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Old 08-22-2012, 12:38 AM   #1
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Connecting brass trap to cast iron (Noob)


Hello All,

I have a very basic question regarding plumbing a bathroom sink. I am great with most around-the-house DIY, even electrical. When it comes to plumbing, I really don't have much knowledge at all.

The sewage lines in the home are good old 1970s cast iron. This includes what I believe is a chromed cast iron trap under the sink (See photo). I am unable to connect the sinks tailpiece to the trap because it is about an inch out of alignment. The trap won't budge (I assume its welded into the cast iron?). If I could pull it 1" out from the wall, I would be in business. I tried cutting an offset tailpiece in order to plumb the sink, but even after cutting it to the smallest possible offset, it is more than 1" and won't line up.

I believe the best solution is to just grab a reciprocating saw and chop the whole damn trap off at the wall, then install a flexible fernco coupling onto the cast iron, attach a 90 degree brass bend to the fernco, and then a brass trap / tailpiece to the sink. Does that make sense? Is it up to code? Others told me to just use a flexible plastic fitting, but I know that those are a code violation and I feel embarrassed to leave such shoddy work behind.

Sorry - looks like the forum is a bit buggy at the moment as far as attachments. Here are the photos: http://imgur.com/zimwA,jYGl4#0 and http://imgur.com/zimwA,jYGl4#1 (ignore the bend attached to the trap in the first photo)

Edit: Having read a bit more, maybe it would be smarter to just use slip-joint PVC attached to a fernco instead of brass. I had thought I'd need PVC cleaner/glue in order to go the PVC route.

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Last edited by acr2001; 08-22-2012 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:40 AM   #2
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Connecting brass trap to cast iron (Noob)


Where's the picture? I don't see it

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Old 08-22-2012, 12:59 AM   #3
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Connecting brass trap to cast iron (Noob)


That trap I belive is screwed on.
Slide that escuntion back away from the wall and see if you see a nut, or is that a nipple screwed directly into a tee behind the wall.

Having old cast or iron pipes in not a good thing, and at some point there going to leak, and a PVC trap will never pit or leak like those chrome plated ones will.

This is what will work once you figure out how to get the trap off or the nipple out.
http://www.amazon.com/MISC-1-1-4-PVC.../dp/B002WDAPO4

Then you can swing it over.

Last edited by joecaption; 08-22-2012 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:05 AM   #4
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Connecting brass trap to cast iron (Noob)


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
That trap I belive is screwed on.
Slide that escuntion back away from the wall and see if you see a nut, or is that a nipple screwed directly into a tee behind the wall.

Having old cast or iron pipes in not a good thing, and at some point there going to leak, and a PVC trap will never pit or leak like those chrome plated ones will.
I pulled it back and there was no nut. Here is a photo from another sink in the house (same type of piping there). I tried turning it, but it wouldn't budge and the entire stack started moving, which was enough to stop me trying again.

http://imgur.com/EwBTf - looks threaded to me too, but I think I'm too chicken to try twisting it. I appreciate any practical solution you might offer. Is chopping it clean and telescoping the PVC inside a Fernco a bad idea?

Last edited by acr2001; 08-22-2012 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:18 AM   #5
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Connecting brass trap to cast iron (Noob)


I'd try some heat on the fitting first to see if it will soften that old pipe dope.
Reason being is if you can get that trap off you could just screw on a FPT to a slip adapter and it would look a whole lot better.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:22 AM   #6
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I'd try some heat on the fitting first to see if it will soften that old pipe dope.
Reason being is if you can get that trap off you could just screw on a FPT to a slip adapter and it would look a whole lot better.
Sounds like an excellent idea, but I don't have a torch I do have a reciprocating saw that is just itching to attack that pipe

It's well hidden under a vanity, so I'm not too worried about aesthetics. Would the cut / fernco method be considered acceptable if we ever sell the house and its inspected? That is my main concern at this point.

Thank you VERY much for your help! I rebuilt nearly the entire bathroom and this one small issue has been extremely frustrating for me.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:35 AM   #7
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If you rebuilt the bathroom all that stuff should have came off long ago so the wall could have been rerocked to get rid of that funky wall paper. lol
Any time you rebuild a bathroom or kitchen always replace all the shut off valves and traps.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
If you rebuilt the bathroom all that stuff should have came off long ago so the wall could have been rerocked to get rid of that funky wall paper. lol
Any time you rebuild a bathroom or kitchen always replace all the shut off valves and traps.
I did say *nearly*! I ended up tiling over the sheetrock (no shower / water exposure in that area) and leaving the vanity in place as we were keeping it (the wallpaper has been gone for years, except the bit behind that vanity) You're right though, should have replaced those shutoffs and trap to begin with. I did replace the toilet shutoff at least (it wasn't in very good working order). The plumbing in this house isn't exactly well done, so I don't like to mess with it if I don't have to. Those old shutoffs work surprisingly well (for now at least!)

It's a weird bathroom. The vanity is custom sized for the room and attached to the wall on 3 sides.
This might help explain: http://imgur.com/lav2q,HLnWe#0 http://imgur.com/lav2q,HLnWe#1

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Last edited by acr2001; 08-22-2012 at 01:49 AM.
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