Mysterious plug in basement floor

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    • #272814
      Avatar photoAnonymous

        We were removing loose paint from the basement floor and found a mysterious knob or plug at the bottom of the stairs. It’s right in front of the stairwell by the outside wall adjacent to the garage. You practically step on it coming down the stairs.

        It is on the opposite side of the house that the gas boiler and the sewer connection are. It looks like a steel cap of some sort. It has some soft material around it and will move around slightly when proded but it does appear to be connected to something below it.

        The house was built in 1931 and is in New Jersey. I have the permit history of the house and it shows that a gas burner was installed in 1946. Could this be an old oil tank? Some connection to the sewer? I’ve never had an older house before and have no idea what it could be. I’m a little afraid to tamper with it because it has obviously been painted over so many times that I don’t think anyone has touched it for decades. We’ve had the house 4 yrs and prior to that it belonged to one family.

        Any help figuring out this mystery would be appreciated.

      • #286356
        Avatar photoSylvanLMP

          Frank what your describing is a “Fits all plug” this is a steel plug surrounded by a piece of threaded lead. They use it because the morons who install a new drain never have the decency of making up the sewer caps just slightly more than hand tight OR using grease or Teflon paste/tape.By these folks installing the origional plugs very tight the only way to open them again was chopping the old brass plug out and then using this fits all as a stop gap measure.

          You should check the top (nut)

          On top you should see a number on it. This number tells you the size of this plug. What your describing it sounds like it is for a storm trap as a Main sewer trap normally
          has TWO openings (the street side and the house side) Check the out side wall closer to this trap and see it you have either a yard drain OR a leader line. Then run water down and listen by this plug to see if you can hear water running. BEFORE you decide to open this plug I would strongly suggest you call a Licensed Master plumber and get an hourly rate from him/ her to walk around your home to explain the proper operation and testing of your relief /safety valves and to show you all your main shut offs Gas- Water and your sewer connections.

          The older homes are great BUT you have certain things you must beware
          of for your safety. If you need a local guy please feel free to E mail me as I know some NJ masters plumbers.


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