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Thread: iron P trap replacement

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member das108's Avatar
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    Default iron P trap replacement

    Hi all:
    I'm starting to put the bathroom back together after a full gut.

    Concrete slab, 3rd floor condo.

    I've removed a 60x30 steel tub and have a new 60x30 Kohler (deeper, acrylic) along with their PVC drain kit. The old overflow, tailpipe, T are iron (I'm fairly sure), and of course don't align properly so I can't re-use them. The actual drain line is cast iron as well.

    I do have access under the tub as there is a cut out in the slab under the drain area.

    1) How do I loosen/remove/cut the existing trap out so I can put on the new PVC (tee/tailpipe/overflow). Everything seems extremely tight and is probably somewhat rusted; it may be 30 years old. Especially because i'm on the 3rd floor, I don't want to break anything!

    Also, while I'm good on the actual PVC being attached to itself/tub, what's the best option for the transition between the iron drain line and the new PVC?

    One final question: is it a problem if the tailpipe/tee connection is not at 90 degree angle to the wall plane? I can't see why it would matter, but checking. The new tub is basically the same size but the drain is slightly to one side of the old one.

    Thanks a ton!

  2. #2
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  3. #3

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    1) You can cut the existing trap off with a reciprocating saw and then transition to plastic with a shielded no hub coupling. 2) The waste & overflow can be offset if need be. Sometimes we offset them to miss a joist that's directly under the tub drain.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member das108's Avatar
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    Pics below. One is from the access panel and the other is my ceiling, looking up at the upstairs neighbors drain lines, which are configured the same as best I can tell.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The drain is tubular brass into a trap connector with a slip nut. IF your new drain is brass with a trip lever operation, then the trap almost has to be perfectly aligned. A drain with a "lift and turn" or "push/pull" stopper can be angled as necessary to make the connection. IF you want to replace the trap, cut the pipe with a SawZall.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member das108's Avatar
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    I guess that speaking more precisely, what I want to do is cut off at the top end of the trap right before the existing tee. Leave the trap, connect it with a Proflex to a new short length of PVC, the short length to the new PVC tee and the new PVC tee to the drain and overflow. Replacing the tee itself would be extraordinarily difficult to access via the access box anyhow, and seems to be totally unnecessary.
    Is there a realistic chance of disconnecting the existing tee from the trap with wrench, etc, or should I just go rent a sawzall?

    The new drain is with a cable: http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatal...&prod_num=7213

  7. #7
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    Condos and other multi-family buildings often require a licensed plumber/electrician to do any work. You should get a licensed/insured plumber to make sure you are covered. You can imagine what a nightmare it could be if the work that you did caused damage to other parts of the building. I don't think it should be too expensive to use a plumber either since you have good access to everything.

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    DIY Junior Member das108's Avatar
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    Well that's a reason I am not going anywhere near supply lines...abundunt caution.
    Given that this is a short branch off the main drainline, and the branch only goes to this drain, I feel fairly good about doing it with good advice as the only problem I can see is bad connections leaking onto drywall ceiling below. Not that that would be good, but I feel like its relatively low risk and avoidable as we are talking a few cinnections and no "design changes." Also possible I know just enough to get myself in major trouble! Anyone else have thoughts? (Not that I don't appreciate this comment; more wondering if you are just more conservative than average.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I don't know what codes apply where you live, but keep in mind that in some areas, especially in multi-family dwellings, they don't allow plastic drain lines I've heard. If that is true, then you need to retain a metal drain line and components. Plumbing includes both the supply and the waste (drain) system, and is rarely something an unlicensed person can do in a multi-family dwelling...you really should consider hiring a pro for this AND the condo association will, almost without a doubt, require a permit and resulting inspection. Save yourself some grief and get it done to everyone's satisfaction and to code.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member das108's Avatar
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    Alrighty...I am begrudgingly willing to accept the need for a professonal for this one. Thanks all..

  11. #11
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    While either could produce potential problems with damage, I would be more concerned about damage from a drain that a supply line. It can take a long time before a small leak in a drain or other problem is noticed whereas a bad joint in a supply line is immediately seen and can be fixed before real damage occurs.

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