"Fernco" couplings acceptable??


Old 03-14-05, 04:39 PM
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"Fernco" couplings acceptable??

I believe Fernco is the brand name of a coupling I have used recently for drain connections - made of flexible rubber (or plastic?) and tightened by stainless steel clamps at both ends.

I have been wondering if this type of coupling is generally considered acceptable and in particular, is it code-compliant? For example, while installing a new sink P-trap assemly recently, I used such a coupling (in the appropriate reducing size) to connect the tail-pipe to the drain opening coming out of the wall. Was this an OK thing to do? (These couplings seem very easy for the DIYer to use; in the past I have had trouble avoiding leaks with the threaded and/or compression-type couplings.) Thanks.
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Old 03-15-05, 05:31 AM
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It depends...

No hub cast iron uses nothing more than a fernco wraped with thin metal (this is called a Mission Coupler with different names for it in different parts of the world) You will see this all the time on gutter systems in commercial buildings like parking garages.

Fernco's are nothing more than a mechanical compression joint which are totally legal and code acceptable in their proper application.

Where you run into problems is underground applications. Many area jurisdictions do like these underground as the bands will deteriorate over the years and finely break whick could cause a sewage leak or a area of pipe that can let roots into the line.

Now for quick repair - service type work. What would you rather pay for. A corroded trap arm under a lavoratory sink which would require partial removal of a wall for access to replace the pipe, or; a 1 1/2" x 1 1/4" fernco to replace the section of missing pipe that make the same water tight joint, with no mess and 1/4 of the time involved? Once again, the proper fitting and the proper application, totally code compliant. If a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" fernco was used, this would be the wrong fitting for the application....this would cause a problem.

Hope this helps, more questions, ask away and someone will answer them.

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