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Old 11-29-2010, 07:31 PM   #1
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


Hi guys, I'm new to this board & hope to learn some tips from reading the posts. I'm a real estate (small time) investor & contractor in Chicago. I'm not a plumber but I know how to do most basic plumbing stuff & find I'm doing more all the time. If I can't handle it I call my pro. Sometimes I run into things I don't understand & hoping I can get some help here

OK, here's my problem...

I'm cleaning out the pipes under a basement utility sink. I went to open the clean out in the stack & found the cap just nudged in tight enough to keep any water from leaking out. In other words, the cap has threads but the stack hole does not. There's no way to screw it in tight. I guess the last person working on it just smacked it with a hammer until it was tight enough not to leak. Obviously, I don't want to leave it like that

I've never seen something like this. I figured all the female openings in a clean out would have threads. This one is totally smooth. I'm perplexed

Is there a special type cap to use? By the way, it's all steel (or cast iron)

Thanks in advance

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Old 11-29-2010, 09:51 PM   #2
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


Do you have a picture of this that you can post? Sounds like the threads on the cap may have broken off inside the pipe maybe? What size cleanout is this? You can buy a wing nut style test plug as a temporary fix. It has a rubber gasket that will expand as you tighten the wing nut to seal the hole and when loosened, can be removed easily. I'd still like to see it though.

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Old 11-29-2010, 10:14 PM   #3
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


Thanks for replying. I'll see about getting a photo

It's a 2" cap, which is what the opening takes. And no, the threads are on the cap, it's the clean out opening that has no threads on the inside. It's totally smooth. So there's no threads inside to screw it into. The stack pipe is really old, maybe from the 40's

Thanks for the tip about the test plug. I'll try that. Do they sell those at Home Depot type stores or do I need to go to a plumbing supply place?
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:18 PM   #4
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


You'd be best to go to a plumbing supply place b/c most of the time, the employees @ those big box stores received their customer service and product knowledge skills from a Cracker Jack box.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


You might be looking at the branch end of a san-tee. If it's cast iron you'll need a band and a cast iron cap. Plumbing supply houses can help you with what you'll need.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


Thanks again guys

It's a small diameter stack pipe coming from the ceiling above. I'm guessing it's the kitchen sink & a few bathrooms. It's just a straight stack, &, maybe a foot off the floor, there's anther connection with a clean out hole, which protrudes straight out, not on an angle

There is two stacks coming down right next to each other, connected at the bottom by the floor

Basically it's just a hole with a smooth inside & you can't thread a cap on it. What the **** is it? Why is there a hole like this in a plumbing pipe?

I really don't want to have to take this off as the pipes are ancient & rusty as hell
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:18 AM   #7
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


Sounds like a vent stack cleanout, A 2" cleanout is probably just your kitchen line. If a few bathrooms were on that line it would be at a minimum 3". A situation like you describe indicates a bigger problem, the cap has been removed so many times that you can't put it back on. Use a test plug to seal opening from sewer gasses and don't be suprised if you need a larger repair
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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Question About Clean Out Caps...


The hole may have never had threads and may have been ment for a piece of pipe or another fitting, they used to use molten lead to connect smooth cast iron pipes together.

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