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Thread: Newbie needs guidance on PVC reconfig

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    DIY Member richb2's Avatar
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    Default Newbie needs guidance on PVC reconfig

    I have a PVC drain that I need to change because of the new lavatory sink base that is going in. Is seems that many of the 90 degree joints are "glued in" place. Thus, I cannot simply turn the joint into the config that I need. Is there some type of solvent to get those joints to release? Or do I need to cut them off. And if I do that, how will I re-attach? I suspect that one pipe was fitted into the next, before it was glued.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    They may / will need to be cut. Can you post a photo of the existing plumbing? There is no solvent to unglue them.

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    DIY Member richb2's Avatar
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    OK. Here are two photos, albeit, taken with my crummy camera-phone. After the pipe comes out of the wall, I want to go up to a single height, then across to the elbow/trap. This will allow me to not have to destroy the drawer of the cabinet.

    It seems that after exiting the wall, it goes to a 90 degree turn, and then to another 90 degree turn. Between those two turns is a small piece of pipe (maybe a 1/4 inch exposed) used to connect those two.
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    Last edited by richb2; 02-12-2006 at 06:16 AM.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If you want to go up from where it comes through the wall then 90 across to the trap this might work but would not meet code. You will have to bust the wall and come through with new pipe. If you are going to do that,you should move the T up to the height of the trap and come out from that point and 90 over to the trap. Be sure there is a vent in the wall also.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    There is nothing about the existing drain that is legal, or proper, and what you propose to do will only make it worse. It appears to have been installed by a real DIY'er and I would suspect the pipe that we cannot see may also have problems.

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    DIY Member richb2's Avatar
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    what do you mean by proper? You mean sanctioned by a union plumber? Here in northern NJ we can't get a plumber to help us at all, at any price. So there it is. It has been in that bathroom like that for at least 10, maybe 20 years. The house was inspected by a house inspector before we bought it, and also by the town inspector, and this was not cited as a violation, although certain other things were, nothing to do with the plumbing.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    The fact that it wasn't called out does not mean it's O.K..

    We are here if you wan't to do it right, by code.

    If not just do what you want, but don't ask us how to do it wrong.

    If there is a vent it will be in the wall.
    Last edited by Cass; 02-12-2006 at 08:23 AM.

  8. #8
    DIY Member richb2's Avatar
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    Cass, what I want to do is leave where it comes through the wall. Instead of going to the left 90 degrees, I want it to go up, 90 degrees. At the height of the trap, I want to have it go left 90 degrees, and over to the trap. This will leave the trap where it is. It is almost the same config as I already have. Do I cut the PVC, and then how do I put new angles on it?

    What is the vent about? It hasn't had one there for the past 20 years, or so.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Your pictures are good enough. We can easily see that the entire installation is improper. The first problem is that all the elbows are vent elbows. Not allowed in a drain. The black trap adadapter fitting appears to be glued to a white PVC pipe. This is not allowed due to dissimilar pipes, but it this were the only problem in a non-pressurized drain I would not lose sleep over it. When you rebuild this assembly, just get the fitting in white PVC.

    You have 3 90's in the drain. A maximum of 1 90 or 2 45's is allowed in most codes.

    Can't see in the wall, but in all likelihood the vent take off is bleow the weir of the trap. This is not allowed. Your trap is almost an S trap as it is, and having the trap too high basically makes it siphon like an S.


    The bad news is that this drain needs to be redone properly, and you may have to rethink the type of cabinet which you can use. The best way to fix all problems is to get inside the wall and replace the san tee with one at the proper level. And you can have it exit the wall at an angle towards the trap, and this might solve your drawer clearance problem as well.



    In answer to your actual question, yes this type of pipe is all glued....it is a permanent solvent weld connection. You can drill out the stubs, but for a job like this, the pieces are all very inexpensive. Throw everything away and start with all new. Your drain has either been repaired many times by cutting and regluing, or it was installed by someone trained on erector sets and legos! Maybe both!
    Last edited by jimbo; 02-12-2006 at 09:16 AM. Reason: add

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you do nothing else, Replace the top 90 with a tee and install an AAV to break the siphone on the trap. What you have now is a bad case of "S" trap.
    While it may drain, it also siphons out water from the trap and allows bad smells and sewer gas into the home.

    Like hj says, you would be better off going into the wall and raising the tee there higher.

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    what do you mean by proper?

    You have 'square" elbows not drainage ones. The pipe from the one coming through the wall to the trap is an "S" trap. We do not know what the pipe looks like behind the wall, but from what we can see, I do not hold out much hope that it is any better, as far as installation is concerned.

    You mean sanctioned by a union plumber? Here in northern NJ we can't get a plumber to help us at all, at any price. So there it is.

    Union plumbers have nothing to do with it. This is a very poor DIY installation.

    It has been in that bathroom like that for at least 10, maybe 20 years. The house was inspected by a house inspector before we bought it, and also by the town inspector, and this was not cited as a violation, although certain other things were, nothing to do with the plumbing

    WE cannot vouch for the inspectors, but maybe that is the kind of work they do so they did not see anything wrong with it. NO GOOD inspector would ever look at it and not at least mention the problems with it. Maybe he was too busy checking for electrical outlet plates that only had one screw in them.

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    DIY Senior Member sulconst2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2
    what do you mean by proper? You mean sanctioned by a union plumber? Here in northern NJ we can't get a plumber to help us at all, at any price. So there it is. It has been in that bathroom like that for at least 10, maybe 20 years. The house was inspected by a house inspector before we bought it, and also by the town inspector, and this was not cited as a violation, although certain other things were, nothing to do with the plumbing.

    rich,
    looks like its time to do the whole bath.
    (tile falling off the wall, supplies not supported, illegal s trap) what's the rest of the bathroom look like? being that northern nj is one of the highest real estate markets in the country does this need to be done half-assed?
    I have a logo. had it before i started my business.
    "quality work for quality people"
    if you qualify pm me

  13. #13
    DIY Member richb2's Avatar
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    >>does this need to be done half-assed?

    well, I am an unemployed telecom engineer, so money is an issue. I was doing fine when I bought the house in 1996. I have already done everything myself including laying a new level floor and retiling the walls and floor. I can't get a plumber to even return a call, forget about moving a pipe. Yes. I know, while I was lounging around in calculus and electrical networking classes, they were getting their nails dirty putting in very elaborate and difficult toilets. The values of this country are so out of wack, but don't get me started.....

    >>highest real estate markets in the country

    That is part of the issue. Why would a plumber come to move a pipe 4 inches when they could work for weeks in some of these multi-million dollar mansions putting in entire bathrooms and earning big bucks. Can you blame them?

    If I could rotate the cast iron pipe 90 degree's that would help, but unless the cast iron vent stack is changed out so that the inlet is the same height as the sink drain, it is really just the same config.

    Anyway, I think I have an OK solution, I'm in school to become an accountant, and I will be using a "fake vent" at the highest point in the pipe. I have changed from white 90 dgree sharp turns to black "long 90's". But let's face it, we are not talking about a plane's wing or software to control a reactor here.....

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2
    >>
    (1)well, I am an unemployed telecom engineer,


    (2)The values of this country are so out of wack, but don't get me started.....


    (3) But let's face it, we are not talking about a plane's wing or software to control a reactor here.....
    Well, Hoss: regarding # 3, we could point to various design defects in mil. and civ. areas which have cost loss of life. PROPERLY INSTALLED plumbing systems work nicely for 20 to 100 years and the health and safety of the American public is protected.

    In light of statement (1) perhaps you should rethink your lack of respect for the plumbing profession in ( 2) . There are usually not a lot of out of work quality plumbers, and working plumbers usually earn more than out of work engineers.
    Last edited by jimbo; 02-15-2006 at 07:51 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Plumber/Gasfitter dubldare's Avatar
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    Good luck with your new career.

    (I wonder how much unemployed accountants make?)

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