re-gluing abs drain pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by cat3, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. cat3

    cat3 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Hello,

    I'm thinking about moving the washer hook up/drain in my laundry room and have questions about the abs drain stack up.

    There is a 2" abs pipe coming up thru the slab with 3 tee fittings installed with no more then a 1/4 inch spacing between the fittings.

    In order to relocate the washer drain, I would need to replace a couple of the fittings but they are installed so close to each other that there isn't enough "virgin" pipe and I would have to re-glue one side of one fitting. Is this possible to do or am I setting myself up for a drain line leak/failure?

    Thanks!
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Location:
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    Any chance of digging down an inch into the slab all around the stack and starting over?
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Location:
    Yakima WA
    First of all, you must understand that the commonly used term, "glue" is technically incorrect when referring to ABS or PVC. Although ABS and PVC are different chemically, they are joined by solvent welding. The "glue" is actually a solvent that briefly liquifies the surfaces of the pipe and fitting and when the joint is assembled, the sufaces of each flow together and form the weld. What this means is disassembling ABS or PVC joints and reusing them is difficult to impossible. I suggest you take out the existing fittings and start anew although I have some reservations about 3 tees on the one drain. What do they connect to?
  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    A Digital Photo

    A digital photo of the arrangement with a readable yardstick or 12" ruler or even an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper in the picture would be a great help to those who might be able to suggest something.

    The photo should be a small .jpg or .gif file. The site won't accept large files. It is easiest to take the picture with low resolution to start with, rather than try to shrink it.

    Click on the Manage Attachments button under Additional Options below the box you are typing in and follow the instructions.
  5. cat3

    cat3 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Hi and thanks for the replies.

    I just finished reinstalling the washer/dryer so I can't get a clear shot for a photo.

    The best way I can think of to describe this set up would be to visualize 3 tee's stacked up vertically.

    A 2" ABS pipe is installed under a cement slab and comes up vertically through the slab, a sill plate and the bottom plate of the wall framing.

    The bottom tee is used as a clean out access point and the lower edge of this tee is about 1/4" above the surface of the bottom plate.

    There is about a 1/4" between the bottom tee and the middle tee. The middle tee is connected to the washer p trap/drain.

    The upper tee also has about a 1/4" space between it and the mid tee. The upper tee connects to a utility sink p trap/drain and then continues up to the vent.

    Everything in this stack up is 2 inches until the upper tee outlet to the vent and utility sink and these are 1 1/2 inch.

    I hope this makes sense so far and I haven't been written off as a rambling nut!!!

    I'm wanting to move the washer/dryer and utility sink to make better use of the floor space but to do this, I need to re-do the drain stack up.

    I can replace all of these fittings but because the bottom tee is so close to the bottom framing plate, I was curious if I could cut the pipe between the lower and mid tee's, clean up the top side of the bottom tee and solvent weld in a new section of pipe.

    The other option would be to cut the stack below the bottom tee and remove enough wood from the plate to allow a new coupling to be installed.

    Short story long- would re solvent welding one joint be a really stupid thing to do?

    Thanks!
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    If properly done, there isn't a decent way to take apart a solvent welded joint. Well, I had a plumber here that said he could do it, but wouldn't show anyone...he was trying to figure out a way to patent the technique (he didn't have to do that in my place, so I don't know if he was blowing smoke). So, basically, you need to cut the pipe where you have enough straight material left to stick into a new fitting, depending on the diameter of the pipe, that length differs.
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    3,317
    Location:
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    Fernco

    Perhaps the following:
    1. Cut the pipe at the bottom of the middle tee, leaving the cleanout tee behind. If you are going to connect to another fitting, then leave the 1/4 of pipe on the tee you are leaving behind. It will fit into the socket of the new fitting to get good alignment.
    2. Connect the tee to a pipe or to another fitting with a Fernco coupling. The couplings shown at the link can be used to connect the socket to the socket of another fitting, or connect the socket to a piece of pipe.
    http://www.fernco.com/PlSo.asp
    3. Go from the Fernco to wherever you need to go.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    fittings

    He could not patent a technique, but there are several ways to salvage a system such as this, the easiest one being a "RamBit" or "Fitting Saver" bit to remove the pipe from the top of the cleanout tee.
  9. King3244

    King3244 New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    It is possible to replace an abs fitting and it is not all that hard to do. The big problem is that you will need good access to the fitting.

    Lets assume that you want to remove a piece of 2 inch pipe from a tee fitting.

    Cut the pipe off about 1/2 inch back from the fitting. Now make a groove with a hacksaw blade into the pipe, down to but not into the fitting.

    Now at the edge of the pipe and the fitting use a screwdriver (I have found an old one with rounded edges works best) and a hammer start at a corner and tap the driver down and around the circumference of the pipe between the pipe and the fitting. A lot of times once you get it started it will almost pop out but most times it may come out in various sized pieces. However.......... it will eventually come out.

    If you are careful it will be a bit chewed up but it will certainly be a serviceable piece that is left. When you put in the new piece make sure to use lots a glue to fill any voids.

    To remove a fitting from a pipe it works best to cut the fitting off flush with the depth of the pipe into the fitting and then proceed as above only cutting the groove into the fitting rather than into the pipe.

    A fitting will most times "come off" a pipe easier than a pipe will come out of a fitting. If you know what I mean.

    You can cut a fitting off without cutting it flush but it is harder to get it to break away due to the resistance of the rest of the fitting.

    I have seen already in these posts that this can't be done due to chemical reaction versus gluing.........but trust me I was shown how to do this by a buddy of mine and I have done it numerous times myself and it does work.

    The more times you do it the easier it becomes to do. I guess a lot of things are like that.

    If you are dubious or sceptical than get a couple of fittings and pieces of pipe and glue them together and give it a go on your work bench under ideal conditions rather than standing on your head inside a cabinet or somewhere like that.

    I was a DIY landlord for 25 years and found out many little tricks "that can't be done".

    I hope my instructions are inderstandable........if not ask and I will try and clarify.

    King
  10. dubldare

    dubldare Plumber/Gasfitter

    Messages:
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    Location:
    MN/ND

    The 1059 and 1060 series of Fernco couplings are not approved by the IAPMO. Additionally, I know of no code which allows the use of unshielded neoprene couplings above ground.

    I would try to either rambit out the top of the cleanout tee, or cut off the clean-out tee and a portion of the sill-plate to accept a new fitting.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipe

    KING. Before starting to peel the pipe from the fitting, wrap a hose clamp around the outside and tighten it. That will keep the fitting from cracking while you remove the pipe. And a heated screwdriver used to melt a slot down the pipe, can be easier to control than a hacksaw blade, and it makes a wider "cut" all the way to the bottom of the pipe without sawing into the fitting at the bottom.
  12. King3244

    King3244 New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Excellent suggestions HJ!

    King
  13. cat3

    cat3 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for all of the great ideas! I think I'm going to try and cut the stack between the bottom and middle tee's and attempt to rework 1 joint. If that doesn't work, then I'll have to figure out a way to dig down to "clean" pipe under that bottom tee.


    Thanks again for all the help and ideas!

    aj
  14. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Not sure if anyone mentioned it but if your going to transition from ABS to PVC you need to get the glue that can be used for both.

    You can't just use PVC glue for both.
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Try a wire saw...

    Working in close quarters, it might be easier to use a wire pipe saw than a hacksaw. It's a piece of braided stainless wire with a handle on each end, kind of like a garotte. You pass the wire behind the pipe, and saw it back and forth by pulling on the handles. It's very fast once it gets started; I use it for almost all large-diameter PVC pipe cutting. Here's a link to a typical product: http://www.hedgehog.cc/pvc.html
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    saw

    It doesn't work too well with ABS. The pipe refuses together after the wire passes through it.
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    ABS vs PVC

    Thanks for the info. I've never used ABS -- why would you choose one over the other?
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