Newbie needs guidance on PVC reconfig

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by richb2, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. richb2

    richb2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    New York
    I have a PVC drain that I need to change because of the new lavatory sink base that is going in. Is seems that many of the 90 degree joints are "glued in" place. Thus, I cannot simply turn the joint into the config that I need. Is there some type of solvent to get those joints to release? Or do I need to cut them off. And if I do that, how will I re-attach? I suspect that one pipe was fitted into the next, before it was glued.
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    They may / will need to be cut. Can you post a photo of the existing plumbing? There is no solvent to unglue them.
  3. richb2

    richb2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    New York
    OK. Here are two photos, albeit, taken with my crummy camera-phone. After the pipe comes out of the wall, I want to go up to a single height, then across to the elbow/trap. This will allow me to not have to destroy the drawer of the cabinet.

    It seems that after exiting the wall, it goes to a 90 degree turn, and then to another 90 degree turn. Between those two turns is a small piece of pipe (maybe a 1/4 inch exposed) used to connect those two.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2006
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If you want to go up from where it comes through the wall then 90 across to the trap this might work but would not meet code. You will have to bust the wall and come through with new pipe. If you are going to do that,you should move the T up to the height of the trap and come out from that point and 90 over to the trap. Be sure there is a vent in the wall also.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,488
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    There is nothing about the existing drain that is legal, or proper, and what you propose to do will only make it worse. It appears to have been installed by a real DIY'er and I would suspect the pipe that we cannot see may also have problems.
  6. richb2

    richb2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    New York
    what do you mean by proper? You mean sanctioned by a union plumber? Here in northern NJ we can't get a plumber to help us at all, at any price. So there it is. It has been in that bathroom like that for at least 10, maybe 20 years. The house was inspected by a house inspector before we bought it, and also by the town inspector, and this was not cited as a violation, although certain other things were, nothing to do with the plumbing.
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    The fact that it wasn't called out does not mean it's O.K..

    We are here if you wan't to do it right, by code.

    If not just do what you want, but don't ask us how to do it wrong.

    If there is a vent it will be in the wall.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2006
  8. richb2

    richb2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    New York
    Cass, what I want to do is leave where it comes through the wall. Instead of going to the left 90 degrees, I want it to go up, 90 degrees. At the height of the trap, I want to have it go left 90 degrees, and over to the trap. This will leave the trap where it is. It is almost the same config as I already have. Do I cut the PVC, and then how do I put new angles on it?

    What is the vent about? It hasn't had one there for the past 20 years, or so.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Your pictures are good enough. We can easily see that the entire installation is improper. The first problem is that all the elbows are vent elbows. Not allowed in a drain. The black trap adadapter fitting appears to be glued to a white PVC pipe. This is not allowed due to dissimilar pipes, but it this were the only problem in a non-pressurized drain I would not lose sleep over it. When you rebuild this assembly, just get the fitting in white PVC.

    You have 3 90's in the drain. A maximum of 1 90 or 2 45's is allowed in most codes.

    Can't see in the wall, but in all likelihood the vent take off is bleow the weir of the trap. This is not allowed. Your trap is almost an S trap as it is, and having the trap too high basically makes it siphon like an S.


    The bad news is that this drain needs to be redone properly, and you may have to rethink the type of cabinet which you can use. The best way to fix all problems is to get inside the wall and replace the san tee with one at the proper level. And you can have it exit the wall at an angle towards the trap, and this might solve your drawer clearance problem as well.



    In answer to your actual question, yes this type of pipe is all glued....it is a permanent solvent weld connection. You can drill out the stubs, but for a job like this, the pieces are all very inexpensive. Throw everything away and start with all new. Your drain has either been repaired many times by cutting and regluing, or it was installed by someone trained on erector sets and legos! Maybe both!
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2006
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you do nothing else, Replace the top 90 with a tee and install an AAV to break the siphone on the trap. What you have now is a bad case of "S" trap.
    While it may drain, it also siphons out water from the trap and allows bad smells and sewer gas into the home.

    Like hj says, you would be better off going into the wall and raising the tee there higher.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,488
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    what do you mean by proper?

    You have 'square" elbows not drainage ones. The pipe from the one coming through the wall to the trap is an "S" trap. We do not know what the pipe looks like behind the wall, but from what we can see, I do not hold out much hope that it is any better, as far as installation is concerned.

    You mean sanctioned by a union plumber? Here in northern NJ we can't get a plumber to help us at all, at any price. So there it is.

    Union plumbers have nothing to do with it. This is a very poor DIY installation.

    It has been in that bathroom like that for at least 10, maybe 20 years. The house was inspected by a house inspector before we bought it, and also by the town inspector, and this was not cited as a violation, although certain other things were, nothing to do with the plumbing

    WE cannot vouch for the inspectors, but maybe that is the kind of work they do so they did not see anything wrong with it. NO GOOD inspector would ever look at it and not at least mention the problems with it. Maybe he was too busy checking for electrical outlet plates that only had one screw in them.
  12. sulconst2

    sulconst2 New Member

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    old bridge nj

    rich,
    looks like its time to do the whole bath.
    (tile falling off the wall, supplies not supported, illegal s trap) what's the rest of the bathroom look like? being that northern nj is one of the highest real estate markets in the country does this need to be done half-assed?
    I have a logo. had it before i started my business.
    "quality work for quality people"
    if you qualify pm me
  13. richb2

    richb2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    New York
    >>does this need to be done half-assed?

    well, I am an unemployed telecom engineer, so money is an issue. I was doing fine when I bought the house in 1996. I have already done everything myself including laying a new level floor and retiling the walls and floor. I can't get a plumber to even return a call, forget about moving a pipe. Yes. I know, while I was lounging around in calculus and electrical networking classes, they were getting their nails dirty putting in very elaborate and difficult toilets. The values of this country are so out of wack, but don't get me started..... :mad:

    >>highest real estate markets in the country

    That is part of the issue. Why would a plumber come to move a pipe 4 inches when they could work for weeks in some of these multi-million dollar mansions putting in entire bathrooms and earning big bucks. Can you blame them?

    If I could rotate the cast iron pipe 90 degree's that would help, but unless the cast iron vent stack is changed out so that the inlet is the same height as the sink drain, it is really just the same config.

    Anyway, I think I have an OK solution, I'm in school to become an accountant, and I will be using a "fake vent" at the highest point in the pipe. I have changed from white 90 dgree sharp turns to black "long 90's". But let's face it, we are not talking about a plane's wing or software to control a reactor here.....
  14. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, Hoss: regarding # 3, we could point to various design defects in mil. and civ. areas which have cost loss of life. PROPERLY INSTALLED plumbing systems work nicely for 20 to 100 years and the health and safety of the American public is protected.

    In light of statement (1) perhaps you should rethink your lack of respect for the plumbing profession in ( 2) . There are usually not a lot of out of work quality plumbers, and working plumbers usually earn more than out of work engineers.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2006
  15. dubldare

    dubldare Plumber/Gasfitter

    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    MN/ND
    Good luck with your new career.

    (I wonder how much unemployed accountants make?)
  16. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Not sure if I misinterpreted that, but it felt like a slam anyway. If I did, I apologize.

    I never lounged while in college be it in calculus, physics, chemistry, linear algebra with applications, algorithms and logic, etc. Nor did I lounge around while in class learning about drains, wastes, vents, backflow, cross contamination, water distribution, etc.

    Rich, keep in mind that you came to us with a question. Obviously your experience as a telecom engineer didn't prepare you to find a solution to your problem just as my own college education in software engineering didnt prepare me to put in "elaborate and difficult toilets". If you took history while in college, remember the life span of our ancestors. Many diseases have been controlled and/or their spread eliminated because of proper waste disposal and the delivery of safe, clean drinking water. Think about that the next time you flush one of those elaborate and difficult toilets or fill your vessel from the tap.
  17. bobsmith

    bobsmith New Member

    Messages:
    22
    We also need to remember that this site exist so guys like myself (business analyst for a software company) who are not afraid to get their hands dirty, but are clueless about certain plumbing issues, can go to the experts in the field for FREE advice.

    Rich, remember that the expert on this site could be charging you a pretty penny for the knowledge they are sharing. They don't need to be insulted.

    Matt
  18. richb2

    richb2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    New York
    Sorry I didn't mean to insult. I always forget that self deprecating humor (and sarcasm) doesn't work on the net. I am not trying at all to insult. I'd love to discuss how we the treat engineers in this country, but this is not the time or place. I suspect that in a few years there won't be any engineers left, here. I read yesterday that India is thinking of cutting back their output of engineers by 90%. The article (Rediff) said that "the educated unemployed are much more dangerous to a country that the un-educated unemployed", whatever that means.

    Anyway, the PVC pipes that the plumbing store supplied me (and explained how to assemble, after he chuckled slightly) need to be glued together. My issue is that the pipe needs to go through part of the cabinet which I had to cut to let the pipes pass. Now if I glue those 1.5 inch black parts in there, I will never be able to get the cabinet out again. Two questions:

    1) does the vanity or the sink need to be mounted to the wall? It sits on the floor, and with the granite top it is pretty heavy.

    2) Should I get drain parts that are screwable so that the whole thing can taken out? I could cut the vanity more so that it will slide over the pipes. But I would just be worried about the structural soundness after doing that.
  19. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I would not be overly concerned about removing the vanity. How soon do you plan to move it?

    Some states (MA for sure) require all piping before the trap union to be glued or soldered. If you go that way, it just means you have to cut and rebuild the assembly to remove the cabinet. In most areas, you could start with a slip-joint adapter at the wall, and use tubular slip-joint fittings to construct the assembly. All the fittings you need are available...traps, 45's, etc. The only slight drawback is how many mechanical joints you end up with, increasing the odds of something leaking.

    Strictly speaking, the cabinet itself could be completely freestanding, but in practice a couple of screws into the studs ensures it does not get bumped around. The sink is usually just attached to the top edge of the cabinet with some liquid nails or adhesive caulk.



    Here's a tip: if you do need help from a plumber or a supply house, do NOT EVER let them see you checking sizes with your digital caliper or micrometer! We take that as a sign of serious "geek-ness" and a "trouble-customer". Just wanted to pass that along!
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