Convert Toilet to Cleanout?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Merovex, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Merovex

    Merovex New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm a slightly handy homeowner. We're doing some remodeling, which will include removing the toilet in the basement. That's the access point we use to clean the sewer line (nearly an annual event), so I'd like to convert it to a cleanout.

    FWIW, the house was built in '52, and is all cast-iron sewer. When we did the bathroom upstairs, I vaguely remember the toilet flange being welded on with lead (does that sound right). So, I'd rather not go the route of removing the flange, but capping it somehow.

    Thoughts (besides I'm crazy for deducting a toilet)? Suggestions?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Unless it is a very unusual toilet connection, I would NEVER consider it for use as a cleanout.
  3. Merovex

    Merovex New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    So, no way to convert it? Apart from being cast iron, likely with lead welding, this connection is about as stock as you'd find in an early 1950s home in this region. I would have expected something that would create a solid connection that caps the hole at the toilet connection.

    The other question is, how to decommission it if it cannot be converted?
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I would have to see it before I can give a determination about what to do with it. The joints are "poured melted" lead, NOT welded.
  5. Merovex

    Merovex New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    Which is why I'm a mere DYI'er... can't tell the difference.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    In days past, cast iron was connected using Oakum and molten lead. Cast iron does not weld using ordinary methods. Newer cast iron connects differently. One thing not really part of the original question, but you mentioned having to have the line cleaned almost annually. This raises a question in my mind as to why? Certainly any sewer line can clog occasionally, but it should not be a regular event. This might be a good time to address that issue.
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