Cast Iron Drain to Sewer 90 broke... Now what?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by LT_DIY, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. LT_DIY

    LT_DIY New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    Hello everyone,

    I've been having a lot of success with my home remodel by reading this forum, the UPC, and a few books.... until now. :) Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I was removing the 4 inch cast iron drain stack with plans to replace most of it with 3 inch ABS, adapting using a Fernco donut to a short vertical section of the cast iron left in place. The snap cutter sure worked great.
    The problem is my unexpected discovery that the cast iron 90 degree long sweep with cleanout that carries the the vertical drain stack out the foundation to the sewer run was broken. As soon as I removed most of the cast iron stack, the sweep visibly broke out of the foundation about an inch, and later fell out. By visual inspection seeing the rust and very wet mud below the break, I can tell its been there a while; this also explains the water marks below it on the foundation wall.
    Now what do I do?

    [​IMG]
    I see two options: 1) get a rubber adapter, either donut or coupling and adapt a new ABS long-sweep clean-out at the break. 2) go outside and dig down to the pipe run and make the same connection, with perhaps more room to work. There are probably other options you experienced guys can think of.

    I'll attach a couple of pictures to show the situation.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,904
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I don't see how you would connect to this.

    If it were my house, I would be thinking of digging outside and seeing if I can connect there.

    Approved couplings on the inside would be shielded couplings that prevent the pipe from shifting.

    Wow, that job kind of got big on you.
  3. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Not sure where your local is. Some will allow Fernco or mission band couplings under ground, some not. Either way though you're going to have to dig down outside the foundation and snap off a short piece of the old C.I. so that the connection does not lie inside the foundation. Yours is a good example of why it is against the code to bury a connection within the concrete.
  4. LT_DIY

    LT_DIY New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    appropriate couplings

    Thanks Terry. You are not too far away and surely agree today is nice enough to be digging up the yard, but it wasn't on the plan when I woke up.

    The pipe is a bit more exposed than the picture indicates. The cast iron looks to be in fair condition with a clean brake. So I think I can get a banded no-hub coupling to fit.

    I have decided to use 4" ABS up though the cleanout so that I can use the banded coupling without reduction.

    What is the right adapter to use if I have to dig up the line outside? I can see that there is no other hub connection for at least five feet outside. So basically I would be making the same spigot to spigot connection inside or outside. I just picked up a Fernco Pt. No. 3000-44 which has stainless steel clamps and band. Can I burry it?

    I am under the UPC and have an open permit, so the inspector will have to sign off on the solution.


    Thanks again.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I really don't think you have enough to attach to there...
    The banded fernco should be fine outside.

    Install a cleanout outside while you have the line exposed...
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,904
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I don't see the side cut on the photo, but if you do have enough then measure the pipe first.

    Most new cast iron no-hub is 4-3/8" OD
    Some of the old stuff is 4-1/8" OD

    If it's the smaller stuff, pick up a copper by cast coupling.

    Your're not supposed to tell people when it's sunny here.
    It always rains.
  7. LT_DIY

    LT_DIY New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    I'll be digging

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I took another look at the pipe edge and the coupling depth, and decided its too serrated to take any chances. I'll be digging this afternoon! The pipe looks to be about 30 inches underground at the foundation.

    I like the advice of installing an outside cleanout. I just need to figure out how to do it.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Basically you would insert a wye and a street 45 into the line then continue it to the surface as shown in the picture below...

    [​IMG]
  9. LT_DIY

    LT_DIY New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    The hole started small...

    My excavation was going well. With the help of a friend we uncovered the cast iron in the yard near the foundation. A lot of the earth was washed away around the pipe and pretty wet. I cut through the cast iron pipe without much trouble. At first I had a hard time getting the cast iron in the foundation to budge, then with dismay noticed just nudging the street-end caused it to wiggle way too much. Turns out this piece terminated into an 1/8 bend made out of what looks like clay just a few more inches into the dirt. More digging revealed another broken fitting. The clay 1/8 bend was loose because the hub it sat in has about 1/3 of the circumference broken off.

    This last hub is part of a Wye serving another house drain. On the good side, its very solid, and clean. I'm just wondering how to adapt to it? The pipe ID is 3 15/16", and the bell, of course, is broken. My thought is to go back to using 3" ABS and search for a donut that fits in the pipe ID. A couple more pictures attached.



    On the good side, I now have room to add a cleanout! Thanks for the drawing Redwood. Not sure what the house trap is for.... but I don't have one now and this in not the only line leaving the house.

    Thanks everyone!

    Attached Files:

  10. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Broken sewer pipe

    What you need to do is keep following the broken pipe the snap
    cutter will cut the clay pipe also get a clean cut on pipe do
    not try to jury rig a bad connection, ! !
    Then go to 4" abs back into the house you can not have 4" cast iron off your toilets and other drain fixtures inside then
    reduce to 3" sewer,
    the only way you can do that is go back and re-plumb all your house fixtures

    by the way hows the weather their in bremerton, today, ? ?

    I spent 3 years doing plumbing in kitsap county
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    That drawing was kind of a generic drawing that I made up showing various situations..

    Your interest is only the cleanout!

    As Jerry stated a drain line cannot go from 4" to 3" and back to 4".
    The line may get bigger dia. but never smaller.

    You will need to cut that broken hub off the vitrified clay pipe. A chain pipe snapper will do a great job of that! A K-12 saw with a diamond blade will also work.
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