Can all PVC elbows can be used for drains or are some for vent only?

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Old 07-25-09, 11:28 AM
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Can all PVC elbows can be used for drains or are some for vent only?

It seems that there are three styles of 90-degree elbows -- vent, long sweep, and "regular". Can anybody clarify which of these can or can't be used for drain lines?

I'm putting in a utility sink drain with 1-1/2" PVC pipe. I have a very compact 90-degree elbow fitting which I would like to use because of limited space, but I think this kind of fitting is called a vent ell. Does this name mean that it is only for vent lines and not for drain? This fitting will be horizontal on both ends if that makes any difference.

It almost seems obvious that something called a vent ell is for vents only, but I also have a PVC trap assembly that contains a 90-degree bend that is about as sharp as the vent ell.
 

Last edited by bajinnova; 07-25-09 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 07-25-09, 12:57 PM
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I just found this on another forum:

Long turn 90's to go from horizontal to horizontal.
Long turn 90's to go from vertical to horizontal.
And medium turn 90's to go from horizontal to vertical.


Can anybody verify that this is correct, and if so that these rules apply even on a short pipe draining a single fixture (vs. a common drain line inside the wall)?

I'm getting the feeling that this is more complicated than I realized and the staff at my local stores aren't much help, so here is the whole situation if any experts would be so kind as to advise:

Short version:
How do I drain a utility sink into a drain rough-in coming out of the wall about 2' to the right of the sink? Ideally the drain pipe will be within 4.5" of the wall so it can go behind the legs of the sink (which is why I'm reluctant to use the long sweep ells if I don't have to). The sink drain is centered 7.5" from the wall.

Details:
I have a horizontal 1.5" drain pipe stub coming out from the wall that was roughed in for a utility sink. Trouble is the sink is going a few feet to the side, not directly above this location. I need to put an elbow on this drain to run it horizontally (with 1/4" / foot slope) along the wall about 2 - 3 feet.

I have a PVC trap for the sink. My plan was to put a medium street elbow in the trap outlet and connect this to a horizontal pipe running along the wall. This street elbow will allow me to adjust for the slope of the "horizontal" pipe instead of just forcing it into the trap outlet which will be truly horizontal (or is this unnecessary?). I then need another 90-degree elbow to connect this new piece of horizontal pipe running along the wall with the existing roughed in drain pipe sticking out from the wall.

Connected to the roughed-in drain pipe inside the wall is an elbow (not sure what length but it's horizontal on both ends), then a tee to a vertical vent pipe, then a tee into a larger vertical drain pipe coming down from upstairs.
 
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Old 07-25-09, 01:45 PM
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Vent Ell

If you have an ell that has no curve in it you can't use it on a waste system. Usually you can use a regular ell on a single fixture only; you are better off using the long sweep if you can.

Traps are an exception, the discharge ell on a trap is usually a short ell.
 
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Old 07-25-09, 08:30 PM
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OK, thanks. As a sanity check, here are links to photos. The pipe with the pink cap is the drain rough in, and please imagine pipe between the fittings laid out on the floor.

Here is basically what I was originally hoping to do: trap, then 45-degree street, then straight pipe (not shown), then regular or vent ell to drain rough in.

Original plan with medium ell

But if I want to use a long sweep ell into the drain rough in, I need to get the new pipe I'll run along the wall closer to the wall to fit behind the sink. So I could do:

Option A: trap, 45 street, straight pipe, 45 street, 45 street, long sweep ell into wall drain rough in:

Option A: long sweep ell and two 45 degree fittings

Or, Option B: trap, 45 street, straight pipe, 22.5, straight pipe, 22.5 street, long sweep ell to wall drain rough in:

Option B: long sweep ell and two 22.5 degree fittings

Which is preferable? Using the 22.5's means less total bend, but the 45's are smoother bends. And this is all assuming I'm not violating some other rule I don't know about by using all these fittings. I greatly appreciate any advice!

Just for reference, here is what is inside the wall (viewed from the other side before drywall was finished):

inside wall from other side
 
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Old 07-25-09, 08:56 PM
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It sounds like you're making this into a bigger project than it is. Just cut the pipe stubbed out of the wall 3/4" from the sheetrock and put a regular 90 on it. Once you're behind the sink put another 90 or 45 pointed roughly at the drain. I'd reccomend using a 1 1/2" tubular p-trap(it's thinner white plastic with threaded ends with nuts and gaskets). It's normally used when installing sinks. I would'nt worry too much about long sweeps or 22's. It'll all drain fine as long as it has grade.
 
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Old 07-26-09, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SDPlumber View Post
I'd reccomend using a 1 1/2" tubular p-trap(it's thinner white plastic with threaded ends with nuts and gaskets). It's normally used when installing sinks.
I got the PVC trap because that's what all the other sinks in the house have, and because it's shorter horizontally than the tubular type (since the sink drain is not far from the wall). But if I'm using a 45 after the trap the length is not so important. If I used the tubular trap, I would need a rather long tailpiece from the sink to get the trap down to the right level for 1/4" / foot grade on the horizontal pipe (too much slope is bad, right?); with the PVC trap I'll put a short section of vertical pipe between tailpiece and trap with a female trap adapter on the end (also how other sinks are done). Is there anything wrong with either of these approaches (long tailpiece with tubular trap, or use of PVC trap with vertical extension to trap adapter)?

Originally Posted by SDPlumber View Post
I would'nt worry too much about long sweeps or 22's. It'll all drain fine as long as it has grade.
I have no doubt that it would drain fine with a regular 90, I'm just trying to follow code (which I obviously don't understand very well). And I already have the parts so a few more glue joints are no big deal. So which do you think is the best/most code compliant way to do it? Is it a code violation to use a regular 90 instead of a long sweep? Is it worse yet to put the drain through a bend of more than 90 degrees by using the two 22.5's or 45's plus the long sweep 90?
 

Last edited by bajinnova; 07-26-09 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:08 AM
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bajinnova: All of your plans will work, all you have to do is pick one that works the best for you, the whole idea is to not use more fittings then you need. BTW that ell you have is not a vent ell; vent ells are close to a true 90deg.without any curve to them, you are go to go, luck. Beer 4U2
 
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Old 07-26-09, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by shacko View Post
BTW that ell you have is not a vent ell; vent ells are close to a true 90deg.without any curve to them, you are go to go, luck.
Thanks. I realize the one in the photo is not a vent ell, that plan was thrown out since you said it can't be used for drain.
 
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Old 07-26-09, 11:41 AM
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If you already have the glue trap there's no harm in using it. Plumbing code where I live states you can use a regular 90 if it is draining 1 fixture. Long sweeps are to be used on 2 or more.
 
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Old 07-27-09, 12:56 PM
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I expected to install the sink over the weekend but was delayed, so I thought I'd give my county building department a call today to see what the local code is. I wasn't sure if this would be useful or not (I could imagine them taking the position that if I need to be asking them questions about code I should be hiring a pro and getting a permit) but the person I talked to was very friendly and helpful. He told me the long sweep ell is only required on pipes larger than 2". Thanks again for the help everyone.
 
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