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Thread: demoing a bathroom

  1. #1

    Default demoing a bathroom

    Hi. We are ripping out a full bathroom on the first floor of our home, which will become part of our kitchen and will eventually contain a new sink and d/w. We are also planning to put a new half-bath in an adjacent closet. We will hire a plumber to rough out the new plumbing. However, my wife and I are doing the demo ourselves to save money, and need to remove the plumbing in order to complete our demo of the walls and removal of the bathtub (an old cast iron behemoth).

    I know how to remove the fixtures themselves, but I do not have any experience with removing and capping the pipes. There is access to all of the piping from the basement so I am hoping this should make the project easier. I was hoping that someone could give us some guidance on this project!

    The supply pipes are brass (circa 1940) and are about 1" in outer diameter, and most do not have working supply valves. My thought was that I can cut each pipe in the basement with a sawzall and then remove it from the nearest fitting (typically a 90 elbow), and then replace it with some sort of a cap fitting from my local plumbing supply. Are there any specific issues I should be aware of when working with brass pipe, or is there some other procedure (such as a compression fitting) that I should use?

    The drain lines are galvanized and are about 1 3/4" in outer diameter. I was thinking that I could cut these in the basement with a sawzall as well, and then stuff them with a cloth and leave them for the plumber to deal with when he ties in the new drain lines (in about 2-3 months)? Or is there a reason that I need to formally cap them off?

    And how about the vent line? Can I also just cut the branch vent and stuff it with something for now? I am not even sure if there is anything on upper floors that is tied to this vent -- I am pretty sure there is not but I'm not sure how to confirm this is the case (without busting open some walls).

    Any thoughts or advice, or issues that I should be concerned about, would be much appreciated! Please let me know if you need any more information in order to answer.

  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Default

    As far as your drain lines they do need to be capped, otherwise you would allow sewer gases in to your home. The vent line can be can be capped but will likely accumulate water from rain and/or condensate.

    If you can you should be working with a plumber now and get his guidance as he's the one who is going to have to deal with it during the build out.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Take any of the old brass to a metal recycler...the prices aren't as high as they were last year, but still substantial.

    If you can unscrew the pipe from a fitting, you should be able to buy a plug to insert into the fitting. Just remember to put some pipe dope and/or teflon tape on it, or it will leak.

    The drain lines could just have a rag stuff in, but you can buy inexpensive rubber caps that come with a hose clamp which would also seal them from liquids as well as gases. The caps are designed to fit over the cut piece of pipe. The plugs go into a fitting.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipes

    I hate it when customers start cutting pipes to "help me out", because invariably, they cut something that could have been used, and the way it is cut makes it very difficult to reconnect to it.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member seaofnames's Avatar
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    Get rid of all the galvinized pipe you can. If its from the 40's, its most likely corroded somewhere...like this...at my cousins house my brother is doing a side job at!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6

    Default thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the advice!

    I will definitely purchase some of those rubber caps for the drain and vent lines, and will hopefully pay for them with the money from reselling my brass!

    I do worry that I may have trouble unscrewing some of the pipes due to rust or otherwise stubborn parts. Do you guys have any recommendations for that? I usually try Liquid Plumber, which sometimes works, but should I be purchasing a blow torch? Any other tricks?

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default connections

    I hope you mean "Liquid Wrench" because "Liquid Plummer" is a drain chemical.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Some people swear by PBBlaster (in a spray can).
    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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