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Old 03-07-2013, 07:40 PM   #1
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Hello,

This project started out simple (don't they all!) to replace 33 year old faucets that came with the house. The new faucets came with new drains so I decided to replace these as well. During the trap removal I noticed some seepage around the wall fitting so decided to just replace the whole trap.

Everything went well until I tried to remove the sink trap from the wall fitting. It would not succumb to any amount of reasonable force. Note that I used the word "reasonable" as the drain plumbing is black (ABS) plastic and I didn't want to break anything, especially this close to the wall.

Not having any luck removing the fitting nut I finally decided to slice it with a Dremel cutoff wheel and remove it that way. Much to my surprise the last "plumber" to work on that fitting GLUED! the nut in place apparently trying to stop a small leak. Once I got the trap tail piece out of the wall the reason for the leak was obvious. There was no seal washer on the trap tail piece! Finding workmanship like this gives the real plumbers a black eye!

The setup is a 2" 4-way ABS female fitting in the wall (drain, vent, 2 sinks). Glued to that was the 2" to 1 1/2" trap adapter. The trap adapter is now trashed and unusable due to the remnants of the glued on nut. Please see attached picture.

Can any of you real plumbers out there recommend a solution to replacing this trap fitting that *doesn't* require ripping into walls? Is it time to call in a pro? If so, What kind of repair should I expect? I would expect something that provides a working removable trap fitting and not another glued on mess. Are there any specialized tools or expertise that a pro would need to do a proper repair under these circumstances so that I can ask some intelligent questions?

At this point my only thoughts for a proper repair would be some specialized tool that would bore out the remains of the old fitting and allow a new one to be glued back in. Complicating this is that ABS pipe and fittings are hard to impossible to find anymore.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Two methods I have used-
Purchase an 1.5" Ram Bit- designed for this purpose, it bores out the hub
or- using a hack saw blade or saw-zall, make several cuts around the inside of the hub- lengthways. Then use a 1/2" or so wood chisel and chisel out the cut pieces. can be time consuming but you don't have to buy the ram bit

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Old 03-07-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


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Two methods I have used-
Purchase an 1.5" Ram Bit- designed for this purpose, it bores out the hub
or- using a hack saw blade or saw-zall, make several cuts around the inside of the hub- lengthways. Then use a 1/2" or so wood chisel and chisel out the cut pieces. can be time consuming but you don't have to buy the ram bit

Dang E you make sound so easy!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


I can see a line inside that pipe,and I bet that stub out you broke off is solvent welded into a sanitary T, so it is basically one piece now. I think its time to open up the wall and replace things. It will be a lot easier if you pull the sink, if you haven't already. Hopefully the bone head didn't set the sink in sealant, but I wouldn't put it past him/ her/ it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


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Dang E you make sound so easy!!
It is! You hand the tools to the apprentice and say"I'll be back in a few"
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


You could always cut the back out, then cut the drywall to get to the pipe, to replace the fitting. Then to fix the drywall you removed, cut out a piece larger than the opening, trim the gypsum off the front paper, so you can use the paper as the "tape", when you place the patch back over the hole.

To fix the hole on the back of the vanity, replace the piece you cut out, then secure with fiberglass resin tape that is used for casts, or something like this http://www.amazon.com/CS-Hyde-Fiberg...iberglass+tape
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


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Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Two methods I have used-
Purchase an 1.5" Ram Bit- designed for this purpose, it bores out the hub
or- using a hack saw blade or saw-zall, make several cuts around the inside of the hub- lengthways. Then use a 1/2" or so wood chisel and chisel out the cut pieces. can be time consuming but you don't have to buy the ram bit
I just checked the ram bit price- for $17 and an hour of time- or less, you'll be ready for a new trap adapter
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Those cutters are life savers----a steady hand is needed but they work well----
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #9
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Ram bit (although we call them "shredders" here) is the way to go short of cutting open the wall and replacing the cross. Just be careful not to drill it out too deep and take part of the fitting with it. Yeah...it happened once....
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:33 AM   #10
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Being you are a diyer I wouldn't try the ram , the guys that did are PRO's and know exactly how to hold it properly and the correct depth.

Just cut the wall out so you can see what"s happening, fix it and just patch the wall.

You'll probably end up doing that anyway after you spend the $17 and time tearing things up.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:52 AM   #11
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Pretty neat concept. Do you use soapy water or anything so it doesn't grab? Do you use a gear reduction drill like a Milwaukee RA? Any bit this wide is going to fry a home and garden drill, No?

I think at this point I would pull the sink, cut out a good sized square hole to the studs, and replace it all with PVC tied in with fernco's to the ABS. Im sure you pro plumbers will go the other way, but Im thinking like its mine. You guys usually think like its a clients, and that is entirely understandable.

Add blocking to the adjacent studs and fill it in with a piece of drywall, FG tape and mud. second coat and forget it. I might stick a piece of some type of paneling over it if I had it, buy Hey, its under the freakin sink, right?

After looking at what they have there again, I dont think that ram bit is going to work very well. the concept is OK, if you have a perfectly square cut pipe, but thats not what this poster has.
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Last edited by jagans; 03-08-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #12
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Try the cutter----they do work---any strong low speed drill will do it----
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:47 AM   #13
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


I use my dewalt cordless drill set on low speed. There really isnt any trick to them...just drill it out. Stop now and again to check your depth and hold the drill square to the fitting.

I've also used a different type of bit that I like better. It has one spring loaded tooth and actually stops at the correct depth. These bits are alot more expensive however and unless you're going to using them quite a bit, cost prohibitive.

There is also a newer product on the market called the PVC Debonding System. I checked into buying one, but the price point right now is just way, way, way too high. Perhaps it will come down in the future. Until then, a ram bit is what I'm sticking with.

http://www.pipedebonder.com/
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:11 PM   #14
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I am beginning to think that the light at the end of the tunnel is NOT from an oncoming train!

For those that suggested the drywall approach this is a TON of work and takes BOTH of the only two bathrooms in the house out of commission for the duration. You see the second bath (and sink and vanity) is behind the wall with the broken fitting!

I like Eplumbers approach the best. As I said in the original post I was almost ready to make a guide to go around the outer female quad fitting in the wall and then use a forstner bit to bore out the old fitting. I like the ram bit better as it is already made for the purpose. I have successfully changed timing belts and front end parts on V6 Toyotas so I think that I can probably handle this with the proper tooling and good advice from the helpful folks on this forum!

I do have another question. What type of fitting should go back in there? PVC or ABS like the original? I have heard that some local code authorities won't permit joining PVC and ABS with solvent gluing. If I can't or shouldn't use PVC does anyone have any ideas on where to find ABS fittings?

Last question... Are ABS and PVC fittings dimensionally the same or are they different (on purpose) because they weren't intended to be mixed together? I am wondering if the RamBit would fit properly in the ABS fitting. This also brings up the question as to what size replacement fitting to use. I guess that this depends on the cutter size availability of the RamBits. I measured a male PVC to 1 1/2" trap slip fitting at the hardware store today. It measured 1 7/8" diameter. The inside of the busted ABS fitting measures 1 5/8".

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:25 PM   #15
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HELP - Broken Sink Trap Fitting NIGHTMARE!


The sizes are the same-----I'll leave the solvent to someone else---here everything is PVC so I have little experience with abs and the mixture of the two materials.

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