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Thread: Hotwater connection Copper to ABS. Problem?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member worrywell's Avatar
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    Default Hotwater connection Copper to ABS. Problem?

    Hi all,

    My bathroom has a leak somewhere and I don't know where it is coming from. I asked a couple of friends with some plumbing experience and they told me to start by checking the shower knob valves for water leaks. As I was going through my bathroom pictures I noticed that the hotwater pipes are half copper and half ABS is this a possible problem where they union together?

    Any advice will help! I post a pic of the bathroom you can clearly see where the abs is joined with the hot copper lines?

    Is this acceptable or I am asking for trouble?

    Tanks
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The black drain stuff looks like abs, but the white water supply stuff should be CPVC, not PVC. CPVC, done properly should be fine. Copper wouldn't get brittle with age, though.

    It looks like greenboard going up. Realize that the national codes no longer recognize greenboard's use for much of anything in a wet/damp area. It really doesn't hold up an better than regular drywall in the real world. If it is a wet area, then a cbu is called for, otherwise, a good primer and top coat of paint is more than sufficient. Greenboard isn't as strong as drywall, either, and it's use on the ceiling is sometimes problematic on a longterm use - it tends to bow if the supports aren't closer than the normal 16" oc.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 02-21-2008 at 09:41 AM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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    The black plastic drain lines are ABS.
    The pipe connected to the copper supply lines appears to be CPVC, and yes, they could be leaking where they are threaded together.
    You're going to have to open that wall up to inspect and repair them, and they should all be behind the vanity sink base cabinets.
    Good Luck!
    Mike

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    DIY Junior Member worrywell's Avatar
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    Is it common for these unions(copper to CPVC) to leak in time? Or should they hold up? The house is only 2 years old?

    Thanks

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The connector are not "unions", they are adapters. Unions join like materials together in a way that the plumbing can be dismantled without undoing everything from the end back to the problem. Should adapters leak? No, but can they? Yes. I wonder why the installing plumbers made a transition from copper to CPVC. In my opinion, they should have stayed with copper. I do see what appears to be PVC in the photo as well as CPVC. FYI, PVC is white or dark gray, and can be used for drains but not for water lines inside the house. CPVC has a yellow cast and is allowed for water lines inside. CPVC and PVC are made from different chemicals and are not compatible with each other. Drain lines may be cast iron, copper, PVC, or ABS. ABS is black and is a;sp made from a different chemical mix than PVC so these two are not compatible with each other either. If you end up opening the whole area, you might want to consider changing the CPVC to copper. I would not open the wall just to do that however.

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    DIY Member fidodie's Avatar
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    what is that extra PVC line right next to the copper->cpvc lines ?
    or is that tee'd off the copper ..

    looks like back-to-back lavs? the drain isn't quite right (wrong fitting, I don't see a vent! unless this is some sort of test setup.
    same over at the shower.....

    also, if those lines come out of the concrete without sleeves, you could have some problems because of settling.
    Pat

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    DIY Junior Member worrywell's Avatar
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    The extra PVC Lines are the cold water lines shower and lavs. yes these are back to back lavs and showers. The house is in Rosarito beach, Mexico. The reason I want to know about this set is because I have a water leak somewhere in the restroom. I am suspect teh shower valves or the CPVC -Copper adpaters are leaking.

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    DIY Member fidodie's Avatar
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    i would suspect that the lines were "bumped" and cracked in the wall - could be any of the ones sticking out - perhaps mopping and hit behind the w.c. ?
    at least with back-to-back you can pull one vanity, and break into the wall, to see what is going on, but still have the other operate.

    assuming the copper was the female part of the transition, it shouldn't leak.

    i'm really worried about the direct contact of the pipes with the concrete -
    might have even been compromised by a nail ..

    it isn't going to fix itself! so pick one side, and start investigating.....
    Pat

    Do it once, Do it right.
    Buy or Rent the necessary tools.
    Call a pro when your skills are stretched too far.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member worrywell's Avatar
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    Hit behind the W.C? What is W.C?

    I will going down this Saturday and I will knock out a piece wall to inspect the pipes? I hope it is not to much work. I will probably change the CPVC to all copper so my mind can rest of leaks.

    Thanks you have mucho help!

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    WC is water closet, AKA toilet. If those PVC lines are carrying water, that is a total code violation. As I explained in my early rely, PVC is OK for drains but not for cater inside a home. If this is the case, then I tell you that the person who plumbed this was not a plumber, because no licensed plumber would do that period. With all of the strange and possibly illegal plumbing, I would strongly advise you to have a licensed plumber check this out. This leak you are fighting now could be the tip of an iceberg.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member worrywell's Avatar
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    Remeber this is in Mexico. I am really disappointed on the work they did...
    Exactly what do I hit? Water Closet? The PCV has running water to the toilets.

  12. #12
    DIY Member fidodie's Avatar
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    just take one of the vanity/sink combos out, and open the wall behind it -
    hopefully it is right there, and will be an easy repair- problem is that it is more likely the pvc, than the cpvc, and that goes into the floor. hopefully, there will be room to repair it.

    can tell you are disappointed, and while we really want it to be "right", first thing is to find out what is really wrong, and get that fixed. bring the digital cam with you, and post more pics when you find out what is going on.

    good luck
    Pat

    Do it once, Do it right.
    Buy or Rent the necessary tools.
    Call a pro when your skills are stretched too far.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There's always a little, "Oh, yeah". Oh yeah, didn't I mention this was in Mexico?" No, you didn't. I doubt if any codes apply, so there's probably no vents, no traps, PVC water lines, and who knows what else. I'm sure no one is licensed because there probably are no codes to follow anyway.

  14. #14

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    Yeah - this job is seriously vent impaired. It's hard to tell from the pic, but it looks to be a mixture of water lines - CPVC as well as PVC. If PVC is used indoors for hot water, it will self-destruct.

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    DIY Junior Member worrywell's Avatar
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    There are vents up on the tiled roof terrace. I want to thank all you girls and guys for all your help. I am really stressed to find out that my plumbing was not properly done. But I already paid for the house and I have my deed. I will take pictures of the repairs. I'm making a listed of the tools and material I will need to take to get the job done. If anybody wants to take a shot creating material list...That will sure help me!

    Remember the shower stalls have tile and the walls have greenboard!

    Thanks

    I posted a pic of the roof top terrace and the house! I hope you like it!
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