Basement's raised bathroom pipes leaking under the raised concrete.

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by PIZ, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. PIZ

    PIZ New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I noticed a leak under my raised bathroom in the basement. I believe I'm going to have to take a sledge hammer to the concrete raised floor. Is there any way that I could run a new drain without tearing up the cement floor? Too bad they don't make a horizontal or upflush drain for a basement shower, or do they?

    What would it cost to have my raised bathroom plumbing re-done? I'm talking replacing the main drain, the basement toilet drain, the piping betwen the shower drain and the main drain. All of these pipes would be under the cement. Any idea on how thick this cement would be? Maybe I could eliminate some of the costs if I take the concrete out myself.
  2. dx

    dx General Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Michigan
    You need to give more info. Is the raised floor solid concrete? how thick? Where exactly do you see a leak? Are the batroom drains connected to a stack above the main basement slab or to a drain line under the slab? Are the bath drains imbedded into the raised slab?

    The slab is usually 4in. thick. The raised portion, you tell us. Breaking up the concrete and redoing the drain piping will cost several thousand, depending on specifics.

    Yes there are "upflush" systems for showers, sinks and toilets. They are called drain or sewage ejectors.
  3. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    You can go with the sewage ejector, but this doesn't solve your leak problem under the slab. Yes, you will have to chip up the slab and find out what the issue is, whether its drainage or water lines that are causing the problem. You can do this yourself to offset the costs, just go into it carefully as you don't seem too sure about whether there's piping actually set into the slab or if they are run underneath it. It will be expensive, you can count on that!!!
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2005
  4. PIZ

    PIZ New Member

    Messages:
    13
    The raised floor is concrete. I have no idea how thick it is, since it was built in the 50's. The basement bathroom has a toilet---connected under the raised concrete to the main drain, and the bathroom sink & upstairs kitchen sink pipe are connected above the raised concrete but go into the raised concrete after that and connect to the basement shower. After thinking about it, I think I've come up with a solution: I'm going to re-run the basement bathroom sink and upstairs kitchen sink above the raised concrete without a problem. The basement shower I'm going to raise a few inches so that I can re-run that drain above the raised floor; I just don't know how high I'll need to go.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,253
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    leak

    And after you have done all that, what if the leak is in the section of pipe that still has water flowing through it, or if the water can back up into the unused portion and still leak?
  6. PIZ

    PIZ New Member

    Messages:
    13
    There is nothing else going into that pipe other than the sink, upstairs sink, and shower. I have thought about water going back into the unused portion. I don't really have an answer for that. Don't they make sleeve that can be inserted into the main line to seal leaks? Couldn't I use something like that to block off the smaller unused pipe?
  7. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    the very strange thing about the route you want to take is it's going to be more of a hassle than just chipping up the concrete and doing it right the first time. You should just go for it, we do it all the time and it's not too big a deal... just a lot of sweat, dust, and expletives :)
  8. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    CT
    If you are going to tear out the existing shower and toilet anyway, you might as well just keep going and get to the pipe. I doubt they made the raised slab any thicker than they had to. I would expect the concrete to just cover the pipes. I bet there is a cast iron joint that was disturbed by the settling of the raised slab. You will probably be able to cut the cast iron and replumb with pvc without raising your fixtures.
  9. PIZ

    PIZ New Member

    Messages:
    13

    Yeah, I probably should just do it right the first time. I'm not much of a plumber, but I think I can knock some concrete around and then have someone qualified come in and do the pipe work.
  10. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    CT
    When you do the demo, take a photo of the pipes. You might want to give it a shot yourself. Try to recreate what was there in pvc. You can cut the cast iron (assuming that is what is there) section out, rebuild that section in pvc. The materials are not that expensive.
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