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Thread: Considering attaching PVC pipe to cast iron drain with epoxy!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bruces's Avatar
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    Default Considering attaching PVC pipe to cast iron drain with epoxy!

    Hi All,
    I believe my shower drain has a cast iron drain attached to a cast iron pipe . The cast iron drain and pipe appear to be attached together with lead.

    I was thinking, if I can get the cast iron pipe and lead out of the drain, would it work for me to attach a PVC pipe to the cast iron drain with epoxy. Of course I would clean everything really well, roughen the surfaces, etc. I would add plenty of fillers to make the epoxy not run. West System makes all kinds of epoxies and fillers, I like their stuff. Do you think that will work and what problems do you think I might have? Will it meet code? Is there a better or easier way of doing this?


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  2. #2
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    A no hub fitting designed to connect cast to ABS, Copper or PVC is a better approach. You can cut the old cast line with snap cutters, a grinder or a sawsall blade.

    Looks like you will need to bust more concrete to get any tools on that old pipe.

    Might be to tight for most rental pipe cutters. I've seen some small chain snap cutters (shown below). Something like this;

    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 11-08-2013 at 06:49 AM.


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    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    DIY Senior Member Smooky's Avatar
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    Last edited by Smooky; 11-07-2013 at 08:32 PM.

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smooky View Post


    2" Cast Iron Extra Heavy X 2" PVC Steel Donut - Installation Guide

    Looks pretty slick. Do you sweat out the lead from last century with these? Any tips on removing the old packing and lead to start with?
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 11-08-2013 at 06:52 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Any half way decent plumber knows how to remove the lead from a joint, but I would replace it with another cast iron drain so I would not have to make a "Mickey Mouse" connection, although, since this is on a slab floor, no one would ever know if it started leaking. That "buried" PVC cleanout tee would be "handyman type work" if that is the main line out of the house.
    Last edited by hj; 11-08-2013 at 06:10 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfrwhipple View Post


    2" Cast Iron Extra Heavy X 2" PVC Steel Donut - Installation Guide

    Looks pretty slick. Do you sweat out the lead from last century with these? Any tips on removing the old packing and lead to start with?
    Once you've made some swiss cheese out of the lead with a drill bit, the whole thing will pry out since there's someplace for it to compress a bit while prying (if you have a long enough pipe, you can use it as a lever to get things loose). Then, a wire brush will clean up the CI so you can get the donut in there without leaking - sometimes, some dish soap helps things along. If you get the right size, it's a solid connection. They make them in LOTS of different OD's to accommodate the various hub sizes - there is NO standard on hub sizes, only the ID of the pipe, thus the reason they make the donuts in multiple versions (not counting the ID for the pipe in question). Or, cut off the hub and use a no-hub connection to convert, but keep in mind, sometimes they have the size and brand cast into the outer wall of the pipe, and those humps may make it impossible to seal unless you grind them off. Modern nohub CI doesn't have that - the OD is smooth.

    There are some approved non-lead methods to emulate a leaded connection, but I do not think any of them are epoxy based. Last one I did, I bought a tube of the stuff, then found out it was several years out of date, and no way you could even think of making a seal with it...sort of gives you an idea of how often people use that method (almost never!). Only one place in town had any (Rochester, NY isn't the smallest city, either). I ended up cutting it out and using banded couplings and pvc. It was up against the ceiling of an old plaster and lath construction, and I didn't have the tools or skill to try to make that tricky connection on the horizontal. There wasn't much room between the joists, either.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 11-08-2013 at 07:12 AM.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    For a long lasting solution, replace with a new cast iron pipe, as HJ recommended.

    Plumbing solutions that have been working for decades are still better than "new ideas".

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