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-   -   Help me! Cast Iron Leak (Picture) (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/help-me-cast-iron-leak-picture-113932/)

meandiet 08-13-2011 08:25 PM

Help me! Cast Iron Leak (Picture)
 
3 Attachment(s)
I have a home built in 1889. I just remodeled my upstairs bathroom only to discover that I have a big crack in the main drain pipe going vertically through the middle of the house. The 4" crack is on a Tee connection that's made of 4-inch cast iron. Some of the plumbing is exposed. About 3 feet is accessible through the attic. About 9 feet is accessible downstairs. The 2nd floor is behind the walls.
I need some experienced opinions here.

(1) HOW MUCH OF THE CAST IRON SHOULD I REPLACE?
Is it best to replace all the cast iron from the T-joint up with ABS? OR is it better to cut out just the T and replace with ABS--leaving the heavy 15 feet of cast iron above it? OR is there a better way than these ideas? OR should I just replace ALL my plumbing till I get to the city street (who knows, maybe there's more leaking under the house)?

(2) HOW SHOULD I CUT AND REMOVE THE CAST IRON?
How the heck am I going to cut out this cast iron? That stuff is heavy and there's wood around everything. This could be a fire hazard if I try to grind this off. Plus it's very, very heavy. Am I going to have to climb up on the 2nd story roof and pull this out? Should I start cutting from the middle of the pipe and ease the cut pieces down?

Any other helpful hints, please share.

fabrk8r 08-13-2011 09:00 PM

Use a snap cutter (chain type) made for cast iron DWV. Available at rental stores. You only need about 3/4" clearance around most of the pipe and full access for about 1/4 the diameter.

Cut out the damaged sections in a manageable size and replace with PVC and Fernco couplings or equivalent.

Have someone help and make sure the cast iron is supported. It cuts easier than you'd think and a 5' piece only weighs about 40 lbs.

meandiet 08-14-2011 12:15 AM

Chain Cutter Snapper
 
:thumbup: Yes! Thanks for that suggestion. Home Depot has the chain cutter available for rent. $11 for four hours. $15 for a day. Thanks so much.


I'm still debating how much pipe I should replace and what material to use. I'm not sure if I should replace everything from the Tee up including what pokes through the roof or if I should replace just the tee and some length of pipe with cast iron. I'm not sure how a PVC tee will hold with all that cast iron material on top of it. My house vibrates a lot.

(p.s. luv your pugs! got one myself)

Mary

I also found this video on how to use a chain cutter.
http://youtu.be/thNMNkuh59Q?t=11s

fabrk8r 08-14-2011 09:57 AM

You can leave the good cast iron pipe above the repair. Support the existing cast with a clamp supported either at the floor or between the studs using a clamp made for this purpose.

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k2...tcm12-3152.jpg

That's a good video you found. Looks easy doesn't it?! I think you should have no problem with this repair. Just make sure you use good quality repair couplings.

Good luck and be safe! :)

COLDIRON 08-14-2011 11:17 AM

The clamp is called a riser clamp that should be the first thing you do, and make sure it's the right diameter and tight it's holding all the weight.

Matter of fact than might be why the crack started in the first place.

VIPlumber 08-14-2011 11:28 AM

Off the top of my head I believe that it should be supported every 10' or so (every story/floor) on the vertical. So at least you could put a support up in the attic and first floor and that should help alleviate the strain greatly. I'm not certain how you want to tackle the still enclosed 2nd floor area though.

COLDIRON 08-14-2011 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VIPlumber (Post 707008)
Off the top of my head I believe that it should be supported every 10' or so (every story/floor) on the vertical. So at least you could put a support up in the attic and first floor and that should help alleviate the strain greatly. I'm not certain how you want to tackle the still enclosed 2nd floor area though.

I would.

meandiet 08-14-2011 02:11 PM

4" Riser Pipe Clamp
 
1 Attachment(s)
:thumbup: Wow. Great help on this forum! Thanks!

I checked Lowe's and Home Depot. Neither store stocks the clamps, but Grainger has them for $8.11 each. I will buy some tomorrow, and I'll post the results of my fix. It looks like I'll be replacing the bits of straight pipe and the Tee with ABS. Thanks!

Bob999 08-14-2011 05:41 PM

What you are characterizing as a crack may very well be the result of corrosion from the inside and the corrosion may well extend above and/or below where it has broken through the surface.


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