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Thread: Adding a bathroom in the attic, deciphering the current plumbing

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member zaothusia's Avatar
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    Default Adding a bathroom in the attic, deciphering the current plumbing

    I am adding a bathroom in my attic, and when I opened up the wall it looked like the plumbing was already set for a bathroom, including a separate vent line and 2 capped off copper water lines (see picture). The fittings on the waste line are too high, but I am wondering if anyone could tell me if I can cut the line low enough and tie in a PVC Y for all my plumbing. Will someone with years of plumbing experience please give me some advice! Thanks

    I am also wondering about the two copper water lines. They are not live, and since that was put in the entire plumbing system in the house has been redone with pex. I am wondering if I could save myself sometime and try to find the bottom of those lines and tie into them? How would I go about finding the other ends? Or maybe it would be better to just run new pex all the way up myself? Let me know what you think.
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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking looks ok...

    the only thing I see that might be fun is getting
    those old plugs to come out of those tees after 60 years....

    the water lines are a toss up......

    if you can get some pex down those walls...go for it...

    if you can find the end of the copper pipes that were placed in the walls 60 years ago...they still should be fine

    have fun, fun, fun

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default dwv

    The tee is too high and the vent is tied back too low. This may not be a good job for a first time DIY project.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    Agree with hj. Cast iron is not such an easy DIY project. But of course you can redo all this in plastic with no hubs and banded couplings . The vent tie in would need to be 6" above the rim of any sink you put in. From the picture, it does not look like its that high. Since the access is easy, this can all be fixed up. But when you cut into that CI, you might disturb the roof jack, so that's one more thing to watch out for.l

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    DIY Junior Member zaothusia's Avatar
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    Default Where to tie in the drain?

    I have actually cut into CI before and tied in a Y for a washer and dryer drain. I think I will be able to do the same here without too much trouble, I just use a angle grinder and saw right through it.

    What I am wondering is, do I need to tie in my PVC Y just below the floor, so its lower than my toilet and shower drain, or do I need to run my pipe down below the 2nd level fixtures? From my understanding what I need to know is how the 2nd level toilet is vented, and if it is vented separate from the drain stack then I can tie in just below the floor, but if it is vented just from the main stack then I need to go lower. Is this understanding correct? Is there a way to know how the 2nd level toilet is vented without tearing up my wall and floor?

    Thanks for the help.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default vent

    NO. The assumption would be that if the system was designed to have that toilet installed, the second floor would be vented to accomodate it. But you would still have to know for sure and there is no way to tell without seeing the piping.

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    DIY Junior Member zaothusia's Avatar
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    Default Going with the assumption

    Would it be safe to just go with the assumption and tie it in under the attic floor. What would happen if the toilet wasnt properly vented and my assumption was wrong. Would it just go against code, or would it not function properly?

    Would you tear into the wall to look at the pipes?

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    Master plumber Jay Mpls's Avatar
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    Default

    Tie it in under the attic floor.Plan on getting a SNAP CUTTER (rent for an hour or 2.)
    Makes very short work of the cast and doesn't get that metal dust all over.
    Just a safer procedure all the way around.
    If all the plumbing below is tied in through that 2" coming up plan on cutting that ,raising it up and you can "stack vent" (by local code MN) with in 'dirty arm' distances.
    4' for your toilet
    2'6" on 1 1/4
    3'6" on 1 1/2
    5' on 2"
    MN code for all this can be found FREE of charge. on the MN state page.(I know,your likely not in MN.)
    Cutting out all that heavy old cast iron will give your house better gas mileage! ;-)

    Last edited by Terry; 01-14-2009 at 09:49 AM. Reason: Oh yea....

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default


    As long as you are keeping vents apart from the waste lines you should be okay.
    You will notice in the picture above, that the vents keep to themselves as the head upwards toward the roof.

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    DIY Junior Member zaothusia's Avatar
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    Default To Jay MPLS

    Actually I am located in Minnesota as well, what a coincidence. I think I will rent a snapper for under the floor and that should go pretty quick. For the vent I didn't really understand what you meant. I was planning on snapping a section out of the same stack again, a couple of feet higher than where the vent is tied in, and then cutting the vent and adding in a T so it would be high enough. I don't know what a "dirty arm" is.

    I was also thinking about cutting out that entire section of pipe and replacing it will PVC. Of course I want to do what will be that fastest and cheapest. Thanks for your help.

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking dont let it get away from you

    Quote Originally Posted by zaothusia View Post
    .

    I was also thinking about cutting out that entire section of pipe and replacing it will PVC. Of course I want to do what will be that fastest and cheapest. Thanks for your help.

    probably the best thing to do is simply cut that out below
    your bathroom and cut it out above that tee...

    i would gamble on it being plumbed correctly becasue
    back in those days they did not install cast to a third floor without it being right.....

    if you do decide to cut all that out, jsut be careful


    you will be playng with about 250- 350 lbs dangling
    above you and your ladder....

    I would guess that double wye and cross alone is well over 75 lbs...

    you really dont want to let that "free fall" unless you dont care
    about what gets damaged....

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default vent

    If the second floor is not vented properly to install the attic plumbing it could be affected by the addition.

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