Advice on bathroom pipes?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jasesun23, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. jasesun23

    jasesun23 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    nyc
    I'm redoing a second floor bathroom and gutted most of it. I would like some suggestions to replace the pipes while everything is open. Hoped to get some opinions here. From what I can tell even if i replace some of the piping in the floor it wouldn't do too much since I can't get to the pipes going down the walls and into the basement.

    IMG_0769.jpg IMG_0770.jpg IMG_0772.jpg IMG_0763.jpg IMG_0762.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2012
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The lead bends on the toilets should be replaced.

    The tub shower faucet should be replaced with a pressure balances single handle valve.

    If you have galvanized pipes, those should be replaced at this time.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,284
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is nothing wrong with the galvanized vent pipes. I would replace the lead closet bend. What kind of water pipes do you have. They appear to be "golden" colored so are they brass or just discolored galvanized. if galvanized they should be replaced.
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,071
    Location:
    Maine
    You have entered the "how much money do I want to spend here zone" If it were mine, I would have a plumber come in and replace all the water supply piping including fishing new pex down the walls. I would get rid of the lead closet bend and have the galvy waste checked thoroughly, especially around the joints and underneath for signs of corrosion. I have had many a spade auger wind its way through the bottom of galvanized drain pipes.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I concur with Tom Sawyer's comments. This whole thing looks very antiquated and to replace piecemeal would be unwise, but replacing the whole thing is likely more than you would be wise in undertaking on your own. All of us DIYers sometimes attempt to go beyond our experience and abilities and get into trouble. I think this is one of those times for you, and calling for a plumber would be the wise option.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,284
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I have had many a spade auger wind its way through the bottom of galvanized drain pipes.

    I have NEVER had it happen, but then, I usually know where I am drilling when I use spade bits. I know about spade bits, and I use many auger bits, but what does a "spade auger" bit look like?
  7. jasesun23

    jasesun23 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    nyc
    Thank you for the replies. I'm have a plumber who is a friend of my dads come by tomorrow to give me his opinion. I kind of agree that most of it should be removed. The 1st floor bathroom is right below this bathroom. I was planing to finish this one before doing that one. But i'm thinking that if I can tear out some of that one then the plumber will be able to replace all the pipes right down to the basement.
    I'll have to look up some terminology of some of the stuff you guys are talking about.
    I know its almost impossible to determine without see it but would guys have a ball park figure of what a plumber would charge to replace most of this?
  8. jasesun23

    jasesun23 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    nyc
    The plumber came by and check out the pipes. He recommends leaving everything the way it is. Except for the shower system. Said to put in a 1 valve pressurized system as recommended here. Said even the lead toilet bend looks good. He did not mention anything about galvanized pipes.
    This guy is a friend of my uncles. He said this is his honest opinion. Really though he was going to tell me to replace everything.
    I'm not sure what to do next?
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You do know what happens when you run a closet auger though the lead right? It makes a nice hole through it and you have a big water leak every time the toilet is flushed. Can you think of a better time to replace it. You can wait until the floor and toilet is replaced. Then it's going to be a "BIG" job.

    He may not know how to replace it though. We're running out of experienced plumbers that can do that.
  10. jasesun23

    jasesun23 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    nyc
    HJ- what would be the easiest way to tell what the pipes are? (galvanized or brass) I believe most of the pipes the man used that built the house are brass. Would just some metal polish clean them up and let me know?
  11. jasesun23

    jasesun23 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    nyc
    With a scouring pad and some bar keepers friend I scrub the water inflow pipes. They are brass. Even in the basement. I believe the original owner used brass for all the supply piping. Does this change anything? Would you recommend leaving that alone? Or replacing it?

    I believe the main waste pipe/vent pipe is cast iron. While the others are steel or galvanized steel.
  12. jasesun23

    jasesun23 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    nyc
    Picture of brass pipes. I clean some off in the basement as well and right above the water heater. All brass. Safe to assume all water supply pipes are brass. IMG_0808.jpg

    The pipes going to the cast iron radiators are black. Scrubbing just show that to be black. Not sure if they are just black iron pipe or galvanized pipe
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can leave the brass pipes in.
  14. jasesun23

    jasesun23 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    nyc
    So Terry then you recommend changing the shower faucet and the lead bends on the toilet? Is that correct? The galvanized pipes you were talking about replacing , were they the ones that I now know are brass or did you mean some of the vent/waste pipes?
  15. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Thats a tight bend on that lead toilet arm. Looks like the top of the cast iron hub is even with the flange almost.
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Above, I mentioned replacing if they were galvanized. They are brass, so no problem.
    [​IMG]
    I normally just pull the lead out of the cast iron tee, and use a 4x3 flush bush into a insert rubber pipe donut.

    To remove the old lead, take a drill bit and drill out what you can, and then use something like a flat blade screw driver to pry out the lead. The lead arm will pull out, and you can clean out the oakum, which is basically rope packed in there to prevent the melted lead from dripping down the pipe. Clean out the hub, insert the rubber seal, and then taking a 4x3 flush bush, soap up the rubber and bang the flush bush into place using a block of wood against it, and striking the wood with a hammer. Don't hurt yourself.

    I use a 4" closet flange, and if I need to, I can notch around the pipe to get as low as I want.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  17. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If code allows I like an inside flange.
  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I can drop it all the way down using the street closet bend and a hub flange.
    As you had mentioned previously, his cast fitting is right at the floor level.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  19. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yeah,I just like the inside flanges. if it ever needs to be removed it's easier to get out. For me anyway.
  20. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I take out other peoples work, not mine.
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