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Old 12-27-2014, 11:40 PM   #1
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Repiping Cast Iron and Steel


I recently bought a home and within a week I have two major leaks in my sewer lines in my crawl space. Unfortunately I've put everything I own plus all my credit cards into this place and there isn't a nickle left for this disaster so rather than simply patching the 90 year old cast iron and 60 year old steel pipe maze I'm pretty set on ripping it all out and repiping with ABS once and for all. What I'm hoping for is some confirmation that I'm not way off in my thinking. My initial thought is to:

1.) Cut all the lines about six inches where they protrude through the crawlspace floor.
2.) For the Cast Iron I'll use chain cutters rented from Home Depot and for Steel I'll use my brothers high end Sawzall with metal cutting blades.
3.) Attach ABS to all those connections and run it to the outside main line while watching grading to be sure its up to code.
4.) Pray all venting and connection points are solid and proper.

My concerns are:
1.) How to get the cast iron out of a very tight crawlspace.
2.) How to dig enough trench space around cast iron in such a small space.
3.) In general, how to work in such a small space.

I'm sure this is going to be painful, grimy, ungodly work for a do-it-yourselfer and I wish I had the money to pay someone but any thoughts, comments or ideas in the next few days would be helpful. Any thoughts on proper tools to make my life easier would help too or ways to do this I haven't thought of.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:31 AM   #2
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You will figure out how to work in the hole---as crawl spaces go--that one doesn't look bad----

your plan overall sounds about right---have good working light---buy plenty of extra parts--they can be returned when you are finished---
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
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Thanks Mike!

Another thing Im trying to figure out is the easiest way to measure slope under the house. I'm assuming you use the distance below the joists to see how much drop you have. Can that measurement be trusted?

Also, it may make sense to leave a couple pieces of cast iron in place. Any tips or tricks for attaching ABS to very short pieces of iron would really help.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reesecj View Post
Thanks Mike!

Another thing Im trying to figure out is the easiest way to measure slope under the house. I'm assuming you use the distance below the joists to see how much drop you have. Can that measurement be trusted?

Also, it may make sense to leave a couple pieces of cast iron in place. Any tips or tricks for attaching ABS to very short pieces of iron would really help.
To measure the pipe grade I use a tape measure or a graduated torpedo level.
Measure from the bottom of the joist or plywood to the center of the pipe- the center line will remain constant even as pipe diameters change.
Allow 1" in 4ft, That equates to 1/4" per ft.

Also plastic pipe needs to be supported every 4' and at the base of vertical risers

To join plastic to steel use a ProFlex transition band- or equivalent
http://www.fernco.com/plumbing/shiel...flex-couplings
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:53 AM   #5
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Fernco makes rubber fitting for attaching cast to plastic--either rubber boots or hub couplings---Depot carries a limited supply--a plumbing supply house will have the best selection---

As to measuring the slope---your floor joists should be level enough to take measurement from--also--some levels have a gradient built into the glass---mine do--and it is easy to figure the proper slope with that.

Your old vents are probably still useable---it is always best to replace the riser pipes to each fixture---yes,that means pulling out vanities--or cutting the cabinet back open---but that way you know that your job is 100% done when you are finished---

If you have a room that will be ripped up soom for a remodel---you could leave that for later---

Also--learn how to remove a pipe from a lead fitting---rubber hub fittings are always preferred to a rubber clamped fitting---if that option is practical--
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:55 AM   #6
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Eplumber was typing at the same time---good link to the products---
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