Advice on replacing clay waste line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Taylor, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Can't get plumbers to call back with estimates, and I need to get concrete down soon to give it time to cure while I'm on hoiiday. So I'm on to the next project, replacing clay waste line (which started out as: move drain lines in basement to make room for footings for new beam).

    I'd appreciate any advice on some aspects of this:
    1. Concrete base: The inspector (who is economical with words and hard to get ahold of) mentioned setting the pipe in concrete. Is this SOP? Since all concrete is supposed to be 2" thick, I don't see what good this does. Perhaps he is referring to the part where the CI stack gets some of its support from the waste line? But I can't imagine a PVC waste line faring very well in a sandwich between concrete and a CI stack.
    2. Stack: I plan to support the CI stack with riser clamps in the attic and first and second floors. When I tighten these, should I worry about over-tightening and cracking the CI? I tightened until I heard a groan, but under-tightening obviously has its down side. BTW this whole project started because the framing is under-supported, so I will have to do what I can with temporary support, but can't do much with half the laundry room floor dug up.
    3. Sand fill: I presume I refill the trench with the waste line with sand. Tamping is out of the question, I couldn't lift one of those things in, and the fumes from the motor would fill the house. Are there lighter weight alternatives? Keep the trench filled with water for a few days? Fill it up with concrete? The ground is clay with some rocks. I plan to tile (eventually). I will put rebar anchors into the 2" concrete to key the new and old concrete together (well, I'll try).
    4. Under support: The trickiest part of this is that the waste line goes almost under a 4x4, one of two holding the kitchen over the laundry room. No footing! I've done everything I can to spread the load elsewhere, but I will be digging at least some of the waste pipe out of a tunnel under the 4x4 plate and 2" of concrete. Does this seem feasible? Again, not ideal, but I don't see an alternative.
    5. Water test: The house plumbing needs to be brought back on line ASAP after replacing the waste line. Can I do a water test for the inspector after the system has been operational for a few days? Obviously I'd do my own water test before going back on line.

    Thanks for any help. Doing this out of necessity, not out of choice.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    project

    1. Concrete base: The inspector (who is economical with words and hard to get ahold of) mentioned setting the pipe in concrete. Is this SOP? Since all concrete is supposed to be 2" thick, I don't see what good this does The pipe does not get enclosed in concrete, and the floor should be 4" thick, not 2".
    2. Stack: I plan to support the CI stack with riser clamps in the attic and first and second floors. When I tighten these, should I worry about over-tightening and cracking the CI? I tightened until I heard a groan, but under-tightening obviously has its down side. If this is the old cast iron, you shouldn't need any riser clamps, but if you do use them DO NOT overtighten because they can crack older cast iron pipes.
    3. Sand fill: Good idea. Water settling or a hand tamper will workl
    4. Water test: The house plumbing needs to be brought back on line ASAP after replacing the waste line. Can I do a water test for the inspector after the system has been operational for a few days? Obviously I'd do my own water test before going back on line. VERY VERY, (in fact almost impossible), difficult to do a proper water test once everything is connected.
  3. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Yes I will make my surface 4", but the existing basement floor is 2". I can't understand how a 4x4 support post without footing has survived on that basis, but it has for 80 years. Though it does appear the basement floor sagged in that vicinity, taking the rest of the house with it....
    Thanks, a hand tamper I have! I will try both water and hand tamper.

    Thanks for your comments, they are very helpful.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    yes

    I can't understand how a 4x4 support post without footing has survived on that basis, but it has for 80 years. Though it does appear the basement floor sagged in that vicinity, taking the rest of the house with it....

    I guess that answers your question. It did not survive and that is why the house sagged.
  5. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    DWV Plan

    Here is my DWV plan FWIW. The scan cut some things off, that is kitchen waste line in upper left, laundry sink in middle left. There is a toilet in middle right. Items that are not routine:

    1. I'd like to expand my kitchen waste pipe from 1-1/2" to 2" as it comes into the laundry room, since the current pipe is all blocked up with garbage disposer waste.

    2. The (moved) laundry sink and (new) washing machine standpipe will share a 1-1/2" vent stack. Their two vent stacks (A and B) are joined in a tee just before going up into a stud bay in the room above.

    3. Right now it looks like the CI stack terminates in a 4" wye with a cleanout. Presumably another wye under concrete where it connects to the clay waste line. I see several ways of attaching new PVC waste line to the stack:
    a. If the stack has some CI connecting the two wyes at the bottom, perhaps I can get a no-hub coupling in there at the bottom (preferred option).
    b. Otherwise I guess I will have to get a donut into the outlet hub of the CI wye? I'd prefer to put in lead okum honestly (with mapp gas?), except I can't imagine lead flowing up.
    c. A third option is to cut the stack above the wye, and no-hub coupling to everything PVC below.

    Any comments or reality checks are appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  6. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Duh

    The trap on the standpipe should obviously be 2".

    Anyway it's the stack and how to connect to it that I'm most concerned about.....
  7. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    I have a question on the water test. Since I'm only changing the waste lines in the basement, is it okay to hook up upstairs drain lines, and just make sure during the water test that the water level stays in the basement? Staying in a hotel while waiting for inspection (will be) an expensive option.
  8. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Pipe cutter stuck (urgent)

    I've got the pipe cutter wrapped around the 4" waste line, have tightened as far as possible....now I can't get the handle to go any further. HELP! Is this to be expected, or could there be issues?

    I did some practice cuts on 2" clay pipe, not a problem, so this is a real surprise.....it's the Ridgid 226 soil pipe cutter......I can try whacking with a mallet but I'm nervous about cracking the part of the pipe I want to leave.....tried with a sawzall earlier but my arm was quickly getting tired and progress was real slow......

    I removed most of the exterior of this pipe (what is that stuff?) before cutting, a little on the bottom that I couldn't get to.....didn't do that on the 2" pipe and the cutting went swimmingly.....
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Don't whack it!

    Turn it to release it then tighten up the chain a link or 2!

    There are marks on the side that show where it should be for a starting point for different size pipes. This needs to be set before each cut or you will run out of screw! These marks on the forks are approximate starting points!

    Don't feel dumb! Been there done that!
    I just feel dumb when I keep doing it! AAAAARRRRRGGGGG! Not again!
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  10. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Stuck!

    Can't get the handle to go counter-clockwise.

    Owner's manual says that, if this happens with 206 or 246, just switch it to open, adjust, try again.

    Nothing about this for the 226.

    I sure hope I don't have to sawzall out the pipe to get this thing off.
  11. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Unbelievable

    Called Ridgid customer assistance and they did think the thread got chipped, the only reason it won't open.....suggest a pipe wrench to try to apply more force.....I don't believe this is happening.....
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have the 228 myself so I don't know much about yours.
    Might try PB Blaster on the threads and a small pipe over the ratchet handle to loosen it!
  13. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Thank You, Redwood!

    Luckily I had to take out some of my steam pipes as part of this project, so I grabbed a 4' piece of black pipe and it did the job....slivers of metal coming off the screw as it unwound....time for a new pipe cutter, or maybe time to try the angle grinder.....
  14. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Ex-waste pipe

    Pipe would not score on top....took off the pipe cutter to see what the problem was.....the bottom of the pipe has disintegrated.....I mean into a million little pieces......think I have enough to cut back to for a Fernco.....it also appears that my waste line out to the street is CI (based on the piece that I have (barely) left).

    This is much more "exciting" than I expected.....
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Looks like your not going to get a good snap on that one!
    Time for some slow cutting!
    You should be able to get replacement parts for the snapper from ridgid.
  16. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    My angle grinder is my friend

    I used the snap cutter because I could not get under the pipe (there's a French drain underneath it). To cut it back, I'll slice if off in pieces and do everything from above.

    The cutter is okay, I must have just over-tightened it. But for cutting the stack, I believe I'll stick with the angle grinder.
  17. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Cutting a clay waste pipe....from the inside

    I have about 12" of waste pipe that I cannot reach from above, below or sides.....it has side-by-side 2x4 and 2x6 walls sitting on top of it, and for load-bearing reasons I cannot do anything with their plates.

    Do plumbers have anything in their box of tricks or box of tools for a situation like this?

    I have a 4" angle grinder and diamond cutting wheel, but doubt I'll be able to get it in there. My only other alternative is a sawzall with long tungsten carbide blades. I would try to divide the pipe into 4 quarter-round sections, then pry each section off the clay "skin" around the pipe and remove it carefully. I would say that any kind of heavy vibration is out of the question (no demolition hammer pounding the pipe), due to the fact that the surrounding soil is carrying load.
  18. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yea you take a new piece of plastic pipe right against it like a pin punch and you use an insertion tool...

    [​IMG]
  19. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Thanks!

    It's off to the power tool store for me......

    After all this, cutting the stack will be easy....after pouring some liquid courage into myself.....
  20. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    How do you tell CI from clay pipe?

    I'm starting to think I have CI waste line after all. I cut the flange off a pipe I could not hammer (under the stairs) and it is nice and shiny on the cut. The pipe I have been demolishing with a sledgehammer is black in color, blue on the edges. In general it is only about 1/8" thick. It is surrounded by what looks like some kind of baked-on clay. Is this CI interior pipe with a clay exterior considered as clay pipe?

    I have found at least one piece of pipe with a 2" hole on the bottom, and of course another part fell apart yesterday while being cut, so clay or CI, the pipe is not in great shape.

    I have now reached the hardest part, getting out from under that load-bearing wall. I will try Redwood's suggestion, but I'm not optimistic. Getting a piece out from another wall, I really had to dig and jimmy it out. The rough clay exterior leaves little room for smooth sliding of the pipe. In that case I left part of the stairs support resting near the edge of unsupported concrete. I can't do that with something holding up the kitchen.
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