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LinusInPW 11-14-2007 09:41 AM

Newbie question about crack in PVC joint
4 Attachment(s)
Hey all newbie question. I noticed a leak in the ceiling of my den, and opened it up - appears a cracked PVC elbow coming from the toiliet flange in an upstairs bathroom ( directly above the leak ) is the source of the problem.

I've posted some pics of the elbow - it appears to me that the PVC elbow has been patched before. I had a general handyman who does a lot of work for me take a look at it, and he thinks that the entire toilet flange, PVC elbow, and a portion of PVC pipe need to be replaced.

My question is - a) Is it advisiable to repatch the PVC elbow ( it looks to be in pretty bad shape ), b) If i have to replace it, can i just replace the elbow and not all the other parts.


tubguy 11-14-2007 10:15 AM

It looks like the pvc elbow is attached to the old lead pipe. You would be better off to replace everything from the elbow to the toilet and be done once and for all. A band aid will fall off and you will have the same problem again. Probably did not want to hear that. If it would have been done RIGHT the last time you would not this problem now

Good Luck


LinusInPW 11-14-2007 10:52 AM

thks tubguy. Looking at your reply it appears the lead pipe was fused to the PVC coupling, and the crack is in the point in which where they join? Just want to understand why replacing the entire assembly would be the better option.(sorry if these question sound stupid, this is the first plumbing work i have ever had to deal with )

Thanks again

tubguy 11-14-2007 11:04 AM

The problem with lead pipe is how to make a water tight connection to pvc that will not EVER give any further problem. Which is what you have going on now. I own rental property and have seen band aid type repairs that didn't last. Maybe temporary repairs that were forgot about. If it is not done right now and the wall is repaired what happens when it leaks agian. Water damage is expensive to repair. That is what is going on now. If you have above average diy skills you can make the repair yourself. Or hire a pro.

LinusInPW 11-14-2007 11:40 AM


Thx - got it. Im going to replace everything

With regards to the orginal work being pretty crappy - This appears to be the orginal piping ( house was built in 1980 ). Is there any reason they used lead, and not a PVC based toilet flange? I cant see how lead would be cheaper than PVC


scorrpio 11-14-2007 01:57 PM

Should be a fairly easy DIY thing, just a few hours of work. You'll need a PVC flange, a closet bend, a coupling a piece of pipe and a new wax ring. You'll need to open up the ceiling a bit more, remove the toilet, use cable saw to cut the pipe, and take out the old flange, elbow and all. glue pipe into closet bend, measure and cut the pipe and then couple it to old pipe so closet bend aligns with hole in floor. Glue in the flange, secure to floor, clean old wax off toilet, and reinstall using new wax ring. Check for leaks avbove and below, and if it looks good after 2-3 days, close up the ceiling and caulk around the toilet.

LinusInPW 11-16-2007 07:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
ok removed the flange ( it was it terrible shape ), and replaced it with a PVC flange. Problem was the lead flange was a short size, so we had to cut the elbow a bit about 1 inch so it would fit in place

My handyman attached it to the orginal PVC pipe using a coupling, but it now seems to leak at the coupling points. ( see picture ).

how would you recommend fixing this? Would any type of PVC/putty around the pipes be a long term solution.

Marlin 11-16-2007 11:14 PM

If you have a schedule 40 PVC coupling glued to schedule 40 PVC pipe which has been properly cut, cleaned and glued their is no reason why it should leak. Your handyman simply screwed up somewhere. You will need to cut the coupling off and go back further on the pipe, their is no easy way around it.

tubguy 11-16-2007 11:25 PM

Marlin is right
Measure twice-cut once. Cut it out and replace. you are almost done..don't give up now


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