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erm213 06-09-2010 07:32 PM

Replacing cast iron with PVC

I am about to start a bathroom renovation. The bathroom is going to be gutted, new sub-floor, doubling up the joists among other things. I was planning on replacing the tub drain, as it is very slow because of years of build up. The house was build in 1960, and these are the original pipes. The house is a single story ranch, and the whole sewer stack is in one place. The only thing not near it is the kitchen drain, and that was converted to PVC years ago.

I am thinking of redoing all of the cast iron in PVC (or ABS) while doing this. I am not a professional plumber, but am a pretty good handyman. The job seems straightforward enough, but I wanted to make sure I am not getting in over my head.

The picture below is my sewer stack. I labeled where all the drains come from. I have one large one I am not sure where it leads, but I am going to open the wall to find out. Anyway, given the picture, is this something I can handle myself (father and friend will be helping, but they aren't professionals either)?

Any tips would be appreciated. Let me know if more information is needed.



wombosi 06-09-2010 08:29 PM

hi erik,
it looks like pretty nice plumbing, really.
i would leave it alone unless you see any obvious trouble when gutting the floor, such as broken toilet flange or something.

try drano in the tub drain, or maybe just replace the tub drain and trap with ABS and adapt it into the iron pipe.

your "not sure" is likely the main vent stack.
the small vent stack is for the tub and likely connects into the main before going out through the roof.

it's all easy enough to replace if you were hell bent on it. the hardest part is going to be the vent stack, depending on how many walls and ceilings you'd have to gut to get at it.

personally i would replace the tub part and leave everything else alone.

good luck.

erm213 06-09-2010 09:38 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. That makes sense on the main vent stack. The other thing I need to do is vent the kitchen sink. When the previous owners or whoever switched over to PVC, they didn't vent the sink drain. If I have a sink full of water, it takes forever to drain unless I turn on the disposal (the disposal breaks up the water enough to drain quickly). Another consideration for replacing it is is sticks out a few feet into the basement, and is in a place where you constantly have to duck!

I am not doing the project until 4th of July weekend, so I have plenty of time to reconsider!

Thanks again,


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