1/2", newer ones are 2") plus a vent would not be capped like that, plus I've never seen an oil tank vent done in flexible PE. That would also be an absurd location for one. I'm not saying it's impossible (I've been in too many houses to say that anything is impossible) but even by the standards of screwed-up construction that would be pretty extreme.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:27 AM on September 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Do you know what is on the other side of the wall?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:08 PM on September 21, 2018

Possibly a blow out connection for winterizing the irrigation system.
posted by JackFlash at 4:29 PM on September 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Do you know what is on the other side of the wall?

That would be the easiest way to figure out if it is irrigation. First, it should be easy to determine if the yard has irrigation by looking around for the sprinkler heads. Then go into the basement and orient yourself to the approximation location of the pipe on the outside. You would find a pipe going through a hole in the foundation to the outside and on the inside you should find the irrigation controller near by. The typical location for a blow out connection would be nearest the source of water, which would be on the other side of the foundation wall at you discovered.
posted by JackFlash at 5:24 PM on September 21, 2018

Have someone with a pipe snake cam come have look-see? Sometimes outdoor wiring for lights or sprinkler controls is run through irrigation pipe as through it were conduit. Probably not up to code, but I've seen it done.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:15 AM on September 22, 2018

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