To replace the stack or not...

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Old 05-08-13, 11:10 AM
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To replace the stack or not...

This is connected to another thread on my bathroom remodel. I have some specific plumbing questions... hence my post here.

The details:

The Toilet drain and shower p-trap are cast iron, the sink drain and pipes connecting the shower p-bend to the stack are galvanized. Since I have the walls open and am remodeling the bathroom I figured now would be a good time to replace the old cast stack, if it needs to be replaced.

About the stack. I have good access above and below. It's in a newer addition to the house (one story) and the shower, toilet and sink drains are the only connections to the stack. The stack doesn't leak, but I figure the old drains have to be replaced so...

Also, there's a vent off the shower drain that's exposed, it's galvanized steel. Should it be replaced too?

Should I replace the stack now?


Here's some pictures. The subfloor is now gone for the most part, although not between the joists where the stack goes up?

Thanks for the advice!
 
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Last edited by DIY science guy; 05-08-13 at 12:17 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 05-08-13, 12:18 PM
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Yes replace it all. Whats that pipe off the right in your first pic? Looks like 2".

Whatever it is its not to code. Take the stack out all the way to the roof. Snap line in basement and replace with pvc.
 
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Old 05-08-13, 01:45 PM
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right on, I figured as much.

The pipe off to the right in the first image is the drain for the sink.

So for replacing it, you think I can put the new stack up right where the old one was?

and the general method... take off the side pieces, then soil pipe cutters starting at the top and working my way down? take it all down except for the pipe the last flange? and then PVC/ABS replace?

is there a link to a step by step?
 
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Old 05-08-13, 02:16 PM
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Not to bump my own thread... but I'm having second thoughts on whether this really is a DIY job

I already have access to the majority of the pipe
there's only 4 connections
- vent to shower drain,
- toilet, sink, and shower drains to stack
- I'm pretty handy (hesitant back pat understanding how naive I probably am)


but some of the reading I've done on the subject makes me suspicious of my capabilities

- cast is heavy
- I don't have a chain cutter
- I'm not a plumber
- I don't want to muff it up

Thoughts?
 
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Old 05-08-13, 02:29 PM
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Cut it out in smaller pieces from the top down.

Soil pipe cutter can be rented. You can get the whole thing cut out in a day, maybe a half-day.

Lots of non-plumbers have done this work, Mike will coach you as needed. PVC or ABS goes together VERY easy.

You won't muff anything up as long as you are careful. Even if you do the plastic pipe and fittings are (relatively) cheap.
 
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Old 05-08-13, 02:50 PM
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You got it. Taking it down is easy, as long as you remember that cast iron is HEAVY.

I would sketch out how you plan on reconnecting it all and post it here to ensure you're using the right fittings and such.

You'll want to leave about 4" above the floor so you have enough space to easily use a no-hub coupling to the PVC.
 
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Old 05-08-13, 02:59 PM
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I've seen an awful lot of cast iron and galvanized pipes abandoned and left on the floor of the crawlspace. Yep its heavy.... I think you will only need guidance on how to cut the bottom so that you can easily attach to a no hub fitting. I'm sure the guys will chime in with some tips. I tend to not monkey with this heavy duty drain stuff (easier for me to call a plumber and sub it out - they send the young whipper-snappers out to take care of it for me).
 
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Old 05-08-13, 03:19 PM
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I'd probably leave that first piece coming out of the ground intact. Break the one immediately above and dig out the lead and oakum from the bell of first piece and then use a donut for the new plastic pipe. I'd try to remove that cleanout plug first and if no go then I would consider cutting below the cleanout and using a Mission coupling.
 
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Old 05-08-13, 03:32 PM
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Yeah what furd say...

If you need step by step take a pick in the attic of the stack. You will need a new roof flange most likely and that will be most challenging for the DIY....

Cutting and removing with a snapper is a two man job... Small sections at a time.

Let us know....
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 05-09-13 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 05-09-13, 08:28 AM
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Okay, thanks all. I feel much better about this now.

Last night I started the process. Whoever said I should pull it all was spot on. I decided to cut through the galvanized steel of the shower drain and vent pipe. My first cut into the vent revealed a clog of rancid decaying leaves. There was a good 6 in of the stuff in the pipe. from there I was able to cut it back to the stack without problem. I left the 45 bend and 4 inches just in case.

The new puzzle (at least to me) is the shower vent. From what I can see in the exposed wall, I thought it was all 2 in galvanized steel. I naively thought that after severing it from the line, it would just slide down and I could take it out...

Much to my surprise, I would only drop a couple of inches. Even more surprising to me, the pipe freely twists around almost 360 degrees but not more. I thought it must be secured to the rafters somehow. To be honest, I had not been in that part of the attic before

So into the attic I went. Some background on the house might help understanding the weird situation. The bathroom and adjoining bedroom were an addition to the house. When they put the roof on the addition, they (to my knowledge) did not create an access point. There's not trap door in the bedroom or bath and the main attic slopes down as if the addition did not exist. So I did some exploration. After figuring out where the two attics meet, i drilled a hole (checked for sunlight - none) and then rip sawed the old roof. It was an exhausting experience since the slope of the roof is so shallow that there's not alot of room to work with.

After removing some of the old roof, I created a hole that I could only get one arm and my head into. Imagine my surprise (maybe it's old hat to you pros) when I saw cast iron (i'm guessing 3 or 4 in) where the 2 inch galvanized vent should be. See the schematic below.

So here's what I think I've got. I think the vent won't drop because the larger cast pipe won't fit between walls above... but why won't it twist?

To me it looks like there's maybe 3 ft of cast in the roof. Can I cut the galvanized high and pull out the cast from above? The vent above the roof looks like a lead sheet wrapped around the pipe and then up over the edge and tucked inside the pipe. If I take that off, will the pipe come up easy?

is there any way I can do this without gaining access to the attic portion of the pipe? it was a huge pain to get up there and I'm not even sure if I can make a hole big enough to slide through or even work in the small space in the part of the attic.

The roof flange, is that anything like putting in a vent for a bathroom exhaust? I've done a few of those. Images online seem similar (except with a pipe sticking out.

Thoughts?

O, and sorry I didn't snap a pic of the attic... my camera was stupidly out of reach by the time I finally got up in there.

Thanks again for you help with my adventure!
 
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Old 05-09-13, 08:39 AM
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Do what you need to get it out. Most of the time the old pipe will not come out because the hub is too big to fit through the hole. Often there were hub supports in the wall.

Here is the new pipe diagram you should follow.
 
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Old 05-09-13, 09:43 AM
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Cool. Thanks! I really appreciate the help!

For the layout, the toilet/sink are off the stack to the west whereas the shower is due north so how about running the scheme like the modified pic below?

Does each separate line need a vent? in other words, I should vent both the sink and the shower lines, right?

I also included a pick of the base of the stack below. My hope is to do like you all have suggested and remove everything from the cleanout up and donut into the old pipe (is my terminology right?). If that doesn't work, maybe cut cleanly (recip saw) just below the cleanout port and fernco the pvc in.

On a different note, if I can't get the old pipes out of the attic, how do I seal them up so water doesn't get in?
 
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Old 05-09-13, 12:22 PM
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Your drawing is fine. The vent from the toilet to the sink needs to be 2".

Put a rubber cap on the pipe going through the roof if you cant get the pipe out the attic.....
 
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Old 05-13-13, 08:01 AM
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update.

The shower vent to the roof came out nice and easy. It wasn't secured to anything, just obstructed because the top 2 ft was a larger diameter. It slide right down with a little finagling.

The pipe you mentioned Mike in post 2 (the 90 degree elbow coming off the stack). Let me guess, it's not code because the sharp angle has a tendency to catch clots. A 45 degree into the stack would have been better. Anyways, it was clogged shut there and almost completely rusted through. it was also rusted through up higher, I could take the whole piece off with just my hands.

I took the shower drain back to the stack and most of the toilet drain off too. I guess I'm ready to take the main stack now... but I'm worried that pieces my fall off down into the soil pipe.

Is there anyways to prevent chunks of broken pipe falling in? If the do fall in, how do you get them out? or do they even need to come out if they're small?
 
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Old 05-13-13, 08:15 AM
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Let me guess, it's not code because the sharp angle has a tendency to catch clots.
No... Because of its position an the stack I would assume its a wet vent and not to code. But not sure how it was all plumbed. Best doing it to your drawing in #12.

But yes, any vertical to horizontal needs a sweep......


but I'm worried that pieces my fall off down into the soil pipe.
I find a clean out, or cut a opening in the pipe down in the basement with a angle cutter and stuff a rag in there.

Dont cut the pipe through but just half the side of the pipe. Like a trap door of sorts.

Like this.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Qft5vJ5qLF8
 
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Old 05-13-13, 08:17 AM
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Old 05-22-13, 10:15 AM
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ah, I see! genius!

I was able to open the cleanout and plug it up real good. hopefully in a few days I can start takin it down.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 01:04 PM
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Quick question... and forgive me if my noviceness is showing

If the distance from the toilet drain to the stack is 24 in, does it need a vent?

Here's my current drain/vent plan. The changes are:

1. wet vent to the toilet removed (is this okay? the toilet is ~22 in from the stack)

2. Vent for shower drain runs up to outside instead of attaching back to main vent. This way I could avoid running the vent through the studs and just take advantage of the existing hole in my roof from the last vent.

thoughts?
 
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Old 05-23-13, 01:29 PM
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No. You need to vent the toilet. Tie the sink into the toilet. You created a wet vent.

This drawing in post #12 was fine.



http://www.doityourself.com/forum/at...ain-scheme.jpg
 
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Old 05-23-13, 01:47 PM
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Understood. Thanks for the clarification!
 
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Old 05-29-13, 07:00 AM
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The saga continues...

i was in the process of removing the soil pipe when I hit a snag. I had removed a couple of sections, no problem, and then was about to remove another section when something puzzling happened...

the piece to be remove was still attached by a sliver so I started to lift it, thinking it'd snap with a slight wiggle... well much to my surprise, the whole remaining stack lifted. What's more, when i set the piece back down, the whole stack drop ~1 1/2' into the ground!

fearing the worst, i excavated around the pipe several feet to get and idea just how bad the damage was. I dug down to the soil pipe. the cast stack had been connected to the clay soil pipe by cement which disintegrated and fell apart as i reached it. The stack was arrested on the clay soil pipe only by the wider collar. a bit of the soil pipe had broken off too. I'm not entirely sure that I didn't cause this whole mess myself by wiggling the stack too much... but all the same, what's done is done

Anyways, I cut off the remaining sections and pulled out the rest of the stack.

Now I'm left with the busted soil pipe.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]13262[/ATTACH]

Let me know if my approach is close...

1. excavate down a bit more to expose more of the pipe
2. use a soil pipe cutter to get a clean cut
3. attach fernco fitting like this one

Questions:
1. the clay pipe is 6" inner diameter and ~7 1/2" outer. I'm planning on my stack being 4" going into the pipe. is that Fernco the right one?

2. Would it be wise to extend the pvc a few inches below the rim of the soil pipe so that waste will never get up on the lip of the soil pipe?

3. it looks like a small amount of dirt (few handfulls) got into the pipe while i was excavating. the pipe goes almost straight down and then appears to bend at ~90 degrees, should I pull it out? or flush it down with a garden hose.

Thanks again for all your help with this guys!
 
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Old 05-29-13, 08:07 AM
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Try to get a shop vac down there to suck out what you can. Then flush good with a garden hose.

Do not use a soil pipe cutter. You need to use a grinding wheel and cut that pipe so you have an even surface.

Stuff a rag down there before you do. Cut it like you did with the cast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ojbJIp6o_lU#!


Then do not use the fitting you linked to. You need a no hub. Actually a mission coupling. I dont know the OD of that clay pipe. ( you said 7 1/2??? Check that again)

Then transition to PVC. ( Note: I would not dig down anymore. Its all clay probably, so whats the point. Transition there)

( A no hub is defined as having a internal stop, and when the pipes are joined, the transition from two different pipe sizes stays the same internally.

Mission Rubber Products.html

Hope this helps.

Edit: Actually I see the mission ARC fittings for clay.

Mission Rubber Products.html
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 05-29-13 at 08:31 AM. Reason: added info.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:49 AM
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Okay, I think that all makes sense to me. The clay pipe is 6" inner and 7 1/2" outer diameters. I don't know if that makes it a standard 6" clay pipe, but I think it is. To to transition from the 6" clay to the 4" PVC, it looks to me like MR02 64 ARC is the product I need to get.

A few more questions, what should I back fill with? for some reason, the loose dirt and rubble seems like a poor choice.

Can the coupling be below grade?

The clay pipe comes out at a bit of an angle. It's maybe 5-10 degrees off plumb. how do I account for this? is the coupling flexible enough? or do I need something more to get it on the straight and narrow?
 

Last edited by DIY science guy; 05-29-13 at 10:49 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 05-29-13, 01:37 PM
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I would fill with sand. Yes back fill the coupling if needed.

How off is it?????
 
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Old 05-30-13, 07:27 AM
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Alright, I took off the broken top with an angle grinder. To the best of my scientific abilities, the pipe comes out of the ground at roughly 8 degrees off plumb.

Can the coupling accommodate that or do I need to adjust for it some other way?

I could only find one place online that sells individual mission couplings (for going from the 4" PVC to 6" clay)... would a local plumbing store carry these or is there some special place online I just haven't found?

Thanks again for your help! this is really coming along nicely I think
 

Last edited by DIY science guy; 05-30-13 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:00 AM
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Call your local Ferguson supply. They should have them.

Locations Finder

Use two st 22's PVC to straighten out the 8 degrees. Dont pull the coupling.
 
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Old 06-06-13, 06:47 AM
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More complications...

After a bit of reading I came across something interesting.

Chicago code doesn't allow PVC or ABS below ground.

So perhaps I can get some advice on my current plan:

transition from the 6" clay to 4" cast iron with an Mission ARC coupling, then above ground, transition to the PVC with another ARC coupling and use PVC for the rest of the piping.

The clay pip isn't far below ground so I think the cast would only be 2 ft.

I think it all sounds silly, but if I want end up selling the house before the code changes, then I'd like to do it right the first time.

Thanks again for all your thoughts!
 
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Old 06-06-13, 06:51 AM
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Chicago code doesn't allow PVC or ABS below ground.
Sounds like hogwash to me..... I would have to see that code to believe it....
 
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Old 06-06-13, 09:52 AM
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well granted that, for the most part, I have no clue about these things.

This is the best I could find regarding the topic... from amlegal.com there's about 3 sections referencing above ground, underground, and sewer pipes. I have no idea if this code is current or the right sections (I found it under Title 18. Building infrastructure/Article 7 Sanitary drainage)

here's the direct link Chicago code

your thoughts? Something doesn't seem right though, cause they don't even mention ABS (that I can tell)
 

Last edited by DIY science guy; 06-06-13 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:58 AM
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I would not be the slightest bit surprised to learn that Chicago prohibits any plastic sewer piping underground. The bigger the municipality the slower they are to change their building/plumbing/electrical/mechanical and whatever codes. Sometimes there are also political excuses behind these kinds of prohibitions. I wouldn't even be surprised to learn that they don't allow no-hub cast iron but demand that all sewer joints be in leaded cast iron.
 
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Old 06-06-13, 01:01 PM
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As far as I can tell, they allow no-hub fittings for cast iron, but only on family residence units less than 3 stories.

as for the delay, I've heard there was resistance from the trade but also a huge concern about maintaining fire stops... after all, we did have a big fire 140 years (much sarcasm in my voice)
 

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Old 07-01-13, 01:03 PM
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Update

Finally got my hands on the correct fittings to got from the clay sewer to cast and from cast to plastic.

I found there was a hub for the sewer pipe just below the surface where I had dug out the and cut off the broken part. Luckily I had ~1 of extra clearance once the coupling was on.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]14606[/ATTACH]

Here's the angle I was mentioning before. The ledge behind the pipe is essentially level. I suppose it's enough to merit straightening the run with a couple of 22s as mentioned below, unless you guys have a better suggestion

[ATTACH=CONFIG]14607[/ATTACH]

So now it's just building it back up, right? Here's what I'm thinking

straight bit for the coupling
a clean out
the 22s to straighten the run
and then the drains
 
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Old 07-02-13, 07:26 PM
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I think you're good. I would probably do the 22's below the cleanout, so the cleanout is perpendicular... but that's just my OCD talking. Either way will work.
 
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Old 07-02-13, 09:17 PM
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I would have took that cast piece as low as I could to the coupling... Then do two 45's on swing the one to level out....

Possibly even a sweep and a st ell...( that looks hokey IMO)
 
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