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Thread: Cast Iron Pipe Seperation Under Slab - Advice Appreciated

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member micmon's Avatar
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    Default Cast Iron Pipe Seperation Under Slab - Advice Appreciated

    Hello,

    First off, great forum, there are a lot of good threads with great advice. I am hoping to get some input on a situation with my house.

    I have a house in South FL, built in 1960, near the salt water, original cast iron pipes. I recently relocated to Spain, so I had tenants move in July. I received an email from the tenants ~2 weeks ago saying that the toilet was clogged. Being in Spain, I called a local plumber and had them check it out. They said that the clog was located in the toilet because the drain was flowing fine, they said I needed a new toilet. It did not sound like a good diagnosis to me but being in the middle of a move, I told them to do what they need to do to fix it. The toilet was replaced, 2 days later I got a call from my tenants saying the toilet was clogged again. I called the same company and they sent a camera out this time.

    They removed the toilet, ran the camera and found that the pipe had cracked and shifted about 11 feet in. Pipe is in the soil under the house, no crawl space. The bathroom is on the edge of the house, however, the ~11 feet was going towards the middle of the house. The plumber said that the toilet drain pipe eventually meets the kitchen was pipe and then the two flow out the back of the house to the sewer.

    I have called another company so now have 2 proposals that are very different and not sure which one makes more sense:

    Proposal 1 ( same company that replaced the toilet) they propose to dig under the house at the bathroom location. Locate the waste pipe underground and reroute a new pipe to the outside of the house, and then run a new pipe through the yard and connect to the sewer line. They would then cap off the pipe that has the hole in it. So basically I would have a new pipe running out of the toilet and a capped off pipe left under the house. My concern here is that the pipe is not properly capped off b/c you have to tunnel a long way to reach it. Proposed price $4,600.

    Proposal 2 (company that specializes in epoxy repiping) a called this company, and asked them to take a look. They were able to confirm the separated area but did not go beyond that. Their proposal is to cut a hole in the living room floor (3 ft x 2 ft), replace the broken section, then replace the floor. The proposal after that is to do a full pipe reline b/c the other pipes in theory are in the same condition as the section that broke so it is only a matter of time before another issue arises. I have been told that the reline will break off any scaling and the pipe will flow as good as new, as well as the reline will last long enough that I will never have to worry about it. Cost to do the floor cut and replace section of broken pipe - $4200. Cost to reline TBD but insurance will possibly cover part of the expense.

    What are your thoughts on the best way to complete this project? What are the upsides and downsides of each?

    What is the general consensus in the plumbing world on relining cast iron pipes? It seems like there are several major companies that offer the service but I have not seen many reviews of real world experience.

    The only pic I have is off a cell phone camera from the tenant. I can't make much out of it but maybe someone else can. Thanks in advance!!
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  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default

    I would want to see the original video before making any recommendation. That picture is too confusing to be able to decipher it. Right now, I don't like either option.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default

    The picture doesn't make sense to me either.
    Either way would work, I'm not familiar with relining cast iron pipes though.
    That's something I haven't done.

    Going out the side into the yard gives you new pipe for the toilet,
    breaking concrete inside fixes the broken section, which then picks up the kitchen sink. Do you also have a tub and lav connected to the line?

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member micmon's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. I agree, the pic does not make sense to me but that is the only one that was sent to me. Yes, there is a tub and sink all connected to the same drain line. I need to make a decision ASAP b/c my tenants want this fixed yesterday. Right now, I am leaning towards option 2 of cutting the floor and repairing the pipe...

  5. #5
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Option 2 is what I would go with although $4200 is a bit steep, How deep is the pipe and what kind of flooring is on top of the slab? Does the price include repairing the slab and the flooring? Where they able to get past this point with the camera to see the rest of the pipe and its condition?

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member micmon's Avatar
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    I would guess that the pipe is around 3 feet deep, the flooring is tile. The price includes repairing the floor and replacing the tile. I have left over tile so they will be able to fix the floor with matching tile. The company from option 2 is supposed to come back out and run the camera through the rest of the pipe if possible.

  7. #7

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    I'm not an expert by any means but to me it looks like the original pipe is on the right side of the pic and I assume the black on the left is an open cavity where the water flushed out the dirt. Basically when the pipe broke it went down and to the left. Personally I like option #2, I don't like the tunnel idea either in option #1

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