Cast Iron Soil Pipe and PVC (?) Closet Flange

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  #1  
Old 06-25-08, 02:06 PM
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Cast Iron Soil Pipe and PVC (?) Closet Flange

Hey all. I am in the middle of a remodel of my bathroom. I have been hacking away at it the past few weeks and have made great progress for a newb. I ripped out 2 layers of tile on the floor to find cracked concrete and rotted floorboards. I replaced the rotted planks and put down 3/4 ply. Im about to lay 1/4" cementboard on top and found myself curious of the right way to handle the closet flange.

The previous installer installed what I think is a PVC closet flange into a cut cast iron pipe. Looking at the flange I see silicone on the outside of the part that inserts into the pipe. I assume this was not the best way to install this.

The cast iron pipes inside dimension is about 4". The OD of the flange insert is roughly 3 13/16".

I've attached some photos. My questions are below.





- Is there a correct way to install these two or am I going to have to buy something different or get a plumber (hopefully not - $$)

- do I lay cementboard and tile around the cast iron soil drain and install the flange on top of the tile... drilling holes to screw the flange into the subfloor? Or does it sit on the plywood and I lay cementboard and tile around the flange?

I should point out that the cast iron pipe was cut and then folded back (as you can see I folded those pieces back up to reach level with the plywood). I can fold it back down if needed.

Can anyone shed some light on this for me, please. Any feedback is appreciated.

Fish
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  #2  
Old 06-25-08, 03:18 PM
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The flange mounts on top of the finished floor.

You would not have been able to bend cast iron and the photo looks like lead. Do you have a basement or accessible crawl space where the drain line runs? You may have a bigger (not necessarily more difficult) job than you first expected. Pictures of the drain line under the floor and also where it connects to the main "stack" would help a lot.
 
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Old 06-25-08, 08:45 PM
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I have to agree with furd on this, the pipe is definitely Lead and should be replaced if at all possible. There is no real way to connect pvc flange to the lead pipe and the lead pipe is probably pretty thin in spots and may be brittle in some areas too. Hopefully this bathroom is on the first floor and you have a basement below, or you will be taking up that new floor to make the necessary repairs. And If the bathroom is on the 2nd floor, I would not even think about not fixing it properly while it is easy to remove that floor.
 
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Old 06-26-08, 06:45 AM
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Thank you so much for the reply guys. Yes I would say you're right. It is probably lead. I was contemplating that when I was able to bend it.

It is in my basement as you hoped. The pipe drops about a 1' down and makes a 90deg and goes 1' left to the main line.







Thanks so much for the help. I really appreciate it.
 
  #5  
Old 06-26-08, 07:00 AM
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What should be done is...

First I would cut the old lead about 2 inches beyond the cast iron joint. The piece inside should be brass and because of the lead on the brass it will be a pain to cut. But sometimes if you can cut it there, you may be able to use a fernco coupling and then transition to PVC, otherwise you will need to remove the piece that is inserted in the cast iron and replace it with a PVC Spigot fitting, using oakum and plastic lead or lead wool in the joint. Then, replace the pipe to the closet flange. As you can see the flange has been leaking in the past, by the water lines on the lead elbow.

You should also be prepared to replace as much of the Galvanized drains I see in the pictures. They are the worst thing they ever used in plumbing drains and will plug up almost solid over the years.
 
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Old 06-26-08, 07:11 AM
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Thanks Mark, Much appreciated. This is unfortunate for sure... Would it be easier to just remove it at the insert than cutting it. Or does that create more work? Are you suggesting cutting it at what looks like a duct tape ring a few inches from the joint?

There was a leak at some point. Thats what I had to replace many subfloor boards.

Thx for the help

Fish
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  #7  
Old 06-26-08, 07:54 AM
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Actually the better fix is to remove everything into the cast iron, but it can be a pain in the ass. Because it is a horizontal pipe you could use a torch (CAREFULLY) and melt the lead out of the joint then remove the oakum. And then the fitting will fall right out.

Where the lead pipe looks bulged is where the brass and the lead meet. This process is called lead wiping. Thank god I grew up in the age AFTER that. THe only time I deal with lead joints is for the occasional closet flange in the cement floor.
 
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Old 06-26-08, 08:41 AM
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Doesn't sound too difficult. I was going to pick up a torch anyway to sweat some copper pipe.

So I'll need oakum and plastic lead to set the PVC Spigot fitting. Any tips on setting that?

Thx again
 
  #9  
Old 06-26-08, 08:56 AM
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Here is a picture of the part you will be needing. Sometimes there will be a small lip at the opposite end of the glue in end.

Oakum is used as a vermin proof material. Pack oakum all the way around joint nice and tight until there is about 3/4" of joint left. Then finish with plastic lead. If packed correctly you should not be able to move the fitting after cure.

At this point just repipe your pvc up to the toilet, with thr flange mounted on the new floor. Once it is set, screw flange to floor. Then set toilet.

http://www.charlottepipe.com/Documen...e_Fittings.pdf

Part # 123
 
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Old 06-26-08, 09:11 AM
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Thats great. Sounds all doable. Is the flange I have the right one for PVC. Can I clean it up and reuse it? Or should I just spend the $15 and get a new one.

Also, do I use PVC cement to attach the flange to the pipe? or is that too permanent?

Thanks a lot Mark. You've been a great help.
 
  #11  
Old 06-26-08, 09:26 AM
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That flange looks fine as long as the metal is not bent. The flange looks like a regular 4x3 flange. Which means if you want to use the flange, you will need to use 3" pvc on that line. It looks like the cast Iron is 4" so if you cannot get a #123R which is a 4" spigot x 3" pvc end, you will need to get a 4" spigot x 4" pvc and then get a 4" x 3" pvc bushing. 3" is fine for most toilets.

Parts list:

1 - 4" spigot fitting
1 - 4"x3" pvc reducing bushing
1 - 3" pvc 90*
? - 3" pvc pipe
1 - pvc glue
1 - pvc primer
1 - 3" pvc hanger
oakum
plastic lead
screw for flange

Glue ALL pvc joints together after priming them. Inside fitting and outside pipe.
 
  #12  
Old 06-26-08, 09:30 AM
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Wow a parts list and everything! Man you're good!

The OD of the flange insert is roughly 3 13/16" and the ID is 3 1/2" so if I'm getting 3" pvc pipe, that means the flange is going OVER the soil drain in the floor, correct?

Thanks again

Fish
 
  #13  
Old 06-26-08, 09:35 AM
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You are correct. Now stop typing and get to work
 
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Old 06-26-08, 09:39 AM
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Awesome. I'm off to the store around 3pm and will bang this out tonight. Thanks a lot!
 
  #15  
Old 06-30-08, 03:40 PM
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Hey Mark, So I got held up working on some other stuff, but finally got to home depot to get my supplies. I got everything accept what you referrred to as Plastic Lead? Is that an epoxy or something? Im unsure of what to use there.

I also went and picked up one of these and wanted to get your impression on using this instead. (image below)



Is that Fernco Quick Connect an option for going from Cast Iron to PVC? Looks like a good option to me but I'm no expert . I can always return it.

Thx

Dave
 
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Old 06-30-08, 03:53 PM
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WHAaatt !!! You're not done yet...



Just kidding

I am pretty sure HD sells plastic lead. That is what it is called. If you found oakum, you should find plastic lead.
The fitting you are showing might work. You will need some kind of lube and you want to make sure it is tight when installed.
Try it first and if all else fails, clean it up and return it.
 
  #17  
Old 06-30-08, 04:05 PM
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Yeah I got side tracked this weekend working on the bathroom and didnt want to get distracted. Man laying 12" tile on a diagonal is a pain when you don't have the right cutting tools.

Anyway. I'll give that a shot first. Do I need to be careful not to break the cast iron spigot when tapping that gasket in? Its brittle right?

Any tricks on getting the old lead pipe out? I'm gonna heat the packed lead in the spigot but is there anything else I can do?

Thx

Dave
 
  #18  
Old 06-30-08, 04:19 PM
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Trust me, you will not break the cast iron unless you give it a direct hit and hard.

Lead removal should not be too bad because of the position of the fitting. Don,t worry about smoke from the oakum. But it may stink.

JUST BE CAREFUL !!!
 
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Old 06-30-08, 04:54 PM
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Hmm. I just spent a good part of the past 1/2 hour with torch to the bottom part of the packed lead and even with that a screwdriver and a hammer really struggled to make a dent in it. I assume I'm doing something wrong here. Should I be heating the pipe spigot or the lead thats visible.

Thx

Fish
 
  #20  
Old 06-30-08, 04:59 PM
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Put the heat directly on the lead and wait a few minutes, once it starts to drip you can move around a little. You will never get hot enough heating the cast iron. I use a Mapp gas torch, but propane should do it unless the flame is way to small.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 05:15 PM
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Yeah, I had it right on the lead, I concentrated on one spot for about 10 min. And even then it barely moved. It is a small hand held propane torch... maybe its just not enough.. Hmm.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 05:25 PM
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Well I have just a self igniter mapp hand torch. They sell the same ones at HD. And I know mine melts lead.

If you have a old bernz o matic with propane, maybe that is the problem.

You can try and hack the lead out, but trust me, go buy a new torch or at least a bottle of mapp gas
 
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Old 06-30-08, 05:43 PM
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Yep its the Benzomatic Propane torch... Unfortunately. Thats probably the problem. I did notice some bubbling of what looked like water seeping from places. so maybe it was starting to work. Would the lead just reach its heating point and just pour out or do I have to pry it out?
 
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Old 06-30-08, 06:29 PM
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You might find it easier to drill a few holes close together in the lead and then using an old screwdriver and some chisels and hammer try to pry the lead out. Its only about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick and about the same width. Once you get it started you should be able to twist and pry it out without too much problem.


As for the "donut" adapter...I have used them with complete success. It will be a lot easier than using oakum and plastic. Put it in the cast iron hub after thoroughly cleaning the hub and then use some dishwashing detergent to lube up the PVC before inserting it in the rubber. It will be a tight fit. Make sure to cut the PVC square and to remove all burrs on both the inside and outside of the pipe.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 06:35 PM
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Thanks for the tip Furd. The directions on the donut calls for the PVC to be inserted first THEN put it into the spigot. It took me a while to get the PVC through the donut (i wasnt sure it would fit at HD so I tried it there), I'm not sure I could have done it if it was already in the spigot. That would work too, right?

I guess I'll try drilling holes and chipping away at it. Should be a messy nasty job. Fun
 
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Old 06-30-08, 06:43 PM
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If you can get the donut into the cast iron hub with the PVC already in the donut you are a much stronger man than I.

Drilling the lead should not be much of a problem. Use a drill bit just slightly smaller than the width of the lead and make three hole as close together as possible, overlapping is best. There is about a half-inch or so of oakum under the lead so it shouldn't be a problem drilling all the way through the lead.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 08:00 PM
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oh I see drill into the lead not into the lead pipe that I'm removing. Sure I'm game. Should I heat it up first? I'll try it tomorrow. Getting late here

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-09-08, 08:15 PM
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Finally got around to working on this tonight...

I got pretty far but hit a snag... hopefully not a big problem but definitely a problem. In the process of drilling and prying the lead out from the spigot I noticed a small crack in the cast iron hub (pretty sure it wasnt their before). Its about 1 1/2 - 2" long. I stopped immediately not to have it get any worse. If it breaks and the entire Y needs to be removed I'm in big trouble for my party on saturday.

Even with about 1" of lead removed from almost all of the hub the old pipe isn't moving at all. I don't want to risk cracking the hub so i'm leaning towards packing it back up and just using a lead repair sleeve (saw at home depot) that fits OVER a cast iron closet flange goes 3 or 4" INTO the lead pipe as a temp solution for the party....Or I guess I could put on some support clamp around the hub and sawsall the brass fitting and use the furnco coupling I have. Just afraid to make that crack worse

Either way... If I do that, would I repack the brass fitting into the cast iron pipe with plumbers epoxy or do I have to use lead? Is the epoxy just for PVC? NOTE: the pipe isnt leaking near the hub at all. I dumped several gallons of water in their and nothing came through where the lead is missing.

I'm also thinking of getting a metal ring clamp to tighten around the spigot to keep it from cracking more and maybe using some JBWeld epoxy to put on it as well.

Yikes! any advice is appreciated

Fish
 

Last edited by fishnyc22; 07-09-08 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 07-09-08, 10:41 PM
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Even with about 1" of lead removed from almost all of the hub the old pipe isn't moving at all.
Nope, it is being held in place by the oakum that is tamped in below the lead. You will need to dig out the oakum before the brass spigot will come out. Use a screwdriver to dig out the oakum, there is probably an inch of it or maybe a bit more.

As for the crack, try drilling a small hole (3/32 or 1/8 inch) at, or just beyond, the end of the crack. This will stop the progression of the crack and can then be filled with some silicone caulk to make it watertight.

You can use the epoxy or you can use lead wool. You would probably have to go to a plumbing supply to find the lead wool but you sure don't want to try pouring molten lead without some experience. The thing is, you are so close to getting the spigot out and from there the rest of the job should go pretty easily.

Be thankful you didn't have to do this while lying on your back in a 14 inch crawlspace that was home to a colony of spiders like I did.
 
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Old 07-10-08, 05:49 AM
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Hey Furd, I'm not sure I can drill a small hole because its on the back of the hub which is close to the wall. as I mentioned if that hub cracks i am SOOOO screwed for this party on sat. I'll try and dig it out with a small screwdriver, but I think I gotta get something on the hub to keep it from breaking.
 
  #31  
Old 07-10-08, 06:10 AM
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I would put some 2 part epoxy on before continuing. This epoxy hardens like steel.
 
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Old 07-10-08, 06:22 AM
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Thanks PG. I just went down and looked at it again. I don't think I'm as close as you guys think. Even with about 1" of lead pulled out (in more of a "V", theres still a lot in there), the hub is 3" deep and even with a screwdriver, I'm not making much headway. Its only about 1/4"- 1/3" of space to work with and after spending another 20 min on it I"m still not getting much out or pulling out oakum.

should I consider using my torch now? or just pack it up and cut the ring?

Forgot to mention that I have developed carpel tunnel from all the bathroom work... my hands are both dead asleep and numb, so doing this is getting much harder with every step
 
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Old 07-10-08, 10:45 AM
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I'm not sure what to tell you. The lead should not be any more than one-third the depth of the hub and the oakum will be the rest. The external measurement of the hub is at least a half inch (maybe more) greater than the depth of the hub internally so I was probably wrong in stating that there was only a half-inch of oakum.

I've only done a few of these but I found that once I got an end of the lead pried up I was able to get a pair of channellock pliers on it and then twist and roll the rest of the lead out of the joint. Removing the oakum should be easier than the lead. I've always used a flexible packing hook to screw into the oakum and then yank it out but I doubt that you have such a tool and finding one for a one-time job might be a bit expensive.


Maybe if you sawed off the lead pipe beyond the brass spigot you could then saw a split down the spigot to the cast iron hub and then collapse the brass to help in removing it.

I'm not sure what to tell you about the crack. Drilling the crack will stop its progression and if you can't drill it then there is no guarantee it won't continue to crack even if you never again hit any part of it with a hammer. The hose clamp idea is a good one.
 
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Old 07-10-08, 11:06 AM
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Thanks furd. I'm gonna spend a few min on it again and see if I get anywhere. If not, I'm leaning towards packing it back up with Epoxy and then using Epoxy to or the lead sleeve to connect the flange. I just need to get this done for Sat and have so much to do before then... I really want to do it right but if that hub breaks I'm in deep trouble.
 
  #35  
Old 07-10-08, 11:56 AM
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I would go back to the torch. Just remember, it takes a lot of heat because you need to heat up the cast iron quite a bit also.

Are you sure there is a crack? Those fittings are hard to crack.
 
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Old 07-11-08, 01:37 PM
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Hey guys... So after several attempts and way too much pain in my hands at this point, I went with cutting the pipe using the furnco coupler and repacked the pipe. The tight nature of the area made it hard to cut a straight line, and b/c of that a small part of the brass fitting is only about 3/4 out of the hub. But most of it is at least 1 1/2-2". The furnco couple fit well. All seems to be working well.

I may go back to it another time and try to do it right. I want to do it right. But I'm just running out of time.





Thanks to you all for all the great help. I couldn't have done it with out you!

Fish
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  #37  
Old 07-11-08, 08:34 PM
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That rubber coupling may not be entirely kosher but as long as it doesn't leak it looks fine to me. I don't think that I would mess with it until such time (if ever) that it leaked or the toilet had trouble flushing.
 
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Old 07-11-08, 10:34 PM
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EWww. really? what makes it a problem. Just curious
 
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Old 07-11-08, 11:31 PM
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The only thing I see as a possible problem would be if there were any sharp edges sticking out causing paper or female items (that should not be flushed anyway) to catch, causing a backup. But until such time, I would not worry about it.
If it does get to a point where it is a nuisance, just continue with the original plan.
 
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Old 07-12-08, 10:10 AM
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I've read somewhere that the rubber-only (no outer metal shield) fittings are only for use underground. I don't know if that is true or if it is a code matter in some jurisdictions. Mark has pointed out the only probable problem of an internal edge catching some paper or "feminine" products.

If it doesn't leak or plug up don't mess with it.
 
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