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Thread: Repair coupline for 4" Cast Iron

  1. #1

    Default Repair coupline for 4" Cast Iron

    I was working in my basement trying to replace a fitting on our 4" cast iron sewer line from the toilet and drains. The pipe runs vertical down into the concrete of the basement floor. It broke off right at floor level. Every sort of repair coupling I could find at the hardware store requires a couple of inches of exposed pipe. Is there some sort of repair coupling that can be inserted into the pipe? I've seen toilet flanges that have a gasket that expands to seal against the inside of a 4" pipe when 3 adjusting screws are tightened. Is there any sort of repair coupling that works like this and can be mated to 4" plastic pipe?

    signed,
    Not Liking the Looks of This

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Get a rotorary hammer/drill and break out the concrete then use a no-hub connector.

  3. #3

    Default No-Hub Connector

    Is that like one of those rubber connectors with a big hose clamp at each end?

    Is the concrete very hard to break out?.

  4. #4
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    rent a roto hammer with a 1/2 " drill bit and chisle bit. 1st drill a number of holes in a circle arounf the broken pipe. cut at least a 4"wide band of concrete to sand or dirt. a no hub coupling is a stainless steel band with a rubber sleeve set inside

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Cal's Avatar
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    Make sure you PUT A RAG IN THE PIPE FIRST !!

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'd estimate you can have that concrete chiseled out in less than 1/2 hour. You don't have to go through the entire floor, just far enough that 1/2 of the no-hub will slip over the pipe. It has to be just wide enough to access the clamp screws with a wrench. As advised, plug the pipe with a rag to keep chips out and sewer gas in while you're working. This process does raise some dust and kick up some debris, so it's a good idea to wear a mask and goggles, and use ear protection.

  7. #7
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Default one more thought

    sometimes old ,dry cast fractures ragged for several inches. He may need more room to square up the cut with a 4' grinder. i wouldn't use my snap cutter with old cast, in this situation

  8. #8

    Default Thanks for the help

    Thanks for the great advice guys. Just for future reference, what's the best way to cut off this old cast pipe so it breaks in a clean line. My dad used to use a hammer, but it's difficult to control. Also, as I've learned, the stress on the pripe structure can cause unwanted fractures in other places. Can I score it with a sawzall and just break it?

  9. #9
    Plumber/Gasfitter dubldare's Avatar
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    Sometimes 'nipping' the rough-ends of the cast iron with a crescent wrench works (to even out an irregular end). With the wrench handle parallel to the pipe, tighten the jaws of the crescent wrench on the rough areas and break them off by moving the handle away from the pipe.

    I would venture to say that your problem will be the remainder of that vertical pipe below the floor as well. You may have to breakout down to the hub.

    For cutting cast iron, a chain type tool works very well. There are carbide sawzall blades available, as well as angle grinders. If you have a good piece of cast, the old tried and true method of a cold chisel and a hammer will suffice.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    In theory a recip saw will cut cast iron, but I find it much easier to use a handheld grinder. I like my little 4". It's slower than a 7" but much safer to use.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member finnegan's Avatar
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    I have seen 100 year old cast iron in perfect condition and in terrible condition. In my own house you could poke your finger through it. Some cast iron just rots out. I would try carefully chipping away the concrete and then cutting the cast iron with a reciprocating saw or a grinder. If it is brittle enough to break off, either of those tools should work.

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ci

    I have never tried, or even heard of anyone trying, to cut an "in place" piece of cast iron with a hammer and chisel. Grinder, snap cutter, or carbide sawzall blade would make more sense.

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