csat iron pipe in basement floor

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Old 02-03-09, 08:02 AM
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csat iron pipe in basement floor

i am having some drain problems. i have had the roto-rooter guy out a few years ago and cleaned out about 15 feet of cast iron pipe in the concrete basement floor. it worked for a while. now its plugged again

how big of a deal is cast iron in the floor? does it rot away? does the concrete now form the pipe? how do i replace if needed?
 
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Old 02-03-09, 04:48 PM
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Is the cast iron pipe your main drain? Does it go to a cesspool or sewer? How old is the house?
 
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Old 02-03-09, 04:55 PM
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Do you have trees in your yard where the drain appears to go? Your problem may be roots. They only need a small hole or crack to get in then they just keep growing and spreading. You msy hsve clesnied them out once and will need to do so again. There is also some chemicals you can use to help kill roots in the pipe.

If it is not roots, are you on a city sewer or a septic system?
When was the last time the tank was pumped?

Replacing the drain is not as easy as it sounds if it is eaven allowed by your city/town.
 
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Old 02-03-09, 05:04 PM
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i used to have trees but got rid of them about five years ago.

my house was built in 1925.

my problem is i this house. this is the order of my plumbing:
city main (10' below grade)
sewer service (same as main)
main and only bathroom (upstairs)
floor drain (downstairs)
kitchen sink (upstairs)

the kitchen sink is slow/backed up but the rest of the drains are fine, so it has to be just the line from the kithen. the k.s. line goes through the floor pvc and horizontal pvc about 15'. it then goes vertical pvc and then into the floor cast iron and leads to the floor drain. the cast is about 15'.

so what happens if this cast iron in the floor fails?
 
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Old 02-03-09, 05:37 PM
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I don't see why you think the problem is the main drain if only the kitchen sink is affected. How did you come to that conclusion?
 
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Old 02-03-09, 07:43 PM
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i didn't say it was the main drain. it is the drain between the kitchen and the main which includes 15 feet of horizontal pvc, a 8' of vertical pvc, and 15' of horizontal cast iron. the cast iron is in the concrete floor.
 
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Old 02-03-09, 09:02 PM
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In that case, you have to be sure that all the PVC piping, espeically the trap under the kitchen sink, is clear before you even think about removing and replacing the cast iron. Have you done that already?

Is there a clean out or trap in the cast iron pipe? If there is a clean out, open it and stick a wet vac in there. Sometimes it can suck out what's ever in there.
 
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Old 02-03-09, 09:56 PM
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do i need to repace the cast iron though? does the concrete as a conduit of the cast is gone?
 
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Old 02-04-09, 12:53 AM
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look. dont worry about the cast iron if you havent needed the main line cleaned in a couple years. cast iron can and has lasted 50+ years.

get a professional out and let them do their thing which will probably be cleaning the k-sink line and or fixing it if it has back fall (not pitched the correct direction)
 
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Old 02-04-09, 07:31 AM
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thanks, but that's not really the question.

if the cast were to fail does it need to be replaced or does the concerete form a conduit and take care of things?
 
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Old 02-04-09, 08:13 AM
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It would need to be replaced....The concrete normally does not completely enclose the pipe. It is normally placed on a bed of gravel (I think) then the concrete is poured over it.

If the cast cracks or breaks, the concrete would have to be cut out, new pipe installed, then new concrete placed over the pipe.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 08:36 AM
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what would happen if it didn't get replaced?

structural failure?
 
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Old 02-04-09, 08:43 AM
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You'd have wastewater running out of the pipe into the area where the break occured. It could build up and seep into the basement. You may also have sewer gases and smells present in the basement.

There may be other issues that I'm not aware of. It may just run into the soil under the house and cause no problems for years...but I wouldn't count on that.

Since you have easy access, either through a cleanout or by seperating the PVC somewhere, it should be pretty simple to ID exactly where the problem is. If you have no removable joints or cleanouts on the PVC, its no big deal to cut it and repair it after.

Could always have a company come out and put the camera snake in and see where the problem may be, if nothing else.

BTW I'm no plumber..just a big DIY'r.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 08:48 AM
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great opionw gunguy, thanks.

i have had trouble with this line twice now and think that it might be as old as 90 years. would a camera be able to see if the pipe is gone and i am indeed soaking up my basement subbase?
 
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Old 02-04-09, 09:07 AM
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Yes...they can see the condition of the pipe pretty easily. Can't tell you how much it would cost though. Probably cheaper than having someone cut up the floor just to find no problem.

Personally, I'd buy a long snake, disconnect the PVC from the cast and snake it myself in both directions, to see if you find a problem. Since you know the lengths of every section, you can mark the snake and know right where a problem would be.
 
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