Cast Iron Stack - What to do?

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Old 10-23-11, 12:12 PM
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Cast Iron Stack - What to do?

I have a 100 year old house with a cast iron waste stack. I'm remodeling and have some walls opened up so I've had a chance to look at parts of the stack up close. The previous owner had what looks like a cracked hub, which he repaired with some wire.

I've had two plumbers out to take a look. One said get rid of it and replace with PVC, the other said I'm probably OK with what I've got.

So, walls are mostly open, the stack has the one visibly cracked hub, what do I do? I've worked on plenty of stacks and I'm not concerned with the labor or cost, but PVC is so noisy.

I've attached pictures, and would love some opinions. Basically wondering if anything in the photos jumps out at you pros as a major concern. I don't know of any leaks, but none of the toilets or sinks served by this stack have been used frequently in about a year.

Flickr: WarnLot's Photostream
 
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Old 10-23-11, 02:35 PM
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I'm not a plumber but my recommendation is to get rid of the cast iron and replace it with PVC. PVC drains are DIY friendly, not so for the cast iron.
 
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Old 10-23-11, 04:02 PM
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My advice since everything is open, change to pvc. This will be the one chance you have.

Think about if you leave it and a pipe splits. Gee you would have to rip walls down again.

My suggestion with noise is insulate the pipe. Box that wall out alittle so you can get insulation around the pipe. Most people have noise where the pipe comes down in like a family room and yes it could be anoying.

What I did for homeowners in new construction when a pipe came down in an area that noise would be an issue, was to install cast iron in that section only. Also insulated both sides of the cast with insulation.

Just a thought. I dont know how your house is laid out, but I would want PVC before cast. I have seen too many pipes split and cause damage.

Fecal matter in your walls? Yuck!!!!!!

Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-23-11, 05:27 PM
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In my area ABS (black plastic) is more common than PVC for DWV work. I don't know for certain but maybe the heavier wall of ABS is quieter than the thin wall of PVC.

If you do insulate I would suggest mineral wool (Roxul) rather than fiberglass. Maybe high density spray foam would be good. I know that fiberglass is lousy for noise reduction.
 
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Old 10-23-11, 05:43 PM
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I don't know for certain but maybe the heavier wall of ABS is quieter than the thin wall of PVC
I believe its all schedule 40.

PVC comes in schedule 80 also. ABS dont as far as I know. And schedule 80 may be an alternative in the sections you want quiet flow.

But I believe you need a special transition between the two schedules. Just like using a mission coupling between cast and pvc.

Furd brought up a good point.

Mike NJ
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 10-23-11 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 10-23-11, 07:12 PM
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The only thing I know for certain is the wall thickness of ABS is about double that of PVC in the same nominal sizes of DWV.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 05:47 AM
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Furd - I may be wrong but I think schedule 40 pipe is the same wall thickness whether it is ABS or PVC.

The use of ABS is prohibited by local code in my area. My house was built with ABS and whenever I've had to work on the plumbing I had to use a mechanical joint to tie the two materials together.

According to my building inspector the use of ABS was banned because of sloppier dimensional tolerances and a tendency to crack. That may have been corrected by ABS manufacturers but it's still not allowed. ABS is not sold in any of the big boxes in my area.
 

Last edited by Wayne Mitchell; 10-24-11 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 11-02-11, 05:37 PM
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If your gonna do the work and are comfortable with it than y not replace it whike you got the wall open. Even if the crack dosent seem to leak water there is still the sewer gas that is most likely escaping and stinking up the joint. Better done before you go walling it up and making it pretty.

If yor worried about noise than go back in with no hub cast iron. Heavy as hell but quiet.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 06:18 PM
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I believe its all schedule 40.
Many years ago (about 35 years), I remember the Genova brand being sold in lumberyards with a special thin walled vinyl DWV product. I believe it may have been schedule 30, but not for sure. I do know that it was thinner than schedule 40 and would not interchange with schedule 40 fittings. I had a friend who was adding a bathroom to his house at that time and he was buying the thin walled product from a local lumberyard.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 06:44 PM
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I believe it may have been schedule 30,
probably SDR 35..... Hate the stuff myself. Often repairing many cracked sewer mains. Stuff just dont hold up well.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for all the responses everybody.

I believe I'll go ahead with the repair. NJ Mike makes a strong case, with regard to fecal in the walls.

Just out of curiosity, could someone provide me with a rough idea of prices for no-hub cast iron? I poked around at the local big box and have a good idea of what PVC and ABS would cost.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 06:11 PM
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From Charlotte pipe.com

Cast iron pipe prices.


1-1/2x10 $91.50
2"x10 91.90
3"x10 126.80
]4"x10 164.60
5"x10 237.30
6"x10 283.00


Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
probably SDR 35..... Hate the stuff myself. Often repairing many cracked sewer mains. Stuff just dont hold up well.

Mike NJ
Nope, I know what SDR 35 is and this wasn't sewer/drain pipe and fittings. Check this out, pages 46 thru 49, I think this is what he was using from the lumberyard.

http://genovaproducts.com/docs/PlumbingCatalog.pdf
 
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