[B]Anyone know the expected lifetime of a Proflex no hub coupling?[/B]

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Mike58, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Mike58

    Mike58 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    California
    I am planning to use some Fernco Proflex no hub couplings on ABS pipe. The joints will be in an exterior wall behind a tiled shower (new construction, no shower yet). It just occurred to me that this could cause much grief in the future if the couplings have a lifetime and the shower has to be ripped out to get to them.

    They will be torqued to 60 inch pounds. Some will be connecting 1 1/2" drain pipe (from a vanity) and some will be connecting 3" drain pipe from a toilet. The 3" will be vertical and the 1 1/2" horizontal.

    Does anyone know the expected service life of Proflex no hub couplings?

    Any tips on increasing their lifetime?

    Are there other no hub couplings available with a longer service life?

    Mike
  2. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Round about 200-300 years give or take a week or two

    if you do not know this what are you doing "trying" to plumb a house ?

    Inquiring plumbers want to know !
  3. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    VA
    I don't think you have anything to worry about. I dug up some CI that was connected to no-hub connectors (similar to your Proflex connector). They were in great condition and the rubber was sealed really well to the CI. In most of the connections, I had to pry the rubber off after removing the SS band. These were in the ground for 42 years. Only reason I had to dig it up was to move a drain and to add proper venting.

    Likely the shower will fail long before that coupler does.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,125
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If this is new construction and you are using ABS, then ABS fittings and glue should be used.

    The Proflex is used for repairs, but they don't make sense if you are installing new.
    The solvent weld fittings are much better.
  5. Mike58

    Mike58 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    California
    Thank you all for the information. Terry, I would like to avoid the no hub couplings for the toilet, but this is a tight spot where I have no room to move the pipe the length of the hub to make a glued joint. I have glued up the ground floor underfloor fittings already, and have a 3" combo wye coming up through the bottom plate in a 2x6 framed wall (the run of the combo goes outside for a cleanout). At the second story I have a closet bend from the toilet going into a low heal 1/4 bend in the wall (2" goes up for the vent and the 3" bend takes the waste down in the wall). Due to the framing I don't have room to move the low heal 1/4 bend up or the combo wye down enough to make a glue joint. The upstair toilet's horizontal drain is already going to be below the ceiling so I have been trying to keep it up as high as possible. However, as I write this I am thinking it may be wise to just drop the upstairs drain an inch and a half further below the ceiling so I can make a glue joint rather than use the no hub couplings. Funny how you get focused on something (like keeping the upstairs toilet drain up as high as possible) and don't want to let it go.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,125
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The funny thing is, and I was talking to Jerry Hodge this morning about it on the phone, is that they didn't let us touch waste for the first year.
    They let us run copper, which is much smaller and can be pulled apart dozens of times before it's soldered. It can go up and down, and it's pretty hard to mess up if you have someone like a journeyman plumber ready to remove it with a sawzall if he didn't like what he saw.

    Plastic fittings for waste and vents was a whole different kind of animal.
    So easy to paint yourself into a corner.
    After a few years of plumbing, they would give me apprentices almost ready for their own truck to spit and polish train.
    On days with time, I would let them paint themselves into a corner, and then we would cut their work out.
    On days with little time, they had to do it my way.
    The days I let them mess up were good learning days. They learned there "was" a reason behind the lessons.
  7. Mike58

    Mike58 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    California
    Terry, you are so right. As I am doing these drains I am getting an appreciation for the plumbing profession that I could never get any other way.

    Thank you for prompting me to avoid the no hub couplings. I think I can find a way to make it work without them. I have found that plastic shopping bag material in the joints makes it much easier to lay up the ABS dry/without glue, and will do that until everything is together. Then will come the puzzle of the order to glue it up.

    Best,

    Mike
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Dry Fitting is one way to paint yourself into that corner much quicker...
    Every joint comes up about 1/4" short and it's all downhill from there...

    You are much better off working from measurements and having your work be accurate...
    Then instead of your work being downhill the waste in the pipe is going downhill....
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Using your description, I have to wonder if you are using the upstairs drain line as the vent for the downstairs. That would be a common mistake for DIY plumber wannabes.
  10. Mike58

    Mike58 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    California
    Redwood, I make sure the dry joints are tight by measuring the depth of each hub and marking it on the pipe. The plastic shopping bags make it possible to fully seat the joints and take them apart (usually without too much effort). They are so thin they are almost not there, but are polyethylene so have low friction and are strong.


    hj, No wet vents. I couldn't follow the wet vent rules so decided to avoid them entirely. You can see the layout in my earlier post at http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...ms-and-kitchen&p=248393&highlight=#post248393. The downstairs toilet is vented by a vent not a drain.

    I have doubts about some of it, but I think it will be ok. For example, the vent for the downstairs toilet comes off the drain at less than 45 degrees (about 35 degrees). I plan to deal with that by providing a cleanout for the vent right above the 35 degree section so if there is ever a problem I can easily clean it out (this cleanout isn't shown in the drawing).

    Please let me know if you see anything that looks like a problem.
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