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Thread: Cast Iron Hub

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    Default Cast Iron Hub

    Hello,

    I've found your forum so very useful in the past and it has always been able to provide quite a bit of insight into various projects I was undertaking. I'm hoping someone will be able to offer some opinions on my current problem.

    The waste pipes in my house are cast iron, with the house being built in the late 1950s - I'm located outside Niagara Falls, Canada. I had a leaky toilet that I removed yesterday to find the source which turned out to be an old cast iron flange that had deteriorated. I cut away the rotten floor boards and completely exposed the pipe stack. Several pics are attached for reference.

    In the picture below you can see the piece of pipe that extends from the CI hub to the bathroom floor, which is lead, as it is very soft and misshaped, being almost oval now. I want to remove that piece of lead and change over to ABS. So I'm looking for a solution to get a 3 or 4 inch ABS pipe to sit inside the CI hub. You can see the CI hub in the picture and after measuring it, the ID is almost a perfect 5 inches with the OD diameter being about 5 7/8". I tried reading the stamping on the outside of the CI hub and it seems to say "3X4 1/4" with the name "LOCTITE" beside it. I measured the straight run of CI pipe that runs into the basement floor and the circumference was 10 5/8 which translates to an OD of about 3.4". So I'm unsure if this is service weight or extra heavy CI pipe.

    I was looking through your forums and found a similar problem that someone else had started a thread on (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...-Cast-Iron-Hub) and went to my local plumbing supply company to see about getting a fernco donut adapter but they had never heard of such a solution and recommended I remove all the cast iron in the house and replace it with plastic. I'm reluctant to incur that expense because the CI is not leaking and seems to be in very good shape, so why replace something that is working fine. He then called Fernco Canada who had never heard of the donut adapter even though it is on their website (http://www.ferncoconnectors.ca/plumb...e-pipe-gaskets). They are going to call their US office and see about getting me the specs and price.

    Right now I'm looking for some suggestions. This seems like a pretty easy fix if I can find a proper adapter. the new ABS I want to insert into the CI hub shouldn't be too complicated because it would be a vertical setup, not horizontal.

    Thanks
    Dave
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  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default

    It's lead that you are removing.
    You can remove it by a combination of drilling, cutting and prying.
    Then you pick up a rubber insert for the hub, and insert new pipe.
    Either cast or plastic.
    The brand of insert is whatever one fits your hub and pipe. They don't cost much, so sometimes I carry a few brands with me.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks Terry. That was the route I was taking and first went to Home Depot who did not have the rubber insert for the CI hub, so I went to the biggest plumbing supply company in this area, and they too had never heard of the rubber inserts. When he called Fernco Canada they also did not know much about them and they were going to check with the US office. Those rubber inserts are not very common around here, and I assume I'll end up having to order one from the the US Fernco office, which makes is difficult to find a proper fitting one. I even asked about using oakum and lead to reseal the CI hub but went on to suggest removing the entire cast iron stack from my house.

    I do appreciate your reply as it gives me peace of mind that I was going about it the right way. Cheers

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    Would anyone know whether the cast iron pipe depicted in the pics above is service weight or extra heavy?

  5. #5
    In the Trades joemcl's Avatar
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    Can not tell which pipe it is in pics. On a fitting, should be marked. SV for service or XH for extra heavy.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    Cannot find it marked on any of the fittings. Above I provided a description of what was marked on the Hub. I also provided the dimension (ID & OD) of the hub. I'm thinking someone may know with that info.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    Default

    Your experience seems strange: the use of rubber "donuts" to transition from platic pipe to CI hub is bog-standard, and every plumbing supply joint
    and Lowe's and Home Depot around here carry them. Maybe some miscommunication? The marks on the CI might not mean too much, there was
    little standardization in hub sizes, and long-term corrosion may have altered sizes as well.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    Nope, no miscommunication. I sat at the plumbing supply shop (biggest one in this area) and showed them the Furnco website which has these donuts. They said they have never seen them.

    I first tried at a local Rona (Canadian version of Home Depot) and although they knew what they were, they don't carry them.

    I'm now leaning to taking all the CI down right to the basement floor and rebuilding with plastic.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    I have been known to use oakum and Soil-O (a powder you mix with water made for this use). Perhaps your supplier has something similar. Or, you could use oakum and pour a joint with some of that lead you are pulling out, if you feel adventurous.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    That's a good idea. I know Rona sells oakum so I'll check about the lead substitute. Thanks a lot.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    asktom - One more question seeing as you have experience with pouring new joints. I can probably easily source a piece of CI to extend from the CI hub to the bathroom floor, but can I use ABS? I would have thought that the molten lead would have melted it but this Soil-O you mentioned, can it be used with plastic? Thx

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    You can use either with abs (or lead wool, another option). The molten lead cools so fast it doesnt melt the abs. I think some folks shove a wet towel or similar down the inside of the abs to protect it it, but I never have. If you do, don't let water splash and sit on top of the oakum or when you pour the lead it will explode and throw hot lead everywhere. Hint: wear eye protection. You will find the Soil-O (or =) approach easiest, especially since it sounds like it would be your first time and probably don't have the correct tools. You can pack the oakum in with that big old screwdriver you use for a prybar. You just need to pack it until the pipe is tight and the top half of the hub is empty to accept whatever you put on top (lead, Soil-O etc).

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The markings you quote would be more appropriate for a "donut" than a cast iron fitting. It is possible that "Loctite" was a style of fitting, similar to "TY-Seal", but the "3 x 4 1/4" part does not make sense.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    3 X 4 1/4 bend, perhaps?

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member notherndave's Avatar
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    It is a bend. That hub is part of a 90 that goes from 3 inch pipe to a 4 inch hub.

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