Make Test Cap Closet Flange & Tub Drain?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by sparking5, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. sparking5

    sparking5 Electrician, JIW

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Midwest
    I made a big mess for myself yesterday. I ran sump pump and it blew up into the demo'd mstr bath old 1X diagional sub floor boards and/or open closet flange & open tub drain. :)

    In Michigan, 1934 neglected house I bought that I am totally renovating. Currently, sump pump is running thru the 1950's cast iron septic drain pipes (I will change later). There is a huge sump pit in basement. I ran pump once a year ago and not aware of a problem. I've left pump unplugged as I work on other areas. Plugged in yesterday and heard water gushing after a few seconds. Looked into dirt crawlspace under the demo'd mstr bath and saw water dumping onto the dirt, splashing around on bottom of subfloor!

    First thought was broken pipe. Actually, very first thought was UNPLUG PUMP! Then thought froze drain line. (Planned to explore septic system this spring). But maybe just shooting out open closet flange & cut off tub drain below subfloor, downstream?

    I saw water at several pipe areas so I thought it was blocked and coming back out at several joints but maybe it was just splashing around as it was going up into bath or dripping back down. I was by myself so I had a limited view.

    I'm not fully versed on main drain lines yet, can you tell? :) I've been dreading going into that tight, dirt crawlspace too!

    Plan: Make temporary caps for old, rusty cast iron flange & cut off tub drain (currently w/ drum trap); then, w/ a helper, cautiousily plug in pump and watch closely to see if water goes thru to septic tank.

    Later, when working on mstr bath: will replace some of dwv as I move things around (i.e. demo drum trap, replace closet flange, etc), tackle what's in crawlspace, find and inspect/pump septic tank, etc.

    Did I explain situation clearly? So, for short term, I want to empty sump pump cause spring melt is near. I am hoping nothing is broke or froze and I was just a moron w/ the 2 openings in the downstream drain lines.

    I am hoping my newly renovated 2nd floor bath w/ new toilet has been going thru alright. It didn't yesterday tho. :eek:

    Right now I am busy w/ rough electrical.

    If my plan is good, how can I make a temporary "test cap" for the old flange? How much pressure/force to keep water tight? I think I can probably get a rubber fernco type clamp on cap for the tub drain pipe at local plumb shop.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2007
  2. sparking5

    sparking5 Electrician, JIW

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Midwest
    P.S. Had to run to hardware store for some electrical boxes and grabbed 2 plugs. Reuseable-type, 2 metal plates w/ rubber guts that expand when tightened w/ wing nut on top.

    Going up into attic now for electrical junction box installing, smokes, etc.
  3. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    These are commonly called "dollar plugs" and will form a fair temporary seal...
  4. coz

    coz New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    MA
    remember when they did cost a dollar?
  5. sparking5

    sparking5 Electrician, JIW

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Midwest
    Thanks Guys!

    Do ya think those to openings was the problem vs frozen or broken lines? I'll give it a cautious try tomorrow.
  6. sparking5

    sparking5 Electrician, JIW

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Midwest
    I am trying to decide if I am a bone head & made an avoidable problem or was a learning opportunity.

    I got plugs, dollar caps?, installed and sump pit emptied fine into septic tank. No broken/froze pipes, except the pipe I broke. It was going to be demo'd anyway.

    So, I guess having 3 openings downstream of the sump pump wasn't a good idea. :)

    On the plus side:

    *The demo'd mstr bath drum trap has easily been removed....trap & 6' of copper drain literally fell of when I was trying to install that dollar cap. I capped at end of remaining 3' copper coming off of main drain line.

    *Found underground conduit for electrical to garage & some nasty looking free air splices in the crawl below mstr bath when I had to yank up a 1x10 subfloor board to cap remaining tub drain. And got my first taste of working in that gross crawlspace. Sortof starting making friends w/ it.

    *Learned the usefulness of dollar caps. Had to get creative w/ existing closet flange. The cast iron I guess is 4" but acts like 3.75", even after removing the bulk of crude on interior. I finally was able to force the rubber donut of the 4" inside then installed a 3" dollar cap. (I had the presence of mind to buy both sizes at harware store...score one point!).

    This problem I created also lead me to get at learning some about septic systems & how to properly run sump line.

    So, overall, I am putting on the plus side, or at least educational and useful.

    That's my final answer.;)

    Further plumbing will have to wait cause I am in rough electrical phase now. Yesterday, I just discovered Structured Wiring (networking voice, data & video) so will take even longer.
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