DWV Modular System Replacement Idea Stemming From Overflowing Laundry Drain Standpipe

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liveanddiyinla

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tldr: Would connecting all the DWV drain branches to the home main drain line with heavy duty four strap no-hub couplings(like shown in attached photo) make the DWV system more resistant to damage from earthquake movement?

Friends, we changed to a bigger front load clothes washer and been having an overflowing drain standpipe on and off. The water softener also drains to this laundry drain standpipe, and the salty rinse water can’t be helping. Resorted to some temporary solutions, but want to ask for some feedback.

I have 2” and 3” metal pipes in the crawl(and I mean, crawl) space. Can anyone identify the type of pipe material from the pictures? If I’m not mistaken, they look like cast iron fittings on galvanized pipes. Are these worth keeping if they are not problematic or will they become problematic?

I’m in Southern California, an earthquake prone area. Initially, I was thinking to only replace about 10ft of laundry drain branch with 2” ABS and use a no-hub coupling to connect to the existing metal drain pipe near the wye. But it got me thinking:

If I replaced all the DWV pipes with ABS, would connecting all the new branches with heavy duty four strap no hubs make the DWV system more resistant to damage from earthquake movement? And easier just to remove and replace branches as necessary? It seems like some commercial DWV is done this way, though it’s also not in a crawlspace.
 

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Jeff H Young

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youve got a mix of cast iron and then the small branches adapt to what we called durham screwed pipe fittings and gal pipe my opinion the galvie rots out worse than cast iron.
So yea its pretty old well I wouldnt rush into it nor nessesarily wait till everything goes to hell but you could unsuprisingly get many years and minimal to no issues . if you have renovations planned above where the verticle pipes are that would be a good time to adress some of the work. Id run abs I dont think Id plumb it any differant than Ive been doing . we cut out all the old pipe as far as we can and replace by joining with proper cast iron to plastic bands the heavy duty 80 inch pound clamps with 4 bands pictured I belive are for joining cast iron to cast iron.
I like cast iron but Id do it all in abs way cheaper unles you have 2 stories above where noise is a issue
 

liveanddiyinla

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youve got a mix of cast iron and then the small branches adapt to what we called durham screwed pipe fittings and gal pipe my opinion the galvie rots out worse than cast iron.
So yea its pretty old well I wouldnt rush into it nor nessesarily wait till everything goes to hell but you could unsuprisingly get many years and minimal to no issues . if you have renovations planned above where the verticle pipes are that would be a good time to adress some of the work. Id run abs I dont think Id plumb it any differant than Ive been doing . we cut out all the old pipe as far as we can and replace by joining with proper cast iron to plastic bands the heavy duty 80 inch pound clamps with 4 bands pictured I belive are for joining cast iron to cast iron.
I like cast iron but Id do it all in abs way cheaper unles you have 2 stories above where noise is a issue
Thanks for the knowledgeable reply! I like those threaded Durham fittings but can imagine that they have less room for error.

Will a 2” ABS branch be enough for the laundry or should I go 2”-3” coupling right after the fitting at the wall and connect to 3” ABS branch? Is there a clean way to make a removable plate(plywood?) to cover the no-hub on the metal vent or is it pretty safe to drywall that back up?

My elbows are pretty raw from the other day, so I’ll probably get to it on the weekend.:)
 

Breplum

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We put down 6mil visqueen plastic sheet in crawlspace AND I recommend large sheets of appliance pkg corrugated boxboard to make the work easier on the body.
2” ABS should be fine for any drain system.
I’ve been plumbing 50 years in earthquake country and never seen damage…but we love the husky 4-band if we want heavy duty connections…yet the two band are fine for any underfloor work. There are transition fittings to go from 3” cast iron to plastic. Plastic pipe should have solid hangers every 4’, not strap.
We always recommend hiring a local pro.
 

liveanddiyinla

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We put down 6mil visqueen plastic sheet in crawlspace AND I recommend large sheets of appliance pkg corrugated boxboard to make the work easier on the body.
2” ABS should be fine for any drain system.
I’ve been plumbing 50 years in earthquake country and never seen damage…but we love the husky 4-band if we want heavy duty connections…yet the two band are fine for any underfloor work. There are transition fittings to go from 3” cast iron to plastic. Plastic pipe should have solid hangers every 4’, not strap.
We always recommend hiring a local pro.
Thanks, points well taken! I’m planning on using those rubber dipped galvanized hanging irons and will stick with the 2” for the branches that are going to be replaced,
 

Jeff H Young

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sure 2 inch is good for laundry . if you arent opening wall yet then put your band below the floor if you open the wall partly we often run plastic up to about flood level or to the vent even if its low and connect to the galvinized vents often those vents are in darn near perfect shape.
husky bands generally arent for cast iron to plastic. I think fernco makes a expensive multi size coupling with 4 bands personally I wouldnt seek them out some people use regular no hub bands on 2 or 1 1/2 inch plastic its not legal as far as I know. I generaly use cp 200 or 150 mission brand or a fernco equivilant .
Im sure you have some real good plumbing contractors there finding right guy is key
 

Tuttles Revenge

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In my experience the horizontal galvanized steel drains are big problems. They are prone to clogging and often rust out along the bottom. Durham fittings are Terrible. They're all very short radius and again, prone to clogging but due to their short radius, hard to get snakes through them. I always recommend that at the very least, the horizontal steel drains be replaced. And unless the cast iron is visibly showing signs of damage, we typically leave it for the next 100yrs of service.
 

Jeff H Young

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galvie not 200 year stuff LOL agree its not the greatest never been impressed as drainage But if you arent working on the house and it is draining well unless you are looking for a project I might leave it . just change out a line like laundry back to the cast iron
 

liveanddiyinla

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I appreciate the food for thought and am glad to have waited awhile. Reading more of your suggestions, I’m thinking to do the following.

I can’t band it below the floor and the wall fittings seem like cast iron for the laundry and are in decent shape.

To avoid having to do drywall work just for this, what if I leave the fittings already placed in the walls and cut the galvanized branch in the crawlspace close to the wall fitting, leaving just a few inches to attach a metal to plastic band?

First, I need to check the existing cleanout tee size, to see if I can run the outer short horizontal line and trap to that. If so, I’ll move the cleanout to the straight section of the wye below, which is the setup that I was planning with the new abs fittings.

I keep thinking that I should use a 2”-3” coupling and run 3” abs on the laundry branch so that I can run two clothes washer. My concern is that the 2” sections will bottleneck a bit. I’ve been doing work in the yard, attic, and crawlspace, and would like to separate my working clothes with muck and fiberglass from the rest of the finery.

Do you pros dry fit and run the water to test flow before cementing everything together or is that too messy and unworkman-like?
 

Tuttles Revenge

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To avoid having to do drywall work just for this, what if I leave the fittings already placed in the walls and cut the galvanized branch in the crawlspace close to the wall fitting, leaving just a few inches to attach a metal to plastic band?
I find that most vertical galvanized is fine to use. Just the horizontal gets trashed.
First, I need to check the existing cleanout tee size, to see if I can run the outer short horizontal line and trap to that. If so, I’ll move the cleanout to the straight section of the wye below, which is the setup that I was planning with the new abs fittings.
If it eliminates galvanized and simplifies your work that sounds good.
keep thinking that I should use a 2”-3” coupling and run 3” abs on the laundry branch so that I can run two clothes washer. My concern is that the 2” sections will bottleneck a bit. I’ve been doing work in the yard, attic, and crawlspace, and would like to separate my working clothes with muck and fiberglass from the rest of the finery.
2" is adequately sized for 2 clothes washers.. But, 3" is better if you can do it easily enough.
Do you pros dry fit and run the water to test flow before cementing everything together or is that too messy and unworkman-like?
I can't speak for anyone else but dry fits are something we generally avoid. With experience comes confidence. There are times when I need to temporarily place a pipe in a fitting in order to measure a height difference from fitting to fitting. Dry fits, especially in PVC will not always socket fully.. so you end up with shorter distances from what you dry fit.. if that makes sense.
 

Jeff H Young

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agree at the very least the horrizontal. but if not a carazy amount of work and the walls are open all that gal and tapped santees get trashed for abs a high dollar multifloor would be new cast iron above living areas (if budget allows )or ABS
 

liveanddiyinla

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Had a chance to wear out some saw blades on the galvanized pipe on Tuesday;). I picked up a used heavy duty Ridgid pipe cutter, which worked well on a 1/3 of the pipe since the tee handle is so doggone long, smh! You would think that Ridgid would offer a shorter handle. Anyways, the cutter is heavy and maybe I can convert it to three blade for next time, since I really like the quiet and non-dust flinging nature of it.

Lots of buildup in the upper pipe sections as shown, but not rusted through these sections. I’ve snaked these pipes every few years, and wondered why it didn’t get this muck off the upper half of the pipes? Not enough action or too small of a cutting tip?

Didn’t have a pipe cap on hand so left it uncapped for a few hours. In the meantime, running the shower on a different branch discharged water from this downstream laundry branch, though this laundry branch is more elevated. Thought that was weird, it’s capped until I can finish on Saturday. Does that indicate a slow clog in the cast iron main drain line somewhere farther down?

Could not unthread these these galvanized pipes from the Durham threaded fittings at the wall. Tried hammering the fitting, pb blaster, fluid film, 18in pipe wrench with 2ft cheater, double pipe wrenches, 12 Hail Mary’s, 24 threats, and a partridge in a plum(b) tree. Thought it would be more workmanlike if I could get all the galvanized out, but I may have to resort to leaving 4-6 inches and banding it.

Thanks for all the input. Starting is half the battle, and I feel like I’m in the home stretch.
 

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Jeff H Young

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gotta be carefull but an angle grinder can work wonders but sparks ( fire) and personal safety a cut off wheel can cut pretty well.
Good to see you get after it yourself ( I avoid going under LOL) pipe wrenches hard to work under a house on 2 inch or 1 1/2"
 

Tuttles Revenge

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You got a good batch of galvie it looks like. So leaving a small section in place is probably not a bad thing since thre is no chance in H E Dubble Hockey Sticks, you're unthreading that. Well, how we would do it is to bring down a really BIG torch and heat the fitting till the threaded side was glowing bright red.. then it will come out. But not worth it to me. When you do connect onto it with a band, I would smear some Hercules Grrip on the cut surface to protect it from rusting now that its protection is gone.

The drain may be slow downstream, so as you use water upstream, it backs up through all the other branches, leaves deposits as it drains slowly..
 

Jeff H Young

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cutting near the fitting and a band is good muck out the crud with whatever on the last few inches. all this thats accessable aint that big a deal if certain areas you need to stop . but you are learning the system and bite off what you can handle at a time. it be nice to just rip it all out but budgets of time and money gotta be concidered sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and go for it others you can see might get too advanced for the time. hope this is making sence?
 

liveanddiyinla

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When you do connect onto it with a band, I would smear some Hercules Grrip on the cut surface to protect it from rusting now that its protection is gone.
Are Hercules Megaloc or Block similar to Grrip? Grrip not available at the home improvement stores, but have not checked the plumbing stores yet.
 

liveanddiyinla

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cutting near the fitting and a band is good muck out the crud with whatever on the last few inches. all this thats accessable aint that big a deal if certain areas you need to stop . but you are learning the system and bite off what you can handle at a time. it be nice to just rip it all out but budgets of time and money gotta be concidered sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and go for it others you can see might get too advanced for the time. hope this is making sence?
100%, it’s always a balance between time, quality, and resources(pick two, right?!).
 

Jeff H Young

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Are Hercules Megaloc or Block similar to Grrip? Grrip not available at the home improvement stores, but have not checked the plumbing stores yet.
the stuff that coats the pipe is basicaly tar. Tuttles recomended hercules grip which is that catagory to me, I never used anything but if someone was trying to preserve it painting it with some thinned down roof mastic might substitue well hate to go spend money on product for a few joints. black swan is good too (they make a variety of product the specic im not sure ) maybe you have something on hand
 

liveanddiyinla

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Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day!

So, I got all the 2in ABS in and the laundry is no longer overflowing. Kitchen sink and dishwasher flowing quickly, too. Thank God!

Some of the galvanized branches were seriously clogged as shown. I wanted to get as much of the galvanized out as possible, so I left about 4-6 inches after the wall fitting. I actually thought the laundry branch was less that 10ft of pipe, but it turned out needing 10’10” of abs, which meant that I needed to add a bit of abs when I could have or maybe should have just left an additional 10” of the galvanized. I was pretty tired at that point and that was a serious downer. Anyways, got my second wind and put in the work. Perfect is the enemy of good. Live and learn. :)

To get the muck out of the remaining ends and the cast iron, the wood paint stirring sticks from the paint department worked perfectly.

I have a small problem with lead packing in the cast iron hub. I tried using a small and large flat head screwdriver and a small hacksaw to get it out. It would not budge. I thought if I chiseled a bit of it away from the hub, then I could peel it out but no go. Is that stuff heated and then packed in there or what? I took a picture of it.

Plan B would be to cut the hub and band it, but I would need to recut some abs too. Plan B+ maybe to just coat that abs pipe going into the lead packing with engine block gasket maker(assuming it’s safe for abs) and let that form a gasket.

For now, I put rectorseal and it’s nearly water tight. Ran the clothes washer and only saw a few drops of water. I already have the service weight rubber coupling and just need to finish that joint this week and I’m done!
 

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