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Thread: Toilet waste pipe repair

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Default Toilet waste pipe repair

    Hello my name is Rich. I have started a rennovation on a 2 family home I own. It is a duplex and was built in 1955. I am doing a lot of work and today I removed the ceiling underneath a bathroom to make some structural repairs. I have gutted that bathroom and found a deteriorated toliet flange/lead pipe 90 degree sweep. Now that I have access from below I can see I have 4" cast iron piping and there is a lead section directly under the toilet. I had planned to use a twist and seal or Souix Chief repair kit but see they are not meant for LEAD piping. My question is......can I remove the lead and install a Fernco coupler and one that would fit on the O.D. of the flange area of the cast iron pipe and then to PVC up to the toilet? I have very little room to cut the flange off the cast iron as it goes right into the main stack horizontally at a sweep. I will be removing the bathroom floor completely and can add a little height as the original flange is not much above the sweep below it. Any help would be appreciated. I am very capable of doing anything on thei project and need to do the work myself...."sweat equity" as it's called. I need to keep the other side functional as it is my resdience. Bathrooms are back to back and the plumbing is all common. This house was built very poorly and that includes the plumbing.........

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You can cut the cast iron pipe and use a banded coupler (not the neoprene sleeve type) to transition to PVC. Depending on access, cut the pipe whereever it is easiest to get reach. Then use PVC pipe and fittings to connect a new flange. If the pipe is 3" you should use a flange that fits on the outside of the pipe. If it is 4" use either an inside or outside flange. Remember the flange should set level on top of the finished floor and be screwed to the sub flooring. I would use stainless steel screws.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    With a sharp cold chisel and a hammer you can cut off the old flange and install a new flange that fits inside the closet bend. The new flange makes the seal using a compressable rubber gasket and ss screws.

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I am confused about these two answers. First one....There is very little room from the cast iron flange to the sweep and then into the main pipe. If I cut the flange I have very little room to do much of anything. Second one....the lead pipe section is just a short 90 sweep up and it has some type of flange area and then a soft lead section that would have gone on a brass flange. Can a repair kit with the rubber seal be used on the lead pipe directly below the flange ? From what I read they are not meant for use on lead pipe sections!The lead section is soldered to the cast iron at a flange below. Solder is visible on the outside. I am not sure how to proceed with this repair......I could take pictures and post them if it would help.......
    Last edited by Rich B; 09-13-2008 at 12:46 PM.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Need a picture at this point Rich.

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I replaced the toilet about 37 years ago and it was replaced again probably 20+ years ago. Both times the original flange was still on there. The last time a plastic inner adapter was used and a lot of Wax inside and out. I would like to fix it right. The floor is coming out so finished height can be changed.....thanks for your help....
    Last edited by Terry; 01-14-2009 at 09:48 AM.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    What a mess yes? Ok. you will need to cut the cast back, before the san tee and clean out. Then you can transition to PVC with a mission band (Fernco) coupling. This is going to be quite a job though and you will probably have to rent a chain snapper to get a clean cut on the cast.
    Last edited by Cass; 09-13-2008 at 01:53 PM.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I don't know what your skill level is but this may be more work than you think....

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I am very skilled but am feeling like I need to call a Pro for this now that I see what I am up against. The house was poorly built in 1955 and had the same family living there for over 30 years! I am assuming the best advice is to cut the cast iron BEFORE the sweep and cleanout and use that area to transition to PVC ? Yes ? Will cutting the cast iron be likely to damage the joint near the proposed cut? If it does, then what? Rememeber there is another working bathroom adjacent to this one and that toilet has a similar waste line connection just a foot or so down the line. There must be a way to make this work......

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You are getting some BAD advice when they tell you to start cutting the cast iron. The proper way, and it is not really a DIY job is to remove the brass wiping ferrule from the tee, THEN lead/oakum a new bend into the tee, then install a new cast iron flange over the bend's riser. Some will tell you to Fernco onto the brass ferrule, but since it is tapered, there is a good possibility that it could come loose.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Normally HJ, I'd agree, but did you notice the ferrule is inside the joist. It's gonna be near impossible to get that out without cutting the joist out first. In this case I would cut the cast bask and transition to PVC. Less structural damage to worry about.

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    It sounds like there are a number of ways to try and fix this and depending on who you talk to, you get differing opinions. I prefer to do things myself. I am a master mechanic myself in the automotive and electro mechanical repair field. I am admittedly not a plumber but certainly can easily do the work. I am unfamiliar with all the terms for these parts and pieces. Cast iron pipeing and the joints are not familair to me. It appears to be a lead pipe section soldered into the cast iron. Is it possible to remove that lead section and find someone who can install something to replace it? Is that what the last poster is saying to do? Cutting or busting into this cast iron with some sort of chain cutter (I've seen that device on TV) does NOT sound like agood plan to me. I am guessing most plumbers are going to want to use the cut and adapt method. I do not nave to rush to do this repair so I can proceed slowly to the best solution.

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

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhmaster View Post
    Normally HJ, I'd agree, but did you notice the ferrule is inside the joist. It's gonna be near impossible to get that out without cutting the joist out first. In this case I would cut the cast bask and transition to PVC. Less structural damage to worry about.
    The wood around the ferrule as you call it can all be removed as it will all need to be replaced and restructured anyway. So access will be much better to that soldered joint. I would love to be able to fix it right there but with What?

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    DIY Senior Member gardner's Avatar
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    Why is there water visible in the closet bend? This should drain into the stack, not be siting here where we can see it. I suspect you have a drain problem as well.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    If you can get full access to it than indeed pull the lead and caulking ferrule out and lead in a new closet bend and flange.

    Your next question is going to be "how do I do that and what do I need" the answer is lead tools, a lead pot and ladle, lead, oakum and a bit of experiance. Not easy stuff to get hold of. If you go this route you will probably have to hire it out.

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