View Full Version : Drain problem - all connectors and no pipe!

12-08-2008, 09:46 AM
I'm attaching a photo (hopefully) that shows the problem.
When our 4" line to the street got full of roots, the guys ran new PVC all the way into the house. When they attached it, they "jacked up" a bit of the existing pipe so now it runs UPHILL just before going down (see pic). So far (2 years) no problems thank goodness. Now I'm remodeling a bathroom on the 2nd floor and need to bring a new 4" line in. I can't figure out where to put it since it's all connectors with at most 1 inch of exposed pipe. I have read about cutting away the connectors and trying to Dremel out the pipe etc. but it doesn't sound like much fun. Any ideas? Is there such a thing as a collar or something that could go onto an existing Y connector if I cut off flush with that? I have tried to figure out how to build it up from the bottom with all new connectors and enough for the new pipe too but the only way seems to be knocking a hole in the wall, going out to the 4" PVC in the ground, and starting from there, which just doesn't appeal to me. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

12-08-2008, 11:20 AM
Phew! Thats a busy few feet of pipe there.

Probably the thing to do is find one of those fittings to double up on and eliminate at least one of the fittings to have room. A Rambit can be used to salvage one of the existing fitting hubs for reuse. A picture from further back may aid us in seeing what can be done.

A plumber onsite would probably be best though.

12-08-2008, 11:46 AM
I see one unvented trap and one flat vented trap. Tear it all out and start over.

12-08-2008, 11:57 AM
That should give them the space they need!:D

NH Master you're such a diplomat! LOL

12-08-2008, 12:12 PM
You will not be able to save anything you have there as far as the verical pipe is concerned. Your biggest problem will be finding a piece of pipe long enough to start from. There is no reason for each of those attached pipes to need its own fitting connection. Some, or all, of them can be combined into a single connection.

12-08-2008, 12:32 PM
Yes, the problem seems to be that there isn't a long enough exposed piece of pipe to put a fitting on to "start over" anywhere along there. Perhaps the rambit is the way to go, and then build up from the place I use it.
Regarding the venting comments... the horizontal 4" pipe leads to a stack out the roof and the 1.5" horizontal goes to the kitchen with a one way vent under the sink. This arrangement was in place since I moved in 11 years ago with no problems.

12-08-2008, 12:35 PM
Yea but...
It's really goofed up and a start over wouldn't be a bad idea.

12-08-2008, 07:24 PM
That it works, don't make her right. That pipe the washer dumps into is number one the wrong size, should be 2" and it is formed into an S trap. Also and the standpipe is probably not long enough. The other visible trap has either a flat vent run off it or it is picking up another fixture. Either way it's not good. Let's be honest here. Crap does flow down hill and even the most hacked up mess imaginable may still direct the flow of Poo onward and outward. That alone does not a sound plumbing system make. There are reasons why things are done in a proper manner. Wack it all out, take your time and do a nice neat job that you can be proud of.

12-08-2008, 07:39 PM
Think I found the offending plumber:

12-09-2008, 01:55 PM
What about cutting off flush with the top of one of the vertical connectors and then using a No-Hub to go to a new section of pipe? I'm thinking that or the rambit technique is my first likely attempt. The budget is so incredibly thin I just have to figure how to get it done. I truly wish I could afford to hire a pro to come and fix it for me.

12-09-2008, 02:49 PM
I've never tried, but you might be able to rent a rambit rather than buying one...probably cost about the same as buying the coupling.

12-09-2008, 04:26 PM
A nickle for every time I have heard that line. I would be a very rich man indeed.

Jay Mpls
12-09-2008, 05:09 PM
I see one unvented trap and one flat vented trap. Tear it all out and start over.

RIGHT! It's a mess.:eek:Send us a pic when you are done!

12-09-2008, 07:20 PM
This deserves a Wow!!! I agree with the masses, get a saw and cut that nasty mess out! Then use a Rambit on the top of the test tee(clean out)and rebuild it.

PS anyone see any primer on this mess?

12-10-2008, 06:20 AM
There is not any No-Hub or other connector which is designed to fit OVER a fitting's hub, which is what you would have to do if you cut the pipe flush with the fitting. You MUST either have a clear hub or a long enough section of pipe, to start from. If I were doing it, I WOULD cut the pipe off flush with the lowest fitting, and then wrap a hose clamp around the rop of the hub, then carefully melt a slot in the remaining pipe using a red hot screwdriver, then CAREFULLY peel the pipe out of the hub using a hammer and a couple of sharp screwdrivers.

12-10-2008, 10:44 AM
OK guys I bit the bullet and ordered a 4" Pipe Hog, on clearance at **************.com. I think this will give me the best chance at a cleanly reamed fitting to start over with. I'll probably start at the top and try it to get a little experience and then with confidence go to the lowest fitting and start building back up. This project is scheduled for Dec. 26 when wife and kids (flush-aholics) will be at in-laws. I'll definitely post photos when I get it re-rigged. Reading up on all the info I can get my hands on in the meantime. The 2nd floor bath has 3" running from the toilet and a shower down thru walls to the basement where it upgrades to 4" for a 12' horizontal (with appropriate downslope) run to the mess in the photo here. Under the toilet is a long sweep 90 but everything else is 45's with hope of no clogs!
I do appreciate the help here! It's fun to keep checking back to see what people have to say as I sit here second-guessing myself on every detail. So far, so good, and I'll be back with pictures and reports when I'm up to my elbows 12/26.

12-10-2008, 08:56 PM
PS anyone see any primer on this mess?
Probably used transitioning cement or multi-purpose.

HJ, does this trick (peeling away the pipe) work with ABS┐

12-11-2008, 01:09 AM
If the 2 traps shown in the pic are any indication of how the rest of the house is plumbed you need to get a plumber in who can tell you how to correctly install what you are trying to do and at the same time correct what is wrong and see if there are any other problems that we can not see...there may be a much easier way of doing what you want done but only someone who knows what their doing would know...

12-11-2008, 06:22 AM
Your lack of venting is the big issue here. Why not try formulating a plan of action on that. Here is a pick of how a venting system works. You will notice that at each trapped fixture there is a vent to protect the trap seal.


The actual mechanics of this are complex involving fitting use/selection, and slopes/distances. A good plumber is your best bet but DIYing it is not out of the question. At the moment I would say that it requires more planning than you have devoted to it and it would involve making a isometric drawing of your plan of attack corrected by us then careful execution with no misunderstandings between us. A tough task indeed.