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Thread: replacing cast iron sewer with plastic

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member Stainedrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mn_nobody
    hire a professional, this work is way out of scope for a DIY. This is plumber grade material.

    I have to laugh at this remark. It is a simple job that I could have done before I became a "Professional"
    Coach says the truth. Make sure you support the pipe with riser clamps.
    The Rubber flexible connectors are of two types. You have the simple connector which is commonly referred to by its major name brand (FernCo) and has 2 hose clamps on it. I recommend you avoid these. Use the No-Hub band connectors (rubber connector with a metal shield and 2-6 hose clamps) and only use these at your transition points. Make sure you use schedule 40 PVC Pipe for the new material. The Green pipe is not rated for the job you want it to perform. The Gray Pipe is more than likely Schedule 80 and much more pipe than what is needed.

    As coach says the snapcutters are easy they are but even a "professional" can crush and old pipe with the snap cutters. When you cut the CI by the concrete floor I recommend you use an abrasive tool such as an angle grinder to cut the pipe. This will ensure you don't destroy the pipe and in turn have to do more work than you want. Make sure you use proper PPE (personal protective equipment) i.e. safety glasses, face shield, leather gloves, etc when grinding on the pipe.

    Leave the support on the pipe you are not removing, it will be better for everyone in the long run.

    One more thing. Selling a house as-is is fine but make sure you disclose what you know regardless, because in this day and time as-is doesnt necessarily protect you from lawsuits.

    And frankly if it was me and I was selling the house as-is I'd leave it for the new owners. No sense in spending money on someone else's house.

  2. #17

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    Hi All:

    I’m new to this board and felt compelled to reply to this post since it was my number one source for information for a similar problem.

    In my case, one side of my house (upstairs bath, kitchen & laundry) kept backing up. Interestingly, these areas were being drained by a 3 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe. Of course, I assumed my problem was where the old met the new. Anyway, it happened again and I opened the cleanout in the laundry area and was surprised that I couldn’t get my de-logging device (the rubber tubes that expand…can’t remember the term at the moment) very far down the line. I started it up anyway and heard water flowing. Problem was, no water flowing when I removed the cap on the vent at the street connection. So, up under the house I go. Come to find out there is a 3 by 2 hole in the cast iron, just down line of the new to old splice.

    So, I deactivated that side of the house and started my internet search. This was on Sunday the 17th.

    Thanks to the info of this post I felt confident that I could handle the pipe cutter and splice in a section all the way to an area I knew to be sound (under my main downstairs bath). It was a piece of cake! The cutter was very easy to use. I rented it from the Home Dep*t in Reading, Pa and the guys there were very helpful and knowledgeable! They suggested oiling the section that I wanted to splice to for a cleaner cut. I soaked it with WD 40 and made a cut farther upstream just to make sure I was doing it right. Long story short (too late) I was so impressed with that cut and the condition of the pipe that I kept it as my splice area for my No Hub. I cut the other end and hauled about a 15 foot section (with a 90 in the middle of the run) out of the crawl space to make it easier to cut into smaller disposable chunks. Of course the new was easy. 3 inch Schedule 40 coupling to the PVC from the aforementioned areas and the no-hub where it spliced to the cast iron.

    All told the job took me less than 2 hours. Cost was about $25.00 for the tool (since I had it less than four hours…would have been $32.00 for 24 hours). Materials were about $35.00.

    I did not get a quote from a plumber but I would imagine it would have been no less than $500 just because of the difficulty in accessing the area and, let’s face it, plumbers are in it to make money. I don’t come cheap in my line of work either!

    Sorry this is so long winded but the point I’m trying to make is that anyone with the least amount of mechanical aptitude can handle a job like this.

    I do have a question to pose to the group, especially the experts. Down stream of my splice is my main bathroom which is all cast iron. The house is about 60 years old; I have every intention of replacing this at a later date just to update. Here is the question, just downstream of this bathroom is the main 4 inch that goes through the basement wall and thus to the street. I have no intention of replacing the buried part (unless I have a problem) but should I replace the four inch all the way to just before it penetrates the wall? The 3inch that I spliced into looked very healthy and I don’t think there is a need but I’d like a professional opinion. The main bathroom was recently updated and PVC was kludged into the cast iron (by the former owners) which is my impetus for replacing all of that.

    Thanks for your help and thanks to everyone for the comments that helped me get this job done with such celerity.

    Darryl
    North Coventry, Pa.
    Last edited by Cass; 06-20-2007 at 05:46 PM.

  3. #18
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If the existing 3" cast looks fine, then I would guess the 4" looks pretty good too.

    You are right about being mechanical and logical.
    It's kind of like working with Tinker Toys.
    Gee, and they pay me to do this?

    And like you say, it was in a crawl space and that pipe is dang heavy.
    Gee, They don't pay me enought for this!

    But then sometimes I haul 50 pounds on my back up mountain passes, and think, Why do I keep doing this, catch a few fish and think, I don't do this enough.

    It's all good.

  4. #19
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Another train wreck , clear the tracks

  5. #20

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    >>>>>Forgive my ignorance to your reference. Is that a reply to my post?<<<<

    The above was in response to toolaholic because for some reason Terry your response didn't show up right away. Wierd!

    Anyway, thanks for the advice. I'll go ahead with the plan to just replace the toilet flange and all the PVC to the bathroom and everything underneath up to the 4 inch. Would the best plan be to interface to the 4 inch cast iron with a no-hub?

    I work with helicopters in conformity as an FAA designee and sometimes ask "and they're paying me for this?" it's like working with BIG toy!

    Take care, thanks for the help!

    Darryl
    Last edited by bowenguinan; 06-21-2007 at 04:19 AM.

  6. #21
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stainedrat
    I have to laugh at this remark. It is a simple job that I could have done before I became a "Professional"

    Would your local plumbing inspector agree?
    If the pipe were to give and crash through the basement, damaging flooring, other piping, electrical or framing (I HAVE seen this happen), would homeowners insurance cover it..or would you have liability as a "professional"?
    Why are plumbers required to go through hundreds of hours of school and years of apprenticeship...then to pass a test?

    I'm thinking of building a nuclear power plant - in your neighborhood...time to look around online....here I go!

  7. #22
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It's just a length of pipe he's talking about.
    It's not like he's using fittings.

    Years ago I was asked to look at a homeowners home that he had plumbed, maybe four bathrooms.
    He worked with pipes underground for the city.
    I took a look, and said, Nope. Not really interested in fixing all those waste and vents to make it pass code.
    His closet flanges were sitting above the floor, about 2" high, and stuck into corners. His son played baseball with mine, but that was enough.

    It does take a long time to learn the way.
    It takes quite a while before they even let you touch waste and vents when learning. There are too many ways to do it wrong.
    They start you running water lines. That way you can learn over time, by seeing and observing, how it's done.
    But they still take you by the hand, and teach why thing are done a certain way. It's an art when done right.

  8. #23
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry
    It's an art when done right.


    Exactly. Here's the termed definition out of the code book.


    Plumbing

    The art of installing in buildings the pipes for distributing the water supply, the fixtures for using water and drainage pipes for removing waste water and sewage, together with fittings, appurtenances, and appliances of various kinds, all within or adjacent to the the building.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  9. #24
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED
    Exactly. Here's the termed definition out of the code book.


    Plumbing

    The art of installing in buildings the pipes for distributing the water supply, the fixtures for using water and drainage pipes for removing waste water and sewage, together with fittings, appurtenances, and appliances of various kinds, all within or adjacent to the the building AND CLEANOUT THINGIES.
    You omitted an integral piece of information.

  10. #25
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    No bow,not your post

  11. #26
    DIY Junior Member jameskim's Avatar
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    Default cast iron removal switch to pvc

    We were just wondering if maybe you could help us with our dilema. We are currently seeking infromation on how to remove a cast iron sewer pipe from the cement city line and we would like to update to PVC.... We have searched high and low for an answer but have been without luck. We look forward to hearing from you....
    james and kim

  12. #27
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Default sewer tap

    If you are replacing to main sewer in the street or wherever it might be,
    you will need someone liecensed with the state to do a sewer tap.
    If this is your building sewer from house to public sewer,certain codes apply.
    Contact your local code enforcemet offical.

  13. #28
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You may be able to run the line up near the city sewer and let a licensed pro install it, but they may not agree, since they had no control over the project...they don't want to risk their license if there is a problem, which I feel is entirely justified. If you find a plumber that is willing to let you do part of it, he will want to examine and be paid for the time to check your work.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #29

    Default professional

    I have to laugh at you guys and this professional Term like its something magic. I just had professional charge me big bucks to run a sewer snake into a septic tank a few feet from my clean out. He told me I had a block out at the street 100 feet away. the city is coming out with a tv crew today to find the block. last night stupid unprofessional home owner me found out the line went to a septic and not to the city sewer. Do your research and if you are handy you might do a better job then the so called "professional" Just my opinion. terry t

  15. #30

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    One bad apple does not ruin the whole orchard.

    You had a bad experience. Was the guy that came to snake your sewer a plumber? Or a "drain cleaner"? There's a difference--one goes through several years of apprenticeship, the other goes through a few minutes of training. One is a professional, the other is not. If it was a plumber, perhaps he made a mistake. He's human.

    The only time I see people suggesting hiring a professional on this board is when it is (a) required by law or code, such as tapping a city sewer line in this thread, or (b) necessary to prevent someone from harming himself. The latter results from a poster's apparent inexperience, or the inherent difficulty of a job.

    Since you're on a septic system, why don't you call your local sewer authority and tell them you'd like to connect your household waste line to their piping yourself, and see what they say.

    Certain tasks may seem innocuous, but without the proper experience to know whether something is right or wrong, you could cause harm to yourself, your neighbors, or both.

    Finally, from Webster's:

    profession (n)
    4 a: a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation b: a principal calling, vocation, or employment c: the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

    Finally, a disclaimer: I am not a professional (I am a professional, just not of the plumbing persuasion ). I am not a plumber advocating that people call other plumbers just to gin up business, nor are the many licensed professionals that come here to share their knowledge. Anytime someone on here suggests calling somebody in, it is with good reason. Sorry you had a bad experience with your local fellow.

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